Advertisements

How JJ Abrams Destroyed Star Trek AND Star Wars

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well things hit a new low for Star Trek fans today as the last rotting vestiges of the Kelvin continuity took what appears to be a fatal hit shedding more creatives and cast members.Is it the end of the big screen part of the franchise? Future movies are very much in doubt at this moment and there’s nothing in production.

On the small screen we’re (sadly) diving into a second ‘for pay’ self-hating season of disappointing Star Trek Discovery. Adding insult to injury we’re going even deeper after the original show, with apparently, a new (as in NOT Zachary Quinto) Spock? Not very promising for a show already reeling from plagiarism charges that are very likely to stick.

new_spock.png

The New Spock?

For fans of Star Wars the news is pretty much the same – The movies are cancelled or on hold for being sub DC bad. Both franchises will now be reduced to mere pay service streaming video shows.

Bravo JJ Abrams, you’ve done what Roddenberry and Lucas couldn’t, made Star Wars and Star Trek unWatchable!

He’s a double murderer of Sci-Fi Franchises. Douglas Addams would likely describe Abrams’ takeover of any franchise as ‘the coming of the great white handkerchief

By the time he took over Star Wars he had practice destroying beloved Sci-Fi franchises and a history of shabby treatment of original characters.

JJ Abrams- A Sci Fi Force of Failure

JJ Abrams made one good Trek movie which he then destroyed with a special edition commentary that was too honest and came off fan hating and trope-obsessed. Then Into Darkness was just a bad movie. So bad it destroyed any lingering sentiment for the previous movie and beat us up with a recycled plot that is now the ONLY plot JJ Abrams uses in a movie – The Bad Guy has a Death Star.

Sure, maybe it was originally a Romulan Mining ship or is just a gigantic Federation Starship, but its basically a Death Star and the story was just the same. A glimpse of what we were missing in the Cold Open only made Into Darkness worse. It was the best part of the movie and the ensuing nosedive never ended.

abramstrek.png

While Simon Pegg made a really watchable and in fact great Trek Movie in Star Trek Beyond it was too late, goodwill was gone. So little by little the remaining core of cast and creatives that had produced the most entertaining of the movies was allowed to erode.

How Did this Happen?

Ever since he shot Harrison Ford in the head to make predictable tear jerker “Regarding Henry” Abrams has depended on missing or dead parents to add some emotion to his loosely related series of vignettes.

Then we all got a huge dose of FAIL when he decided to simply cease LOST and create perhaps the worst final episode of any show ever. Some people praised him anyway and acted like LOST was Twin Peaks.

In the Star Trek movies he’s a one trick pony killing one each of Kirk and Spock’s parents On Screen in the first 40 minutes of his first Star Trek movie. 20 minutes into Into Darkness he kills Kirk’s surrogate father, Pike. So both characters are now partly motivated like Batman.

Remaking the Final Frontier into The Galaxy Far, Far Away

JJ Abrams only ever wanted to be the Star Wars guy and the stopover at Trek was complicated by his disdain for the franchise, fans and general all around desire to make Star Trek a Star Wars substitute. This extended to having tons of collectibles like never before. Abrams was aware that the merchandising had been the sweetest peach for Lucas and he was trying to do the same thing. Stories of petty obsessions with toy revenue and disputes with the original cast would also surface occasionally, only making Abrams look worse.

In the infamous Star Trek commentary to his first Trek movie Abrams gave away a little too much. Like when he tells us Captain Kirk is now based on Indiana Jones (and Batman), especially when he fights and only wins through luck.  The concept would have been better had he not boasted of it and dispelled the magic of the moment as he explained the point for point similarities to the fight where Kirk and Sulu fight some Romulan goons and the iconic ‘Spinning German Plane Fight’ from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Abrams mostly sounded like he had made the movie off a checklist and this was his “Indy fights the Plane Mechanic from Raiders of the Lost Ark Homage” box that he just needed to check off. He was drunk or high and telling too much of the truth that day but we’re lucky to have it on the record.

More importantly to the “Star Trekky-ness” of the new franchise, Abrams simply threw away the idea that we would just go to a planet and hang around observing and exploring.  It seemed to be a concept that was scrupulously avoided to say risk the ship, struggle with the Prime Directive and possibly encounter a race analogous to the current state of Humanity or any combination of those things.

He never did Star Trek at its best, where it shines a light into a flaw inherent in humanity and aspires towards a future where we’re simply more reasonable. No one expected that lofty theme all the time, but it never got any attention. Its probably the hardest thing to pull off, but episodes of the Next Generation did it all the time and the Original series of course pioneered this. Would it have been that bad to give it a try? Star Trek became mere action and adventure.

jj-abrams-star-wars

JJ Abrams was largely successful in this endeavors to change and destroy Star Trek.  Then, in a shocking turn of events he got his dream job, to destroy Star Wars. Again he was largely successful.

Destroying Star Wars

The cash grab for toy money was so crass and obvious it forced some ‘Legally Necessary Dialogue’ into the Disney Star Wars movies. Who doesn’t love warm Disney Star Trek moments like when C-3PO pointlessly makes mention of his red arm? It stuck out as bad and it was just so obvious why the line was in the movie. It was unseemly.

In so many words; it was all so that JJ Abrams could get his own ‘red armed C-3PO toy’ out there and keep more toy money! There’s other examples you’ll easily find if you watch with the idea “Abrams is trying to secure a toy revenue stream” in mind. So the quality of the dialogue is secondary to selling stuff. So the movies are, in a sense, long commercials where we pay to be pitched things. Lucas was not the greatest with this either, but his movies and merchandise were just better and so was his ‘in movie product pitch’.

During his time at Star Trek toys were an issue and the toy money obsession lead Star Wars down many awful paths too. We’d seen this before in Star Wars, but Abrams take on weapons and droids just isn’t as cool as what Lucas created. Just think about all the anger over Kylo Ren’s ungainly lightsaber and then think about Darth Maul’s lightsaber. The Lucas created weapon is great. The Abrams weapon is just sort of okay on its best day. Lots of people hated it. Never heard that about any Lucas weapon. Lucas was just better at weapons (and ships, droids and stories).

The Abrams Trap–Good Beginnings that Go Nowhere 

Anyone saying JJ Abrams ‘only writes beginnings” is absolutely RIGHT ON! The last decent movie he made, his first Star Trek, was one long beginning. The next movie, Into Darkness, was a mere rehash.

In the case of both Trek and Star Wars he wrote himself and the franchise semi – excitingly into an ultimately boring corner that pre-compromised the next movie. The Force Awakens was okay until the sequel destroyed it as lots of false cannon and quickly abandoned ideas both good and bad. He’s also about the only writer to have less plot ideas as he goes forward.

On the bright side he got away with a few shortcuts. The launching of the First Order Assault ships was unnoticed by most as a re-hash of his original Star Trek movies credit sequence as shuttles escape the doomed USS Kelvin. I don’t know how he got away with this one, so similar. I think that’s when he really starts thinking everyone’s an idiot but him as the movies have more and more blatant tropes and more big budget moments shoe-horned in to inject some excitement into dull stories.

For Star Trek after he leaves things improve fast. We got a near Abrams free movie and Beyond was enjoyable, refreshing and very much a return to form. Fans were already pre-heated and angry though and the movie underperformed. Sadly this seems to have had a discrediting effect on more relatable plots and Discovery has been abysmal. The lessons of the Abrams era were lost and the mistakes are now being compounded in Star Trek Discovery,, a show that went to one planet for one episode and was mostly a plagiarized soap opera otherwise pilfered from a videogame….badly.

In Star Wars we get The Last Jedi, a movie where both plots start with bad jokes that fall flat.  The problem where Rian Johnson, the writer for the that movie, had just inherited nothing to work with was front and center through the whole awful sham. He also didn’t really distinguish himself with his self-important ‘trick’ ending that fails.

Who didn’t pity poor Mark Hamill, forced to play Skywalker as a guy who toys with murdering children? That trait was supposed to SKIP A GENERATION! The moment he holds his lightsaber on Kylo Ren’s bad for both characters. Luke looks horrible and the bad guy suddenly has real justifications that are badly related. Like Han Solo being a bad dad wasn’t enough?

Handcuffed by the need to have a Death Star but not have an actual Death Star, which has been the plot of five of this franchises movies, Johnson gives us  “Miniaturized Death Star Tech” in the Gun on the Salt Planet.  Then Luke dies but doesn’t die. Then dies, kind of.

As an aside- Why Laura Dern was even in this movie is a “wondering out loud’ blog-post of its own

Where We’re At

Perhaps this is the best way to sum up the “genius” of JJ Abrams- both Star Wars and Star Trek have ALL FUTURE MOVIES ON INDEFINITE HOLD AND ARE ONLY PRODUCING STREAMING PAY TV SHOWS.

Highly flawed Star Trek Discovery, mired in a plagiarism lawsuit that Star Trek writers should have been above, are now going to do what the Abrams dictate demands – Treat original characters with total contempt. A characters parent will die soon! Hell, we killed off a bunch of parents and doubles in the long boring trip through the new ‘improved’ mirror universe.

