Even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination. — Hannah Arendt
Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people — Reince Preibus
Trump, You may be orange, you may have weird hair, you may have hamburgers, but you’re no Ronald McDonald! – Jon stewart, June 29, 2018
I don’t read the Daily KOS as often as other things, but occasionally they have something that catches my eye. Since I neither read nor speak Russian, I’m at a disadvantage here, but this tweet and accompanying article got my attention. Trump’s performance at the G7 was definitely a hit in Moscow. Arguing that Crimea should be part of Russia because most of the people there speak Russian is an interesting and somewhat idiotic remark. Then again, we have a dangerous and idiotic president, so…
Further down the page was another shocker. I hadn’t heard anything more about it for a few days, and since the idea that a sitting, somewhat wealthy Senator from Idaho could get himself dragged into the Manafort mess struck me something that should be a story someplace, I Googled it. Guess what, I didn’t dream the Daily Kos story.
Wolf Country in its various forms here has never been friendly country for conspiracy theories. Most conspiracy theories are too complicated, and too difficult to make happen. Caesar was killed by a conspiracy, true; but, it’s likely that it worked only because Caesar was momentarily away from his guards, including Marc Anthony who would have cheerfully slit Brutus’ throat with Cassius tibula, and probably could have done so.
The death of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo is an example of an absolute failure of a conspiracy that still sort of worked out.
The Serbian Army ‘s Intelligence Directorate through the Black Hand, a Serbian Army Secret Society decided to kill Ferdinand. The Archduke wasn’t exactly popular in the Imperial Royal Family, and his wife was simply not one of the suitable group of royals and near royals they wanted him to marry. . Primogeniture being what it was in that clan, they were stuck with him, and sent him off to visit Bosnia, and other places where the Emperor was not. Sending him to Sarajevo was kind of like sending Ivanka Trump to Juarez — well intentioned, perhaps, but a terrible idea.
Anyway, the terrorists tried to kill the Archduke but the bombs didn’t go off, a couple of guys lost interest, and the convoy sped away. One of the terrorists was late, went to the wrong corner, was contemplating getting a kabob and some silovitz when the Archduke’s driver was trying to turn around after missing a turn. Identifying the Archduke probably by the Imperial Helmet and the Crest and the Wife’s huge hat, he started shooting. Oddly, he hit and killed both husband and wife.
Hilarity, in the form of the mobilization of the armies of the various empires in Europe and having no way to stop the trains, the Germans invaded Poland which was pretty much held by Russia as well as France, exercising the 1905 update of the Von Schlieffen Plan, which was such a success that 20 or so million people died, and then universal peace broke out…for a while. The current situation in Europe makes you wonder if we’re not watching the latest intermission in that conflict play out.
Within the Cabinet Room on Monday, there was an unspoken understanding among all the president’s men (and four women) that the nation’s intemperate chief executive is fundamentally unwell, and in need of constant assurance. The world outside may be unforgiving of his failures, but in the safe space that Trump has created inside the West Wing, he remains the all-knowing, omnicompetent billionaire that he played on TV. — Tina Nyguen, Vanity Fair, June 12, 2017
On Meet the Press on Friday, June 22 George Will was on the panel and said that what makes the Trump Presidency so absolutely horrific is the combination of evil with incompetence, and that when you have those human factors working in concert, the result is chaos. That is worth considering, and it seems to be a good formula for what’s been playing out.
- Item. If Trump is not a Russian Agent of Influence, he could give real ones lessons on how to do it well. The G7 Meeting is a great example of how to do this. All it required was that Trump claim a bunch of “Whaddabout the Marshall Plan? We never got paid back for that!” nonsense and then demand things like separate trade deals and the re-admission of Putinville to the G8. He already had the other six national leaders nervous at best and convinced he was deranged in general before this tantrum.
- Item. Trump and Wilbur Ross are doing a great job of trying to protect American manufacturers in things like steel, and aluminum and buggy whips. Tariffs have limited use, and in a global economy become difficult, when supply chains and value chains basically ignore national boundaries and interest. Trump wants to get all the Mercedes and BMWs off the US roads and replace them with, well, what exactly? And, most of the jobs lost by doing that wouldn’t be in Stuttgart or Saxony, but in South Carolina and Alabama. Trump doesn’t understand trade, and Ross has mental models outdated before WWII to guide him — as well as what his broker advises.
- Item. Trump desperately needs to fix his relationship with the European allies and Canada and China and everybody else. Instead, he decides to plug a visit with Putin, probably in Finland, to discuss how to make the relationship with Russia great again. I’m having problems remembering a time it was, but what the hell…maybe he doesn’t like the location of the post-Presidency Moscow Trump Tower!
- Item. Trump has announced that Putin told him that he did nothing to interfere with American collections, and looking into those cowlike Russian eyes, Trump could see the guy’s soul. Yeah, right. Just to explain something collusion is a nice word, but the crime that could be there is conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and defraud the American people, as well as conspiracy to accept stolen goods. The case for such a conspiracy is prima facie made by Trump’s idiot first spawned Demon DonnyII. The Trump tower meeting in 2016 had an offer of help with dirt of Hillary Clinton and DonnyII in sharing his email chain with it said, “I love it.” The meeting then took place, on a day when Big Donny was in the Tower. The collusion per se doesn’t have to have been successful. So, not unlike the Watergate Game coverup, which kept tripping on its own shoelaces, TrumpTower Gate is an actual conspiracy.
