Archive for February 10, 2019

The Quintessential Megalomaniac!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on February 10, 2019 by playthell

Trump Prattles On Under the Watchful Eye of Madam Speaker

Deluded Donald Opines on the State of the Nation

There was a palpable tension hanging over the chamber as guest walked into the House of Representatives, Nancy’s crib, to await the arrival of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the USA. Who is viewed by some Americans as the accidental President; the Moscow candidate from Russia with malice. While some believed this would be the occasion when Trump would show real presidential leadership and offer a path to bi-partisan cooperation in addressing the critical problems confronting our country, I remained skeptical.

Having first met him when he was trying to break into big time boxing in a big way, I still see Trump as the bullshit artist I knew back in the day. He had adopted a permanent lips to posterior posture with Don King – a black gentleman gangster/businessman from John D. Rockefeller’s home town Cleveland Ohio – who could make his dream of becoming a major player in the boxing game come true.* That’s when I peeped that this guy would stoop to anything in order to succeed. Since he was a grown man in his forties, with a fully formed personality, I am still adjusting to the fact that the shallow poot butt bunko I met in the boxing game is now President of the United States!

Since I have seen no convincing evidence that Trump has gone through an intellectual or moral metamorphosis, I viewed his speech from the perspective of my first impressions of the guy. I pegged him as a consummate bullshit artist spouting hyperbole and selling illusions…but I never believed the hype. Interestingly enough, that’s the same opinion his fellow Republicans held of him during the primary election when they were competing with Trump to become the party’s candidate for president.

They repeatedly called him an “amoral con man” who had no “core convictions,” a political chameleon whose allegiance is dictated by expedience; a life long Democrat who had used his celebrity as a television reality show host to hijack the Republican Party in an act of calculated political opportunism inspired by no higher aspirations than boosting the commercial value of the “Trump” brand, personal power and ego gratification. Alas nobody was more shocked and surprised about his win than “The Donald,” who understood as much about being President as a gorilla knows about playing Bach!

Viewed from this perspective Don The Con was true to form when Trump took the stump. The event was as cleverly staged as a Broadway show, with a carefully written script; human props designed to provoke applause when he called them out; a Tsumani of exaggerations and deceptions; half truths and blatant lies; and a well rehearsed reality show huckster who loves the limelight of center stage and all eyes on him. The central theme of the speech “choosing greatness” was perfect for a man afflicted by “Malignant Narcissism” and suffers from the delusion that he is the greatest at anything he undertakes. The Bunko began with his opening statement:

“We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential, as we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us, gathered in this great chamber, hoping we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation.”

Coming from the most vulgar partisan President to inhabit the White House in the more than half century that I have been seriously observing the antics of politicians, I recognized the con game had begun, and I prepared to be immersed in the avalanche of bullshit that was certain to follow. After repeating his standard promises to defend American jobs from export, protect American workers, provide cheaper and better health care, pursue a nationalist “America First” policy in foreign affairs, et al, Trump spouted his second applause line:

“There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage together to seize it. victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country. this year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America’s vision and the power of American pride.”

Trump then quickly invokes one of his most reliable anecdotes: Tales of American military heroism. For a draft dodging coward, who faked his way out of serving in Vietnam with a bogus medical report bought by his father, Duphus Donald loves to ride on the military’s cool. Although he didn’t have the balls to serve, he had the unmitigated gall to publicly brag about how he was involved in a “private Vietnam” avoiding venereal diseases from all of the New York nookie he was getting – Playa! Playa! However Trump does not hesitate to associate himself with the views of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a hero of World War iI and a former Republican President:

“In June we marked 75 years since the start of what Gen. Dwight Eisenhower called “the great crusade,” the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the skies, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea to save our civilization from tyranny. Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes. Private first class Joseph Riley, staff sergeant Erving Walker — and sergeant Herman Zeitchik.”