While Star Wars seems locked in to a terrible and unwanted Episode 9 that will likely be all house-keeping and a way to set up Non Skywalker future for the franchise, things are even worse for Star Trek.

Discovery is stuck in a badly plagiarized and predictably over the top world of super high stakes. The shows got a lot of flaws but the stakes being way too high is a constant. So’s the lack of humanity the characters show. Casualties among the crew don’t give the commanders pause.

The obvious ‘save’ for Discovery would be to have them always have been from a parallel universe to begin with and an honorable way out. It’s even a little interesting and freeing. It’s also pretty in keeping with the better Star Trek traditions and themes of over half a century. I hope they try it.

Disovery’s Loose End- The Spore Drive Fiasco

Their “Spore World” is just not going to be maintainable.  The fact is the lawsuit and outrage revolves around it. Unrelated to the lawsuit, there’s another group of people annoyed about a perceived thinly veiled rip off of Dune that also swirls around the pilfered Spore Drive idea.

Look for the Spore Drive to get little if any mention. They’re just going to have to find another reason to spin the saucer section on two axises at once. It’s kind of a stupid effect anyway. So much for your experimental Starship idea.

Star Trek has only one course – but it’s a chance for perhaps the greatest Trek movie of all.

Star Trek’s Only Hope

Give Quentin Tarantino complete control of one movie. Deal with the consequences, it’s only the Kelvin Universe. You could kill the whole crew in a stunning jump to the future and a meeting with a re-cast generation if you want. Bringing on Tarantino for as long as he wants seems a no-brainer. It’s hard to imagine Chris Pine and the other defectors wouldn’t return for something like this.

Let’s hope both franchises can recover.

 

Advertisements

Who is the REAL Paul Whelan?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Any discussion about the imprisoned American has to start with the acknowledgment that he’s about the ONLY thing that Trump and the Kremlin outright disagree about. That alone makes him important and remarkable.

933b3a88-8320-4fb2-89a7-0f02fb02e2e3-paul-in-africa

On the surface Michigander Paul Whelan is a guy who is something of a Russophile. Not a crime. At first described as a ‘retired Marine” and “Missing Wedding Guest” the details that have emerged since would point to more  ‘disgraced Ex-Marine who maybe even thought he was living in a Tom Clancy novel.’

Weeks after the United States arrested Maria Butina the Russians grabbed up Whelan, allegedly in Moscow to attend a wedding. He  disappears in the very last days of December 2018. Then things just got weird fast.

Whelan the Marine

The 30,000 foot view would say that Whelan was a mixed bag as a Marine, but he had never figured on full-time military career when he joined. Maybe he was okay with weekend warrior and a trip to the sandbox once or twice, but Whelan’s original intent was to be a reservist when he joins in 1994.

ctm-0102-paul-whelan

Never the less for a few months on two occasions (in 04 and 06) he was sent to Iraq where he apparently continued his Military Operations Speciality- as a paper pushing clerk. It’s nothing to laugh at, the Marines need an office staff too. He was sent to a horrible place and it definitely sucked. But he doesn’t seem to be a particularly dangerous guy even in pictures from before he was kicked out of the Corps. Why his time in Iraq was described as ‘a few months’ is hard to say. It was notably not termed “two tours”.

So while he was okay and made Staff Sergeant, in 2004,  he really was more Staff than Sergeant. Then comes the downfall.

Court Martial

As a white-collar criminal Whelan outright sucks and gets caught, badly. Rather than come to an arrangement with his creditors he just starts lying about what happened and maybe stirs the pot with a few desperate financial moves. Marines aren’t supposed to do that kind of thing. It probably started around 2006 based on when his actions caught up with him.

It seems he was scheming to get a credit card under false identity or had used someone else’s card without permission. It’s hard to tell. Whether or not the fact he was already on the Russian Government controlled version of Facebook figured in to the conviction is unclear. He was stone cold busted on the fraud charges. There may have been no reason to look further.

It may just be possible he misused his access to USMC personnel files to obtain the questionable social security numbers he was playing around trying to get credit with. It begs the question;”What else did he do before he got caught for this scheme?” Like maybe something the Russians were hanging over him?

The Marine Court-Martial regarded his deeds as Larceny, which is just a fancy way to call someone a thief.  It looks like they decided Whelan had made some moral compromises. Most likely he cheated a credit card company out of some money and possibly also ruined someone else’s financial reputation to make his own life easier.

Whatever he was doing demoting him was seen as simply too lenient. So he was tossed out of the Marines despite the fact we were in the middle of 2 wars. Not much of recommendation.

Just weeks into 2008 he gets cashiered out of the USMC, essentially for lying, trying to steal and lacking financial ethics. Sound like anyone we know?

At that moment he joined the ranks of other disgraced Marines like Oliver North.

After the Marines

Too compromised to stay in the service but still saddled with a bunch of debt would make this guy a decent low risk gamble for the Russians, who seem to be skilled at guiding people down an appealing treasonous path. Maybe he unwittingly gets compromised somehow. Not exactly a classic cold war sleeper agent but this is a new Cold War with new rules.

Pure conjecture could be that maybe his debt problems were from gambling and his bookie turned out to be Russian mob? Or could he just be a sex tourist that just doesn’t want to say why they were there?

Whelan was living in his native Michigan and was employed as a security adviser by auto parts giant BorgWarner. Responsibilities might include something like assessing whether anyone was slacking or stealing from the Mega Conglomerate.

Was he already with the BorgWarner Corporation while a Marine? Wouldn’t corporate security seem a bad fit for a confirmed white-collar criminal? Is something up with BorgWarner? Just hiring a guy with a shabby rep for a job that requires some integrity is a head scratcher.

In social media he had a 10 plus year presence on a Russia-specific (so Kremlin controlled) version of a Facebook type service. A strange and naive move for someone who had already gotten in trouble for things involving identity theft. His motives are hard to figure.

Even 13 years ago the idea that you would let the Russians data mine your social media (not that they didn’t get into Facebook itself) is plain old bad judgement and probably bolstered the case against him at his Court-Martial if it came up.

One way or another he ends up an Ex-Marine, unheard of in the culture of the Corps where the motto goes “Once a Marine Always a Marine.” It must’ve been humbling. At this point he’s ripe for the picking in the eyes of the FSB. The Russian Intel service is well known to be an avid recruiter of compromised or desperate people.

While he was no Paul Manafort when it comes to embezzlement his own problems loomed just as large in his life.

An American in Prison

While his family says he went to Russia to attend a wedding the truth is he could also simply have been a sex tourist. It’s not like this doesn’t ever happen, its prevalent enough. We already know Whelan had terrible judgment, so why wouldn’t this be a possibility? While we’re on it; we all know it’s rumored Trump himself supposedly engaged in Sex Tourism when he went to Moscow in 2013. We also know that’s what’s allegedly on the so-called Pee-Tape (if it exists).

For some reason or another the Russians decided it was time to grab Whelan and throw espionage charges that could land him in a Russian Prison for 20 years at him. It could have been for leverage against the US, and his life story won’t help him.

While the Russians have said he’s a spy the administration has denied that. The US position on the case is that Whelan’s a nobody who should be freed.

The Ambassador Himself?!

It’s hard to say whether its simple ineptitude or a sign of true concern by the administration that the Ambassador Huntsman himself was sent to check on this ‘average person’. I’m not sure that sending our most senior person to check on Whelan did anything to minimize his profile or the Kremlin charges.  This would seem to be “deputy ambassador” turf. Whether the actual ambassador is the right move or not is hard to say.

We’ve seen the Trump people mishandle and manhandle protocol over and over. Trump himself is always inappropriate. Remember him shoving the president of Montenegro out of the way like a dick in a photo-op?  Two years into the Trump chaos its sometimes hard to recall how things went when we had a professional president rather than General Bone Spurs.

The Russians operate on a petty but persistent level. Sending Huntsman himself to the jail to see the guy seems a huge win. They orchestrated an out of the ordinary response and will use it t back up their story. It may have been better to play small ball on this one.

On the surface at this moment it seems it was a possible escalation and error in protocol to send the actual ambassador. Surely if this whole thing is no big deal, why send our number one guy?

Is Whelan s Spy?

While Whelan might be doing some underhanded things it seems unlikely he’s a US asset. His military career is less remarkable than most and his discharge was for trying to commit fraud. Just discrediting and it probably means no AMERICAN intel agency would hire him, at least not openly. He’s a documented liar.

So whose spy is he? A couple of possibilities come to mind but he was most in bed with the Russians.

Could the FSB have compromised him? Or perhaps convinced him he was a very important guy? It would seem more likely than any of our intel agencies using him. Maybe he’s helping the Russian mob steal automatic transmission clutch plates or other materials associated with auto manufacturing. Or maybe he took money to stop investigating theft from BorgWarner.

Cashed Up Agent of Fortune for someone like Turkey or a compromised and dishonest American who the Russians were able to manipulate seems closer to truth than CIA operative. For one thing we probably would never hire a liar who has shifting financial morality to be much more than a pawn

It’s hard to imagine that “Thrown out of the USMC for lying and stealing” was the ‘cover story’ to create a spy. He had too much baggage to be much more than a clerk and he couldn’t be trusted to be a that, so how could he end up a spy?

