Who You Gonna’ Believe, Me or Your Lyin’ Eyes? Trump and Media

Love Them, They’re Liberals (An Occasional Series)

Headlines on the NY Times website today (January 22d)

“White House Pushes ‘Alternative Facts.’ Here Are the Real Ones”

“With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift”

And from HuffPo

“Sunday Show Hosts Hit Back on Trump Administration’s Lies”

(Updated: and the January 24th NYT web headline is “Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting with Lawmakers”)

So on the same day, continuing a practice that they’d been using throughout the Trump ascendancy over the past 18 months or so, the media overtly and blatantly talked about his “lies,” his “lying,” or his “falsehoods”  or said he was “flat wrong.”trump-2

Sure, the NY Times, Chuck Todd, and George Stephanopoulous are liberals, and Chris Wallace, in today’s politics, is an establishment Republican, but even so, you’d never see them assert that a president “lied” in past administrations, Democratic or Republican.  They’re not implying it or using some euphemism, they’re saying that Trump and his myrmidons are deliberating lying.  And it’s not on the op-ed page; it’s in the “News” sections.

So what’s the big deal?  Trump hasn’t been treated with kid gloves by the media since he announced his candidacy and isn’t now.  Liberals love to bitch about media people taking it easy on conservatives, and that’s true.  But they have always “taken it easy” on presidents, judges, authority figures, and anyone else connected to their their basically-oligarchic (or at least elitist) interests.  While Fox News was brutal toward Obama, the mainstream media never really got too upset about his drone wars, civil liberties outrages, bailout of Wall Street, failure to create “good-paying jobs” (most of the jobs “created” by Obama were in service industries), or interventions, and never came close to accusing him or anyone else in his administration, or his political opponents for that matter, of “lies.”  The language employed against Trump is unique in that regard.

Calling out politicians for their bullshit, really calling them out, is long overdue.  It should have been practiced for a long time now, but it’s really taken off because of Trump.  He deserves to catch hell, and he’s getting it.

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Memo to Jill Stein: “I Cost Hillary the Election”

I don’t know any of the Little League candidates running who ran for Prez in 2016, but I do have some advice for them, which I offer here: Take the Rap. Take the hit.  Stand up, say it loud and say it proud–“I beat Hillary Clinton.”

Of course you didn’t, no more than Ralph Nader caused Al Gore, the guy who couldn’t even carry his home state, to lose in 2000.  And, to be accurate, both Gore and Clinton got more votes than their GOP rivals.  And, in both cases, Democrats and Liberals were quick to blame, with vitriol,  the Green candidates whom they charged especially cost them the White House.  (Here’s an example).  Nader should have said “I beat Gore, and I’ll keep beating Democrats until they actually represent the working people of America.”  Don’t run from the issue–embrace it.

Hillary Clinton cost Hillary the White House.  Bill Clinton’s meeting on the tarmac cost Hillary the White House.  Running a campaign to appeal to Goldman Sachs cost Hillary the White House.  Ignoring  working class voters by not even campaigning in states won by Sanders in the primaries cost Hillary the White House. Calling a huge chunk of your opponent’s supporters “deplorables” cost Hillary the White House. The Clinton Foundation’s crony deals with thug countries cost Hillary the White House.  The candidate’s inability to defeat what was considered the weakest candidate in U.S. history cost Hillary the White House.

Clinton’s refusal to just call in sick from a visit to the Twin Towers and instead collapse on TV cost Hillary the White House.  Hillary’s refusal to offer a simple early answer to questions about what was probably an ultimately inconsequential email server cost Hillary the White House. Clinton’s decision to peel off Suburban Republicans instead of going after traditional votes cost Hillary the White House.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and all the other occupants of that clown car known as the DNC cost Hillary the White House.  Using the phrase “Middle Class” almost exclusively while Donald Trump talked about “Working Class” people and “the poor” cost Hillary the White House. Democrats putting on their quadrennial political minstrelsy in lieu of actually dealing with conditions in the African-American community cost Hillary the White House.  Crafting a foreign policy more hawkish than Trump cost Hillary the White House.  And I could go on.  But, really, the entire fecal political history of the Clintons, over a quarter-century, ultimately led to the greatest defeat in U.S. political history.  All she had to do was NOT be Donald Trump, a condition about 7 billion of us share, and she failed.  She ran a campaign that makes those of McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry, et al look inspired.  She’s the 1969 Super Bowl Colts of politics.

