A Meeting of Whines

The concepts of truth and ethics are getting a few days off as Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu get together in Washington. Here we have the pathological liar and the Israeli corrupter exchanging pleasantries. Honesty and decency are on vacation.

The radical right wing Israeli prime minister is under investigation for two different accusations of corruption with others soon to follow. His belligerency — and his lying — helps to keep the Middle East aflame. He certainly has lots of help in doing so from radical Palestinians, but it is his right-wing party and its dangerous, law-violating supporters who pose an even greater risk to peace.

And of course with President Trump you have a man whose word, whatever it happens to be at the moment, carries no trustworthy weight. Today the President said he no longer endorses a two-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. That follows some earlier statements to the contrary. Who knows how he might feel tomorrow?

That makes this meeting seem pathetic. Whatever comes from it can carry little meaning because each man will take from it anything he he wishes. There will be no lasting agreements here because neither man can be trusted with any agreement.

Neither Trump nor Netanyahu is good for their respective country. Netanyahu has caused great damage to his nation’s trust and been the primary cause of disaffection by many responsible Americans for the fate of Israel. He has been, in a word, a disgraceful person, a soiled leader.

And in Trump, well, we scarcely know what kind of leader we have elected so far, though every sign points to a collision of ignorance, laziness, incompetence and pathological egotism. Then again, I may be leaving something out.

Let’s Take a Toilet Break

Trump’s a loser.

As if we didn’t know it before, his empty narcissism has shown him up again. Big time. And there seems no limit to how far his ineffectiveness, his ignorance and his incompetence can take him.

Let’s go over the latest very quickly. He promised a new relationship with china not based on what China wants (i.e., the One-China policy). Loser trump humbly called China to beg forgiveness and promise his agreement to a One-China policy. Then there’s Trump’s immigration ban. He turned up a loser with the federal courts because of his poorly thought-out and chaotically implemented ban. He’s a loser. So huge.

And his aides are stupefyingly following his lead. Kellyanne Conway loses her ethical bearings in urging people to buy the Trump brand of clothing. Sean Spicer, the maniacal press secretary, spews blatant lies and defends them before backing off of them. What losers. So huge.

And you know, of course, who’s right there with them? None other than Mitch McConnell, who has shown his dislike of women who won’t stay in their “place,” and who lacks the courage — possibly the brains as well — to stand up to Trump. He’s a loser. Huge.

We could go on, but it’s only Friday morning. There’s lots of time for Trump to wiggle into his warm bathrobe, go sit on the toilet and see what comes out. I mean by that a new tweet, of course. What were you thinking?

The Sad Reign of Trumpism

We are riding a ship of fools. We have elected — okay, only a minority of Americans, truthfully — a President who knows little, lies a lot and has chosen to surround himself with lying fools. Is that blunt enough?

Take Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s personal advisor. She spoke publicly to accuse the news media of ignoring the Bowling Green massacre, a horrible, terrible terrorist event that occurred in Kentucky. Only it didn’t of course. There never was such a thing. But she passed it off as truth and when caught apologized only partially and reluctantly, tying her regrets to mistakes by by other people. In other words, she didn’t really apologize.

Here’s the problem, of course: She’s not alone in the Trump administration of passing off news that is not news. News that is lies. News that bears no more relation to truth and facts than a lightning bug to lightning. She is full of humbug. And she is close to Donald Trump, who believes and spouts humbug. Nothing to be believed. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

And we have word from The New York Times — that’s the real newspaper — that the Trump administration still doesn’t even know how to turn on lights in the White House. Really — that’s not fake news. That’s so ridiculous that you know it’s real.

Trump denies the validity of new polls that show a majority of Americans untrustful of his executive order calling for an immigration ban, a clueless ban now blocked by the sane actions of the federal courts. The number of people questioning Trump’s behavior in office is growing, sort of the way Trump’s nose seems to be getting larger (but not his hands).

We have seen that in two weeks in office, Trump is governing via executive order. He appears to have taken no lessons in governing beyond his experience as a businessman. Presumably as the head of Trump enterprises he signed one order after another and expected them to be carried out by underlings. He seems unaware that’s not how the federal government works. And he certainly seems disinterested — too lazy? — to learn anything about his job.

In brief — he’s proving how unfit he is for the office of President. In other words, exactly as we feared. And by “us” I mean the majority of American voters who didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Here’s the interesting thing: more and more of those who voted for him are discovering the folly of eerie ballot. And Trump is discovering what happens as more people become aware of his failings: his efforts to governor are slowly diminishing, even as we are but two weeks into office.

