Thursday, May 31, 2018

Roseanne and the Bounty King




Roseanne is such a committed loyalist that she ran interference for His Trumpness when news broke of the adjusted death toll in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. You might remember the last time His Trumpness paid any attention to Puerto Rico was when he was tossing out rolls of Bounty paper to islanders in the aftermath of the hurricane.  It was just more than Aunt Sarah could handle at the press conference this past week.  How else to explain these crazy tweets in the early morning hours?

The Ambien queen hit all the favorite whipping posts from Valerie Jarrett to Chelsea Clinton to George Soros, ultimately blaming Michelle Obama for the cancellation of her sitcom reboot, although you have to wonder why VJ at this stage?  It was so bad even her Friends and Fox were urging her to cease and desist, but there was no stopping the conservative den mother once she got going.  Leave it to the old man to come to her defense.  Sort of.

Of course, the news media ran with the Roseanne story, leaving Puerto Ricans to continue their struggle to reclaim their island on their own.  You really have to wonder what's so special about this foul-mouthed comedienne that made ABC waste time on her in the first place.

Ever since the 2016 election upset, Matt Bai says the television networks have been struggling to cash in on this "silent minority" that propelled Trump into the White House.   It wasn't enough to make Trump the star of their nightly news programs, they wanted something to fill the prime time slots so welcome back Roseanne.  Now, they discover just how toxic she is.

Susan Rice reminded us that it wasn't the Ambien that set Roseanne off, but 2013 feels like last century.  It makes you wonder why anyone would want to be associated with this vile creature, but apparently she can hide her fangs during the day.  Roseanne even got Wanda Sykes to help reboot the show, only for Wanda to quickly announce she no longer wanted any part of this crap.

Now that she has the Trumpkins on her side, Rosie seems to have found her "big swinging ape balls" and is going to challenge ABC.  Who knows she might even get His Trumpness to come down hard on the network like he did CNN when he blocked the AT&T merger with Time Warner.  News, entertainment and politics are now seamlessly interwoven.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico fights just to get electricity throughout the island.  Much of the support is coming from private interests as Congress has been slow to get funds to the territory.  The staggering death toll, which greatly exceeds that of Katrina, should give anyone pause, but hardly registers a blip on the Nielsen ratings compared to Roseanne.

If things don't work out at ABC, Rosie the Revanchist will likely land on some cable network, where she can vent her rage against the liberal Hollywood machine.  I'm sure she will delight fans in her reveries.  She's getting plenty of defenders on the social media.  Who knows, she might even land a job in Trump's administration, filling if for Aunt Sarah, who seems to be under a lot of stress these days.  Wouldn't that be a gas!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Coward of the Country





It seems Trump can't wait for that military parade this Veteran's Day, telling naval graduates that they are part of "the most powerful and righteous force on the face of the planet."  In his mind, this makes the US "respected" again, intimating that threats not diplomacy is what brings belligerent countries like North Korea and Iran to heel.

This should give moderate Republicans further pause, as Trump, a draft dodger, used a naval commencement address as just another backdrop for a political rally, in which he not so subtly proclaimed his "victory" over the NFL, and proudly proclaimed that he will never "apologize for America," which conservatives felt underscored Obama's administration.

At every stop, our president trumpets a highly toxic form of nationalism meant to divide the nation between true believers and agnostics.  This religious tone is as false as his feigned military stance. This a man who has rarely set a foot inside a church, much less cracked open his family Bible other than to read the inscriptions on the inside of the cover.  For him, nationalism is just another brand to sell to a gullible public who honors religious and military tradition above all else.  Nay-sayers be damned.

You hear the odd Republican speak out like Jeff Flake or Lindsey Graham on Trump's latest shenanigans, but in the end they toe the party line, doing little in Congress to stop the President from politicizing every aspect of society, most notably the FBI, because it has the audacity to investigate his campaign staff over rather obvious Russian ties.  Republicans won't even censure Trump, a relatively innocuous gesture, despite the many reprehensible things he has said of its own members, not to mention many others.

