Excellent article here for those of us faced with loved ones and friends who appear to be living in an alternate universe (especially if they’re lost in Trumpland): Gaslighting

Nothing much to add to this except that I’m currently wondering if we are all being gaslighted over the huge, really huge outrage regarding Trump’s “hot mike” remarks about sexually assaulting women.

Not that the remarks weren’t awful, but where was the gargantuan outrage when…oh, where do I start?  At the moment Trump went up the down escalator?  He said something about Mexicans being rapists, etc., that day.  Yes, he did.  A lot of his supporters are saying he was misquoted or it was taken out of context, which has become their go-to excuse every time Trump says something that people get upset about (lately there’s a new wrinkle: they just claim he never said any such thing at all even though he did so live on TV — gaslighting at its finest!).  Or else they whine something about “political correctness” oppressing them — and then, when  Trump threatens to sue someone who offended him, and/or his followers threaten violence toward anyone who is offended by Trump, it leaves us in the strange situation that Trump and his minions can say whatever they want, but the rest of us can’t.  It’s the new political correctness, I guess, Trump-style.  Welcome the bold new world, where everything is upside-down.

Back to the subject, darlings, I heard that escalator speech.  That’s what he said:  “Mexicans are rapists…”  In spite of the continued attempts at editing the collective memory of that event, the fact remains that that’s what he said.  No gaslighting allowed.

There was outrage at the remark, but it certainly didn’t stop his campaign.  Since then there has been a new outrage almost every week, sometimes every day.  So what’s different about this one?  Why is this any worse than the other 300 or so outrages?

What I really can’t get through my head is the Republican gasps at his misogynous comments.  They’re upset about something he said about womenReally?

(At this point I really must interject with Mitt Romney’s tone-deaf remark, “these are our wives, our daughters..”  Fine if you’re talking to an audience of all men, or of women like the late Phyllis Shufly or whatever her name was, and all men; stupid if you’re talking on the subject of women to everybody, because everybody includes women, who make up more than half the population.  Dummy, go back and read your binders of women or something.)

The party’s entire platform places women in danger in various ways, and Republican lawmakers across the nation continue to find new and improved ways of raising the danger level.  That’s an established fact.  So if they are going to play the outrage card to the hilt this time, over some misogynous remarks Trump made 10 years ago, (and has attempted to excuse by claiming that he’d heard far worse from Bill Clinton during golf outings), there has to be an underlying reason that has nothing to do with women.

Some have guessed that the Koch brothers are attempting to get Trump out of the way before election day so they can have their boy Pence in the oval office.  Sounds plausible.  Or maybe someone in the GOP finally recognized the very real danger of Trump’s Russian entanglements (the news of which came and went in about a week, without any effect whatsoever) and decided this was a good an excuse as any to try to force him out of the race.

Whatever the cause of the outrage, you can bet it has nothing much to do with Trump’s attitude toward women.  Any claim to the contrary is just gaslighting, and I, for one, am getting damned sick and tired of it.

10/8/16 evening update:
it appears I’m on to something with my Pence guess: writing Pence’s name in

The Republicans are stuck with Trump; there’ll be no forcing him out over a (for the Republicans, fake) woman issue.  All they have left is the futile gesture of writing Pence’s name in.  Of course they would never consider voting for an actual woman as a viable alternative to Trump.  Never.  Which proves my point about Republican outrage over this particular issue.

So now I see the future clearly: he’ll just hang around and in a few days issue some fresh outrage, and all this woman bullshit will be forgotten — not just by him but by the rest of the Republicans.  And if anyone dares bring this up in the future…well, you know, he didn’t say that.

Clueless in New York

As if anyone needed any more proof that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about, there was last night’s debate — which also proved that we in the audience have no idea what he’s talking about.  What he presents is a blank slate on which his supporters chalk their fondest wishes, nothing more.

I’m sure he’s claiming he won the debate.  But he also said he lost it because his mike was defective.  Maybe the mike was adding sniffling noises to his gibberish, I don’t know.

As for those sniffling noises, Twitter is ablaze with arguments over whether the cause was illness, allergy, cocaine, or Adderall.  We will never know for sure, because we will never be sure of anything about Trump

All I know for sure is that he’s gotten as far as he has by regurgitating everything that was wrong during the Bush years as if Obama created those problems (he didn’t) and hasn’t corrected anything (he has).   And Trump’s true believers lap up this nonsense.  They get two things out of this: a paper hero, and a continuing excuse to hide from the truth.

And oh yes: he’s white and Obama isn’t.

What Trump gets out of it?  His name in lights, millions skimmed off his campaign coffers into his own companies, and possible Russian backing (they own him, after all) for his further business entanglements (you can’t call them deals) and maybe even in the Oval Office, should he get there.  Oh, and then there’s Deutsche bank.  And all the other stuff.