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MLK for Sale? How to Package a Radical (Redux)

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Normalizing Trump and the Power of Gold (showers): Love Them, They’re Liberals (An Occasional Series)

“I can take about an hour on the tower of power/’Long as I gets a little golden shower”

Frank Zappa, “Bobby Brown,” Sheik Yerbouti

——

Today’s NYT website headline:  “How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump”

The Crisis?  Apparently, Russian spies and contract spooks were keeping surveillance on Donald Trump to gain personal information to use against him for purposes of blackmail.  The most scandalous revelation, from a pilfered report that may or may not be real  (like all the “evidence” so far presented about the Russians and their bold attempt to subvert the United States by making sure the Democratic Oligarch lost the election to the GOP Oligarch) was “According to Source D… Trump’s perverted conduct included… defiling the bed where they [the Obamas] had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.”  donald-trump1454356134

Donald Trump has mocked a disabled reporter, had lurid conversations with Howard Stern about his sexual preferences and openly talked about “grabbing pussy,” encouraged the mob at his political rallies to beat people up, gotten into a Twitter war with a beauty pageant queen he called “fat,” castigated a judge as corrupt because he was born in Mexico (he wasn’t; he was born in Indian, home state of Veep Mike Pence), gotten into a fracas with Gold Star parents, seemed to encourage “second amendment solutions” against political enemies, and maybe best of all said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

The report concluded that, “Trump’s unorthodox behaviour in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now-Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished”.

Crisis?  Blackmail?  Really?

Given what Trump’s done and gotten away with, prostitutes and golden showers are going to be his undoing?  The man has disproved all the accepted truths about American politics already–insulting minorities, the disabled, gays, women, you name it.  And this is going to be his Waterloo?  LBJ famously said that you could do anything but be “caught in bed with a dead woman or live boy.”  Trump could do both while getting his own golden shower from a transgendered Muslim Communist and there would be no fallout.

Yet liberals are in a constant state of apoplexy about this stuff.  Why not talk about, maybe stuff like Social Security, Medicare, the Supreme Court, Wall Street, trade pacts, jobs, etc.   Oh, that’s right, because the Democratic Party isn’t really very different from the GOP on that stuff.

So instead there’s this focus on Trump as Aberration, a vile and disgusting man (which is true) who is SO different from anyone in American political life that he is a danger to our future, a Hitler-in-waiting in fact.

Trump is in fact your normal Republican, but very open and vulgar about it.  Hell, a GOP senator from Louisiana paid hookers to make him wear diapers.; a GOP rep from Florida was caught soliciting teenaged boys for sex; an Idaho senator was arrested for lewd conduct in an airport restroom . . . so on sexual matters, Trump’s hardly abnormal by Republican (or American) standards.   So can we stop with the Helen Lovejoy “Won’t somebody think of the children” shrieks and get on to more serious things?

Trump and his party, with some Democratic complicity and some Democratic apathy, are acting simply in the interests of the ruling class.  They’re continuing to redistribute wealth and power from the 99 percent to the Oligarchy.  Instead of all these absurd sideshows about sex, how about some resistance on issues that actually matter to the people of Flint, Philly, El Paso, Chicago and everywhere else.  Indeed, Dem dreamboy Cory Booker and others in the party who got big money from Big Pharma just joined with GOP senators to kill a bill to explore, not invoke but just explore, importing cheaper drugs from Canada (see list below). Mostly crickets on that story while the Trump cascade continues. (As a friend said, “unlike Trump’s hookers, Cory Booker pissed on the whole  country”).

Gold, as in power, not Gold as in showers, has to be the issue here, and liberals, like a dog chasing a car, prefer to go after the salacious and lurid rather than the tangible and material problems that affect the lives of the non-rich.

Now, to be sure, the issue of a GOP candidate-cum-president working with the Russians is a real one, and potentially explosive, like Manchurian Candidate stuff in the worst-case scenario.  But none of that has been shown here.  The reports have been unverified (see James Bamford, the authority, on this, and this too), and the recent disclosure (bogus or not) concedes that “Trump has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him.”  The Russians also offered him sweetheart deals relating to the 2018 World Cup and, again, “for reasons unknown, Trump has not taken up any of these.”

Now any foreign “cultivation” of an American president is really not a good thing (though we’d all have been better off if JFK and LBJ had been buddies with Fidel and Ho back in the day), but there’s no evidence of that yet.  What we have are lurid stories about an openly lurid man, not pleasant or indicative of good character to be sure, but pretty far down on the list of the dangers he poses.  Trump may be a pervert but if that were disqualifying, there would be no Congress (or any other institutions frankly), but he’s mostly just your normal Republican and normal politician.  Time to focus on gold, not gold showers.

Besides, as Granddad Freeman said . . .

 

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Happy Birthday Kelsey, 12/26/88-3/11/10

Happy Birthday Kid Blast. I miss you more each year.

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A Christmas Tale, by Richard Nixon

hkandrn

As Donald Trump readies himself to become Commander-in-Chief, he has already signalled that he wants to start another arms race, to expand and outmatch America’s nuclear rivals–presumably China and Russia principally.  The media and liberals are justifiably in arms, but again using this as evidence of Trump’s unique extremism.  That’s the problem.  By refusing to look at Trump and his words and ideas as in any way “normal” the opposition creates a political monster that becomes difficult to slay.  Throughout the primaries, enemies bombarded him daily with insults comparing him to Nazis and Fascists, and he was elected president.  He’s surely despicable on so many levels, but calling him a Nazi is just lazy and doesn’t mean anything, and obviously failed as a political tactic.  Trump was/is a very right-wing Republican–not unlike his immediate GOP predecessors the Bushes and Reagan, or even his rivals this year like Kasich, Rubio, or Cruz.  He’s just more vulgar and outlandish but if you look at what they actually believe, most of them (with Hillary Clinton in the same area code) believe in mostly the same things.