Slamming him as a thief and kicking him out of the military for being a criminal hardly sounds like the way they would dress up someone recruited out of the Marines for intel work. Why question his honor? Why not just have his records be murky?  Whelan would probably have been charged with fighting or something that didn’t involve dishonesty if it were a cover story. At the end of the day our operatives can’t be so despicable we ourselves can’t trust them at all ourselves.

The Charges

In light of what the Russians say happened they may have set Whelan up. The arrest documents we got today indicate he was ‘arrested in his hotel room five minutes after accepting a flash drive’, and that flashdrive had some classified Russian stuff on it.

This could mean anything really. There’s a lot of reasons to accept a flashdrive. The Russians may have convinced him the info was valuable and he could do some kind of freelance intel operation.

Looking Ahead

Well this is just going too good for the Russians for them to let him go anytime soon. They’ve dragged our Ambassador to their jail in just days.  They may decide this is fun and hold this guy til Butina is released or for 20 years.

The Real Problem with a Border Wall

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trump’s huffed and he’s puffed and seemingly blown the house down (and Shut the Government Down) over his incessant ranting about a wall at the Southern Border.

Maybe there’s a case some parts of the Border need to be hardened, but we’re not really talking about that. Trump wants a HUGE and extensive concrete barrier (most of the time) along the entire border. While he’s occasionally made allowances for natural barriers, mostly he wants a huge wall. The whole “Beautiful Steel Slat” thing seems a dicey compromise Trump simply wont be able to abide by. So let’s disregard it for now.

As usual we hear more from Trump’s Hype-Men about the terms he’ll accept to end the Trump Government Shutdown than we get from Trump. It’s become an exercise in Ideology just reading into his Tweet-stream, which is the Diary of a Madman.

He’s not going to get his border wall from sea to shining sea for a bunch of reasons. One reason, however, really jumps out.

No one ever mentions the huge problem that’s staring anyone who looks at a map of the US-Mexico border right in the face.

So what’s my beef with a Border Wall?

The Walls Unfixable Problem

So whats the issue? These visual aids start to get it across

us-mexico-border-crossings

hinckley-sport-boat-cc_running_high-res.jpg

Mexico is STILL a short Boat ride Away

Even assuming the Wall ends up being what Trump promised – A Giant Solar Panel Encrusted slab of ‘beautiful’ concrete in the middle of the desert extending deep underground to prevent tunneling; it won’t help. Why? Because that still leaves an ocean to sail up north on both coasts.

It’s two big problems, or if you want to think in the simplest terms; the same problem twice.  Specifically it’s thousands of miles of coastline that simply can’t be secured.  What’s the answer to that? Mines?

Just look at all that ocean, on both coasts, much of it being in the somewhat naturally ‘protected’ (from ‘open ocean’ conditions)  Gulf  of Mexico. Quadrupling the size of the Coast Guard would seem the first thing we’d need to do for any kind of control. That sounds expensive because it is!

Boats will be the new main way people will enter. What are we gonna do when that happens? Piracy charges? We’d need to actually catch them first (fat chance). Forget about deploying the army at the border. This would probably require a Carrier Task force off both coasts to have any effect on the influx from the sea! In other words its impractical and very, very expensive.

We have ENORMOUS coastlines on BOTH oceans with Mexico. So the problem with the wall is NOT LADDERS, but  BOATS.  Or even rafts if you will, especially on the Gulf of Mexico where sailing is generally easier.

Boats are Plentiful and Easy to Make

Boats are probably the first ever form of human conveyance. They were first created at least 8,000 years ago. So making one is no big deal. Just look at some of the pictures of the Boat Exodus from Cuba in 1980 to see how loose the definition of “Boat” is.

ap_15145038330

Typical 1980 Cuban Mariel Boatlift raft

Most any boat from the lowliest skiff on up can sail the Atlantic or Pacific seaboards ( Or meander in the Gulf for awhile) and dare the Coast Guard to catch them. The Gulf of Mexico will encourage even the leakiest of tubs with enticingly (and often deceptively) easy sailing conditions.

The simplicity of just sailing to a piece of secluded coastline and disgorging people will be obvious. Lots of people will do it. That will mean there will be a whole lot of boats of every kind making this desperate journey at any given moment. The cost of naval interdiction is obviously far beyond that of just catching people on land at the border’s edge. It’s also obviously harder and more dangerous for all involved.

So there’s a pragmatic argument to be made that a Wall is tactically useless. If we build it and people take to the sea it will be an ongoing Human Tragedy of untold proportion. A lot of people will simply go to sea and never return or be heard from again.  Others will die and wash up on the shores of California, Louisiana, Florida, the Carolinas and everywhere else. And the media will be there.

Tragedy will Inevitably Ensue

You won’t be able to get away from the pictures of crowded boats, loaded to an unsafe manner, covered with women and children. Some of these WILL sink and we may not be able to rescue everyone every time. Sooner or later some terrible image, like the iconic pictures of a drowned Syrian child washed up on a Turkish shore, will surface and the whole Wall concept will be exposed as the fraud it is. It’s Strategically Unsound and Tactically Flawed.  Alan_Kurdi_lifeless_body.jpg

So the pictures will be horrific. We’ve seen some of the awful images of the unfortunates fleeing  places like Syria across the (relatively calm) Mediterranean. Drowned children, poorly maintained boats drifting powerless with no country wanting to rescue them.

So the Wall would absolutely raise the cost of Border Enforcement. We will need dozens more fully crewed Coast Guard Cutters on each coast to even make a dent in what will be a conveyor belt of boats.

asylumseeker-1024x614

Refugees Fleeing Syria via the Mediterranean

A Wall won’t cover the oceans. Even the Atlantic Wall in France’s Normandy, was breached in a single day. Because you can’t really build a Wall at the water’s edge from Mexico to Canada.

Even the goddamned Love Boat stopped in Mexico! It’s an Un-Overcome-able flaw in any plan for a Wall.

Look for a new word along the lines of “Sea-Coyotes” to describe the people who will set these boats loose.

The Southern Border Wall is simply an inherently flawed concept. You can choose from any number of negative analogies to describe it. It’s bad out of the gate. Its doesn’t pass Logical Muster. Its falls apart under any analysis.

The best way it say it is “That stupid idea won’t work and will cause more problems than it solves”

Repercussions with the United Nations?

Whether or not the Wall would be in fact an Apartheid Wall is a topic for a future post. So will the humanitarian crisis at sea that will begin to occur if this Wall madness continues to any kind of fruition.

At some point we could be looking at getting sanctioned for being Inhumane to Refugees. There’s plenty of countries out there (Russia, Iran, China) that would love to hang that on us.

It could happen.

 

Trump’s Horrific 2018 – From “Fear” to Insanity

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stumbling into 2018 things already weren’t going well for Trump and his lackeys. It was in fact a year of serious decline for the Administration’s already bad image. As we end out the year the president’s in a tenuous place both with the American People and the Law.

Let’s review!

True to form, by the end of January the president had managed to offend almost everyone, never deviating from dark speeches where he would always claim to be a victim. He kept up his usual disrespect and trashed dying John McCain non stop among other despicable acts and statements.

As I pointed out, the year really didn’t start well, coming off failures like the months long Roy Moore debacle.  Hopes weren’t high this year would be any better. For one thing, there was no course correction and a terrible atmosphere of disdain for the president became the norm. Calls for Unity we would have seen from any other administration were replaced by simply demonizing all enemies, real or perceived.

donald-trump

 

Most say he’s been a mess since the mid-term election, but anyone reading here knows the “New Level” of insanity started with the drop of the book ‘Fear’ and the “Anonymous White House Staffer” Op-Ed. I started documenting the intensifying crazy behaviors as soon as I detected them starting with the posts leading up to his disastrous 9-11 that just kept getting worse and just before as he freaked out over Woodward’s book.

The Tightly Wound Spring

It began as an unstable year but American’s had at least started developing a thicker skin to the antics of the president, who was forever rubbing salt.

2018 went awful from a publicity and legal/ impeachment stand point. If you just look at the calendar you can track the Mueller Probe “Island Hopping” from one scandal and crime to the next; hive-ing off prosecutions to other bodies, like the Southern District of New York or the DC District Attorney.  Each time getting closer to the president.

By Opening Day of Baseball season the Chaos was constant. The president tweeted conspiracies regularly, engaged in pointless political shit talking and pouted angrily publicly and privately.

Summer of Scam

Between tanking on lay-up special elections to botching attempts at policy the summer was shocking, but things seemed to have a pattern. The president would hear something, blow up and make a bad decision. All the while lying about swirling clouds of scandalous garbage at the edge of ‘Trump-world’

Then something strange happened about the same time summer ended. People started flipping as other were found guilty and some Trump associates start to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as still others started heading to jail.

FILES-US-POLITICS-RUSSIA-INVESTIGATION-TRUMP

 

Maybe the lowest summer moment was mid July’s Treason Summit in Helsinki. Fresh off trashing our nations allies and NATO he unadvisedly went to hob-nob with Putin having done no preparation. He also freaked us all out when we found out he’d spent over a half hour unsupervised with Putin. No one likes the idea of him and Putin alone together cavorting. So that angered lots of people.

