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National Emergency Crisis: The Howard Baker Moment Is Now

Canadian Terrorist Burning of the White House during the War of 1812 (Columbia Pictures)

During the course of American history, the country has faced many national emergency crises.

During the War of 1812, Canada burned the White House and the Pentagon in its terrorist assault on the country. To pour fuel on the fire, almost two centuries later Canada imposed on its weaker southern neighbor the worst economic treaty in American history. It is only when our Lord and Savior ascended to the Oval Office, that he rectified the wrong with the greatest economic treaty in American history….although he had to shut down the government to get Congress to pass NAFTA II.

Turning now from the alternate reality to the real world, there have been national emergency crises that tested the mettle of the Oval Office occupant.

The Day of Infamy.

The Cuban Missile Crisis.

9/11.

Each of one these events became a defining moment for the American President. They became the events through which the American people saw whether the President had the right stuff to rise to the occasion and safely steer the ship of state. They became the events historians would study and school kids would learn in districts where American history is still taught. What they all had in common was that the threat to the country came from outside, the crisis was foreign-generated.

Sometimes the crisis could be economic in nature:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Sometimes the crisis could be in nature:

“Heckuva job, Brownie.”

For better and for worse these events also became defining ones of the President. Who can forget the picture of the President of the United States having fun tossing rolls of paper towels in Puerto Rico?

“Wee. I’m having fun. It’s all about me. Wee!”

Through this photo-op, We the People had the opportunity to see for ourselves how the current occupant proved he was an A+ president with this heroic display of leadership.

Now we come to the current national emergency crisis. At this point, it is no secret that “Build a Wall!” was a great campaign gimmick to shout in professional wrestling arenas. The call and response of who was going to pay for the Great Wall of Trump was an added bonus. The audience really got into the show that was being presented just as it does at a real professional wrestling match only this time they apparently thought it was real.

One of in the indelible images of the campaign, at least for me although I have not seen it replayed on the cable talk shows, occurred after the Mexican President stated that Mexico would not, in fact, pay for the wall. At the professional wrestling arena campaign event, the immature child responded to Mexico in true hissy fit fashion:

Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
You are going to pay and the wall is going to be ten feet higher!

Many people have forgotten that campaign promise to build the wall ten feet higher. What made the moment indelible was the young white man sitting behind him and to his right. When Little Donnee Wannee declared that Mexico not only would pay for the wall but that it would be ten feet higher, this young white man leaped to his feet and thrust his arm to the heavens. It was a great display of the perfect con at work. One wonders how this individual feels now knowing that there never was any expectation that Mexico would pay for the wall and it would be the expense of the American taxpayer if built.

What began as a fraudulent con now has become real. Back in December, the wall looked like it would slide into the abyss never to be constructed. Nothing had happened in two years. The route had not been documented the way the Alaskan Pipeline was before it had been constructed. Eminent domain proceedings had not been initiated to seize the private property along the planned route. Environmental plans had not been filed. I don’t even know if a final design had been selected yet alone one that was ten feet higher. All in all, the world’s worst manager had demonstrated how he had been a serial failure in business by doing nothing to prepare for the construction of the wall in event Congress did approve it.

Following the 2018 election, it looked like time was running out. December was the last opportunity to pass a spending bill with a Republican majority in the House. When the weeny President caved, Ann Coulter was there to provide him the “backbone” that he lacked. Now it was an issue. The line had been drawn in the sand and he would not back down.

There is a saying that when you are in a hole, stop digging. That adage does not apply to this President. After all, he is a winner, He never loses. He won the election in 2016 including the popular vote since all the illegal votes for Crooked Hillary should not have been counted. He won the election in 2018 since he added two seats in the Senate and loss fewer seats in the House than Obama had. That was true on Election night when the losses were only in the 20s and remained true as they creeped up and reached 40. Hannity told him so.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to show his Republican base that he is fighting for them. That misses the point.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to placate Fox, Ann, and Rush. That misses the point.

The reason why this truly is a national emergency crisis is because he has to show to himself that he is a winner and not a loser. Even though the wall started as a campaign gimmick it now has become the measure of whether he is a winner or not.  If the wall is not built then NanChuck won and he lost. That is unacceptable. Therefore the wall will be built no matter what, no matter what it takes for him to build it even if the government remains shut down months or years or he has the military build it. NanChuck have left him no other choice but to play the national emergency card.

On one level, the national emergency crisis provides an easy way to end the government shutdown. The Senate could immediate pass all the funding bills submitted by the House or the one it passed in December with no funding for the wall. After, the funding is being taken care of through the military due to the national emergency crisis. Therefore the spending bills to reopen the government could be passed and signed into law right away.

Lawsuits would gum up this process. We know that the military is not ready to build the wall. We know that despite all the fuss about their being a crisis RIGHT NOW, nothing would happen right now. We know that Captain Chaotica does not have the mental necessities to manage such a construction project. But at least if it appeared that the national emergency crisis was underway with the military charged with building it, the justification for shutting down the government would be over. A lawsuit stopping that process also would continue the shutdown of the government since no spending bill would be signed if no building was authorized.

Now we come to the Howard Baker moment. Mitch McConnell is no Howard Baker. Mitch McConnell will never be a profile in courage. Mitch McConnell will never rise to the occasion. But the Howard Baker moment is not about a Senator or Senators going to the President, it is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying enough is enough. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the needs of the country come first. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the Republican Party cannot afford another victory like the one in 2018. It is about the Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying we must pass veto-proof spending bills with no spending for the wall and PASS IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THERE IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY CRISIS AND IT IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.

Will the Republican Senators rise to the occasion and provide the leadership We the People need?

How Nancy Pelosi Helped Elect Donald Trump: A Tale of Two Women

Nancy Pelosi, August 18, 2011 (https://www.realclearpolitics.com)

Several years ago, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, devoted the opening segment of her show to government shutdowns. She was interested to know why the federal government always seemed to be shut down, on the verge of a shutdown, or threatened with a shutdown. She traced the cause to a group of RHINO Representatives then called “Tea Party” and now called “Freedom Caucus.”

Her examination led her to the conclusion that these representatives came from districts where they did not have to worry about Democratic candidates. I do not recall if she used the word “gerrymander” in her analysis, but what she did was to compare the state vote totals for Representatives with the actual allocation of Representatives for the state. As best I can recall she used the three states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania for her data set. What she found in each case was that the number of Republicans elected was disproportionately higher than the statewide Republican vote. The result was the proliferation of these RHINOs who were rambunctious, disruptive, and uppity leading to government shutdowns.

Her analysis stopped there. Let’s examine what she omitted.

WHY DOES THE MORE REPUBLICAN A DISTRICT IS MEAN THE LESS THE REPRESENTATIVE ADMIRES LINCOLN?

Just because a district is primarily Republican in its demographics should not necessarily mean its representatives are people of malice who despise or do not admire Abraham Lincoln. How come the first Republican President and Mount Rushmore President is not a hero to the RHINOs from Republican districts? What about Teddy Roosevelt? What about Dwight D. Eisenhower? What about Ronald Reagan? Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House recently quoted Reagan on immigration to deafening silence from Republicans. She demonstrated that Republicans have abandoned not just Lincoln but Reagan, too. After all, a Republican who could win in California is of no interest to Republicans today.

WHY ISN’T THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS UPPITY?

The Congressional Black Caucus is about equal in size to the RHINO Freedom Caucus. To the best of my knowledge, its members never worry about Republican Party opposition candidates. Their seats are as safe and secure as those of the RHINO Freedom Caucus. Members can hold them for decades and sometimes even bequeath them as a legacy. Maxine Waters may be colorful may she is not uppity like the RHINO Freedom Caucus. The Congressional Black Caucus is not in the business of shutting down the government even though it is just as well positioned numerically to do so as the RHINO Freedom Caucus.

WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE URBAN LIBERALS LIKE NANCY PELOSI?