Let’s just say that it all looks like a huge scheme to bail Trump out of financial hot water, which he is almost certainly in, and keep his name in lights and keep him living in the manner to which he is accustomed.  (One right-wing fanzine site even posted a photo essay explaining why Trump could not live in the icky old White House…it’s not posh enough for him.)

What’s left out of the scheme?  Service and governance, two things Trump knows nothing about.

And no, they are not the same as “business.”  A lot of his supporters fend off criticism by claiming he’s a successful businessman.  See the paragraphs above; he is not.  As a further example, one bank estimated his worth at MINUS $250,000,000.  Even if that’s not true, the jerk’s a definite walking debt-bomb and is clearly looking to make some sort of “deal” by capturing the White House, to get his ass out of the fire.

Even if he were a business whiz, as the current governor of Illinois (a multi-millionaire businessman) is finding out, business and government are two different subjects entirely, involving two different skill sets.  Rauner is quickly becoming famous for stalemate and inaction simply because he is so confounded by that.  (He’s an asshole, too, but…)

Trump appears to have an aptitude for nothing but flim-flam.  He’s known to other billionaires as an empty silver spoon and a swindler.

He’s never even come close to holding public office, and he has no idea at all of what the word “service” means.  In the past 16 months I heard a lot from the right wing about how supposedly unqualified Hillary Clinton is for the Presidency.  Odd that I’m hearing it not at all since Trump got the nomination.  It’s as if the charge was ridiculous to begin with (and it was), and considering what the Republicans have now, no one dares mention it anymore.

Which is to say that Trump is not only patently unqualified, but clueless.  He would have done far better in some other country with “Prince” before his name, but maybe not even then.  Even princes seem to have more demanded of them than he has ever had.  All he knows how to do is maintain his lifestyle, no matter what the cost.

Personally, I do not want to be part of that cost.  I trust not many others do, either.


This is what happens when you don’t believe science

Yep, that’s it: you start believing in weird shit uttered by cranky old televangelists.   And the Stupid of the Day award goes to…Pat Robertson


Projection 101

Trump’s sanity is questioned; he starts calling Clinton “unstable.”

Trump’s charitable activities are questioned; he refocuses the media on the Clinton Foundation and blows a ton of smoke on the nonexistent fire to keep their eyes there, and off of him.

Trump’s health is questioned and this is worsened by a very questionable medical letter allegedly written by a gastroenterologist (in five minutes in the back of a limo).  He demands to see Clinton’s health records, which she has already released, and calls her unhealthy.

Trump’s racist statements land him the title of “racist;” Trump calls Clinton a racist.

Attendance at Trump’s rallies is apparently dwindling to the point where, as one comment put it, “there was better attendance at Spinal Tap and the puppet show.”  Trump starts tweeting stuff about Clinton being able to fit her rallies into small outhouses.

Trump inexplicably cancels several campaign events, then says Clinton is “in hiding.”

See a pattern here, folks?

Turn it off

And now, folks, Trump TV

I have no doubt this is true, given Trump’s considerable history (detailed in the article) of launching businesses at the wrong time, and having them fail.  Why is it the wrong time? Fox News, presumably Trump’s model, is dying.  Of course it’s been dying off and on for years, but this time it appears that some real changes may be in order there, finally.  All backstage drama aside, much of their audience is due to check out in the next decade.  That’s bad for business.

The bigger issue is that cable in general is dying in places where geography does not make it necessary (and that’s much of the country).  Launching a new channel now is…well…stupid.  Glenn Beck bailed out of TV to exist online — where he’s doing as well as can be expected, I gather –and Sarah Palin, of course, failed miserably with her channel, but she still has enough loyal suckers to send money to her PAC, so she’s okay.  And Trump? Who knows what he will do when he fails.  No doubt he’ll cook up another major flim-flam scam, although running for president again would be out of the question.

He can’t go back to network TV, either.  A couple of comments from an executive at NBC indicate that the possibility is gone forever.  So much for Trump’s alleged scheme to boost his income by running for president, failing, and returning to the show in glory.  (If this is true, how could he ever think it would work?  Ah, it’s his business genius.)

I think the real issue here is the extent of Trump’s delusion.  It seems to be a rampant disease among Republicans; they do everything they can to make their wishes seem to be God’s command, and somehow it almost never works out, at least not for long.

Trump is by far the worst case ever.  But I recall 4 years ago when a Facebook friend became enraged by an anti-Romney meme I’d posted and sneered something like, “you liberals had better laugh now but you won’t be laughing in November.”  Yes, Republicans were convinced (possibly because they thought they had rigged the voting machines in various states) they were going to win.  Look what happened.