In the press conference afterwards Trump fell all over himself praising Putin, who was standing approvingly just a pace away. Trump spent a lot of time casting aspersion on the idea the Russians meddled in the 2016 election, to the Kremlin’s delight, and despite the US Intelligence community universally blaming them.

Siding with our biggest geo-political enemies over the CIA pissed people off good. He was so awash in criticism he made Orwellian attempts to alter the record and Un-Say things. None of it worked and he looked like a bigger liar than ever.

He saw his lowest ever approval ratings after that. Then he set some new lows.

Legends of the Downfall 

Trump seems to have taken an emotional nosedive about 2 days before the anniversary of 9-11, a day that Trump has co-opted politically many times with many lies. The cable news shows were buzzing with advance quotes and outtakes from Bob Woodward’s book “Fear”.

In the book Woodward painted the president as angry and sub-juvenile. The book also provided multiple examples of people in a panic reversing course on presidential actions and attempting to muzzle their boss.  One nominal cabinet member grabbed papers off the president’s desk to prevent perceived tragic mistakes.

Fear sported tales of breakroom hate rants by everyone from Cabinet Secretaries to the lowest coffee boy, serious backstabbing and a toxified White House where staffers try to filter information flow to a TV obsessed president.  Criminal ineptitude and professional incompetence were the only constants in White House operations.

It sounded like a tale from the Last 10 Days of the Third Reich and started an Internal Witch Hunt that we heard about off and on, but never seemed to yield any results. The firings and chaos started ramping up.Whether or not it led to the Chief of Staff, former General Kelly to leave is up in the air.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Chief of Staff Fiasco happened on the same moment Trump woke up and started tweeting sweet music to Putin’s ears. An undiscussed (outside Kremlin Propaganda) idea to withdraw all US troops from Syria. The reason? Unclear days later. It cost Trump his Secretary of Defense as we all saw a scathing “I Quit” letter hatemailed right to the president. Mattis didn’t even use a closing salutation, he just signed his name at the end.

The Winter of the Malcontent 

As Fall turned to winter the shortening of the days lead to long cold nights of Americans actually paying attention the News, especially on  sports-deprived weeknight’s and a series of ‘back to back to back’ fails.

The fact there’s really nothing much going on in the world of sports coinciding with this new, more brittle and overtly angry tone is probably not so great for Trump. More people are bound to notice.

There was some fairly credible talk of Trump blasting off by snorting Adderall in mid December that made all too much sense and was an uncomfortable parallel to Hitler no one failed to see.

December has been one long disaster for Trump. His beginners luck hadn’t had much effect to begin with and now, almost 2 full years in, the lack of professionalism is becoming more than just a little annoying.

Early in the month former President George HW Bush passed away and the biggest topic was whether Trump would be even allowed to attend the funeral. He was ultimately allowed to attend, after extracting a promise not to be criticized in exchange for his agreeing not to speak at the event. No one wanted him there. He didn’t want to be there. There was no way out of it. He handled it horribly.

presidents-bush-funeral-rt-ps-181205_hpMain_4x3_992

At the event Trump was inappropriate the whole time, aware of the scornful side eye he was drawing from all living presidents after he flung the overcoat he should have left in the car to a bewildered Military Honor Guard Member.

Sitting at the end of the row as though he were on a toilet he looked isolated, alone and distracted. Several gaffes in prayer and when to stand or kneel followed. Trump’s clueless in a church, even a non secular one. The whole thing plays well to Black Sabbath music.

Days later he blamed the people of California for the deadly wildfires they’re experiencing in a series of deranged lies. Trump shamed the locals for not raking the vast forests clean each year. This just sounded nuts and people noticed. He’s remained consistent on this, supporting it with numerous lies.

And he literally spent Christmas telling kids that there no Santa Claus. In fact he said believing in Santa Claus was “marginal” for 7 year olds. He didn’t miss a chance to be a complete jerk at any time in December. Thankfully the months almost over.

Late December saw people’s opinions of the president bottoming out. It came out that one particularly bad day on Wall Street was triggered in the Oval Office when Trump had hard to like Mnuchin call up all the top banks to tell them there was no impending collapse of the market. This is like getting a phone call out of the blue from the local utility company to tell you that the water isn’t poison. It unnerved people and now we’re hearing that Mnuchin and the Fed Chairman are going to walk the plank next as the president fumes over a conflicted stock market that’s actually pretty far out of his control . It was a very bad idea to use the day-to-day market as a measure of success for any president. He did so anyway and now he’s freaking out.

People’s skins weren’t going to thicken anymore. A mass White House defection of staffers was either a House Cleaning or a bunch of Flights of fear, no one can tell. It doesn’t matter. The fact simply was the White House sucked to work at and the president was capricious.

Shutdown

The government shutdown over the border walls five days old and its the same bad negotiating we’ve become used to. He’s drawn a line in the sand and wont back off.  That line is 5 billion bucks for his insane wall. Then he lied about it, saying that government employees were glad he was so resolute and wanted the shut down to continue til he got the Wall.

This doesn’t look like its going to be resolved anytime soon.

Politicizing the Military

Then there’s the Christmas visit to the troops. He had to go after the media criticized the fact that every commander-in-chief since George W Bush had visited our combat troops early in their presidencies. Draft Evading President Bone Spurs looked like a flat-out coward. He didnt want to go, but there was no way out of it so he showed up pissed and acted like a child most of the time. Dark and horrible as Black Sabbath lyrics yet again.

The pukeworthy speeches to the military, where he told them they would soon defend walls ‘at home’ were of course wrong. Also; the mission he spoke of, deploying the troops inside the United States, is probably illegal.  It was blatant politicization of soldiers that American’s aren’t supposed to be comfortable seeing.

While he was there for merely three hours and didn’t venture far from the airport  he managed to lie to the troops about their pay. He claimed he’d given then a huge pay raise because it had been over 10 years since they were last given a raise. This was a lie 10 years thick as they’d been given raises every year and the last year was not substantially different. It was a bad and easily disprovable lie in front of people who totally knew better. I would say that makes it a bit crazier.

I guess they knew he was wrong about them not getting a raise and I’m not sure they liked being lied to. Then some brand new MAGA hats showed up in the hands of some privates who just happened to have them with them when the president literally showed up out of the blue. Remember, the visit was unannounced.

I predict it will surface that the Trump people were just handing them to the dumber soldiers who didn’t know it was a violation of regulations and unethical.  Every hat looks brand spanking new. Every hat appeared unworn and was folded the same way. Only one variation of the hat was seen and as we know there’s a dozen variations because Trump just keeps the money from that.  So some people are in trouble and will be peeling potatoes for that.

New Year, New Fear?

We’re hearing  more and more taped conversations, tweets and crazy statements where Trump sounds like a Mob Boss with Traumatic Brain Injury.  You don’t need to be a mobster or a cop, you only need to have seen the first 2 Godfather movies. It was that blatant. From running down law enforcement to calling Michael Cohen, one time Consigliere and fixer to Trump turned cooperating witness against him, ‘a rat’.

trump_fire

The cabinet seems to be morphing, firings outstrip the ability to replace people and the short-staffed government was shuttered due to the presidents complete inability to deal with any criticism from his political right. Three deals to keep the Government open were approved until right-wing pundits criticized them. Each in turn was passed but the president backed out of his promises and didn’t sign them at the last moment each time. Most legislators gave up and left town, as did Trump’s family who jumped right on a plane to Florida to get away from him.

So the president ends the year screaming at the walls and hate-tweeting alone in DC due to his own ineptitude and refusal to negotiate. He doesn’t want to be there, but he can’t leave on the thin chance he gets a budget thrown on his desk, so hes stuck. And he hates it, so he’s pouting.

During all of this the Mueller Probe powers on. It’s yielding fruit and sparking other investigations. In just weeks a new Congress will be seated, this time with a Democratic Majority in the House. The subpoenanas will fly and the Trumpists will surely get blasted on TV. President Melt-Down might not handle it so well.

The president seems to have descended into Persecutory Delusions.

2019 Predictions

There’s gonna be plenty of ill advised Military moves. trump’s military thinking is confined to the Patton Biopic. He’ll be more like a dark ages warlord than the leader of the free world.

The Government shutdown may become, for awhile, a fact of life. Trump shows no inclination towards reason on this. Should the government still be closed in April he could get himself removed just on the basis of not fulfilling the Oath of Office Per Se. He’s on a bad trajectory with this, just like everything else.

My only market prediction is Extreme Unpredictability and erratic shifts. Deep uncertainty could set in and wreck the economy any given week.

I also predict the Mueller Report drops right around the Superbowl and past that anything could happen.  After the Superbowl there’s another sports desert where people will pay more attention. At that point, if a couple of these predictions pan out, I see his approval spinning down to the lower 30s and upper 20s and staying there by April.

See my post on his Decompensation by clicking here.  

 

 

Trump Probably Really IS Snorting Adderall

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember that debate performance where Trump was wildly snorting and yelling? Okay, trick question, its most every time he talks in public. After that first debate though, even Carrie Fisher, who knew what she was talking about, said she was sure that Trump had been snorting drugs. Assessing it all with her usual “Takes one to know one” honesty.

