Trump’s Gaslight Strategy Doomed to Backfire

July 13, 2017

By Karen

Did you ever see that movie, Gaslight? Charles Boyer tries to drive Ingrid Bergman mad by moving and hiding things, telling her that all her perceptions are wrong, and accusing her of losing touch with reality until she’s reduced to a basket case.

Boyer’s despicable behavior is a recognized thing called “gaslighting.” Merriam-Webster defines it as…

“To attempt to make (someone) believe that he or she is going insane (as by subjecting that person to a series of experiences that have no rational explanation).”

Donald Trump has been trying to gaslight the whole United States.

In the latest attempt, the New York Times poked the administration’s smoldering tire fire until it sparked into Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain documenting his eagerness to hear the Russian government’s dirt on Hillary Clinton — with invitations to Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to listen in.

We’ve lost count of all the shady meetings between Trumpers and Russians we now know about, but finally there’s rock-solid proof in black and white that the Trump campaign wanted Russia’s help.

I think Junior was more stupid than evil. He doesn’t consider Russians an enemy because they’ve supported his family for years. Quoting from a story in Time magazine…

“‘Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,’ Trump’s son, Donald Jr., said at a real estate conference in 2008, according to a trade publication, eTurboNews.”

Trump Sr. praised Junior for his “transparency” in releasing his emails in true gaslight style, omitting Junior’s longstanding lies and denials about his Russian connections.

Now Trump calls the whole matter “fake news.”

Uh, when the evidence is written, and the guy who wrote and published it says it’s authentic, it’s called REAL news. And it doesn’t help Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.

Trump probably doesn’t care if Manafort gets toasted; he quit the campaign and made millions from Russians. But Kushner faces serious jail time, and spoiled, baby-faced brats typically don’t thrive in the big house.

You know Trump never read the emails himself nor, if he had, grasped how damning they are. He mistakenly believed if Junior tossed them out there with a defiant, “Now what are you going to do about it?” they would sink into oblivion because Junior doesn’t work in government and he can play with whomever he likes.

But Junior’s role in dad’s campaign may make them something criminal. Lawyers will figure that out.

So, trying to gaslight every U.S. intelligence agency, Trump now claims that Putin really wanted Hillary to win because she’d weaken the military. He doesn’t try to make even a little bit of sense anymore.

Whenever it finally penetrates Trump’s skull that precious Jared is in serious doo-doo thanks to Junior, he’ll be turning up the gas full-blast and Junior may realize Dad has a favorite — and it isn’t him.

That may drive Junior straight into the arms of another father figure, Robert Mueller, which can only be a good thing.

When the truth comes out, this nightmare ends, and justice is served, imagine Charles Boyer as Trump in his last desperate moments and Ingrid Bergman as the American people who are fed up with his games…


Trump’s Strange Lack of Curiosity About Russia Explained

July 6, 2017

By Karen

Melania may have a hard time tucking Donald into bed tonight in Hamburg on the eve of what’s believed to be his first face-to-face with his idol, Vladmir Putin, at the G20 summit. It’s hard to know for sure if they’ve ever met before because Trump’s been lying for several years about their acquaintance.

By all reports, Putin’s done his homework and is well-armed with facts and intelligence. Trump goes in with the mostly blank slate he calls his “good brain.”

Trump has never asked about how Putin interferes in U.S. elections. I think it’s because Trump already knows. During the campaign, his flying monkeys verbally kept him informed on how they coordinated Russia’s efforts on Trump’s behalf.

The White House couldn’t get Trump up to speed on Putin because Trump’s puny attention span allowed only a series of tweet-length bullet points. He’s incapable of absorbing any more.

Putin also has an agenda, which likely includes getting back those two spying bases in the U.S. that Obama seized on his way out the door, and probably the lifting of financial sanctions.

Trump’s attitude seems to be, “Ask not what Russia can do for you, but what you can do for Russia,” because Trump requested a list of “deliverables” for Putin. Hey, why not? The man helped put Trump in the White House.

No one expects Trump to bring up Russia’s meddling as a bad thing. Rather, Trump may drop to his knees before Putin in gratitude and ask him how he likes his blow jobs.

Nah, I go too far. It wouldn’t be presidential, and it would take a crane to get Trump back on his feet. Maybe that’s why he brought Melania.

As for the rest of the summit, it remains to be seen how gauche and boorish Trump will be this time. At least the other leaders know to expect some scolding and shoving.

Angela Merkel has made it clear she has no use for the arrogant man-baby, and Emmanuel Macron has already played Trump’s childish alpha-male games.

When Trump’s BFF, Chinese President Xi Jinping, strolls in, wanna bet Trump goes all sweet and gooey like chocolate cake, instead of ordering China to bring North Korea to heel, like he’s been demanding in speeches to everyone else?

