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Seriously, this clueless, smirking oaf is POTUS? Photo credit: progressiveday.com

The Steaming Pile of Trump

Updated 14 March, 2020

These ramblings represent — in the main — a collection of criticisms of the “Trumpian Oaf” that I have developed/tweaked over the years since the buffoon first threw his bouffanted hairpiece into the political ring, and that I selectively and occasionally dump into the comments section of the Washington Post. In addition, there are comments on other contentious topics: Religion; Abortion Rights; Contraception; the Second Amendment; “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”; Medicare for All; “Ranked Choice” Voting; the Westminster System of Government. …

The P.T. Barnum of our age …

“Some men can learn almost indefinitely; their capacity goes on increasing until their bodies begin to wear out. Others stop in childhood, even in infancy. They reach, say, the mental age of ten or twelve, and then they develop no more. Physically, they become men, and sprout beards, political delusions, and the desire to propagate their kind. But mentally they remain on the level of schoolboys.” — H.L. Mencken, “Notes on Democracy,” (1927) — Sound like anyone we all know?

George F. Will best described Trump in 2012: “bloviating ignoramus” http://bit.ly/2Gc2pRa (1:08)

Trump (“IQ45”) is the epitome of the “Dunning–Kruger Effect” (http://bit.ly/2pOc7az). He’s an oaf — a dangerous, ignorant, clueless, oaf — but for his having been born into great wealth he’d likely now be selling broken-pack cigarettes on a street corner and sleeping under a bridge somewhere. Video https://youtu.be/AOPyzgIwy9U

Then there’s the “Peter Principle,” a concept which provides that persons may rise to positions equal to their levels of respective incompetence. Regrettably — for us all — Trump’s inheritance of great wealth has allowed this “bloviating ignoramus” to circumvent this most valuable of the laws of nature and rise to the highest office in the land — terrifying! https://bit.ly/2V5ZpRk

“I’m president, Hey, I’m president. Do you believe it …?” — Donald Trump https://youtu.be/YsxDbbEDzSY

“I almost immediately recognized Donald as the P.T. Barnum of our age.” — David Cay Johnston (~1988) — a critical commentary (Sept 2016) https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv

Frighteningly prescient: Oxford Union Q&A (27 Oct 2016) with Tony Schwartz, the real author of Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal” http://bit.ly/2NsJsyN

“It’s Even Worse Than You Think …” — David Cay Johnston — Another critical commentary (2018): https://bit.ly/2SLJllY

“This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that is straight out of psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying. …” — Ted Cruz, describing Trump in May 2016 … https://youtu.be/Bz44wKKQJh0 — My, Ted, how you’ve changed …

“As a child I saw ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and wondered how Scarecrow — ‘If I only had a brain’ — could think, let alone talk. Then I heard Donald Trump speak.” … http://bit.ly/2Gdlbrlhttps://youtu.be/ec9P3C1OXqE … and, demented or coronary occluded? https://youtu.be/HoEtz1u-z9E and https://youtu.be/g6mZ1ofj2Vo

Indeed, Trump could play multiple parts in the “Wizard of Oz” — no brain, no courage, no heart …

“Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.” — Prof. William T. Kelley, University of Pennsylvania http://bit.ly/2Is2wvE

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” — Charles Darwin

Unscripted, Trump’s only constant is incoherent, mendacious and delusional blathering. Watch Trump so perform — he’s a jabbering idiot! http://bit.ly/2Gdlbrl (1:32) — Even his backdrop of selected “deplorables” appears bewildered.

Even teleprompted, Trump’s Hitlerian rants appear to be the product of a pre-adolescent brain alone — devoid of any coherence! Clearly, there’s a dearth of competent (English-speaking) speech writers in Trumpistan. https://youtu.be/ec9P3C1OXqE

“When the ignorant are taught to doubt, they do not know what they safely may believe.” — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

For a psychopathic con man like Trump, “truth” is a variable for whatever suits him at the moment; he dissembles habitually, effortlessly and shamelessly — he has no knowledge of yesterday, nor any concept of tomorrow; he lives only in his unhinged, narcissistic view of the moment; a brainless dummy, his little knowledge of anything is limited to the input of only the last (Russian?) ventriloquist to blow in his ear.

Yet, this bloviating ignoramus (“Donny Two Scoops”) has achieved — with some help from his sock-puppet master, Putin — what the US Mob always hoped to, but never could — the total corruption of the Executive Branch of the US Government — and at its head sits Boss Trump.

What is it about his financial records that so concerns Trump? Doubtless, his greatest fear is that they will show that his nett worth — if any — comprises only a few hundreds of (inherited) millions — not many billions, as he claims, and that he has paid little or no tax for many years — and who knows how many other underhand schemes they would expose?

History will doubtless record Trump as being the greatest con man of modern times — but, hopefully, one who at the height of his narcissistic sociopathy, like Icarus, ultimately flew too close to the sun and thereafter crashed back to earth — ultimately requiring a lengthy convalescence at a Club Fed facility to atone for his many bad deeds …

The only thing more frightening than this “bouffanted buffoon” is the ~63 million ovine rubes that voted for him. Those who still endorse this “bloviating ignoramus” should proudly have ‘MAGA’ tattooed across their foreheads so that the remainder of the populace can readily know and forever shun them …

The first two years of Trump resulted in the House being handed back to the Dems in 2018 and it stands to reason that two more years of Trump will — hopefully — produce the same effect for the Senate (and Presidency) in 2020; nevertheless, one can never be complacent; as George Carlin also once said, “never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” http://bit.ly/2qO4TQS

Trump has never been constrained by the law or ethical considerations: he and his fellow grifters have forever been merrily “doing business” beneath the radar. As a publicity stunt — to try to get more money out of CBS for his role in the then failing “The Apprentice” — the “bouffanted buffoon” decided to “run for president”, and, to his great surprise, succeeded in pulling off his greatest ever con on the US citizenry! — see Howard Stern (9:37) https://youtu.be/VgqyrkJaXY0

“Billy, look, look, you just tell them [anything] and they [the rubes] believe it. That’s it, you just tell them and they believe it. They just do.” — Donald Trump, as retold by Billy Bush: http://bit.ly/2lD6dTP (8:39).

“And just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” — Donald Trump: http://bit.ly/2KrW5r9 (0:30). — Trump never spoke a truer word about his insane rhetoric.

Trump’s lying is innate; then, as George Costanza once said, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Indeed, Trump’s legal team declined a “face-to-face” consultation with Dr Mueller: half were afraid he’d lie — the other half afraid he’d tell the truth!

The probability is that Trump is so demented he simply doesn’t know what he has said in his previous breath — and that should be frightening — even to his ovine followers …

Trump claims that his father was born in Germany! His father was born in New York; his (also) draft-dodging grandfather was born in Germany. Apparently, Trump is unable to differentiate between the two. If that’s not a sign of dementia, what is? http://bit.ly/2VhkaGq

CNN’s Michael Smerconish recently stated that he knows Trump to be “intelligent” — I beg to differ — Trump — “IQ45” — is “intelligent” only to the level of “cunning” in that he actions absolutely nothing without first calculating the likelihood of there being a benefit for himself personally from any such action …

“If you only watch Fox News because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen.” — John Kelly, former White House Chief of Staff

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” — Benjamin Franklin

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” — Bertrand Russell https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/bertrand_russell_101364

“You flush sixteen times, what do you get?” … https://youtu.be/XGChTEfeeC4https://youtu.be/N2yJO1oWEvwhttps://youtu.be/q0XJcoNRTikhttps://youtu.be/ec9P3C1OXqEhttps://youtu.be/UuygDcFw_k4https://hyperscapes.com/trumps-assessment-selected-quotes/https://twitter.com/i/status/1254760905600008199

Trump’s malapropisms and adolescent attempts at everything reveal him to be a true coprocephalic; then there are his federal crimes … http://bit.ly/2QflmuP

“What fills me with doubt and dismay is the degradation of the moral tone. … Is ours a ‘government of the people by the people for the people,’ or a Kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?” — James Russell Lowell, 1876. http://bit.ly/300nics — Little has changed in 150 years, apparently.

“I earned my spurs on the battlefield. Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor, …” — James N. Mattis, Former US Secretary of Defense, Al Smith Dinner (17 Oct 2019) https://youtu.be/g_sG7N7pJ6g See also https://youtu.be/AJUkmCwP4ww

The whole of Western Civilization should be afraid of this crass, ignorant charlatan, Trump, and his (acting) KKK (Keystone Kops Kakistocracy) …

Howard Stern Interviews Hillary Clinton, 6 Dec 2019 (2:19:00) …
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLauTiXO-LQt0OZhemxL5E6v-Oy5vKOXVx
And yet here we are — this clueless, coprocephalic oaf, Donald Trump, is president!

“Only a weak man speaks endlessly of his strength and only an ignorant man brags incessantly of his wisdom. How voters respond in [November 2020] to the threat posed by this unstable man may determine the arc of our future for a generation to come.” — Joe Scarborough https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/1211830054155624448

“Preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion, [Trump’s] childlike ignorance concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.” — George F. Will (Jan 2019) https://wapo.st/2FP9FGp

“I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it … Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president” — Donald Trump, CDC meeting, 6 March 2020 …

“We can overcome four years of Donald Trump, but eight years of Donald Trump will be an absolute disaster and fundamentally change this nation.” — Joe Biden.

Indeed, if Trump’s ovine cult followers manage to give this crass halfwit a second term — and the opportunity to stack the courts with more ultra conservatives — we all had better get used to the idea of living in a future more akin to Salem in the 1690s.

Having watched Trump incite his ovine cult members with Hitlerian ranting and raving, one can only conclude that he is indeed “unhinged” — and dangerously so, but, given that he makes no attempt to appeal to other than his atrophying, ignorant, cult-member base, surely, the chances of him being reelected are remote.

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” — George Orwell, “1984”

Trump had no defence against impeachment; caught red-handed, his pathetic, sycophantic defenders scurried about, looking ridiculous in the eyes of rational people. They still look ridiculous!

Soon enough, [Insert any name] will learn that Trump only has “friends” who are of use to him — and then only so long as they are of use to him! Thereafter, “I don’t know him, I never knew him”! http://bit.ly/2wrLNCs

To Alan Dershowitz’s “Constitutional” defence of Trump, a brief response from Prof. Laurence Tribe at https://youtu.be/ADCUGx9wHhE

Now that the partisan Senate has acquitted the Trumpian Oaf, the opposition can return to exposing his corruption, right up to the November elections, and let’s then see if Trump’s ignorant cult base alone is sufficient to reelect him for a second term; else, he be defeated, along with much of that which remains of the GOP — the “Trump Cult Party” …

“Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich” — Official Trailer — Netflix — YouTube https://youtu.be/-j0rjlfmDx4

See the February 2016 video of “Katie Johnson” detailing her “social” interactions with Trump and Epstein in 1994, when she was only 13 years old — Trump told her she reminded him of his own daughter (who also was 13 at the time). Make up your own mind as to how convincing is her story. … http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

“A conservative believes nothing should be done for the first time.” — Thomas Fuller, 17th century English clergyman.

In the final analysis, if he has achieved little else, Trump will have exposed the GOP as being the crass political opportunists that they (and he) have always been, and thereby — hopefully — handicap the GOP for many years to come.

In the final analysis, if he achieves little else, Trump will have exposed the GOP as being the crass political opportunists that they (and he) have always been, and thereby — hopefully — handicap the GOP for many years to come.

Trump’s ovine followers should stop watching “Faux Noise” — Trump’s goose is well and truly cooked; he now only needs for the electorate to stick him with a fork on 3 November.

Indeed, “the oaf is toast” … http://bit.ly/2K0Cjrc

The ultimate Trump meltdown … https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJaOTu-WwAI1xim?format=jpg

Regrettably — or maybe not — Trump’s gross narcissism and arrogance prevent him from appreciating the writing on the wall — the oaf appears totally unaware that “what goes around comes around” — but he’s right about one thing, the “Deep State” is “out to get him” and when he leaves office in January 2021, he will be exposed to indictment for his many crimes (charity, bank, tax, insurance frauds, massive [Russian] money laundering, etc.). “There’s a well-justified norm against criminalizing political differences — but it does not apply to a career criminal who happened to be elected president.” https://nym.ag/2KwMsuM

“The Day Democracy Died” — sung by The Founding Fathers … https://youtu.be/-Ue5F57dZMU

H.L. Mencken observed that even the [ovine rubes] “have the means in their hands to stop the obscenity whenever it becomes intolerable. Now and then, raised transiently to a sort of intelligence, they do put a stop to it.” — Well, “Moscow Mitch”, we are waiting — still … http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

“Vote Blue No Matter Who” in November — consign Trump’s sycophantic GOP enablers and his (acting) Kakistocracy to the dustbin of history and Trump to the new “Presidential Wing” at Leavenworth Club Fed.