While she guessed it was coke, and that still could’ve been in the mix, it was likely Adderall that had Trump speeding out based on new information.

1_Vm72wlcyGCPBmGqXsNPUyARecent accusations that he snorts adderall “because he can’t read” fall in line with other questions about Trump’s literacy that we’ve delved into at length here.

The latest person to add fuel to the fire on this one is a former Apprentice Production Assistant turned comic Noel Casler. His accusation? That Trump can barely read and the idea of reading the cue cards terrifies him. We’ve heard exactly this before from the SNL people who endured a walk on by Trump.  So what’s Don’s coping method? Snorting a few rails of amphetamine, of course!

Casler’s pretty funny, but the Trump riff starts at about 3:30

Noel correctly points out that Trump’s doing a drug invented by the Nazi’s to make people meaner and hyperalert.

After breezing over the wikipedia entry for Adderall  I can tell you it absolutely IS  considered a form of methamphetamine and is supposed to be used for people with ADHD, a concentration deficit. You may wanna steer clear of this even if its one of your options. It’s tricky stuff.

The really interesting parts were the effects of overdosing or just messing around with it the wrong way.  Increased Apprehension? Sounds like Trump. Psychosis is in there too. We’ve seen like 3 psychotic breaks from reality from this president just this week on Twitter.

And as far as not being able to read? Too many people are saying it now. Maybe he can’t concentrate to read? It looks like a good bet right now.

Seeing as how it’s now well-known Hitler was also a huge fan of a methamphetamine (and Trump’s a huge fan of Hitler) it’s even more likely that Trump simply does a few blasts before a rally.

Thinking its likely he uses a different dosage when he’s reading off the teleprompter at other, usually official events (rather than rallies). Is he emotionless and monotone cause he’s so high or is it from withdrawal from the meth? At the teleprompter moments he’s just distant and emotionless. Hard to tell where his mind is a lot of the time when he’s doing inappropriate things, like treating a soldier like a butler throwing his coat at him at the National Cathedral when he arrived at the George HW Bush state funeral (where he was asked not to speak).

If he were high sometimes it sure would explain a lot.

Another interesting thing associated with abusing the stuff is it messes up your circulation. Especially the extremities. This brings to mind how it took about 5 minutes for Macron’s thumbprint on the back of Trumps hand to go away. remember that? Its a good bet French Intel services told Macron to crush Trump’s bigly hand a little so they could see if this happened. And as you can see the media caught on right away (or got tipped off by the French) and got this great, revealing picture.

hand

I’m guessing most foreign governments are operating under the assumption the presidents on drugs.

 

Remembering President Mediocre

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

While George HW Bush was considered a sub par president who advanced through personal meanness in his life you would think he’s FDR for all the preposterous pomp of the weeklong funeral. When it comes to presidents it seems, the less important the longer the mourning period. Did the country stop dead when Eisenhower died? No one seemed this upset when Dutch Reagan shuffled off this mortal coil.

Could it merely be that Bush Sr just lived so long that there was enough time to re-cast a career and presidency that was seen as a flaming bag of failure in his time? Simply put; most likely, yes.

HWB1

New World Order and Revisionist History

The current ‘memory’ of the George HW Bush is one of the most successfully “retconned”  political careers to date, with new storylines and ‘information’. It’s part Gaslighting and part Mandela Effect.

The two titles he seems to have locked up is “Everyone’s Favorite President Named George Bush” and “most musically sampled president in History at his time” for always relying on so many meaningless Happy-Time quotes that would be sampled and parodied.

George HW Bush talked in such drivel that even Trump was able to work a few laughs out of trashing the “Thousand Points of Light” that Bush often spoke of but could never really explain.

George HW Bush may not have  been the meanest guy in DC, but he could get ornery. He famously hounded Alexander Haig out of Reagan’s cabinet over a few poorly chosen words when their boss caught a bullet.

The whole aftermath of the Reagan shooting made Bush look like a nattering, brittle jerk. Most people would have just yelled at Haig in private. The average American knew that the vice president was in charge and that Haig was speaking figuratively and at worst meant he was the guy calling the shots for the next 20 minutes while they grabbed Bush and got him in front of a camera.

Campaigns of Hate Waged by a Perceived Wimp

George HW Bush had run for president a bunch of times and was meaner and more desperate every time. By the time he wins his one term he’s redefined the concept of Gutter Campaigning with the INFAMOUS Willie Horton Ad ( which he borrowed from Al Gore, but was still wrong).

In terms of presidential Intellects he was a step up from Reagan but failed to match the wit and guile we’d seen from previous presidents. He came off as bad as Lyndon Johnson or Harry Truman despite an Ivy League education.

George HW Bush was also just not a visionary when it came to solutions. Sometimes he seemed to be looking right at a problem and fail to see it. He was competent but not impressive.

As a speaker few were worse. A bad nasal voice, often derided as ‘wimpy sounding’,  a penchant for whining and body language almost as bad as Richard Nixon were a toxic brew. He was an underwhelming Chief Executive, especially when on TV. Adding props, like evidence from a drug buy, only made it worse.

washington-dc-usa-september-5-1989-president-george-hw-bush-holds-a-bag-of-crack-cocaine-while-he-delivers-his-televised-speech-

President Bush, on live TV, with a huge bag of Crack.

No one alive will at that time will ever forget his strange Oval Office Address on the ridiculous War on Drugs.

In a moment of legitimately hilarious fake anger he waved a bag of actual Crack around.  Like everyone else; I want to know what happened to that Crack.  Is it in his presidential library or did he smoke it with his staff? At any rate, all the bad traits were on display.  In debates he could usually keep up, but he would look arrogantly at his watch and stare at the floor when not speaking. It looked bad.

While he had a sense of humor he wasn’t exactly bringing down the house with the jokes. The lost references about the Brooklyn Dodgers and an inability to connect with the common American killed his attempts at humor most times.

The best thing you could say about his sense of humor was the guy was a good sport most of the time. Dana Carvey is still alive, right?

Neither a Uniter nor a Divider so much as a sober and steady helmsman at best, he was no friend to women, minorities or the poor. His record dealing with the AIDS crisis should be held in special contempt.  It would be wrong to call him compassionate.

Still, as incumbent and having scored a military a win in the pointless Gulf War he should have been a shoe-in, but lost his bid for reelection. Not because he was too darn nice either. It was another brutal Culture War Campaign fought on the Low Road all the way.

It really came down to having a terrible Texas sized rivalry with pint sized Powerhouse Ross Perot. Most Historians think the Perot Campaign was an ego trip and at the end just a way to shaft Bush.

Perot – The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King

If you can’t really remember Perot think of “King of the Hill” Character

cotton

Cotton Hill

Cotton Hill.  He was surely based on short, intense and emotional Perot. They certainly have similar voices. In his own time Perot was not so very different from Trump. The exceptions being Perot was a self-made man and not a money grubbing Russian Puppet.

It was lost on people at the time that Perot outflanked Bush from the RIGHT and got nearly one vote in 5 (19%) in the election that he and Bush lost to Bill Clinton.

Only the wrong people notice this or when the right people talked about it they were simply ignored.

Bush’s personal rivalry with fellow Texan Ross Perot probably cost him a second term. Perot would pre-sage more organized and resolute Tea Party Types that were fermenting. For his own part, Perot was a little bit of a flake and his vice president pick was worse than Sarah Palin. In fact Admiral Stockdale imploded on TV to the point Dan Quayle seemed wise. That was pretty much the end of that.

When it was past the point where he could win Perot was barely campaigning and the rumor was he just hated George Bush so much and had so much money he was staying in just to spite Bush. If true it worked.

Imperial Japan’s Final Defiant Finger of Failure 

We all wish the Japanese had been slightly better Marksmen and spared us all two terrible presidents.  They couldn’t have picked a more destructive person to make a war hero. In fact he would one day return to puke on their leader while either drunk or messed up from bad sushi. The image of a half out of it president barfing on another world leader is the first I recall of his presidential “style.”

The scandals and lack of integrity fueled endless negative headlines.  Iran-Contra, Oliver North and the tanking of the economy all add up to “this guy was a mediocre president and we’re lucky he wasn’t reelected.”

Still it needs to be noted that while equally brave, George HW Bush was a MUCH better pilot than John McCain. The two biggest differences being that George Bush almost never pancaked onto the deck upon returning to the carrier, even when his plane was damaged; and never crashed into telephone wires with a hooker in the plane showing off in Italy.

At the end the best part of the funeral was how every ex president, even Jimmy Carter, whose not well himself, simply ignored or side-eyed Trump.

presidents-bush-funeral-rt-ps-181205_hpMain_4x3_992

Happy Trails George HW Bush. The only person so far I voted FOR before I voted AGAINST as president

Heres a metal song comprising mostly of quotes from the late presidents time in office

Art of the Deal Cowriter’s Theory on Trump’s Breakdown Holds Up

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

images.jpeg

Anyone who watches the news knows Tony Schwartz; Art of the Deal Cowriter turned Trump critic.

