Tuesday Rant: May 9, 2017

Stolen Gum and Chewed Soap

Back when I was a spoiled little sh*t who was about as trustworthy as a drowning man offering you his life-preserver, my friend Shantell and I broke a gumball machine.

Or rather, I broke the gumball machine. I broke the hell out of it. That may not seem super important, but it’s important to know that it was a collector’s item. Specifically, it was like this one that was sold on Etsy in 2011.

Sidebar: now I feel a bit worse since I can’t find any other references to it. Whoops. Sorry Craig.

Anyway, this gumball machine had an issue. The issue was that if you turned the distribution mechanism hard enough without any money in it, it would skip and you’d get a gumball.

In other words, if you broke the teeth inside bit-by-bit, you could get all sorts of gumball goodness. All that horrid, short-term flavor burst that ended with a mouthful of white, tasteless goo, which inevitably ended up in the garbage.

Well, one day, I brought Shantell into my cousin’s bedroom and we proceeded to try and sneak a couple of gumballs. After the first couple pops, there was a sharp crack and the dial started turning freely! It was gumball heaven! We even found a little plastic baggie from someplace and filled it up with our ill-gotten gains and — like the brilliant children we were — decided to walk out into the living room where we nom’d the hell out of those gumballs.

It was also where the fun stopped as my mother uttered these words: “Where did you get those?”

I’m telling you this because when my mom turned her mom-glare on me, I immediately turned my skinny, little, pre-adolescent finger toward Shantell, started crying, and made the most heart-wrenching argument that I was bamboozled into this criminal enterprise. Alas, it had been Shantell’s horrid lack of morals and ethics which had facilitated this lapse in judgement.

I mean, there wasn’t any way to avoid the truth that we had broken the gumball machine. Hell, if I had said we didn’t break it, I’d have been in trouble for lying… so deflect-deflect-deflect!

And, past the shocked, slightly panicked look in Shantell’s eyes, my mother bought the entire f*cking story.

Back in my day — as us fogeys like to say — you could get a few punishments, one of which was getting your “mouth washed out with soap”. This was immortalized in the movie, A Christmas Story.

It’s much worse than it looks.

Shantell ended up with a soaped up tongue and I got to run along, snag the bag of stolen gumballs, and chew to my heart’s content. My mom eventually got into some pretty big trouble with Shantell’s mom as well. It caused a big to-do.

In hindsight, I have no idea why any of my childhood friends still speak with me…

The Point

Anyway, I’m telling this story because Trump’s firing of Comey at the “recommendation” of the “Attorney General [Jeff Sessions] and Deputy Attorney General [Rod Rosenstein]” over Comey’s handling of Clinton’s email scandal in an election year sounds familiar.

It sounds like the excuse a child makes to avoid getting soap put in their mouth or getting put in a timeout. It sounds like someone trying to find a scapegoat reason for what they did since it’s impossible to hide that it actually happened.

Deflect, deflect, deflect!

The problem is that Trump isn’t Gengi. He’s Torbjörn, and his deflection techniques include yelling “You’re making a chicken out of a feather!” and “If you build it, they will die.”

Trump fucked up. On the suggestion of an Attorney General who recused himself from any and all probes into the Trump/Russia campaign investigation, he fired the man in charge of investigating that case. To hearken back to my story above, he’s still hoping to hold onto those gumballs.

He also took the time to throw in an unsubstantiated line: “While I greatly appreciate you telling me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation…”. First off, the idea that Comey would update the president on an investigation into him is not only f*cking stupid, it’s incredibly inappropriate. Former Bush Attorney General, Alberto R. Gonzales, said as much according to the L.A. Times.

Here’s the pertinent snippet:

The Republican who was both attorney general and White House counsel to President George W. Bush criticized as “totally inappropriate” that President Trump’s claim in his letter firing FBI Director James B. Comey that Comey had three times assured the president that he was not under investigation.
“Including it in that letter seemed totally inappropriate,” Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush’s former lawyer, told CNN on Wednesday.

What does this mean?

It means that Trump has no idea what he’s doing, first off. The f*cking guy who founded his authority on his ability to deliver the words “You’re Fired” with aplomb, can’t even figure out how to fire an employee in this government without making it a shit show.

I bet he didn’t even know that Comey had requested more funds for the Russia investigation from Deputy AG Rosenstein the day before this happened.

Let’s get one thing straight before I finish this rant: I think Comey deserved to lose his job. His handling of the Clinton email investigation in late October was ridiculous. I read his testimony and I also read the rebuttal. If there had indeed been “hundreds of thousands” of new emails forwarded off to Weiner’s laptop (and f*ck that guy anyway), then I’d get it. But it wasn’t “hundreds of thousands”. It was a handful and they ended up not being important. Even the so-called “classified” emails ended up being communication that included data that was retroactively classified as, well, classified.

As Clapper said during his testimony a few days ago when asked if he had ever leaked “classified or unclassified information”:

“Well, uh, unclassified is not leaking.”

So anyway: f*ck Comey.

BUT: if Trump is “enraged” over the Russia story, then he just shot himself in the proverbial foot. The asshole just went and, instead of acknowledging he broke the gumball machine, ran back to the other room, picked it up, ran past his mother, and threw it through a f*cking window, then turned to her and said: “what gumballs? We don’t even have any way to get gumballs in this house.”

Well, I have some bad news for Trump on that end. If I’d tried that with my mom, I would’ve gotten my ass beat. There would’ve been a whooping, followed by a timeout, followed by getting put in my room and left to cry myself to sleep.

He should’ve just pointed at Flynn and said: “He did it!”

That, at least, has a proven track record of success. Maybe he’d even have gotten a couple of gumballs in his mouth before anyone caught on.

Too bad there’s no room for “maybes” in reality. Now it’s just a matter of time until he’s impeached.

Nothing galvanizes bipartisan support quite like a president firing people who are investigating him for possible treasonous activity.