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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 66,819

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Death of a Notion

“The beast in us must be wheedled: ethic is necessary, that we be not torn to pieces/”
Friedrich Nietzsche


Being old and feeble, I have more doctors' appointments than I care to think about. I've developed a technique to make them more pleasant: I start conversations about politics as soon as the medical professionals enter the room. Although each and every nurse and doctor knows I'm attempting to distract attention from why I'm there, the tactic is successful.

I remember back in January of 2017, one gentleman who was a registered republican at the time told me that he was confident that Donald Trump would rise to the occasion of being president. This was, I knew, a whimsical notion. It died within the next year, and by the time of the 2018 midterm elections, this doctor told me he had registered as an independent.

The “beast” we know as Donald Trump wheedled. He has no ethics. Rather, he is convinced that he is entitles to tear the Constitution to pieces in a manner that feeds his ego as it lines his pockets.

I have some friends and associates who have not shared my belief that the Democrats in the House of Representatives needs to impeach Donald Trump. Be patient, they have said, and focus upon the 2020 presidential election. Any impeachment would be sure to not only fail to result in a conviction in the republican-led Senate, but it would divide the country. It's safer and more prudent to wait to beat Trump at the ballot box.

Until this week, although I strongly disagreed with their concept of “safer” and “prudent,” I respected their right to their opinion. I wasn't sure how they thought impeachment would “divide” the country more than it very obviously already is. It seemed a strange notion.

Hopefully, in light of the news about the whistle blower, Trump's conversations with the leader of Ukraine, and the White House's attempt to bury the story, all Democrats will recognize that the notion we should wait until the 2020 elections has died.

Impeach Trump

Washington (CNN)In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.
Jim Sciutto; September 9, 2019

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/09/politics/russia-us-spy-extracted/index.html


While reports on the CIA asset in Russia shifted slightly – including the anticipated denials from both sides – the nature of the genesis of the “Trump-Russian Scandal” has come into clearer focus for those who have been following it closely. Many people, including a number on this forum, knew that it had not started with George Papadopoulos – although that is likely when the FBI officially became involved.

The Steele dossier came after Papadopoulos's involvement, despite the Trump administration's claim that it started the intelligence investigation. It contains “raw” intelligence – the type of information that typically leads to closer examination to verify potential evidence needed in counterintelligence investigations. Parts of it remain unverified, and one section found inaccurate. Yet it indicates that people involved in intelligence were interested in the Trump campaign's connections with Russia in a manner far different than mere campaign opposition research.

The spy was extracted shortly after Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Trump then had the meeting with two Russians in the Oval Office, where he bragged about this. He would then tell Lestor Holt on national television that he fired Comey due to “the Russia thing.” The result of this was not limited to the CIA taking its emergency action to extract the spy: acting FNI director Andrew McCabe opened an investigation to consider the possibility that Trump was an active Russiian asset, while Rod Rosenstein of the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller to head its expanded investigation.

The significance of this cluster of activity by intelligence agencies should not be overlooked. Also, that while those in the White House often say that the administration cooperated fully with the investigation, that Mr. Mueller reported that some individuals refused to be interviewed, and others lied to investigators. Several of the liars were indicted and convicted. And most significantly, Trump refused to be interviewed.

The Mueller Report was divided into two sections: the first regarding the Russian operation, and potential conspiracy with the Trump campaign, the second on Trump's obstruction of justice during the investigation. Part one concluded that, based upon the evidence, prosecutors were not confident that they could get a conviction for a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. It did not conclude that there was no coordination between them, including the infamous Trump Tower meeting led by Donald, Jr. More, it is important to recognize that information that intelligence agencies other than the FBI had gathered would be too sensitive to use in a domestic prosecution.

Part two of the report detailed Donald Trump's on-going efforts to obstruct the Mueller investigation. The report clearly stated that while DOJ guidelines do not permit the indictment of a sitting president, the report did not clear Trump of potential charges of obstruction of justice. Rather, the report provided a road map for Congress to investigate Trump.

After issuing the report, Mr.Mueller remained in his position to complete his contribution to the counterintelligence report. This report has not been made public, of course, as it is highly classified. Only a very few members of the House and Senate intelligence committees are aware of a limited amount of the information contained in it.