Regrettably, that is not good for America at all. We are at the mercy of an unprincipled and unqualified executive who has unleashed a warren of aides and helpmates who are equally poisonous to democracy. The forecast for America is grim. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

How Horrible

It becomes impossible to ignore the dangerous and ill-advised actions by President Donald Trump.

To briefly note his most recent actions: on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Mr. Trump issued a statement that failed to make any mention of Jews. Why? An aide explained that by mentioning Jews other persecuted minorities would feel slighted. Apart from being thoroughly spurious, such logic has been widely used by those who would deny the Holocaust. And some of those people are among Trump’s advisors.

And then there was the executive order temporarily banning immigration from Muslim countries, an action which has created chaos in many places around the world and emboldens terrorists who use it to exploit the obvious Muslim anger. In other words, this is the sort of action that makes America less safe, less inclusive, less democratic, less constitutional. A nation that exalts its Christianity at the expense of other faiths.

This is not what our Founding Fathers wrote. It is an approach to the world that demeans all of us. That’s why the large protests that are occurring around the country — and the world — are good and necessary. This is unacceptable. And illegal, most certainly. It is the product of a clown mind submitting to the counsel of biased, uninformed and vindictive White House aides.

To his small hands we may add small mind.

Random Thought or Two

We have completed the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as this nation’s next President. What a disgrace for America’s highest office.

Can this man ever tell the truth? And why is anyone still believing anything he says?

Consider his inauguration, which he insists was attended by over a million people. Sad. Photos and videos make clear the crowd was in the neighborhood of 200,000. And what’s wrong with that? Only that Trump is eaten up with jealousy because the Women’s March drew half a million people, and that one single March in Boston probably had more attendees than Trump’s inaugural.

Why does he persist in lying? And lying about matters that clearly don’t matter?

He went to the CIA on Saturday and proclaimed his affection for the agency. He denied ever having feuded with it, although there is written and video evidence of his doing precisely the opposite. It’s a fact. To everyone except Trump and those who simply cannot discern a lie from a fact.

That would be people like Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who stood in front of the White House Press Corps and blatantly lied about the size inaugural crowd. Like his master, does he also have size issues? (Ask those women if size matters.)

And so we’re off and running into the new administration. The signs are ominous. Trump is clearly not a conciliator in any way; he remains just what he has seemed to be all along: a narcissistic, vindictive bully and weak thinker, a small man unqualified by temperament and intelligence for the job he now holds. What a pity. For all of us. Sad.

The Pervy Prez

In the new “post-truth” world of Donald Trump, we have something new to observe now. It seems the Donald may well have been cavorting with hookers, indulging in some kinky sex and in general setting himself up for some serious blackmail by those Russians he loves so much.

Funny, did anyone bring up these sorts of things with Lincoln, or Franklin Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson? Or even Millard Fillmore? (Let’s omit Bill Clinton from the discussion.)

These accusations are as yet unsubstantiated. And Trump says they are lies and part of a Nazi-like effort to demean him. Of course, Trump using Nazi references is somewhat amusing if not caustically abhorrent. But we now live in a Trump world where lies are routine and truths don’t matter. So there’s every reason to believe that where we find smoke, we will perhaps also discover fire.

No, I don’t know whether Trump hired prostitutes to pee on him. But I don’t find it unbelievable given what Trump himself has said about his sexual predilections (you know, all that grabbing stuff). Trump can certainly afford high-class hookers, he’s visited Russia many times, and the Russians surely know a lot about tapping into secret lives, don’t they?

And now we are on the verge of inaugurating Trump as President. A man who is a shady, sleazy businessman, a man who is a self-confessed sexual predator, a demagogue, a narcissist of the worst sort, a bully, an anti-intellectual blowhard, and a jerk with tiny hands.

What’s not to like? And you don’t think that’s true? Well, in a post-truth world, what is true anyway and what does it mean? Truth is what you believe. So there’s lots of reasons to believe the Russians have a lot of blackmail material on the incoming President of the United States. What a revolting development.

Random thoughts…

Does anyone with an IQ north of 100 use Twitter?

Kim Jong Un really is smarter than Donald Trump. And probably less narcissistic, too.

Remember when Chris Christie was actually someone?

Hollywood actresses should remember to look in their mirrors before they hit the red carpet. And pay attention to the silliness they see.

Wonder which one will show up first: Hillary Clinton or Jimmy Hoffa?

Best Christmas gift: a cheese-of-the-month subscription.

Has there ever been a group of presidential cabinet nominees more intellectually inept and ethically challenged than this one?

Can you spell “two-faced, shallow hypocrite”? It’s easy: “Mitch McConnell.”

Now we know Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is a sexual predator. What is it with Fox News? It seems all those men are as creepy in their private lives as they are in public.