Schwartz has accurately predicted what Trump will do on a few occasions and usually attributes this to the idea Trump has not grown or changed in any way since the time they spent together in the late 80s.

A few months back he theorized Trump was losing his mind in a particular way and since the tweet dropped in July there’s been an unsettling amount of evidence Schwartz nailed it. In fact every week since things have skewed a little more in the direction of “Schwartz is totally right.”

Here’s what the tweet said back in July; for the record – the word trust in there appears to be maybe autocorrect taking him in a bad direction but has no real effect on what he’s saying-

‘What you are watching with Trump is what psychiatrists trust call decompensation (failure of reality testing) On one hand, he feels unchecked & free to define his own deluded reality. On the other, he’s under siege, paranoid & willing to do anything — anything — to survive.’

Screenshot 2018-11-20 at 4.31.55 PM

So according to wikipedia Decompensation is described like this –

“In psychology, the term refers to the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological  imbalance. Some who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder may decompensate into persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality.”

Let’s face it; Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder are mentioned in connection to the president so many times they’re probably exactly whats going on in his head. On top of endless easily googled articles by experts there’s the overt insanity of Trump’s Double-Talk.  There’s no way all the experts are wrong and even so, Perception is Reality and to say it doesn’t look crazy is to pretty much admit you’re a member of Cult 45. You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to point to the moon and you don’t have to be a doctor to know trump’s sort of insane and a pathological liar

Trump has been a little more out there every week since late July.  The release of Bob Woodward’s book FEAR didn’t help the White House’s image. It presented the president as a rage-a-holic living in his own world, lashing out against real and perceived enemies.

In the time since the Schwartz Decompensation tweet, which has aged very well, signs have been rampant that Trump has simply “decompensated into persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality.”

In the last few weeks he’s called reporters stupid, banned people who’ve pressed him even gently for details on the standard “Big Announcements coming extremely soon” line that been the answer to every question on lack of substance since Trump started the Birther Lie.

Among others Trump’s focused his ‘persecutory illusions’ on

  • Allegations about Robert Mueller and James Comey, when he claimed he had ‘at least 100 pictures of them hugging and kissing.” These never materialized.
  • Hundreds of members of ISIS were penetrating the southern border
  • Claiming Rocks and Rifles were the same
  • Claimed massive voter fraud in the midterms
  • Argued with greater and greater bile with anyone who relates bad news or confronts him with facts
  • Claimed democrats paid Immigrants to approach the southern border to seek asylum
  • Made hare-brained claims that Finland rakes its forests clear to avoid forest fires and that Californians laziness in raking out leaves is what lead to the massive wildfires devastating the west coast
  • Blamed Puerto Rico for hurricane damage and openly mulled removing all Federal aid to the island (again)
  • Claims he personally and ‘very easily’ answered all Mueller’s questions when we all know it hasn’t happened and that his lawyers will write every word of it.
  • Been completely obstinate and unable to admit the North Koreans lied to him just like they lied to everyone else and are cranking out new, better missiles after bargaining away nothing for the concession;
  • Stood next to Putin at the Treason Summit and claimed he couldn’t think of any reason the Russians would interfere with our election and offered to turn over a couple of US Citizens to Kremlin Spy services for some soviet style confessions via torture.
  • Been Carnival Barker for a series of Saudi Bullshit stories about how they sent a 15 member hit team with a speed dissectionist to the Turkish Embassy and they accidentally killed Washington Post writer Jamal Kashoggi when he attacked the 15 of them like every 62-year-old always does when surrounded by professional torturers.
  • Lied to a greater and greater extent about the amount of jobs and money the Saudi Arms deal is going to produce. At various times it’s 5,000 or 50,000 or recently “well over a million”.  The amount of money involved he has also continued to increase at every asking or offering. It’s a Billion dollars or Many Hundreds of Billions of dollars when he gets asked about this. He seems to be winging it or just convincing himself.  He’s given no real clue as to where he gets these numbers.

The whole Jamal Kashoggi thing alone would probably have ended any other president, but Trump seems immune, for the moment, from any consequences.  The outright lies and halcyon daze of a great economy has evaporated in recent weeks too.

So the questions is – what comes after Decompensation?

 

 

 

BUT IVANKA’S EMAILS!!!!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well looks like Ivanka Trump pays about as much attention as her Dad to legalities.

In a cardinal sin against Trumpism she used her private email account for government business. A bunch of times. we’ve heard the term ‘hundreds” to describe the amount of them.

At least we now know for sure she just didn’t listen or care about what her dad’s campaign bread and butter were – that people who use the wrong email accounts deserve jail time. It makes as much sense as when he said we need picture ID to buy cereal. He did the Crooked Hillary’s Evil Emails rant a whole lot though, so Ivanka’s either dumb, incompetent, actively ignoring her father or a combination of all these things.

Can we really blame her for tuning him out? Probably not but if we go with Trump-Logic we CAN lock her up!

Seems  Ivanka “No Job Title” White House staffer sent thousands of unsecured emails from apparently a commercial cellphone or some semi-secured or unsecured servers! People who said that her father never should have bought neophytes Ivank or her husband Sketchy Jared Kushner into the West Wing have yet another disastrous result to point to when they rightly observe – ‘this could land his children in jail’

Details are still breaking all over CNN right now, but it seems important to at least call this Feckless. Another thing you could call it is “Rank Hypocrisy” but “Hopelessly Incompetent” or “Unbelievably Out Of Touch fit too!

You would think after Trump’s campaign of hate “Don’t send private emails for government business” everyone in Trumpworld would be aware of this, so maybe Ivanka’s a special kind of stupid (which would make her a chip off the old block actually)

UPDATE – As we stagger into day two of this self inflicted wound there’s one thing we can be sure of is a lot of emails got deleted. How can we be so sure of this? Well just based on the presidents unbreakable pattern of plain lying. The fact he’s harped on the fact nothing was deleted sounds like every other catchphrase type lie this president gravitates to.

UPDATE – Now about 5 days in the defenses we have been increasingly desperate and silly.  Could it be the incoming Democratic House of Representitives has promised to investigate the whole affair? Imagine Trump’s rage should Ivanks be subpoeaned? “There was no private server” says Trump. While no one ended up liking the whole idea, what Hillary did seemed to be a lot more security minded (and she still got hacked).  So what did Ivanka use to send these emails? Was it was just an unsecured phone like everyone in this administration from the president on down uses for business as usual?

This White House loves to do stupid reckless things and their phone security protocol shows it. Despite repeated FBI warnings and the discovery of  remote cell phone hacking and monitoring equipment near the White House (initially attributed to China but really could be anyone) unsecured cell phone use continues to dog this White House. Most likely its EVERYONE hacking the administrations calls and communications. The Russians, the Chinese, the Saudis and some worried allies and perhaps law enforcement at this point.

Here’s Trump sharing his thoughts on what should be done to people who use the wrong email accounts –

I guess we have to start calling her “Crooked Ivanka”? LOCK HER UP!

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump attend the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

 

The Trump Crime Family – Don On Fire

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Trump Crime Family;  Part 1 – Don on Fire

trump_fire

For the White House its been an autumn of  falling off the charts in terms of  decency and civility and mostly just about reaching new lows daily.  Trump remains double digits under water approval-wise just to top it all off.

What little policy we’ve actually seen could best be summed up like this – Childish angry actions and revenge on a petty scale are the main pillars of Trumpian Governing. Most everything else springs from those 2 motivations.

Storm of his Own Making

Right now the president seems to be completely on fire from a blaze that first started in his pants, in a couple of ways. Specifically the payments right before the election to women he’d had sex with while he wife was pregnant with his son to keep them quiet. That would seem bland as the hits kept comin’

Take the Canoli

Trump’s blaming EVERYONE non stop. In frantic media availabilities hes  insulted and denigrated reporters; basically sounding a lot like an actual nazi a few times. He blames the Democrats, imaginary people who voted several times and probably most of his family and staff for this mess.

UPDATE – 12-9 – The president’s crazy tweeting has increased; as has his public use of vulgarity and profanity.  This Theory is STILL ageing well.

FEAR since September

Ever since the initial stories and outtakes from Bob Woodward’s book FEAR shed light on an infantilized, idiot president being undermined by terrified henchmen. From stealing memos off his desk to filtering the news he gets to keep him happy one things obvious – they just can’t abide by the presidents dangerous and uninformed  impulses.  Even more convincingly, it fit in with everything we’d seen from this administration.

trump-russia-interactive

That was September (though it seems 3 years ago) and of course it launched Trump on a Scorched Earth Mole Hunt within his Administration.  While it never produced any moles, (unlike the “Mueller Witch Hunt” that’s bagged a bunch of real, pointy hat wearing witches) and faded from the headlines I don’t think it really ever ended.

This source of rage will show up regularly. In fact all sources of rage surface continually. Persecuting reporters, vicious personal attacks all around and a complete inability to handle frustration make you wonder why we even have the 25th Amendment.

If the president’s not overwrought with anxiety its only because his non stop venting and tantrums keep stress from building up. So in effect if he stops screaming and yelling he’ll become catatonic or maybe die.  Not the most impressive coping method to be sure.