This kind of presentation is bound to inspire vigorous applause from all quarters which, knowing the character of Devious Donald, was contrived to do just that. Paying homage to the heroism and sacrifice of the soldiers that performed these historic feats seemed a secondary consideration. This holds true for all of the guest that were honored during Trump’s speech; they were props designed to inspire applause. It was especially true in his choice of two black ex-cons he singled out for praise; he seems unable to find brilliant accomplished black Americans to celebrate although they are everywhere. First there was his favorite coon, Crazy Kayne, cuttin the fool before the world in the Oval Office, and now the jail birds. It was all phony baloney!

As was his fake enthusiasm about the dramatic increase of women in the work place, especially Congress, to which Democratic women in the chamber responded with applause as cynical as Trump’s acknowledgment. After several paragraphs of duplicitous calls for unity between the two parties, the possibility of which he has consistently trashed with his autocratic behavior, he now assumes the role of the great unifier:” We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.” After listening to Trump sing the virtues of political unity and cooperation between the two parties Nicole Wallace – a long time Republican strategist who played a key role in the McCain presidential campaign – commented: “He doesn’t mean a word of it.”

Democratic Women Responding to Trump

Freshman Firebrand Ocasio Cortez is in the Middle

During a rambling speech of over two hours Trump inflated his economic achievements, many of which are extensions of the Obama economy, which experienced the longest period of job growth in American history. For instance, he loves to point to the low unemployment rates for Afro-Americans. But economists have shown that the Afro-American unemployment rate was reduced by 9% under President Obama and only 1% under Trump. And equally questionable is the claim that: “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure. companies are coming back to our country in large numbers, thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations.”

But, alas, as Trump was making this claim Ford, America’s oldest car manufacturer, has announced plant closings and a massive layoff of workers due to rising costs and are planning to relocate plants outside the US. Ford CEO James Hackett offers this explanation for these decisions: “From Ford’s perspective the metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us, the irony of which is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyway. If it goes on any longer, it will do more damage.”

This complaint about rising production costs is echoed by other companies and some, like a South Carolina TV manufacturer and a Missouri company that produces nails, stand in danger of going out of business altogether! And thousands of soy bean farmers have seen their market dry up as Chinese buyers turn to Brazil, and are now surviving on a US government farm support program from the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Added to these dangerous follies is the inconvenient fact that the tariffs are actually a tax on American consumers, because when the cost of Chinese products go up American consumers will be charged higher prices for commodities they want that are manufactured in China.

There are so many lies and obfuscations in Devious Donnie’s State of the Union Address, I think it wise to leave their correction to the legions of fact checkers who are working this story. Instead, I would rather clarify some important facts that were ignored in the speech. There can be little doubt, knowing how Trump loves to grandstand and his belief that he can sell anybody, that the President loves this forum. Here he can prance and preen before the cameras, playing to the cheap seats while running down a rap to the world with no fear of questions or instant fact checks.

Hence at no point do we get any hint about the most serious issues facing the nation, questions of life and death that range from the possibility of economic collapse at home to regional wars; the growing danger of nuclear conflict with strategic weapons; the encroaching destruction of our natural environment. Given the critical importance of these issues to the survival of modern civilization, or the human species, Trump’s indifference to them marks him as one of the worst grandfathers ever, despite his penchant for showing off his grandchildren.

Despite the self-congratulatory bullshit about his great economic success, the Trump Administration is following the blueprint for economic failure that guided the Bush administration’s policies – and has been the guide to repeated Republican failures. It is a well established pattern: A big tax give away to the rich; widespread deregulation of corporate activity; dramatic increases in military expenditures.

The Trump Tax cut has blown a hole in the federal budget by passing trillion dollar tax cut, raising the deficit to a historic height, and the Republicans will seek to reduce the deficit by cutting programs that benefit the poor and working classes. This attack on the safety net that protects the most vulnerable among us will give rise to a movement to check it as the people fight back.