No, we have to hear from two former Navy cadets, who admonished their academy for inviting a "physical coward" to deliver this year's commencement speech.  As long as institutions keep giving Trump an open mic they serve as his enablers.  Granted, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, but when he politicizes an institution, as he did the Coast Guard last year, he sullies the reputation of that institute.   This is why these cadets took offense to his presence.

Trump cannot contain himself.  He sees any audience as a validation of himself.  We have the most narcissistic president ever, and yet the institutions we honor appear powerless to rein him in.  Even the FBI is taking an overly cautious approach out of fear its directors can be canned at any moment.  Sure, various Congresspersons have issued threats that another public firing will not be tolerated, but they have made very little effort to stop the president from publicly besmirching the organization, labeling the investigation "spygate," which is now being bantered about in the conservative blogosphere as a "gate" worse than "Watergate," especially since it involves you know who.

It doesn't matter that there is no evidence supporting Trump's outrageous claims, anymore than his claim that Obama went so far as "to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process."  This is a man who has no shame and will use anything to try to influence public opinion in his favor.  So, he uses the Navy to offer his version of "the truth."

The speech starts out simply enough, honoring the recent graduates and those who served before them, but soon meanders into his idea of what makes the country great, notably himself.  In Trump's mind, no president before him measures up to the standard he is now setting, repeating his mantra, "winning" over and over again, as if he alone can deliver on the American dream.

He couldn't help but throw in a dig at the NFL, anymore than he could Obama.  He somehow managed to avoid McCain.  A good thing as he was a graduate of Annapolis in 1958.

Whatever "spirit" Trump is "reawakening" is a highly corrosive one, and I would hope this year's graduates honor their institution over the President as the two former cadets did in penning their op-ed piece to The Baltimore Sun.  But, that's not enough.  More Americans have to speak out against this demagogue before it's too late.

You can already see the conservative political wheels turning in anticipation of the mid-terms, as they try to turn a 30-year loafer into the poster child of Millennials, their worst political nightmare.  Turn the FBI investigation of Russian collusion in the Trump campaign into "spygate," and make Nancy Pelosi into this year's Hillary Clinton.  They hope to muddy the waters enough that the "blue wave" or "tsunami" the Democrats are anticipating this Fall recedes long before November.

No one knows better how to muddy the waters than Trump.  He thrives off controversy, he enriches himself by it, he turns his exploits into a never-ending news cycle so that very little else gets heard.  This is why Republicans leave the President to his own devices, so that they can quietly pass legislation that strips away our access to the Internet, workers' rights and health care, all the while confirming conservative judges who will maintain their heinous policies long after they are gone.

It's not just the president who is a "physical coward," it's all those who serve as his enablers.  Yes, Jeff Flake, "our presidency has been debased," but until you, a US Senator, actually do something about it, you have allowed this debasement to happen.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Jilted




I guess when the military mints a shiny new medallion for the event, you do get second thoughts about pulling out.  After all, this is a man who loves shiny objects, and this is definitely a collectible.  Twenty per cent discount today, although I wouldn't count on it arriving any time soon.

Trump's ghostwriter chalks it up to His Trumpness' morbid fear of being humiliated and shamed, but I'm guessing it is his inner circle that got cold feet, afraid Trump might pull a "Reykjavik."  This was the time Reagan almost gave away the farm to strike a deal with Gorbachev, but in the end got nothing.  Bolton and Pompeo and to some degree Pence worried that Trump would either go all in or botch the deal so best not to risk it.  Instead, Bolton and Pence taunted Kim, who retorted as expected, leaving their Commander-in-Chief with no choice but to sign a letter to "His Excellency," backing out of the highly anticipated date.  It's rather obvious from the carefully worded statement that Trump had no hand in writing it.

Given Trump's refusal to take notes and in anyway prepare for such events, it is probably a good thing.  Our president is no diplomat.  He isn't ready to go through the long process of negotiations anymore than Reagan was back in the 80s.  This isn't something you can do all in one meeting, which is probably what Trump expected to come out of the Singapore Summit, and collect his Nobel Peace Prize in December.  Hence, the Soviet-looking medallion in anticipation of the even shinier object he would get at the end of the year.

