Friday, December 2, 2016

Trump's Big CON: He's Really a Crony Capitalist

UPDATE II:  "[T]here is a whiff of Putinism in the combination of bribery and menace that may have affected Carrier’s decision — the bribery of tax breaks, the menace of potential lost defense contracts for Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies. . .

It may be appealing as a model to America’s president-elect, too.

The problem is that it doesn’t work. Russia’s economy is shrinking, year by year, and no matter how many factory directors Putin humiliates, it won’t start growing again without structural and political reform.

The U.S. economy has challenges, including the loss of manufacturing jobs and the insecurity many workers experience. But it is far healthier than Russia’s, with steady economic growth, low unemployment and a far, far higher standard of living.


A key reason is that the U.S. economy is governed by laws, not by the whims of the nation’s rulers."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s Carrier deal is right out of Putin’s playbook

Read also the Washington Post, Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism.

UPDATE:  "Donald Trump promised to punish U.S. companies that ship manufacturing jobs out of the country. Instead, judging from the way he has handled the Carrier Corp. matter, he plans to reward them. Quite handsomely, in fact.

As should be standard practice with Trump, pay attention to the substance, not the theater. United Technologies, the parent company of air-conditioner-maker Carrier, has been threatening to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump addressed this specifically during his campaign, vowing to hit the company with a punitive tariff.

'If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States — there’s going to be a tax,' Trump said on 'Meet the Press' in the summer. 'It could be 25 percent, it could be 35 percent, it could be 15 percent, I haven’t determined.'

As it turns out, how about zero percent?

In fact, how about giving United Technologies state tax breaks worth about $7 million over the next decade, in exchange for moving only 1,300 jobs to Mexico? That’s basically the deal offered by Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who happens to be governor of Indiana (and thus in a position to offer the tax relief). . .

The company still gets to lay off many of the targeted Indiana workers and replace them with much cheaper Mexican labor. It gets partial compensation from the state government. And instead of worrying about a potential tariff, United Technologies can anticipate a major reduction in the federal corporate tax rate. That’s something Trump promised on the campaign trail — and also, reportedly, in a recent phone call with United Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes.

In a Post op-ed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put it this way: 'Just a short few months ago, Trump was pledging to force United Technologies to 'pay a damn tax.' .?.?. Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut . Wow! How’s that for standing up to corporate greed? How’s that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?'

So imagine you’re a CEO who wants to send, say, 5,000 manufacturing jobs overseas. Having learned from the Carrier example, you might begin by announcing that unfortunately you are forced to eliminate 10,000 jobs because of the crushing tax burden. Even if you really want to move the jobs to Vietnam or Kenya, just say you’re looking at possible sites for a new plant in Mexico. That’s sure to get Trump’s attention.

When Trump calls offering tax breaks or enterprise zone incentives or free rounds of golf in Scotland, whatever goodies he tosses in, hold out for a while — then reluctantly, in the spirit of patriotism and Making America Great Again, announce you’ve agreed to cancel half of the 10,000 job cuts. You’d still be meeting your original goal of eliminating 5,000 jobs, only now you’d also have a lower corporate tax bill and a tee time at Turnberry.

The Carrier deal is just the latest piece of evidence suggesting that Trump’s populist rhetoric about championing the working stiff and cracking down on greedy globalist corporations was all a bunch of hooey."

Read the Washington Post, Trump will helm a government of, by and for corporate America.

Read also the Washington Post, Why lots of people think Trump’s deal to save 1,000 Indiana jobs was a bad idea.

The Republi-CON's new economic strategy -- bribe corporate America.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s deal to keep Carrier jobs in Indiana includes $7 million in state subsidies.

Read also the Washington Post, Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump.

Republi-CONs are hypocrites, they were/are livid whenever there was/is government intervention into private enterprise.

Remember their claims in response to the financial crisis -- that Obama used corporate subsidy to distort the 'free markets' -- and demanded a balanced budget instead.

Now, government debt for corporate welfare is fine.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump's Big CON: Manipulative Dictator Edition

"President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened loss of citizenship or jail for those who burn the American flag, saying such protests — which the Supreme Court has declared to be free speech — should carry ';consequences.' . .

Flag burning was ruled to be constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment in a 1990 Supreme Court case, United States v. Eichman, that struck down a law seeking to prevent the flag's desecration. Moreover, a 1967 Supreme Court decision rejected the practice of stripping U.S. citizenship as a form of criminal punishment. . .

Trump’s latest interest in curbing First Amendment protections follows several other actions related to free speech, including his blacklisting of reporters who fell out of favor with his campaign and a suggestion that he would 'open up' libel laws to make it easier to sue the news media.

Read the Washington Post, Trump suggests loss of citizenship or jail for those who burn U.S. flags, which also notes that "Trump's tweet also demonstrated an ability, which has continued beyond his campaign, to divert public attention from other issues of the day."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trump's Big CON: He Won't Be Draining the Swamp, Quite the Contrary

UPDATE IV:  "So can we stop pretending that Trump’s campaign 'populism' was anything other than just one more con?

It isn’t just the next Treasury secretary. This morning on CNBC, Mnuchin outlined his people-centered plan for the country’s economy.

“Our number one priority is tax reform,” he said. “We think by cutting corporate taxes we’ll create huge economic growth and we’ll have huge personal income so the revenues will be offset on the other side.”

At last, a Republican administration that believes in the wonder-working power of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy! If only George W. Bush had known about that, we would have had spectacular growth through the 2000s and the Great Recession never would have happened. Oh wait — this is exactly the economic program Bush pursued, to such disastrous effect. . .

You may remember Trump’s closing ad of the campaign, in which he said, 'Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American people' over images of Wall Street, piles of money, financiers like George Soros, and other symbols of established power and wealth. 'It’s a global power structure,' he went on, 'that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.'

So in order to take on that global power structure, Trump is hiring a bunch of billionaires and Wall Street tycoons, cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, scaling back regulatory oversight of Wall Street, and offering an infrastructure plan that consists mostly of tax breaks to corporations to encourage them to build projects that they’ll then charge the public tolls in order to use. . .

Republicans have always struggled with a quandary presented by their economic ideology, which is that it’s difficult to get majority support for a set of policies intended to shower benefits on a small portion of the population. When they argue about it explicitly they use a kind of rhetorical redirection, claiming that cutting rich people’s taxes isn’t really about rich people at all, but is actually intended to help the middle class and even the poor. The rich themselves are merely a vehicle to accomplish this noble end, unselfishly accepting the government’s largesse on behalf of their lessers.

Needless to say, there are only so many people you can persuade with that argument. So in order to compensate, Republicans have complemented their economic case with a menu of social issues with which they can demonize their opponents. Those Democrats hate America, Republicans would say, they’re weak, they don’t love God the way you do, they want to take your guns, they want to force your kids to get gay abortions. Often enough, it worked. . .

But now, Trump is filling up his administration with, guess what, Washington politicians and representatives of the economic powers-that-be, whose top priorities are tax cuts, deregulation, and destroying the safety net, including the privatization of Medicare. The idea that they’ll be laboring to serve the interests of the working class is a joke. Yet it’s a joke people somehow keep telling with a straight face."

Read the Washington Post, Can we stop pretending that Trump is a ‘populist’ now?

UPDATE III: "Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s relationship with Wall Street ran hot and cold. On the podium, he sounded a populist battle cry — heaping disdain on elites and tarring his opponents by their associations with Wall Street. But behind the scenes, Trump assembled a gang of financiers, bankers and ex-bankers to advise his campaign.

Now, he is drawing on that same set of highflying, high-net-worth individuals to captain his new administration. There was Betsy DeVos, a billionaire investor and a heavyweight political donor, whom Trump nominated as his education secretary. There was Wilbur Ross, another billionaire investor, said to be Trump’s pick to become commerce secretary.

On Wednesday, Trump named another member of America’s elite for a position in his Cabinet.

Steve Mnuchin, a hedge fund chairman and 17-year Goldman Sachs alum, is Trump’s pick for treasury secretary."

Read the Washington Post, Trump said hedge funders were ‘getting away with murder.’ Now he wants one to help run the economy.

UPDATE II:  "If fighting corruption in D.C. is the reason you voted for Trump, well, you got played. . .

Maybe Trump will prove to have fantastic policies that make America great again. But for the next four years, Trump’s supporters will not be able to make the claim that he’s fighting corruption in Washington. If anything, Trump, his family and his cronies appear poised to leverage the power of the federal government to enrich themselves. And anyone who tells you differently is selling you something. "

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump will not be draining any swamps as president.

UPDATE:  Read the Washington Post, On conflicts of interest, Trump may be worse than Clinton.

Trump promised "to 'drain the swamp' — to eliminate the culture of self-dealing, conflicts of interest and pay-to-play that has infested government. There was no issue more central to Trump’s campaign or to his attacks on (“Crooked”) Hillary Clinton. To allow his children to run his businesses would be the most egregious conflict of them all. Every decision by an agency of the federal government and every administration policy would be scrutinized for the benefits it bestowed on a Trump property or business. Every diplomatic move would be examined to see if there were a financial quid pro quo, perhaps a favorable renegotiation of a foreign bank loan or resolution of regulatory issues involving Trump’s foreign properties. Any bill, be it tax reform or regulatory reform, likely would have some impact on one of his businesses. Inevitably, there will be instance after instance in which Trump or someone working for Trump or legislation Trump favored wound up enriching Trump. That is the essence of corruption. The presidency would become the biggest swamp of them all."