Another group of elected representatives who never have to worry about opposition candidates are the urban white liberals like Nancy Pelosi herself. I am not familiar enough with Congressional politics to know how such representatives there are. Regardless of the exact number, one presumes there are enough of them from the major cities of the country to be a formidable presence. For example, my own suburban New York district is represented by Nita Lowey who has been in Congress forever, had no opponent in the 2018 election, and now through seniority and the Democratic takeover holds a powerful committee position in the new Congress. She is not uppity nor are her fellow white urban liberals.

2010 Elections

Maddow’s analysis was incomplete. It failed to show why this particular group of Representatives who do not have to worry about opposition candidates acts in a way entirely inconsistent with the way other similar groups of Representatives behave. Nor did it address the diminished status of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan in the Republican Party. Nor did address how it came to be that Republicans were in position after the 2010 census to draw such gerrymandered districts so that they could elect Congressional (and state) representatives far in excess of popular vote count.

The missing piece from her analysis was the impact of the 2010 elections, a wave election that substantially benefited the Republican Party. This redistricting did not happen in a vacuum. It occurred in response to other events. Yes, there had been problems with the economy. Yes, America had elected its first bi-racial President. And then there was healthcare.

Remember Nancy Pelosi and the passage of a healthcare? Now that she has returned for second stint as Speaker of House, her accomplishments the first time around are being touted. Foremost among her achievements as a great Speaker is the passage of healthcare legislation. When confronted with Republican obstacles to its passage, she adamantly declared almost eight years ago:

We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in but we’re going to get health care reform passed for the America people.

Like Churchill voicing the indomitable British will to never surrender, Pelosi exclaimed the Democrats would triumph no matter what wall the Republicans built to prevent them from reaching their goal.

It was at the moment when Pelosi became the poster-person for the condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists, a position she holds to this very day. There is in America a significant portion of the population that adheres to the motto “Don’t tread on me.” These people do not like being told what to do. It is relevant whether or not what they are being told to do is in their own interest. The guiding principle is that they are being told what to do and have no choice but to comply, to obey, to be treated as slaves.  Since colonial times, this segment of the American population has expressed its antipathy to condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists. They hate having no choice and that is what Pelosi told they had: no choice. Then came the elections. Payback.

I get home delivery of the New York Times. I read the paper with two hands, the way people are supposed to get the news.  That means about once every other month, there will be an op-ed piece by Paul Krugman on healthcare. He will praise what it has accomplished, note there is room for improvement, and mock the Republicans for being unable to even develop an alternative of their own despite all their whining and shouting. But what economist Krugman never does is to consider the political costs of healthcare.  He never considers what subsequently happened to the Democratic Party beginning in the 2010 election. While it is easy to blame deplorable white racists who fear losing white privilege, that also is an explanation that makes condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists feel good about themselves. Perhaps instead of telling Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans what was going to be done to them, they might have started by asking the people what they wanted. Instead, like the Very Stable Genius, they already knew the answer and were ready to force it on people if necessary.

While there may not be a direct connection between Pelosi going over, under, around, and through the wall to prevent healthcare to the 2016 election, it is a major part of the story that helped worsen the divide among Americans that a skilled con artist could exploit. Somehow this spoiled billionaire with no sense of empathy or sympathy has convinced Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans that he cares about them. Keep in mind though that the Queens boy from the wrong side of the river has his own genuine issues with the elitists from the right side of the river in Manhattan.

Ann Coulter

At the same time that Maddow was omitting all this from her analysis of the government shut down, Ann Coulter, the second woman, offered an alternative view. She expressed how proud she was of her “boys,” apparently not a racially offensive term when used by white people about white people. She exulted in their courage. As a result of their heroic actions, spending was cut and the budget was balanced. At least it was in that timeline. In our timeline, the practical results were non-existent. However, it did enable uppity, rambunctious RHINOs to feel empowered.

So here were are years later with yet another shutdown. In this instance, the shutdown was snatched from the jaws of cooperation. When Fox, Ann, Rush, and the leaders of the RHINO Freedom Caucus read the weeny President the riot act he quickly folded. What had been a professional wrestling arena campaign gimmick suddenly became a hole he was digging himself deeper into. The talking heads are right: whatever compromise should emerge to resolve the situation, the Republican base can be conned into thinking it is a victory. However that may not work with Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus. They will be harder to con hence the hardening of the lines.

Now the shutdown ratchets up in intensity threatening to become a national emergency. It may come down to first there being enough Republican Senators to pass the budget legislation and second there being enough the override a veto as well. Come to think of it, that would require the same number of Republican Senators as to remove a President should he be impeached. There is a lot a stake here.

Maybe in the end, Pelosi will not only have helped to elect Trump, she and Ann will have helped to remove him.

Hotspur versus Bonespur: Having the Right Stuff to Go in the Arena

Statue of Henry Percy "Hotspur" 1364-1403” Alnwick Castle (tripadvisor.com)

According to the Constitution, the American President is designated with one specific task: to serve as commander in-chief. In the 20th century, the title was expanded in the popular culture to include “commander in-chief and leader of the free world.” The expansion was due to America’s role in World War I, World War II, and World War III (the Cold War). We were on the winning side in all three wars and had a leading role in those victories. The abandonment of that role by the current President will be the subject of another post.

The phrase “in the arena” comes from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt on April 23, 1910:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

One famous example of a story of a person going into the arena consistent with the popular image did not actually err again and again but proved quite successful against all odds. The story of David and Goliath has become part of the vocabulary in the American culture. Closer to home, another figure did go into the arena again and again, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. Rocky has become a mythic figure in the American Civil Religion. His iconic image has become a tourist site at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In America, even ordinary citizens can attain the heights once reserved for the kings.

The phrase “the right stuff” comes from a book by Tom Wolfe with that title. It later became a movie with the same title. It refers to the military pilots in Project Mercury when America began its journey to fulfill a presidential challenge to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Mission accomplished.

Together these terms and images call upon the American President and the American citizen to reach for the stars, to fulfill the American Dream, and in this instance at least, to risk one’s life to do so.

How does President Bonespurs measure up against this standard?

Unlike John Kerry and John McCain but like William Jefferson Clinton, President Bonespurs did not serve. As always, he has not told the truth when referring to this event in his life.

His first real experience of going into the arena was not even a real event at all. It occurred in the professional wrestling arena, still his favorite venue. Here he followed a scripted sequence and faked having the right stuff to go into the arena in the real world. Thus his combat experience is as fake as his hair.

His second experience going into the arena occurred during the second presidential debate in 2016 (Predator in Chief, Our Lady of Perpetual Victimhood: A Presidential Election Retrospective). In this competition he was pitted against the champion of the opposing political party. If you heard the encounter on the radio, then you probably would conclude that the Democrat won the war of words on the debate stage. Democrats frequently conclude that their side won and that mistake contributed to their defeat in the election.

Simultaneously with the debate “war of words,” a second confrontation occurred. This was the reality game “Survivor.” In this battle, the fight is not with words. Instead, it is a physical struggle. During the Presidential “Survivor,” a large male predator stalked his smaller female victim. As he prowled the stage, he marked his turf and asserted his dominion over this domain. People who watched THE DONALD in action came away thinking that he was the real deal. They still have not caught on that THE DONALD is an act, a persona Little Donnee-Wanee developed precisely for the purpose of conning people into thinking he had the right stuff to go into the arena.

Later the Democratic victim acknowledged her mistake in again being the victim as she had been for decades. Democratic observers took her to task for not standing up to the predator and putting him in his place. Unfortunately for the Democrats it was too late. Even to this very day, there are still people, especially Republicans, who think THE DONALD is not only a successful fighter but a real one…even as he cannot say “You’re fired” in person face-to-face and hides behind tweets instead.

His third experience occurred on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, in a press conference with Vladimir Putin (Putin and the American President: Who Has the Right Stuff to Go into the Arena?). He can now legitimately claim to have participated in the most humiliating summit with a Soviet/Russian leader in American history. Under ordinary circumstances such a pathetic performance would doom a president. He came across less manly than Dukakis in a tank. But for him it was just another embarrassment before moving on to the next one.