***

O ye of little faith …

Never fear, the all-knowing “stable genius” Trump is at the helm — and we are all doomed!

“We’re going to have [health] insurance for everybody … much less expensive and much better.” … “Nobody knows health care better than Donald Trump” … “Nobody knows more about debt” … “Nobody knows more about trade than me” … “Nobody knows banking better than I do” … “Nobody knows the tax code better than I do.” … “Nobody knows politics better than I do.” … “Nobody knows the politicians better than me.” … “I have the best words” … “I know more than the generals” … “Nobody knows the system better than I do … which is why I alone can fix it.” And there’s more, much more … https://bit.ly/2TiI3iH … YouTube: http://bit.ly/2QHfszRhttps://bit.ly/2XbkTvB

If only we could find this “Nobody” person!

“Billy, look, look, you just tell them [anything] and they [the rubes] believe it. That’s it, you just tell them and they believe it. They just do.” — Donald Trump, as retold by Billy Bush: http://bit.ly/2lD6dTP

Trump has never felt constrained by the law or ethical considerations; he is the world’s greatest ever charlatan; a congenital liar, barely a word that comes out of his — or his Kakistocracy’s — mouth can be believed; for Trump, “truth” is a variable for whatever suits him at the moment (http://bit.ly/2VhkaGq) — after he’s received his daily “programming” from the “knuckle draggers” on his (once) favorite TV channel, “Faux Noise.” Consequently, Trump’s grasp of reality is even more delusional than that of Alice’s following her fall down the rabbit hole. http://bit.ly/2Ne2QyV

Is Trump unstable? (https://youtu.be/rELHUMNt4HM) — Clearly, he has no knowledge of yesterday nor any concept of tomorrow — he lives only in his grossly narcissistic view of the moment; a brainless dummy, his awareness of anything is limited to the input of the last (Russian?) ventriloquist to blow in his ear. http://bit.ly/2JS5D1h

***

An ignorant, crass, unscrupulous, transactional opportunist …

Kakistocracy! The perfect pair: Trump — the epitome of the “Dunning–Kruger” effect — and “Billy Bunter” Barr — the perfect “Roy Cohn” replacement …

Then there’s Ghouliani, probably the “master key” to better exposing Trump’s corruption; the only question is, will he perjure himself, to shield Trump, if he’s ever forced to testify?

Obviously, Ghouliani knows too much for Trump to simply “unknow” him; but, if I was Ghouliani, I wouldn’t be opening any anonymous packages.

Trump is the world’s most crass, cruel, ignorant, unscrupulous, transactional opportunist. He has never been constrained by the law or ethical considerations — he’ll adopt any ideology, exploit any opportunity, tell any lie, to advance his personal interests. Trump’s sole reason for being is to feed his insatiable narcissism. Anyone that thinks that he — or his family — has ever had any sense of service — other than self-service — or that a man who has spent his adult life promoting his vulgar “brand” and the many dud products, scams to which he has licensed his name — to the cost of his beloved “poorly educated” — cares one iota about anyone but himself is naïve — in the extreme! http://bit.ly/2NsJsyN

Trump is a man of principles, none — a master charlatan — a clueless, crass, arrogant, shameless, unscrupulous, bigoted, racist, congenitally mendacious, malevolent, barely literate, inarticulate, incoherent, cowardly, thin-skinned, autocratic, divisive, vindictive, misogynistic, nepotistic, grossly narcissistic, sociopathic oaf; a five-times draft-deferred, mega sued, six times bankrupt and, politically, a gross neophyte; his adolescent brain epitomizes chronic “status twitterus” — a debilitating mental disorder whereby fits of inane “twittering” follow one another without recovery of consciousness between them. Trump is — in every respect — utterly unfit to be POTUS. https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv

Then there’s the matter of “Katie Johnson” … http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

***

The Windmills of Trump’s Coprocephalic Mind …

“We’ll have an economy based on wind. I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody. I know it’s very expensive. They’re made in China and Germany mostly — very few made here, almost none. But they’re manufactured tremendous — if you’re into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything — right? So they make these things and then they put them up. …” And there’s much more! https://youtu.be/ec9P3C1OXqE (3:07).

This man is truly unhinged, yet his equally unhinged, ignorant, hayseed followers love him still … https://youtu.be/_I7duOJXMr8

***

What would have been Dr Argyll Robertson’s diagnosis of Trump?

“‘Argyll Robertson pupil’ describes the physical exam finding of small bilateral pupils that do not constrict when exposed to bright light but do constrict when focused on a nearby object. This finding is highly specific for late-stage syphilis.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537179/

Women, in particular, should watch for Trump’s pupils to constrict whenever he gets within “grabbing” range — Ugh!

***

The “Pompous Potato” …

Mike Pompeo has the personality, eloquence, and the looks, of a potato! The arrogant, ignorant, god-fearing “Pompous” is eminently suited for Trump’s Kakistocracy, and appears ideally qualified to be the Evangelical crazies’ preferred hope for president next — Oh, the Rapture!

Then, hopefully, the political careers of many of Trump’s sycophantic GOP enablers will soon enough be finished — along with Trump and his Kakistocracy — gone to Davy Jones Locker aboard the foundering garbage scow, USS “Dump” — or, better still, to the new “Presidential Wing” at Leavenworth Club Fed …

Didn’t Pompeo — mining his cult leader’s similar coprocephalic thoughts — once say, “You think Americans care about Ukraine [Africa, anywhere …]?"—https://youtu.be/aCfEQEtj0Ro

***

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken, “In Defense of Women” (1918) http://bit.ly/2m22TSi

“Notes on Democracy” — Henry Louis Mencken (1927)

Extracts from a review thereof by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers (Nov. 7, 2016) http://bit.ly/2qhgSFY

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. The demaslave is one who listens to what these idiots have to say and then pretends that he believes it himself.”

The politics of the masses is one of envy. Nursing grievances in grim wastelands, where jobs are scarce and progress has long passed him by, the average mob-man “hates the plutocrats of the cities, not only because they best him in the struggle for money, but also because they spend their gains in debaucheries that are beyond him.” Moreover, “What is worth knowing, he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know; what he knows is not true. The cardinal articles of his credo are the inventions of mountebanks; his heroes are mainly scoundrels.”

Such voters are “constantly bamboozled and exploited by [charlatans],” … “The business of victimizing them is a lucrative profession.”

Adept demagogues “can hear the murmur of mob dissent even before they are conscious of it themselves.” Skillful at gaining popularity such politicians know how to arouse the fears of the mob and awaken its hatreds. “He holds them by his shrewd understanding of their immemorial sentimentalities; …”

Ms Rodgers also asks, “does this sound like any[one] we know?”

H.L. Mencken observed that even the [ovine rubes] “have the means in their hands to stop the obscenity whenever it becomes intolerable. Now and then, raised transiently to a sort of intelligence, they do put a stop to it.” — Well, “Moscow Mitch”, we are waiting — still … http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

***

Never fear, Trump’s “day in court” is coming …

Notwithstanding “Billy Bunter” Barr’s false narratives to the contrary, Mueller’s Report et al is damning of Trump.

Come Trump’s landslide defeat in 2020, the sum of all the investigations into him will make this crass, ignorant charlatan sorely regret he ever (jokingly) threw his “bouffanted hairpiece” into the political ring …

Q&A: Howard Stern (9:37) https://youtu.be/VgqyrkJaXY0

Come Trump’s defeat in 2020, the sum of all the investigations into him will make this crass, ignorant charlatan sorely regret he ever (jokingly) threw his “bouffanted hairpiece” into the political ring …

Q&A: Tony Schwartz, author, “The Art of the Deal” (Oct 2016) http://bit.ly/2NsJsyN

Q&A: David Cay Johnston, “The Making of Donald Trump” (Aug 2016) https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv

“Katie Johnson” video on Epstein/Trump (Feb 2016) http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

“The many scams executed by Donald and his family have now been exposed. It’s time for Congress, the IRS, and New York state to step up.” — David Cay Johnston (Feb 2018) https://thebea.st/2CRcFBl

Johnston also opines that Trump will never voluntarily produce his tax returns as they will show his wealth is nowhere as great as he claims and he has paid little or no tax for many years — and who knows what other “schemes” they would expose?

Hopefully, Trump will eventually be indicted for various crimes (charity, bank, tax, insurance, employment frauds, money laundering, etc.) and he’ll be penalized to the extent that much of his ill-gotten assets will be forfeited, and he’ll get to convalesce at the Club Fed Leavenworth facility for a goodly while.

When the dust finally settles and his ovine supporters’ cheering quiets, Trump will blame them for ruining his life. Likewise, Hitler’s final judgement was that Germany had failed him.

***

All roads lead to Putin …

Watch Trump’s nauseating, Putin-fawning, post-Helsinki press conference. It’s amazing how well Putin’s fingers manipulate this ventriloquist’s dummy — notice that Putin’s lips are barely moving, but his voice modulation sounds a little odd. (4:38) http://bit.ly/2JS5D1h

On the return flight from the Helsinki meeting with his sock-puppet master, Trump phoned David Sanger of the “New York Times” to tell him that Putin had assured him that Russia did not interfere in the US elections. Had Russia done so, Putin told him, the US would not be able to detect same. Sanger reminded Trump that his own national security people had already said that they had satisfactory proof that the Russians had so meddled. Trump responded that he preferred to believe Putin as he did not trust his “own people” because he believed “they were all out to get him.”! — CNN … https://cnn.it/359qGnu

Then there’s Trump’s meeting in the WH with the smirking Russians, Lavrov and Kislyak … https://youtu.be/Ej-C_Ou_YCQ

Who knows what Putin has on Trump or what this coprocephalic ignoramus is passing to Putin? Regardless, Trump knows that if he ever hopes to get his “tower” in Moscow (https://nym.ag/2ML24tQ) he has to defer to Putin. Witting, unwitting — more likely half-witting — Trump is effectively Putin’s “useful idiot.” Though, “many people are saying” that Putin now thinks that Trump is far too much of an idiot to be of any use to him.

Trump’s mendacity is innate — he lies even when the truth could serve him better. Clearly, he’s delusional; probably demented (Alzheimer’s; neurosyphilis?); he has no knowledge of yesterday nor any concept of tomorrow; he lives only in his narcissistic, unhinged view of the moment; a clueless oaf, his awareness of anything is limited to the input of only the last (Russian?) ventriloquist to blow in his ear.

***

Out of Trump’s world of slime, Jeffrey Epstein “hanged” …

“Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich” — Official Trailer — Netflix — YouTube https://youtu.be/-j0rjlfmDx4

Birds of a feather flock together … http://bit.ly/31xjsK5

“I’ve known Jeff [Epstein] for 15 years,” Trump told “New York Magazine” in 2002. Calling him a “terrific guy,” Trump continued, “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/

See the February 2016 video of “Katie Johnson” detailing her “social” interactions with Trump and Epstein in 1994, when she was 13 years old — Trump told her she reminded him of his own daughter (who also was 13 at the time). Make up your own mind as to how convincing is her story. … http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

The same story as covered later by the tabloid “Daily Mail” … https://dailym.ai/34EtMj6 and again more recently by Ronan Farrow (“Newsweek”) … http://bit.ly/2PIZZl7

And — just for laughs — Stephen Colbert’s monologue on Epstein/Trump/Dershowitz https://youtu.be/DMS234rzYTQ

Then, a response to Dershowitz’s defence of Trump from Prof. Laurence Tribe https://youtu.be/ADCUGx9wHhE

Hopefully, this is one of those “other matters” that Mueller referred to others for further investigation — the results of which will be waiting for Trump when he leaves office on 20 January 2021 …

Nevertheless, with Epstein having “murdered himself” (https://youtu.be/YVCRPen7sXU), Boss Trump has one less potentially devastating witness to testify against him …

“I can’t even begin to imagine how many horrific secrets this sick perv [Epstein] is taking to the grave.” — Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) — Me neither, Lee … https://youtu.be/7-c-ZOMyLs8

***

If Trump really was smart …

If Trump really was as smart as he says he is, he’d resign the presidency in favour of the Rev. Pence (ugh!) and then accept a pardon from President Pence for all his bad acts — as did Nixon from President “Half-Term” Ford. Then, still, there are all those New York State investigations! …

Trump’s gross narcissism prevents him from seeing the writing on the wall, and, I can’t imagine an incoming Democrat President offering Trump such a pardon, so Trump should — deservedly — be indicted for his many alleged crimes.