Several House committees are currently investigating the “potential” crimes of Donald Trump. As we have seen over the past months, the White House is refusing to cooperate with the House as it fulfills its constitutional duties. Attorney General Barr is playing point for the stonewalling. Indeed, Barr is attempting to abuse the powers of the Justice Department by investigating Trump's “enemies.” It appears that this includes a failed attempt to get a grand jury indictment of Mr. McCabe. The curious timing of Sciutto's report suggests that the intelligence community is sending Barr a message to stop his nonsense.

Yesterday, we were subjected to Corey Lewandowski's performance before a House committee. It provided a glaring example not only of the administration's on-going attempts to obstruct the investigation by claiming the right to claim privileges it is not legally entitled to, but of the willingness of Trump's true believers to lie while under oath. In the last half-hour, we were treated to the dismantling of Lewandowski when questioned for more than five minutes by a prosecutor.

The Trump administration's refusal to follow the law also includes its refusal to provide the head of the House Means and Ways Committee with the president's tax returns. The law is crystal clear regarding their legal obligation to provide these. As we all know, the law states the administration “shall” provide them, and Democrats agree on the meaning of the word “shall.”

I've said all of this, in order to focus now on the issue of if the Democrats should impeach Trump. The Constitution clearly states that in instances where the president commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the Congress “shall” impeach the president. The majority of Democrats in the House recognize that the word “shall” is consistent in federal law and in the Constitution. And they know that the Constitution does not include a clause that recommends delaying this duty for political purposes.

I do appreciate that others are entitled to opinions that differ from my own on a whole host of issues. But the need to impeach Trump seems glaringly obvious to me. What do you think?

Peace,
H2O Man

The Old Laughing Lady





I've been listening to Neil Young today, as I prepare some flower gardens for the winter months. I planted some of them, while others are from those who lived here before. One lady who resided here in the 1940s planted flowers around the boundary of the lawn, covering over 1,000 yards. She died here in the house in 1951; some residents in the 1980s used a lot of her flowers in their landscaping business, though a good many remain and have spread.

I get three wheelbarrows full of contributions to the compost pile, as well as a couple of handfuls of plants I will use for tea during the winter. I also pick four hot peppers for my oldest son, who will be cooking out at the fire pit with me tonight, watching the full moon. We have a good supply of firewood on hand, thanks to my younger boy. And there is plenty of kindling from a wooded section where the ground is covered with myrtle.

There are times when I find it frustrating that I can't do as much work as I could as a young man. Today isn't one of them. I'm content to do a little today, and a little more another day, and again another. And so I take a break and watch some news reports on a young lady named Greta Thunberg. I have read about her, of course, but an Elder told me to watch a few film clips of her being interviewed. She spoke about Greta's gift and her call to consciousness.

I started thinking about the goodness and decency of the youth who have joined with her in a call to action. School students. College students. University students. They remind me of my own children. I think of the old croquet balls that my dogs found in the myrtle over the past few days, and remember watching my kids playing various games, much like the lady gardener must have enjoyed seeing her children play on the lawn. Childhood should not be spent despairing about the horrors that human beings have inflicted upon the environment.

The next thing I know, my younger son is tapping my arm, singing, “Waking Up is Hard to Do.” He reminds me that I wanted to get up early to go to ceremony. A quick call to my friend, who says the fire is raging and the rocks are starting to glow, and the ride blend together – I'm focused more on the message of Greta. The media attention she is getting would be tough for almost any 16 year old. But she is strong, and has a gift.

My friend had called me a week ago, saying it was time to prepare to work at the grass roots' level for 2020, with an environmental message being central. He went to New Hampshire to get fifty nice pieces of granite for today. He runs the ceremony so that I can focus. My son will bring in the stones. They glow in the dark lodge.

I am thinking about Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman. He used to encourage me to organize those on the margins of society, with confidence that leadership would rise within them. And some human qualities found among the marginalized that are considered burdens by “proper” society actually become strengths. Society heals as individuals heal, he said, and it cannot be otherwise.

Rubin used to say that all of organic life on this planet exists entirely for the Earth's purpose. That human beings are the highest level of consciousness on Earth, but that if we remain merely mechanical, we will self-destruct by damaging the environment and all living things we share it with. He often talked about the need for people to heal, as part of the positive potential of evolution.