Read the Washington Post, The Trump team’s ethical swamp.

Read also the Washington Post, Bernie Sanders: Trump already breaking campaign promise to ‘drain the swamp’.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Trump's Big CON: "More U.S. Manufacturing Jobs"

UPDATE:  "American workers may be struggling, but American factories are not. . .

American factories actually make more stuff than they ever have, and at a lower cost. Manufacturing accounts for more than a third of U.S. economic output — making it the largest sector of the economy. . .

U.S. factories now manufacture twice as much as they did in 1984, with one-third fewer workers, according to the Federal Reserve.

The reason, of course, is that productivity has risen so sharply. Technology, and automation specifically, allows manufacturers to make more than ever before, at a much lower cost.

The economics are unavoidable and irreversible." 

Read the Washington Post, A single chart everybody needs to look at before Trump’s big fight over bringing back American jobs.

"Donald Trump laid out his plans for his first 100 days in the White House in a brief message Monday evening. What Trump said was not all that remarkable, focusing on standard conservative issues such as energy, regulation and ethics. What Trump did not say was more revealing. The president-elect made no mention of two bold promises he had made to his base on international trade, a crucial issue in his unprecedented campaign.

During his campaign, Trump had said that he would reopen negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and direct the Treasury Department to declare that China is manipulating its currency on the first day of his administration. Neither item was on his to-do list in the recorded remarks he put online Monday. . .

Noting that curtailing international trade could cause economic chaos, many analysts have been skeptical about how committed the president-elect is to the populist and protectionist agenda that helped him defeat former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. The omission in this week's message leaves open the question of how exactly Trump intends to shift manufacturing from overseas into the United States -- a pledge he repeated often on the stump."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump left two key promises to voters off his to-do list

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trump's Big CON: You've Been Scammed

"While we’re still analyzing the election results and debating the importance of different factors to the final outcome, everyone agrees that white working class voters played a key part in Donald Trump’s victory, in some cases by switching their votes and in some cases by turning out when they had been nonvoters before.

And now that he’s about to take office, he’s ready to deliver on what he promised them, right? Well, maybe not so much . . .

[T]he Trump administration and congressional Republicans are getting ready to move on their highest priorities, cutting taxes for the wealthy, scrapping oversight on Wall Street, and lightening regulations on big corporations.

Imagine you’re one of those folks who went to Trump rallies and thrilled to his promises to take America back from the establishment, who felt your heart stir as he promised to torture prisoners, who got your 'Trump That Bitch' T-shirt, who was overjoyed to finally have a candidate who tells it like it is. What are you thinking as you watch this?

If you have any sense, you’re coming to the realization that it was all a scam. You got played. While you were chanting 'Lock her up!' he was laughing at you for being so gullible. While you were dreaming about how you’d have an advocate in the Oval Office, he was dreaming about how he could use it to make himself richer. He hasn’t even taken office yet and everything he told you is already being revealed as a lie. . .

So what are we left with? What remains is Trump’s erratic whims, his boundless greed, and the core of Republican policies Congress will pursue, which are most definitely not geared toward the interests of working class whites. He can gut environmental regulations, but that doesn’t mean millions of people are going to head back to the coal mines — it was market forces more than anything else that led to coal’s decline. He can renegotiate trade deals, but that doesn’t mean that the labor-intensive factory jobs are coming back. And by the way, the high wages, good benefits, and job security those jobs used to offer? That was thanks to labor unions, which Republicans are now going to try to destroy once and for all.

Had Hillary Clinton won the election, the white working class might have gotten some tangible benefits — a higher minimum wage, overtime pay, paid family and medical leave, more secure health insurance, and so on. Trump and the Republicans oppose all that. So what did the white working class actually get? They got the election itself. They got to give a big middle finger to the establishment, to the coastal elites, to immigrants, to feminists, to college students, to popular culture, to political correctness, to every person and impersonal force they see arrayed against them. And that was it. . .

[M]aybe Trump will find a way to actually improve the lives of working class voters. That’s theoretically possible, but absolutely nothing he has done or said so far suggests that he has any idea how to do it, or even the inclination. So he may try to keep the fires of hatred, resentment, and fear burning, in the hopes that people forget that he hasn’t given them the practical things he said he would."

Read the Washington Post, How long before the white working class realizes Trump was just scamming them?

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Donald is Putin's Puppet

UPDATE IV:  "The flood of 'fake news' this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia. . .

Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were 'useful idiots' — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.

The Russian campaign during this election season, researchers from both groups say, worked by harnessing the online world’s fascination with 'buzzy' content that is surprising and emotionally potent, and tracks with popular conspiracy theories about how secret forces dictate world events.

Some of these stories originated with RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that mimic the style and tone of independent news organizations yet sometimes include false and misleading stories in their reports, the researchers say. On other occasions, RT, Sputnik and other Russian sites used social-media accounts to amplify misleading stories already circulating online, causing news algorithms to identify them as 'trending' topics that sometimes prompted coverage from mainstream American news organizations."

Read the Washington Post, Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say.

Read also the Washington Post, Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story.

UPDATE III:  "Former CIA director Michael Morell endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and blasted GOP rival Donald Trump, accusing him of becoming an unwitting agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an op-ed on Friday. . .

He noted that Putin is a trained intelligence officer, and he suggested that the Russian leader has been using Trump's personality for his own gain. In the primaries, Morell said, Putin 'played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities' by complimenting him.

Among the traits Morell said would make Trump a 'danger' to national security: 'his obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.'"

Read the Washington Post, In endorsing Clinton, ex-CIA chief says Putin made Trump his 'unwitting agent'.

UPDATE II:  At the same time, his VP pick said "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences."

Read the Washington Post, Pence: Consequences if Russia is interfering in U.S. election.

So while Pence understands the seriousness of the possibility that a foreign power is directly interfering in the U.S. presidential election, Trump is encouraging the interference.

Pence should withdrawal as Trump's VP.

UPDATE:  "Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday said he hoped that Russia would hack into Hillary Clinton’s email server to find “missing” messages and release them to the public."

Read the Washington Post, Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton's emails and release them publicly.

Donald Trump is dangerously insane!

"Donald Trump never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like — until now.

He has dabbled in, among other things, the notion that President Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination.

But on one topic, Trump is conspicuously incurious: the suggestion that he is complicit in a plan by Vladimir Putin to influence the U.S. election."

Read the Washington Post, A Trump-style speculation on the GOP and Putin, which lists the many troubling connections between Putin and The Donald.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Trump's Big CON: No Balanced Budget

UPDATE: "For the last 35 years, Republicans haven't worried about deficits when they've been in power—in fact, former vice president Dick Cheney said that 'Reagan proved' they 'don't matter'—and treated them like the greatest threat to the republic when they've been out of it. So the fact that this would add a lot of red ink wouldn't be a dealbreaker. Republicans are going to resume not caring about the deficit the moment the calendar flips to Jan. 20, 2017."

Read the Washington Post, How Obama’s unaffordable socialism could become Trump’s smart conservatism.  

Read also the Washington Post, How to pay for Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar agenda? Congressional Republicans aren’t saying.

"President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday made his first stamp on Congress as House Republicans bowed to his wishes and announced plans to extend government funding through March . . .

Read the Washington Post, Trump camp calls for short-term spending bill despite Senate concerns.

Balancing the budget is a long-time Republi-CON.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Trump's Big CON: Trump 'University'

"In a complete turnaround from his previous position, President-elect Donald Trump is nearing a settlement of the fraud cases brought in New York and California involving his now defunct for-profit Trump University, the Daily News has learned.

Under the emerging deal being negotiated by Trump's lawyers, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the law firm that brought a class action lawsuit regarding Trump University in California, the president-elect will agree to pay between $20 million and $25 million to settle the matter, a source with knowledge of the situation said."

Read the New York Daily News, Donald Trump nearing settlement in Trump University fraud case

Trump needs to settle before the trial exposes him as the CON man he truly is.

Trump's Make America Hate Again!

UPDATE III:  Read these Washington Post articles:

Video shows Pennsylvania teenagers celebrating, shouting ‘white power’ after Trump win

This Indiana church was defaced with ‘HEIL TRUMP’ graffiti — and is keeping it,

White Texas teens chant ‘build that wall’ at Hispanics during high school volleyball match,

‘I voted for Trump! You lost!’: White Starbucks customer accuses barista of ‘discrimination’,

A hiker wore a bandanna for sun protection. Then she found an anti-Muslim note on her car., and

Alabama officer fired over racist meme calling Michelle Obama ‘fluent in ghetto’.

UPDATE II:  "Trump has vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country and to force deportation of Mexicans. He has ridiculed the disabled. He has accepted without criticism the enthusiastic support of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups that were previously on the fringes of society. He has invoked standard anti-Semitic tropes in his political advertising. And he has made clear that he believes grabbing and groping women is appropriate behavior."