I don’t see how Trump can possibly survive this summit with his ass intact. After Putin chews him up and spits him out, the other 18 leaders can steer around his bloated orange carcass like roadkill. On too many fronts, Trump has not only abdicated leadership, but his right to express an opinion. CNN did a succinct run-down on the major conflicts Trump has created with the other 19 18 countries. (Correction: One of the G20 members is a representative of the EU.)

It’s sad that I actually want to see a president of the United States disrespected and demeaned in an international forum. But maybe being publicly bitch-slapped by other leaders will get his attention. Nothing will make him humble, but if the world stops listening to or believing him, it may minimize the damage Trump can inflict


Time to Rename GOP Health Bill #TrumpDontCare

June 28, 2017

By Karen

Because he doesn’t, never has. Donald Trump has no clue what’s in the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” Ditto the House’s “American Health Care Act.” He never read either bill because this is how he reads, according to Reuters

“Conversations with some officials who have briefed Trump and others who are aware of how he absorbs information portray a president with a short attention span.

He likes single-page memos and visual aids like maps, charts, graphs and photos.

National Security Council officials have strategically included Trump’s name in ‘as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned,’ according to one source, who relayed conversations he had with NSC officials.”

But that didn’t stop Trump from hosting a celebration in the Rose Garden after the House bill passed, although it faced certain doom in the Senate.

In naming their bill “Better Care,” I assume Republican senators meant they’re taking better care of millionaires like Trump because they’re reducing his taxes while sticking it to the rest of us by letting health care costs spiral beyond reach for the poor or disabled, children, and older people.

God forbid they should ever focus on the real problem — pharmaceutical companies, medical providers, and insurers charging whatever they want to maximize their profit on sickness and death. To address the root cause of this health care disaster would stop those sweet, sweet lobbyist bribes from flowing into lawmakers’ coffers.

The one thing Trump does know about the existing Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare,” as the GOP likes to disparage it), is that insurers are pulling out of state health insurance exchanges. That’s a fact. But they’re not going bankrupt. They’re just not raking in as much profit as they’d like.

In Trump’s feeble brain, this alone represents “complete disaster” and “melting down,” while he ignores that the law contains provisions people will not give up without a fight, such as no lifetime caps on coverage and not being denied coverage or charged more for pre-existing conditions.

Read how the ACA actually compares to the two Republican bills.

Trump makes his ignorance apparent by never mentioning specifics. During the campaign, he promised “something terrific” that would cover everyone and cost a lot less — without one detail about how he’d do it.

Once in office, he whined that health care is “a lot more complicated” than anybody ever knew. Wrong. Anybody who followed the ACA struggle into existence knew it but TRUMP. Because he didn’t care. It didn’t affect him.

Amazingly, Republicans can’t muster the Senate votes to ram their bill through because a few of them apparently have consciences, so they’re delaying the vote until after the July 4 recess.

Yesterday, Trump ordered, as if they’re his personal serfs, all the Republican senators onto buses to the White House. Spouting nonsense and still showing no idea what he was asking for, Trump just urged them to pass the bill. Watch it here…

http://www.reuters.com/assets/iframe/yovideo?videoId=371976494

The bottom line is #TrumpDontCare about anybody’s health care. He’s exploiting the ignorance of his base on a hot-button issue to cut his own taxes. Then he’ll claim it as a YUGE legislative achievement. It will take some time before the rubes realize Trump betrayed them and they’re worse off than ever.

Democrats, (I’m looking at you, Nancy Pelosi), PLEASE listen to Elizabeth Warren and start pushing for Medicare for All, a single-payer system. It’s the only option left. Channeling premiums now shoveled at health insurers into one government-run system will eliminate most administrative waste. Those savings will pay for actual medical care. A single, strong government entity will have the power to crush the price-gouging of drug companies and medical providers. For-profit health insurance companies will be remembered only as a bad dream we shook off.

It’s a supreme irony that a single-payer system will actually make Trump’s promises of terrific health care for everyone at less cost come true. But I’ll take it anyway.

BONUS: I came across this look at Trump by Carlos Lozada wrote in 2015 after binge-reading eight of Trump’s books. The last line of the piece is particularly revealing about Trump in the White House.


Melania Moves to DC: Too Little, Too Late

June 15, 2017

By Karen

Melania Trump woke up recently and remembered she’s a U.S. citizen. She’s also an unwilling first lady now, but nonetheless it’s her duty to protect us from her husband if she can. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is closing in fast on Trump, and the orange man-baby is figuratively throwing furniture around the White House, trying to elude capture.

Maybe James Comey’s testimony about Trump’s self-destructive behavior behind closed doors made Melania realize it’s time to get in the game. Or maybe Ivanka’s failure to control Daddy with her insipid whining, or Jared’s looming legal peril for being a naïve brat who thinks he can swim with the sharks, convinced her.