His whole life, Trump has believed that he could get away with anything — see the “Katie Johnson” video on Epstein/Trump (Feb 2016) http://bit.ly/2xTGQmS

Unscripted, “IQ45” is a jabbering idiot http://bit.ly/2Gdlbrl — even teleprompted, Trump’s presentations appear to be the product of his pre-adolescent brain alone — devoid of any eloquence! Obviously. there’s a dearth of competent, English-speaking, speech writers in Trumpistan. https://youtu.be/ec9P3C1OXqE

Regardless, the House should continue its “oversight” activities — in the courts too — to further expose Trump as the crass charlatan that 82% of New Yorkers already know him to be, so that he can be decisively defeated in November. If that defeat can be better achieved by ongoing televised House investigations — so be it!

The ultimate cleansing for the nation will be to see Trump tarred and feathered and paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in a tumbril on the way to his most-deserved post-presidential vacation — a lengthy convalescence in the new “Presidential Wing” at the Leavenworth Club Fed facility.

But, be warned, when it finally became obvious to Hitler that all was lost, and before he committed suicide, that psychopath ordered that all German infrastructure should be destroyed. In his twisted mind, the German people had failed him and so they deserved to perish with him …

***

Trump’s idea of what “polling” should be …

“From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!” https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1182281834970980352?s=20

Obviously, for Trump, poll results have nothing to do with reality, they are all about stroking his ego. What a shame it is that, notwithstanding even recent pressure from Trump’s new “Roy Cohn,” Billy “Bunter” Barr, even “Faux Noise” is having second thoughts about being the propaganda arm of the Trump Kakistocracy … https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/politics/fox-news-poll-trump-impeachment.html

***

Mueller’s key findings

● Mueller rejects the argument that the president is shielded from obstruction laws.
● Trump, when told of appointment of special counsel Mueller, said: “This is the end of my presidency.”
● “Substantial evidence” supports Comey over Trump in account of Flynn meeting.
● Trump campaign attempted to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
● Campaign expected to benefit from stolen information released by the Russians.
● Mueller probe spawned 14 other investigations, including two unidentified cases that remain ongoing.
Putin stepped up outreach to Trump after election.
● Special counsel team concluded Trump intended to obstruct probe in tweeting support for Manafort.

***

Mueller Report Executive Summaries …

For those goobers that can read, the two executive summaries of Mueller’s Report — only 18 pages in total:
https://www.snopes.com/uploads/2019/05/Mueller-Summary-Vol-1.pdf (10pp)
https://www.snopes.com/uploads/2019/05/Mueller-Summary-Volume-II.pdf (8pp)

***

Mueller’s reasons for not indicting President Trump …

A 10 minute read — well worth the time … https://medium.com/p/ac559b76114f

***

Trump’s found his new “Roy Cohn” —Billy “Bunter” Barr …

And, Barr dissembles, just like Trump … https://mag.rjeem.com/william-barr-is-in-deep-trouble/

In an April 10 appearance before the Senate Communications Committee, this exchange, under oath, happened between Barr and Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen:

Q: “Did Bob Mueller support your conclusions?”

Barr: “I don’t know if Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.”

Q: “Reports have emerged recently, General, that members of the Special Counsel’s team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24 letter; that it does not adequately or accurately portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they are referring to?”

Barr: “No, I don’t”

In fact, Barr was then already in receipt of Mueller’s memo expressing concern about Barr’s four-page “summary” letter on Mueller’s report. So, two deliberate lies to Congress! Now, Bill — with your tattered reputation — off to Club Fed with you; maybe you can share a room with that other perjurer, that other (one-time) supporter of the Trumpian Oaf, Michael Cohen …

How long will it take Billy “Bunter” Barr to realise — as has Judge Andrew Napolitano, Anthony Scaramucci, Juan Williams, et al — that Trump has no “friends” — only people who are of use to him — and then only so long as they continue to be of use to him?

***

Billy “Bunter” Barr’s Erroneous Assertions

“The two arguments that Attorney General William Barr presented to Congress and to the American people as to why Trump was ‘exonerated’ of both conspiracy and obstruction are demonstrably false.” https://riversong.wordpress.com/the-mueller-report/

1) “No Conspiracy without Agreement”: In its prosecution of famed baby doctor and peace activist Dr. Benjamin Spock, the United States Department of Justice did not regard agreement or coordination of effort or acceptance of criminal enterprise as a necessary element for criminal conspiracy. The Court of Appeals noted (footnote 9 at page 169) that “common purpose” was more than adequate to sustain a conviction for conspiracy. United States v Spock (Cir. 1, 1965).

2) “No Obstruction without Underlying Crime”: [P]roof of such a crime is not an element of an obstruction offense. See United States v. Greer (6th Cir. 2017, stating, in applying the obstruction sentencing guideline, that “obstruction of a criminal investigation is punishable even if the prosecution is ultimately unsuccessful or even if the investigation ultimately reveals no underlying crime”). Obstruction of justice can be motivated by a desire to protect non-criminal personal interests, to protect against investigations where underlying criminal liability falls into a gray area, or to avoid personal embarrassment. The injury to the integrity of the justice system is the same regardless of whether a person committed an underlying wrong. — Mueller Report, Volume 2, Page 157.

When Trump leaves office in January 2021, he will be exposed to indictment for his crimes. There’s a well-justified norm against criminalizing political differences — but it does not apply to a career criminal who happened to be elected president. https://nym.ag/2KwMsuM

***

GOP: The Party of Fiscal Responsibility — LOL

Reagan took the deficit from 70 billion to 175 billion. Bush 41 increased it to 300 billion. Clinton got it back to a surplus of $128 billion. Bush 43 took Clinton’s surplus back to a deficit of 1.4 trillion. Obama halved that to 600 billion. Trump’s on track to get it back to 1.1 trillion — and he hasn’t even yet started a decent war.
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/jul/29/tweets/republican-presidents-democrats-contribute-deficit/

***

Twenty Inquiries …

A guide to 20 inquiries Trump and his allies are working to impede … https://wapo.st/2EY8XoS

***

A Cult of Ignorance …

“I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any honorable Gentleman will question it.” — John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), English philosopher and economist; Debate in Parliament with John Pakington (31 May 1866) http://bit.ly/2BzeeBo
— Regrettably, there’s no fix for conservative “stupid” — it’s genetic and it’s forever!

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.” — Isaac Asimov, “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) http://bit.ly/2C5FE4A

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H.L. Mencken (1920). http://bit.ly/2K2gl60
— Mencken’s prophecy has finally come to pass — Rex Tillerson (2017).

The only thing more frightening than the Orange Oaf is the ~63 million ovine rubes that drank his cheap Trump-brand Vodka and, even worse, those that are still drinking it, about whom — “believe me” — this crass charlatan cares not one iota — indeed, despises! It’s only ever been all about him, him, him!‌ Then, as George Carlin also once said: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” Those who still endorse this “bloviating ignoramus” should proudly have ‘MAGA’ tattooed across their foreheads so that the remainder of the populace can readily know and forever shun them …

“I love the poorly educated!” — Donald Trump (2016) https://youtu.be/Vpdt7omPoa0

***

Trump is a congenital liar …

Trump’s mendacity is innate; he lies even when the truth could serve him better. He’s likely suffering from Alzheimer’s (or untreated tertiary syphilitic) dementia: he has no knowledge of yesterday, nor any concept of tomorrow; he lives only in his narcissistic, unhinged view of the moment — as George F. Will once observed, he’s a “bloviating ignoramus.”

Billy Bush recalls Trump’s exaggeration of “The Apprentice” ratings. Trump said “Billy, look, look, you just tell them and they believe it. That’s it, you just tell them and they believe it. They just do.”’ — WaPo https://wapo.st/2smSZh2 YouTube http://bit.ly/2lD6dTP (8:39). “Faux Noise” has been providing similar Kool-Aid to the rubes for years: “That’s it, you just tell them and they believe it.”

In November 2016, Lesley Stahl interviewed then president-elect Trump. She asked him whether he planned to stop attacking the press now that he had been elected. He said, “you know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” https://wapo.st/2s3sPQd https://youtu.be/gtT4UwW_5oY

Tim Apple”: Trump claimed that the flub was another product of “fake news … he had actually said ‘Tim Cook Apple’ but spoke the words so fast that the ‘Cook’ part of the sentence was soft.” Judge for yourself. (12 March 2019) https://youtu.be/TFeQtGlcmDc

On Trump’s denials of knowing him, Parnas said: “I welcome him to say that even more. Every time he says that I’ll show him another picture. He’s lying.”

“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” — Adolph Hitler. — Trump well knows his target audience …

“If you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one and if you tell it often enough, people will begin to believe it.” — Adolph Hitler, “Mein Kampf

The alternative is that Trump is so demented he simply doesn’t know what he has said in his previous breath — and that should be frightening — even to his ovine supporters …

***

Others’ observations on Donald Trump …

“What fills me with doubt and dismay is the degradation of the moral tone. … Is ours a ‘government of the people by the people for the people,’ or a Kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?” — James Russell Lowell, 1876. http://bit.ly/300nics — Little has changed, apparently.

“I almost immediately recognized Donald as the P.T. Barnum of our age.” — David Cay Johnston (~1988) https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv

“Look for the narcissist. The most obvious target in today’s lineup is, of course, Donald Trump. When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America. But whatever the depths of self-enchantment, the demagogue has to say something. So what does Trump say? That he is a successful businessman and that that is what America needs in the Oval Office. There is some plausibility in this, though not much. The greatest deeds of American Presidents — midwifing the new republic; freeing the slaves; harnessing the energies and vision needed to win the Cold War — had little to do with a bottom line.” — William F Buckley, (2000, when IQ45 was previously talking about running).

George F. Will best described Trump in 2012: “bloviating ignoramus” http://bit.ly/2Gc2pRa (1:08)

“Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.” — George F. Will http://bit.ly/2Gc2pRa (1:08)

“Some men can learn almost indefinitely; their capacity goes on increasing until their bodies begin to wear out. Others stop in childhood, even in infancy. They reach, say, the mental age of ten or twelve, and then they develop no more. Physically, they become men, and sprout beards, political delusions, and the desire to propagate their kind. But mentally they remain on the level of schoolboys.” — H.L. Mencken, “Notes on Democracy,” (1927). — Sound like anyone we know?

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. The demaslave is one who listens to what these idiots have to say and then pretends that he believes it himself.” — H.L. Mencken, “Notes on Democracy” (1927).

