WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED TREASON?

Aquarian Weekly
7/25/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED TREASON?

Intelligence gathered by the FBI, CIA, and NSA, concludes with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.
– Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Report, January 5, 2018

I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.
– Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, Finland, July 15, 2018

Treason – The crime of betraying one’s country.

– Miriam-Websters Dictionary

Sometime in the afternoon of Monday, July 15, 2018 the president of the United States stood on a stage, mere feet from arguably the most dangerous and powerful international tyrant of the early 21st century, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and defended him against the entirety of his government’s intelligence community that has all the evidence needed to convict the Russian government of its ongoing cyber war against America. It was, even for this moronic stooge of a chief executive, a stunning achievement; he managed in a few sentences to betray the sovereignty of the nation he purports to lead on foreign soil while simultaneously acting like the weakest lapdog this nation has sent into any summit. Donald J. Trump, the 46th president of this republic boldly told the world without coercion – filled with the kind of icky compliments he saved for the other tyrant that suckered him last month, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un – that Russian and Putin are now the big players on the world stage and the U.S. will gladly rubber stamp its aggression against its neighboring nations, its war crimes in Syria and the overt acts of war against us.

By its very definition, and coming from a president, these words amount to treason.

And in case that assertion might be consumed as columnist hyperbole, even the zombie-eyed Kool-Aid cultists who have defended every goofy thing Trump has done since he stumbled into 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue echoed similar rhetoric the minute he left that podium. Most of the state-run TV hosts at FOX News had a fit. Newt Gingrich…Newt Gingrich! The man who has a poster of a shirtless Trump hugging a money bag over his bed ripped him a new asshole. CIA, State Department and Homeland Security officials had to issue statements rebuking this craziness, and even heretofore frightened congressional Republicans took to the airwaves to decry him as some kind of capitulating traitor that looked guiltier now over all this collusion talk than ever before.

Of course, this major gaff meets crime in the continuing saga of the Trump era begs several interpretations, but to begin it is hard to ignore that this president has already been shadowed by the FBI in the summer of his campaign due to Russian ties and is currently under investigation by a special counsel on this very point. Even the man for whom he did backflips to ass-kiss buried him when Putin openly admitted in the same presser that he wanted no part of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She was, as she was as Secretary of State, going to lean hard on Putin’s shenanigans as Trump spent most of the campaign complimenting Putin and making excuses for his abysmal reign, and then followed this up for two years as president denying every fact, every arrest, and every piece of evidence that Russia was deeply invested and unprecedentedly manipulative of our democratic system.

The results of what Trump did can only be seen these ways; you choose: 1. Our president is a Russian special agent. 2. Trump is in Putin’s back pocket because he helped hand him the presidency. 3. The Russian government has a ton of evidence of Trump’s wildly analyzed and duly reported decades of illegal Russian business dealings and money laundering or the alleged photos of hookers pissing on him. 4. Trump is the stupidest person you have ever seen with absolutely no sense of self-preservation and literally makes up every sentence that bounds around his mostly empty cranium the millisecond it leaves his mouth or runs down his fingers into the sub-mental blather that make up his imbecilic tweets.

I vote for the last one.

Being an egotistical mouth-breather is no excuse for selling your country down the river on the world stage at the behest of a tyrant.

I do not think Trump has some Russian grand plan. Trump has no plan, grand or otherwise. This whole thing is just another reality show and PR campaign to make him feel loved by his dead father. The fact that he is using this nation to work through these issues doesn’t necessarily bother me, but it is getting tiresome. I truly believe he spends more time on manipulating that hair of his than anything to do with international intrigue. He knows we all think the Russians helped him and about half the people who had anything to do with him becoming president has/had Russian ties, and many of them have been arrested or indicted to this end. He is a megalomaniac who wants everyone to think he does everything by himself and only he can do it and everyone else is a stupid idiot. The narrative that Putin handed him the gig and controls his every move pisses him off – even the implication of it, quite apparently, as his years of angry tweets and endless comments; he actually spent part of the presser talking about Hillary Clinton and the electoral college. This whole thing sends him into a frothing rage. Also, his knee-jerk response to everything since the 1980s lets you know he gives no thought to what he is about to think or say, so yeah…it’s that.

However, being an egotistical mouth-breather is no excuse for selling your country down the river on the world stage at the behest of a tyrant.

Donald Trump committed treason. This is what the history books will record down through the centuries and this is what the tattered and embarrassed fallout for America will be after July 15, 2018.

Of course, once Trump returned from Finland he was confronted with this shitstorm and got some lackey to whip up a mea culpa, which he read in Clintonian splendor, a little bit of the Checkers Speech meets Reagonesque, “I don’t recall” trying on his best Manny Ramirez, “I really meant…” None of which anyone with a functioned cerebellum bought. So he predictably took to Twitter and went all Kanye West meets the teenage girl down the block and unleashed on everyone but himself. Blah blah blah, same Trump shit.

THEN…

Some enterprising people who still give a crap about this country noticed that in the same appearance the president let out (once again, self-inflicted wounds) that in his two-hour private Putin meeting with only interpreters in the room that the administration has still not framed for the American people, he was considering allowing an American citizen and former Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul to be interrogated by the Russian government.

Once again…shit storm. And then half-assed explanations from the press secretary, followed soon by a qualification that, um, no that ain’t happening – this after the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense told the press that there would be resignations in the face of such madness.

Somewhere in there another Russian agent, this time on American soil, was arrested for working with National Rifle Association to gain funds and enact espionage on Democratic candidates during the 2016 campaign.

THEN…

Without the knowledge of anyone in the United Stated government, you know, the people he chose to do these jobs framed in the Constitution, Trump announced he has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House. On live national television in the middle of an interview, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence heard the special announcement and did what amounts to a double-take before sitting silently for a good 30 seconds and stammering, “That should be something.”

By this morning, things are moving so fast for all I know Putin is sitting at Trump’s desk right now, the president is back to denying the Russians had anything to do with election meddling and to this date his administration has done absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening again this November.

So, where were you when the president of the United States committed treason? Then did it again? Then made flimsy excuses for it? Then denied he made excuses? Then reneged on the excuses? And then invited an enemy of the state to hang out in the people’s house?

I was here, at The Desk, where I have been for 20 years, and not since 9/11 have I had a column that had to be written as early in the week as this one.

Where were you?

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EXPLAINING “ROE v. WADE” IN THE AGE OF STUPID

Aquarian Weekly
7/11/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

EXPLAINING “ROE v. WADE” IN THE AGE OF STUPID

Now that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring from the highest court in the land after three decades there is the very real possibility that the person the president chooses will be vehemently anti-abortion and therefore nearly every case some of the less-enlightened states have been trying to push up to the Supreme Court will find a sympathetic ear, making it harder for women to have control over their reproductive rights and even put into jeopardy the 1973 Court ruling of Roe v. Wade that is at the heart of the Religious Right movement and a precious resource for those who happen to own the equipment the government will then be allowed to control, namely women, which is why I am always baffled when women vote Republican, but that is a subject for another column.

