The Fountain and six more short stories coming soon

A break from politics. About time, some might say! Yes, after a long delay John is finally getting something NEW published. The plan is to make that a more frequent occurrence–with novels out every year or two.  Working on one right now, in fact. But first a short story collection.

Check out the Fountain, in a Kindle edition only for the next 90 days, available on pre-order from Amazon now. It will be delivered July 10, 2017, for anyone ordering it now and thereafter for everyone. We’ll talk about free days and discounts later (can’t until after July 10.

The cover of The Fountain, a Kindle book

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Like what? Here’s what you will find:

  • Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman.
  • A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”
  • A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.”
  • A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.”
  • What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson.
  • A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.”
  • Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.
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Trump Meltdown–Coming Soon?

My shortest post ever. There’s really not much more to say than the text below  the photo that might be Donald Trump, America’s so-called President. AKA Putin’s Puppet. We’ll save that photo for another day.

Will Trump meltdown in rage Thursday or Friday–after Comey testifies?

Will he have a nervous breakdown?

He has been getting angrier and more erratic this past week. Day by day his tweets reveal his state of mind. The “Travel Ban” and the courts. London.

Now Comey is coming for him. This may be it. If not, there’s Jared, et al, on the horizon. President Pence may be here sooner than we think.

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The Greedy Old Plutocrats (AKA GOP) and Alan Dishwasher

Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.

Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.    AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”

Mocking Paul Ryan's Scrooge-like cheapness

 

  • CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
  • Young, healthy people will pay less
  • Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
  • Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
  • Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
  • Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)

At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.

“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”

[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”

What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.”   Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more.  Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.

Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):

“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

 Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.

So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich. 

On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.

Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.

Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime.  Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T.  CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.

To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand. 

Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.

 

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Trump’s Downward Spiral–Updated

According to a report in the New York Times, it was Israel that provided the intel that our so-called President shared with his Russian comrades.

Will the chickens finally come to home to roost, i.e., will Republicans begin to place country over party? Maybe now, after Trump spills “code-word” top-secret intel to the Russians. Maybe, but don’t hold your breath. For the GOP to abandon him, Trump might have to go running down Pennsylvania nude, waving a Russian flag and shouting his everlasting love for Vladimir Putin. Don’t laugh, it could happen! All it would take is a nervous breakdown.

Trump and Sergey Lavrov in Oval Office

There are a few explanations for this most recent intelligence snafu, in which Trump revealed information that could compromise a foreign intelligence source that shared it with the US under the condition of keeping it secure–

  • The briefers forgot to put the PDB on yellow paper (Trump knows stuff is classified if it comes in the Yellow Pages).
  • He’s bragging about how much he knows re: ISIS
  • He’s obliged, by his agreement with Putin, to supply such info
  • All of the above

Now for some truth. Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that NATO has made plans to “dumb down” their organization meeting for Trump. With Trump’s short attention span and dislike of details, heads of state have been instructed to limit their talks to two to four minutes! This is a meeting of leaders from all 28 countries.  There will also be no formal wrap up document, chiefly because if Trump did read it, he might not agree with it. Here’s what one participant had to say:

“It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,” said one source briefed extensively on the meeting’s preparations. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They’re freaking out.”

Read full article here.

So if you take that in context with the Lavrov/Kislyak foreign intelligence debacle, things could get real ugly on Trump’s nine-day trip. In addition to the NATO summit in Brussels and a G7 meeting in Sicily, Trump will visit:

  • Israel (Jerusalem)
  • Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
  • Rome (the Vatican)

There will be protestors. The Secret Service will be severely challenged. No parties, no hookers on this trip! Instead, we must worry whether the source of the  about the effect on America’s intelligence sharing relationship with Israel, since they provided the foreign intel given the Russians came from the services of Israel or Saudi Arabia–oh what fun in those meetings. What will “Bibi” have to say about this. Or maybe from Erdogan, another strong man fave of which Trump is a fanboy. What careless, stupid or insulting things will Trump say or do? Count on some substantial blowback from the World’s most clueless leader.

Back to the future (watch for the segue).  Once Trump is out of office, will it be Thomas F. Wilson (who adeptly portrayed Biff–a character SO much like Trump, in the three-part movie of the 80s) who plays Trump or will it be Alec Baldwin? The current favorite has to be Baldwin, but would he do it?