After four hours, we leave the lodge. My friend tells me that I look better than I had the last time. I tell him that I've been training to compete in the “50+” Golden Gloves in 2020. For a brief second, he suspects that I might be serious. I tell him that when I was a kid, I loved to listen to old people, and now that I'm an old person, I learn more listening to kids. And that there's a bigger bout coming up.

Back home, I go out into the garden area of my front lawn. I think the lady who planted those flowers and shrubs would approve of my effort to keep it going. Tomorrow I will concentrate on a small rose garden. For now, I watch the sun go down, and listen to the noises one hears in the woods when it gets dark.

A few hours later, I go inside and watch some of the weekend's news. As always, I am repulsed by reports regarding Trump, as I consider him to be profoundly immoral. Much the same for all those who support and enable him. But I'm fully confident that we are going to take care of business between now and November, 2020.

Boxing

My son and I hung out with Zab Judah and his father today in rural upstate New York. They want my son to move to Brooklyn for them to train and promote. Great guys.

"Take the land"





Kelly's tail begins wagging as fast as a humming bird's wings when I begin to get a bag of fish food ready. He walks across the lawn and then the field at a faster pace than me. This gives him time to pop in and out of the woods before we get to the pond. I take him out for a swim when I feed the fish and birds, and he enjoys watching the fish feed around him when he is in the water. Then he is off to play in the swamp while I sit and watch the hundreds of ripples upon the pond's surface as the fish eat.

I'm glad to see that my favorite apple tree is producing well this year. I see evidence that the deer have been consuming the fallen apples, and sleeping near the tree. Kelly investigates the scents, though whenever we encounter deer, he never barks. The deer have no fear of him if we are at a distance. It's the other scents from where various wildlife comes to the pond mornings and nights.

The colors at the end of August are different from what they were earlier in the summer. Besides the green in the field and woods, there is a lot of yellowish-orange a couple feet above the ground. There is also a variety of small purple flowers along the path. A growing patch of black-eyed Susans cover one of the pond's banks.

After following a series of low paths that go low through the underbrush, Kelly returns to my side, and we begin the round-about walk back to the house. He bounds into the woods, and I see a cat climb a tree. We had a stray cat have kittens in my garage this summer, a few weeks before she was hit by a automobile. Kelly's brother Sam has become close friends with the kittens, but Kelly chases them.

A series of large rocks set along the path. These are the size that required stone sleds and oxen to move for the bases of stone walls. My younger son has constructed dolmen with them. He also used some of them on my lawn, where my swimming pool sat until a storm brought a tree down, crushing it. My boy made a labyrinth/garden this summer, along with a 7' by 7' fire pit.

He used my grandfather's saw to cut the tree into firewood for me to use. I helped him stack it, causing him to give me about as much of a compliment as his sense of humor allows: “Keep it up, Old Man. You'll never be formidable again, but you might become less pathetic.” I'm content to weed the garden, and to sit on the benches he has placed around the labyrinth and fire pit, and enjoy the solitude.

Behind my favorite bench is the foundation of an 1800's blacksmith's shop. I like to think about all the people who have lived in the house since it was built in the late 1790s, first serving as a stage coach station, complete with a post office and doctor's office. I've lived here longer than anyone else has since then, though I'm certain that those before me had the same affection for the property.

The sun has gone down, and the fire is about out, and so I head back to the house. I have to watch my step, because the kittens morph into tumbling clowns once it's dark. While most of them are busy chasing insects, one has a habit of running in front of me and stopping on a dime. I've learned that she wants me to pick her up and carry her, until the next flying bug captures her interest.

Once inside, I begin watching some of the news. Farmers are experiencing serious financial troubles due to Trump's foolish trade war. At very best, it is estimated that at best, it will take them eight years to recover. I'm reminded of when Kennedy was running for president in 1960, and a farmer told him, “I'm hoping to break even this year. I could really use the money.”

A number of those farmers recognize that they were had when they voted for Trump in 2016. They say that they will not vote for him in 2020. And they believe others will sit that election out. Still, they are in the minority, at least for now. But the time may come when more see that Trump does not care about family farms that go back generations. These will be forced to sell out to corporate farms which can get enormous tax breaks by losing money.

Ranchers in Texas and beyond must have had their ears perk up when they heard reports that Trump told people to “take the land” for his imaginary wall ….and that he would pardon them if they faced legal troubles for purposely violating the law. That's not a popular theme among the conservative ranchers who have also worked their lands for generations. Clearly, they did not fully grasp who they were voting for in 2016.