This is about the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade and where it stands in the pantheon of decisions based on that little document which keep lunatics like Donald Trump from turning this whole shebang into his personal Atlantic City mob quest.

Speaking of our game show president, it will be his (gulp!) decision to replace Justice Kennedy for the next generation. And, to be kind, Trump’s choices of personnel have been woefully subpar. If we’re honest, which we have consistently tried to be here for two decades, his choices have been horrifyingly abysmal. Have you seen Donald Trump’s closest confident and lawyer lately? In custody. His campaign manager? In jail. His choice for the man to run the EPA had to finally quit after some 14 investigations, the head of Education is uneducated, there is a surgeon running HUD, the Secretary of State ran EXXON, and then there is Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, so you get the point. There is a very good chance if Trump is involved in making personnel decisions they will definitely be awful. Supreme Court? He’s already sent one ideologue there.

But take El Douche’s failings aside, and let’s concentrate on the wider religious conservative movement in this country since the 1980s – you could go back to Nixon’s Silent Majority and Southern Strategy, but I think that is under-cutting the influence of the Religious Right on the Reagan Administration and the puritanical return to dumbness which percolated during that decade – and what that has done to the political direction of the Right since then and its concentration on Roe v. Wade.

This has always been a major sticking point for what began this sort of mangled quasi-Christian thing called Evangelicals in the 1980s that made shitloads of cash for insipid mouth breathers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and their ilk, who for some weird reason (First Amendment mostly) were allowed to bring their voodoo shit into the vox populi, or the dumbing down of political discourse. Their witch-doctor influence was paramount in creating a mutated wing of the Republican Party that before was filled with mostly multi-issued economic voters. The legalization of abortion was to many of these people the culmination of the eroding of the nation’s moral center the minute they allowed Elvis Presley to shake his ass on network television in 1956.

The 1960s broke these people and by the 70s the Culture Wars were in full swing. The attempt to return the culture back to pre-Elvis-ass-shaking days fell to Ronald Reagan, who believed the Viet Nam War was a success and all the Shiny City on the Hill stuff that was co-opted by the mobilization of the Religious Right to stop things like the Equal Rights Amendment, convincing women that they would have to share bathrooms and work on a shipping dock if passed. And, of course, right smack in the middle of all this drug-addled, sexually depravity came Legal Abortion!

I have found no one who thinks the government should control your liver, brain, heart, stomach, so why the uterus?

How these frightened shut-ins mostly see abortion, and it turns out they are partly correct, is that it is a form of infanticide. And I get it, as I have family members and good friends who are (and I hate this word, because some of these people are hunters, pro-war and pro death penalty, so as a word-man I find these semantics foul) Pro-Life. However, despite my libertine bent (I believe all vices should be legal, as it is the bedrock of liberty promised by our little document and a key part of this human experiment called America) I feel for this argument. I am vehemently Pro-Choice, what Pro-Lifers like to call Pro-Abortion, but that is like saying someone who is all about the Second Amendment is Pro-Murder. It’s silly and falls into the category of stupid, and since we are smack in the middle of the Age of Stupid it is important to explain why I support the Roe v. Wade decision and why it is important to the foundation of our liberty and is the correct and sound decision by the Court and what many in the country (a majority of which support Roe v Wade – roughly six out of ten) believe.

Roe v. Wade is not about abortion, although it is the key result of the decision, it is about the government’s right to enter the bodies of tax paying citizens and control the results. God forbid you’re a victim of rape, you then have to carry the child of your rapist? What if your life is in danger, you roll the dice? This is the problem with asking, “What about the rights of the fetus?” That is not a thing, a fetus does not have rights. You know who does have rights? The woman carrying the fetus.

Forget abortion. What if the government decides that the pancreas is negatively affecting the national health? It can then, with no Roe v Wade president, order a national removal of the pancreas. This is not science fiction, it can happen. What if the government decides that there are too many people on this continent? National crisis! You know how many liberties we’ve surrendered because of those two words? The food supplies are low, like in China back when they instituted its draconian law of one child per family, which resulted in forced abortions and the murder of thousands of female babies because, shit we need a boy to keep the family name going. The government will then have the right to make a law that forces people to have only one child and that through the eradication of Roe v. Wade ironically gives it the right to command forced abortions. Again, it is possible, because Roe v. Wade is not about abortion, it is about the government controlling the human body.

Nobody, no matter what political stance you support, thinks this is a good idea. I have found no one who thinks the government should control your liver, brain, heart, stomach, so why the uterus?

This is what happens when you allow people to use the Bible to control our laws. My favorite is the Ten Commandments, which states that merely coveting things is a sin, thus illegal (religious crazy people’s interpretation). It is not the basis of law. It is religion, and it should be separated from the state as the founders intended. The law should protect the citizen, whose rights are provided by the Constitution, not a religious document. This is why there is no slavery or women vote, because some enterprising soul chucked the Bible nonsense and went with citizen rights. Roe v. Wade protects citizen rights. Period. I am for that, not abortions or the rest of it. Rights. Citizens.

Ignorance of what was behind the Roe v Wade decision is what should disturb clear-thinking Americans who cherish liberty. But ignorance is kind of in now, and this is why so many Evangelicals continue to support easily the most immoral fucker we’ve elected president since the Civil War.

But this space is about fighting ignorance, so there’s that.

Citizen.

Rights.

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THE KIM JONG-UN SHOW

Aquarian Weekly
6/20/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE KIM JONG-UN SHOW
When Two Ego-Mad Lunatics Masturbate on Official Documents & a U.S. President Praises a Murderous Thug

One thing I’ll say for Donald J. Trump as president, he really does outdo his idiocy on historical levels.

For the first time in over a half century a North Korean leader meets with a U.S president and it is one of the most flaccid, useless, innocuous occurrences in the grandest tradition of phot-op, international politics. Nothing was officially decided, as two tyrannical goofballs whose relationship with anything resembling truth is a kind of rhetorical hide-and-seek anyway, told each other a bunch of stuff and then signed a paper saying they told each other a bunch of stuff.

Nothing is binding. Nothing is permanent or specific. No one has to do anything said or signed. There are no consequences or concessions ratified by either of these men’s governments. Either of them, who have made reneging on deals a religious art form, can walk away from this right now as I write this. Of course those who worship these dinks celebrate and those who despise them complain, while people paying attention to detail wonder what the fuck just transpired.

Enter Reality Check.

First off, I support any weirdly constructed attempt to stop human annihilation. This is why I supported the new way in which the Barack Obama administration dealt with Iran in their nuclear deal, which had way more teeth than this farce and was mocked openly and then trashed by the same guy who signed on with one of the worst murdering, human rights monsters on the planet. Shit, even those who mock Neville Chamberlain’s Munich capitulation to Adolf Hitler in 1938 understand he did it to “keep the peace”, which was all the rave in discussing what went down when Kim Jong-un met with Trump in Singapore this past week. “Stopping the war games” as our game show president couched it, mirroring in many ways major “agreements” with this family dynasty over the past three administrations that started out with lots of promises and “good will” and ended up with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and a crazy man threatening the U.S.