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When Will Trump Resign

August, 2017, will mark 43 years since Richard Milhous Nixon resigned. I had expected Trump would resign, in face of certain impeachment, no later than mid-2018 as Congressional elections approached. Now, I’m not certain he’ll last that long. It’s time for the Trumpistan rats to jump off the sinking ship of state. Their future prospects have diminished, but the longer they stay, the more potential they might wind up like one of the 40 Nixon staffers who went to jail.

Shirt with Trump behind bars, with caption Lock Him Up!

The FBI investigations are accelerating  while the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are plodding along–but eventually will produce results. Subpoenas are coming from grand juries. Now comes the firing of FBI Director Comey and Trump’s contradictions of his own staff (citing advice from the AG) and instead admitting that he had planned to fire Comey anyway. Today we have Trump threatening Comey in a tweet,

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”

Comey has leaked nothing nor even spoken to the press since his firing. It’s his former associates that have offered defenses of Comey, including denying Trump’s version of conversations or events. They also reported that Comey had said Trump was “crazy” for claiming he had been wiretapped by Obama.

Let’s consider the possible explanations for Trump’s behavior:

  • He IS crazy, as Comey suspected–that Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder progressed to dementia or other mental problems well before the election.
  • He’s accustomed to being the boss of a privately held corporation–no board of directors, no shareholders, etc. He expects to be able to do what he wants, hire and fire with impunity and to demand loyalty. Doesn’t work that way as President.
  • He is simply stupidTrump, it’s fair to say, knows nearly nothing about almost anything. Consider this piece from David Cay Johnston in the Guardian, who says “Donald Trump’s ignorance is becoming more evident with each passing day.” He may well have been socially promoted through elementary school before cheating his way through high school and college.
  • He has been compromised by Putin and other Russians–most likely through financial entanglements such as loans. Middle income people with bad credit may go to loan sharks. Those who have been rich may go to Putin-associated banks and oligarchs who don’t break legs–they coerce them to do stuff for them.
  • All of the abovewhich is the most likely of the options.

Tapes were, of course, Nixon’s downfall–the nail in his presidential coffin. Does Trump have tapes? Probably not, but then he’s undoubtedly stupid enough to have such a system, given his lack of historical knowledge.

Why would Trump resign? He might get forced out by the threat of impeachment (not likely YET). He might get removed under the 25th Amendment for being unable to fulfill the duties of the office (really unlikely–YET).

The biggest reason Trump might quit? He can’t stand much more of this. While he never wants to be a loser,  he is getting white-hot angry with every newscast focusing on the Russia investigation and his own incompetence. Just read the tweets. The more he rants, the worse it gets–a vicious circle of self inflicted misery. That’s been notable after the Comey firing fiasco.

Eventually, Trump might face impeachment due to:

  • Collusion with the Russians during the campaign or since (see the satirical bit about the Lavrov and Kislyak visit below).
  • Emoluments clause violations. See suits such as this one.
  • Other financial offenses (like money laundering for the Russians). See requests/referrals by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to FinCEN, the financial crimes enforcement unit of the Treasury Department to investigate Trump and associates dealings.

Impeachment calls started with California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. They are spreading among Democrats but haven’t reached Republicans–YET. If Trump keeps on tweeting recklessly and/or results begin coming from the FBI subpoenas, intelligence committee hearings or leaks from the White House or former associates, the Republicans will jump on the bandwagon. The most serious event will be people flipping on him to save themselves.  People like Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort.

The GOP may still hold out hope for legislation, but that will dim. They will soon be faced with the rock and hard place choice of cutting their losses by throwing Trump under the bus NOW or losing control of at least the House, if not the Senate, in 2018. No later than January 2019, when the next Congress takes office, impeachment will be a certainty.

At Vladimir Putin’s request, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with Trump in the oval office the day after Comey’s firingwhich Lavrov laughed about. For those of you who are keeping score at home, Kislyak is the guy that all the Trump associates lied about meeting and is known as a Russian asset recruiter. The Russians  plastered this photo across social media. Why did Trump look like a child who’d just received a wonderful gift?

Trump welcoming Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak to White House

Here’s why, relayed in this fictional dialogue [AKA fake news–not ASSUMED or claimed to be true]

“Comrade Trump, we have great news for you,” said Lavrov. “Your good work for us has been rewarded. You have been accepted into the Strong Man’s Club.”

“Wow, fantastic! I’m so looking forward to visiting with Vladimir again–and meeting Erdogan, Duterte, Mugabe and the others.”

