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Suffering from Trump fatigue? Scrambled by Scaramucci? Weary of Kellyanne Conway? Stultified by the droning of Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Jared Kushner creeping you out? Would you like them all to go away for a least a few precious minutes?
Donald J. Trump, a former reality TV personality and vulgar, amoral and narcissistic real estate tycoon — under investigation for colluding with the Russians to interfere with the 2016 Presidential Election — is still the President of the United States.
The U.S. Senate, in Republican control under the racist, ideologue Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is deciding the fate of health care for tens of millions of Americans in the dead of night – forcing a vote after revealing the bill just hours before demanding a vote.
The not-yet-officially-hired new White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, has gone viral – by haranguing a respected New Yorker reporter with a profanity-laced attack on the current White House Chief of Staff, Reince Preibus, and the President’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon. (Talk about message discipline…)
President Trump has continued his relentless Twitter attacks on his handpicked Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
Trump’s attack on Sessions is part and parcel of his strategy to obstruct the ongoing work of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election — and Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians.
The Boy Scouts of America have had to issue an apology for Trump’s unprecedented politicization of his remarks to their annual Jamboree — leading to calls for the resignation of the Scouting and Jamboree leadership.
Trump’s surprise Twitter call for a ban on transgender military members has been soundly rejected by the very military leaders on whom Trump justified his knee-jerk, early morning Tweet ban.
And that’s just today.
That’s just the past 24 hours.
It’s not going to get any better.
Transcript of G-20 off-the-record meeting between Russian President-for-life Vladimir Putin and Useful Idiot, current American President Donald J. Trump:
Trump: Excuse me, Vladimir. Can I have a word with you?”
Russian Translator: Pardon me, Your Excellency. Your obsequious, naive puppet would like to smooch your royal derriere.
Putin: Bring him on. He is such a ridiculous buffoon. He doesn’t even have his own translator with him. This will be a turkey shoot.
Russian Translator: (to Trump) President Putin is honored to sit with you and share our common goals.
Trump: Thank you, Vlad. I’m glad that you and I can be such good, close, manly bros — when all these other so-called world leaders have such unfair suspicions about our legitimate, manly, soul-man bond.
Russian Translator: (To Putin) Mr. Trump has totally taken the bait. He has no clue that we are America’s enemy. Either that, or he’s even more naïve than we imagined he might be.
Putin: Tell the great orange ass that I think his wife is a fine example of Eastern European womanhood – and that he’s a moron.
Russian Translator: I can’t tell him that, your Excellency.
Putin: Fine, just tell him to sit down and share my dessert.
Russian Translator: Please sit down and share dessert with his Excellency.
Trump: Goody. I love dessert. Are we having a beautiful chocolate cake? Like the cake I served Japan’s Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago?
Russian Translator: (To Putin) Is this like the cake at Mar-a-Lago?
Putin: I wouldn’t wipe my yagoditsy with any cake at Mar A Lago…
Russian Translator: I can’t tell him that sir…
Trump: Of course not. Tell the egotistical oaf what he wants to hear.
Russian Translator: President Putin hopes that you will enjoy your dessert as much as the guests at your fine hotel, Mar-a-Lago, enjoy their sumptuous desserts.
Putin: (To translator) That’s laying it on a little too thick….
Russian Translator: Of course, sir. (To Trump) President Putin would like to move beyond cake – and deal with more substantive issues.
Trump: Of course! Forget all the delicious, rich and tasty cake. Let’s talk about what exactly you guys want for putting me in office.
Russian Translator: (To Putin) This doofus is being way, way too obvious about the game we’re playing…
Putin: Just tell him that his wife is calling him – and he has to spend time with her or people will talk. Is she calling over to him? Kakogo cherta! Is Melania even here?
Russian Translator: She’s trying to avoid him. She just ducked under the table next to the wife of the French President.
Putin: He’s such a loser. Why did we bet on this jerk?
Russian Translator: He really loves you, sir. He’s truly one of your biggest fans. (To Trump) President Putin is pleased to have you join him.
Trump: I’m so glad we can spend this terrific time together…
Russian Translator: (To Putin) Be careful, sir. He can’t be as stupid as he seems…
Putin: Maybe not. But he’s certainly as boring as possible…
Trump: Have I ever told you about my hole-in-one at my golf course in Scotland?
