Paper Tiger

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I don’t have a high opinion of Lindsey Graham.  Every time I’ve ever seen him talk, it’s always him trying to sanitize a horrible opinion/gross political motivation or he’s gaslighting his political opponents.  In my humble opinion, he is, and always has been a man with a stunning lack of integrity or empathy.  He looks, acts, and sounds like a Looney Tunes villain.  The one time he appeared to sound like he had any kind of concern for anyone other than himself, was when he was defending Jeff Sessions in the early days of the Russia Investigation.  He used forceful language to defend a man that he presumably considered a friend.  The exact words were that Trump would have “Hell to pay” if he canned Sessions.  Not that I think anyone took that bloviating very seriously.  And it appears that they were right not to.  Because low and behold, Trump forced Sessions out, and when confronted with a video clip of his own words, Graham literally laughed it off. Let me tell you, it says a lot about your credibility when you scoff at the validity of your own threat.  Lindsey Graham is a joke.

Cease and Desist

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As it turns out, most musicians who have good music to play at rallies, don’t want them played to help support wannabe fascist, bigoted, demagogues.  Trump is finding that out the hard way as Rihanna has become the latest pop star to tell Trump to cease and desist using her music at his rallies.  Other names on that list include the Rolling Stones, REM, Adele, Pharrell Williams, Neil Young and Aerosmith.  It’s an unfortunate position for Donald Trump to be in, because keeping a crowd pumped up and in the mood to continue racist-ing with all their might during a long night of standing in large sweaty crowds requires a bumping beat.  It would be a bad day when all that was left to motivate a crowd to keep on hating immigrants and democrats was the greatest hits the Public Domain has to offer.

Who Wears the Pants

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I learned something.  Indeed, I think my whole evaluation of a situation has been fairly well upended.  Melania Trump has power.  Actual power.  Donald listens to her and she has the ability in that relationship to put her foot down.  And that is probably my own fault.  It might have been foolish of me to think she was just a prop in that relationship, but I feel like the information we’d had up until now had really led us all to believe that Melania was a toothless figurehead.  Everything, from her cyberbullying initiative, to her all of her “duties” as first lady, have all felt very out of the way.  Things to give her to keep her occupied but otherwise out of the process, unlike first ladies of the past who had more active roles in the administration.  Then Mira Ricardel was ousted.  Mira Ricardel is a diehard Trump loyalist who has been actively helping John Bolton initiate foreign policy to Trump’s satisfaction.  Ricardel is exactly the kind of person Trump wants in his camp, and I can imagine he’s not happy about losing her.  But Melania didn’t want her around, and went public with that knowledge.  For Melania to be able to make that call, and then publicly announce that it WAS her call…Well that is one hell of a power play.  I won’t be underestimating her again.

The Inconvenience of Patriotism

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Donald Trump loves and respects our troops.  Indeed, come football season, he can’t seem to shut up about them.  He’s dripping with respect and admiration, but this weekend, when celebrating the end of World War I, it was somewhat of a confusing bit of news when it was reported that Trump refused to visit a scheduled trip to visit the cemetery of American Troops in Paris.  Apparently the light drizzle presented just too much of an obstacle for the President of the United States to be expected to overcome.  Speak not of the other world leaders who braved the slightly inclement weather to do the very same thing for their respective countries. Because again, it’s not as if the weather was monsoon like conditions, or even a heavy rain.  The weather reporting consistently referred to the weather as “a light drizzle.”  It’s good to know that our President will stop at nothing to salute and respect our troops, so long as he suffers not even a slight discomfort!

Beyond Repercussion

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So, on November 5, Monday night, right before the most contentious midterms in modern history, Sean Hannity was brought up by Donald Trump to speak and endorse his political allies.  Is that surprising?  No.  Not even kind of.  Sean Hannity is a scumbag who doesn’t care one whit about professionalism in his career, unless he thinks someone else is being unprofessional.  But still, people rightly had complaints about the optics of a journalist, who even as an editorialist, was stumping for Republicans.  Using his platform as a person who is supposed to be outside that bubble, to endorse politicians is the worst kind of behavior.  So again, not surprising, still gross and unprofessional on a profound level.  Even Fox News found his political endorsements and verbal backstabbing of fellow reporters to be distasteful, and put out a statement suggesting that they were going to take some kind of action to which I say “HA!”  Sean Hannity isn’t going to get so much as a wrist slap.  He is the highest rated cable news show in the country.  As gross as that sounds, the fact is that he’s the draw for many people to that network.  Which is discouraging to think about, but true none the less.  Sean Hannity is immune from basically any kind of action.  He could drop kick a baby on the air, and Fox News would suggest that it isn’t up to the standards of their Network, and then wipe their hands of it.