Now Bonespurs is faced with a real political battle against NanChuck. For the first two years of his administration there was no direct challenge to him. No Day of Infamy. No Cuban Missile Crisis. No 9/11. And no politician who confronted him in a showdown at high noon. So far the only person who may do so is Robert Mueller but President Bonespurs is girding up to prevent Mueller from exposing him.

With NanChuck the situation is quite different. The television reality show he hosted at the White House blew up in his face. Without even trying to, NanChuck got him to accept responsibility for the government shut down over the funding to build his wall. In that one public failure, he proved why he should not be allowed to testify under oath under any circumstances.

When Bonespurs subsequently was willing to reach a deal with NanChuck he was undermined by his own team. Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus read him the riot act. They put him on notice that if he caved on his signature issue there would be hell to pay come election time. Instead of calling their bluff (whom else would they support in 2020?), he caved and boxed himself in. They forced him to toe the line but offered no way to get out of this showdown.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on December 20, presidential advisor Stephen Miller became quite agitated and intense in conveying the urgency of the current situation:

Right now as we speak there is a surge of illegal immigration heading toward our country that presents a national crisis now.”

Not a month from now, not a year from now, right now. And this president took an oath, like every lawmaker in Congress to defend the citizens of this country. How many more innocent people have to die in pursuit of an open-borders agenda?”

According to Miller and the various acolytes on the Bull Trump network, there is a crisis RIGHT NOW! Drug dealers are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! Terrorists are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! Criminals are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! They are pouring across the border because Democrats believe in open borders so illegal aliens can vote not just once but multiple times by changing their hat and shirt as they run around the polling places.

Left unexplained in this emotional tirade about the desperate need to save the country RIGHT NOW is how a $5 billion spending bill will change anything RIGHT NOW! Will the $5 billion spending build a new wall RIGHT NOW! Will the $5 billion spending even build a teeny-tiny part of the wall RIGHT NOW! How will this authorization stop this NATIONAL CRISIS RIGHT NOW!

Do you Stephen Miller have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW?

Do you Fox, Ann, and Rush, have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW?

Do you RHINO Freedom Caucus have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW!

The advantage Bonespurs has during the shutdown is that he no more cares about the Americans than he does the Kurds or the Israelis whom he threw under the bus. Besides, the government employees who are furloughed or working without pay are Democrats and they support the shutdown for border security anyway. The very stable genius knows this because he is the smartest person in the room.

We have learned the hard way, from Charlottesville and Harvey, that Bonespurs is not capable of rising to the occasion. The difference now is that he has an actual foe in NanChuck. Plus he is boxed in. If the world’s greatest negotiator creates a deal and claims victory even though he has not won, Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus will be there to call him out. He won’t be able to get away with conning his own side this time.

What then should he do?

What does an immature child do when cornered? He lashes out. “Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! I’ll show you who is in charge! I’ll shut down the southern border.” The mind boggles imagining the world’s worst manager supervising the shutdown of the border. Can you imagine the chaos that would result? He does not even have 1% the managerial skills Herbert Hoover had. He lacks both the competence to shut down the southern border and the mental necessities to understand the consequences. Democrats should call his bluff just to expose his shortcomings and inadequacies for even Republicans to see.

There is a better solution.

How about asking China to fund the Great Wall of Trump? They would even build it too, if only Bonespurs would ask.

Rorschach Test: Exonerated or Did the Trump Hit the Fan?

In Which Reality Do you Live? (Yahoo.com)

We are blessed to live in a world where on a nightly weekday basis we can observe alternate realities. The question is which alternate reality is the real world and which is not. I am referring to the three evening cable news talk shows. If one were to channel surf from one network to the other, one would scarcely know that all three are covering the same event…and sometimes they cover different events which is news in itself.

Let’s examine some of the recent events from the perspective of these alternate realities in anticipation of the voters eventually choosing which version is the real world to the majority of Americans.

1. November Elections

There was a red wave coming and the results were a great victory (for the President and the President  alone). Republicans picked up two seats in the Senate as Nanchuck were just reminded of. Republicans only lost 40 seats in the House, a far better result than Obama’s loss of 63 seats in his first term as Sean Hannity reminded everyone again and again.

Without gerrymandering the losses would have been in the 50s but that is still less than Obama lost.

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

On a national level, the spread between the two parties is in the 8-9% range. So far I have yet to see the application of the individual state totals for the House vote to the Presidency. In other words, if one examined the total vote for the House elections and awarded the Electoral College vote to the winner of each state, what would the aggregate be? Did the House vote if considered as presidential votes mean the Democratic candidate would have won both the popular vote as well as the electoral vote? Perhaps someone reading this blog can gather the data and make the calculation.

2. Double OO O.J. License to Kill

The double 00 O.J. license to kill is one of the most coveted awards the United States can grant a foreign leader. Recently MBS joined Putin as a recipient of the license to kill. We all recall the scene of the two recipients high-fiving in recognition of their having been bequeathed this designation by the President of the United States. MBS deserves a lot of credit for not only instigating the murder but making preparations for the body chopped into pieces and disposed of. Evidently, he is a great fan of the slasher movies. Shocking as it may be to believe, there are even Republican Senators shocked by this outrageous display or murderous intent. If the Senate can vote unanimously on this outrageous violation of decency and the law, when else might it do so?

A lesson to be learned here is that nothing trumps making money for this President. No President in American history has been easier to buy. This awareness helps shed light on what Putin supposedly has on his poodle (see below).

3. Nobel Prize for the Denuclearization of North Korea

Who would have thought that Little Rocket Man would enable the President of the United States to win the Nobel Prize for Peace? Ever since their historic meeting, his North Korean lover has worked vigorously to remove and deactivate his nuclear arsenal. The claim by the Deep State intelligence agencies that North Korea has in fact been moving full speed ahead to expand its nuclear arsenal is FAKE NEWS!  Our immature child president operates on the basis if you can’t see it then it doesn’t exist. After all, has anyone ever seen Israel detonate a nuclear weapon, launch a missile, or test a missile with a bomb? The answer is of course not because everyone knows that Israel does not have nuclear weapons.  Perhaps Little Rocket Man deserves a Nobel Prize for playing Little Donney-Waney for the buffoon that he is. Does even Sean Hannity think North Korea is denuclearizing?

4. Trade Wars Are Easy

After a careful study through the reading of many books and journal articles of all trade agreements from the Canadian burning of the White House during the War of 1812 to the destruction of Yugoslavia by the Baltic States, the Very Stable Genius concluded that NAFTA was the worst trade agreement ever.  The world’s worst negotiator then decided to take matters into his own hands to produce [ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?] NAFTA II, the greatest trade agreement in the history of the United States. As those manufacturing jobs come pouring back into the country who can doubt the reality of NAFTA II being testament to the brilliance of America’s A+ president.

And what can you say about Tariff Man’s triumph over China? Add another notch to the belt of the winner who never loses.

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

5. Make America Rake Again

It’s sad watching so-called experts making such fools of themselves. Here we have an extended tragedy engulfing huge portions of California where millions of illegal people voted multiple times for Crooked Hillary denying the rightful popular vote victory to the legitimately elected president.  How can these experts not see what even a child could figure out? What good are all these experts if they can’t see what is staring them in the face? They should all be fired for incompetence. These Crooked-Hillary loving Deep State experts are wrong about global warming, are wrong about Rushian violation of America, are wrong about MBS. Why even keep them on the payroll? How much money are the taxpayers wasting by not simply letting the Very Stable Genius, the smartest person in the room make the decisions? Someone with even with no government experience can accomplish more than any American President except maybe Lincoln and he had a war to deal with!

6. The Witch Hunters: Locked and Loaded

And then there is the witch hunt. There were a lot of expectations about the Michael Flynn sentencing. People were waiting with baited breath to hear what the witch hunters had concocted in the Fake News witch hunt that should be directed against Crooked Hillary and her Rushian collusion. And when the transcripts of the sentencing were released it was a big nothingburger. There was no collusion. There was nothing to indict the President. Is it any wonder that the Flying Monkeys who defend against the Witch Hunter and his mob of angry Democrats were high-fiving live on national television? There was no there there. What a waste. Individual 1 is exonerated.