Read the Washington Post, ‘Political correctness’ has become a codeword for hate

UPDATE: Read the Washington Post, Japanese American internment is ‘precedent’ for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says and A Tenn. jail official called the KKK ‘more American’ than Obama. Now he’s out of a job.

Read these Washington Post articles:

Is Trump’s new chief strategist a racist? Critics say so.,

A Baylor student was shoved and called the n-word. This is how the school responded.,

Police officer who drove with Confederate flag at ‘Love Trumps Hate’ rally resigns,

Restaurant denies free Veterans Day meal to black veteran after man in Trump shirt accuses him of lying,

A man in KKK robes waved a Trump flag at a bonfire in Connecticut, police say,

‘Ape in heels’: W.Va. mayor resigns amid controversy over racist comments about Michelle Obama,

‘Why white women shouldn’t date black men’ fliers discovered at Southern Methodist University.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump's Big CON: 'Welcome to the Trump Kleptocracy'

"The words 'conflict of interest' don’t begin to describe what the Trump administration is shaping up to look like . . .

Anti-nepotism laws prevent Trump from giving his family members jobs in the administration. But don’t think that’s going to stop them from being active participants in U.S. government decision-making, or using the fact that Trump is president to keep money flowing in. In fact, we could see the president enriching himself and his family on a scale that we normally associate with post-Soviet kleptocrats and Third World dictators. . .

[Already] Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry is promoting the bracelet she wore on last Sunday’s '60 Minutes' interview, which can be yours for $10,800. . .

[During the election] nothing we have learned about Trump suggests that he will operate in a remotely ethical way when it comes to opportunities to enrich himself once he becomes president. We’re talking about a man who allegedly ran multiple grifts on gullible customers (Trump University, the Trump Institute, the Trump Network); who used the bankruptcy laws to escape the collapse of his casinos, leaving investors holding the bag while he made out like a bandit in a kind of Atlantic City version of 'The Producers'; who ran a foundation that was essentially a scam from top to bottom; who regularly stiffed contractors when he knew they were too small to fight him; who used undocumented workers and reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials so that they could work illegally in the United States, who once paid $750,000 to the Federal Trade Commission to settle an antitrust suit, and who was generally revealed to be, if not the most spectacularly corrupt businessman in the United States, then certainly a strong contender for that title.

The irony is that so many of Trump’s supporters believed his preposterous claim that he would be the one to banish corruption from Washington, that he’d 'drain the swamp' and send that crooked establishment packing. He’ll do nothing of the sort, of course; his transition team is drowning in corporate lobbyists, and among his first priorities are cutting taxes for the wealthy and removing oversight from Wall Street. But that’s standard Republican fare; what’s different and probably unprecedented is the way Trump will increase his fortune by hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars while he’s president."

Read the Washington Post, Welcome to the Trump kleptocracy.

"Kleptocracy (from Greek: κλεπτοκρατία, klépto- thieves + -kratos rule, literally "rule by thieves") is a government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political power."

Trump's Big CON: He Stops Nothing

"President-elect Donald Trump claimed credit on Thursday for keeping a Ford plant in Kentucky from moving to Mexico. But the company never planned to move the entire plant, only one of its production lines.

Ford has never announced plans to move to Mexico either its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, which produces the Lincoln Navigator, or the Louisville Assembly Plant, which produces the Lincoln MKC and the Ford Escape."

Read the Washington Post, Trump just took credit for stopping Ford from moving a plant to Mexico. But it wasn’t planning to.

Trump's next feat of narcissistic vainglory: sunrise!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trump's Big CON: "I'll Repeal Obamacare"

"[T]he whole idea of 'repealing' the ACA has been something of a scam."

Read the Washington Post, Are Trump and the Republicans really going to repeal Obamacare?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trump's Big CON: He Will Continue Obama's Immigration Plan

Trump plans regarding undocumented immigrants is not all that different from Obama's.

Read the Washington Post, This is pretty awkward for people who criticize Donald Trump’s immigration plans

Friday, November 11, 2016

A 2009 Told Ya So: Remortgage America

Remember in 2009 I promoted an economic stimulus program like Remortgage America.

Read the Washington Post, How President Obama might have stopped Donald Trump.

UNBELIEVABLE!!! (Was It a 'Yuge' CON Job By The Donald?)

UPDATE VIII:  "An organizational chart of Trump’s transition team shows it to be crawling with corporate lobbyists, representing such clients as Altria, Visa, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Verizon, HSBC, Pfizer, Dow Chemical, and Duke Energy. And K Street is positively salivating over all the new opportunities they’ll have to deliver goodies to their clients in the Trump era. . .

The answer is, anyone who was paying attention. Look at the people Trump is considering for his Cabinet, and you won’t find any outside-the-box thinkers burning to work for the little guy. It’s a collection of Republican politicians and corporate plutocrats — not much different from who you’d find in any Republican administration.

And it isn’t just personnel. What are the priorities Trump and the Republican Congress will be pursuing right out of the gate?

[Trump will cut taxes for the wealthy, gut regulations, and destroy programs for poor and middle class Americans, and in doing so] Trump is going to be little different from any other Republican president . . .

But one thing it will not be is a threat to the establishment, or the system, or whatever you want to call it. The wealthy and powerful will have more wealth and power when he’s done, not less. There’s a lot that Trump will upend, but if you’re a little guy who thinks Trump was going to upend things on your behalf or in order to serve your interests, guess what: you got suckered."

Read the Washington Post, If you voted for Trump because he’s ‘anti-establishment,’ guess what: You got conned.

UPDATE VII:  First it was the promise to balance the budget, then the ban on Muslims, now Trump is reneging on trade.

Read the Washington Post, A Trump policy adviser is already walking back tough talk on trade.

Trump's election may be the world's biggest CON.

UPDATE VI:  Read the Washington Post, Why Donald Trump can’t govern like a traditional Republican.

Read also, the Washington Post, Is there a parallel between Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger?

UPDATE V:  "I retain faith in another powerful tool: democracy. By which I mean democracy as defined by H.L. Mencken: 'the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.'" (Emphasis added.)

Read the Washington Post, Americans have voted for Trumpism. Let them have it.

UPDATE IV:  That didn't take long, the election results are not even official and the Republi-CON are already changing their 8-year old tune on the evil of federal budget deficits and government debt, as well as banning Muslims.

"Over the last eight years, the Republican establishment has repeatedly excoriated President Obama for plans that don't immediately balance the budget.

Yet Trump's proposals -- which include an unprecedented $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan over 10 years and trillions more in tax cuts -- would grow the debt far more than under current law."

Read the Washington Post, Republicans look like they could change their tune on debt under a President Trump.

Read also Daily Mail, Has Trump dropped the Muslim ban already? Statement on controversial policy disappears from website shortly after election.

The Republi-CON party is a CON job!

UPDATE III:  As I said earlier, when I initially supported The Donald, I'm still open to the possibility that The Donald is Trump-Brilliant (©!!!!

The Donald didn't get & remain rich believing the $@#% he says.

It is possible that his campaign was all a CON job to get elected, that The Donald brilliantly used  Republicans' fears, anger & hatred to win their votes. 

Remember, he is no social conservative, and many of his economic ideas are  heresy to traditional Republi-CON orthodoxy.

("In a brief victory speech early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump devoted only a few words to his specific priorities for policymaking in the next administration. At the top of the agenda was a new investment in infrastructure.

'We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,' the president-elect said after making a few introductory remarks. 'We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.'

Infrastructure is a major Democratic priority," something Obama has wanted for 8 years."

Read the Washington Post, Paul Ryan might not be happy about the first item on the agenda in Trump’s victory speech.)

Trump hates failure, and doing the things he promised in the campaign would make him a big FAILURE.

And if he goes along with the Republi-CON party orthodoxy, his supporters will realize they have been conned and will turn on him, making him a big FAILURE.

So did The Donald know that it was impossible to talk reason to Republi-CONs, so he used their fantasies and delusions to control them and win their votes?

And now that he has been elected, will he return to being the brilliant negotiating pragmatic moderate he has always been, in it for nothing more than the challenge of succeeding? "Trump has no clear ideology – only a belief in his own ability to solve problems. He could surprise a lot of people by being a pragmatist who cuts deals with fellow New Yorker Chuck Schumer, to the great chagrin of his base."

The Donald's fear of failure will limit his stupidity, his success will be the country's success.

The Donald may be Trump-Brilliant (©!!!!

So it is ironic isn't it, "Trump's candidacy was premised on the idea that everyone — politicians, reporters, corporations — is lying to you, and lying to you to to feather their own nests."

Yet The Donald's only way to avoid failure is to be a liar also.

UPDATE II:  Ok, climb off the ledge.  It will get better.

President Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© & his delusional supporters can't avoid reality forever. (BTW, not all Trump voters are delusional, some just wanted to shakeup DC, and Clinton wasn't the candidate to do that.)

As I have said many time before, call the Republi-CON bluff.

First, balance the budget, NOW!

This has been a Republi-CON fantasy for years. But Obama knew better, he would have taken the blame for the ensuing economic collapse. It can't be done without doing substantial harm to the economy. The people who will be hurt the worst live in red states. (FYI, 44% of Louisiana's state budget is funded by various federal government programs.)