Poor North Carolina

Is there a stupider state these days than North Carolina? I say that with honest regret because I lived in the Tae Heel State for a few years when I was younger, and I’ve vacationed in the western mountains for many years. Not any more.

Ever since the lamentable “bathroom bill” was approved by a devious, yahoo Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina has seemed ever more backward. Move aside Mississippi and Alabama, here come the Tar Heels. And now, with a Democratic governor coming into office, the Republicans are trying an 11th hour attempt to limit his powers.

Now, this isn’t altogether new in the state. I recall somewhat similar activities by the Democrats in the 1970s, but not with the obviousness and deliberate maliciousness of today’s Republicans. And they are ion a position to do that because they gerrymander the state a few years back to ensure their dominance. Because the federal courts say what they did is unconstitutional, it will be undone — but not before the GOp can get in its licks.

Republicans are also in power because they got elected by a lot of really stupid, venal voters. And those voters have succeeded din turning the state into a laughing stock. What a shame. There are many pockets of really bright, creative, concerned and capable people in North Carolina. They are all over: Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and other towns and rural areas.

It makes me sick in their behalf. Frankly, North Carolina makes me sick right now. Alabama and Mississippi are looking a lot better these days.

Bah Humbug

There’s a lot that’s wrong these days. Our country is hurting. We have a President-elect who instead of trying to bring this bitterly divided nation together is continuing to spitefully celebrate his victory. There is little mention of unity in his words, mostly braggadocio and dissembling and instability.

His appointments to his cabinet have been grotesque. Men — nearly all wealthy white men, of course — have been proposed to run departments of government whose existence they are politically and philosophically opposed to the mere existence.

Ben Carson, for instance, who declared he was not up to running a government agency, has been no innate for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a task for which he is monumentally unsuited. Like many other nominees, he has no experience in government or in managing a gigantic governmental program. For Secretary of State, he has proposed Rex Tillerson (is that a real name?), an oil executive who is ultra-friendly with Vladimir Putin and who has no experience in government of governmental diplomacy.

Donald Trump’s admiration for Putin is alarming. Donald Trump’s disregard for intelligence about Putin is frightening. How safe is our nation if its leader is so lacking awareness? If our President is not capable of defending us against our adversaries, how dangerous is he?

Frankly, there has been almost nothing in his behavior and words since his election to reassure anyone of his competence or ability to oversee the American people. He continues to … well, let’s put it bluntly: lie. He makes statements that are by all evidence untrue. And insists they are true.

Many of us who voted against Trump hold hope that he may yet prove a competent President. In an ideal world, even better than that. But instead, we have only encouragement for his dabbling in the dark waters of racism, economic malfeasance, diplomatic ignorance and a litany of legitimate concerns for everyone from women to Muslims to immigrants to the poor.

I want this to be a happy Christmas. Donald Trump is doing everything possible to ensure that cannot happen.

Let’s Get On With It

By and large, Connecticut is a pretty progressive state, socially speaking. They are some sharp, thoughtful, and compassionate people at work here, and I have a suggestion for what two of their political targets should be: approving early voting and legalizing recreational marijuana.

More than two-thirds of the states have endorsed some form of early voting, a process that can make it easier for more people to cast ballots in major elections. And isn’t that our goal, ultimately? A fully informed electorate able to vote easily and quickly? (Ok, maybe I’m a tad optimistic about that informed electorate bit.)

But to cram all voting into one day — and yes, I know about absentee ballots, and that some people get them to avoid long lines at the polls — is ridiculous and diminishing of the voting process. Registrars don’t like it a lot, mostly because it means more work for them (who are paid by the taxpayers to do their jobs). that’s not a reason, that’s an excuse. Voting ought to be open at least two weeks prior to the election, which affords everyone time to sort out the issues and candidates.

It simply good sense and the right thing to do. A majority of voters who voiced opinions about this several years ago in Connecticut disapproved; I’m pretty sure that if it were put to a vote again, the results would be different. This is a matter the legislature can take care of, and should. Let’s get on with it; in this area, at least, Connecticut has fallen behind Georgia and a host of other states it shouldn’t.

As for marijuana, well, this one seems obvious. Massachusetts has joined a growing list of states which have approved marijuana for recreational use. so has Maine, and other New England states are almost certain to follow suit over the next decade. So let’s not wait.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy says he’s willing to re-examine the issue now that our neighbor to the north has endorsed it. And well he should, because if you don;t think a heck of a lot of Nutmeggers are going to slip across the border to buy their weed and bring it home, then perhaps you’ve been smoking too much.

Why give Massachusetts all the revenue? Why force our residents to do something illegal that is perfectly legal for our neighbors? Why not endorse common sense: study the use of recreational marijuana, decide on how to regulate and tax it, and then get on with it. Really.