Or is this beginning of the end? Is it now possible to imagine the end of the current administration? Did he dilute the Ukrainian provision in the Republican platform, seek to weaken the sanctions against Russia, and brag about firing Comey to his Russian friends just in the hope of building a Trump Tower in Moscow? Is it all about the money and his vanity?

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

The real news of the day was the investigation into the fraudulent Clinton Foundation. The real news of the day was that the Congressional investigation will expose the fraud. The real news of the day was the upcoming testimony by Deep State Comey that would blow the lid off the conspiracy. The real news of the day was the entrapment of the American military hero by the Deep State operatives. The real news of the day was the fraudulently obtain FISA warrants.

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

And how about that weak Michael Cohen? For years that liar pulled the wool over the eyes of the world’s greatest manager. For years the weak Michael Cohen who deserved to have the book thrown at him colluded with the Trump Organization chief financial officer to steal from the company to make payoffs that never needed to be made and were not authorized…or do you believe that lying David Pecker, too? All those people around the President are weak liars and rats. Only people with the last name Trump tell the truth.

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

7. NanChuck versus Little Donney-Waney

Perhaps the greatest example of the dual reality seen nightly on the cable news shows occurred with the showdown between NanChuck and Little Donney-Waney. The latter’s preferred venue of choice is the professional wrestling arena. In this scripted one-sided venue he is free to mock, insult, and demean people to his heart’s content. He can say whatever he wants and no one will fact check him. He is always the winner there, it is his favorite reality show.

The showdown at 1600 Hundred Pennsylvania may not rank with the thrilla in Manilla but it certainly ranks with one of the great putdowns of an American President in history. Now he can say that no President was as publicly humiliated live on TV by congressional leaders of the opposing party as he was when he attempted to stage a reality show with people who actually live in the real world and not his alternate reality. Welcome to the rea world when you lose 40 Congressional seats because your name is toxic. Who would have thought that a woman putting on sun glasses would go viral as the symbol of woman emasculating the immature child grabber? He can’t even be called a man! Who would have thought that the red dress would be sold out? [Note one day someone will write a history of the baby-boomer era presidencies from stained-blue dress to red dress with shades.] Suddenly the Congressional leadership is not a bunch of Mike Pences. They are animated. Their noses aren’t brown.

Sean Hannity said the showdown in the arena and demonstrated who had the right stuff: “[Nanchuck are] blithering idiots, way out of their league.”

What station do you watch? What station does he watch?

People anticipate more and more indictments and revelations of the tawdry life of this reprehensible person. So what? Assume every charge is true, a reasonable assumption given the past decades. So what? Decades ago Democratic Hannitys claimed “vast right wing conspiracy” launched a witch hunt against the legitimate duly-elected President to which there was no truth. When the truth became known, Democrats responded with “So what.” Republicans have already started this process. So what if the Republican President instead of knowing nothing about the payments masterminded everything?

Will Republicans will keep saying “so what” through every exposure of the violation of the law Mueller, the SDNY, and the D.C. prosecutors bring to light?

Is it possible that the vote condemning Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi means that Republican Senators have a breaking point?

Is it possible Republican Senators will not support a government shutdown despite the President’s assertion to own the shutdown for national security?

Is it possible Republican donors are catching on that the isolated, weak, and dishonest con artist has met his match with the Department of Justice?

Remember when Spencer Tracy cross-examined William Jennings Bryan and his supporters who had voted for him three times (in three separate elections) laughed at him when the truth was exposed?

Will the cheer in 2019 become “Lock him up; lock him up; lock him up”?

Will the real world trump the alternate reality?

It’s only going to get worse. The trump has hit the fan.

The Day After: Post-Election Stress Disorder

“The Day After” is a TV movie first shown in 1983 about the devastating impact of a nuclear war on the community in Lawrence, Kansas. It was shown with great hype and warning on the devastating impact merely seeing it might have on viewers especially children. The broadcast occurred during a time when the Cold War raged. It also occurred at a time when no one anticipated the in a few years the Soviet Union would collapse and do so peacefully with no loss of life and no armed conflict. So as it turned out the reality of what would happen was unfathomable to the producers and viewers of the movie in 1983.

Still, the movie reminds us that picking up the pieces after a day of infamy is part of the human experience. That condition is particularly applicable to the American elections of 2016 and 2018 where people experienced severe post-election stress disorder.

The example from 2016 is well known. At the time, prognosticators turned out to be as wrong about the immediate future as were people in 1983…and this time Russia, not the Soviet Union was directly involved. It violated the United States not just in Kansas but throughout the country and without suffering any penalty for its actions.

As Election Day, 2016, unfolded, many people expected history to be made. On that day, for the first time, a woman would win the election to be President of the United States. Expectations were high. Everyone knew it was coming. Even her primary opponent had readied his excuses to explain how he was defeated in a rigged election with illegal voters. He was fully prepared to issue that charge and did so even when he won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote.

For a certain segment of the voting population, they approached the evening in great joy. Women, not only elitists, gathered, often with their daughters, at campaign headquarters throughout the land. They were ready to celebrate after witnessing the historic occasion. Then the results started coming in. Florida was not a battleground; there was not even a need for a recount. The same for Ohio. The vaunted Blue Wall was porous. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin went Republican. How as this possible? The election was not merely unexpectedly lost, it was lost to a serial abuser of women with no remorse or morality…to say nothing of all his other shortcomings. It was not simply losing to Romney, it was losing to your worst nightmare and finding out it was not a dream. You were not asleep. You had not imagined it. It had really happened.

The day after, even Election Day evening after the polls closed, witnessed a national example of post-election stress disorder. People were in shock. How could the deplorables have won? The losing candidate had said she could not understand why she was not 50% points ahead in the polls. Perhaps that was part of the problem. The failure to understand that not only was part of why she lost, it became part of why the loss was as devastating psychologically as the movie “The Day After” was supposed to be to all who watched it. The unthinkable had occurred.

This instance of post-election stressed disorder morphed into a rage that has sustained its victims for lo the next two years until the 2018 elections. They say revenge is best served cold but people are still hot with anger. That need to win makes a repeat of post-election stress disorder possible. Victory in the popular vote for the House of Representatives is not enough but what if that is all they get? How will they survive another two years? How will they survive another six years? Hallelujah or OMG!

Meanwhile, on the other side, the Republicans have been preparing for their own post-election stress disorder. There is nothing unusual in the party in power losing in the midterm election. That is par for the course. However, the Republican wave in 2010 afforded Republicans the opportunity to do something the 2006 Democratic wave did not. Because of the census, the Republican victories at the state and federal level allowed Republicans to gerrymander on a scale unprecedented in American history. That rigging the playing field mitigated the potential gains the Democrats would be expected to achieve in electoral results in the midterm elections. As with the Electoral College, winning the plurality or majority in the popular voting for the House of Representatives was no longer sufficient for victory. Voter suppression adds to the edge the Republicans have. So even without a repeat violation of America by the Russians, Republicans had reason to believe they could weather the storm of the midterms and even gain in the Senate due to the electoral perfect storm in its favor in that chamber.

There was just one fly in the ointment. No, not the economy. It should have worked to the Republican advantage. No, not the absence of war. It should have worked to the Republican advantage. Peace and prosperity should work to the advantage of the party in power even if the prosperity is limited to the 1%. But as we all know, the Republican candidate in 2016 and incumbent in 2018 does not play the rules. He makes up his own rules. And truth be told, for the serial business failure they have worked out to be pretty good so far…at least for him.