Next, in the bill to repeal Obamacare (which was originally a Republi-CON idea), include a provision that ends all federal government funding of health care.

Currently, about half of all health care spending is paid for by the federal government, probably more in red state. Individual health care is not a federal government responsibility, but federal law requires treatment. Let the states take care of people who are not responsible enough to get health care insurance. Soon people will be dying in the streets, many in red states. (Read my many posts that try to explain Obamacare.)

These are just two ideas that might wake up the American people. Don't let Trump abandon his impossible and unwise campaign statements and lies.  There can be no excuses, Republi-CONs own government — both houses and the presidency.

Triple dog-dare Trump and his Republi-CON supporters to fulfill his many wild promises NOW: build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, abandon NATO, deport foreigners, put Muslims in internment camps, cancel trade agreements and engage in trade wars with China and others, start jailing his political rivals and cracking down on the free press, abandon our allies and encourage them to get nuclear weapons of their own, and more.

If done right, crushing Republi-CON delusions these next four years could be fun!

Remember: "the voters will have the opportunity for more 'change' elections in 2018 and 2020."

UPDATE:  Remember, Trump is a fraud.

"Donald Trump ran against himself and won. The Manhattan billionaire who for decades boasted of his playboy lifestyle, stiffed contractors and vendors, hired illegal immigrants, eschewed churchgoing, embraced liberal causes, and counted Hillary and Bill Clinton as friends and allies pulled off one of the most brazen pivots in American history, selling himself to American voters as a populist hero who understood their frustrations and guaranteed a blizzard of wins. . .

Trump called himself a 'blue-collar billionaire,' and although he had lived a fairly isolated life, working and sleeping in Trump Tower, with no close friends and few trusted advisers, he believed that he had so completely won the hearts of many Americans that, as he put it, 'I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters.' . .

Trump believed that through creative use of media, he could build an image that would inspire ordinary people to want to be like him. He believed that if he crafted that image well enough, he could become rich and powerful and ultimately rise to the highest office in the land. On Tuesday, he reached that final step in his half-century-long ascent.

What he will do with it, even he does not know. Asked earlier this year if he has spent much time preparing to actually be president, Trump admitted that his focus had been solely on the campaign. “I’m all about the hunt and the chase,” he said. 'When I get something I really wanted, I sometimes lose interest in it.'"

Read the Washington Post, How Donald Trump broke the old rules of politics — and won the White House.

So play the CON man's game against him, force people to remember who they elected.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series & Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© was elected president.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Soon We Shall Know Ourselves

UPDATE: "I’m going to attempt to demonstrate this with a chart — it is below — that, I believe, objectively captures the sum total of Trump’s arguments, and why those arguments, taken on their own terms, compellingly demand a vote against him.

At the heart of Trump’s case for the presidency lies two components. The first is a hyper-exaggerated narrative of national decay and decline — skyrocketing crime, rotting inner cities, decaying factories, a festering terror threat from within, a border that is being breached by dark hordes of invaders. The second is the notion that our elites are both fecklessly responsible for that perilous state of national decline and too corrupted to fix it — they’ve rigged the system against you, undermining American sovereignty to enrich themselves, while allowing American identity to be degraded by immigrants who are at best parasitic and at worst a lethal threat.

But Trump’s diagnosis runs deeper than that. His argument is not simply that elites are ripping you off from above while enabling those subgroups to rip you off and threaten you from below. Rather, the truly pernicious component of Trump’s argument is that our institutions and our democracy have themselves grown so hopelessly corrupted and compromised that they are no longer even capable of arresting and turning around that decline via conventional democratic processes. The only outcome that can change this state of affairs is electing him president. Any other result would only confirm that our system has been so corrupted that it is fundamentally no longer capable of producing legitimate political outcomes.

Trump sometimes expresses this idea explicitly, and sometimes implicitly. But it is the thread that runs through everything he has been saying and promising for months . . ."

Read the Washington Post, A final plea: The case against Trump’s dangerous authoritarianism — in one chart, which includes this chart:

"Trump would be elected on the promise of fighting, rounding up, jailing or humbling any number of personal and political opponents. Take away this appeal, and there is nothing left but grasping, pathetic vanity. . .

The undercurrents of economic anxiety and cultural disorientation that Trump exploits are real, deserving both attention and sympathy. But Trump has organized these resentments with an unprecedented message: The United States is weak and broken, a hell of crime, terrorism and expanding misery, beset from within and without, and now in need of a strong hand — his strong hand — to turn things around.

The single most frightening, anti-democratic phrase of modern presidential history came in Trump’s convention speech: 'I alone can fix it.' A Trump victory would be a mandate for authoritarian politics. . . a Trump administration would be a concession to the idea that America needs a little more China, a little more Russia, a little more 'so let it be written, so let it be done' in its executive branch. . .

Every constitutional conservative should be revolted. Those who are complicit have adopted a particularly dangerous form of power-loving hypocrisy. . .

It is almost beyond belief that Americans should bless and normalize Trump’s appeal. Normalize vindictiveness and prejudice. Normalize bragging about sexual assault and the objectification of women. Normalize conspiracy theories and the abandonment of reason. Normalize contempt for the vulnerable, including disabled people and refugees fleeing oppression. Normalize a political tone that dehumanizes opponents and excuses violence. Normalize an appeal to white identity in a nation where racial discord and conflict are always close to the surface. Normalize every shouted epithet, every cruel ethnic and religious stereotype, every act of bullying in the cause of American 'greatness.'"

Read the Washington Post, One final election plea, on the behalf of U.S. ideals.

Read also 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Countdown to Birther Fools Day 2016

UPDATE III:  It is just days before the election. What better time to release those 'universe-shattering' revelations.

It would guarantee a Trump election!

But don't hold your breath, it was all a CON job!!!

I triple dog-dare the Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang to prove me wrong.

UPDATE II:  We are fast approaching 1,000 days (December 26, 2016) since the First Birther Fool's Day.  The election is fast approaching, and Arpaio is being prosecuted for criminal contempt.

And still no 'universe-shattering' revelations.

When will the so-called Pastor admit he was lying? When will 'Gallups' gullibles' realized it was a con job?

UPDATE: To Gallups' gullibles:  Happy Birther Fool's Day 2016!

Another year, another Birther Fool's Day.

On Friday, March 11, 2016, we learned that Pastor Gullible-Gallups got a cute little Special Deputy badge, then got to look at the binders, with dividers, and was told about the "international forensic analytical laboratory" report, which he can't disclose because he's now a "Special Deputy".

Really, is there anyone who still believes anything Arpaio, Zullo and Gullible-Gallups said?  Only fools!

Remember, how much time has past since the 2014 promised 'universe-shattering' revelations:

That sound you hear is the growing laughter at the Birther delusions.

Anyone who gave money to these bozos should sue!  (I think Zullo and Gullible-Gallups are stringing people along until the statute of limitations on fraud has expired.)


Birther Fool's Day was first celebrated in 2014 on the first day after the month that the universe 'shattered', as promised by the "Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang" to 'Gallups' gullibles' on 'fellatio Friday' in mid-December 2013 (the 'universe-shattering' twist was being promoted elsewhere in late November).

It is no coincidence that Birther Fool's Day is April 1st.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Republi-CON Racism and Sexism

There’s no doubt that if she becomes president Clinton is going to get a lot of sexist vitriol spewed her way. But the comparison with how race has functioned during the Obama presidency is an important one as we consider how it will function and what the effects might be. . .

[L]et’s think about the purposes race has served during the Obama presidency and how things might be different if Clinton were president. First, birtherism was always a way of declaring Obama’s presidency inherently illegitimate. An African-American could not possibly be the president; if he got elected, the whole thing must have been a fraud because he is an alien. Conservatives will have a harder time making a similar argument about Clinton based on her identity, though they may try to say that the 2016 election was stolen, and there are ways they’ll treat her presidency as illegitimate even if they don’t call it that.

But race was also the organizing theme for much of the anger and resentment directed at Obama. If you’ve been a consumer of conservative talk radio or Fox News over the last eight years, you know how often right-wing complaints about Obama are cast in racial terms. It was only six months into his presidency that Glenn Beck proclaimed that Obama had 'a deep-seated hatred for white people.' Whatever policy initiative Obama was pursuing at a given moment was cast as 'reparations,' by which he was supposedly stealing money from hard-working white people to give it to undeserving black people in an attempt at exacting racial vengeance. It’s no accident that at the end of his term you saw the Republican Party nominate a white nationalist candidate essentially promising to restore the old order.

That’s about race, but it’s also about gender. The people who make up the core of Trump’s support are unhappy about the social changes that have displaced them from their position atop the social hierarchy. That loss of privilege, the idea that as a white man you’re no longer granted respect and deference — and even worse, people seem to be constantly telling you you’re being insufficiently respectful of those you consider your lessers — is for many people painful and disorienting.

For many of those voters, no one embodies that change and the threat it represents more than Hillary Clinton. . . If you’re wondering why conservative evangelicals are so strongly behind Trump despite his multiple divorces, adultery, generally libertine history and lack of religiosity, the answer is that Trump is promising a return to the patriarchal order of the past, where men will be restored to their place of honor and uppity women like Hillary Clinton will get the smack down they deserve.