Don’t make the mistake the journalists seem to mostly fall into; that is- to think of this a series of singular events that are unrelated. The truth is that Trump absolutely keeps score and will grind axes past the point whee things like dignity stops other people.

trump_crime.png

An Administration of Fredo’s

Recent questions surfacing in the last week include whether or not Trump had any knowledge of the person he appointed to head the Justice Department and whether or not Vice President Pence might not be disloyal and therefore on his way out of the administration.

While Trump’s no Michael Corleone he does have an equally contentious relationship with Congress and may find himself in Godfather 2-like contentious hearings with congress. On this one Michael Corleone wins all day as far as witness for oneself. Calm and rationale he pointed to his status as a war hero and a tax payer, two things Trump isn’t known for being able to back up.

Surrounded by simpletons and second-rate intellects members of the Administration simply are suffering Stockholm Syndrome as they wait to see who will next be sent out fishing that day to sleep with the fishes forever.

And Trump’s no Michael. He’s much more like Sonny, Fredo and Connie Corleone all rolled into one. Angry, dumb, vain, oversexed and saddled with unbridled aggression.

Mueller is Coming

Mueller could easily use these traits against Trump and lure him to the Phantom Toll-Booth of (Political) Death.

The plan to have Lex Luther Look-alike Whitaker hamstring Mueller is more sinister than dangerous as cutting off funds ir shit talking seems to be too little too late. The report’s mostly done from what we hear.  On top of that theres a bunch of revenue streams Mueller may just find a way to tap via all the Ill Gotten Gain confiscated from Manafort and others. So starving cash seems pointless and the idea the Whitaker isn’t a legitimate Attorney General, acting or otherwise. It wont matter what the longterm results will be.

This president is now just obstinately pushing back on reality a few hours at a time. A great example of this would be his ongoing series of outright lies about how Finland rakes it’s forests clean, something Finland and it’s leaders were baffled to hear. The internet reacted with mocking laughter across all social media calling Trump an idiot or liar or both depending on the tweet. #RAKEAmericaGreatAgain trended for awhile as a hashtag.

In fact in California he was distracted he couldn’t even the names of the towns he’d been in just a few hours earlier.  I’m sure its the least  of the problems for the former residents that Trump couldn’t recall the town’s name. His assertion they bought this on themselves by not raking the forests clean to the point he threatened to cut off Federal money to the state may not sit well though.

We’re probably just days from the Mueller Report dropping. My guess is best case would be only a couple of his children will be indicted. And to be honest I’m not so sure that the wouldn’t let any of them outside Ivanka just rot there because lets face it- hes a shitty father and will only go out-of-the-way for his favorite.

I think its possible the Don(ald) could sacrifice his son just to stay in business…. just like Vito Corleone.

corleone.png

 

 

 

 

The Problem with the Magnum PI Re-Boot – Bad Stories Fueled by Endless Gun Play

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Well I just caught episode 2 of CBS new re-boot of Magnum PI. I’ll probably watch it again since I don’t have ESPN and therefore, no Monday Night Football.

magnum-pi2.jpg

As a fan of the original I was still hoping the shattered pieces of the once sure-thing movie with Matthew McConaughey would be picked up. No such luck but since Hollywood can never leave a once successful idea alone we now have a new re-booted Magnum TV show.

If you’re a Magnum purist forget it, read no further. You’ll probably find the tone just a bit too trite and the female Higgins concept blows apart one of the best aspects of the original show, specifically the tension between Magnum and Higgins as two people who were never gonna get drunk enough for a night of sex, which the current two seem destined for. From what I saw the idea the writers can milk some of the same kind of fun out of the characters seems remote.

The Cast is not bad but sadly about all this show has going for it. Where’d it go wrong? It was probably when Hawaii Five-Oh managed to somehow become a profitable show based on the CBS reaction to the paucity of male fans to be had during even the worst football game.

The network developed an outlook toward counter-programming against football that could only produce mediocre TV. It’s best summed up as “Dumbed Down Detective Shows that make NCIS New Orleans look innovative are fine because we get to have something of a second premiere for every episode AFTER MNF’s season ends.”

The logic seems to be – after January rolls around men will watch for the first time and the wives and girlfriends will watch it again. Down the line its well set up for really good ratings nights when the game is all but decided early or just a bad matchup.

The attitude over at CBS seems to be “We can float sub par shows using an attractive cast and bad stories will be evened out by using LOTS of gun violence as a crutch.”

There’s probably an entire blog post on just how much consequence free gun violence this show and Hawaii Five-Oh throw into any given episode in after-thought fashion.

Back to the Future 

The good news of course is if you miss the 90’s we’ve got the shows back! CBS has rebooted a scat of  shows on a confusing Monday Night that have all been done better! Maybe the new Murphy Brown will work out and be a decent show, it’s too soon to tell. Also in the ether we’ve got a bad MacGyver reboot on Friday nights that’s in the mold of the new Hawaii 5-0. Which is to say – it’s bad.

Sadly the new CBS outlook means even the worst show is Bomb-proof. At least until episodes start to regularly do badly twice as the second airing is key to the formula. Throw in weird, bad “God Friended Me” on Sunday Nights and you can see there’s no real standards at the network anymore when it comes to any show up against the NFL. I would have hoped something more like an Twilight Zone re-boot, or a decent Star Trek show that was worthy of regular TV, but we get this drivel instead.

So the CBS writers are in a ‘reduced accountability zone’ and wow have they ever torn into it. Instead of something innovative or new theyve kicked back and thrown out some not so well thought out re-boots that seem to have picked up too much inspiration from The Fast & The Furious Franchise.

You would think that most of these shows would find their way and improve as time went by. Again, while it’s too soon to make a call on Murphy Brown, the lone non cop show entity, MacGyver and Hawaii 50 are bland and usually kind of bad with a cavalier attitude towards violence.

H50’s McGarrett has to be past 200 on screen kills at this point. So the anchor point of this formula was always ‘a low bar story-wise and heavily reliant upon consequence-free violence to move things along.’

tvline-comic-con-2018-magnum-pi

The Big Problem

It all started with the awful Hawaii 5-0 reboot. The fact the shows up against Monday Night Football means that only women are watching it.  So a good looking cast was enough to keep it afloat. Then the network gets basically a second premier of all episodes in January when Monday Night Football is over. So to keep men watching all dialogue is punctuated by long machine gun duels that I guess they consider substance?

One thing we knew going in was the chances of making TV history again with an innovative and fun show were not good. Still, if done right a Magnum PI reboot could still be watchable.

Sadly, CBS bad habits and the apparent lack of decent writing stagnate the show as it almost falls apart before each commercial break. It’s a kitchen-sink approach. And by ‘Kitchen Sink’ I mean long boring periods of gun porn as bad as an episode of The Rifleman.  I guess writing a humorous exchange that works on its own is NOT in the mix for this show. Too bad.

Watching the new Magnum show is best summed up as “Johnny Depp’s thoughts on geo-politics are probably about as interesting and relevant.”

We were told to be ready for some real changes in the format and they weren’t kidding. For one thing there appears to be no narration. The biggest change,  obviously, is female Higgins. I hesitate calling a Latino Magnum a real change. Furthermore, Jay Hernandez is better than okay and might flourish in a better show. Don’t blame him. He captures most of what we would want from Magnum and could get even better if the show lasts. The approach is respectful on this count.

Higgins

While it may not have really started out that way the Higgins character grew to occasionally steal an episode. Accompanied by two loyal and extremely obedient dobermans; the original Higgins was a preposterous little man firing off a cannon while raising a Union Jack and scolding Magnum as a free loading car wrecker (and was possibly also Robin Masters).

The new Higgins is completely different. Rather than an oversharing self important blowhard with endless war stories from a colorful military career Higgins is a now simply a cheap, absent minded and mean-spirited brit who is noticeably lacking two tame dobermans. Rather than ‘the lads’ this new Higgins has a brainless female sidekick reminiscent of Kathy Bates with head trauma.

So poor female Higgins has pretty much nothing but un-funny bilious comments as a trade mark. Oh and maybe she’s Robin Masters too. That possibility seemed still alive. Her accent was at least believable, at least to my American ears.  I can’t blame the actress on this one.

In fact I found myself somewhat drawn to the cast despite the terrible story. We still have Magnum couch-surfing through the estate of (absent) millionaire Robin Masters. And YES, we did get the helicopter we remember back and there’s still a decent dose of car-porn. Then there’s the things that changed.

The Bottom Line

It could’ve been worse. The changes didn’t really hurt that much. It’s more the terrible story I had to endure.  And the 4 machine duels in 20 minutes. I was thinking all the flashbacks to Magnum’s time as an active duty War-Time combat deployed SEAL was really him pining away for a safer, quieter time.

If given a better script this show would definitely be okay. The casual machine gun duels should be the first thing to go. It seems the shows very afraid to have anyone have any sort of meaningful conversation without being under fire.

The dialogue was bad, the bad guy tried but had nothing to work with and the Higgins-Magnum tension is at best in limbo til the secretive Higgins character reveals more.

It’s still save-able, but I can’t recommend it.  It needs an entire new room of writers.

mag2.jpg

 

Welcome to (maybe) America’s LAST EVER ELECTION

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s just days until the much talked about Mid-Term Elections. All expectations are the president and the Republicans are going to take a beating and I don’t think they will let the results stand.