I don't think Kim is too upset over the broken date.  He pretty much got what he wanted out of the last six months of awkward negotiations.  His athletes competed in the Winter Olympics.  He received a whole lot of international attention and got the White House to call him "Supreme Leader," and "His Excellency."  The letter of rejection itself showed an incredible amount of respect from a President who had petulantly taunted him all last year and well into this year.  So, in that sense Kim won.

It might take awhile for this to sink into Trump's thick skull, but he already appears to sense he lost a golden opportunity.  His advisers may not have thought him up to the task, but in his heart Donald felt he could pull off the "Deal of the Century," better than any Iranian nuclear deal or reopening relations with Cuba that his predecessor negotiated in the last two years of his administration.  You can almost here Marlon Brando moaning, "I could've had class.  I could've been a contender.  I could've been somebody."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

When Harry Met Meghan




Watching the royal nuptials today, I was amazed by just how smitten Harry is of Meghan.  He literally melted into a teenage boy, as if she were the storybook princess being escorted on his father's arm.  It was really beautiful in that sense, as you see how much love there is between the two,  which the Reverend Michael Curry expounded upon in his rollicking sermon that momentarily transformed St. George's Chapel into a black gospel church.

Town and Country offers a timeline of the events that led up to their engagement last year, as well as the tensions that ensued.  A lot of folks weren't ready for this storybook romance.  There were a lot of ugly anecdotes thrown around, and Meghan found herself having to deal with two half-siblings who tried to suck all the air out of her impending wedding.  Even her father, not in the best of health, got dragged into this tabloid fever, and in the end chose not to escort her down the aisle for fear he would draw more negative publicity toward her.

In a BBC interview, Harry and Meghan said they were blindsided by the tabloids, shocked that their engagement could engender so much controversy.  This is what happens when you try to have a high profile wedding in the Age of Trump.  There was all kinds of talk as to whether the Obamas would be invited and how the Donald would react to no invitation.  In the end, no Obamas and no Trumps, not even Ivanka, who was ridiculed unmercifully on twitter for lack of a royal invite.

Much of this controversy swirls around Meghan's culturally mixed roots and former marriage, both of which have been dissected to no end in the media.  There were those, notably her half-siblings, who lashed out at her as if she were a "cougar" trying to snag a younger prince.  Her half-sister Samantha, from their father's first marriage, made all sorts of outlandish claims in a pathetic attempt to garner attention.  It was like a B-movie version of Cinderella being played out in the tabloids.

Harry immediately rushed to Meghan's defense, pleading to the tabloids to cease and desist in all these unfounded allegations, but there was no stopping the rumor mill once it got churning.  Smartly, Meghan just screened it all out, working with her best friend, Jessica Mulroney, to help arrange the wedding.

I must say the result was glorious.  Not only did Meghan look absolutely stunning in her flowing Givenchy dress, but the choice of ministers and choirs for the event was truly inspired.  In addition to the Reverend Curry's rousing sermon, the Kingdom Choir of South-East England rendered a beautifully subdued version of "Stand by Me," which could be interpreted on many levels.

This was a nice push back to all the negative press, not to mention the prevailing Trumpism that has sullied society as of late.  Most importantly, the royal family appears to have fully embraced Meghan and her mother Doria, which will help continue its reformation in the public eye.  A family that not that long ago was rocked by two sensational divorces and the death of Diana, the people's princess.  It was nice to see Fergie on hand for the wedding, in an effort to show there are no hard feelings, although some say she was a wedding crasher.

Unsurprisingly, there were many references to Diana throughout the event, but from start to finish this struck me as Meghan's wedding.  She was fully in control of herself and looked radiant throughout, getting the last laugh on Amy Schumer, assuming she was even aware of the nasty barbs the racy comedienne had thrown her way two days before.

It seems a lot of folks were looking for something to go wrong.  For Meghan to be the runaway bride or for one of her half-siblings to jostle his or her way into the chapel and loudly voice an objection.  But, the wedding came off without a hitch and now the naysayers will have to crawl back into their holes and wait for the next wedding of the century, some 20 or 30 years from now when George, Charlotte and Louis reach marrying age.