Race and gender are both integral parts of the alienation many (especially older) conservative men feel. As Bill O’Reilly says, 'If you’re a Christian or a white man in the U.S.A., it’s open season on you.' But it’s easy to see how the relative emphasis on race during the Obama years could be turned just 45 degrees, so that the grievance industry run by people like O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh puts more of its focus on gender complaints than racial complaints.

While during the Obama years they were always on the lookout for anecdotes that could be spun into sweeping tales of the oppression of whites for which Obama was at fault, the Clinton years might feature a similar emphasis on gender, as Drudge and Limbaugh and Fox promote one story of oppressed males after another to their audiences, for whom this becomes a framework to understand whatever is going wrong in their lives. . .

[T]heir base will be fed a daily diet of misogynistic bile directed at the president, and “reaching out” will not be what that base is interested in. And that will leave them in the same quandary they’re in now.

Read the Washington Post, If Clinton wins, get ready for an outbreak of conservative male grievance.

Monday, October 31, 2016

How Big is Your Pumpkin?


UPDATE V: Is this a scary pumpkin? It depends on your party affiliation:

UPDATE IV: What is your all-time favorite horror flick? Vote at the Washington Post, Halloween is nigh: What's the scariest movie?

UPDATE III: And what to do with all those pumkins, how about shooting some out of a cannon. Read The New York Times, Smasher, Smasher, How Do Your Pumpkins Throw?

Boys will be boys.

UPDATE II: Just 1,531 pounds. That's puny by comparison. Rea The New York Times, 1,810-Pound Wis. Pumpkin Named World's Heaviest.

And check out these other Guinness World Records other astounding Halloween-themed records this season.

UPDATE: You could always buy an ugly pumpkin.

At the "Pumpkinville" (Ellicottville, NY) pumpkin festival the winning pumpkin weighed 1,531 pounds.

That's a 'Great Pumpkin:'

Happy Halloween!!


Nana - Nana - Nana! I got you first! and you can't get me back!

You've been mooned!!

One rule to this game.... You can NOT get someone who has already gotten you! Now go out there and get as many people as you can, before they get you!

And remember, we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

Halloween Light Show


"4 singing pumpkin faces, tombstones, hand carved pumpkins, strobes, floods and thousands of lights":

Why Dogs Hate Halloween

Updated and reposted:

For other photos, click here.

Happy Halloween!


"Hundreds of years ago, ignorance about decomposition and disease sparked fears that the dead returned to drink the blood of the living."

Read Slate, What Vampire Graves Tell Us About Ancient Superstitions

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dems Thank The Republi-CON Media CONplex

UPDATE:  Worse yet, Obama told ya so also!

He "has hit the trail for Hillary Clinton with an elan that recalls his days as a swaggering presidential candidate in 2008. . .

Obama is repurposing a critique he’s been making for years, in public and in private, directed at Republican officeholders themselves. His retooled stump speech is crafted not just to fire up Democratic voters against Trump, but to overwhelm other Republican politicians with a sense of dread by making them recognize the huge mistake they made by not listening to him.

Some of these Republicans are only now realizing that Obama was right all along. But it’s too late. Obama’s taking his argument to the voting public, and Trump is precisely the totem he needs to make it stick.

On the stump, Obama now regularly links Trump’s candidacy, and the bind he’s created for down-ballot Republicans, to a greater theory about the way the right has practiced politics throughout his presidency.

'For years,' Obama said in Las Vegas, 'Republican politicians and the far-right media outlets have pumped up all kinds of crazy stuff about me, about Hillary, about Harry [Reid]. They said I wasn’t born here. They said climate change is a hoax. They said that I was going to take everybody’s guns away.'

Obama went on:

    '[T]here are a lot of politicians who knew better. There are a lot of senators who knew better. But they went along with these stories because they figured, you know what, this will help rile up the base, it will give us an excuse to obstruct what we’re trying to do, we won’t be able to appoint judges, we’ll gum up the works, we’ll create gridlock, it will give us a political advantage. So they just stood by and said nothing. And their base began to actually believe this crazy stuff.

    So Donald Trump did not start this. Donald Trump didn’t start it. He just did what he always did, which is slap his name on it, take credit for it, and promote it. That’s what he does. And so now when suddenly it’s not working, and people are saying, wow, this guy is kind of out of line, all of a sudden, these Republican politicians who were okay with all this crazy stuff up to a point, suddenly they’re all walking away. “Oh, this is too much.” … Well, what took you so long? What the heck?

It should be alarming to Republican strategists that the outgoing Democratic president has a better handle on what’s happened to their party than GOP politicians and conservative intellectuals—many of whom blame Trump’s rise on the media, or liberal dirty tricks.' . .

But the content of Obama’s argument shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention, because he’s been making it for practically his entire presidency. . .

It is gratifying, in some ways, to watch Obama take this final victory lap. There can be no more fitting repudiation of the the massive resistance strategy Republicans deployed against him than to leave office a political giant, with high approval ratings, and a list of substantive achievements to rival the greatest presidents in U.S. history—while the opposing party’s nominee, the embodiment of the Republican id, loses ignominiously."

Read the New Republic, Obama Was Right About Republican Extremism All Along

Another I told ya so!

In November 2008 just after the 2008 presidential election, I asked: "Did Obama win because FOXNews and talk radio, a constant source of right-wing fantasies, promote obsessions that are not the issues that are important to American voters?" See Dems Thank FOXNews.

Now, eight years later, others are realizing that "Trump's rise was no accident; rather, it was a natural outgrowth of a growing and influential faction of conservative media that for years fed the Republican base a steady diet of fringe theories masqueraded as news.

And Republicans allowed it to happen, as Obama noted.

"They just stood by and said nothing, even though they knew better, while their base actually started believing some of this stuff," he said. . .

Trump did not create the conditions ripe for his candidacy. The conservative media industrial complex and apprehensive Republican leaders were responsible for that.

Years before the real-estate tycoon entered onto the political stage, the conservative press — made up of a handful of websites, talk radio, and Fox News opinion programming — started to move the center of gravity in the Republican base further and further right. . .

Perhaps more important, however, the conservative media industrial complex successfully managed over the years to lock the Republican Party away from access to its own base. Those who consumed conservative media were taught not to trust politicians or, even worse, the mainstream media.

As a result, party leaders were beholden to a handful of individuals who controlled the conservative media and, thus, held the keys to their voters. Elected officials and candidates seeking office dared not criticize the conservative media’s most powerful members, for fear of the wrath that would ensue if they did.

The power the conservative press held allowed its members to decide who was accepted by the base and who wasn’t. . .

Republicans instead allowed their base to be held captive by a conservative press that moved their base further right, pushed conspiracy theories about Obama, and set unrealistic exceptions for them while in office.

So it should not be surprising that when Trump came along in 2016 and aggressively echoed this rhetoric, a significant portion of the base accepted him. . .

Questions about what the Republican Party will do in the aftermath of yet another presidential-election defeat are already buzzing in political circles.

"There is no autopsy this year that does not include dealing with the right-wing media," Sykes said. "There is none."

There is a reason, however, that this issue has been ignored for so long.

The Republican base still remains largely unreachable, locked away in a space in which only figures like talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and internet titan Matt Drudge hold the keys.

[And] those 'who were wrong' this year [have] 'an enormous power to control the narrative.'

'Drudge, Breitbart, Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, [Laura] Ingraham — those people are completely invested in another false narrative to cover up the first false narrative, . . . 'and if there's one thing I have ever learned in life, it is far easier to dupe people than to convince them that they have been duped.'"

Read Business Insider, The GOP must do something about the conservative media industrial complex if it wants to survive.

There are many such articles being written, including in the Washington Post:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Don't Vote Hate, Your Vote Must Humiliate & Repudiate

If "Trump is to be denied in his bid to subvert democratic institutions by claiming a rigged election, he needs to be defeated resoundingly, removing all doubt. Clinton needs to run up the score.

The need to deal Trump a humiliating defeat has a sociological basis in the 'degradation ceremony' in which the perpetrator (Trump) is held by denouncers (officeholders and others in positions of influence) to be morally unacceptable, and witnesses (the public) agree that the perpetrator is no longer held in good standing.

Psychologist Wynn Schwartz, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, explained to me that what’s needed to have a successful degradation of Trump is an epic defeat. 'If it is lopsided enough,' he said, 'you don’t have critical masses of people who feel disenfranchised” or “who feel justified in saying that it was stolen.'

But if Clinton’s victory is narrow, the degradation ceremony fails, because a large chunk of the population feels swindled and remains loyal to Trump. 'The margin matters a lot,' Schwartz said.

Trump’s recent actions — talking about a 'rigged' election while laying the foundation for a Trump TV network — suggest that he will attempt to defy the degradation ceremony that a loss typically confers. Hence the importance of a landslide."

Read the Washington Post, Trump can’t just be defeated. He must be humiliated.

Read also the Washington Post, Americans are repudiating Trump’s ‘rigged election’ lies. By voting., which notes that "[o]ne good way for Americans to repudiate Trump’s efforts to shake faith in our democracy — and let’s be clear, this is exactly what he is trying to do — is by voting."