I should say at this juncture it is merely an opening salvo, but nonetheless a one-sided one. Jong-un was the winner here – not North Korea or South Korea or America or the Asia as a whole. He is still very much the same Jong-un, a maniac who slaughters and jails his people and murders Americans and members of his own family and children etc, and is still sitting on tons of weaponry, of which he expressed only the desire to end all of that with, again, no specifics or dates/deadlines or agreeing to inspectors or really any concessions beyond, “Sure, let’s give this a try”, which rings as hollow as whatever Hitler told Chamberlain to continue to carve up Europe.

What has changed is Jung-un’s perception in the West and in China, which is what he wanted. Sitting next to the leader of the free world and historically shaking his hand is a bigger deal for an ostracized tyrant, who is deep in sanctions and surrounded by enemies within and without, than it is for an American president, who has nothing to gain by sitting with this loon beyond a hollow political “win” and the low-bar prospect that he is so insane that the two of these men mere months ago were dick-fighting with millions of lives at stake.

So what we’re celebrating, if that is what is happening, is that there wasn’t the egotistical massacre of innocents by two rich kids who woke up on third and think they hit a triple or as the New Republic nailed it: “Nepotism Solidarity” telling each other whatever they wanted to hear to claim victory.

It is also important, though, to point out that while being constantly compared to Hitler, Bush II and Obama and now Trump are not, but you know who is a good one for this name-calling? Kim Jong-un. And if in 1938 American flags were touching up against Swastika flags like what happened in Singapore last week, probably 80 to 85 percent of Americans would not have minded, as many in this country hardly blinked. In fact, that was about the percentage of Americans interested in getting involved in “Hitler’s war” in the summer of 1941 until that December when the Japanese re-introduced us to world politics. But all of that is in our review mirror and to see that pomp paraded before the world cameras made me a tad queasy, but what was truly sickening was the outpouring of ass-kissing our president bestowed on this North Korean Hitler that is hard for even me to comprehend.

Nothing was officially decided, as two tyrannical goofballs … told each other a bunch of stuff and then signed a paper saying they told each other a bunch of stuff.

Despite working for peace or during war time – cold or otherwise – never did FDR publicly condone personally or ideologically Stalin nor did Reagan of Gorbachev, and neither did Obama when dealing with Iranian leaders. This was queer, eerie and painful stuff when considering Trump never had to go this far. Why would he say these things? And repeat them over and over on American television. It is pure madness.

For a fun exercise let’s put up Jung-un’s crimes next to Trump’s praise of him.

Come on, it’s hilariously horrifying:

Millions of North Koreans have died from forced starvations to keep people in line with the draconian 300-page Commission of Inquiry that “operates an all-encompassing indoctrination machine that takes root from childhood to propagate an official personality cult and to manufacture absolute obedience” to Mr. Kim.

Trump to Seann Hannity on June 12: “He’s got a very good personality, he’s funny, and he’s very, very smart. He’s a great negotiator, and he’s a very strategic kind of a guy. We got along very well from the very beginning. I think we understand each other.”

Since Mr. Kim assumed power in 2011, taking over from his father, Kim Jong-il, he has consolidated his power through executions. In the first six years as leader, he has ordered the executions of at least 340 people, according to the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank arm of the National Intelligence Service. In 2016, Kim Yong-jin, the deputy premier for education, was killed in front of a firing squad after showing “disrespectful posture” in a meeting. Hyon Yong-chol, a general over the armed forces, fell asleep in a meeting. He was executed with an antiaircraft gun.

Trump to Brett Baier on June 13: “He’s a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have – if you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one in 10,000 could do that.”

Up to 120,000 inmates were in the country’s four major political prisons in 2014 and were subjected to gruesome conditions, according to the United Nations report. Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. Reproductive rights are denied through forced abortions and infanticide. Some are executed — sometimes in public. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have died in the camps over the past 50 years, the United Nations report found.

Trump to ABC News on June 12: “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people have done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”

Rape and other forms of torture, beatings and brutal interrogations are common for people whose alleged crimes might have been nothing more than falling asleep at a political event or playing foreign music. Mothers were in some cases reportedly forced to watch the infanticide of their newborn infants.

Trump to Fox and Friends, June 15: “Hey, he is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

Um…what?

And on and on it goes…still. It is quite exhausting how this man goes out of his way to put Kim Jung-un on a pedestal.

Why?

For apparently nothing, or close to nothing or…to find the low-bar…keep an Asia peninsula from annihilation.

This is now the foreign policy of the United States of America.

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THE LOST CHILDREN OF AMERICA

Aquarian Weekly
6/13/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE LOST CHILDREN OF AMERICA
U.S. Border Stations Overrun by Our New National Sin

It is June of 2018 in the United States of America. Right now 550 children have been stripped from their parents and are being detained in over-crowded border stations funded by your tax dollars. Three hundred of these children are in custody for over the 72-hour period allowed by law. They are being held against their will away from their family. Held in a de facto concentration camp. This is happening now. June, 2018. Here in the United States. Children. Detention Camps.

These are children of refugees seeking asylum. They have not been convicted of any crime – they have just been charged, and most have the valid defense that they are legitimately fleeing persecution. Seeking asylum at our borders is a legal right protected under U.S. law.

But law is a tricky thing for this present administration.

Who is good with this?

The United States federal government has demanded by writ of a “no tolerance” policy – another haphazardly thrown together tyrannical baby-tantrum by our game show president, echoed by his damaged and bleating troll of an attorney general and enacted by the puppets of this jack-booted regime. In a horrifying scene reminiscent of the mass exodus of Native Americans from their land during the 1830 Indian Removal Act signed by the monster on our twenty-dollar bill (Donald Trump’s hero), President Andrew Jackson, the Customs and Border Protection agents have been running out of space to shelter the hundreds of migrant children who have been separated from their parents at the United States border.

I am also reminded of another of Trump’s heroes, Dwight D. Eisenhower and his Operation Wetback, a truly ignominious slice of Americana enacted on Mexican Americans in 1954, which stunningly the current president of the United States heralded during several Republican debates. Or how about Franklin Roosevelt’s Japanese relocation camps?

Shall we go on?

Refugee children being ripped from parents and detained with our money. You are paying for this. Let it sink in.

Regardless of how you fall on this politically or ideologically or even (gulp!) morally, this is not how this whole concept of America is supposed to go, even when duly considering its ugly, petty, racist, violent past. This is 2018 and it is disgusting, embarrassing and pathetic.

This, I guess, is what all the hoopla surrounding the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison camp was about for the past seventeen years. My take has always been that once you practice in terrorism you then hand in your society ticket. But what exactly did these children do but be born?

Fun Fact: The idiots who support this are the same ones who cannot stop telling women what to do with their bodies to save “unborn children”, while these already fully-formed children apparently don’t count.