The rule he deployed for this election is Apocalypse Now. He may not know the Maslow Hierarchy [Wartime President: The Battle Is Engaged, 10/23/18] in the abstract but he does in the field. His rhetoric has consistently ratcheted up until it finally reached apocalyptic proportions. The process above and beyond the normal hyperbolic rhetoric commenced with the showdown between the Kavanoes and the Kavayeses [America’s Third Civil War: Kava-Noes versus Kava-Yeses, 10/9/18]. One would have thought the fate of the world depended on the outcome of this vote…or at least the fate of all white males for whom it was now open season as targets by Democratic women.  One might have thought that that supreme confrontation represented the emotional height or depth of the current campaign. As always in this environment, there is more.

With the refugee caravan, the tenor of the campaign truly reached its eschatological moment. “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.” In the battle for the delegates between Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft at the Republican presidential convention in 1912, Roosevelt concluded a speech with these words. He stood with Abraham Lincoln and objected to what he saw as the selling of the party to corporate interests. His stirring words of deep emotion were not simply some narcissistic binge. There was an agenda. There were issues. There was the future of the Republican Party. There was the future of the country. Maybe even there was the future of the world although no one knew the winner of the 1912 election would be the president in the “war to end all wars.” Roosevelt lost and the recent death of John McCain reminds us that there is no place for Lincoln in the Republican Party today [R.I.P. Party of Lincoln (1856-2016) 3/12/16].

What then is the cause of the apocalyptic language? How did a refugee caravan of civilian men, women, and children who often sought to settle in Mexico become an invading army to America? How did it become a Jewish-financed army of ISIS-trained very bad people that threatened the future of the country? The Canadian burning of the White House during the War of 1812 does not compare to the assault on America the current president faces. The Martian invasion of October 30, 1938, does not compare to the assault on America the current president faces. Even 9/11 pales in comparison to the challenge the current president faces. Only one person stands between us and chaos, between making America great again and total collapse, between the triumph of real Americans and the triumph of, you know… those people. And that one person is Donald Trump.

Democrats are ill-advised to ignore the power of that message and that image. More is at risk than they realize. The existence of the country is at stake. Every night Sean Hannity regales us with the trials and tribulations America is about to experience if God forbid, or at least the American people who have been called to vote do not vote. Then the dreaded Pelosi regains power. Truly this is the time of troubles predicted in the gospels. The moment of truth has arrived. Trump save us.

The day after the midterm elections of 2018 will be an historic one for America.

Who will be fired?
Who will be indicted?
Who will act first?
Who will suffer post-election stress disorder?

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (twilightzone.wikia.com)

Opening Narration

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

On March 4, 1960, during the Cold War, Rod Serling gave us a glimpse into life in middle America when fear trumps reason. The episode was entitled “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” It showed us that Lord of the Flies was not just about children and did not need to occur on an isolated island far away from the world of adult supervision. It could happen right here.

For those people not familiar with the story (or who have forgotten it), below is a summary. It can be viewed via the web for those who want more than the printed words alone.

On Maple Street, a strange whoosh is heard and the flashing of lights is seen. Shortly thereafter, almost all the electronics and machines on the street stop working. A small group of neighbors is unsure what has caused this. One little boy suggests it’s the work of aliens, but his assumption is excused as ridiculous.

As the neighbors continue to talking, one neighbor’s car starts on its own. The group instantly grow suspicious of the man and his family. The owner of the car denies any knowledge as to why this is happening, but few believe him.

The blame keeps getting passed around, as someone reports of a neighbor who stares up at the sky on some nights, looking for something, as well as tinkering with something in his basement.

As night settles, a dark figure is seen coming towards the group. One man takes a rifle and shoots the figure, who crumples to the ground. Upon further inspection, it is revealed that the figure was another neighbor, who had supposedly left the street to see if anyone over in nearby streets was experiencing the same issues.

The shooter is soon looked on with suspicion: why was he so quick to fire that gun? The person who fired the gun is then further surprised when his house’s lights turn on by themselves. Several people attempt to stone him, before he crazily yells that he believes the alien to be the boy from before, who talked of aliens.

As the panic rises, the once simple people place the blame on each other. The final scene of the human beings on Maple Street shows them all running around in complete chaos.

On a hilltop some distance away, two aliens observe the panic. One explains to the other that mankind is very easy panic, and that they can just as easily turn on the other. The divided people targeting each other will make domination over the species by the aliens rather easy.

Closing Narration

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill – and suspicion can destroy – and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own – for the children – and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is – that these things cannot be confined – to the Twilight Zone (the closing narration).

At the time of the broadcast, the American fear was of the Soviet Union. The McCarthy era was over but there was still the space race and the upcoming Cuban Missile Crisis. Students were trained to hide under desks in the event of a nuclear war.

Times have changed. Now schools are the hunting ground for domestic terrorists often too young even to be charged as an adults. Now it is Russia that violates America in the hopes of dividing us from within. Back then we expected our President to stand up against those who would divide us. Now we have one leading the charge.

The absence of adult supervision in the White House has ripple effects throughout the country and the world. On one level it may be fun for the press to designate certain individuals in the White House as adults…and to watch their numbers dwindle and their influence wane. On another level, the repercussions of that absence are stark. When there is no adult supervision in the White House, there is no adult supervision in the country and no adult supervision in the world. There is no figure of authority to appear at the end of the story of Lord of the Flies to make right what has gone awry. And the figures of power and therefore authority at the end of the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street are not those who support the freedom of human beings.

The words of the divider in chief to the press on October 27 tell the tale of the violent chaos encompassing us.

It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country, frankly, and all over the world.  And something has to be done.  Something has to be done.

Perhaps he would consider a vow of silence, a pledge not to use Twitter.

If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.  This is a dispute that will always exist, I suspect.  But if they had some kind of a protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a very much different situation, but they didn’t.

Armed guards everywhere. Everyone always prepared for a maniac to show up guns blazing. Capital punishment. With these words of comfort from our leader, America should now rest easier!

Instead what has happened is that people at home and abroad have been issued their 007, license to kill. With impunity.  There are consequences to the relentless words of evil and hate spewing forth from the divider in chief that he lacks the mental necessities to understand.

Tom Malinowski, former State department official and Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey, said:

These words are like sparks to the gasoline of disturbed minds. These words can kill.

These words appeared in an article entitled “Chief Consoler Quickly Veers Back to the Attack” (10/29/18), in the New York Times, the publication whose acceptance he desperately craves and which he assaults as Fake News (and failing) when he does not get it.

The gas has been poured. The fire has been lit. The war is underway. As Anne Landman, a liberal blogger from Colorado wrote about the forces which have been unleashed:

It’s scary to see it. And now that box has been opened. I’m not sure how we close it again.

The headline today on CNN by:

How Donald Trump’s war on political correctness opened a Pandora’s box of hate speech

shares the same thought and metaphor.

Although he was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh and not Paris, he was not elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh. They voted for his opponent. Now in their moment of grief, they do not even want him to come to their city. Stay away. The contrast with his predecessor singing “Amazing Grace” following another massacre in a religious building tells the story of where America is today. The scripted words of pretend grief by a person who lacks a sense of empathy and who cannot wait to get back to the battle in a string of professional wrestling performances before Election Day sound hollow, forced, and labored.  So how is he doing representing the citizens of Pittsburgh? A+. Never in American history has a President done a better job expressing grief and inspiring hope save maybe Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. It’s the evil enemy Fake News to claim otherwise.

America’s Third Civil War: Kava-Noes versus Kava-Yeses

America's Third Civil War: The Battle Is Engaged (Photo by Getty)

America has had three civil wars. The first one is over, the second one is still being fought, the third one is accelerating. What should be done?

America’s First Civil War: The American Revolution

The American Revolution was not simply American colonials versus the British military. There were plenty of Loyalists here. John Adams famously divided the American population into thirds including the “Go away and leave me alone” group. More likely the majority just wanted to be left alone on their farm and were only dragged into the conflict because of neighbors or occupying armies. Nonetheless, it was a war which split families and communities.

