Monday, October 31, 2016

No Mas

Is it over yet? Somebody please make it stop. Like Popeye the Sailor Man used to say, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more." This is the vilest, most repugnant election in recent memory- maybe ever. And if you're still one of those people who think both candidates are equally atrocious, you need to get your news from another source- maybe from one of those mainstream outlets that actually believe in responsible journalism. Hillary may be duplicitous and opportunistic, but Trump leaves a trail of slime behind him wherever he goes, like a garden snail. I know I'm not alone in wishing this ugly torrent of daily disgust would just go away. But reputable sources have said that the new Facebook reality show, "Trump Tower Live," is a stalking horse for a Trump TV network in case he doesn't get the president gig. According to New York Magazine, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is building a database of 14 million email addresses and credit card numbers, so even when Trump loses the election, we can still enjoy his daily rants and midnight tweets 24/7- or at least until the venture fails like so many other of Trump's skeezy products. The Orange Blossom Special took time out from campaigning last week to drag the press to the grand opening of his new Washington D.C. hotel, where room prices have been slashed by half because no one wants the name "Trump" appearing on their credit cards. His malignant remarks have damaged his brand so badly that a new hotel chain to open next year will not be called Trump anything, but "Scion," which means, "a person born into a rich, famous, or important family." I guess it gives the kids something to do.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has to be the luckiest candidate of all time. Anyone barely sane on the Republican side would have had an excellent chance of winning the White House, but Donnie keeps stepping on his dick. Can I say that after the women accusing Trump of grabbing them by the pussy has risen to twelve? The latest is the former Miss Finland who was publicly humiliated by Trump with a YouTube video to prove it. Trump then traveled to the Gettysburg battlefield to attempt a Lincolnesque speech. But where Lincoln pledged to unite a divided country, Trump promised to file lawsuits against his female accusers after the election. And nobody has a seedier bunch of surrogates than Trump. Chris Christie has exited stage right and will likely be summoned to appear in court to defend against his closest staff accusing him of lying and abuse of power. But Don still has Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, all serial adulterers with nine wives between them. Trump was being advised by former Fox News head, Roger Ailes, himself the target of multiple lawsuits claiming sexual misconduct before he was bounced from the network. But, even Ailes had to walk away in disgust over Trump's inability to accept anyone's advice but his own.

Hillary's "October surprise" came in a letter to Congress by FBI Director James Comey, stating that new emails had surfaced from a laptop shared by Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, and her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, aka "Carlos Danger- Private Dick." Weiner had a separate account for his fetishistic behavior which resulted in an investigation of his allegedly sexting with a fifteen year old girl, but Comey, "in an abundance of caution," said that he had not seen the new emails and that they may, or may not, have any significance to Secretary Clinton. Trump gleefully pounced saying that the FBI had "reopened" the case against Clinton and that this was "the biggest political scandal since Watergate." It's worth pointing out that Comey was a Bush appointee picked by Obama to head the FBI in a gesture of bi-partisanship. Big mistake. Comey was the second highest official in Dubya's justice department, head council for Lockheed Martin- the country's largest defense contractor, a hedge-fund millionaire, and the lawyer who put away Martha Stewart. Last July, in a breach of protocol, after Comey had absolved Clinton of any criminality in the investigation of her emails, he openly castigated her for "carelessness." It was the first time that the FBI publicly disclosed its recommendations to the Justice Department, which advised Comey against sending his letter to Congress. But eleven days before the election, Comey sent the letter anyway, which said in part, "Given that we don't know the significance (of the emails), I don't want to create a misleading impression."

Along with the Clinton campaign calling foul, dozens of former federal prosecutors signed an open letter critical of Comey. Minority Leader Harry Reid accused him of violating the Hatch Act, which bans the use of a federal government position to influence an election. If I were Barack Obama, I'd fire his ass tomorrow if it wouldn't rile-up the renegades. As it is, Comey should be gone on the ninth of November. So, what else can happen in this brutal election where the rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? You have an Australian, Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with a Wikileaks vendetta against Mrs. Clinton; widespread agreement among cybersecurity experts that Russian government hackers are behind the theft of DNC communications, a candidate that constantly cozies up to Vladimir Putin, and an FBI Director who, purposefully or not, has gravely interfered in a close presidential election. Who does James Comey think he is, J.Edgar Hoover?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Apocalypse Now