Even the original plan for housing the children; keeping them in custody at U.S. border stations, and eventually military bases or detention facilities away from their parents, is so patently abhorrent it is hard to believe we can muster the anger to be pissed about some weird, self-absorbed hissy fit this child president conjured this week to keep professional black athletes from the White House for having the audacity to protest the systemic murder of innocents. This nonsense was all the rage this week, and more stuff about how whatever is left of Rudy Giuliani’s sanity, drowning out children being detained away from their parents at the border on our dime.

This has become Mr. Trump’s Iraq. Now we have, instead of U.S. Marines acting as traffic cops and relocation directors, Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement officers acting as babysitters. They are neither trained nor equipped for caring for in many cases mere toddlers. That’s correct, I’m writing this right now; toddlers are alone, being cared for by strangers with no experience in this.

All of this might not be the sexiest news, but it will soon be history. This generation will have to remember this and it will be another sad chapter in our long putrid story of lunatics besmirching the very flag and institutions this joke president and his cabal spend all their hot air defending.

It is during these times when Twain’s “we get the leaders we deserve” axiom comes home for me. This is our country now. This is where we have sunk. Refugee children being ripped from parents and detained with our money. You are paying for this. Let it sink in. You work, they take part of your earnings, and then enact this egregious shit. You and me, we own this. It is ours.

Does this feel right to you?

The actions of this banana republic, this soulless, mean-spirited machine is our current legacy. I ask, and the answer may be yes, and for that, I cannot argue; but is any of this acceptable to you?

Children.

Detainment camps.

June of 2018 in the United States of America.

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THE UNITED TRUMP OF TRUMP

Aquarian Weekly
6/6/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE UNITED TRUMP OF TRUMP
All of a Sudden We’re Citizens of Trump Enterprises

Not sure if you’ve noticed but the current president of the United States has been using his post as a personal vendetta machine. He has also begun very haphazardly to drag the country into a mid-80s Trump business model known to insiders as the “Atlantic City Kamikaze”. This is when all of his fabricated bravado and complete disregard for anything resembling rationality crumbles beneath the weight of his transcendent bullshit. To those who were suckered into voting for this idiot the signs may look like a cornered animal or a man showing signs of descending into madness. Those who ignore this will see him as a champion of something or other or whatever they tell themselves to make excuses for what is turning into a car wreck of a presidency. Either way it is happening and to bear witness is a fine thing. Historians will marvel that we made it through it all. But we will. Because we are Americans. We have survived worse. Not as stupid, mind you, but worse.

Although that last sentence is getting harder to write as the days mount in the political abortion Trump is performing on this nation.

I was moved last week to point out this kamikaze routine taking the government into some half-bent form of a banana republic. The greatest example, among many, is Trump’s continued threatening of the justice department and the rule of law. Last week members of congress, most pointedly his puppet, Devin Nunez of California, who purportedly recused himself from the farcical “intelligence committee investigation” for running under the cover of night to the White House in March of last year to brief the president on evidence, met with Trump and justice department heads to mull over (get this) even more evidence.

Let me write this out clearly: Trump feels the need to use his executive power to control a national security investigation, of which he is an ongoing suspect.

What kind of goofy dictatorship does Trump think he’s running?

He presumes, as was expected, that the United States has been transformed by his magnetic personality into Trump Enterprises, and that all must flow through him. And in a way it is kind of what he told everyone he would do if we were dumb and desperate enough to put him in charge and yet people who claim to love the concept of America (whatever the hell that is, they seem to know, they’re always shouting it in cute chants and making songs about it) and still voted for him have to endure the fact that his very presence is a mockery of the whole goddamn thing.

Recently Trump bemoaned the rigors of the U.S. Constitution as a weird albatross, not unlike Manhattan zoning laws or women’s rights, a bland document that’s just getting in the way of his greatness. He believes, as he believes in the infallibility of his mentor Vladimir Putin, that the Russian form of government is superior to all these annoying parameters he’s forced to endure. Putin gets to do what he wants, why can’t he?

This is why half the White House staff contradicts his tweets daily and there are meetings with foreign leaders planned, then cancelled, then planned, then changed. This is why half the state department is missing. This is why he continues to feel no heat over bitching that his attorney general should have “protected him” and the director of the FBI should have taken a “loyalty oath”.

We are Americans. We have survived worse. Not as stupid, mind you, but worse.

In a way, Trump is turning into King George III. He has not lost his nut, he is merely expressing his need to rule completely and fuck-all about anything else. And I love when he holds his Nuremberg-esque rallies and stands there with his jaw out with a grimace and asks the great unwashed if he is right about all this and they cheer like bleating goats.

Those who defend Trump’s bull-in-China-shop machinations believe his actions against the highest law offices in the land and his own justice department are somehow justified because he keeps calling the massive investigation he himself launched due to his “What me worry?” kamikaze stylings a “witch hunt”, even though he fired the man investigating him and then went on NBC to tell everyone it was because of the Russia investigation – something he now predictably and laughably denies. This, not some left-wing cabal, is what led to a special counsel. Just like the FBI telling Trump and his campaign staff in August, 2016 that the Russians were interacting with ancillary figures around his campaign, which led to a planted informant that Trump now calls “Spygate”, because some half-witted rodeo clown on FOX News made it up to sell Emergency Alert Bracelets to its elderly viewers.

But how do they explain his plans on pardoning “obstruction of justice” clarions like Rod Blagojevich and Martha Stewart, because his sacked FBI Director James Comey, who just wrote a book making Trump look like a foul-mouthed fascist paranoiac, put them in jail?

How do they explain his imbecilic war on Amazon, and more specifically its founder and chairman, Jeff Bezos?

Bezos is everything Trump is not. A truly successful business mogul. He has foresight and can communicate ideas above a fifth-grade level. His anger is in check. He does not brag about abusing women or agreeing with Howard Stern that his daughter is “a piece of ass”. He has never been sued and paid out millions for fraud and has not endured several bankruptcies. His baby, Amazon, is arguably the greatest single economic shape-shifter since the cotton gin. It is not the ashes of the USFL, another Trump kamikaze move, or whatever the fuck Trump University was. So Trump hates him. He also hates that he owns the Washington Post, which has does its finest work in four decades using eager White House sources and incredible investigative journalism to uncover the criminal charade Trumps’ cronies are perpetuating on this republic.

Trump bellows hard and loud about Amazon ripping Americans off through the U.S. Post Office, when in reality it is enterprises like Amazon that keep the USPS off life support.

Take Trump’s “Mexico pays for the wall” nonsense that was as silly as those who believed it and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto laughing in his face and extrapolate that out to this completely moronic and dangerous trade war no one with any idea how economics works thinks is remotely a good idea.

Trump doesn’t “like” the WTO, so he ignores it. Trump doesn’t like the Iran Nuclear Deal because it was Barack Obama’s idea, so even though he shows a spectacular inability to understand a scintilla of it, he bags it.

There are too many of these Trump vendettas to cover in a mere one-thousand or so words. Every day there is some bizarre shit our president thinks is owed to him on our account. He is his own granny state of wining, foot-stomping immaturity. And damn if we didn’t give this game show host the keys to the kingdom.

America is just another piece of gaudy property Trump is turning into a sinking Atlantic City casino boondoggle.