I suppose all this angst is just part of the drama, like some sordid reality show.  Lost in these cheap Hollywood theatrics is that the marriage of Harry and Meghan marks a truly dramatic turning point.  Not only did Harry marry an American but one whose African heritage figured so prominently into the wedding.

Meghan made no effort to hide her past, something that would have been unthinkable not that many years ago.  This is not the same stodgy Britain and royal family that shunned King Edward for choosing American divorcee Wallis Simpson over the throne, or even the ones that turned a callous eye toward Princess Diana until it was too late.  This is a royal family and a  Britain that wants the world to know it is in step with the changing times.

Of course, one can be cynical and say it is all just a new publicity angle, Britain wants to be Great again, but we now have two "power couples" in William and Kate and Harry and Meghan who have great potential to bring the Commonwealth together in a way it has never been before, through the power of love, as the Reverend Curry so joyfully expounded upon.  Here we have two marriages where the partners are equals.  Rather than "honor and obey," Harry and Meghan were asked to "honor and protect" each other.  A subtlety probably missed by many listeners but one that really stuck out to me.

This is a royal wedding that comes in the wake of the #MeToo and#TimesUp campaigns, where women are no longer seen as secondary objects.  What makes these two marriages special is that William and Harry have genuine respect for their wives and expect them to be an active part of their royal lives.  They couldn't have honored the memory of their mother any better than in Kate and Meghan, two strong women who will redefine the roles of princess and duchess in the royal family.



 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Second Amendment People




It's like "road rage" has spilled over into every segment of our society, thanks largely to social media.  We  insulate ourselves as we would in a car, our "safe space" if you will, and get very agitated when someone violates that space.  That seems to be the case with the NRA, whose new president vented his frustration and anger with the Parkland students, branding them "civil terrorists" and threatening a "counterpunch," kind of like Trump's thinly veiled threat on the Campaign Trail 2016.

The NRA does itself no favors by making Oliver North its new president. This guy appeals to a very limited following, and in no way is going to expand the reach of the embattled organization, so one wonders just how much weight the NRA will carry in the polling booths this Fall.  It's kind of like having Rudy Giuliani as your lawyer.

As it is, the NRA represents less than ten per cent of gun owners in America, which itself is only about 30 per cent of the population.  So if we do the math, that's roughly 10 million persons, although the NRA claims to have a reach of 14 million persons.  That may seem like a lot, but when you take a population of 325 million, that's not a very big reach.

This is what the Parkland kids have figured out and are hitting the NRA where it hurts most -- corporate sponsorship.  They have been shaming retailers into dropping NRA discounts and detaching themselves from the NRA all together.  Those discounts are important, as this is one of the ways the rifle association solicits members.  If you no longer get a nice rebate on YETI coolers, what's the point in joining the NRA?  Lack of corporate sponsorship also means the NRA will probably have to raise its membership fee next year, resulting in more members saying nah.

It's the equivalent of someone trying to squeeze in from the inside lane of the highway, and so the driver hurls insults at this flagrant abuser from the safety of his car.  Hopefully, it only goes that far and David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and the other Parkland activists don't become anything more than rhetorical targets.

The NRA has been making a bad name for itself for quite sometime, yet it had been able to maintain a tight squeeze on conservative politics by brandishing "second amendment rights."  With more and more mass shootings, the NRA has struggled to convince people it is upholding these rights for the good of the nation and not just peddling firearms.  There does reach a limit to how many guns a person can own, after which it becomes ludicrous.

In regard to the safety of guns, one of the NRA's big talking points, let's do a little more math. You have to search all over the place now since the Center for Disease Control is limited in what it can post on gun violence.  Over the last five years, there have been approximately 35,000 firearm deaths per year in America.  Of those, the majority are suicides, according to the US Department of Justice.  Firearm related homicides in 2016 totaled 11,000, according to the FBI.  Of those homicides, very few occurred in one's home, and many of these cases were domestic violence.  Home invasion amounts to a very small percentage of firearm related deaths.   According to the Gun Violence Archive, only 741 reported incidents so far this year.  Hard to say whether defensive use overlaps with home invasion, but even if we take these as two separate figures, that's 25 per cent of all gun violence deaths so far this year.  End result, you are more likely to shoot yourself or a loved one than a home intruder or someone assaulting you in the street.