“There were those who thought you weren’t ready and that you’d never be able to overcome the restraints on American presidents to be a true authoritarian,” said Kislyak. “But your offer of complimentary memberships to Mar-a-Lago for ten of President Putin’s closest friends–as well as the members of the club, got you in.”

“Wonderful, wonderful!”

“Here’s a memento of the occasion,” said Lavrov, handing an envelope to Trump. “Also some instructions from President Putin. Please read them carefully and follow them to the letter.”

“Oh, of course,” Trump said. “And you will have that dacha for me if I am forced to exit America in a hurry someday?”

“Ah yes, have no worries, my friend,” said Kislyak.

 

Soon after leaving the White House, Lavrov had this to say to Kislyak. “Damn, that guy is dumber than borscht!”

“You’re right about that, Sergey,” Kislyak laughed. “If he gets busted, he’s on his own!”

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Trump Says the Darnedest Things

It’s not just Trump, of course, it’s his cabinet officials and others from the administration who say wacky stuff. But it’s mainly him. I think I’ll turn this into a book later. But enough foreplay, let’s get to the funny stuff. Most of these are actual quotes from our so-called President. If we’ve added some fake news, we’ll let you know.

“Who knew health care was so complicated.”

“I loved my previous life, I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. [T]his is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

“I think we’ve done more than perhaps any president in the first 100 days.”

“Democrats are using that faux — or fake — Russia story in order to make themselves feel better for losing an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose.”

In the biggest oxymoron in American history, President Trump wants Americans to celebrate May 1 as Loyalty Day. He is now calling on the nation to observe the holiday to express loyalty to “individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being,” according to a statement sent out by the White House. “The United States stands as the world’s leader in upholding the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.

FAKE news follows [Accordingly, Trump will fire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and Jeff Sessions. Then he himself will resign–that’s the only way to ensure the success of those values.]

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection.”

That statement came on Earth Day! FAKE news follows: Anonymous sources from the White House say Trump has tasked NASA to explore the best means to mine the green cheese covering the Earth’s moon. “It will create jobs in mining, transportation and the restaurant industry–great for the economy, trust me!” 

On April 29th, people who share the widespread belief in climate change, protested in Washington, DC. “Climate change is a hoax,” Trump has said. He wants America to burn more coal. Trump also proposes cutting the EPA budget by 1/3. That will sure protect the environment! Rigorous science too!

EPA has removed pages regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change to reflect the ignorance of its new leader, Scott Pewwwit—who formerly raised a stink in Oklahoma. Here’s what the EPA flunky (er, spokesperson) J.P. Freire, had to say about it:   “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”  That includes changes prompted by Trump to allow dumping of toxic waste into streams. Also the elimination of regulations to limit stack emissions from coal-fired power plant. Doesn’t sound much like protecting the environment OR human health, does it?

Recently, in an interview by John Dickerson on Face the nation, Trump regaled the host about his knowledge of the Civil War and admiration for seventh President, Andrew Jackson.

“Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening, with regard to the Civil War. He said, there’s no reason for this.”

We can assume Trump was absent during his American history classes in school–or perhaps it’s just another example of “alternative facts.” Consider what Chelsea Clinton (Bill and Hillary’s daughter had to say about it.

1 word answer: Slavery. Longer: When Andrew Jackson died in 1845 (16 yrs before the Civil War began), he owned 150 men, women and children. https://t.co/Icg6puG2JZ

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 1, 2017

Jackson, of course, also pushed the forced removal of 17,000 members of the Cherokee Nation from the east coast to Oklahoma—along what is known as the Trail of Tears. Great guy, huh? For more on Jackson, including how ignored Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling that the law permitting the removal of the Cherokee was illegal, go here.

More FAKE news follows; [only bracketed text should be considered true]:

Trump has upped the ante for the wall. Given the medieval nature of a wall (think of the Great Wall of China), Trump now says he wants a moat as well—possibly with gators in many places. Beyond that, he is in discussion with designers for the use of burning oil for high crossing areas. He says of this option, “it will pass constitutional muster, believe me.” He has his success with the travel ban executive order to confirm his “legal opinion.”

[Trump is considering hiring Milwaukee Sheriff, David Clarke, for a Homeland Security Post.] Sources say Clarke will be responsible for ensuring that temperature controls in immigrant detention cells don’t work. Troublesome detainees will be denied medical care and in extreme cases, food or water.

Trump is touting his record number golf rounds played during his first 100 days in office as a major accomplishment. According to Trump, “No other President has played this many rounds in their first 100 days. Most didn’t play this many rounds during their first year—some during their entire term. Trust me, the balls in my bag have really had a workout.”