The resolution was comparatively simple. The losing side tended to leave. In New York, where I live, the upstate Loyalists tended to migrate further upstate until they were in Canada. In Westchester where I live in New York, Loyalist lands were confiscated, most conspicuously those of Philipsburg Manor along the Hudson. Evacuation Day, November 25, 1783, marked the departure of British troops and Loyalists from New York City. That departure was celebrated annually in the city especially by the Irish immigrants in the 19th century who loved saying goodbye to the British. The holiday ceased to be celebrated in World War I when the British became our allies. Recently the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA, I am on the Board), revived the celebration and successfully petitioned the New York City Council to rename a street by Bowling Green as “Evacuation Plaza.”

I am not as familiar with what happen to Loyalists in the South. There do not seem to be many statues by subsequent generations of Southerners honoring these fighting ancestors.

Given the popularity of princesses Diana, Kate, and Meghan, I think it is safe to say that the war with England-Great Britain-the United Kingdom has ended peacefully with no lingering hard feelings.

America’s Second Civil War: The War of Northern Aggression

The situation is not so pacific with America’s second civil war. That war continues to this very day. The violence is almost negligible but not non-existent. The bloodiest of all American wars has been redefined. A generation after the cessation of battleground confrontations, the war became the Lost Cause. In that guise it has developed an identity of its own as alternate facts can become gospel over time. The cause was aided by the release of America’s greatest movie based on percentage of the population reached and inflation-adjusted revenues. Gone with the Wind created the definitive image of America’s second civil war for generations to come just as The Ten Commandments did for the Exodus. While Charlton Heston portrayed a real figure in history and Clark Gable did not, Rhett Butler has become as real as Ben Hur.

There is no end in sight for ending America’s second civil war. The time has come to accept the truth expressed by Abraham Lincoln prior to the outbreak of violence: a house divided cannot stand.  The Sesquicentennial has come and gone and still the hostility lingers. The resolution to this enduring division cannot replicate the resolution to the first civil war: the losing side cannot sail off into the sunset separate from the lands of the winning side.

However, there is another way to separate the two comparatively geographically distinct political entities – CONFEDEXIT. The time has come to call an end to the experiment of uniting 13 colonies into one country. The time has come to recognize that except for rare moments like the American Revolution and the Second World War, the Union and the Confederacy have not been united. Despite the Exodus, Israel eventually divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The time has come for the United States of America to follow that example and that of Czechoslovakia, Pakistan, the USSR, and Yugoslavia and divide into its constituent parts.

I proposed that We the People declare July 4, 2026, the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence to be the target date for CONFEDEXIT.  Let that day mark the official end to the American experiment and the formal recognition that we are a house divided and cannot stand.

The starting point for the Confederacy should be the Republican congressional districts in the original states of the Confederacy excluding any based on Cuban-American citizens. These districts form the natural basis for reviving the Confederacy. We must recognize that there were pockets of Federalists in the South in the second civil war. There were people who made the reverse decision Robert E. Lee made and who were loyal to the United States. In Virginia, they even broke away to form a new state. Starting with the Republican congressional districts within the Confederacy enables Unionist American citizens in the South outside those districts to remain part of the United States once the Confederate districts separate from it.

The Confederacy has the advantage of starting off with an already written constitution. Slavery has not been abolished. Women and 18 year-olds cannot vote. There is no income tax. There is no two-term limit on the president. Confederates now will have the opportunity to add the amendments they want and delete or revise the amendments they do not want. They should be able to hit the ground running with a fully-functional government by July 4, 2026.

The negotiations will not be easy. There is a lot to discuss. But despite all the obstacles, it should be possible for a clean break. The Union is just as willing to say good riddance to the southerners as the South is to Rise Again. And with a president who mocks and demeans Southerners as less worthy than northern elitists, the incentive to separate should be even stronger. With the world’s greatest negotiator at the helm, I am confident that CONFEDEXIT is doable by July 4, 2026, and the end of the second civil war finally will be at hand.

America’s Third Civil War: Kava-Noes versus Kava-Yeses

The third civil is different from the previous two.

It may be said to have begun in the 1960s. At that time, baby boomer males could be drafted into a war they did not want to fight and baby boomer females could have babies they did not want to have.

It may be said to have begun on August 17, 1992, when Pat Buchanan delivered his “Culture War” speech to the Republican National Convention.

It may be said to have begun in 2008 with Sarah Palin’s rally cry “to take back the country.”

Regardless of the preliminaries, history may well record that with the contentious and close vote on October 6, 2018, of 50-48 between Kava-Yeses and Kava-Noes the battle was fully engaged. There is no turning back now. When Charles Blow writes an op-ed in the New York Times that “Liberals, This Is War,” he fails to recognize that for conservatives it has been war for decades and appointing a fifth Republican legislator to the Supreme Court is a long overdue victory.

As with America’s first civil war, America’s third civil war will be intensely divisive at the local level. People who have known each other for years as best friends for life suddenly will morph into combatants. The family Thanksgiving meal will become a battleground. While it will be illegal for Kava-Noes and Kava-Yeses to marry, there is always the possibility that some of the guests will be from opposite sides of the divide. Any social engagement will run the risk of degenerating into a brawl. Hosts and hostesses will be obligated to do due diligence to ensure a peaceful event. College admission officers will need to scrutinize applicants carefully to maintain the purity of the campus. God forbid people from different sides should be assigned as roommates!  In short, people will constantly have to be on guard to make sure they know when it is safe to speak.

CONFEDEXIT will help end the third civil war but it is no solution. The proponents of the Kava-Noes and Kava-Yeses exist in every electoral district. A mass exodus as with the Loyalists in the first civil war is not possible. A geographic split within the United States is not possible even after CONFEDEXIT removes many Confederate Kava-Noes from the United States. In short there is no solution. Over time, people will vote with their feet to move to an area where they feel safe. That relocation will take time. In the meantime, the situation will remain tense everywhere.

Fortunately we have a president who feasts on divisiveness. There will be no “come let us reason together” in this administration. Far from it. Instead he will stoke the flames of hatred and rejoice in the dividing of America. Never have We the People had a president who is so antagonistic to the very idea of We the People. Never have We the People had a president who is so willing, eager, and ready to campaign on behalf of hatred. Never have We the People had a president who is so antagonistic to the very goal of e pluribus unum, a motto that has been abandoned by both national political parties and mocked by our president. But there should not be any surprise that our president promotes the division of the country. What else would you expect from Putin’s poodle?

Kavanaugh and the Elephant in the Room: What Do Blind People See?

And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right And all were in the wrong! Illustrator unknown - From Charles Maurice Stebbins & Mary H. Coolidge, Golden Treasury Readers: Primer, American Book Co. (New York), p. 89. (Wikipedia)

There is a parable about a group of blind people encountering an elephant for the first time. None of them know what an elephant is or looks like. To understand what the elephant is, each of the blind people touches the animal. However they do not touch the same part of the beast, therein hangs the tale.

Each blind person knows only the part they touch…and an elephant consists of many parts. One touches the thick legs, another the fan-like ears, a third the tusk, a fourth the trunk, a fifth the tale, a sixth the body. Each individual interpreted the whole of the elephant based on the part they had touched. Unfortunately, no one of them experienced the elephant in its entirety. They knew the truth only for the part they had touched and not for the elephant as a whole.

I was reminded of this fable when reading about the different ways people understand Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. People seem to focus on the different facets of his being, the facet that is of most importance to them or the one that they know.

For example, to his wife of 17 years, he is a good and loving husband and father. That’s the part of his life that she knows. It is quite reasonable that this perception is truly what she believes and is accurate.

Similarly for the daughters. They know him only as their father, even for less time than his wife has known him. Once again, their perception of him seems quite reasonable, is what they truly believe, and is accurate.

In this instance I am reminded of the scene from the end of Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner sees his father as a young man before he had been worn down from life. He had never seen of known his father when he still had his whole life before him. He only knew him later in life when the dreams of youth had not been fulfilled. For Costner to glimpse the youth of the man who would become his father was like the story of the blind people and the elephant. The difference is we exist over time. The person we once were is not exactly who we are today. We grow up, usually. We mature, usually. We have life experiences which shape who we become and therefore who we are in the present. The perception Costner the child and teenager had of his father seems quite reasonable, is what he truly believed, and was quite accurate…and incomplete. He did not see the big picture until the magic of the Field of Dreams.