Firearms provide an all too easy means of venting rage.  According to the Giffords Law Center, domestic violence assaults are 12 times more likely to end in deaths if a firearm is involved.  This is what happens when you have all those handguns lying around the house, by far the most popular assault weapon, accounting for more than two-thirds of firearm related deaths, according to the FBI.

The weapon of choice in mass shootings is the semi-automatic assault rifle, as you get the most bang for your buck, especially if you include a bump stock that allows you to speed up your rounds.  Not surprisingly, the Parkland students have targeted these weapons, as an AR-15 Bushmaster was used at their high school.  Until 2015, you could buy an AR-15 at Walmart.  Nikolas Cruz bought his assault rifle at Dick's Sporting Goods, which has subsequently banned the sale of such weapons in the wake of this incident.

One could argue that the handgun is a far more dangerous weapon than the assault rifle, but the reality is most persons support gun ownership, and are less likely to go after handguns.  This makes one wonder why the NRA is so busy supporting assault rifles, when it would be in its best interest to cut loose this tainted weapon.

Ever since the ban on assault rifles expired in 2004, sales have increased exponentially, and manufacturers have the NRA to thank for this.  After all, they lobbied hard to get the Republican-held Congress not to renew the ban.  It doesn't matter that school shootings have also increased exponentially since then, the NRA stands behind the assault rifle because it is good for business.

The NRA makes so many crazy arguments to defend the weapon, but mostly they see gun ownership as an inalienable right and persons should be free to purchase whatever gun they choose.  The more one challenges them on this position, the more enraged its members become.  Wayne LaPiere appeared apoplectic at times in defense of assault rifles.  Former Colonel North offers a bit more of a calm demeanor but what comes out of his mouth is pretty much the same, and it is the printed text we most often see.

Essentially, the NRA is digging its own grave defending the indefensible.  The organization was founded on the premise of gun safety, and here they are hawking a paramilitary weapon that has been used in some of the most atrocious mass shootings of modern times.  The NRA estimates that there are 8.5 to 15 million assault rifles in circulation and sees no reason to limit their production.  What's worse, they fight against background checks, gun registration, and other means of identifying the owners, because this too they see as an infringement on individual rights.

This is what makes the NRA an easy target for the Parkland students, and why so many persons have come to the defense of these students.  To once again use the road analogy, the NRA is like a huge SUV putting along the highway forcing everyone to slow down behind it, only now everyone is yelling at it to pull over.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!




The Trump administration telegraphed their decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal as you would on a bad reality show.  Everyone knew it was coming.  There was nothing Emmanuel Macron or Angela Merkel or even John Oliver could do to prevent it.  In the end, it was Bibi Netanyahu's powerpoint presentation that sealed the deal, although I imagine Trump had long made up his mind (what's left of it anyway) on the subject.

Bibi wasted no time going after Iran in Syria, claiming the Iranians launched rockets at Israeli forces in the Golan Heights first.  Who's to say?  We only have Israeli "intelligence" to verify the claims.  Of course, in most Americans' minds that's good enough.

The repercussions will be felt far and wide, as it is not just Iran, Trump rejected, but the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia, who are all co-signatories.  This leaves it up to the remaining parties to salvage the deal before Iran takes matters into its own hands, and attempts to restart its nuclear weapons program, assuming it ever had one.  The only thing anyone could prove was that they had the ability to start one.  Unlike Israel, which has kept its nuclear weapons program "secret" for decades, but apparently the Middle East is not big enough for two "secret programs."

If it is starting to sound like a bad Western, that's the way we've always treated the Middle East.  Israel is like a fort, the Masada if you will, under constant siege from warring native factions.  For the past six decades the US has supported Israel, hoping to offset this alliance by giving succour to the "Good Arabs" who more or less support Israel's statehood.  Of course Iran has not played along, and therefor they are "Bad Arabs," albeit of Persian descent.