Few if anything is more obscene than Trump insisting that he “knows more about the environment” than anyone else. His only outside activity is golf. He advocates “raking the forest floors” for fire prevention. He has fallen from grace as far as is humanly possible. And he is beginning to fall from the graces of a growing number of those who once believed him.

Happy holiday weekend.
H2O Man

Honey Pot Byrned


“This isn't a theory of mine, this isn't a political position.”
Patrick Byrne



It wasn't that long ago that Sam Nunberg suffered a progressive melt-down on live television. Even though I dislike the man, it was uncomfortable to watch. From the afternoon through evening, he appeared on both MSNBC and CNN. An apparent mood disorder combined with substance abuse resulted in his swinging from paranoid to delusional. Those in the studio were documenting his descent, until finally, guest Maya Wiley conducted a firm yet gentle intervention.

Those watching Patrick Byrne's marathon of television appearances since Thursday have likely been reminded of poor Sam's antics. Byrne, who likes to call himself a “hippie and wore a Grateful Dead cap on at least one show, spent much of his air time on Fox. I hesitated to watch him, as I've heard that he used to talk about his professional boxing career, which only took place in his imagination. That “career” never took place.

However, when he was introduced as having stepped down from his CEO position at Overstock due to an affair with a Russian spy, it caught my attention. And yes, the spy was Maria Butina. And if one were to believe Byrne, she, too, is a flower child transplanted from the 1960s, seeking world peace. But believing Byrne requires a suspension of common sense.

Byrne's telling of the tale was as difficult for program hosts to follow as was Sam Nunberg's. His speech was pressured, and he had great difficulty in staying on topic – skipping from thought to thought in mid-sentence. This was not an indicator of mental stability. Nor was his claim that “all of Washington” will now seek to crush him.

Luckily, I can piece together from his random sentence fragments what he was trying to communicate with his ramblings about the FBI, the Russian spy, the 2016 presidential campaign, and Attorney General Barr. In a sense, it has some similarities to my July 25 essay “Apophenia,” regarding Jeff Epstein's ties with intelligence.

At a social gathering Byrne attended, he had a brief contact with Maria Butina. At a second social gathering, she approached him saying that she believed he was a valuable contact for her in her quest for world peace. Soon thereafter, a couple of FNI agents that Byrne had known from two previous experiences in providing information to the FBI approached him. They requested that he cultivate a social relationship with Butina, and to inform them about what he could learn about her mission in the US.



As Byrne spent more time with Butina, a couple of things happened. First, he was surprised that when he reported information to the FBI agents, they seemed to be already aware of it. Second, he found that Maria and he were spending more and more time alone. Indeed, the two lovebirds had a six month affair that might remind one of John and Yoko's famous bed-in, except they kept their relationship under covers.

During his daring sacrifice for country, Byrne claims he learned that it wasn't only the FBI, but “those even higher” who were investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. In his television appearances, he focused on their investigations of the Trump, Rubio, and Clinton campaigns. What he didn't say, most likely due to his lack of understanding, is that this was a large counter-intelligence investigation, in which his role was minor. It is that same lack of understanding that has him believing he played a central role, something his handlers were more than happy to allow him to believe.

Due to his relatively insignificant role, and his Yoko Only being incarcerated for spying, poor Patrick Byrne was left to wonder what he had gotten himself into. Keep in mind that this is a fellow who is heavily invested in conspiracy theories, and has posted them regularly on the internet. And who still has deep feelings for Maria Butina, the Russian peace activist/ gun-rights advocate. Feelings, whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings.

Something about this recent chapter in his life has not set well with Byrne. While one would expect him to simply keep his mouth shut and go on with his business, that hasn't happened. Something is about to break, and it could be anything from information of his telling Maria Butina things he should not have, to A.G. Barr's “investigation” of the “Deep State.” So Byrne attempted to get out in front of the news, and spout off about his love for Barr. Pathetic.

Charlie Trump in the Desert

“Mr. and Mrs. America, you are wrong. I am not the King of the Jews, or a hippie cult leader.”
Charles Manson


A while ago, I went to the movies with my sons. It was only the second time I've been in a movie theater since 2000, as I tend to be selective in what interests me. My boys told me that I'd like this flick, because it would remind me of events from my youth. The movie is Tarantino's “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Strange, strange movie that is worth seeing.

