Saturday, August 05, 2017

Lazy hazy crazy

Newsweek is becoming my favorite magazine.

August is vacation time for psychiatrists, French people and politicians.  And now for bloggers exhausted by the antics of the latter.  Psychiatrists aren't the only ones tired of listening to an endless stream of abuse, excuses, lies and delusions day after day.   Trump is, in the immortal words of Coach Reggie Dunlop, "fuckin' wearing me out."  He needs a vacation?

It's been another tough week for King Weasel.  He brought in a new chief of staff -- a Marine general no less -- to plug the leaks, which precipitated the most glorious leak so far, transcripts of his January phone chats with Prime Minister Turnbull of Australia and President Pena Nieto of Mexico.  We already had an inkling these did not go well, but now we have the texts and can perform them with little theatre groups.  Pena Nieto has always been firm that Mexico will not pay for The Wall which will soon make America impervious to the bad hombres who turned New Hampshire into "a drug-infested den" (which Trump actually did not win...never mind).  It turns out he doesn't really care who pays for it, but he implored the Mexican president to shut up about it because he's afraid of looking weak.  "The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that."  It's a rare instance of Trump seeming to acknowledge that saying something does not necessarily make it a fact.  Never does it occur to him that Pena Nieto might be concerned with not appearing "weak" to Mexican voters. 

The conversation with Turnbull is weirder and, frankly, more disturbing, and centers on several hundred refugees who are interned in Australia because, for complex reasons, Australia does not accept migrants who come by boat.  The US agreed to accept them last year, subject to vetting, and the Weasel King is incensed:  "Who are they?  Where do they come from?  Are they going to become the Boston bomber [sic] in five years?"  Turnbull observes that the Tsarnaev brothers came from Russia, causing Trump to retort, "They come from wherever they come from."  (Nothing bad can come out of Russia, it seems.)  "I hate taking these people.  I guarantee you they are bad.  They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people."  (This sentence has been deconstructed and debated for days, without success.)  Again and again, with exemplary patience, Turnbull tries to explain that the refugees are not "in prison," as Trump insists, and that to accept boat people would encourage human trafficking on the high seas, and then he tries flattery:  "I think that will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States."  Retorts Trump, "OK, this shows me to be a dope."  Shortly thereafter he hangs up, telling his new friend Malcolm, "My conversation with Putin was pleasant.  This has been unpleasant."  When news of this call first emerged, we were told Trump was tired and cranky because it was five in the afternoon.  In Canberra, it was just seven the next morning.

So that was then.  This week, we learned that Robert Mueller is keeping two grand juries busy hearing testimony about the Trump-Kushner crime family.  Mueller is still the "Special Council," as Trump keeps tweeting, because Beauregard recused himself from the Russia election-fucking investigation (which implicates him, too, remember) and is not using his position as attorney general to protect his client the "presidency."  Before leaving on its vacation, the Senate prevented Trump from firing Beauregard and making a recess appointment; it also passed a resolution to protect Mueller.  And before that, Trump had to sign his name -- that distinctive scribble that looks like the EEG of a chimp who has seen a ripe banana -- to the new sanctions on Russia, which got him scolded by Dmitri Medvedev (Putin was busy posing for more super-manly bare chest photos).  So much winning.

It was almost inevitable that he would flee Washington for the welcoming arms of the real America, some West Virginia dropouts who still believe the good coal minin' jobs is comin' back from China any minute now.  Even Wyoming, Dick Cheney's back yard, land of prodigious amounts of coal and oil (Teapot Dome!), is investing big in solar power, but Appalachia continues to gaze backward.  It's enough to make America ache again.  That Copland music, those Dorothea Lange faces..."They're trying to cheat you out of the future!" he yelled, and they agreed.  I'm trying to feel something besides contempt.  But it's August and I'm tired.

The Working Presidential Vacation (insert joke here) began today at one of his golf courses in New Jersey, where Trump's approval rating of around thirty percent looks impressive next to that of Chris Christie.   Of course Christie has already given up and embarked on his "Fuck you" tour, disporting himself on a public beach that was closed to the public on the Fourth of July (no state budget) and getting into fights at baseball games.  I'm sure he'll have time for a courtesy visit to Bedminster National American Trump Golf Casino or whatever it's called.  Stalin used to make Nikita Khrushchev dance and then pour vodka on his head at parties, and Christie was born to be King Weasel's Khrushchev.

You want quotes?  I have quotes.  Try this:  "...We do not want investigators and prosecutors on a fishing expedition."  Guess.  No, guess.  Kenneth Starr, ex-president of Baylor University and unhinged investigator of Bill Clinton/Whitewater/Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky/the Lindbergh kidnaping/you name it.  When it was your turn you fished like Papa Hemingway with a Life magazine photographer in tow.  What you mean "we," kemosabe?  I want Bob Mueller to catch the ugliest creature in the pond.

"Nineteen hyenas and a broken vacuum cleaner control the White House, and ice is becoming extinct."  It's poetry, in that I don't quite understand it but it makes my head tingle.  Like Dylan Thomas.  It's from a Times op-ed by someone called Lindy West.  The rest is about abortion rights, which are important, but nothing could equal that sentence.  Elvis Costello should set it to music.

"Nice work ethic."  That was the Weasel King on August 15, 2011, sneering at the Lazy Black Guy for taking a vacation in Martha's Vineyard.  No comment.

"That place is a real dump."  WK describing the White House.  Denies it now but there are witnesses from the unimpeachable Golf magazine (see what I did there?).  Not a gold-plated toilet or an escalator in the place, just a bunch of old pictures of people nobody knows and a whole room full of books.  Still smells of dog.  Terrible view, too low to look down on anything.  But at least the people who built it never got paid.





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