Iran has been supporting guerrilla forces in Syria and Palestine for decades, namely Hezbollah and Hamas, which has earned them the undying scorn of Israel and the US.  Under the Obama administration, the US tried to open up to Iran, as the US previously had under Clinton, hoping to get Tehran to quit providing military aid for these two branded terrorist organizations.  However, succeeding Republican administrations were having no part of it.  Dubya immediately shut down talks with Iranian moderate President Khatami, and now Trump has chosen to rebuff another moderate in Rouhani.  In between we had the crazed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offering us his recalcitrant historical views while waging a holy war against Israel.  This is who Israel wants representing Iran because it makes it easy to label them the "Bad Arabs."

As it turns out, Iran is not a country mired in the dark ages, and its citizens are very open to cultural and economic trade with the US.  With the nuclear deal, Boeing was set to sell $20 billion of aircraft to Iran, a staggering leap in trade between the countries, but now all such deals are called off in the name of Trumpism.  The President has vowed to impose the toughest sanctions yet on Iran.

I suppose he thinks he can carve out a new deal like the one he imagines making with North Korea this summer.  It just takes a little show of force.  The only problem with this logic is that it has been South Korea, not the US, who has been working with Kim Yong-un to bring him to the table.  Now that Trump has rebuffed all the other signatories of the Iran nuclear deal, who will act as his liaison?  Macron may be many things but he is not a stooge.

This is a mess Trump has to clean up himself, or at least leave it to members of his administration while he goes play golf.  His newly installed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will have a lot of catching up to do, as whatever bridges existed between the US and Iran are now burned.  It doesn't seem like he is too worried about it, making his first official foreign visit to Israel, no doubt working with Bibi on that powerpoint presentation.

The other signatories of the nuclear agreement will do their best to placate Iran, maybe even send the country Airbuses instead of Boeings, but then Europe may fear the wrath of Trump, who will no doubt threaten the EU with tariffs if it doesn't support his sanctions.  As for China and Russia, they find themselves sitting in the catbird's seat.  Iran will move even more into its sphere of influence.

Sadly, the Trump White House, and the conservative base it appeals to, has no awareness of the world we live in.  They view Iran as if it was still 1979.  In fact, many conservatives seem to view Trump as the second coming of Reagan, as if all that has happened since 1988 is but a bad dream.  This was Trump's heyday, so not surprisingly he taps into it, hoping to garner all the 1980's energy he can get.  It's like going to those midnight movies and doing The Time Warp all over again.



Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Never-ending shit storm




Does anyone even remember the White House Correspondents Dinner, of for that matter Melania's State Dinner for the Macrons?  No sooner did we have a chance to digest these events than Trump flies off on whole new tangents, erasing any memory of the past.

This is a guy who should have stayed in Mar-a-Lago after the Christmas break.  Signing a massive tax cut and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel did little to offset the sexual assault charges filed against him by 19 women.  This in the wake of his support of pervert Roy Moore who went down in flames in a Senate special election in Alabama.  If Republicans had been smart they would have pushed Trump to resign, but he slouched back to Washington, only to get into a twitter war with Kim Jong-un as to who had the bigger "nuclear button."

It should be clear to everyone that Trump has no shame, yet he continues to enjoy widespread support among his base, and as he noted in his rambling NRA address enjoys a 51 per cent approval rating in the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll.  One can only chalk this up to the entertainment value he provides, although 18 House Republicans formally nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize thanks to the "thaw" taking place on the Korean Peninsula.

Mind you this is a guy who chastised Rex Tillerson late last year for "wasting his time" on North Korea, and until this past week was still threatening to go nuclear on the "Rocket Man."  This "tough talk" certainly works on a wide cross section of Americans.  Whether it had any impact on the negotiations taking place on the Korean peninsula is anyone's guess, but there are a lot of folks giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, thanks to the kind words of South Korea's Moon Jae-in.  So, we see a temporary bump in his poll numbers, which he watches as he once did the overnight Nielsen ratings for The Apprentice.