And they’re at it again; at least, Trump is.  And if they lose, according to Trump, it’s because of fraud.  Another case of projection.

All this rampant delusion makes me wonder, as I said in an earlier post, if Trump isn’t really, really serious about becoming president.  At least, I wonder if his ego is that serious, so much so that he can’t admit that he’s looking into the jaws of yet another huge, deep cavernous failure.

But these reports of him using this campaign as a sort of long job interview for his next venture — one that will somehow reward him if he fails, which he will — have been persistent.

November will not be interesting, but  I think December will.






And now I have a question for Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel takes down Bill O’Reilly

Good one, Ted.  It’s about time someone took that windbag O’Reilly down, once and for all.

However, there’s still one question I have that goes unanswered: who was behind this rot?  O’Reilly didn’t do it himself.

Some things are just wrong, but they aren’t anymore

Moore says Trump is self-sabotaging on purpose

My problem with this is that if Trump is just acting crazy, he’s doing a hell of a job.  He should not only get an Emmy, but also an Oscar.  Maybe Queen Elizabeth can make him a knight.  He seems to have decided that if there is any issue raised at all, such as with his sanity, it is a left-wing conspiracy and as soon as he is king/president, he’ll just outlaw it (or project it on his opponent as he is doing now) and that’s that. Do.Not.Ask.Questions.  And his followers lap this stuff up.

At this point I believe that Trump is truly in the grip of megalomania.  His skin is too thin for it to be an act.  Plus, he’s a lousy actor.

Of course, this is also what Moore is claiming (which kind of disqualifies his headline): Trump got into it just to promote himself and help his show, got a whiff of the seemingly tremendous power of the actual office, and now has gone completely off the rails trying to get it for himself.

Maybe he never thought it would get this far, as Moore seems to be saying.  Or else he decided early on that the rules did not apply to him and anyone who thought they did was an enemy not only of Trump, but of freedom and flag and apple pie and country.  And white people.  And guns.  Let’s never forget the guns.

This brings me to the point: for all his puffery, Trump, with his ambitions and his possible insanity, is beside the point.  His followers are also beside the point; crazies have always been crazies.  They respond readily to Pavlovian stimuli.  If it weren’t coming from Trump, it would be someone else.

Everything is beside the point except for this: how did Trump come to be okay enough for national attention, let alone the office of president?

I’ve heard some voices say that Trump is not the problem; his followers are the problem. I’ve also read that we are somehow all responsible for the rise of Trump.  As for the latter, I have a serious problem with that.  The population has been force-fed a steady stream of mediocrity for the past 30+ years, since Reagan bluffed and bumbled his way through the Presidency.  For a while we thought it could get no worse than Bush Jr. (who at least had enough weak qualifications for the office that his followers could make excuses for him), but nooooo…

Palin was the first highly visible national symptom that the problem of heaven-blessed mediocrity had finally gone too far.  She was unqualified, stupid and unashamed to be stupid.  But the conventional and online media largely chose to ignore it instead of sounding the alarm — and we have to ask, why?  Who paid them to do this?  Who wanted to make a silly, shallow, unqualified lump appear to be a sterling standard of statesmanship?

But someone did just that.  Thus set free, Palin attracted a rabid group of followers who still refuse to see through her to this day and think anyone who criticizes her is Satan. She continues to make a living off of her opinions, worthless as they may be.  And people keep asking her for them.

By ignoring Palin’s shortcomings, and even pandering to them, the media made it okay. After that, the festering problem indicated by Palin just got worse, and now we have a Trump infection going around.

So no…the problem is not so much with all of us, or even with Trump’s followers — the most rabid of which existed all along, but were kept in check by social restrictions that have now apparently gone by the wayside. There is nothing they can do wrong anymore that they can’t brush aside merely by projecting blame for their actions on to the media, or to “liberals,” or whatever.  They are, in their minds, the “patriots” and the heroes and are blameless and free of responsibility to society.  This is the damage that has been done, letting these idiots loose on the rest of us.

And who did it?  The people doing the force-feeding. The blame goes not to all of us, but to those who paid to create the problem.  They did it to further their own aims, and the idiots-at-large are their pawns who don’t and probably will never realize it.  Insert the old saw about a fool and his money here.

But, back to Trump, inconsequential as he may be in this general trend.  Is he seriously trying to get out of the campaign?  No, not anymore if he ever was. Is he crazy? Possibly. Is he a great actor?  Not if his TV show was any indication.

Will he win?  Probably not.  But that won’t stop the next mediocrity from coming along. They will keep coming along until we tackle the underlying problem — and that is not Trump or his followers, but whoever it was who freed them.