 

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Acknowledgements: See attribution links

More Trump Funnies

Trump’s first 100 days have almost arrived. What’s he accomplished? Not much. He was awarded four pinocchios by the Washington Post for his claim that “no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.”

Sources say Secret Service agents are wearing stilts and rubber boots. The White House BS is that deep. Click To Tweet

Where’s Waldo or have you seen this aircraft carrier? The USS Carl Vinson and several other vessels that accompany it were supposed to be off the coast of North Korea last week. At least according to our so-called Commander-in-Chief.

USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

Sean Sriracha said it was steaming there. Defense Secretary Mattis said the strike group had cancelled plans to participate in joint training exercises near Australia. So it appears that one of the “adults in the room,” the Secretary of Defense–is as out of the loop and clueless as his boss, Donald Trump. We’re all in trouble when the guys who are supposed to know which end is up don’t know either. Maybe Mattis shouldn’t have got that waiver. Maybe he’s too old to be in this job. Perhaps his faculties have faded. We know Trump’s shortcomings.

But the thought of a preemptive strike on North Korea caused plenty of handwringing among national security and former military types now working as commentators/analysts. Seoul, just 30 miles from the DMZ separating it from North Korea, would likely be obliterated in response, they all say. But hey, our whacked White House visitor (he spends most of his time golfing in Mar-a-Lago and is supposed to be working in Washington) doesn’t know any better. But bellicose talk about Kim Jong Un works great as a deflection from discussion of his conflicts of interest and especially the Russiagate issues.

Speaking of deflection, let’s consider MOAB–the “Mother of All Bombs” dropped on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan. Never before used in combat anywhere since it’s development in 2002, that managed to grab much attention on the news for its novelty. Was it militarily necessary to drop this very expensive device there? Did cooperative (Trump supporting) military commanders choose this one for its deflection aptitude? Could be.

Discussion about the Syrian strike has just about ended, although Fareed Zakaria (one of my favorites) unfortunately supported it and cautioned against “Trump Derangement Syndrome”–suggesting that there are many who automatically reject anything Trump does. I say unfortunately because this is one of the rare instances when Zakaria completely blew it.  See my take (as Fareed often prefaces where to find his most recent op-ed from the Washington Post) explaining how this symbolic shot amounted to much ado about nothing other than serving as a major deflection. Yes, many people besides Zakaria foolishly praised Trump’s response to Bashar Al Assad’s criminal chemical attack–but it’s hard to believe Trump cares much about Syrian children given his refugee ban. But it’s easy to believe he cares plenty about his self-image as a macho man. He also cares much about deflecting attention from his failures and discussion about Russian connections.

Speaking of Russian connections, no one (so far as I know) has paid much attention to this little nugget on how Trump policies have affected tourist visits to America. Possibly people concerned with politics and Russia missed it because it comes from the Washington Post’s Capital Business section. People around the world are canceling trips to the USA–with one exception. Guess from where? Here’s an excerpt from the WAPO piece.

Demand for flights to the United States has fallen in nearly every country since January, ­according to Hopper, a travel-booking app that analyzes more than 10 billion daily airfare price quotes to derive its data. Searches for U.S. flights from China and Iraq have dropped 40 percent since Trump’s inauguration, while demand in Ireland and New Zealand is down about 35 percent. (One exception: Russia, where searches for flights to the United States have surged 60 percent since January.)

Not to be too cynical/conspiratorial here, but if NSA is going to intercept Russian communications–what better way to avoid that than sending undercover FSB agents to America and meeting in person with Trump administration officials or associates? Makes you think, doesn’t it? Or it could just be more business conflicts–oligarchs or creditors of Trump. Ordinary tourists? I don’t think so!

Remember Alex Jones, of the Infowars conspiracy/fake news show/website? He’s somebody who has had Trump on his show. His claims are among those that Trump relies on or cites from time to time. Birds of a feather you might say. So it’s interesting to note what just came out in a divorce and child custody proceeding involving Jones. A psychiatric evaluation introduced in the case says that Jones is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Guess who else has been accused of having that problem (unofficially of course)? His buddy Trump. Here’s what the Daily Beast had to say in their report:

People diagnosed with NPD typically show traits including a lack of empathy, arrogance, and a propensity for grandiose fantasies. They are also frequently described as manipulative and demanding.