H.L. Mencken observed that even the [rubes] “have the means in their hands to stop the obscenity whenever it becomes intolerable. Now and then, raised transiently to a sort of intelligence, they do put a stop to it.” … http://bit.ly/2qhgSFY — Well, we are waiting, Moscow Mitch, still …

Donald Trump exposes himself as a mendacious opportunist: https://youtu.be/kSE-XoVKaXg

“[Trump had] a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” — Tony Schwartz (2016) http://bit.ly/2DB8VnE

“The mystery is how anyone finds him acceptable.” — Kathleen Parker (Sept 2016) https://wapo.st/2zb110t

“[Trump is] a vulgar, ignorant, racist, sexist blowhard” — David Cay Johnston (28 Oct 2016) http://bit.ly/2V5R3Kk

“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, … no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out.” — David Brooks (2016). https://nyti.ms/2yRin4V

“Trump is the demagogue that America’s founders feared” — Michael Gerson (2016)

“[Trump is a] complete idiot … graceless and divisive.” — Karl Rove (2016)

“[Trump is] dangerously unhinged.” — Glenn Beck (2016)

“[Trump is] loathsome,” “a con man” and “a charlatan and a demagogue” who is “soiling the robe of conservatism.” — Bill Kristol (2016)

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.” — Mitt Romney (March 2016) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/mitt-romney-speech.html

“Donald Trump is a national disgrace.” — Colin Powell (2016)

“Never underestimate Trump’s ignorance … Trump is crude, mean and prejudiced — but most notably he is the least-informed candidate to run for the presidency in modern times.” — Jennifer Rubin (2016)

“Trump is Nixon with all of the megalomaniacal willingness to abuse power and none of the crafty realpolitik.” — Ruth Marcus (2016)

“[Trump] lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.” — The late Faux News contributor, Charles Krauthammer (4 August 2016)

“Trump will lead the whitest, most male [kakistocratic] cabinet in memory — a bizarre melange of the unqualified and the unhinged.” — Mehdi Hasan, “New Statesman” (20 Jan 2017) — A scathing article. http://bit.ly/2IYLpof

“[T]he problem isn’t that he [Trump] does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.” — George F. Will (2017) http://wapo.st/2EHVByg Video http://bit.ly/2UvknG6

“The problem in Washington is not a conspiracy against the President; it’s the President himself.” — David Remnick (2017)

“Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.” — George F. Will (9 May 2018). https://wapo.st/2jOYtgK YouTube http://bit.ly/2tBjm46 (8:04)

“This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man” — George F. Will (July 2018) https://wapo.st/2uJURS1 YouTube http://bit.ly/2LnNVEu (13:46)

“Donald Trump’s biggest flaw: He’s not that bright” — Chicago Tribune (3 Nov. 2017) https://trib.in/2qt04Mz

“Trump’s is making the long nightmare of Nixon’s Watergate seem like a brief idyllic daydream. History will treat Nixon’s moral failures as relatively less troubling than Trump’s sustained and growing decadence, deviousness and self-delusive behavior. Nixon=corrupt; Trump=evil.” — John Dean (4 Nov 2018) http://bit.ly/2QrRFDu

Col. Ralph Peters, ex-Fox News contributor, comments critically on Trump and Fox News: http://bit.ly/2ySCEqO (9:58).

Hoover Institution, 29 March 2018: George F. Will on Donald Trump, and other things: http://bit.ly/2KVtLS2 (48:42).

Rex Tillerson says Trump is undisciplined. Trump retaliates, calls Tillerson ‘dumb as a rock.’ Trump offered Tillerson the job the first time they met! (w/video, 1:59) — WaPo 7 Dec 2018 https://wapo.st/2Ur7n4P YouTube http://bit.ly/2QCC6Nx

“Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.” — Prof. William T. Kelley, University of Pennsylvania https://trib.in/2qt04Mz

“Preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion, [Trump’s] childlike ignorance concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.” — George F. Will (Jan 2019) https://wapo.st/2FP9FGp

“Trump is a bully … except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a sniveling sidekick instead.” — Michael Stevenson (8 March 2019)

George Conway, Kellyanne Conway’s husband, continues to disparage Trump, YouTube, 8 March 2019 http://bit.ly/2HXVYG3 And “Trump is guilty — of being unfit for office,” WaPo, 26 Mar 2019 https://wapo.st/2JMDV8p

George F. Will on the need to defeat Trump https://youtu.be/3f9H-LvxxAE

One of Charles Manson’s women recently said that she can’t believe she did what she did, how she followed him blindly, how he made everything sound right …

I look forward to the day when — as in the north of England — the word “trump” will again be remembered only as another word for “fart” — just like Trump, loud, full of wind, and very unpleasant: http://bit.ly/2yYBAyC

H.L. Mencken observed that even the [ovine rubes] “have the means in their hands to stop the obscenity whenever it becomes intolerable. Now and then, raised transiently to a sort of intelligence, they do put a stop to it.” http://bit.ly/2qhgSFY — Well, Mitch, we are waiting — still …

“Trump really is the drunk at the end of the bar, isn’t he?” — Anon.

Mueller’s findings on Trump, summarised: “Too stupid to conspire. Too incompetent to obstruct” — Dana Milbank, WaPo columnist

On learning of Mueller’s appointment, Trump is quoted as saying, “this is the worst thing that’s happened to me.” Not so, the worst thing that has happened to Trump was his being elected president; from then on he was always going to be under the microscope as never before. When the dust finally settles and his ovine rubes’ cheering quiets, Trump will blame them for ruining his life. Likewise, Hitler’s final judgement was that Germany had failed him.

“I can’t get the a**hole off the phone,” — Rupert Murdoch http://bit.ly/2XvzGjI
Howard Stern often had the same problem …

“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history …” — John O. Brennan, former Director of the CIA, tweet.

“Many people are saying” Trump may be suffering from untreated tertiary syphilis and the spirochetes have done their damage. Seems like both Al Capone and Donald Trump tried to screw the IRS … and both engaged in unprotected sex with numerous partners. — Anon

“If this is the way you treat your friends, how do you treat your enemies?” — Trump sycophant, Judge Andrew Napolitano, responding to Trump’s Twitter attacks on him. Wake up Judge, Trump has no friends — only people who are of use to him — and then only so long as they continue to kiss the ring. http://bit.ly/2wrLNCs

Steve Bannon described Trump Organization as ‘criminal enterprise’” http://bit.ly/2Xhju5G In Michael Wolff’s new book “Siege: Trump Under Fire”, Bannon predicts Trump’s presidency will fall after investigations into his finances reveal to his supporters that he’s not some incredible self-made billionaire, but a crook. “This is where it isn’t a witch hunt — even for the hard-core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn,” Bannon is quoted as saying. “Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.”… Yes, let’s see those tax returns …

Bill Maher on Melania Trump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4417xGlly24

“Everything Trump touches dies.” — Rick Wilson, Republican political strategist, media consultant and author.

“Only a weak man speaks endlessly of his strength and only an ignorant man brags incessantly of his wisdom. How voters respond in the new year to the threat posed by this unstable man may determine the arc of our future for a generation to come.” — Joe Scarborough https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/1211830054155624448

I look forward to seeing the “bouffanted buffoon” tarred and feathered and paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in a tumbril on his way to his most deserved post-presidential vacation — a lengthy stay in the new “Presidential Wing” at the Leavenworth Club Fed facility.

***

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian …

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian #1 (20:16) — A compilation of Drumpf at some of his grossest moments; lots of “hands-on” with his favourite daughter, Ivanka — Yuuuuuck! http://bit.ly/2tIvLn8

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian, #2 — Howard Stern Show 11–9–1999 (4:34) Stern interviews Drumpf with Malaria in the background (she’s the one in the nude, the one Drumpf smuggled into the country in a mosquito) — Yuk! http://bit.ly/2IJHW7x

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian, #3 — A video for those “poorly educated” Dumpsters who can’t read. No doubt about it, Howard Stern knew how to bait Drumpf to get him to demonstrate his gross vulgarity: anal sex, Princess Di, and his wife’s non-existent poops ... http://bit.ly/2lOyved

“Howard Stern: Trump Has Always Been ‘Sexist’” http://bit.ly/30milfe Stern said, “This is who Trump is. He was always bombastic. He always rated women. He always talked in a misogynistic, sexist kind of way, but he did it sort of proudly and out in the open …”
The sound recording thereof (5:32): https://soundcloud.com/user-704098053/howard-stern1

***

Trump, the absent father …

“I brought up the children singlehandedly,” Ivana Trump told guests at the Lifeline benefit at Le Cirque on Wednesday. … “Donald wasn’t really interested in the children until he could talk business with them,” the 67-year-old socialite told our insider. “When they turned 21, I handed them over to him and said ‘Here’s the finished product, you can take them from here.’” http://bit.ly/2m5Domj

Trump apparently showed no interest in raising the children until Ivanka hit puberty (http://bit.ly/2mloFnr). His wife Marla raised their daughter Tiffany alone too. Melania said in her recent interview that she has two boys at home Barron and Trump and sometimes it’s hard for her to tell which one is the child.

***

Alternatively, the World According to Trump

“I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. … ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.” — Donald J. Trump, former Miss Teen USA ringmaster/owner

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” — Donald Trump, Tweet, 8 May 2013

“I’m a very stable genius” — Donald J. Trump http://bit.ly/2zE5efV (1:00) — multiple versions — LOL

“If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.” — President Trump — LOL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgSm0jT4U88

“But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.” … “So, while sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite: she never tells the truth. One lie after another, and getting worse each passing day, …” — Donald Trump, Charlotte, North Carolina, 18 Aug 2016 https://politi.co/2TXctFK

“I’m president, Hey, I’m president. Do you believe it, right?” — Donald Trump (May 2017)

“The greatest enemy of this country is Fake News. I really mean it.” … “I think that one of the most important things that I’ve done, especially for the public, is explain that a lot of the news is indeed fake.” — Donald Trump (delusional and inadvertently referring to his pathological mendaciousness) to Lewandowski (2018)

“China has total respect for Trump’s very, very large brain” — Donald Trump https://youtu.be/FQgjpnr5e2s

“Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia. … The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.” — Donald Trump https://wapo.st/2QrQaVS

“I think my language is very nice,” — Donald Trump, WaPo, Feb 22, 2019

“You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” — President “Bone Spurs” (as retold by Michael Cohen). http://bit.ly/2IOTtIf

“Roger [Stone] is a stone-cold loser,” — Donald Trump to Jeffrey Toobin http://bit.ly/2TuEfw1

“The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter at Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our Army manned the air [?], it manned the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant. …” — Trump’s Fourth of July speech (2019) http://bit.ly/2lGT6UK

***

President “Bone Spurs” finally goes to Vietnam …

“You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” — Donald Trump (as retold by Michael Cohen).

“… Trump has touted himself a dealmaker, but this week was a reminder that he has a better record of blowing up deals than making them. He has defied laws of political gravity for so long that he thought he was immune to them. He has lied so flagrantly and for so many years without consequence that he thought he could always do so. Rarely has a President been so publicly humiliated, in different settings by such different actors, in such a short span of time. You’d never know it to listen to Trump, though; he is not one to accept or even acknowledge the political predicament his own misjudgment has landed him in.” http://bit.ly/2IOTtIf

***

From one lunatic — Ann Coulter — to another …

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter called President Trump “lazy and incompetent,” and said he could potentially face a Republican primary challenger in 2020 if he doesn’t build a wall along the southern border. “We put this lunatic in the White House for one reason,” Coulter told Yahoo News. “He doesn’t need to declare an emergency.” Coulter went on to claim how the president could use his powers to make the Department of Defense and Homeland Security build the wall without congressional approval. … https://www.thedailybeast.com/ann-coulter-trump-is-lazy-and-incompetent

“We put this lunatic in the White House for one reason …” — And there I was thinking the primary reason was to get conservative justices on the SCOTUS …

***

Watch Trump perform unscripted …

Watch Trump perform unscripted — he’s ignorant, incoherent, unhinged — literally, a jabbering idiot! http://bit.ly/2Gdlbrl (1:32). Even the audience of “deplorables” appears bewildered …

The Trumpian oaf on full display: “I Have Very Good Brain.” — LOL http://bit.ly/2Qn3Ul6 (0:59)

Highlights from Trump’s Phoenix “brownshirt” rally, 22 August 2017. A most mendacious, divisive display by Trump — put on for his adoring “poorly educated” rubes — that you are ever likely to witness — copied straight out of Hitler’s Nuremberg rally handbook. Demonstrably, Trump is a dangerous psychopath … http://bit.ly/2N6hf0n (13:29)

Trump’s Great Falls, Montana rally (5 July 2018), in three minutes: http://bit.ly/2lUQkbv (2:52). Another psychopathic display …

***

Trump’s various biographers/ghostwriters …

Trump: What’s the Deal?” (1991) A documentary film by Libby Handros exploring the unscrupulous personal and professional activities of Donald Trump. The trailer http://bit.ly/2m50pms (1:56). The full documentary (well worth the small pay-to-view fee) http://bit.ly/2J5gku3 (1:22:45).

The Truth About Trump”, interview with book author, Michael D’Antonio, Austrian TV, 18 July, 2016 http://bit.ly/2UsI3vi (13:44)

“It is deeply unfair to say that Trump lies all the time. I would never have suggested that he lies while he’s asleep.” — Mark Singer, author, “Trump Solo” (2005); “Trump and Me” (2016). http://bit.ly/2NJgoWq

Mark Singer talks about time with Trump — “Tulsa World”, 10 July 2016 http://bit.ly/2E3atYP “He [Trump] doesn’t want to be President — he just wants people to vote for him …” Although the content is now dated, it’s still worth a read.