Friday, October 14, 2016

It's HER Fault

"It is time someone got to the bottom of everything that people say about Hillary Clinton. Who is she? More importantly, WHAT is she? . . .

[In 2016 s]he activates a spell cast on Donald Trump decades before at his wedding, which causes everything that comes out of his mouth to sound like the racist, sexist ramblings of a deranged conspiracy theorist. Trump tries valiantly to lay all her activities bare to the American people, but people cannot hear his truth through Hillary Clinton’s powerful cloud of witchcraft, which she uses to summon women everywhere whom he has wronged. "

Read the Washington Post, The hideous, diabolical truth about Hillary Clinton, which has compiled a full "timeline of her life by combining all the actual theories about her. When lined up together, they form quite a biography."

NO NEVER MEANS YES: The Republi-CON Moral Hypocrisy, Debasement & Obscenity in Defense of Donald Trump

 The Republi-CON Party claims it is the paragon of family values.

In the past, I have used examples of Republi-CONs hypocrisy when it comes to those so-called family values they claim to hold in such high regard.

Now, in defense of the indefensible, in order to win the election, none other than the Republi-CON's leading media cheerleader is excusing and condoning rape.

"Rush Limbaugh addressed what he called the 'Donald Trump sex-talk scandal' on his radio show Wednesday, mocking liberals and how, he said, they view the concept of consent.

'You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing,' the conservative commentator said, according to audio released by Media Matters for America. 'You can do anything — the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything — as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent.

'If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it's perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there's no consent in part of the equation, then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.' . .

In 2014, Limbaugh expressed frustration about the definition of consent.

'How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that 'no' means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?' he said on his radio show, according to the Huffington Post. In modern times, Limbaugh said, 'that is simply, that's not tolerated. People aren't even going to try to understand that one. I mean, it used to be used as a cliche. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given.

'See, that's what we've got to change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise young men. ... Are these not lawsuits just waiting to happen?"

Read the Washington Post, ‘Here come the rape police’: Rush Limbaugh reacts to Trump’s ‘sex-talk scandal’

As an attorney (& father), let me be clear, NO NEVER MEANS YES, no matter how rich or famous you think you are!!

Will You Be Voting for Moral Bankruptcy?

UPDATE III:  "It’s no longer a question of who is going to win; that’s a foregone conclusion. The issue is whether a party and individuals want to be remembered for defending a moral monster. And even if those calling for Trump’s head do want Clinton as the lesser of two evils, it’s hard to argue with that assessment. They’re entitled to more credence, not less. They knew months ago he was manifestly unfit." (Emphasis added.)

Read the Washington Post, The 7 dumbest arguments in defense of Trump.

UPDATE II: "Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others.

To prove their own existence, they hunger for endless attention from outside. Lacking internal measures of their own worth, they rely on external but insecure criteria like wealth, beauty, fame and others’ submission.

In this way, Trump seems to be denied all the pleasures that go with friendship and cooperation. Women could be sources of love and affection, but in his disordered state he can only hate and demean them. His attempts at intimacy are gruesome parodies, lunging at women as if they were pieces of meat.

Most of us derive a warm satisfaction when we feel our lives are aligned with ultimate values. But Trump lives in an alternative, amoral Howard Stern universe where he cannot enjoy the sweetness that altruism and community service can occasionally bring.

Bullies only experience peace when they are cruel. Their blood pressure drops the moment they beat the kid on the playground."

Read The New York Times, Donald Trump’s Sad, Lonely Life.

UPDATE: It appears some Republicans may not be.

"The Republican Party tumbled toward anarchy Monday over its presidential nominee, as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) cut Donald Trump loose in an emergency maneuver to preserve the party’s endangered congressional majorities.

Ryan’s announcement that he would no longer defend or campaign with Trump prompted biting condemnations from within his caucus and from Trump himself, who publicly lashed out at the speaker.

It was an extraordinary display of personal animus just four weeks before the election, destroying any semblance of party unity behind a nominee who many GOP leaders said they could no longer stomach because of his character traits and tawdry campaign tactics.

New national and battleground-state polls showed Trump sliding since Friday’s publication of a 2005 video of him bragging about sexual assault, putting Clinton in position for a possible electoral landslide. Clinton surged to an 11 percentage point lead nationally in an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll conducted over the weekend."

Read the Washington Post, The GOP tumbles toward anarchy: ‘It’s every person for himself or herself’.

"Over the weekend, Donald Trump did what he always does when things go south for him. He walked away. He announced he is not the man at 70 he had been at 59 when he had boasted of sexual assault, and he pledged “to be a better man tomorrow.” With that, he effectively declared moral bankruptcy, paying about a dime on the dollar of sincerity.

It was, of course, what Trump had done six times in business, only this time the crisis was not about his finances, but his character. He had been caught talking trash about women. He has been caught boasting about committing the sort of sex crimes transit cops are always on the lookout for. He said he had hit on a married woman soon after he himself had been married. For all of that, he had “regret.”

Then, like the angel he thinks he is, he took flight. . .

Trump’s diversion worked. He lives to fight another day, to continue to bring embarrassment and shame to the Republican Party and the political careerists who would risk a debacle of a presidency rather than take a stand on principle. Lies spill from Trump’s mouth and he exudes bigotry, yet he learned long ago that only suckers pay their debts and take responsibility for what they’ve done. He simply moves on. If he succeeds this time, then we are not his creditors, but as morally bankrupt as he is."

Read the Washington Post, Trump files for moral bankruptcy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

SNL's Takedown of The Donald

It's lengthy, but hilarious. Watch it:

The Republi-CON Media CONplex, CONtinued

"This election year is memorable for many reasons but among the most important is showing Republicans the cost of their infatuation with 'alternative' news sources.

The rise of the conservative alternative media can be traced back to the founding of the newspaper Human Events in 1944, Regnery Publishing in 1947 and National Review in 1955. But it did not become a mass phenomenon until the debut of Rush Limbaugh’s national radio show, in 1988, followed in 1996 by the launch of the Fox News Channel and the Drudge Report. Those still remain three of the most popular outlets on the right, but they have been joined by radio hosts such as Mark Levin and Michael Savage, authors such as Ann Coulter and Dinesh D’Souza, and websites such as Breitbart News, TheBlaze, Infowars and Newsmax.

The original impetus for these outlets was to offer a different viewpoint that people could not get from the more liberal TV networks, newspapers and magazines. But soon the alternative media moved from propounding their own analyses to concocting their own 'facts,' turning into an incubator of conspiracy theories such as 'Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster' and 'Barack Obama is a Muslim.'

This might have been dismissed at one time as a fringe phenomenon. But it has moved into the mainstream now that the Republican presidential nominee has turned over his campaign to Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart . . .

Where might Trump get [many of his] nutty ideas? . . . ”

You can and should blame Trump for believing so much of the nonsense that is spouted by the alternative media, but the deeper problem is with the outlets themselves. The right wing has created its own echo chamber which is increasingly disconnected from reality. There are millions of Americans who share Trump’s outré beliefs — which helps to explain why his presidential campaign has done better than expected.

But in the long term, the right’s addiction to its own news has become destructive — it promotes the election of tea party absolutists to Congress and the nomination of presidential candidates who have trouble appealing to swing voters. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence but in the 28 years since Limbaugh was syndicated, Republican presidential candidates have won a popular majority only once (2004); in the 28 years before then, Republicans won the popular vote five times (1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988). Whether Trump wins or loses, conservatives need to re-evaluate their infatuation with 'alternative' news sources that tell them what they want to hear and join a more mainstream conversation that includes different points of view."

Read the Washington Post, Republicans are paying the price for their addiction to their own media.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Where's The Donald?

UPDATE:  "There is no new Donald Trump. What you see is what you get. Trump is a living, breathing example of how all of the best-laid plans go out the window after you get punched in the face. Even if he knows what he should do — or at least what people like his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway need him to do — in this second debate, Trump's performance in New Hampshire on Thursday night shows that he is simply incapable of executing a plan that runs counter to his freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness approach.

He just doesn't have it in him. To expect a different Trump at this point in the campaign is to believe something against mountains of evidence to the contrary."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump’s debate prep is going great!!!

Say good bye to old narcissistic, egomaniacal, religiously bigoted, misogynistic, racist, xenophobe (did I miss anything?) The Donald

Say hello to new & improved The Donald.

Read the Washington Post, Trump just said he won’t attack Bill Clinton’s affairs, after all. Here’s why.

Is anybody really fooled?

And how long will it last?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Don't Vote Hate

See UPDATE XI (10/03/16) below.


Lord knows we need reform in this country. This blog explains why.

And I had great hope that The Donald could be a reformer.

But now I believe that The Donald is a narcissistic, egomaniacal, religiously bigoted, misogynistic, racist, xenophobe. (Did I miss anything?)

He is our Hitler, and all good Americans have a duty to fight him and defeat him.

God will accept nothing less.


UPDATE:  "'Kill her.'

'Trump that bitch!'

'Build a wall — kill them all.'