On the other hand, some people remain trapped in their Glory Days, reliving and retelling the stories of the big game when they were king and queen of the prom. In these cases, it is easy to see their past because they never stopped living in it.

Kavanaugh’s wife and children are seeing a part of their husband and father they should not have to see. People do grow up. People do mature. People do stop being teenagers. That part of their life always remains part of the adult’s life, but it is one they choose not to share with others. World War II veterans are notorious for not sharing their life in the war with their spouse, children, and grandchildren. It is something that at most they can talk about with their fellow band of brothers who had the same or similar experiences.

Strange as it may seem, when Democrats and Republicans see Kavanaugh, they see the exact same person. Each sees the potential 5th Republican legislator on the Supreme Court who will reverse Roe vs. Wade and support Republican legislation. They have different responses to that prospect but they both see him the same way. Each side then is dedicated to either confirming or rejecting Kavanaugh accordingly.

To do so each focuses on different aspects of Kavanaugh’s life. For the Republicans, he is the frequently FBI-vetted judge with a stellar career conducted in an honorable manner who in the standard hyperbole is the best qualified person ever nominated (until he isn’t).

By contrast, Democrats have questions about his adult career as a clerk for a sanctioned judge and for Ken Starr. They also have questions have his rulings and the meaning of those rulings if he were to be confirmed.

To some extent, all this is par for the course. But now there is the part of his life that normally is not seen in middle age. What did you do as a teenager? What did you do during the time in life when people are most likely to do something stupid and which they will regret later in life? What did you do as a youth that you prefer not to talk about now yet alone be exposed to a national audience?

I am reminded of a scene from the movie Amazon Women on the Moon, where a teenage boy seeks to quietly buy some condoms for immediate use with his date. He turns out to be the 1,000,000th customer and the next thing you he is part of a big celebration with banners, balloons, an emcee, and his parents. A nightmare come true. I certainly hope Kavanaugh’s parents are not alive to witness this spectacle.

Over the past few years, teenagers have learned there are unintended consequences to the events posted on social media. College admission officers may look at them. Potential employers may look at them. Even decades from now, the actions posted on social media today may continue to haunt the teenagers and young adults of today. Imagine what will happen when children of the future search on the web for what their parents did as teenagers.

The glimpse we get today in the teenage life of a Supreme Court nominee is exactly that…just a glimpse. Republicans do not want to know the truth of Kavanaugh’s life as a teenager; Democrats want to exploit it or at least what they think it is. The likelihood is that the full circus will not play out. After one day of hearings, the decision will be made that enough is enough. We have seen what just happened to Bill Cosby. We know that a defamation suit against our immature child President is working its way through the legal system with the possibility that one day he will have to appear on Fox and in court to defend himself. We know that his pledge to sue after the election the 19 women who have claimed harassment remains and will remain an unfulfilled campaign promise.  We also know that it is always about him so the longer Kavanaugh remains in the public arena the more comparisons will be made not simply to the Clarence Thomas hearings but to the life of Donald Trump who never really outgrew his teenage years.

Therefore, my prediction is the process will be cut short before it spirals out of control and begins to affect the political fortunes of others.

Queens versus Manhattan: The Battle for America

Courtesy Conde Nast Store

New York City prides itself as being at the crossroads of the universe, the island at the center of the world. But when people say “New York City,” exactly what do they mean? For example, New York State government people like to tout the success and increased tourism in New York State. When so doing, they tend to mean increased tourism to New York City. Actually they tend to mean increased tourism to Manhattan and not to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island. And they tend to mean not simply Manhattan. They mean midtown around Times Square and Lower Manhattan where the city began under the Dutch extending from the Battery up to Wall Street. Beyond that, they may also mean Niagara Falls (we seem to have forgiven Canada for the burning of the White House!) and Woodbury Commons, a historic shopping center.

People from the outer boroughs know they are not from the city meaning Manhattan often called New York. Remember the fierce fights when the 212 area code became restricted (see The Area Code Universe and Your Sense of Place). Now the people in the outer boroughs who lost the cachet of the 212 area code would immediately be identified as people who did not rate. Your whole identity could be summed up in a three digit number.

Our stories expressed this divide between the outer boroughs and the city.

Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero, a 19 year old Italian American from Brooklyn facing a bleak future after highs school. Fellow dancer Stephanie Mangano dreams of the world beyond Brooklyn and plans to move to Manhattan to fulfill her dreams.

Working Girl updates the Cinderella story. Tess McGill is a 30 year could-be-Scottish-but-more-likely Irish American from Staten Island who works in Manhattan in a dead end job and dreams of better things through self-improvement. Her Irish American boyfriend has no such dreams and ends up marrying a local Italian American girl in what was then a mixed marriage. In the meantime, Tess succeeds in Manhattan and marries up because the force is with her.

The iconic image from Working Girl is the ferry ride to Manhattan (and not the one to Staten Island). Before her is Oz, a magical land. She successfully crosses the waters to this wonderland. She does so to the sound of Carly Simon singing “Bless the new Jerusalem.” Boston may have been the original city on a hill in America and Iowa has the field of dreams, but it is Manhattan that is the New Jerusalem. As part of her journey in this 1988 movie release, she gazes at the World Trade Towers not knowing that in 13 years they will be targeted and collapse.

Tess McGill ends up living the happily-ever-after dream in Manhattan while Tony Manero remains in Brooklyn and does not.

And then there is Queens. In the current issue of City & State NewYork, Ben Adler wrote “The Belligerent Style in American Politics: How New Yorkers Hijacked the Republican Party.” The article is about two TV characters from Queens, Archie Bunker and Donald Trump. The creation of the Bunker character did not work exactly as planned. Norman Lear expected the blustering bigot whose rantings were stupid and outdated to be the joke. He thought viewers would laugh at Archie. While many did, something else unexpected happened. Viewers laughed with Archie instead. They identified with his frustrations against the world around him and cheered the person who voiced what they thought but did not say.

Adler writes:

“All in the Family” proved that a portly, angry old white man from Queens could effectively articulate the anxiety about a changing society among social conservatives across the country, winning their affection in the process.

He notes that at the time, it never occurred to anyone that there could be a rich and famous real-life Archie Bunker who could go into politics and succeed. He concludes:

…Trump’s distinctly New York brand of right-wing politics not only attracted Republican voters: It has become the dominant paradigm of the contemporary Republican Party. Call it the Belligerent Style in American Politics.

Adler characterizes this attitude as the triumph of the outer boroughs (and white suburbs of former residents of the outer boroughs who moved out especially to Long Island). He depicts these people as nonideological but viscerally reactionary and perpetually enraged, longing for a bygone era and the strongman who promises to restore it. Maybe it is appropriate that Queens have a third-world airport given this desire for a strongman.

There is a certain irony in the focus of these sentiments on Donald Trump. There is probably no person in America who wanted more to cross the river from Queens to Manhattan and be accepted by the Manhattan elite. There is no one who more wants the New York Times to sing his praises than the boy from Queens who now occupies the White House. Manhattan is where he built. Manhattan is where he stamped his name on buildings galore. He was a longterm Democrat, a supporter of and contributor to the Clintons. He did everything he could to be visible. And he succeeded. The only thing he could not do was be accepted. Being a narcissistic serial failure who could not tell the truth did not help his cause. He had no future in the Democratic Party or among the elitists. So he tried elsewhere.

The Belligerent Style is now dominant. Rarely does one encounter it on CNN or MSNBC…although Cuomo from Queens sometimes edges into it. The Belligerent Style thrives on Fox. If you want pugnacious, Fox is your network. If you want “in your face,” Fox is your network. If you want a younger Archie Bunker who speaks better, Fox is your network. And since Republicans, like the Chinese, get their news from only one source, the state-authorized propaganda network, if you want to reach Republicans, Fox is your network.