God bless that.

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THE FIGHT TO LEGALIZE WEED IN NJ CONTINUES

Aquarian Weekly
5/30/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE FIGHT TO LEGALIZE WEED IN NJ CONTINUES

There’s no reason to believe we can’t get there. This is not a rolling-off-the-log one, though. This is not one you get overnight. This takes time. We’re in that process right now.
– NJ Governor Phil Murphy, NJ 2019 Budget Address, May 8, 2018

Unlike the clown boy we have in the White House who is doing his illegal best to turn this damaged nation into a full-blown banana republic, we here in NJ hold our officials to a higher standard. Actually, we don’t. This place is a cesspool and has been for decades. The last guy here, you know, Chris Christie, was so spectacularly corrupt his record-low polling became legend. It led to the successful run by uber-progressive, Phil Murphy. As stated by Mr. Murphy throughout his campaign, the linchpin/cornerstone/foundation of his economic agenda and outlook for the Garden State leaned heavily on the rightful legalization of marijuana for sale, growth, and industry. The American way. Private sector growth and ingenuity free from government intercedence (especially this draconian federal government – that’s right Jeff Sessions, we mean you).

In other words: Don’t Tread on Us!

And while it is true that Murphy surfed into office on an anti-Trump wave last November, a wave growing by the month, the results of which will be evident this fall or not – we’ll see – there was no doubt his forward-thinking and fresh take on this issue was key to the resurgence of this state. It certainly was key to this space’s rousing endorsement of Mr. Murphy. This came, of course, with a caveat: Murphy had to get on this. Has it happened yet? Nope.

As I write this, Murphy’s party has total dominance in the state legislature, a body that had already drafted a bill to legalize marijuana when Christie was still limping around Trenton trying to avoid tomatoes being thrown at him by wandering urchins, which was duly supported by our new governor, who, once again, stomped to victory.

But it has been over the requisite 100 days – a mark that is common for government executives – of this administration and we have seen nothing but muckraking, filibustering, the usual religious, voodoo science and morality cries against legalization. This is the kind of cheap political nonsense that kept slavery alive for well over a century, massacred, then “relocated” native Americans, kept women from voting for 140 years, battled against civil rights, marriage equality, and on and on. It should be beyond our scope in the 21st century. This is not Alabama or anywhere near the god-forsaken South. This is New Jersey. Enough of this shit. Let’s get down to brass tacks and stop acting like it’s 1888, despite the old-fart, stuck in the 19th century national administration run by a guy who should be on a porch screaming at kids to get off his lawn.

Prohibition never works. Never will.

Based on several April polls conducted by NJ.com, half the citizens of our weird state are in favor of legalizing weed. And these are people over 45. People under that and especially people under 40 – in other words the future of this country, not fossils like this bleating troll of an attorney general, Jefferson Sessions, who is so goddamn out of it he still thinks Reefer Madness is a documentary and considers “high-tea” a code for shooting up, support this measure. Also, six out of ten NJ residents believe (and they are very correct) that bringing a new industry into the state will not only help with infrastructure (have you seen some of these byways around here?) and assist in funding schools and valued civil servants like firemen and police, etc.

And this is a majority. Murphy won with 55 percent of the vote. The current president of the U.S. didn’t get 50 percent of the electorate and he was duly slaughtered in the raw democratic vote by a woman who was generally despised. We have a true executive here. Not some also-ran pulled in by frightened steel worker union types. This is what democracy has wrought. Murphy has a mandate. Let’s get to it.

A few months back, I published a list of your representatives and their phone numbers for those like-minded free-thinkers and true free-market champions to pepper them with reason. That time has passed. It is time to begin to berate and cajole. We pay their salaries and it is time they begin to understand this, and to also understand one key element of what has changed around here in the past month.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court correctly lifted an imbecilic ban on sport book in this country – another in a long line of ridiculous Judeo-Christian edicts on “sin” versus “law”, as if nine-tenths of nearly everything humans do for money or sport is not a sin. Sin is how you make a buck and keep the trains rolling, move merchandise and get along. Again, if we were to base everything on morality we would have no business in this country, or really a country. Come on. Gambling, like recreational drugs – booze, coffee, etc –and even killing machines like guns – is big business. Where is the morality there? It is not there. So shove it.

What was the highest court in the land’s argument for legalizing the betting on sporting events nationwide? It’s kind of crazy to allow one state the right to supply something to its citizenry and another a different set of criteria, or as Justice Samuel Alito reasoned:
“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

The key word there is “regulate”. Now apparently those who oppose the legalization are also the same ones who are anti-regulation. The EPA currently is a gutted joke run by a corrupt psychopath who believes the entire operation has less to do with the government preventing dangerous attacks on our environment and the general health than it is to get him swanky hotel rooms and free jet rides. So don’t give me any of your regulatory nonsense. Congress shall make no laws infringing upon our freedom. State rights! All that shit. Whatever hook you want to hang your tired ideology on it is time to couple the plant with the wager. There is no difference. Get off your high (pun intended) horse and dig on the reality of this.

I am not sure I can write anything more on the details of this. It is all out there. Some of our legislators have reportedly checked out the industry of what has turned Colorado’s economy around and they are starting to waver, because money makes the world go ‘round and because marijuana is less harmful to the human body and mind than alcohol, so it is time to stop pretending we’re God, or whatever, and begin to see clearly the path that is open to us. Let the Volstead Act, a crazy attempt at morally adjudicating our behavior, be your guide. Prohibition never works. Never will. Like supply-side economics and leech bloodletting.

This is the last time I shall persuade Mr. Murphy to come through with his campaign promise. This ain’t no mythical wall some real estate game show host made up because daddy didn’t love him. This is sound policy and I expect the governor to find a way to make it happen. The next words that come from here will be filled with vitriol and rage and the excuses will not be tolerated, nor should they by you.

Get to work.

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IT’S UNCLE RUDY TIME…IT’S UNCLE RUDY TIME!

Aquarian Weekly
5/2/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

IT’S UNCLE RUDY TIME…IT’S UNCLE RUDY TIME!
(Sung to The Tune of the “Howdy Doody” Theme)

As I have written dozens of times in this space over the span of these 20 years, Rudolf William Louis Giuliani is by far the best politician of my lifetime, certainly in the time I have covered politics. He said if he were elected mayor he would clean up the cesspool of violence, crime and degradation that was New York City, bring back businesses and all that. He was elected in 1993 and he did. I was there the night he defeated David Dinkins; crammed into the New York Hilton on Sixth Avenue across from the Ziegfeld Theater around two in the morning, the returns rolling in slowly, and then it was over. Giuliani, looking haggard but defiant with his 50.7 percent of the vote, said the usual shit about law and order, as those of us in press row laughed. Oh, how we laughed. Clean up New York City?

Back then Donald Trump was a whore real estate junkie, and also a Democrat. His only stumble into politics was his full page Daily News ad calling for the hanging of the Central Park Five, all of whom were eventually found not guilty for raping a woman in 1989. It seemed like a pathetically transparent grandstand by another vacuous celebrity who knew nothing about the facts but needed to “weigh in”, a kneejerk reaction that he thought would play well as the tough guy to whatever suckers he was trying to roll somewhere on the island of Manhattan. In other words, Classic Donald Trump.