The funny part is that Trump is content to break even, but if you look down the Rasmussen report from Friday, you see that "strongly disapprove" outpolls "strongly approve" by 40 to 33, giving him an approval index rating of -7 per cent.  He still polls below 40 per cent in Gallup and other national polls, but he considers these "fake news."

He also dismissed the staggering number of lies assembled by the Washington Post since he took office, which no doubt will lead to more personal attacks on Jeff Bezos, hoping to knock him off his perch as the richest man in the world.  I'm surprised this didn't come up in his NRA address but he was too busy gloating over the support he is getting from Kanye West and the favorable unemployment ratings for last month, especially among Blacks.  He seems to think Kanye boosted his approval among African-Americans two fold.  Maybe he will find a spot for the rapper in his administration.

It's enough to make your head spin, but the news media is eating it up like a giant Baked Alaska. They can't get enough, successfully pushing the Stormy Daniels hush fund to the background, when it should be front and center.  After all, it was just this kind of dirty laundry that brought John Edwards down in the 2008 campaign, but Trump appears to be oblivious to any note of impropriety on his part.  At one point admitting to the pay off, and then just as quickly retracting his statement on twitter, leaving poor Sarah perplexed as to what to say at the daily briefings.  I'm sure they will get their stories straight eventually.

How does Michelle Wolf or anyone else for that matter compete with this never-ending shit storm that is the Trump White House?  None of it seems to matter, as he was able to hold a National Day of Prayer and sign a so-called "religious liberty" executive order with a straight face, and no one smirking in the background.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Who's Afraid of Michelle Wolf?




I never heard of Michelle Wolf before the White House Correspondents Dinner, but I'll have to pay attention to her now.  It wasn't that her jokes were all that good, but she sure knew how to get under everyone's skin, particularly Sarah Huckabee, who served as Trump's proxy at the event.  For me, it was her grating voice, but it worked in this case.

What the Trump base got was a little bit of its own medicine.  Michelle was raucous, dirty and at times downright malicious in her attack.  No one was spared in Trump's administration, least of all the Chief Clown.  "It turns out the President of the United States is the one pussy you can't grab," noting his absence for the second year in a row.

For his part, the President was in Michigan offering a running commentary of the WHCD among other things in his long-winded harangue.  But, this didn't match the performance he gave on Fox and Friends the day before, leaving the crew absolutely speechless after thirty minutes of a non-stop diatribe.

It's pretty hard to top Trump, so Michelle went after his surrogates.  She was hardest on Sarah, who sat at the front table with her.  You could see Huckabee grimace through most of the monologue.  She left it to her father the next day to chastise Wolf for going too far, calling it "tasteless, classless bullying."  Seems like someone should remind Mike of his own tweets.  A guy who still refers to himself as Governor.

Surprisingly, the media also chastised Wolf.  Andrea Mitchell said Michelle should apologize for "insulting" poor Sarah in a tweet.  Andrea got the response she deserved.  

Of course, Trump himself chimed in, calling the dinner a "failure" and Wolf "filthy," noting that the 100 year-old tradition should be "put to rest."  It really makes you wonder where all these fragile sensibilities came from?

I still don't understand why they don't invite Alec Baldwin to stand in for Trump at these dinners.  He continues his routine on SNL, which has come under attack from alums like Rob Schneider, who hasn't had a watchable movie since he left SNL in the 90s.  Dennis Miller apparently needs a few days to come up with something scathing on Michelle Wolf.

Michelle gave it a game effort, and thanks to all the criticism is now the most recognizable comic on television.  Not bad for a C-SPAN live stream.  She also got some high fives from Dave Chappelle and Adam Conover, who noted her brutal takedown of the all-too-complicit news media.

"You guys are obsessed with Trump.  Did you use to date him?  Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him.  I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you.  He's helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV.  You helped create this monster and now you're profiting off of him.   And if you are going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn't have any."

Of course, she will be just as easily forgotten in a few days time given Trump's many pratfalls.  But, for a brief shining moment she got more attention than Kanye!