Russian Translator: (To Putin) He’s yanking stuff out his yagoditsy, sir…
Putin: O Bozhe. Be careful what you seek. You may, unfortunately, get what you want. And what you wanted may turn out to be too big a clown to be useful.
Russian Translator: (To Putin) What should I tell him?
Putin: Tell him we’re on his side. And make sure we’ve recorded this conversation.
Now, I’m not a lawyer.
I’m not a federal law enforcement officer.
I’m not a trained espionage agent.
Nor am I a political campaign professional.
But I am a thinking human being. I can read. And I can process what I read logically.
And that’s why two particular e-mails in Donald Trump Junior’s infamous e-mail string – and the fact that Donnie Jr., Trump’s campaign manager, and his son-in-law took a follow-up meeting — are all I need to determine that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian regime to hack and undermine our nation’s democratic process.
First, let’s look at the Russian come-on…
Now, let’s examine the e-mail in which Donald Junior takes the Russian bait – just 17 minutes later.
“I love it especially later in the summer”
Don’t get distracted by all the straw arguments.
It doesn’t matter if the Russians gave them anything substantial at that subsequent meeting.
It doesn’t matter who left the meeting first or who was texting throughout the meeting.
What matters is that at least three of the leading figures in the Trump campaign were made aware that people purporting to represent the Russian government on some level told them that the Russian government was offering dirt they collected on Trump’s opponent.
And Donald Tump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner did not inform the FBI.
They also repeatedly denied that the Russians were meddling with the election in any way.
They repeatedly said that their campaign had no contact with Russians.
Jared Kushner left this meeting — and other signifcant Russian contacts — off the disclosure forms required for his security clearance.
And the traitorous trio allowed Donald Trump himself to dump bucket after bucket of cold water on the very notion of Russian hacking. In fact, they allowed Trump to publically encourage Russian hacking.
All of which, at the very least, provided cover for a Russian election-meddling effort that the traitorous trio knew was underway as early as June 3rd, 2016: an effort the objective of which, they certainly knew, was to support Donald Trump.
So, forget all the other noise. Forget all of Trump’s tweets and the weasel words of his pathetic media mouthpieces.
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller now has all he needs to bring the curtain down on Trump’s clown show.
And I’ll bet he’s got a lot more.
I haven’t written much on my blog this year. The daily nonsense, insanity and idiotic, bumbling evil of Trump’s regime have left me type-tied. What to say about so much crazy? How to parry so many lies?
I’ve left the Trump jokes to the staffs of The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Saturday Night Live. They’ve kept up the satiric fight very well without my two cents. Crafting jokes about a man-child whose words and actions are frequently beyond satire is a challenge. Simply holding up the mirror has often been enough. I’ve enjoyed watching our best comedians skewer the Great Orange Gasbag on a nightly basis.
But Trump’s latest dust-up with the Mayor of London, and the breathless, hyperbolic tone of the 24/7 media coverage of recent terrorist attacks has finally riled me enough to put down my remote, get off the couch, and vent.
Vent, that is, via a brief history lesson.
To be sure, the media (other than FOX News) quickly pointed out that Trump’s god-awful Tweet denigrating the Mayor of London for suggesting there was “no reason to be alarmed” about the London Bridge attacks took the mayor’s words out of context. Mayor Sadiq Khan was clearly referring to the increased presence of armed police on the streets of London – where, unlike in militarized America, London “Bobbies” don’t usually carry guns.
But that’s not where my mind went. My mind went to London during The Blitz — and the motto “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Had Mayor Kahn actually said there was no reason to be alarmed by the latest cowardly terrorist attack on his magnificent, open city – he’d have been standing proudly in the shoes of Winston Churchill, King George VI, and the millions of Londoners who endured The Blitz with a stiff upper lip.
And the media need a history lesson as well. London was never “on edge” because of the London Bridge attack, nor was the UK still “reeling” from the bombing in Manchester. And – this very morning – I somehow doubt, despite breathless CNN commentary, that Paris in “on edge” because one man attacked one cop with a hammer. Such lazy, hysterical media tropes amplify the terrorists’ small, desperate, murderous acts into something much large than they are.
How did Londoners react to The Blitz? And what was The Blitz? Hey, CNN and MSNBC – maybe the past few days have been a missed opportunity to put things in historical perspective? It’s a cinch Trump has no knowledge of history – but he does watch TV.