An insightful — and scathingly critical — commentary on, then Republican presidential nominee, Trump by author David Cay Johnston (August 2016): YouTube https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv (58:00). An update (29 Jan 2018): https://bit.ly/2SLJllY (1:07:00)

The Oxford Union, 28 Oct 2016: All you need to know about Trump from Tony Schwartz, the man who ghost-wrote Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal,” and who, while writing the book, spent 18 months observing Trump on an almost daily basis, and understands him very well: http://bit.ly/2NsJsyN (56:28) — Scathing.

“Trump Will Figure Out a Way to Resign.” — Tony Schwartz, Ghostwriter, “Art of the Deal”— https://youtu.be/dwE3LUnq0SA

“The Essence of Donald Trump” — Tony Schwartz, Ghostwriter, “Art of the Deal”— https://youtu.be/-2JmC_yDL2k

Trump’s “Art of the Deal” Ghostwriter Tony Schwartz Speaks Out — https://youtu.be/yb2NHTka-gw

Trump Nation” biography author Tim O’Brien: Who exactly is Donald Trump? And is he really the hugely successful businessman he claims to be? One man — Tim O’Brien — made it his mission to find out when he wrote this biography. http://bit.ly/2KVZ8fe (6:42); http://bit.ly/2u3G84R (5:11).

***

The six essential cons that define Trump’s success …

A playbook of deceit starts with the ‘origin lie’ that made him richer than he was. And it’s still being written. Nearly four decades ago, Donald Trump deceived me into including him on the first Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. He claimed a net worth of $100 million but was actually worth less than a tenth of that … https://wapo.st/2XfLsPL

***

Trump-branded assets are losing their shine …

“Since Donald Trump took office, his company has lost control of a hotel in Panama and saw its name stripped from a condo building in New York. At its remaining properties, there was a steady drip of bad news. Trump golf courses lost money in Scotland and Ireland. High-paying charity customers stayed away from Mar-a-Lago in Florida. The Trump Organization shelved its plans for two new hotel chains and 39 new hotels after failing to open even one. …” https://wapo.st/2NBJPHI

“On Election Day 2016, six residential buildings called Trump Place stood in a row on Manhattan’s Upper West Side — a legacy of Donald Trump’s efforts to develop that site and a sign of the Trump name’s enduring value in New York. Soon, his name will be gone from all of them. …” https://wapo.st/2HbrSyg

“Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump’s property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.” http://bit.ly/2JEDzyN and https://bloom.bg/2Hoh9iB

“Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting” https://wapo.st/2W6mAMs

“Revenue at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago dropped 10 percent in 2018” https://wapo.st/2Hx4Xft

And all this couldn’t be happening to a more deserving guy …

***

Michael Cohen’s latest testimony before Congress …

“The man who once derived his identity from making President Trump’s problems go away turned on his former boss in stunning fashion Wednesday, alleging to Congress that Trump manipulated financial records, paid to cover up extramarital affairs and reacted with glee upon learning the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy organization would release emails damaging to his political opponent …” https://wapo.st/2tJTbrw

“President Trump exaggerated his personal wealth repeatedly in financial documents he provided to banks and insurers, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress Wednesday, citing documents that Cohen said support his contention that Trump is ‘a con man.’ …” https://wapo.st/2Hbkm6x

“House Democrats on Thursday made plans to dig deeper into President Trump’s business and charity, using testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a road map to call new witnesses and seek new internal documents. …” https://wapo.st/2C17Sen

“When Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, one name kept coming up, a name that most Americans had probably never heard before: Allen Weisselberg. But you should get to know him, because you’re going to be hearing his name a lot in the near future. …” https://wapo.st/2EoTixN

***

Some more observations …

“Why the poorest county in West Virginia has faith in Donald Trump”: http://bit.ly/2IWrZLC (10:30). The shame of it is, these “left behind” people will get absolutely nothing from the world’s greatest con man, Donald Trump.

Trump’s KKK (Keystone Kops Kakistocracy) appears now to be approaching terminal velocity — hopefully, soon to crash back to Earth, where Dr Mueller is waiting to perform proctological examinations on all those involved. Meanwhile, we should all be very afraid of this crass, ignorant charlatan and his kakistocracy.

I look forward to the day when — as in the north of England — “trump” will again be known only as another word for “fart” — like Donald Trump, loud, full of wind, and very unpleasant. http://bit.ly/2yYBAyC

OED: “Half asleep and looking up at him, I yawned a long, deep yawn and just as I closed my mouth and opened my eyes, he relieved himself, not by burping or trumping however, but by throwing up into my face!” — Is that not analogous to the Trump experience? http://bit.ly/2FeLkLm

All those who still endorse this “bloviating ignoramus” and his KKK (Keystone Kops Kakistocracy) should proudly have ‘MAGA’ tattooed across their foreheads so that the remainder of the populace can readily know and forever shun them …

***

“A Face in the Crowd” (1957) — LOL

“This whole country’s just like my flock of sheep! Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers — everybody that’s got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don’t know it yet, but they’re all gonna be ‘Fighters for Fuller’. They’re mine! I own ’em! They think like I do. Only they’re even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for ’em ,,,” — Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, “A Face in the Crowd” (1957) http://bit.ly/2RfVH75 and http://bit.ly/2AuoScn

***

Never fear Trumpanistas, the normal rules don’t apply to Trump …

Or so Trump thinks! And he’s so “very smart” — his firing of James Comey was a masterstroke — LOL

If Trump has committed no crime, he has nothing to fear; why then does he continually act like he does have something to fear?

We eagerly await Dr Mueller’s findings as to what Trump’s mortgagee, Vlad, is holding over the head of Trump that he has been so cravenly uninterested in Vlad’s election interference, or in calling out his banker/controller for virtually anything, or applying the further sanctions on Russia approved so overwhelming by the US Congress.

Notwithstanding the crass, opportunistic charlatan that Trump so demonstrably is, he is not totally clueless; he knows — as doubtless would any person conversant with Trump’s shenanigans, as Michael Cohen / Paul Manafort, may be — that the only way he is going to avoid Mueller ultimately hanging, drawing and quartering him, is for him to stop the Mueller “witch hunt,” as, if he can’t stop that investigation, then he may get to spend some time in prison — for, what other reason can there be for Trump becoming so incoherently agitated every time Mueller’s name is mentioned?

Trump’s lawyers have given up trying to give him dietary advice in preparation for his forthcoming proctological examination by Dr Mueller. Fortunately for Mueller, the Trumpian “genius” takes advice from no one but himself. Still, I suspect that Trump will never voluntarily submit himself to be examined by Dr Mueller and a constitutional crisis may ensue.

Unlike Trump’s kakistocracy, Mueller’s investigative team does not leak. We will hear nothing from Mueller about any of Trump’s nefarious activities until Mueller has first rounded up and examined all the supporting petty gangsters.

Dr Mueller’s evisceration of this incoherent, jabbering idiot may require some time; so, as to not interfere with Trump’s week-day viewing of “Faux Noise,” this procedure could be performed on a weekend in place of executive golfing — and be broadcast live on TV? http://bit.ly/2IfZMzL

In Korea, “Park [Geun-hye] was removed from office in 2017 and ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison.” https://wapo.st/2NSllcX If Korea can do it, surely, there’s hope that Trump too will end up in a like place …

Nevertheless, the thought of George F. Will’s “oleaginous” Rev. Pence ascending to the presidency fills me with dread. https://wapo.st/2jOYtgK YouTube http://bit.ly/2tBjm46

Maybe, Trump (along with Pence and “mother”) could divert AF1 to Moscow and ask his murderous mate Vlad (the sock puppeteer) for political asylum — somewhere in Siberian Russia — LOL

Brett Kavanaugh, wins award for an essay on “Why Trump Shouldn’t Go to Prison” — Satire from The Borowitz Report, 10 July 2018. http://bit.ly/2NKECgqWilliam Barr adopts a similar approach in his successful application for position of Attorney General …

“What Most Disqualifies Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court? The nominee is an instrument of Trumpism, an insurance policy that the con man is writing for himself.” http://bit.ly/2yepTEr

“How the various investigations into Trump’s world overlap.” “An article from The Washington Post on Saturday opened with such a striking line that it’s worth lazily co-opting for the opening of this article: “Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation.” That report outlined the scope of existing probes targeting President Trump, his administration, campaign and even transition team. On Monday, Wired’s Garrett Graff went further, delineating no fewer than 17 investigations and lines of inquiry facing Trump and those associated with him. But the scope of what Trump alone faces is daunting, particularly when coupled with the existing probes into people close to him. The timeline of those investigations, in fact, stretches back well over a decade.” — Fascinating! https://wapo.st/2QY8QRs

***

Russia, Russia, Russia …

Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset” — Max Boot https://wapo.st/2D7Ewfy
“On Friday, the New York Times reported that “in the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” That investigation may well be continuing under the auspices of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. We don’t know what Mueller has learned. But we can look at the key, publicly available evidence that both supports and undercuts this explosive allegation. …”

Dutch authorities catch Putin’s GRU hackers in the act! (https://wapo.st/2E2qdva). This short WaPo article, with additional “Bellingcat” citations, is well worth a read. There are pictures for Drumpf …

“Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him.” — George F. Will. https://wapo.st/2uJURS1

Trump told Lester Holt that he fired Comey because Comey refused to end the “Russia thing,” and — thanks to Russian reporting — later, in the Oval Office, he told the Russians, Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Lavrov, that he fired Comey to “ease the pressure on him over the Russia investigation” — a clear indication that Trump’s intention was the obstruction of that investigation. As to the facts of this matter, Trump indicts himself; Mueller needs little help from anyone else.

Trump’s naïveté/duplicity regarding Putin/Russia is striking — he likes strong men, and believes that Putin likes him, so he thinks it’s safe to share tidbits of classified info with the Russians, and that indicates just how dangerous Trump is. He is such a gross narcissist he simply can’t help himself, he cannot but boast about, and seek acclaim for, his every cretinous thought/action — even from the grinning Russians visiting the Oval Office. Putin is no friend to the US, nor to him, and Trump is an idiot to think that it will ever be otherwise.

The effort that Putin put in to get his “Manchurian Candidate” elected has not been productive; Russia remains beyond the pale of civilised nations; US sanctions remain in place and, if the US Congress had its way, would — and should — be increased. Notwithstanding that Putin must have something on his “Man in the White House,” Putin’s fingers appear not yet to have been able to manipulate his “sock-puppet” to Russia’s benefit. Still, the fact that Trump himself is proceeding apace in undermining the foundations of Western alliances / institutions is, doubtless, a long-term win for Putin. The only remaining question is, what’s the murderous Putin got on Trump that makes him so beholden? http://bit.ly/2OkAkfp

Notwithstanding its nuclear arsenal, Russia’s is a tin-pot economy based mainly on energy and some armaments and vodka exports. If Russia is not interested in integrating with the civilised nations of the world then those civilised nations should discreetly isolate/sanction Russia and let it stew slowly in Tsar Vladimir’s juice; that should soon enough bring Russia to economic collapse. The Soviet Union eventually collapsed; doubtless, Putin’s Russia will likewise eventually collapse …

***

James Comey …

Trump has said that he would not have asked Comey to do him any favors, because he hardly knew the man. Yet he set up a private dinner with Comey. At another time, Trump asked all others, including the VP and A-G, to leave the room, so he could talk privately with the FBI director, a person that he claimed he hardly knew. Why?

Trump claims that Comey’s notes on those two private meetings, that Comey memorialized directly thereafter, are all lies, and accuses Comey of “leaking” — when the contents of those memos are later published — which could suggest that the contents of the memos are indeed true! What’s the problem, anyway, with Comey sharing his personal notes about these two meetings that so concerned him, the details of which Trump claims are untrue?

And now, the fuller Comey story has arrived via his book “A Higher Loyalty”. Watch the ultimate master of disingenuous discombobulation, the blathering Kellyanne Conway, not so masterly, and incoherently and mendaciously, fail to demolish same. https://abcn.ws/2jjtl8y

***

Gary Cohn on Trump …

“It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant pr*ck who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits. No one will survive the first year but his family.

“I hate the work, but feel I need to stay because I’m the only person there with a clue what he’s doing. The reason so few jobs have been filled is that they only accept people who pass ridiculous purity tests, even for midlevel policy-making jobs where the people will never see the light of day. … I am in a constant state of shock and horror.” — Gary Cohn, White House chief economic advisor, 2017–18 (via Michael Wolff’s book).