A good example of this is in the excerpt below.  In 1972 Richard Nixon shocked the world with his “Christmas Bombings,” a vicious series of air attacks against northern Vietnam just as it seemed the war was ending.  Nixon sabotaged his own peace plan and unleashed a massive campaign from the air against the enemy.  Taking it forward, it’s not much different than the Hillary-Clinton -inspired destruction of Libya.    Trump is dangerous and reprehensible and poses a threat to stability, absolutely, but in that way he’s following the tradition of every U.S. president in the Cold War era, a rogue’s gallery of war criminals who should have been on the docket in the Hague.

This section on Nixon and the Christmas Bombings comes from my Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life.vntal

In July 1972, then, Kissinger and Le Duc Tho resumed their private talks in Paris. TheUnited States was willing to back off its insistence that northern troops be withdrawn from the south–after all, if the U.S. military could not dislodge them, then they were not going to leave on their own. For its part, the DRVN backed down from its demand that that United State suspend support for the Thieu regime and replace it with a coalition that would include the PRG. On 8 October, Le Duc Tho offered Kissinger a nine-point proposal to end the war. In it, he rescinded calls for Thieu’s removal and the establishment of a coalition government; was willing to accept a cease-fire prior to a political settlement; called for the removal of all “foreign” troops; and wanted to limit all military aid to the replacement of used supplies. Politically, Tho was willing to recognize two “administrative entities” in the south–the Thieu government and the PRG.Kissinger, eager for an agreement before the 7 November presidential elections, assented to the proposal, declaring to the world that “peace is at hand.” If only Nixon and Thieu had agreed!

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Ruminations on Kelsey because of the snow and darkness

There’s just god when he’s drunk.

11th of the month so the reminder is always sharper, stings more. It’s snowing out and Kelsey used to love the snow because he saw it infrequently. kelsey2The snow cooled him off, tamped down the heat that ran through his veins and soul, through his brain, through his nerves and synapses and chemistry. Now it’s cold out but Kelsey ran hot. December was his month and it’s hurt every year since he took the Big Sleep. Dogs and kids and snow and whiskey all remind me of you, kid. I wonder what went on in your head—what you wanted to be, what you wanted me to be, whether you wanted to be. You were so alone and miserable that last time, in the house I just left, left the last place I ever saw you and Ginsberg and the other one who meant so much. Now it’s just me, you little bastard. You always cursed me to live to 95 and then you bailed out. It’s winter now, it’s dark and it’s snowing. I like it. I’m in my winter. Why feign happiness and hope? Maybe you figured it all out? There’s just god when he’s drunk. You always slept too much overslept, but this is ridiculous. Your birthday is coming up soon—what do you want? We went to Vincent’s for your 21st, remember? Robert Horry sat behind you. You ordered wine and it was our last birthday. I think you knew people would turn on you, smile in your face and tell you how beautiful it was going to be and then shred you like a rabid Rottweiler and then casually walk away because they could. You got it and got out. And now it’s dark and snowing and I’m wondering why you left, why you had to get out so soon, why you couldn’t have just stayed for one more drink, maybe you’d learn to like whiskey, to see the dogs’ last years, to help me when I was in the shit, but you had to get out. You went out like you came in—full of fury and fire, moving, angry, hot . . . I get it. I know anger, have felt anger and hatred worse than yours. Hot. It hurts. People leave you and you never know why. I never thought that about you. You had somewhere to be. You didn’t bullshit me. Now it’s snowing and dark and I’m living the past you never really got to know. There’s just god when he’s drunk. You knew that promises were just words, just words, just words and there were warning signs on the road ahead.   Grandpa Nick always had my back. I tried to do that for you but, Christ kid, you were tough. You had too much Medigan and not enough Siciliano, I think. But you kept it real—you never changed, didn’t lie and deceive, you just didn’t give a shit. And I respect that. Rispetto porta rispetto as Grandpa Nick and Tony S. would say. It’s dark and snowing out and I’m thinking of you, think of you every day but even more lately. Winter the season of loss and escape. Lots of losses and looking for the magic. When you reach the part where the heartaches come, the hero would be me.   Ginsberg and Fidel left too. Now it’s just me, no one is left from the deck, everyone bailed, some politely, some cruelly, all gone, no more fires and beers, no more stories and songs, just anger and subterfuge. That’s today’s world. Maybe that’s why you got out. I found your cars and Grinch mask and gave it to the babies. They remind me of you. So honest, but not in your pazzo way. Now it’s Cutty Sark and a Cohiba, and no one to enjoy it with. One day you’re in, next day you’re morto and you don’t know why and it was too easy. Amputated and flushed–that’s the world.  You knew that. Too easy. You never said goodbye, never told me anything. It’s what people do apparently, they leave you without a word, and just let the pain hang in the air.Don’t worry, I was never mad at you and there’s nothing to forgive, it’s just a lot less quiet and creative in the world without you.   Anyway, you know how to get hold of me, and I won’t bug you. May your journey in the cosmic dust take you to the place you need to be.   There’s just god when he’s drunk.

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