Adler identifies the luminaries who have made Fox the political powerhouse that it is. “The belligerent style is embodied in its purest form by its talking heads, such as (Sean) Hannity and Jeanine Pirro [does her Lebanese descent mean she is a person of color?].” I remember her 32-seconds of silence when she misplaced a page of speech in her abortive Senate campaign. Her once-promising political career came crashing to an end. She seems to be making up for not speaking then. Adler calls her “a Trump attack dog.” Is that legal? One can call a man an attack dog, but is it still permissible to call a woman that? We need a ruling from the Thought Police.

As for Hannity, Adler describes “his on-air presence as reminiscent of an irate driver honking his horn on the Long Island Expressway.” Indeed, it would be foolish to ignore the importance of the physicality of the cable talk show hosts. Hannity is a forceful presence who sometimes seems to be leaping through the screen into your living room. When he calls upon viewers to “buckle up” before delivering his monologue, he means it. Strap yourself down, there’s a storm coming. Regardless of what his actual words are, it is clear that the refined talking head hosts on the other networks do not have that street-fighter presence. The same comparison may be said for the two candidates in 2016: one had a forceful stage presence who stalked his prey in the second presidential debate, the other was a well-behaved good little girl who did not resist. Remember JFK. Remember the first Clinton. We are not ethereal beings floating in the spiritual cosmos; we are real-live flesh and blood people. Democrats excite people based on their hyphen and identity, not because of their presence. The only person who attempts to communicate on this basis is Michael Avenatti.

Adler adds a comment about Southerners that may be partially obsolete by now. The news cycle can be faster than a magazine can keep up with. He addresses the issue of how the New York Belligerent Style plays in Peoria, that is, nationally, especially in the South.

Interviews with Trump supporters across the country – including for example, devout rural Southerners – routinely come back to the idea that’s he a jerk, but a jerk may be the only one tough enough to keep out undesirables and slay political correctness.

Adler cites a Washington Post report of a Southern Baptist saying “We need abrasive right now.” He notes the Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman echoing those sentiments when he said:

Trump speaks our language. He thinks the way we think. He talks the way we talk. He is breaking the political correctness of America.

Southerners now know that they are not immune from ridicule by the jerk. Despite everything he says about the Woodward, despite everything his network says about the Woodward book, the Southerners like everyone else know that the book is true, they know that it is accurate. They may think the anonymous author(s) of the New York Times op-ed piece should come forward, but they do not doubt its truth. Even his followers know he is an impulsive jerk prone to hissy fit tweets. What they did not know is how little he thinks of Southerners. Now they know. What will they do?

Note – Democrat elitists have yet to fully grasp the price Democrats pay for political correctness. Republicans are more concerned about the politically correct assault on America than they are about Russia’s violation of it. Perhaps the elitists do know and simply do not care, confident that the demographic deluge will sweep them into power…if it does not devour them first! The Democrats are still in the “Robert E. Lee” stage where hyphen identity trumps national identity. That shortcoming provides the Queens Belligerent Style unending opportunities to attack the Manhattan Deep State Elitists.

Suppose the New York Times and Anonymous Already Plan on Going Public

Another Delivery to the New York Times

Suppose the New York Times and Anonymous already plan on going public. In the past 24-hours or so, I have heard a great many people on radio and TV and I have read articles in print and on the web about Anonymous. One common comment is “Why now?” Another relates to how does this op-ed piece advance the cause to which Anonymous aspires. The follow-up thought declares that its publication makes no difference, causes no change, solves no problem…unless simply ticking off the impulsive child President was the goal.

At the same time, Anonymous is referred to a senior administration official in the singular. One possibility floated about is that Anonymous has military/security/diplomatic experience.

Let’s follow through on that supposition. People with that kind of experience make plans. They consider different scenarios. They ponder alternatives. They anticipate reactions. Is it possible that the New York Times and Anonymous never considered what would happen after the publication? We know they were aware of the possibility of being fired but did it ever occur to them that the identity of Anonymous would not remain a secret for long? Did they expect that everything would go back to normal after Hurricane Anonymous passed?

It seems more likely, that they anticipated the disclosure of the identity of Anonymous and decided to take control of the situation. After all, isn’t that what you expect if Anonymous had military background? We can see that deceptiveness is in the author’s toolkit. The use of the word “lodestar” is not a clue to author’s identity…except showing a familiarity with Mike Pence’s vocabulary. The Capital’s biggest brown nose is on a mission from God to become President. There are no circumstances under which he could be Anonymous.

The delay in announcing the identity of Anonymous is deliberate. It is a set up. It provides an opportunity for people to go on record in response to the op-ed piece. It provides an opportunity to prove the claims in the op-ed piece are true. It provides an opportunity to nail people to the wall and hang them out to dry once they have publicly responded.

Let’s consider the reactions of the target President, Congressional Republicans, and Fox.

As expected, the impulsive immature child was in full volcanic mode. There is nothing new there. What is interesting to observe is his choice of words to condemn the action. He called it “TREASONOUS.” One can be a traitor to one’s country. Even the person who thinks Canada burned the White House and Lincoln was a Democrat probably has heard of Benedict Arnold. Treasonous acts do threaten the national security, should be investigated, and should be punished. However, the narcissist is defining treason in terms of himself and not his country. Again, there should be no surprise there. But it substantiates the claims made about his amoral lack of values.

Between Woodward and Anonymous, he is in full form. He is an A+ president, doing a great job, possibly the greatest job ever by an American President. He anticipates a red wave. His polling numbers are great. No one can touch him in 2020. No doubt, Republicans, who, like the Chinese, only get their news from one source, the government-authorized propaganda media, agree. Anyone who reports otherwise is the enemy of the people engaging in FAKE NEWS.

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about the red wave. Suppose the Democrats win control of the House. Suppose the Democrats act on that basis and investigate all the items on the Republican hit list of potential problems where they are at risk. Will the President honor the election results? If a blue wave puts Democrats in charge will the President of the United States honor the results or will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results?

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about 2020 (assuming he is still in office and chooses to run again)? Will the President honor the election results? Will the President leave the White House voluntarily? Will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results? Will he remain in the White House until the investigation by his Attorney General (not a stupid Southerner)? (Can he go without playing golf for that long?)

Our A+ President who is doing a great job can’t be subpoenaed, can’t be impeached, and can’t be voted out of office.

If Anonymous (and Woodward’s) goal was to expose the truth, getting his reactions has been priceless.

Turning now to the Congressional Republicans, the response to Anonymous is not surprising. They couldn’t care less about the merits of what Anonymous wrote. Their only interest is to punish Anonymous. This reaction confirms my longstanding belief that when the little boy exclaimed that the Emperor was naked, he would immediately be stomped to death by an enraged mob that didn’t want to know the truth.

Finally, there is Fox News. Fox has been hyperventilating about the Deep State subverter of the vote of the American people. They don’t care about the Russian violation of that vote. They do care about how the duly-elected President is being thwarted by unelected people who think they know better than the American people what should be done. Fox vehemently castigates the White House Resistance (plural) who put their judgment over that of the We the People. One almost gets the impression that Fox considers Anonymous and the Resistance to consist of Democrats, holdovers from the Obama administration.

Now let’s return to the original suggestion: suppose the New York Times and Anonymous already plan on going public. Imagine if Anonymous is a composite. Imagine if multiple people contributed to its writing. No one would be trumping if they denied writing it since no one person did write it. Now imagine say, H. R. McMasters, John Kelly, and James Mattis, as military hero John McCain was dying, finally saying, “enough is enough.” Suppose the career military officers who have been repeatedly humiliated by the ignorant 5th grader decided that they had had it. Suppose these people decide to go public and expose Crazytown. Suppose these people decided to set up Congressional Republicans as ballless and Fox as brainless. Suppose these people publicly sited chapter and verse documenting that the incumbent President lacks the emotional maturity, knowledge, and character to hold that position and that he should be removed from office as soon as possible. Then what?

It’s not Seven Days in May. It’s not Dr. Strangelove. But it’s not General McArthur either.

Obviously I am speculating but it is unreasonable to assume that Anonymous is a one-act event. There’s more to come.