***

Michael Cohen: I Rigged Online Polls for Trump

Michael Cohen hired an IT firm to rig online polls in favor of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reports. Trump’s then-attorney — who has since spectacularly fallen out with the president — reportedly promised to pay $50,000 to small tech firm RedFinch Solutions to rig online polls on CNBC and the Drudge Report. However, instead of paying the $50,000 that company owner John Gauger was expecting, Cohen handed him “a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial-arts fighter,” the Journal reports. Cohen denies that, only commenting on the allegations to say all payments given to Gauger “were by check.” It’s also claimed Cohen also asked Gauger to create the @WomenForCohen Twitter account in May 2016 which praised Cohen as a “sex symbol.” In early 2017, Cohen received a $50,000 reimbursement from Trump and his company for the work by RedFinch, according to a government document. Gauger is also CIO at Virginia’s Liberty University, the evangelical college run by Jerry Fallwell Jr., a close Trump supporter. http://bit.ly/2Cv0APG

***

Michael Cohen, “Stormy Daniels” et al …

Now that the FBI has the “records” of Michael Cohen, who knows what will eventually be found on Cohen — and on Trump? Cohen has now stated that he will “plead the fifth” at any continuation of — the now stayed — proceedings in the “Stormy Daniels” matter — which invites the question, what had he otherwise intended to do?

“The ‘mob’ takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” — Donald J. Trump http://bit.ly/2jRKVki

Notwithstanding that Trump has previously expressed a 100% willingness to “talk to Mueller,” doubtless, the reality is, he’s never had any intention of voluntarily doing so — for if he does do so, “the oaf is toast” — and the oaf knows it! http://bit.ly/2K0Cjrc

The material question is, will Trump too “plead the fifth” when he is ultimately forced to face Mueller’s questioning, he (now) knowing what Mueller will have gleaned from Cohen’s records?

It appears that, as a lawyer/fixer, Michael Cohen has only one client, Trump; the other couple of supposed clients appear to be acquaintances of Trump’s who’ve likely also needed some “fixing” done for them. What did Michael Cohen “fix” for Sean Hannity? Sounds like a job for the cadaver dogs — sniff, sniff. Then, as the old saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Was it really on behalf of Elliott Broidy that Michael Cohen arranged an agreement to pay $1.6 million, in eight quarterly installments, to Shera Bechard, Playboy’s Miss November 2010, she, supposedly, Broidy had impregnated and then had the pregnancy terminated? https://nym.ag/2jNhQa1—And now, having paid only two installments, Broidy is ceasing those payments, apparently: https://nym.ag/2u22PWs—Just who is Elliott Broidy, and how does he connect with Trump? https://wapo.st/2khce7R and https://wapo.st/2rYBowC

Trump’s old attorney, Jay Goldberg, in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, has attempted to muddy the water by appearing to suggest that the FBI will suborn Michael Cohen to save himself by falsely “making stuff up” on Trump. https://cnn.it/2rdj16w and http://bit.ly/2HKCRfw—Well, of course, Cohen will “make stuff up” — he’s already “made up” all those records the FBI are currently cataloging!

The FBI likely won’t need any testimony from Cohen as the facts of his records will likely speak for themselves — always assuming that there are therein “goods on” Trump to be found, and from observing Trump’s agitation regarding this matter, one can only hope.

Then, “Why do people keep showering cash on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen?” — Paul Waldman, Opinion, WaPo, 9 May 2018 — LOL https://wapo.st/2wvzxDT

“Trump wagered last month that Cohen won’t flip.” — Such a statement appears to imply that Cohen may have something to flip about, and if Cohen does flip, Trump knows that he will be in trouble. https://wapo.st/2JVCkN9

And now Trump has yet another new lawyer/shill, Rudolph Giuliani — LOL

“[In Utopia] they have no lawyers among them, for they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters, …” — Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), “Utopia” (1516) http://bit.ly/2JKwXMd

ABC News, July 2, 2018: “Michael Cohen says family and country, not President Trump, is his ‘first loyalty’” — Yes please, Michael: https://abcn.ws/2NjjhdJ

CNN, July 5: Michael Cohen tells friends he doesn’t think Trump would pardon him: https://youtu.be/msS7H6IQQrw (7:20)

WSJ, Aug 7: “Michael Cohen Under Investigation for Tax Fraud” …

***

Trump lied about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400

“In the early 1980s, Trump had zero equity in his father’s company. According to Fred’s will (portions of which appeared in a lawsuit), the father retained legal ownership of his residential empire until his death in 1999, at which point he left it to be divided between his four surviving children and some of his grandchildren. That explains why, after Trump went bankrupt in the early 1990s, he borrowed $30 million from his siblings, secured by an estimated $35 million share of his future inheritance, according to three sources in Tim O’Brien’s 2005 biography, “TrumpNation.” He could have used his own assets as collateral if he’d had any worth that amount, but he didn’t. …” — Jonathon Greenberg. https://wapo.st/2qPa5Ef

***

Trumps Repeatedly Lied to Real-Estate Investors to Make Money

October 17, 2018: “Donald Trump claims he only licensed his name for real estate projects developed by others. But an investigation of a dozen Trump deals shows deep family involvement in projects that often involved deceptive practices. …” ProPublica http://bit.ly/2QZWHYx So, what’s new?

October 19, 2018: Yet another view on the same subject in the “New Yorker” — What is the Trump Organization? What is it good at? Where do its profits come from? It is becoming increasingly clear that much of the company’s business may have come from fraud. Daniel Braun, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who specialized in fraud cases, told the reporters on the story, “You’re describing the basic elements of a long-running and significant scheme to defraud investors. So is that the sort of thing that the F.B.I. and the Justice Department pay attention to? It is. It has a number of kinds of ingredients that you would typically see in an investigation or even prosecution of fraud.” http://bit.ly/2ymb7LS

October 4, 2018: How about an investment of your retirement savings in a room unit in one of Trump’s hotels? — LOL https://wapo.st/2RsdyV6

***

Congress’s access to taxation returns …

It’s statutory law — the tax returns of any person can be accessed by certain Congressional committees via 26 USC §6103 (f) http://bit.ly/2CXwzJb (p. 3071) …

(f) Disclosure to Committees of Congress
(1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation

Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure. …

The appropriate House committees will soon enough be performing a thorough proctological examination of the taxation returns of Trump & Co.

***

How Trump avoided paying taxes on nearly $1 billion

“[Trump] deducted somebody else’s losses,” said John L. Buckley, who served as the chief of staff for Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation in 1993 and 1994. Since the [stiffed] bondholders were likely declaring losses for tax purposes, Trump shouldn’t be able to as well. “He is double dipping big time,” Buckley told the Times: https://cnnmon.ie/2HJuLUz

Surely, the IRS can’t be too happy about multiple taxpayers claiming the same ~$1 billion-loss deduction? And, did Trump pay tax on the benefit he received when the bondholders wrote off his massive debt? Who knows?

Author David Cay Johnston has opined that Trump will never voluntarily produce his tax returns because they would doubtless show that Trump’s wealth is nowhere as great as he claims and that he has paid little or no tax for many years … https://bit.ly/2WD6ZCv

“The many scams executed by Donald and his family have now been exposed. It’s time for Congress, the IRS, and New York state to step up. …” — David Cay Johnston https://thebea.st/2CRcFBl

I look forward to the new Democratic House-ordered proctological examinations of all things Trumpian, including the entrails of Trump’s taxation returns.

***

Trump, Children Accused of Fraud in New Lawsuit: NYT

A lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court Monday accuses President Trump of endorsing sham companies in exchange for hefty, undisclosed fees, according to a report from The New York Times. Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr. are also named as defendants. The lawsuit, which has been underwritten by a company whose chairman has donated to Democratic candidates, claims that Trump and his children were secretly paid to promote three businesses — telecommunications marketing company ACN, vitamin-marketing company Trump Network, and real-estate advice company Trump Institute — that were actually “get-rich-quick schemes,” the newspaper reports. “This case connects the dots at the Trump Organization and involves systematic fraud that spanned more than a decade, involved multiple Trump businesses and caused tremendous harm to thousands of hardworking Americans,” two lawyers for the plaintiffs said in a statement cited by the Times. https://thebea.st/2Q3b9yQ

***

Donald Trump’s Foundation of Fakery

“The facts on the table suggest he [Trump] is not a great philanthropist — he is a scam artist.” — Editorial Board, WaPo https://wapo.st/2tAFUlE — So, what’s new?

For nearly ten years, the Donald Trump Foundation has been funded almost exclusively by people who aren’t named Donald Trump. Since 2007, the GOP nominee has used his personal charity as a scheme for rebranding other people’s generosity as his own. […] Trump used his charity to signal his concern for the greater good — and then exploited other people’s faith in that concern to advance his own material interests. Will he use his presidency for a similar purpose? You can bet on it. https://nym.ag/2KrRMjl

Trump was asked to “explain to people why you may have used some charitable donations for personal uses.” “The foundation is really rare. It gives money to vets. It’s really been doing a good job, …” Trump replied. Trump has not responded substantively to the controversy, which may have involved multiple violations of tax laws. http://bit.ly/2tL3cEy

“The latest revelations center on the foundation receiving money from companies that owed money to Mr. Trump or one of his businesses but that were instructed instead to make donations to the foundation. Mr. [David] Fahrenthold detailed cases involving $2.3 million that raise questions about whether the money should have been taxed as income and whether that income was properly reported.” So, the suggestion is that some, if not or all, of the major “donations” to Trump’s Foundation were not donations at all but deflections thereto of income owed to Trump. https://wapo.st/2IzaHnj

***

Legal troubles for Trump’s Foundation

“Barring an unexpected change, the Donald J. Trump Foundation will be defending itself in a New York courtroom shortly before this fall’s midterm elections. … it is only [Allen] Weisselberg who can recount the essence of the Trump Organization from the beginning of Donald Trump’s involvement: in the nineteen-seventies, when the company first discriminated against African-Americans; in the eighties, when Trump appears to have been in business with the New York mafia; in the nineties, when Trump’s casino was in violation of anti-money-laundering laws; and through the aughts, as Trump developed ties to many Russian and former-Soviet oligarchs and political figures. … His deposition in the case is fascinating reading. Weisselberg makes it quite clear just how sloppy an operation the foundation was, with no meetings and no careful accounting. In a compelling exchange, Weisselberg describes how he flew to Iowa with a checkbook to give money to political allies of Trump, then a Presidential candidate, and he makes it clear that he did this because his boss told him to.” — More at “The New Yorker” http://bit.ly/2tOa9Vx

July 18, 2018: Tax authorities in New York state are investigating the Donald J. Trump Foundation for possible violations of state tax law, The New York Times reports. Two state officials familiar with the situation said the inquiry, already underway by the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance, could lead to a criminal referral if any evidence of illegal activity is uncovered. It could also reportedly lead to the release of Trump’s tax returns. No further details were available on what activities in particular investigators are focusing on, but New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood last month accused the foundation of violating campaign-finance laws and illegally coordinating with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Read it at The New York Times — And about time too. https://thebea.st/2OzuyWO

***

How Trump Could Be Forced to Liquidate Part of His Family Fortune

A Times investigation suggests that the President and his siblings could owe hundreds of millions of dollars in state taxes and penalties. http://bit.ly/2zWx8C6

***

Trump’s Inaugural Committee Paid Trump Organization

“President Trump’s inauguration committee reportedly paid the Trump Organization for “rooms, meals, and event space” at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. According to ProPublica, current White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump was “involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged” for venue rentals in the run-up to and during her father’s inauguration. Ivanka reportedly connected the deputy to the chairman of the inaugural committee, Rick Gates, to the managing director of the hotel, who suggested a rate of “$175,000 per day” for the hotel’s presidential ballroom. An inauguration organizer and friend of first lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, reportedly expressed concern about the rates suggested by the managing director and suggested a day rate of $85,000 instead. “Please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge,” she wrote in an email. ProPublica reports it is unclear how much the committee ended up paying for renting out event space at the D.C. hotel. If the hotel overcharged the committee, it could run afoul of tax rules, an expert told the publication.

“The inaugural committee also reportedly asked other hotels to “take payments directly from donors.” This comes as federal prosecutors have reportedly opened an investigation into whether the inaugural committee “misspent” its funds.” — ProPublica, 14 Dec 2018 http://bit.ly/2rDNSJm

***

Trump borrowed to build his empire. Then he began spending hundreds of millions in cash

“In the nine years before he ran for president, Donald Trump’s company spent more than $400 million in cash on new properties — including 14 transactions paid for in full, without borrowing from banks — during a buying binge that defied real estate industry practices and Trump’s own history as the self-described ‘King of Debt.’ …” — WaPo https://wapo.st/2jLKUi9 and https://wapo.st/2pLLY8q

Hopefully, Trump’s proctological examination by Dr Mueller will provide the answer to from whence erupted Trump’s sudden “rash of (laundered Russian?) cash.”