Back then Giuliani was the voice of the law in the most powerful legal team in the nexus of American street justice in the Southern District of New York, busting Wall St. fraud and mobsters. He was fond of referring to The Donald, as we called him back then, as a “two-bit hustler” around the main office building downtown. He said it more than once to one of his rising stars, James Comey, because Uncle Rudy (as I started dubbing him eventually) had no use for Donald Trump and lord knows any officer of the law busting money men for fraud was no ally of Trump’s.

But in 2016, there was no one more vociferous cheerleader for Donald Trump’s campaign for president than Rudy Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, America’s Mayor and a FOX News regular. No one could figure it out. Everyone in the know had a ton of stories of Giuliani openly mocking Trump as far back as when Uncle Rudy pulled out of a race against Hillary Clinton for NY Senate in 2000, when Trump dumped millions into a winning Clinton campaign. Four years later, the Clintons would be there to celebrate Trumps’ third marriage.

Even when Trump was reeling from the Access Hollywood tape a month before Election Day, Giuliani ran to any microphone he could find – one of the great quips of the 1990s around the press corps for years was “The most dangerous place in New York is between Rudy Giuliani and a hot mic” – to defend the candidate. He then began showing up to Trump’s rabid rallies, firing up the crowd with demented, almost fascistic nonsense that many considered the final nails in the credibility of a man who once spent $3.6 million to gather one delegate for an ill-fated run for president in 2008.

It was, in the end, vengeance for Uncle Rudy, who despised Hillary Clinton more than he could stomach standing next to Trump, who he knew was a corrupt liberal phony, who would likely destroy the Republican Party before he would get a niff at the White House. Clinton, as Uncle Rudy recalls it, mocked his pulling out of the 2000 rumble for senate because of health reasons as some kind of wimpy slink away. He did not forget it and he went hard after her, accusing her of every known crime since the dawn of civilization.

And then Giuliani did something quite interesting. He went on FOX News and started telling everyone that he had it cold from deep sources inside the FBI that the Hillary email stuff was not over. “Big news,” he grinned like the Cheshire Cat a day or so before his old buddy, James Comey re-opened the investigation publicly and to this day is cited (wrongly, mind you) in the half-assed liberal excuse-mill as the beginning of the end for Hillary Clinton. However, it was another appearance on the goofy “news’ channel that eventually alerted the FBI that something funky was going on within the Trump campaign and Wikileaks and the Russian government when Giuliani again promised more bad news for his enemy. He knew, he said, that the Russians had Clinton emails and soon they will be released.

What he has to do now may be tougher; keep himself and the president of the United States out of deep shit.

Trump, for his part, went on television that night and begged the Russian government to steal more Clinton emails. This, and not the alleged dossier and all the other Trump excuse-mill crap, was what put the tail on Trump that consequently led to Comey’s firing, the recusal of the Attorney General on the Russia case and the appointment of the special counsel.

James Comey, you may have heard, has laid this entire timeline out in his new book that doesn’t need any further publicity – if I see Comey’s mug on my TV again I may throw up. Suffice to say, within days of the Comey run on all-things media, Giuliani decided to “get involved”. He is now part of the crumbling, bumbling, completely ineffectual Trump Legal Team that has been unable to control its client. And there really isn’t any reason to ask why.

Before the Comey book release, Trump’s private lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has been his “fixer” for decades, was raided and picked up by the FBI with, allegedly reams of material that no one with half a brain doesn’t think is loaded with criminal activity, suddenly tossing a critical part of this investigation into the Southern District of New York, Uncle Rudy’s old stomping grounds.

Giuliani, a man who lived on the edge of the organized crime and Wall St. cartels knows when someone is about to cough it up. And it will not go down with his name attached to it. Because that is exactly what is transpiring, and all that talk about how supportive America’s Mayor was in 2016 is about to go out the window. Hillary Clinton is in the rearview mirror and the only thing keeping Giuliani out of this investigation is his contacts and his moxie, which he will use with every last breath.

And then, with Shakespearean type tragedy, Donald Trump put in a call to his favorite FOX morning show and went on a non sequitur rant to beat all of them for 30 uninterrupted minutes of what can only be described as abject lunacy, no less than eight times implicating himself in several open cases and contradicting Cohen’s lawyers’ plea to keep the cache of documents and emails that may implicate the president in dozens of crimes out of the government’s hands.

Rudy Giuliani is a quarter century older than he was that early morning in 1993 when he set forth to become what I still believe is one of the most impressive jobs in the history of governance. But what he has to do now may be tougher; keep himself and the president of the United States out of deep shit.

Good luck.

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EXIT STAGE RYAN

Aquarian Weekly
4/18/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

EXIT STAGE RYAN

I was waiting in the modest airport in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with my family finishing up a wonderful new book on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and peeling pieces of my burnt skin from my wrist when I saw Paul Ryan appear on CNN and say, after weeks of vehemently denying credible news reports, that he is no longer seeking re-election for the United States Congress. He’s handing in his speakership. For all intents and purposes, with the heat rising to dangerous levels in and around his party and its president, he is getting the fuck out of Dodge.

With the entire federal government in his party’s hands, the third most powerful figure in the United States government is quitting. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has seen the writing on the wall and it is not good. Internal Republican polling strongly indicates there is a political Blue Tsunami coming in six months and he wants no part of it.

Like athletes who take the millions to play in a new city and then have the balls to tell you it’s because of their family, Ryan is wheeling out the usual tropes. Anti-Trump Republicans and conservative columnists and the predictable wave of liberal analysis have wrongly interpreted this slipping out the back door as a clear sign of Ryan’s exhaustion of working for and a general disgust in the behavior of our game show president. That, of course, is utter nonsense. There are more pictures of Paul Ryan smiling while standing or sitting or signing bills with Donald Trump aka David Dennison (Warning: That ain’t ever getting old around here) than there is of Melania Trump, who looks in every White House photo op like she’s been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

You see, when it suited his agenda (and I am seriously not sure what the hell that is anymore), Ryan ate Donald Trump’s shit, carried his water and spent more press conferences playfully dodging questions about his angry, off-the-hinge tweets. Even when he was uncomfortable with the president of the United States providing cover for marauding Nazi marchers, one of which murdered a protester with his car, there was something of an embrace of Trump.

Ryan told CNN their “differences” were merely “style” and geographic origins, that only lunatics are from New York City and not sweet, homey, down-to-earth Wisconsin, where paying porn stars to sleep with you and then shut-up and personal lawyers being raided by the FBI is unfamiliar cosmopolitan shenanigans. He was apparently the one person who missed the Netflix Making of a Murderer series, which makes his home state appear as some backwater third-world desert of kill-crazed hicks, corrupt police and a government asleep at the wheel.