New York Times reporters have spent over a year covering Donald J. Trump’s rallies, witnessing so many provocations and heated confrontations at them that the cumulative effect can be numbing: A sharp sting that quickly dulls from repetition.:

Read The New York Times, Voices From Donald Trump’s Rallies, Uncensored.

Or watch the video:

UPDATE II: You must read this article by a conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin with the Washington Post, New campaign shake-up, same old awful Trump, which notes:

"Republicans have deluded themselves long enough. He’s not stable, coherent or knowledgeable. The man who never apologizes and thinks he has run a perfect campaign will not shift gears. If anything, he is doubling and tripling down. If Republicans cannot declare him ready right now to govern and recommend Trump as he is right now — not after being sprinkled with presidential pixie dust — they should leave him to his own devices and get on with the business of trying to save the House and Senate majorities." (Emphasis in original.)

The rats are abandoning ship.

UPDATE III:  Another must read article by a conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin with the Washington Post, Trump flunks the commander-in-chief test, which notes:

"Hillary Clinton did not have a great night at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum on Wednesday. Donald Trump had a horrendous one. It was in that sense a microcosm of the race: Only against Trump could Clinton seem far and away the most responsible contender. . .

 None of that — if you can believe it — was anywhere as awful as Trump's rambling, incoherent and at times jaw-dropping performance. He once again fawned over Vladimir Putin, who has invaded his neighbors and repressed his citizens. Besides, Putin has an 82 percent approval! (That's like saying Bashar al-Assad is the world's most popular ruler since he gets 99 percent of the vote.) He declared, "I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia." He went back to the topic shortly thereafter: "If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him." It's a telling comment: Trump's sole concern is himself; the interests of the United States don't come into consideration.

Trump repeatedly insulted the military. . .

He repeated his nonsensical position that we should take Iraq's oil . . .

Trump nevertheless is going to demand that the generals come up with a plan for beating the Islamic State. Trump told us he has a plan but apparently he does not, or wants to compare notes with the generals. But they'll be different from the ones reduced to rubble, I guess.

Trump also seemed unaware in discussing sexual assault that there is a military system of justice. ("And the best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn't exist.") He also objects to women serving next to men in the military.

It is obvious that Trump has learned nothing in more than a year of campaigning. Perhaps that is because, as he acknowledged, he is still running his business. (Blind trust? Conflict of interest?) Maybe it is because he is surrounded by sycophants of Putin. Then again, it may be that he is ignorant and cannot process information that might contradict the rubbish occupying his brain. . .

The worst of the worst, however, might go to the hapless Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who tweeted that Clinton was "angry and defensive" and didn't smile. No, really, he wants the lady to smile more. Is there some kind of contest at the RNC to see how big a gender gap a Republican can achieve? Priebus is a constant reminder that the GOP may be, after this election, unsalvageable."

Read also, the Washington Post, Don’t be fooled — Donald Trump’s foreign policy is as scary as ever, which noted:

"Trump’s vision of foreign policy seems to be a kind of authoritarian “big guys” club — stealing other countries’ oil, sacking generals, politicizing intelligence and buddying up to a Russian leader who’s running a covert action against the U.S. political system."

UPDATE IV:  What type of Trump supporter are you?

"If you are 'very enthusiastic' about a candidate who has based his campaign on scapegoating immigrants, Latinos and African Americans, talked of banning Muslims from the country, hesitated to disown the Ku Klux Klan and employed anti-Semitic imagery — well, you might be a racist. But if you are holding your nose and supporting Trump only because you think him better than Clinton, that doesn’t put you in the basket.

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the two groups roughly equal: Forty-six percent of Trump supporters say they are 'very enthusiastic' about his candidacy. The rest were 'somewhat' or not terribly enthusiastic."

Read the Washington Post, Yes, half of Trump supporters are racist.

BTW, early in the campaign I was the second type of Trump supporter, until I finally realized that even if Trump wasn't racist he was clearly appealing to fear, anger and hatred to win the election.

UPDATE V:  "Hitler was a psychopath. Trump is just a con man. . .

There’s a difference. Trump is a two-bit con man. He’s playing the fools.

Whether he’s jacking up room rates 400 percent when his campaign uses his hotels, or spending campaign money to buy his own books, or blowing racial dog whistles and then accusing his rival of being a bigot, or lying about crime rates to win African American votes, or just plain old running out on his bills — it is all, top to bottom, one long con. A scheme. A grift. To make a buck, to get out of hock, to get some fame, to get his own TV network — the ignominious ends always justify the ignoble means. Even his run for president is a con, a way to gain even more power than this millionaire’s son was already born with. It certainly isn’t to implement any deeply felt ideas. It can’t be. He hasn’t got any. It’s all about the con.

And give the man credit, by the way — he’s good at it. He is, as he says, the best. The white nationalists are eating it up, and they are a tough, tough room. The guy is a fantastic con man.

But he’s no Hitler. Not even close. . .

Is Trump a megalomaniacal demagogue? Yes. Is he a sociopath? Undoubtedly. Is he dangerous? Maybe.

Which bring me to the second reason the comparison of Trump to Hitler bothers me: This isn’t the comparison that matters. It’s the easy comparison, the one that leaves us — We The People — safe from criticism.

The comparison that matters is not, “Is Donald Trump like Hitler?” but, “Are we like Hitler’s willing executioners?”

Will we look the other way, say we didn’t know, stand silently by while millions of our neighbors are rounded up, while women who get abortions are “punished,” while immigrants are given “ideology tests” and our leader heaps praise on oppressive tyrants?

Well? Will we?

Are we that terrified? Are we that hateful? Are we that frightened, that cowardly, that selfish, that helpless, that cold-hearted, that dumb, that easily manipulated, that easily provoked? Are we so bereft of answers, so pathetically hopeless, that all we can come up with is easy scapegoating and blind fealty to Our Great Leader? Are We The People really going to fall for the dumbest, oldest, easiest trick in the book?

Because if we are, then we won’t need an Adolf Hitler to embrace that darkness. Even a two-bit con man like Donald Trump will be enough."

Read the Washington Post, Don’t compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. It belittles Hitler.

UPDATE VI:  And another must read article by a conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin with the Washington Post, Who will hold the right-wing media charlatans accountable, which notes:

"David Rothkopf writes that instrumental in Donald Trump’s rise was the 'chorus of toxic commentators … the Rush Limbaugh phenomenon and the Black Helicopter guys. They have embraced smear, conspiracy theories, inflammatory language, and gross incivility to drum up ratings and stir up emotions.' They’ve sown not skepticism but hatred and unwarranted distrust of all government. They’ve indulged in climate-change denial and economic nincompoopery.

For a while, they played the ideological purity game. Anyone who deviated from the Heritage Action script or the NRA scorecard or the anti-gay-marriage hymnal was a 'RINO.' (The problem with Jeb Bush, you see, was that he was too liberal.) Trump, it must be said, revealed all of these folks to be frauds. The media chorus that hounded impure conservatives now embraces Trump and the worst excesses of the welfare state (subsidized health care for Ivanka Trump?!). They’ve decided that large swaths of America are made up of victims, driven to madness by elites who refused to say 'Merry Christmas' and deprived them of $30-per-hour jobs that required no college education. They have gone from hawking traditional marriage to embracing a thrice-married adulterer. . .

They used to resent racial- and gender-grievance mongering. Now they coddle non-college-educated white males whose lives have been ruined by … what? Free trade that saves them hundreds of dollars a year at Walmart? By the idea that the rich have gamed the system? (It may be objectionable, but crony capitalism did not stymie the job prospects of high school dropouts in Appalachia.)

The conspiracy generators — Sen. Mitch McConnell sold them out! 9/11 was an inside job! President Obama was born in Kenya! — assumed that their audience was stupid. They then concocted a brew of urban myth and racial resentment that made their audience even stupider. It used to be that Republicans were the ideas party (Milton Friedman! James Q. Wilson!), while the Democrats were the coalition party (minorities, unions, etc.). Now the Republicans’ 'big idea' is that whites are persecuted and Christians get no respect. The right-wing media rails about public schools that don’t teach history adequately — and then spews a fractured fairy tale about U.S. history and make mincemeat of the Constitution when it suits their purposes. . .

They are, on the whole, far less informative, honest and fair than the mainstream media (which has its own problems). They sure are less civil. After the election, it will be a good time to name names, to end the Fox News network monopoly on evening conservative news-ish programming, to debunk the false narratives and grotesque sexism and simply to tune out the gibberish. Shining a bright light on charlatans and encouraging more speech have always been the antidote to noxious, false and destructive speech."

UPDATE VII:  "Trump has virtually no qualifications to be president, repeatedly failed as a businessman, has no history of public service, is the target of multiple investigations into possibly illegal activities, has regularly expressed racist and misogynist views throughout his career and during this campaign, and has deliberately and systematically reached out to groups that can only be described as “deplorable” — including white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other hate-mongers. Further, he has repeatedly expressed (including on Russian-state TV) his admiration for Vladimir Putin, a man who has systematically suppressed democracy in Russia, invaded his neighbors, scoffed at international law, and sought to undercut the interests of the United States. Worse, he has hired top aides who worked closely with the Moscow regime and sought to take advantage of a shockingly overt campaign by Russian intelligence to interfere in the U.S. election cycle.