The seven innocent deaths in the London attack and the 22 lives lost in the Manchester bombing cannot be discounted. They must all be mourned. But we do them all dishonor when we lose perspective and help to make their deaths a propaganda victory for the terrorists. The Nazis tried to terrorize England on an infinitely larger scale – and they failed to break the spirit of the British people. What chance does ISIS have if Trump and the ratings-hungry media don’t play into their hands?
Consider this. (Donald, are you listening?)
Starting on September 7, 1940, the German air force bombed London for 56 out of the next 57 days and nights. The Nazis continued their night bombing campaign until May 11, 1941, when Hitler called off the raids so he could use his bombers for his invasion of Russia.
More than a million homes in London were destroyed or damaged — and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, nearly half of them were Londoners.
And what was the British response? “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Still listening, Donald? (Of course not. You don’t have the attention span.)
Have 70 post-world war years of relative peace left us incapable of processing the difference between individual acts of murder and mayhem – and true existential threats? (Like global climate change?)
In contrast to today’s constant mass media blather about London, Manchester and Paris “reeling” and “on edge” after these latest attacks, historians tell us that the 8 months of bombing during The Blitz failed to demoralize the British or significantly damage their wartime economy. In fact, Britain’s war industries continued to expand. And, hey, New Yorkers made it through the horrors of 9-11 without surrendering to fear. Keep Calm and Carry On. That’s how we face down evil.
You face it like this defiant English lady…
Or this defiant English lady…
Or like the Mayor of London.
My wife is a Cubs fan.
I’m rooting for the Indians.
There can be no greater test of our marital bonds.
Can love overcome battling baseball allegiances?
Alas, there’s no umpire than can make this call.
My darling, treasured wife, Victoria, is a Chicago girl born and raised. Vic’s a South Sider by birth – and should really be a White Sox fan by regional rights – but she headed to the North Side for college, which is where we first met.
After her years at Northwestern University in Evanston on Chicago’s northern border, Victoria moved to Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood (also on the North Side), where loyalty to the Cubs was very strong. Shortly after I moved in with her in the mid-1980s, we took an apartment in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. It was a short walk to hallowed, historic Wrigley Field — the very epicenter of Cubs fandom.
As I discussed in a previous post, the Cubs became my favorite team in the National League during my years in Chicago, and Victoria and I went to many games at Wrigley Field, snuggling under a blanket during the chill of home openers in the spring and enjoying the thrill of pennant races in late summer.
Together we experienced the exhilarating highs and inevitable lows endemic to Cubbie love – especially the bittersweet 1989 season in which Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe and Mitch Williams all made the All-Star game and Jerome Walton was the NL Rookie of the Year. Of course, that team broke our hearts again by losing to the hated San Francisco Giants four games to one in the National League Championship Series.
Love of the Cubs has always been something that Victoria and I have shared – from the time we began dating in 1985, to when we were married on the North Side in 1990, and throughout our long sojourn in Southern California. We suffered together through losing seasons and the horrors of The Bartman Game.
Meanwhile, my wonderful wife viewed my continued support of the Indians in the America League. She paid scant attention to American League baseball anyway. In fact, she’d never been to Comiskey Park to see the White Sox play until I took her to that venerable South Side ballpark during its final season of existence.
She happily supported my trip to Jacobs Field in Cleveland to watch the Indians win Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. In fact, losing Game 7 of that Series in a particularly heartbreaking fashion only strengthened our baseball bonds of mutual misery.
Now comes this moment. A moment I never imagined could happen in our lifetimes.
The Cubs we have loved together are finally, blessedly, in their first World Series since 1945. Yet, as cruel fate would have it, they are playing against my boyhood team, The Cleveland Indians.
And so, this time I must root for my Tribe.
I’ve explained why this must be – but especially with the Cubs down 3 games to 1 at this moment – Victoria is looking daggers at me.
I know love conquers all. But, why oh why, must the baseball gods test our marriage by pitting the Indians versus the Cubs? Why not Red Sox versus Cubs — or Tribe versus Dodgers? Those matchups would not have challenged our three-decade love match.
Tonight, we’ll watch Game 5 together. There is a possibility that The Indians will celebrate their first World Series championship since 1948 amid the history and ivy of Wrigley Field. There is also the chance the Cubs will send this Series back to Cleveland for Game 6.
And if the Tribe wins tonight – Vic might just send me back to Cleveland anyway.