What Ryan is most of all is a quitter and he is running from this rat-infested sinking vessel as fast as you can imagine

Despite his purported Ayn Randian roots, his long-rumored ideological fiscally conservative bent and the rest of what he tells girls and Wall Street hucksters at DC cocktail parties, Ryan sold his soul to Trumpism, with its empty promises, bloated deficits, and anti-trade, barely coherent nationalistic claptrap. Ryan is just another hack like Gerald Ford, who wanted everyone on his golf outings to think he wasn’t ruined by the pardoning of Nixon and some far-fetched palaver about “healing the nation” when he took one for the party and then went out and lost the presidency to a peanut farmer.

What Ryan is most of all is a quitter and he is running from this rat-infested sinking vessel as fast as you can imagine, despite there being zero chance, even in a year where most Republicans would be lucky to not be tarred and feathered in town squares, to be re-elected. According to the numbers’ geeks over at Five Thirty-Eight, Wisconsin’s 1st district, or what Ryan has been representing now since 2011, is 11.3 percentage points more Republican than the nation as a whole. Even in the current and climbing seven-to-ten-point Democratic advantage nationally, Ryan, with nearly $10 million in his coffers, would retain his seat, with the ignominious chore of handing the gavel back over to Nancy Pelosi, if she survives a fervent progressive insurrection, of course. But Ryan has endured worse. He ran on the doomed Mitt Romney ticket and once even tried to fake like he didn’t want to endorse Trump over moral reasons, which he soon found out was not his thing. Fuck morals. We got tax cuts to get to.

And all of that is fine. I expect politicians to smear their rhetoric with hard-ons for morality and then trolling for teenage interns or turn the EPA into a private resort for friends and family, but Ryan wants you to think otherwise. He plays the whole this-and-that game as well as any of them. And this way leads to the exit, before he is fully blamed for kowtowing to and enabling what appears to be on a daily basis some kind of ridiculous parody of a frat house administration being run by a sloppy con artist and a bunch of people profiting off the idea of governance.

Thirty-eight House Republicans, including Ryan, have decided to not run for re-election this year, and twenty-five of them are through with the whole concept of politics as a viable vocation for people who thought Jesus had something to do with the founding of this nation built on free labor and land grabs. That is the greatest mass exodus in civic duty since World War II, according to the Brookings Institution. That is 75 years of politicians sucking it up against all odds being bested by a year in which just saying you belong to this party is as if you are pleased to be taking a dump on all that is decent and upstanding in the national fabric.

Paul Ryan thinks by quitting he gets to escape all that. And sure, I guess, he does. Pretty soon his corporate benefactors, whom he handed the candy store with that monstrous “tax reform” boondoggle last year, will pay him Clinton money to laugh about how silly this Trump idiot is, followed by a Comey-styled, “Can you believe Trump said this about that?” book.

Next!

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I’M OFFICIALLY BORED OF CRAZY TRUMP

Aquarian Weekly

4/11/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

I’M OFFICIALLY BORED OF CRAZY TRUMP

Donald Trump, aka El Douche, aka David Dennison aka Twitter Boy, our game show president, needs new material.

I was frankly psyched for this run since it purported to be rife with intrigue, goofiness, abject megalomania and off-the-charts WTF. For columnists with a penchant to choose anarchy over actual governance and for someone whose love for this country expands only about six feet outside my door, a Trump presidency was supposed to be entertaining. And although for a while it was, it appears now to have a shelf life.

I believe this whole Trump thing has jumped the shark.

Crazy tweets about celebrities and half-baked conspiracy theories and campaign rallies and hookers and Russians and knee-jerk racist rants and random firings of lunatics from every angle in jobs they have no business having and fucking up all over the joint was amusing for a while, but save for this idiot yanking his pants down at the U.N. or flailing his cock at a festival audience ala his mentor, the ghost of Jim Morrison, this has become tiresome.

This whole thing has devolved into Trump’s old NYC 1980s routine of calling up Page Six of the NY Post and telling the staff who he’s sleeping with to close a deal on a swamp in Jersey. It is One Trick Pony land. He’s got one bit, it is stale, and it needs to change.

Hell, I honestly don’t know what to write anymore about this buffoon. Over sixty major contributors to the administration have either left in ignominious shame, quit under extreme pressure or were sacked on Twitter. Some of them have either publicly or privately mocked him as a child wracked with ADD with the inability to concentrate on anything other than what people say about him. A dozen or more of the campaign to elect El Douche are either under investigation or indicted, arrested or turning state’s evidence for something to do with colluding with Russia. There are what, now, 20 to 30 women either accusing this pig of sexual harassment or assault and still others, one most infamously, revealing massive pay-offs to keep affairs quiet. There is a trade war with China to save 300 steel jobs for another 16 months, which is turning the stock market into a cartoonish rollercoaster, hundreds of thousands of children are being turned from citizens into criminals as he and congress dither over DACA, and most recently in a fit of stroke or a doped-up rage he appointed John Bolton, an onerously psychopathic TV personality with a hard-on for invading 16 different countries, his third (Third!) national security advisor.

Fun fact: Bolton found out about the gig while on Fox News ranting about invading North Korea.

Hell, Trump’s lawyer had to get a lawyer.

But this ain’t cutting it for me.

In order to get me going here, he has to be waaaaay crazier.

Let’s face it kids, the funny has gone out of this thing. It is a TV show that needs to be cancelled, but it won’t.

And even if it did (Trump’s most brilliant move) we would be stuck with a man who thinks Jesus tells him what kind of shirt to wear every day and strives daily to spread the word that homosexuals are agents of Satan, while he can’t apparently be at a lunch alone with a woman for fear he might glance at her cleavage and Moses will yank him into a closet and make him look at pictures of Marylyn Manson jacking off to mutilation videos.

Mike Pence is Trump’s great equalizer, and something the Democrats should think about if they take back the House this fall, because there is enough evidence of the president committing six counts of obstruction of justice (most of it coming from either Trump’s TV appearances, speeches or twitter), to impeach him. But while Trump is like a sloppy dog that shits on your couch twice a day, Pence is a starving Rottweiler headed for your throat.

Be that as it may, Trump needs new material. Yesterday, at the time of this writing, he held another in a long, tedious stream of press conferences where he claimed for the billionth time that the 2016 presidential election, an election he won by a perfect storm, was rigged and fraudulent and that millions, not forty or a couple of hundred, millions of people voted illegally. This is so December, 2016. In fact, Trump himself – he probably forgot, what is he 75?, disbanded a special team to investigate voter fraud after it had the audacity to tell him the truth; he’s nuts, there is no voter fraud, and that he actually won the election and that maybe this whole paranoia is a sign of deeper issues, because, um, he is already the leader of the free world, so what the fuck is wrong with him?

In the same off-the-cuff riffing, as if some kind of blandly presented homage to the corpse of Robin Williams (he literally showed the speech prepared for him and flipped it away like it was a 1971 Johnny Carson appearance – I have seen about two dozen people do that in cheap comedy clubs, come on) he wheeled out the same exhausted, “Mexicans are the worst” shit, blathering something about “more rapes than ever”. I am not sure what this creep’s fascination is with rape except that he has been accused of just about everything egregious you can do to a woman, including marrying them, (rim shot!), so maybe this is his next move.