On election night we’ll see upsets. They will eventually be nullified by Trump who WILL make many false claims and possibly not seat the new congress.

trump_pig

In hotly contested races like the Florida and Georgia governor races rest assured voter suppression and outright racism will rear their ugly heads. Trump may try to nullify these elections as well.  I just don’t see BLOTUS allowing Andrew Gillum to be Governor of Florida under any circumstances. Trumps far too much of a bigot AND he’s likely committed a slew of crimes there.

As I look ahead I see mostly darkness. This is not an invitation or a suggestion NOT to vote, definitely VOTE. It’s also not a claim at clairvoyance. Its just a couple of sort of likely worst cases.

The issue is that Trump is hateful of the will of the American People and will show that if put on the spot. Hot off an October with at least 1000 verifiable falsehoods and lies from the president it would be naive to think that a huge dose of bad news will elicit anything but a full-blown, divisive and extended meltdown from Trump.

Trump won’t suddenly change when it looks like the Democrats will back Mueller and maybe even make it impossible for him to remain president. He will lie and make delusional statements about millions of illegal votes and just act like he always does. Like a deranged idiot deprived of much-needed electro-shock therapy.

What Just Might Go Down

In the week after Election Night there will be a spate of lawsuits from loser on both sides. It also brings to mind the reality we will see one of the most cruel, destructive and damaging lame duck sessions when this current horrible congress finally all get on the same page and stick it to the American People.  Sure, the Jeff Flakes of the world will pretend to feel bad about it, but as we’ve seen he only cares about having cover for what he does rather than doing whats right.

And if too many elections are settled in the GOP’s favor under a cloud you gotta ask yourself if people in New York and New Jersey would even consider allowing some disputed ultra-Trumpist having a hand in their fate. Californians also fit that bill.

And then we could see Secession here and there. One possibility is 3 to 5 regional republics with varying (if any) relationships with the Federal Governments Remnants. Another, further flung possibility would be 50 little fiefdoms. If this happens god help Mexico as the Texas Republic will likely declare war on them within 30 months of independence.

The idea of several regional republics really doesn’t seem so bad to be honest. Imagine the Red States in Flyover America forced to come to terms with their own bad governing ideas? Because a Republic of the Northeast would be pretty well set up to prosper without them. Though these states are believers in Federal Socialism, how much more money would New York and Massachussetts have if they didnt have to subsidize loser job deserts in other states? And Missouri forced to self finance? A humanitarian disaster could happen there.

The idea New York simply makes a bid to join Canada sounds crazy now. In fact most of this post would have been considered Science-Fiction 500 or 600 days ago. A whole bunch of mostly bad things have happened over that course of time though and America’s falling down and to the right.

The fact is if sufficiently bungled (and we have some great bunglers in power now) the Mid-Term could result in the break up of our Union. No matter what happens we’re sure to have an extra angry, extra dangerous Trump ruminating over the concept he could get a Comeuppance for the first time ever. He’s gotta be in deep fear of that. He has never had one and never come to terms with any mistakes or personal flaws he has.

Were he anyone else he would have been forced into a mental institution years ago. It took the accumulation of fame and ill-gotten cash to insulate the guy from reality,. This despite him being a self proclaimed news-junkie and self purported authority on Fairness.

While Putin will love this no matter how it happens, he really wont be happy til he gets 50 little fiefdoms. This would still include the possibility of a reunion of the old Confederacy or some kind of malevolent New Confederacy with the policies of 1980s South Africa.

I guess the most ironic thing about either scenario is it could truly make of Trump what he falsely said of Obama – he could end up being a president NOT born in the United States. How? Well for one thing should the nation splinter theres just NO WAY New York aligns with Trump.

So there you have it.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Bad Day of Lying About the #MAGABomber, “Caravan” and Synagogue Massacre

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

While the original post on the evils of Sarah Huckabee Sanders is comprehensive; the way the national discourse has fallen off the table recently with a spate of violent attacks coming from the political right. The recent horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre was front and center for a singularly bad day for America’s tas peyer paid  designated liar, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

SHS sat most of the month out, but the October 29th presser was the first in 26 days as the Trump Administration continues to do business in closed rooms with locked doors in the dead of night.

Always evasive of soap and direct answers, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has probably reached felony level complicity in the Trump Criminal Enterprise.

Mostly we see her now when things are incredibly bad and White House comments are long overdue. For some reason this has no impact on the angry indignance with which Sarah goes about her infrequent pressers.

Shame is never gonna set in to these horrible pressers or the woman who runs them with Goebbels-like dissonance. We can stop expecting the administration to start to learn or to start leading. This is it folks. We have the most corrupt and incompetent Administration this side of Ancient Rome.  sarah-huckabee-sanders-presser.jpg

As always the presser started 25 minutes late, much like Mein Kampf recommends.

Looming over the October 29th presser was a spate of recent hate crimes most people who don’t watch Fox News more or less blame the president for inspiring.

The atmosphere was first charged by the 14 (and counting) devices mailed out by a Florida Trumpist nicknamed the #MAGABomber by Twitter based on his targets. Driving around in his home/ bomb factory / vanifesto he had managed to empty out the CNN building and credibly attempt to kill former presidents Clinton and Obama among many others.

Cesar Sayoc's Van.jpg

just one window of #MAGABOMBER’s Anti-Left, Pro Trump ‘Vanifesto’

All the people and institutions targeted, like california rep Maxine Waters, CNN and Right Wing Whipping Boy George Soros, were frequent Trump targets.

Next an old school Nazi Anti Semite shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed eleven innocent worshippers and wounded many others. The shooter made some social media posts that showed he was moved to action in part by the presidents xenophobic obsession and repeated rants regarding a group of immigrants apparently following the harvest north Trump’s classified as a Democratic Party Funded Immigrant Caravan designed to swing the midterm election. They’re currently about a thousand miles from the US Southern border. More on the so called caravan later.

In a macabre twist, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor was among those killed. Thats where the United States is at just about 500 days into President Trump’s inept and criminal administration.

It was another new low for angry Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The Trumpire Strikes Out

On to today’s Ministry of Information Dance of Dishonesty!

Sarah outright lied and claimed the president had won the popular vote with 63 million votes when he in fact lost by over 3 million votes. Shades of Spicer in the shrubs on that one!

It didn’t get much better. One positive, she managed to stop herself in the middle of starting to pick her nose. After that you could tell something was stuck in her simuses and adding to her overt irritation.

pick.png

Trump had thrown out some horrible tweets about people who were MAGABomber targets to start the day and made then some off the cuff, stupid, uninformed statements and hard to swallow denials getting into his helicopter. So the clouds were well seeded.

Hemmed in by insensitive statements by her boss that sort of blamed the victims at the synagogue; Sarah didn’t bother to do much more than deny reality and say false things when confronted. No one was buying.

The idea the president felt the Synagogue lacked a Good Guy With A Gun and was asking for it hung in the air after Trump made off-hand observations that were first darkly un-American and second sort of dissed the victims with the implication they were reckless not having an armed guard and therefore sort of played a hand in their own deaths.

The shooter for the record, was super well armed. More well armed than my character in ‘Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Ghostlands‘ avatar.  He had 2 pistols and an AK-47. He wounded 3 cops in a gunfight while massacring 11 American citizens and then held SWAT at bay for some time.  So the idea an armed guard or anything short of a machine gun nest could have stopped the guy is laughable and plain old sick.

In her chrome-a-key green sure to be parodied dress Sarah sounded like the ambassador from a hostile and rude Star Trek race. The only solution for Gun Violence was hardening schools and places of worship. It’s just asking for it in Trump’s world if you do anything without armed security (or go around not packing heat).

On the #MAGABomber topic she just lied and pretended the idea that he supported Trump was a media fantasy despite the social media posts and threats going back months the MAGABomber had verifiably made.

Humility was in short supply when asked if she is simply lying or out of the loop and a back and forth with CNN’s pundits was answered with rudeness and dismissive comments as always.

Justifying Illegal Dictator Moves and Spreading Fear 

The president has been lying and spreading fear with repeated assertions the migrants from Central America were ISIS concealing terrorists in the ranks. This is what motivated the Synagogue shooter, who kind of liked Trump, he just thought he was too muted in his anti-semitism.

This invited questions about Trump suspending or plain violating the Posse Comitatus Act, which pretty much forbids the president from using Federal Troops to enforce Domestic Policies within the United States. Sanders was simply evasive and made some false claims about the act not applying. To be clear to suspend Posse Comitatus the “caravan” as the right has dubbed it, has to be classified an Invading Force.

Maybe enough racist governors let him deploy their National Guard Units, but it’s really unclear what Trump would want the military to even do, open fire? As far as deploying the Army? Seems to be specifically prohibited. It would probably be met with great resistance by any officer forced to command such an expedition.

It’s an issue that should go away as soon as the midterms end. Trump really likes talking about this and the Fox News Feedback Loop makes sure he keeps seeing it though, so who knows?

And at the 23 minute mark Sarah declared she was out of time and stormed off.

shs11.jpg

ew6