Trump has repeatedly insulted and attacked the U.S. military and intelligence community, its leadership, and performance — while showing such utter contempt for the electorate that he has made no visible effort to come to understand America’s situation in the world or how foreign policy works. What is more, he has demonstrated his derision for the First Amendment to the Constitution and regularly sought to block, quash, and intimidate the press. If there were a more textbook example of the narcissistic, brutal personality type from which authoritarian thugs are made, it is hard to imagine. Trump is not just an American Berlusconi, he is our Putin- or Mugabe-in-waiting.

In an election year in which inequality and economic insecurity rank atop the list of voter concerns, Trump is a billionaire who has made his money by gaming the system and stiffing the little guy. He is odious and offensive; a poster child for everything wrong with the U.S. system. Indeed, the fact that he is not broke or in jail is powerful testimony to the special and unfair advantages the very rich have in America today. (See, for example, the evolving pay-to-play corruption scandal involving him and Florida’s attorney general.)

In fact, by any rational calculus the only federal office for which Trump seems suited is one with bars on the windows. The notion that somehow he has become a champion for Joe Lunch Bucket is beyond ludicrous. . .

Theories about how we got here are plentiful. We could trace the rise of Trump back to Goldwater or Reagan and the rise of the modern right wing in America. We could trace it to Gingrich and the obstructionists who first shut down the government in the 1990s, proponents of a political scorched-earth policy that has only grown worse in the years since. (The Democrats, it must be said, are not without blame here. After all, it was a Democratic effort to shape the Supreme Court that gave us the verb “to bork.”) We could trace it to the concurrent emergence of the fringe right that stretches from Pat Buchanan to Pat Robertson, from Michele Bachmann to Rick Santorum, from Sarah Palin to the Tea Party. And certainly, elements of all of these movements led us here.

So, too, has the chorus of toxic commentators played a role in this — the Rush Limbaugh phenomenon and the Black Helicopter guys. They have embraced smear, conspiracy theories, inflammatory language, and gross incivility to drum up ratings and stir up emotions. They have a special role to play in moving the media world along the spectrum from light to heat. But cable news networks (Fox and MSNBC) and websites (Drudge, Breitbart, and the liberal equivalents) have all seen their success and aped it, valuing conflict over insight, cage-matches over thoughtful, unbiased analysis.

There is a special place in this demonology, by the way, for the right-wing newspaper commentators who developed a strategy and a series of code words that made them sound patriotic but in actuality were dog whistles for the haters. . .

Something catalyzed all these forces and produced this inexplicable outcome. Determining it scientifically is impossible, of course. The rise of the echo-chamber-within-an-echo-chamber media phenomenon has helped isolate groups from one another and has deepened the us-versus-them mindset. The nonstop Twitter and social media conversation — wherein many of us get most of our news from friends, with whom we share values — is also to blame.

But something else has happened. The 15th anniversary of 9/11 underscores this for me. The entire country endured a psychic shock unlike any other in modern history as we collectively watched a human atrocity and national tragedy unfold. This made us feel more vulnerable and at risk than ever before. It created a level of fear that surpassed that all but the darkest days of the Cold War. This despite the fact that then, as now, we are probably safer than at any time since World War II. We’re stronger. We face no real strategic threat (except those from within our own borders). And the enemies we face, while awful, are weak, small, disparate, and doomed to fail.

The lingering sense of vulnerability indicates the severity of the trauma. It also suggests that subsequent shocks — notably the global financial crisis — deepen the psychological damage. We, as a country, are still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And Trump is a symptom of our distress."

Read Foreign Policy, Donald Trump Is the Symptom of Our PTSD.

UPDATE VIII:  "No matter what Hillary Clinton’s faults — and they are many — it is hard to seriously argue that a man who would lead a racist conspiracy theory and then try to blame his opponent is fit to be president. Trump, like a small child caught misbehaving, simply denies the evidence or blames someone else or lashes out in anger. (He also this weekend called former defense secretary Robert Gates a “clown” in response to Gates’s well-reasoned argument that Trump is unfit to serve as commander in chief.) Again and again he’s proven his views so extreme (e.g., rounding up 11 million people), his judgement so egregious (e.g., embracing Vladimir Putin) and his character so twisted that only someone in deep denial or blinded by partisanship could defend him and insist he is worthy of the office.

As for the fate of the GOP, the evidence mounts that it cannot go merrily on its way after the election. A party that would sanction people who call out a racist deserves to go out of business. A party whose congressional leaders remain supportive of a nominee who incites violence, perpetuates racism, blatantly, and traffics in conspiracy theories loses the moral authority to govern.

In essence, birtherism is a lenient dividing line."

Read the Washington Post, The GOP died this weekend.

UPDATE IX:  He was 'pathetic dunderhead,' a 'big mouth', and a 'most unlikely pretender to high state office', "who rose to power through demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals to the masses."

"[R]egarded by many as a self-obsessed 'clown' with a strangely 'scattershot, impulsive style', he focused on social and political conditions, expertly exploiting unemployment, economic distress, and bitterness, as well as a yearning for a return to greatness and and longstanding ethnic prejudices and fears of 'foreignization' to become lord and master of the country.

He persuaded millions to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred, achieving absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror.

He "was often described as an egomaniac who 'only loved himself' — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and . . . a 'characteristic fondness for superlatives.' His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But . . . his shrewdness as a politician — with a 'keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people' and an ability to 'instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.'"

He "was known, among colleagues, for a 'bottomless mendacity' that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology . . . to spread his message. . . [He was described as] 'so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth' and editors of one edition of [one of his books] described it as a 'swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.'"

He "was an effective orator and actor, . . . assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his [demagoguery] beneath a 'mask of moderation' when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. . . . Here, [he] adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners . . .  He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order."

He "increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising 'to lead [the country] to a new era of national greatness,' though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, . . . the better 'to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.'"

His "repertoire of topics . . . was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, 'it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences' with 'repeated mantralike phrases' consisting largely of ‘accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.' But [he] virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, . . .  [he knew] that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd . . . effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be 'persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.'"

His "rise was not inevitable . . . There were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed. . . He benefited from a 'constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously' — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an 'erosion of the political center' and a growing resentment of the elites. . . and the belief of [his] supporters that the country needed 'a man of iron' who could shake things up. 'Why not give [him] a chance?'"

His "ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity . . . [His] style and appearance . . . led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating 'evening’s entertainment.' Politicians, for their part, suffered from the delusion that the dominance of traditional conservatives in the cabinet would neutralize the threat of [his] abuse of power and . . . 'his conservative coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him. In any case, they were severely mistaken.'"

He "it became obvious, could not be tamed — he needed only five months to consolidate absolute power . . . 'with pressure from the party grass roots combining effectively with pseudo-legal measures ordered by the . . . government. Many [people] jumped on the [party] bandwagon not out of political conviction but in hopes of improving their career opportunities, . . while fear kept others from speaking out . . . The independent press was banned or suppressed and books deemed 'un-[patriotic]' were burned. [Soon] . . . 'his government was going to do away with all norms of separation of powers and the rule of law.'"

He "had a dark, Darwinian view of the world. And he would not only become . . . 'a mouthpiece of the cultural pessimism' growing in right-wing circles in the [country], but also the avatar of what Thomas Mann identified as a turning away from reason and the fundamental principles of a civil society — namely, 'liberty, equality, education, optimism and belief in progress.'"

Read The New York Time, In 'Hitler,' an Ascent From 'Dunderhead' to Demagogue, a review of a book offering "a fascinating Shakespearean parable about how the confluence of circumstance, chance, a ruthless individual and the willful blindness of others can transform a country — and, in Hitler’s case, lead to an unimaginable nightmare for the world."

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

UPDATE X:  "#NeverTrump Republicans warned [this] would happen: An emotionally unstable, raging narcissist would suffer some type of public breakdown, confirming the gross malfeasance of the Republican National Committee and the foolishness of his backers.

Trump could take the GOP down the tubes in an election that was eminently winnable — until the party nominated a lunatic."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump’s 3 a.m. moment.

Read also the Washington Post, ‘Public slut-shaming’ and Donald Trump’s attack on a former Miss Universe’s alleged sex history and Before 6 a.m., Donald Trump proved Hillary Clinton’s point about his temperament.

UPDATE XI:  "Trump all along has been a clinically self-involved con man who never took the issues, the presidency or the future of our country seriously. Can there be any doubt that his campaign is a branding exercise gone, quite literally, mad?

Trump’s gift to voters was a series of tweets he started sending out at 3:20 a.m. Friday morning. His behavior gives new meaning to the old ads about 3 a.m. phone calls questioning how a would-be president might respond to crisis. Beware any human being who feels an impulse to send out angry tweets at that hour. . .

If an onslaught against a Gold Star family didn’t stop him, why should his wee-hours-of-the-morning storm of vicious invective be any different?

The answer is that this episode should finally force everyone to say: enough. Trump is neither normal nor stable. He is manifestly dangerous to our country and erratic in everything except his unrestrained meanness. He should not be given fifth, sixth and seventh chances. He has shown us who he is. We should believe what we see."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s last tweet?