Soon after this standard, almost word-for-word greatest-hits of the kind of submental Citizen Trump performance he has cranked out a thousand times since late 2015, he gets on Air Force One and claims that the $130,000 paid to a porn star to shut-up had nothing to do with him, despite it being faxed and signed on Trump Administration paperwork, negotiated by his personal lawyer, and paid to a woman who went on 60 Minutes and said she got it for enduring what sounded like reluctantly mechanical sex with a fat old man.

Ugh, man that was a waste of our time. This Stormy Daniels may be more desperate for attention and even stupider than Trump; a spectacular feat in itself.

All I am saying is if this show is going to run for another two and a half years, it has to step it up. He is all talk, no action, except for perpetuating the rote Republican stuff that has failed miserably for years. He needs to take this mania to another level. We need better crazy, because this crazy is repeating itself.

I think it’s time he brings in pros to advise him; Charlie Sheen or Bill O’Reilly or Iggy Pop, real loons, who know how to change it up to keep the ratings going. I mean, this might fly for Johnny Lunch Pail and Mom & Pop Idaho, but this is the big stage. I don’t expect him to rise to the level of Andrew Jackson, but at least spice it up, get beyond the tweets and the Mexicans nonsense.

Trump has become an over-used catch phrase, a bubble gum pop song you can’t get out of your head.

If he is going to suck this badly at being president, he has to be more hilarious and outrageous.

This crap might get the liberals over at MSNBC lathered, but radicals need this moron to kick into a higher register and fast.

Let’s go Dennison, make with the pants-dropping.

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THE HALF-ASSED STEEL TARIFF

Aquarian Weekly
3/14/18

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE HALF-ASSED STEEL TARIFF

Man, I was all prepared to crank out another two-way column that would upset everyone who loves and hates the president simultaneously, but after that noodle proclamation or whatever that was David Dennison aka Donald Trump signed into whatever it is he signed it into I’ve got nothing.

What I was going to write is that it should come as no surprise to anyone that Dennison aka Trump has been saying since, I don’t know, the late 1990s that he despises trade deficits and believes the U.S. is getting ripped off. He is partially right about this, which was ostensibly the foundation of Senator Bernie Sanders run, and that is why Dennison aka Trump was elected president by a thin margin of 77,000 voters in the Rust Belt in November of 2016. Beyond quasi-racism, name-calling, and fending off sexual assault and harassment claims, this was the core of his campaign. Dennison (Trump) would have been right to pay back those who put him in the White House, even if it plunged the rest of us into a possible trade war and jacked up the price of cars (steel) and beer (aluminum), among other goods. This idea, though, that just because the president is under siege from porn stars and a special counsel that he’s trying to change the narrative (while theoretically could be true) should not be deemed as the normal Trumpian aka Dennisonesque “shoot-from-the-hip” stuff. This is why is he president.

However, this week El Douche only went half-way – and some with a grasp of the facts and statistics could argue no-way – to end with any strong measure the true trade deficit for the steel and aluminum industries. By exempting Canada and Mexico from his half-assed edict, the president is barely throwing a cup of water on what he and the unions believe is a raging fire. It is symbolic, like most things Dennison (Trump) says or does. He is our most “How Does This Look?” president. He waves his hands a lot to make you think he’s pulling a rabbit out of a hat, when it isn’t really a hat and there was never actually going to be a rabbit.

To be fair, this is politics as usual, but this was supposed to not be that this time, right?

If Dennison (Trump) was to do what he boldly claimed a week earlier before the markets tumbled and nearly every member of his pro-trade/antiunion party starting to cry foul, then there could have been real teeth to this, and with it, part of the doom that I would have loved to predict here. But like Mexico paying for the border wall, branding China as currency manipulators, wiping out the ACA in his first week, revealing his tax returns, suing the 19 women accusing him of all measures of sexual improprieties, signing any DACA bill sent to his desk, outlawing bump stocks, signing the “largest tax cut in history”, growing the economy by four-percent, appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, eliminate Common Core, (fuck it, I’m exhausted, you get it) he failed to either do anything or went to the edge and pulled back.

Let’s see how Americans like paying more for stuff to save a few thousand jobs in three states.

Don’t get me wrong, what our game show president doesn’t know about trade you could barely squeeze into Yankee Stadium. He infamously blurted out recently when pressed on this idea; “Trade wars are easy to win”, despite U.S. going oh-fer in every instance, most disastrously the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff that expedited the Great Depression or the fabulous 18 months when George W. Bush tried to save the steel industry in 2002 by raising tariffs on selected steel products that tanked more jobs than were saved and plunged the very states it was to “save” into economic crisis.

I was actually looking forward to a real biting trade tariff to prove AGAIN this nonsense about U.S. jobs being mostly eliminated from trade and how if it were implemented they would suddenly return. Then in another generation some other blowhard will promise to fix it and make jobs come back and some new suckers will buy it. But alas, none of that will happen, because in order of annual percentage, here are the top ten countries importing steel into this country, all of which have been sighted by the United Steel Workers Union as “cheating” by dumping unfairly underpriced product into this country – which by the way is the case with nearly every product that enters this country or is made by manufacturers abroad to keep prices down in places nearly 80-percent of the country shops at like Walmart and Target – but that is another cogent argument in the face of hysteria for another day:

1. Canada 16.7 percent
2. Brazil 13.2 percent
3. South Korea 9.7 percent
4. Mexico 9.4 percent
5. Russia 8.1 percent
6. Turkey 5.6 percent
7. Japan 4.9 percent
8. Germany 3.7 percent
9. Taiwan 3.2 percent
10. China 2.9 percent

And this is according to Reuters. In other estimations China is farther down the list, but definitely farther down than Canada and Mexico, who have been exempt from these tariffs. And this is a good thing if you care about unwinnable trade wars and paying more for goods, but it is really just a Band-Aid on a gaping wound if you voted for David Dennison aka Donald Trump and you expected results.

Listen, I get the steel and aluminum lobby has this coming every ten years or so. Someone has to pay lip service to these voters. However, why is the president choosing winners and losers here? Why is this socialist edict of saving a few thousand jobs more important than costing thousands or more of other jobs that may and would disappear as a result of a true tariff with real teeth. And what of these other countries that are not Canada and Mexico? Do they, especially allies like Brazil, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea (who at the time of this writing is working its ass off trying to avoid a nuclear war between ego-mad sociopaths) view this as a hostile gesture borne of capitalist cronyism and retaliate in kind?

A Symbolic gesture to the voter base is as old as the concept of politics, and thank goodness someone got to this nut job before he made a sweeping 25 percent/10 percent tariff on key trade partners like Canada and Mexico, which by treaty, must not be fucked with. If Dennison aka Trump really wanted to enact his belief and if we are truly to see this fail miserably, then why half-ass it. Why not just go after the WTO as he has NAFTA?

Show some guts and do what you say, for once.

Let’s see how Americans like paying more for stuff to save a few thousand jobs in three states.

That would be worth writing about.

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