Sounds a lot like our so-called President, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, on the Ivanka conflict front, consider that China granted three trademarks on Ivanka brand products while she and Daddy Donald were dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Coincidence? Oh sure! Nothing to see here, the Chinese Foreign ministry says. They handle all applications equally, minister Lu Kang said. But an American trademark lawyer says the usual processing time is 18 months–her application was approved in half that time, 9 months. See this NPR reportFriends get fast-tracked it seems. China’s no currency manipulator after all. 

Incompetence and ignorance starts at the top at the Trump White House, as Sean Sriracha, the seldom seen (anymore) Kellyanne Corncob confirm. Then too, the rudeness percolates throughout. DHS Secretary John Kelly recently channeled his inner Steve Bannon in remarks at George Washington University.

“If lawmakers do not like the laws that we enforce, that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce, then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws,” Kelly said. “Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.” [emphasis added]

Of course, those laws don’t require deporting mothers of small children–mothers who have committed no crimes and whose children were born in the US. Those laws don’t require TSA agents to investigate whether pantyliners might be bombs. Those laws are also augmented by intolerant and vindictive attitudes expressed in the Trump travel ban. See also my previous item on how out of control Customs has become. Those aren’t legal issues–they’re training and behavior issues that coincide with a man in the White House that likes to refer to “haters,” when, like so many of his epithets, amounts to a projection. It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that former general Kelly shares Trump’s perspective–he works for the Hater-in-Chief.

Speaking of immigration issues, an interesting article in the Washington Post details the troubled history of the Trump family with immigration. Like using illegal immigrants on projects. Like using seasonal labor from foreign countries at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere. Then there’s his recent push to buy and hire American. Sort of falls under the parental shame adage, “do as I say, not as I do.” Import Chinese steel for building. Manufacture his products everywhere but in the US. For more details, read the Post article. Here’s just one snippet:

Businesses run and owned by Trump and his adult children have been certified to legally hire 1,371 foreign visa workers since 2001, a CNN analysis of visa records shows. In addition, Trump-branded real estate has raised at least $50 million in foreign investor money through a program that gives foreign investors access to green cards, according to the company that did the development of the real estate.

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Musical Inspiration for Your Writing

Do you find listening to music helpful while writing? How about making use of particular favorites (or even ones you hate) as inspiration for a story? Try this one on for size–which combines issues of communication in a relationship with the added bonus of a special voice. You do think Stephen Hawking is a cool dude with special gifts of intellect don’t you? How remarkable that he’s on this Pink Floyd cut–Keep Talking from 1994.

Just remember, it’s OK to be inspired but use of even a single line of lyrics in your published written work requires express written permission by the rights holder of the song. Simply citing it is insufficient. Use your own words–not the recording artist.

Anyway, consider this as a writing prompt.  Please let me know if you think this is helpful.

 

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Acknowledgements: Pink Floyd, Keep Talking from youtube

The Hits Just Keep Coming–The Trump Funnies

So Donald Jr. says he’s not interested in running for office in 2018. Really? Despite the unlikely win his father had in 2016, he’s clearly more delusional than dear old dad if he thinks there’s a groundswell of voters anxious to see him in the New York Governor’s office (he’s not inclined toward the NYC Mayor job. Hahahahahaha!!!! Bozo runs in the family, it seems.

Is the dog fully wagged yet? Haven’t heard much about the investigation of the Trump campaign collusion with the Russian meddling in the US election in the last several days. Seems like the symbolic Syrian attack has done the trick. Speaking of tricks, here’s the deal with that:

  • Russia got a one-hour warning of the impending strike
  • That gave not only them, but the Syrians, ample time to move valuable jets and personnel away from the strikes
  • The Trump administration can’t get straight whether it was 20 aircraft, 20% of the aircraft in the area, 20% of the entire air force or something else that was destroyed
  • Most likely, it was 20 aging aircraft that were hit
  • No chemical weapon storage was hit
  • No reports of ANY Russian or Syrian casualties have emerged
  • In simple terms, the 59 Tomahawk missile strike was not highly successful militarily–or not a BFD
  • But it did cost the taxpayers, depending on what source you read, $75 to $90 million!
  • Oh, and the really funny thing–sources say that it was daughter Ivanka’s dismay at the videos of suffering children who brought it all to Daddy Donald’s attention–causing him to call for a response. Oh sure–or, wait, maybe that did play a part.