Whatever the reason, on Sunday, June 11, Melania, son Barron, and Melania’s parents officially moved to Washington. Crossing the White House lawn, Melania even let Trump hold her hand for a few moments before pulling away and shifting her purse so he couldn’t. Watch it on MSN. It starts at about 1:00.

Perhaps that gesture was his early, and only, birthday present.

Within a day or so of Melania’s arrival, Trump did a complete 180 on his health care bill, whose cruelty he had celebrated in the Rose Garden. Now he calls it “mean.” Coincidence? I think not.

Of course, Trump lacks any grasp of that bill to give specifics on what should change. You can almost hear the Trumps’ conversation. This is probably all Melania had to say to change his mind…

“Donald, the people who voted for you, you know, the poor and ignorant ones. Health care is the only thing the government has done for them in many years. If you take it away now, they will say you are mean, and maybe they won’t vote for you again.”

But let’s pause to reflect on poor Barron. This kid’s siblings are all old enough to be his parents and his father could be his grandfather. And now he’s stuck in the White House all summer, probably cramped in one room, not a whole floor like he had in Trump Tower, with only the Secret Service for company. He has no opportunities to make friends his own age before he attends a new school in the fall.

I don’t know if Barron had any friends back in NYC. He reminds me of a stalk of white asparagus — frail, spindly, devoid of personality. I guess that’s what happens to a child when you raise it in solitude, without sunlight or exercise. Let’s just hope he never turns orange.

Back to Melania: Of all the Trumps, I think she has NOT relied on Fox News for intel. She’s been watching CNN and MSNBC to see how Donald’s being attacked so she can play defense.

She probably started packing to move after she watched Dan Coats, Mike Rogers, and Jeff Sessions play coy with the Senate Intelligence Committee and make things worse. But it was already too late. They brought Washington to its senses and Trump IS now being investigated for obstruction of justice.

Happy 71st Birthday, Mr. President!

This feels to me like Chris Christie’s Bridgegate, but with much higher stakes. Trump must agree with me, because his choice to replace Comey as FBI director is Christopher Wray, Christie’s personal attorney, who’s quite familiar with how these setups work.

Trump surrounded himself with established Russians tools Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Mike Flynn because he knew he couldn’t beat Hillary without help — and Russia offered to help.

No other presidential campaign in history ever had so many unexplained interactions with Russians. Trump knew what his minions were doing because he’s a micromanager. Like Christie’s, they operated under orders not to say or write anything tying Trump to their activities.

But once they got caught, micromanager Trump swooped in to stop the investigation, and now he’s in the soup with them.

Obstruction of justice charges may segue into conflicts of interest, illegal business dealings, perjury, and even treason. The snowball is rolling down the hill now. Any Trump attempts to stop it will only bury him, Jared, and their cronies in a deeper avalanche.

Melania can’t save Trump now, and she probably knows it. But she’ll look worse if she doesn’t at least try to stand by her man.


Putin Steps in to Provide Cover for Trump

June 5, 2017

By Karen

Donald Trump must be positively giddy that Vladmir Putin has decided to lie like a rug to buy Trump more time in the White House.

Putin was interviewed by former Fox News bimbo, Megyn Kelly, who has jumped ship to NBC in hopes of attaining legitimacy as a journalist. To launch her new Sunday night show, she snagged Putin. What’s even more amazing, she managed to keep blood from coming out of her “wherever” during the whole segment.

Putin looked bored or shifty through most of it, and went out of his way to seem almost as ignorant and out of touch as Trump, which we know he’s not. His eyes never register vacant incomprehension, he speaks in complete, coherent sentences, and I’ve never seen him trying to conceal his baldness with a head ferret.

To cite just a few of Putin’s assertions…

  • He got seated beside Michael Flynn at that dinner at random, had no idea Flynn was an American general, and had virtually no interaction with him beyond a greeting.
  • He has no clue what Kislyak, his U.S. ambassador, does with his time, who he meets with, nor what’s discussed. Kislak doesn’t run to Putin with every little thing.
  • So many American executives visit Moscow, there’s no way his intelligence-gathering agency could keep up. He asked, “Do you think we’re gathering compromising information on all of them right now or something? Have you all lost your senses over there?”
  • When Kelly asked if he has any damaging information, the former KGB foreign intelligence officer replied, “Well, this is just another load of nonsense. Where would we get this information from?”
  • He also said the accusation that Russia meddled in the U.S. election is ridiculous, and all 17 U.S. agencies who agree it did are wrong.

Putin essentially gave Trump a pat on the back from a safe distance for his stellar performance as a boorish ignoramus in Europe, where Trump behaved as if he was working under Putin’s direct orders to sink NATO and the G7.