There's an old proverb that goes something like: "Be grateful you're only miserable, because some people are horrible." Watching the daily disaster known as Donald Trump is like that proverbial pile-up on the interstate from which you can't turn away. The Trump campaign has turned into a mosh-pit of tweet tantrums and discredited surrogates screaming repugnant falsehoods at full voice. It's all become, frankly, horrible. I did not savor the thought of writing about politics again when there are so many other important things to discuss, like Kim Kardashian being robbed of ten million dollars worth of jewelry at gunpoint in a Paris Hotel. Of all people, she should have known to stay at the Paris Hilton. Or, Lindsay Lohan losing a fingertip in a Turkish boating accident. Fortunately, the piece was found and surgically re-attached, adding to Lohan's cosmetic procedures. Anything would have been more pleasant than delving into the bilge known as Trumpworld. But this carnival continues to grow more bizarre by the day. Despite the best efforts of his handlers to contain him, Trump's post-debate trashing of a former Miss Universe continued for a week . All Hillary Clinton had to do was mention the name Alisha Mechado to send Trump into a stammering frenzy. All he had to do was shut up and no one would have thought twice about it, but he couldn't help himself. Trump's taking to Fox News to say Machado was a "disgusting" person who "gained massive amounts of weight" struck at the heart of every woman who has ever struggled with a diet. But, congratulations Alisha Mechado, Trump has made you Miss Universe again, twenty years after the fact. And Trump proved himself to be something other than a con-artist; he's a mark as well. Hillary hooked him right up.

I don't understand how any woman could vote for him, but Trump is correct in saying there's nothing he could do to shake his supporters. This puts him in league with former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, who once said, "The only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." Trump's misogyny is fairly easy to trace since he has so diligently documented it through the years. His recent ugly attacks on women merely began with Rosie O'Donnell, but continued with Hillary, who "doesn't have the look to be president," Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Huma Abedin, Heidi Cruz, correspondent Katy Tur, columnist Gail Collins, who has "the face of a dog," Arianna Huffington, of whom he tweeted, "..I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man," and "goofy" Elizabeth Warren, who he calls "Pocahontas," not even cognizant of his racist remarks. Trump has promised to attack Bill Clinton's past sexual transgressions and re-litigate the whole Monica Lewinsky affair. Hasn't this poor woman suffered enough? It's hard enough to be known as the world's most famous fellator without having to relive it twenty years later. We know all about Bill Clinton's infidelities from the voluminous Starr Report of 1998, which described in detail everything from intimate sexual acts to the shape of the former president's penis. The author, Kenneth Starr, has recently been ousted as president of Baylor University over a sex scandal involving the football team. Karma's funny that way. If I were coaching Hillary for the next debate and Bill's betrayals are exhumed, I would say, "I have been married to the same man for thirty years. We have had marital problems that played out in public, but we have resolved them in private and emerged with a stronger marriage than ever."

The New York Time's explosive expose of Trump's partial tax records from 1995, declaring a personal loss of nearly a billion dollars, which allows him to avoid paying federal income taxes for eighteen years, was verified by his personal accountant. Fox News immediately declared that the Times was "trying to take Trump down," and castigated all those liberal newspapers that endorsed Hillary, like The Dallas Morning News, The Arizona Star, and USA Today. The Trump campaign countered by saying newspaper endorsements are meaningless because no one reads them anymore, and he's probably right. Logic and reason don't dissuade the Trump army. They're locked in, even though the online fact-checker Snopes declared that in the previous debate, Trump's lies were "unprecedented." Some undecided voters, however, might have been among the millions of TV viewers who watched the season premier of Saturday Night Live. Remember when Al Gore's staff had to force him to sit down and watch Darrell Hammond's brilliant parody of his sighing, pompous debate performance against Dubya in 2000?  If Trump's team forces him to watch SNL, maybe he'll spend this week invoking Alec Baldwin's sexual history.

The tax charade is rapidly falling apart. Trump claim that it's "smart" not to pay taxes just makes him a burden on the middle class. The only comparable tax cheat that comes to mind is Leona Helmsley, who once famously said, "Only the little people pay taxes." It doesn't matter. They don't care. In the ongoing virtual whistle-stop by Twitter, Trump wrote, "Remember, don't believe 'sources said' by the VERY dishonest media. If they don't name the sources, the sources don't exist." Such stunning hypocrisy from someone who prefaces every right-wing conspiracy theory with, "I've heard many people say," or, "I don't know if it's true but a lot people are saying it." This is the laziest journalistic trick in the book. You can say whatever the hell you want if your sources are anonymous, like the time Trump tweeted that "an extremely credible source" told him that Barack Obama's birth certificate was a fraud. I don't care how much you hate Hillary Clinton or think she's a liar, at least she is in control of her mental faculties. The next debate is Oct. 9, plenty of time for Trump to exhibit his more disgusting simian characteristics. There's another old country saying appropriate for this moment that equates watching the nightmarish Trump campaign to having intercourse with a skunk. I didn't get all I could take, but I've had all I can stand.