- Irem. Trump is a control freak. He combines this with bad cases of ADD and the inability to establish priorities and possibly early stage dementia and no actual knowledge of how much of anything works besides a driver, a putter, and a sand wedge. (He does appear to know how to operate a sandwich, but probably gets confused making one.) Can you believe that an affection charged weasel like Donny J wouldn’t tell Daddy Don all about this? If so, I have some Lake Front property available on the Big Island in Hawaii and I know I can get you a deal!
- Item. What do you get when you put two sociopaths with bad hair and no understanding of how anything works outside of their own solipsistic universes in a room with two translators and no advisors? Well, not a whole helluva lot, when you come to think of it. Largely, just a distraction followed by…nothing. They signed a piece of paper that basically said the sky is probably blue, and they’ll do their best not to blow up Seoul. The dear leader and the Donald got to shake hands for each other a lot. And, the balance of power in the far east which is west of Hawaii just got more and more confused.
- What purpose is the meeting between Trump and Putin supposed to serve? The main result thus far is to really worry the rest of NATO as to what the guy is going to do next?
Someday, hopefully, in about 60 or so years, there will be a great film about the Trump years. It could be pretty funny just with various contemporary documentary outtakes, but I recently watched The Death of Stalin and there’s a lot of material here already to at least rival the chaos that swept the Soviet Union for 35 or so years.
And, it won’t take 35 years or so to do it!
Michael is a Retired Army First Sergeant, retired Corporate HR Executive, Occasional Adjunct Professor of Management, Organizational Effectiveness Free Range Consultant, Stoic Philosopher of sorts, Proud Heritage Irish Catholic Apostate…
He went from turning down fellowships to Graduate School after Holy Cross to Fort Jackson and a guy with few teeth from Georgia screaming at me to move his ass! And he enlisted after the draft ended. Twenty-three years active duty from 1974 to 1997 flipping between duty as REMF-Unit designated Grunt to Grunt Unit designated Smart Guy.
Last ten years either an Operations Sergeant Major (4 years) or First Sergeant (6 years). Made the CSM list a week after retirement papers went in.
He went into Human Resources because people said it was like being a First Sergeant.
Michael is retired these days, with time to think, write and occasionally enjoy life a bit. He reads five papers every day, lots of books on what interests me and pays attention. He has basic Socialist leanings. He is also a musician – fifty years plus with a guitar. Ex-marathon runner now lifting weights and grunting a lot to stay sort of in shape.
Michael is deadly serious about the issues but he likes to present with a lot of dry humor and satire. He discomforts the rich, offends the powerful and laughs at the pompous. So, stay awake and pay attention, or you’ll miss the jokes.
He refers to himself as a Progressive with an anarchist tendency. Think Bobby Kennedy Democrat at home with Sinn Fein; either a saintly advocate of sweet reason and justice or an arrogant self-righteous SOB with a traditional First Sergeant’s vulgar mouth and dislike of anyone’s rules but his own. That’s Michael Farrell
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Couple of typos. I’ve been under the weather, and obviously spellcheck isn’t working all that well. One of my Items came out as Irem. That’s one the spell check should have captured, but so much for that. I am not sure of the nature of the Freudian slip that produced my accusation of Russia interfering with “American collections” which makes no sense except as either bribes or illegal campaign donations to the Trump cause…and, the only way that could occur would be if the Russian Oligarch or Organ of State Security chose to stop payment on a check. I was referring to the interference in our elections which CIA, NSA, and the other agencies all agree occurred.
One other thing that came out after I pushed print was the news that North Korea not only had not stopped or started tearing down its nuclear program but that they have been making more and more weapons grade material in their reactors and centrifuges. Nobody is able to figure out where President Trump is getting his information about their efforts to denuke the peninsula.
Look, the thing that made America a world wide power wasn’t be an isolated economy and military power. It was when we stepped up in 1941 through 2012 and tried to lead the world through a leadership based on principle as opposed to real politik, selfish national interest, and greed. When we violated those principles, we ran into problems…and on a world stage, problems tend to play out over generations if not centuries. So, if you are crafting an overarching policy for governing a great world power, don’t do stupid things would be a great first principle.
So if you are wearing a MAGA hat, I suspect you’ve already stopped reading my stuff, but read some history of the US involvement in Iran, Cuba and Latin America, and Mexico. Read Mark Bowen’s “Blackhawk Down” and “Tet.” Read Ralph Peters’ series of US civil war novels. Get some perspective that doesn’t include ditto signs. Read some collections of George Wills’ writings, some Ralph Meachem, Sandberg’s Lincoln. Read the history of the US constitution. If nothing else, try to be an informed, loyal and situationally aware American.
Kissing the collective asses of Putin, Xe, and Kim probably is certainly not the way to make or keep America great.
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