On the ride home, they asked my opinion of Manson? I said that I have never cared for anyone who wants a band of obedient followers, who punishes anyone who questions him, who is a sexist and racist, who confuses himself with God, who rants about the need for a race war in the United States, and who tries to spark that violent race war. Other than that, Charlie was just another cowardly, paranoid asshole.

What did I think of Vincent Bugliosi's “Helter Skelter” prosecution theory? Well, I think he did a good job overall. He was laying out a script that the jury could follow. There was a lot of information that wasn't brought out, in part because of the legal system's rules on introducing evidence, and partly because Mr. Bugliosi needed to focus on to get convictions.

A week later, the younger son brought me a new book by Tom O'Neill, “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties.” It's an interesting read, but it's not what I want to discuss here. Nor do I want to talk about Manson. But I do want to talk about another individual who seeks obedient followers, seeks to punish anyone who questions him, who is a sexist and racist, confuses himself with God, and who gets excited about a race war in the USA that he is trying his darnedest to spark.

Now, in case you can't guess who I mean, let's look at a couple more clues. Like Charlie, this person's being was severely damaged in his formative years – though it is doubtful either would have cured cancer if their childhoods and youths were different. Both crave media attention, and think they can fool people by spouting crazy shit. Yet, neither could be mistaken for normal or well-adjusted, no matter what words came out of their mouths. One last clue: while both liked to threaten people, neither could win a fair fight, and thus depend upon zombie cult members to do their dirty work.

Now, a much more important book for current times is the second edition of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” It's an updated version with 37 mental health professionals with outstanding credentials, explaining why Trump continues to pose more of a danger to our society. This, too, is a topic I've explored here several times.

Here, I have attempted to identify – in a subtle manner – some curious personality traits that Trump has in common with Charlie. And that's because both of the books I've mentioned speak to the inevitable path that sociopath cult leaders take when they are under increasing tension that they believe has the potential to undercut their power. Their presentation becomes increasingly unhinged.

This includes their being saturated in unrealistic conspiracy theories that identify themselves and their loyal followers as the select, and their opposition as less than human. It either doesn't occur to their followers that the exact opposite is true, or they are too afraid to disagree. Stupid and cowardly isn't a good combination. The more they agree with their leader, the more irrational that leader becomes. The leader speaks increasingly in a way that promotes his followers tendencies toward violence.

In the Manson Family case, of course, the results were a series of murders, including several that various members were convicted of. Charlie thought he could beat the rap by claiming that he personally wasn't involved, and that he never told anyone to kill anyone else. He was, of course, lying.

Looking back, it is possible to see that if certain people – including those who were employed in law enforcement – had taken action earlier, it is possible, even very likely, lives could have been saved. Lots of people recognized that Manson was dangerous. And that includes people that should have recognized the path he and his followers were taking.

Lots of people recognize how dangerous Trump is today. Thirty-seven mental health experts are warning us what path he is going down. They understand a sociopath under pressure poses risks to society. It's time for Congress to take greater steps to put him in check, and recognize the nation cannot wait for the November, 2020 election. There's more than enough material for them to write an impeachment script.

Please Read!

Hello, D.U.ers:

I'm sure that you find Trump's comments toxic and dangerous. Please consider supporting Bend the Arc's efforts (see below).

Thank you!
H2O Man


https://www.bendthearc.us/

“I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." - Donald Trump, August 20, 2019

“[Rep. Tlaib] hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!” - Donald Trump, August 20, 2019

As American Jews and allies, let’s be clear: Trump is putting Jews in danger to stir up his white nationalist base.

Claiming Jews are disloyal — that we are not full Americans — is a centuries-old antisemitic trope designed to isolate and endanger Jewish people.

We know who mainstreamed antisemitic conspiracy theories that motivated the shooters in Pittsburgh and Poway: Trump.

We know who incites violence against Jewish people, immigrants, Muslim people, Black folks, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ folks, indigenous nations, and so many more of our friends and family: Trump.

We know who puts children in cages, separates infants from their parents, and denies due process for asylum seekers: Trump.

We know exactly who he is. And we know who we are.

We are loyal to human dignity: welcoming immigrants and refugees and asylum seekers, no children in cages, no families separated.