***

Trump v. Bezos …

Trump is down on Jeff Bezos (a real multi billionaire) not because of WaPo’s “fake news” but because in August 2007 when the share prices of Amazon and eBay+PayPal were both ~$40, Trump chose to invest in eBay+PayPal instead of Amazon — LOL!

And, as Trump is so “very smart” and “knows all the best people,” it’s surprising that he hasn’t yet offered that other mercantile idiot, John Joseph Donahoe II, a cabinet post in his kakistocracy.

Regardless, to help smooth the way to Trump’s ultimate imprisonment, Bezos should do what Trump himself has in the past done; as a public service, take out some full page ads offering rewards for anyone supplying information that contributes to the indictment / prosecution / conviction / imprisonment of Trump — for, if it’s good enough for Citizen Trump to have, in the past, attacked people via such means, why should it not be appropriate for others to reply to Trump’s crass attacks on them in the same way? — I’d happily contribute to any GoFundMe appeal for such a worthy cause.

***

Trump, The “Short-Fingered Vulgarian”

In 1988, “Spy” magazine described Donald Trump as “a short-fingered vulgarian.” The founding editors of the magazine, Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen, recognized Trump for what he was: a bombastic, self-aggrandizing, un-self-aware bully, with a curious relationship to the truth about his supposed wealth and business acumen. http://bit.ly/2HFiEMp

“Decades Later, ‘Spy’ Magazine Founders Continue To Torment Trump” https://n.pr/2JK3It0

Either story is well worth a read. Even back then, Trump’s character — or lack thereof — was well understood and documented …

Donald Trump: “The Ugly [13-cent] American”

“… Not surprisingly, it being the 80s, Trump was a recurring fixture in the pages of “Spy”. We ridiculed not just his fingers but also his business judgment, his jaw-dropping pronouncements, his inflated wealth, his hair, and his marital situations. There was a threatened lawsuit, resulting in a lot of back-and-forth legal letters between him and me. And we printed all of those. At one point we sent checks for $1.11 out to 58 of the “well-known” and “well-heeled” to see who would take the time to endorse and deposit the checks from a firm we called the National Refund Clearinghouse. The ones who deposited the $1.11 checks were sent 64-cent checks, and the ones who deposited those were sent checks for 13 cents. This being in the days before electronic deposits and such, the exercise took the better part of a year. At the end, only two 13-cent checks were signed — and we couldn’t believe our good fortune. One was signed by arms trader Adnan Khashoggi. The other was deposited by Donald Trump.” — Graydon Carter, “Vanity Fair”. http://bit.ly/2u2IeCi

***

Trump and “Faux Noise”

Fox News host Neil Cavuto called out Trump for his own “fake news” on 3 May [2018] after Trump spokesperson, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said Trump reimbursed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels. http://bit.ly/2Id6XNa

When Rupert Murdock’s, usually sycophantic, “Faux Noise” starts to criticize him, Trump should realise that a tsunami is in the making; then, in reality, I doubt that IQ45’s that smart.

“If you only watch Fox News because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen.” — John Kelly, former White House Chief of Staff.

***

“How Hitler Won Over the German People”

“I overcame chaos in Germany, restored order, enormously raised production in all fields of our national economy…I succeeded in completely resettling in useful production those 7 million unemployed who so touched our hearts…I have not only politically united the German nation but also rearmed it militarily, and I have further tried to liquidate that Treaty sheet by sheet whose 448 Articles contain the vilest rape that nations and human beings have ever been expected to submit to. I have restored to the Reich the provinces grabbed from us in 1919; I have led millions of deeply unhappy Germans, who have been snatched away from us, back into the Fatherland; I have restored the thousand-year-old historical unity of German living space; and I have attempted to accomplish all that without shedding blood and without inflicting the sufferings of war on my people or any other. I have accomplished all this, as one who 21 years ago was still an unknown worker and soldier of my people, by my own efforts…” — Adolf Hitler, Reichstag speech, 28 April 1939. http://bit.ly/2I9H0Ow

Does any of that rhetoric sound familiar? This article — particularly “Part 5: Fatal Narcissism,” should be required reading for any literate Trump supporters capable of rational thought. Indeed, except for Trump’s inheriting of great wealth, without which he would likely now be living under a bridge somewhere, the parallels between the rise of Hitler and Trump are frightening …

Trump apparently reads little, but he must have, at some, time watched video of Benito Mussolini, as his blustering, arrogant style mimics that of Mussolini’s during his devastating reign; but, apparently, Trump missed the end bit where Mussolini ends up hanging by his ankles …

***

Abortion (Roe v. Wade) …

Trump — incoherently — on abortion … https://youtu.be/jGSttcyn2RI

No woman is forced to have an abortion, nor does any woman choose to have an abortion lightly; she may so choose for medical reasons or because, due to circumstances, she is unable, or simply unwilling, to bear the great responsibility of raising a child, and that choice, rightly, should be hers alone! … https://wapo.st/2WcJQ8D

“I wouldn’t under any circumstances condone an abortion in my private life, but that has nothing to do with whether or not those who have different views are entitled to have them and are entitled to be protected in their exercise of them.” — William J. Brennan Jr, Associate Justice of the SCOTUS, 1956–90. https://wapo.st/2xLTZhd Obviously, Brennan interpreted the Constitution as he understood it to be, not how his personal beliefs wanted it to be. One can only hope that this same secular reasoning will continue to prevail.

Those who think that they ought to have a say in what is undoubtedly the most difficult decision that any woman can ever make, hypocritically exhibit the antithesis of the “freedom of religion” they have when they try to impose their religious beliefs onto everybody else; they are oblivious to the fact that their “freedom of religion” equally means “freedom FROM religion” for those that choose not to be governed by such primitive mythoi — in particular, freedom from the proscriptions of those extreme ideologues who claim to care so much about the unborn child — but are utterly unconcerned about that child after it is born.

To paraphrase Art Buchwald (1982), “For gun-toting, bible-thumping conservatives, the ‘right to life’ begins at conception and ends at birth.” http://bit.ly/2romq55

“To a nation defined by individual autonomy, the only thing worse than the personal tragedy of abortion is the audacity of the self-ordained to govern when and under what circumstances women have children.” — Kathleen Parker (2019) https://wapo.st/2XuyKwg

“To a nation defined by individual autonomy, the only thing worse than the personal tragedy of abortion is the audacity of the self-ordained to govern when and under what circumstances women have children.” — Kathleen Parker (2019)

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” — Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun. http://bit.ly/2n74IhK

Gallup/Pew find ~64% of Americans want “Roe” to stand; only 28% want it overturned. (http://bit.ly/2N0keGc and https://pewrsr.ch/2VvYXIN

Even now-retired Justice Anthony Kennedy supported the Roe decision. Yet Trump has vowed that he will overturn Roe “automatically” by nominating to the Court conservatives who will decide to that effect. http://bit.ly/2C0BARx

Even “Catholic” Ireland has recently passed a referendum that allows women, cost-free, on-demand, “early-term” abortion — which, in the US, represents 92% of terminations …

65.9% of legal abortions were performed within the first eight weeks of gestation; 91.9% within the first 13 weeks [ie, first trimester]; 6.9% within 14–20 weeks; 1.2% at or after 21 weeks. — “CDC Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2010” http://bit.ly/2N6Petg

“In 2014, the U.S. abortion rate reached a historic low … The reasons patients gave for having an abortion underscored their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. The three most common reasons — each cited by three-fourths of patients — were concern for or responsibility to other individuals; the inability to afford raising a child; and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents. Half said they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems with their husband or partner.” — Guttmacher Institute (2018) http://bit.ly/2SsgTri

“How to respond to a question about ‘late-term abortion,’ a procedure that doesn’t exist” — Dr Jen Gunter http://bit.ly/2HXfzXJ

The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision explained http://bit.ly/2y1HAH5 And, for balance, a view from the conservative side, “William Brennan and the Creation of a Right to Abortion” http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/12/1993/

Even more repugnant than any alleged drunken teenage misconduct by “Bart O’Kavanaugh” are Bart’s mature-age thoughts on unenumerated Constitutional rights — see the story about Bart’s opposition to Roe v. Wade in The Intercept at http://bit.ly/2xoc8Bw. And, in the only abortion-related case that he has previously heard, he dissented to a decision that allowed an undocumented teen to receive a prompt abortion. “What goes around, comes around” — so true Bart.

“My own thinking about abortion was partly formed by having almost witnessed a “back-alley abortion” when a college friend sought an abortion in 1970 in Spain. We walked into a room with a white linoleum table over which, not kidding, a single light bulb hung. We bolted, called home for money, and put her on a plane to London for a legal abortion.” — Kathleen Parker. http://bit.ly/2HOpT1w

Regrettably, evangelicals don’t care about anything other than they’ve now got two right-wing religious stooges elevated to the Supreme Court and they may soon be able to command how we all must live our lives under their distorted form of “individual freedom” …

The reality is, progressives don’t wish to tell conservatives how to live their lives; yet such conservatives are only too ready to prescribe how everyone else must live their lives; and the ugliest aspect of such conservatives is their gross hypocrisy about matters such as abortion — eg, the Rick and Karen Santorum abortion … https://wapo.st/2WcJQ8D

Trump has not only supported but has also encouraged abortion: “P.S, no one knows this better than Trump. It’s why he makes everyone sign NDA’s and uses his money to ‘catch and kill’ things like the abortions he makes his mistresses get or the housekeeper who refused and had his baby and fled to Mexico. @realDonaldTrump — NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) March 28, 2020” https://twitter.com/CaslerNoel/status/1244015920336580608

The Bible mentions “abortion” twice. The Book of Exodus declares that under God’s law if a man injures the wife of another man so that she miscarries, it is treated as a loss of property — for the husband. In the Book of Numbers, God tells Moses that if a husband suspects his wife has been unfaithful and is carrying another man’s child, he can bring her to the temple and the priest will give her “bitter water” to drink that will cause her to miscarry if the child is not his.

***

Contraception …

On January 18, 2017, on “CNN Newsroom,” the bible-thumper Rick Santorum ranted about President Obama requiring the “Little Sisters of the Poor to buy abortions”; it turns out he was referring to the ACA “contraception mandate” for women in employer-provided health care plans. So, to Santorum, and his ilk, “contraception” equates to “abortion”, apparently. YouTube: http://bit.ly/2FWyOw9 (2:00).

Is it the idea of having sex for pleasure alone — other than with children — that gets evangelicals’ and priests’ knickers in such a knot?

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. … Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” — Rick Santorum (2011), YouTube: http://bit.ly/2zV68oz (2:14).
You tell ’em Rick — there should be no human sexual activity except for the explicit purpose of procreation!

“It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.” — H.L. Mencken, notebooks (1956).

In 2011, the Guttmacher Institute reported that 98 percent of Catholic women have used contraception at some point in their lives.

The Roman Catholic Church still considers all forms of contraception, even “coitus interruptus”, to be a sin. Then, if the Catholic Church is to regain control over the feeble minds of the bulk of the world’s ignorant peasants, it has to get its hutch of mindless rabbits to breed — “bigly”. The only question then is, which of the major religions can, in the future, produce the greater number of church/home-schooled ignoramuses, Christianity or Islam?

Bart O’Kavanaugh has only two children so it’s doubtful he’s using the only Catholic-condoned form of birth control — “Vatican Roulette”! As with far too many such religious conservatives, hypocritical to the core!