There you have it, the high cost of deflection. Great praise from hawks. Derision from pacifists and alt-right nationalists. And plenty of discussion suggesting it signified a departure from Trump/Russian convergence. Noteworthy: while Trump surrogates and administration officials have badmouthed the Russians, not one word against Russia has come from Donald himself. Got the clue?

Oh, did you hear about the uber spammer arrested in Spain at the FBI request? The US has an extradition treaty with Spain. The guy’s wife says it’s all about his work for Putin on the Trump campaign. Spammers can make as much as they want in Russia, so long as they do the work that the FSB, Putin, et al asks them to. Guess he’ll be spilling the beans for the right deal to the new special unit of the FBI created for investigating the Trump/Russian connection. (The unit will be headed by an experience counter-intelligence agent and will have as many as 20 people working out of the FBI HQ in Washington, DC). Pay no attention to the Syrian deflection. The investigation continues and the evidence is accumulating.

Sean Sriracha says even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on his own people. Oh yeah, he just gassed millions of them with Zyklon gas in the concentration camps–that doesn’t count. Maybe  the Trump team can hire Clarissa to explain it all to Sean so he doesn’t sound so cluelessly stupid when he does briefings.

Trump says Bill O’Really has done nothing wrong. 82 sponsors and counting think otherwise, costing Fox over an estimated $35 million in ad revenue. But hey, what’s a little sexual harassment in the workplace–or anywhere where a celebrity can grab a woman by the p. . .y?

Speaking of which, let’s lighten this up with a tune by that name from a man who never hesitated to include plenty of sexual commentary in his songs but still is a favorite of many–including myself. Humor excuses many such sins. But have no fear, Zappa’s Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has no lyrics–it’s 100% instrumental. For all you fellow guys, hear the pain and sorrow of harassment in the melody even as you listen to the guitar virtuoso.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry
Acknowledgements: Zappa instrumental from Youtube

Special April First Edition of Views–Dedicated to Trump

Rex Tillerson has explained to disaffected State Department employees that his apparent first name is actually a title—the Latin term meaning King. That’s why, when they encounter him anywhere at the State Department, they must look down or away and never upon his countenance. They should speak only if spoken to. He has agreed to so-called President Trump’s demand to never wear a crown. Only Trump himself is permitted to do that–when Melania says so during role-playing games.

Devin Numbnuts has announced that he will step down from the House Intelligence Committee. He feels unappreciated by his boss, Donald Trump. His future ambition is to play the Goofy character at Disneyland. No word on whether Disney has an interest in hiring him.

Michael “Out Like” Flynn, has a story to tell about life at the White House. His proffer to investigators to grant him immunity from prosecution includes his observation of an undocumented housekeeper removing soiled rubber sheets from the President’s bedroom.

So-called President Trump has confirmed that one of daughter Ivanka’s major responsibilities in the West Wing will be to assist her father in locating his butt. It seems that he can’t find it with both hands.

People are saying that VP Mike Pence frequently expresses regrets at having accepted the role of being Trump’s second fiddle. Here’s what one source overheard at the VP Naval Observatory residence.

“Nobody knew how uncomplicated Trump’s mind is. I thought it was an act for the base. It’s not—that’s how clueless he really is. I’ll go down in history as the idiot-in-waiting. There’s probably not much chance he’ll take me up on my offer—resign now before all the testimony and investigations are concluded and I’ll promise to pardon you. He thinks too highly of himself—he’s too deluded, to do that.”

Roger Stone has revealed that he grew up in an adopted family that practiced infant head binding. Many had thought that a prefrontal  lobotomy was the reason for his sloping forehead or surmised that he might have more Neanderthal DNA than most modern humans. Not so, according to Stone. Just watch out for the club he keeps at his man cave.

Melania says she and Barron may just stay in New York. She’s had enough of political life, such as it is. No word on the future of the marriage.

Sources say, Vladimir Putin will give Trump the same Order of Friendship award Putin gave to Tillerson. If Trump makes it all the way through a full 4-year term, Putin will add a gold-cluster and forgive $500 million of Trump’s outstanding loans at Russian-owned banks. That will leave Trump on the hook for only $2 billion.

News flash: There are actually FIVE people in the Trump administration who have never met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, have no connection to Russian intelligence, owe no money to Russian banks and haven’t traveled to Moscow (in the last 5 years). Of the five, only three express a special affection for Trump BFF Vlad.

This IS the April Fools Day edition of Views from Eagle Peak–Your Source for Really Fake News. 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry
Acknowledgements: Photos from the web, with modification

Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions

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