Trump proudly asserted that “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.” Included near the top of the list of scrapped regulations are those passed under the Obama such as the Dodd-Frank Bill, and the Consumer Protection Bureau. These laws arose from the rubble of the great economic crash under President George W. Bush, a collapse that economist say would have been worse than the crash of 1929 which sparked the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

For instance, there is a nearly a unanimous agreement among economists and financial experts that had the 66 trillion dollar Credit Default Swap market failed, it would have created a financial crisis beyond the capacity of the Federal government to bail them out. That would have brought on the complete destruction of the capitalist system and ushered in unspeakable horrors which are nearly impossible to imagine and too ghastly to contemplate if we could.

Hence, like the laws passed during the Reconstruction period in the aftermath of the devastating Civil War that tore the nation apart, the laws regulating financial institutions are intended to put the system back together and prevent the disaster from happening again. Alas, Donald Trump and his band of swamp dwelling economic predators are enacting policies that could wreck the economy again.

Given Trump’s apparent ignorance of macro-economics and history, he does not understand that he is headed down a well worn path to economic crisis. And it is fairly certain that if he has not learned the lessons of the Bush Administration, Trump knows nothing of the role of the Smoot-Halley Tarrifs played in bringing about the Great Depression of the 20th century. This accounts for his reckless employment of Tariffs today, mistakenly believing he is boosting the US economy despite increasing evidence that the opposite is true.

Yet beyond the flirtations with domestic disaster, the Trump administration’s foreign policies also foreshadow impending catastrophe; especially in the Middle East, where they have given license to Israel and Saudi Arabia to do as they please in their domestic and foreign policy so long as they support American interests in the region. This stance will insure the rejuvenation of the Jihadist movement, especially it’s Al Qaeda and ISIS factions.

It will also further radicalize the Palestinian resistance, specifically the US decision to relocate it’s embassy in Jerusalem. Support for the Saudi Royal family and other tyrannical Arab Shieks is the reason America became a target of Al Qaeda, and uncritical biased support for Israeli government policies is the reason we have been targeted by other militant Islamic groups. Guided by hawkish policy wonks such as John Bolton and Elliot Abrams, from the now defunct Project For A New American Century, the cabal that convinced Bush to attack Iraq, the Trump Administration may well attack Iran and Venezuela, costing the nation more blood and treasure for dubious objectives.

But as horrid as they are, these are mere skirmishes from which we may be scarred but we will survive and even thrive. However that cannot be said should we we lose the battle to halt climate change, or blunder into a nuclear exchange with Russia or China. Alas, the decision of the Trump Administration to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord may well push the earth’s deteriorating environment past the point of no return in the opinion of some scientists.

And Trump’s scrapping of the Intermediate Nuclear Arms Treaty, if not reversed, will surely lead to a new nuclear arms race with Russia and hasten mankind’s movement toward extinction. Anyone who thinks this is an alarmist position need only look at the Doomsday Clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which alerts us to the probability of nuclear destruction by positioning the hands of the clock relative to midnight, which is “Dooms Day.” At present they have placed the hand at two minutes to midnight!

This means that we are as close to nuclear war as we have ever been. In view of these realities alas, the State of our Union is unstable and the chances of our survival into the future is problematic at best. Of course, this is all above the head of Donnie Dimwit, who is far too dense to grasp these complexities. From all the rumors that constantly leak out of the White House and Oval Office, the guy cannot be educated because he has a very short attention span and hates to read, and cannot distinguish fact from fiction when he does.

This explains how he could ask in earnest: “Why hasn’t the National Enquirer won a Pulitzer Prize?” As I write he is arguing that the National Enquirer is “more accurate” than the august Washington Post!” For those who know and love great journalism this is blasphemy, dammed foolishness, the blathering of a half wit motor mouth…and that, thoughtful reader, is the unvarnished truth about the US President.

* For an up close look at the relationship between Donald Trump and Don King, see “Game Recognizes Game” at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2017/01/06/game-recognizes-game/

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
February 10, 1019