We are loyal to the promise of this country: a vibrant, multiracial democracy where all are represented and counted and loved.

We are loyal to equality and justice: for all.

We are loyal to each other. 

If that’s being disloyal, then we are proudly disloyal to President Trump and the white nationalist agenda he represents.

Part Two:

Patrick —

Thank you for standing up to Trump and showing that he does not speak for us.
 
His attacks on progressive leaders, accusing them of antisemitism, and then accusing American Jews of disloyalty, a centuries-old antisemitic trope, is shameless and shameful. His words and policies are absolutely dangerous for Jews, Muslims, and so many of our communities. And together we will fight back.

Ready to take action? A coalition of Jews against white nationalism is holding a call tonight for people who are ready to hold Republican members of Congress who enable antisemitism and bigotry accountable. RSVP here to join TONIGHT at 8:30 PM ET.

If thousands of us raise our voices we can show what our community truly believes — will you ask your friends and family to sign the letter, too?

A Weak Old Week Old OP

(Note: My internet & phone were taken out by a thunderstorm on Thursday night. I just got them back on this afternoon – which speaks to how unimportant a very, very rural custom is. Anyhow, I had planned to post the following essay six days ago. While it's not particularly important, it may be of some interest to a few folks here.)


One person that I never anticipated giving a second thought was Anthony Scaramucci. The little exposure I had – watching his brief White House career and a few follow-up appearances on cable news shows – was enough to convince me that he had attended the school of thought that turns the human soul into fecal matter,and produces cookie-cutter con men. The slicker the con, the more financial success. Those with connections inhabit an island known as Wall Street, that transforms them into jackasses.

There is no lie that Anthony would not tell, if he were convinced that the lie would benefit him. He would lie to your face, with a half-smile on his own, while telling you what he thought you wanted to hear. He is convinced that he is a master of being slick and smooth, a most revolting combination. As the firmest of rules, no one should ever trust a word that comes out of his mouth.

So why would I have even mentioned him here on my favorite internet site? Obviously, it has to do with his recent divorce from Trump. And, as usual, my purpose is not to focus on “how” this has happened, for we all know how. Instead, let's examine “why” it has happened, which will allow us the opportunity to place it within its proper context. And that allows us the opportunity to see some dynamics that are taking place behind the scenes.

Although Anthony is a rat terrior and Jared is a poodle, they have used the same groomers. Hence, Scaramucci has known Jared longer and better than he has known Ivanka or Trump. For the sake of this essay, we will totally ignore rumors that Anthony bangs Ivanka on a regular basis, for that's something I just made up as I was writing this. Thus, it makes no difference if it is true or not. It's just something I needed to throw out there.

Antony works with a network of Wall Street wolves who are motivated entirely by greed. Many of the pack he runs with have long found Trump to be an obnoxious asshole. Some fancy themselves “socially liberal,” and have voiced their disagreements with Trump's crude behaviors at cocktail parties. Even Anthony has, for some time, stated some disagreement with Trump on various news shows, before quickly noting how much he supports Trump's presidency.

Indeed, Scaramucci has been consistent in saying that while he disagreed with a few of Trump's tweets and statements, he believed that Trump's economic program was good for America – which simply translates into “good for the ultra-wealthy.” It was only last weekend that his doing so yet again resulted in Trump's personal attack on him. “How” Trump attacked -- by tweet – is of no significance. “Why” he did is key.

Let's be clear: while Scaramucci and a few of the pack he hangs with might not approve of putting little brown-skinned children in metal cages, none of them had taken a stand on moral or ethical grounds. But as Trump endangers the economy with trade wars and more, they began to perspire. For many months, they believed that Anthony could use his influence with Jared and Ivanka to smooth Trump's rough edges. Clearly, that was not working.

Scaramucci was thus tasked with talking to Jared and Ivanka about the growing belief that Trump poses an extreme unstable risk for the 2020 election. While not entirely generational, many of the Wall Street cogs were going so far as to say they might support a democrat in 2020 for potential economic stability. Obviously, this did not get any positive results.

Hence, Anthony began a new super secret mission – to talk to republican members of the House and Senate about potentially replacing Trump in 2020. As he has noted in the last week, the majority of those republicans told Scaramucci that they despise Trump. But their fear of a primary challenger in their next election prevents them from even mildly disagreeing with the president in public. So cowardly are these republican lap dogs that word of Scaramucci's efforts quickly reached Trump's ears.