***

On “evangelical” conservatives …

“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?” — Barry Goldwater (1909–1998), American politician, Speech, US Senate (16 Sep 1981) https://wist.info/goldwater-barry/31886/

“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” — Barry Goldwater (1909–1998), American politician, Interview, Los Angeles Times (1994) https://wist.info/goldwater-barry/30896/

“When you say ‘radical right’ today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.” — Barry Goldwater (1909–1998), American politician, “Barry Goldwater’s Left Turn,” The Washington Post (28 Jul 1994) http://wapo.st/2svB2zY

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” — Barry Goldwater (1909–1998), American politician, Discussion with John Dean (Nov 1994) https://wist.info/goldwater-barry/16312/

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”―H.L. Mencken

***

On Religion …

“I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” — Gandhi

I have no problem with “church” — it serves a social purpose for many people. But, in this Age of Reason, is there any intelligent person that does not yet understand that the greatest ever curse on mankind — and particularly on womankind — is organized religion — particularly those of the proselytizing kind? The nonsensical dogma promoted by organized religion has long ago outlived its usefulness, and the professional indoctrination of children with such nonsense, is criminal, or should be so made. http://bit.ly/2QVQXyA

“Religion belongs to a very early stage of human development, and … its rapid decay in the world since the Reformation is evidence of genuine progress” (“The Ascent of Man”) — H.L. Mencken on Religion

“For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. The more stupid the man, the larger his stock of adamantine assurances, the heavier his load of faith.” — H.L. Mencken on Religion http://bit.ly/2QVQXyA

“What Mencken most strongly objected to in religion was not the expression of nonsensical views — these could easily be combated by rebuttal from the other side — but the inveterate tendency of religion to seek the enforcement of its views by the power of the government.” — H.L. Mencken on Religion

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”―H.L. Mencken

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

H.L. Mencken > Quotes: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7805.H_L_Mencken

Christopher Hitchens on Religion … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0B-X9LJjs

***

The Second Amendment …

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Supreme Court has held that such phrases must be construed, not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted them. See Murray v. Hoboken Land Co., 52 U.S. (18 How.) 272 (1856); Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97 (1878); Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465 (1888).

It follows that it is scarcely conceivable that the Second Amendment was intended by the framers of the amendment other than in the sense which had been affixed to it at the time it was passed. In that respect, today, the “well regulated” National Guards of the various States provide the security that a “well regulated militia” may have been required to provide in olden times. Certainly, if there is any potential threat to “the security of a free State,” such threat is more likely to come from the wholly unregulated, heavily-armed, right-wing “militias” of today.

The right to own a firearm is not unconditional; the late Justice Antonin Scalia said that governments may prohibit “weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like.” (District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008).

“We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are ‘like’ ‘M-16 rifles’ — ‘weapons that are most useful in military service’ — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach,” … “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.” Kolbe v. Hogan, Jr., №14–1945 (4th Cir. 2017)—http://bit.ly/2jYPXzg

Where then is the Constitutional right for ordinary citizens to possess firearms that have far greater mass killing ability than anyone would ever need to defend themselves in their own home?

Then, some argue that Scalia’s words in Heller about “weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like” do not suggest that they may be proscribed, and that the lower court Kolbe v. Hogan decision is wrong …

Regardless, the Supreme Court has held that such phrases, as that in the Second Amendment, must be construed, not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted them.

In Heller, Scalia also said: “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” …” http://bit.ly/2lEDhhG

The weapons “in common use at the time” were single-shot, muzzle-loading flintlock longarms. By comparison, modern semi-automatic weapons such as the Colt AR-15, et al, with their high-energy, high-velocity, body-armour-penetrating projectiles, and large-capacity magazines, can rightly be considered “dangerous and unusual weapons” and, as such, any Second Amendment protection for the unregulated possession thereof is doubtful — indeed, the import/manufacture of such “semiautomatic assault weapons” was proscribed from 1994 until 2004 when the sunset clause came into effect — 18 U.S.C. § 921 (30) …

***

Impeachment: High Crimes and Misdemeanors …

http://www.constitution.org/cmt/high_crimes.htm

In short, the charge of High Crimes and Misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, and refusal to obey a lawful order …

“High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_crimes_and_misdemeanors

The Supreme Court has held that such phrases must be construed, not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted them. Chief Justice [John] Marshall wrote of another such phrase:

“It is a technical term. It is used in a very old statute of that country whose language is our language, and whose laws form the substratum of our laws. It is scarcely conceivable that the term was not employed by the framers of our constitution in the sense which had been affixed to it by those from whom we borrowed it.”

Since 1386, the English parliament had used the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” to describe one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown. Officials accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors” were accused of offenses as varied as misappropriating government funds, appointing unfit subordinates, not prosecuting cases, not spending money allocated by Parliament, promoting themselves ahead of more deserving candidates, threatening a grand jury, disobeying an order from Parliament, arresting a man to keep him from running for Parliament, losing a ship by neglecting to moor it, helping “suppress petitions to the King to call a Parliament,” granting warrants without cause, and bribery. Some of these charges were crimes. Others were not. The one common denominator in all these accusations was that the official had somehow abused the power of his office and was unfit to serve.

Benjamin Franklin asserted that the power of impeachment and removal was necessary for those times when the Executive “rendered himself obnoxious,” and the Constitution should provide for the “regular punishment of the Executive when his conduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.”

James Madison said, “…impeachment… was indispensable” to defend the community against “the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate.” With a single executive, Madison argued, unlike a legislature whose collective nature provided security, “loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic.”

The very difficult case of impeaching someone in the House of Representatives and removing that person in the Senate by a vote of two-thirds majority in the Senate was meant to be the check to balance against efforts to easily remove people from office for minor reasons that could easily be determined by the standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors”. It was George Mason who offered up the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the criteria to remove public officials who abuse their office. Their original intentions can be gleaned by the phrases and words that were proposed before, such as “high misdemeanor”, “maladministration”, or “other crime”. Edmund Randolf said impeachment should be reserved for those who “misbehave”. Cotesworth Pinkney said it should be reserved “… for those who behave amiss, or betray their public trust.”

By my reckoning, in a nonpartisan trial, Trump would appear to be well and truly “done”; he should now only need to be stuck with a fork …

***

Impeachment/Indictment of Trump

The Constitution of the United States http://constitutionus.com/
“Article I, Section 3, Clause 6:
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. … And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Article I, Section 3, Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Article II, Section 2, Clause 1: … and he [the president] shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

The idea that the founders intended that a president, while in office, cannot be investigated/indicted for criminality — and could anyway pardon himself for any (federal) crime — has to be a nonsense. The U.S. Supreme Court is the arbiter of what the words in the Constitution document mean, and I cannot imagine them deciding that the president is so “above the law,” and I look forward to them so finding if Trump ultimately attempts to pardon himself, or others, for corrupt purposes.

It’s also been suggested that the president can preemptively pardoned anyone, without an offence for which they are receiving a pardon being specified. If so, a person so non-specifically pardoned could thereafter be effectively “above the law” for any other, then unknown, possibly serious, crime(s) committed prior to such pardon. If this was found to be so, then the world’s greatest con man, Donald J. Trump, would indeed be “above the law” for all of all his many earlier alleged crimes. Surely, this concept too is a nonsense.

Come January 2021, the process for ridding the world of Trump appears to be — if not impeachment — then Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law

***

Medicare For All …

“I shouldn’t say this to my great friend from Australia because you have better healthcare than we do.” — President Trump to the then Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull (5 May, 2017)

Australia has had a federally administered “Medicare” health care system in place for more than 40 years; every citizen has health care coverage, irrespective of their income, status, or any pre-existing condition. It is partly funded by a levy of 2% on taxpayers’ taxable income. This public system is complemented by a private health care system, and to encourage high-income earners to have private insurance, in lieu thereof, an additional 1–1.5% income tax levy is payable. Likewise, the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidizes the cost of critical pharmaceuticals for those in need.

Nobody dies early or goes bankrupt in Australia for want of a necessary medical procedure or medication — conversely …

“U.S. spends more on health care than other high-income countries but has worse outcomes”
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective

“High health care spending has far-reaching consequences in the U.S. economy, contributing to wage stagnation, personal bankruptcy, and budget deficits, and creating a competitive disadvantage relative to other nations. One potential consequence of high health spending is that it may crowd out other forms of social spending that support health. In the U.S., health care spending substantially outweighs spending on social services. This imbalance may contribute to the country’s poor health outcomes. A growing body of evidence suggests that social services play an important role in shaping health trajectories and mitigating health disparities.”

***

The Westminster System of Government …

Under the Westminster system of government, an oafish charlatan like Donald Trump could never become, let alone long remain, chief executive — the elected representatives of his own party in the House of Representatives would remove him from the prime ministership; see https://medium.com/p/b1f00e1955f1

In the NY City borough, Manhattan, where he was best known, Trump won only 9.87% of the vote, compared with Clinton’s 86.36%. According to the NY City board of elections, there are 1,210 election districts in Manhattan. Donald Trump won only one — Times Square, where a total of 14 people voted. Overall, in New York City he received only 18% of the vote. http://bit.ly/2BbWc8z

In a true democracy, the preference of the majority is supposed to prevail. In a U.S. presidential election this may not be the case due to one, a distorting of the result by the additional “Electoral College” process, and two, simple “first past the post” voting may also produce a distorted and illogical result. The U.S. Senate with its two senators per state, irrespective of the population size of the state, is supposedly the “states’ house”; and, given that that is so, the additional Electoral College effect on the presidential election is an undemocratic anachronism.

Under the Westminster system of government, electors vote for the policies of a party — not for an individual person — and the leader of the party with the majority in the House of Representatives becomes the “Prime Minister”; thereafter, if, at any time, a majority of the elected representatives of the governing party lose confidence in that leader — those elected representatives can, by simple majority vote, change that leader.

In the past decade or so, the elected representatives of the governing party in the Australian parliament have deposed the current “prime minister” a number of times — on both sides of politics: Rudd–Gillard–Rudd and then Abbott–Turnbull–Morrison …

Under the Westminster system, as exists in the UK, Canada and Australia, it’s highly unlikely that a clueless oaf like Donald J. Trump could ever become, let alone long remain, the executive head of government.

In a “first past the post” system, a vote for a minor third-party candidate is effectively a wasted vote; votes for other than the two major parties effectively do not count. So, the US presidential election is always a two-horse race between the two major parties.

In “first past the post” Westminster elections, where there is a substantial third party, a coalition of like-minded parties may form government, as has been the case in the UK and Canada; still, votes for minor “fringe” parties are worthless.

There is no pure “democratic” system; voters rarely get to vote directly on any measure — not even for the US presidency, which popular vote count is weighted by the US Electoral College system.

Ultimately, if you want to encourage a diversity of ideas, and allow all votes to have a value, a “preferential” (or “ranked choice”) system of voting is required.

With no Electoral College weighting of the popular vote, Trump would have lost as Clinton outpaced Trump by almost 2.9 million votes with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%); the other 5.7% of the votes cast, having been for minor parties, had no effect on the final result.

In a first-past-the post presidential election, a majority of the total votes cast is not required to win; for example, in the extreme, if you have 98 “progressives” running and they each receive one vote, and you have one “conservative” running and he/she receives two votes. The person with the plurality, the conservative, is elected — with only 2% of the total votes cast! How can that possibly be equitable or, indeed, desirable?

True democracies have “preferential” voting systems (eg, Australia) or “run off” elections (eg, France) for when no one candidate initially receives a majority of the total votes cast.

The French Presidential system provides better equity in that it provides for a second voting cycle if no majority of the votes cast is initially achieved.

There is even greater equity with “preferential” voting; for, as each of the candidates with the then least number of primary votes is, in turn, eliminated from the count, that candidate’s voters’ next preference is applied to the remaining candidates; this cycle is repeated until only one candidate is left standing.

Either of these two systems represent a truer accounting of the will of the electorate. The material point being, minor-party voters’ votes still have a voice. That is true representative democracy, and “preferential” voting can be easily implemented with today’s computerized ballot reading.

The Australian electoral system is more equitable than the Canadian, UK or US systems as it does have optional “preferential” voting; minor-party voters may have some influence on the final result. And, to force people to take some interest in their governance, Australia also has compulsory voting — even morons, like Trump, are forced, under nominal monetary penalty, to post in or place a ballot paper into the ballot box. And, all elections take place on a Saturday so there is no disincentive for people to so attend and vote. https://nym.ag/2Srfm3I

There has been debate in Australia about the direct election — or, alternatively, the nomination by the parliament — of a nominal, ceremonial “president,” in place of the existing nominal Governor-General, when Australia eventually dumps the British Crown as its nominal head of state. What better argument could one then have against such direct election and/or first-past-the-post voting than that of the election of the Trumpian Oaf as POTUS.

Washington may be a swamp requiring some draining but the idea that the country’s greatest ever charlatan, the bloviating ignoramus, Donald J. Trump, is the person to drain it, is an absurdity — in the extreme! Indeed, he has already filled the swamp with his own alligators.

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