Morning Pick-Me-Up

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There was a lot of speculation, even before the Midterms, about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russia Investigation.  Rumors were abound that one way or the other, with or without a “blue wave” at the ballots, Trump would likely feel the pressure to deal with Mueller’s investigation, and likely with Sessions, as it was no secret that Trump for all intents and purposes saw the guy as a traitor.  I mean, how dare he do the only responsible thing and recuse himself from an investigation in which he had a conflict of interest?!  To be fair, that moment of responsibility was quite a surprise to most people. But with the House now making it clear that their priorities are to take Trump to task for his malfeasance, Trump moved quickly to start trying to put what ducks in a row he could afford.  People were awfully surprised that it only took him a day to can Sessions.  Frankly, I’m surprised he waited til the next morning.  That’s a level of restraint I didn’t know Trump was capable of.

Insecure

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Donald Trump’s phone habits…well it isn’t new news.  His penchant for using non-secure cellphones is well documented.  The only weird thing is that halfway through his term, this is still a problem.  Despite his claims that this story is a total fabrication, we know it isn’t, because his Twitter rants claiming fake news come from HIS IPHONE.  But his flippancy over using unsecure lines is ludicrously irresponsible.  Seriously.  He doesn’t seem to realize that the conversations he has are of national importance, which is weird considering there has never been a person alive with a more inflated sense of self importance.  And considering the scares over hacking that have become all too prevalent in today’s political climate, the idea of vulnerable phones in the Oval Office is just unbelievable.  And yet here we are.

Morning Meltdown

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So, the midterms have come and gone, and the big story, pretty obviously, was flipping of the House of Representatives.  The Democrats now hold the majority, which, if we’re honest, was probably the best we could have hoped for.  But honestly, for me, the more entertaining news came the morning after.  Donald Trump tends to go a little train-wreck-y during press conferences, which is always fun to watch, but this time…It was something a little more.  I don’t know how to place it, because Donald Trump doesn’t have normal, human reactions to things.  His temper was short, and the totality of his bluster was just lots of shouting about how things were basically totally fine.  He really went to town on Jim Acosta, and then called a black, female, journalist from PBS, by the name of Yamiche Alcindor, a racist for asking about the empowering effect to White Supremacists of Trump referring to himself as a nationalist.  He talked about war stances and threatened everyone under the sun who might possibly investigate him.  He was pretty clearly having a moment of reflection at the worst possible time, and I think he came to some troubling realizations.  Also, no one seems to have told Trump that the House basically has carte blanche to ask for any tax returns they want.  So yeah.  It’s been an interesting week.

Unhinged Opposition

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The popular narrative in recent times that the far right is doing their level best at perpetuating is that the Democrats and the left are a bunch of intolerant, violent, hooligans who love crime and violence.  You see, the GOP and Trump can’t pretend that the nation isn’t radically divided.  Trump can certainly lie about a lot of things and do it right to people’s faces, but even he can’t tell his base that massive protests over his behavior and GOP politics aren’t happening.  But they can tell people that it’s because the Left is angry and violent.  And it’s an easy lie to buy into, because the left is indeed angry.  We’re angry at how good people are being treated.  We’re angry on behalf of the people that politicians are hurting, even if those people aren’t angry themselves.  The GOP sell this idea of the liberals and left being the great dividers of that nation, while at the very same time calling democrats criminals who can’t be trusted, calling the media the enemy of the people.  And as of last week, it’s pretty clear which side is quick to jump to violence. How many bombs have to be sent or innocent people killed in synagogues before it becomes clear where the problem lies?  Even now, conservative media is selling the story that even despite all the violent lunatics who are  working on behalf of GOP ideology, it’s the liberals who are really the violent monsters, while encouraging people to deal with liberals violently.  Something’s gotta give, and I’m scared of what it looks like when it does.

The Emperor’s New Wall

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Donald Trump is trying really hard to convince people that his border wall is both paid for, and under construction.  Now, if you take any cursory look at the facts, than you’d know that it isn’t true.  It’s not a difficult thing to disprove.  And yet his base doesn’t seem to care.  The Huffington Post recently did an article talking to Trump supporters about their belief in Trump’s lies over the border wall.  Most of them either believed him regardless of the evidence, choosing rather to believe that Trump is more reliable than reality, or they just didn’t care.  They didn’t care that he was lying about the border wall, because it’s the lie they want to hear, and the lie, I suppose, is better than nothing, I guess?  I don’t know.  Their responses were baffling.  It goes to show that in Donald Trump’s war on Truth, he’s made more headway than we seem ready to admit.  And when truth ceases to matter, than we are all in a lot of trouble.