And that is “why” Trump began attacking Anthony, and why Scaramucci has been saying the things he has on cable news. Being spanked by a porn star in private is one thing. But anything less than total submission by Wall Street puppies and congressional lap dogs is too much for Trump's fragile, under-developed ego. He reacts in the only way he knows how.

Think of the pickle this puts so many of Trump's pseudo-supporters in. Sure, they have a dynamic, ultra-charismatic alternative in Mike Pence. Think of the shear strength of a Mike-n-Mitch ticket. What is the alternative? Risk losing not only the White House, but a host of other elections if Trump remains the head of their 2020 ticket? How do they harness control over what started as the Tea Party, but has mutated into the neo-Nazi baseof Trump's support? Go with Steve King? So many hideous choices.

Losing the support of the wealthy – and they can read the tea leaves regarding a second Trump term – is bad news for the republican party. Very bad news. And it doesn't need to be the majority of them abandoning Trump's yacht. Even a seemingly small fracture dooms republicans at all levels in 2020. A few more fractures will result in a landslide.

Peace,
H2O Man

The Necromancer of Id

While I was watching a clip of Trump's talk last week, about his opposition to violence and white nationalism, I remembered something from long ago. I was in a training in Rome, NY, for forensic social workers, being presented by J. Reid Meloy, the psychologist who was widely recognized as our country's leading expert on sociopaths. Dr. Meloy was the top student of Dr. Robert Hare, who had devised the Hare Checklist for identifying sociopaths.

Each day of the training, Dr. Meloy spoke about the sociopath's ability “to know the words, but not the tune.” In other words, a sociopath can utter words in an attempt to feign empathy, etc, but it falls flat. In this case, Trump didn't even know the words – he was merely trying to read what someone else had composed for the teleprompter. His tone in delivering the message was devoid of any human emotion. The word “flat” does not fully capture the emptiness of his tone.

Now, this is not in and of itself one of the diagnostic traits found on Hare's Checklist. But it certainly blends in with a number of traits found on that checklist that Trump exhibits. There are twenty traits assessed on the Hare checklist, and the more traits one has, the higher they rank on the scale for sociopathy. For a quick review, let's consider those that one might associate with Trump: glib; grandiose; need for stimulation; pathological lying; manipulative; lack of remorse or guilt; lack of empathy; parasitic lifestyle; poor behavioral controls; promiscuity; early behavior problems; impulsive; irresponsibility and refusal to accept responsibility.

Among these are a cluster that are closely related for the potential for cruelty. The lack of the human traits of empathy, or remorse, combined with the refusal to take responsibility, can make for a cold and cruel specimen. The type that enjoys separating little children from their families. The type that takes pleasure in keeping children in metal cages. That orders ICE to separate parents from their children on the very day he goes to El Paso, to send the message that if you don't like children in cages, he'll leave them alone on the streets of America instead.

What might this mean in the context of the effort to impeach Trump and/or the 2020 presidential election? Let's apply the first lesson on campaigns ….there are three groups: those who will always vote for you, those who will always vote against you, and those who are either undecided or not firmly committed. No Democrat who watched Trump's reading of a speech last week is going to think, “Boy, that came straight from the heart. He isn't so bad.” And no white nationalist is going to think for a second that Trump meant a word of it. That leaves the third group, which is those who generally decide an election.

Now, it's important to remember that a presidential election is actually fifty state elections. While the popular vote should determine the outcome, it doesn't. Thus, it is essential that we focus on state polls, rather than becoming overconfident due to national polls. Still, with this in mind, it is evident that we can use Trump's obscene level of cruelty to our advantage. For but one example, there are enough film clips of him displaying his toxic filth that our party can highlight it in hundreds of commercials aimed at the undecided voters – as well as those who opted to not vote in 2016.

We know that Trump has a fragile, underdeveloped ego. When confronted, his id takes the reins. We saw that when Nancy and Chuck confronted him about the potential “Trump shutdown.” He reacted by taking ownership of what became a cruel, unpopular failure. That is his essence. Likewise, he hates to be the butt of jokes, and can be counted on to immediately go on the attack. We need to use these things ot only against him, but against every republican in DC who outright supports him, or who remains silent.
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