On the flip side, it means Putin thinks there’s still milk in the old Trump cow, so the puppets in the White House will be dancing on Russian strings until Putin starts seeing Trump’s henchmen marched off to prison in handcuffs.

Here’s the full interview…

http://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/960120387521


Foreign Travel Fails to Enlighten Trump

May 31, 2017

By Karen

We paid for the man-baby to have nine days of nonstop play dates in the Middle East and Europe. He showed his gratitude by behaving like the quintessential Ugly American, going out of his way to belittle and demean his hosts in Europe.

Surprisingly, Melania allowed herself to be dragged along, even though Ivanka would have been thrilled to handle all first lady duties. But Melania made it clear she wasn’t happy. She avoided Trump’s touch in public as long as she could, usually with a scowl. Finally, she relented at their last stop, Sicily, by helping the Geezer-in-Chief leave Air Force One.

Notice, his hand is on top of hers so he can push down. When any real gentleman approaches a lady, he does so with palm up so she can rest her hand in his.

But backing up to their first stop in Saudi Arabia… we saw Trump dance around with a sword, curtsy upon receiving an obscene gold necklace, and hand the Saudis a “great” $100 billion arms deal. Yeah, Saudis deserve YUGE discounts from American manufacturers on weapons they’ll buy to kill us with.

Next stop was Israel, where Trump received warm hospitality after betraying their confidence by bragging coded intelligence from them to his Russian BFFs in the Oval Office.

The Israelis did make Trump stand with his face to the Western Wall. Trump didn’t seem to register his resemblance to a little kid being punished.

Then it was off to Europe to meet a gaggle of leaders, including the Pope. The Pope managed to come through unscathed. But the remainder of the trip was a disaster. The other European dignitaries made the fatal mistake of not immediately falling into line to kiss Trump’s ring and tell him how wonderful he is.

France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, did give Trump a few “hand jobs,” but they left Trump ungratified. Macron’s more steely grip rendered Trump’s famous dick move for asserting his own dominance a failure.

But lest anyone forget who the biggest bully was, Trump shoved the prime minister of Montenegro…

The prime minister graciously said he didn’t really notice, but Trump still looked like a jerk.

As always, lacking the cojones to face the confrontations he instigates, Trump refused to tell the group whether the U.S. will continue to honor the Paris Climate Agreement.

Now that he’s back in the White House, with his Twitter, his blankie, and his thumb in his mouth, all signs point to Trump backing out any minute — because he doesn’t understand what it means.

Trump thinks he’s “Making America Great Again” by chucking all this country’s influence and leadership. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is evidently done trying to make nice with Trump and the insipid Ivanka, is telling her fellow leaders not to rely on the U.S. for anything for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, on the home front, investigators are closing in on that baby-faced weasel, Jared Kushner, for trying to establish a clandestine communication channel directly with the Kremlin. I can think of only two reasons Kushner and Trump would want that:

  1. The Trump administration intends to negotiate peace in our time without our government finding out about it, or
  2. The Trump and Kushner organizations have many shady, but lucrative, business deals they intend to continue with Russian oligarchs, and they need to keep Putin in the loop because he has the final word.

BONUS: Garrison Keillor captured this country’s mood while Trump was gone. I couldn’t have said it better myself.


A Cat’s Picks for the 2017 Preakness

May 20, 2017

By Adele

Since Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is running in the Preakness for his second jewel of the Triple Crown today (5 p.m. ET, NBC), this kitty would never pee on his parade and wish him not to win. He’s starting in post position 4 with jockey John Velazquez, and he’s the humans’ favorite with odds of 4-5.

The next horse I’ll be watching is one of my Derby picks, Gunnevera (odds 15-1, pp 6). Nobody’s talking about him as a serious contender, so he could be plotting to take the lead like a ninja and stun everybody. He’s had a jockey switch, and will under Mike Smith this time. His jockey in the Derby, Javier Castellano, will be aboard Cloud Computing in pp 2.

We haven’t spoken, but I would think Gunnevera is pleased with this development, since Castellano helped him come in 7th in the Derby.

My third pick is Classic Empire (odds 3-1, pp 5) with jockey Julien Leparoux. He was the humans’ favorite in the Derby, but finished 4th. I think he deserves a little glory this time for sticking with it.

Only 10 horses are racing, so the field won’t be too crowded. The weather at Pimlico is supposed to be cool, in the 60s, and cloudy, with no rain and a dry track. Basically, perfect conditions for the horses.

It so happens that my horses will be side by side in the middle of the pack in post positions 4, 5, and 6. The last horse who won from Always Dreaming’s 4 slot was Curlin in 2007.

As always, may the best horse win and may they all cross the finish line safely.


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