HEALTH CARE: HERE WE GO AGAIN

Aquarian Weekly
3/15/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

HEALTH CARE: HERE WE GO AGAIN
An Agitated Psalm to the Curse of Deja Vu

Somewhere in my sordid past I must have made a spate of grievous errors; terrible miscalculations in both vocation and idle interests. It is the only way to explain my obsession with politics, which started frighteningly early, before sex or drugs or even rock and roll. I have no idea what possessed me, perhaps television or the NY Post or Dick Nixon going down in flames. And then along the way, in a long stretch of misbegotten youth, I lost my mind and studied journalism, becoming focused on “covering” such things. Luckily, after several and varied odious pressers, I realized full-time journalism was the way of damnation. So I stumbled here; almost two decades ago now; all leading up to one morbid afternoon of watching the speaker of the house give a power-point presentation about some shit-addled falderal called “The American Health Care Act: Part Forty-Six – This Time Its Personal”, and thought to myself, what the fuck is the point of humanity, if it comes to this?

We have now reached the nectar of pure nihilism as an alternative to absorbing the information that comes daily from Washington DC. Even with a raving lunatic TV character in charge and the Republicans running everything in sight, we are presented with yet ANOTHER health care bill – to be bandied about with I am sure the type of hyperbolic frivolity that led to the last one, which tossed the country into the kind of cauldron that would force an Ayn Randian wonk like Paul Ryan to spend nearly forty agonizing minutes droning on about how it does this and that, and if not for its passing the streets will run red with our blood.

I am sure those who voted for Donald Trump were under the impression that somehow, beyond his entertaining nature and always bizarre ranting at all hours on the teen-scene Twitter machine, things would be radically different around here. But look, mama, they talkin’ health care laws agin!

So the party that slowly began to take over due to the outrage of one health care law is now presenting us with another, and their argument is that this steaming pile of shit is better than the other one because the other one is so horrifying it will sink the whole of the universe. Of course these same idiots told us about death camps and the sinking of the universe in 2010. The universe is still here and there is nary a death camp, although Ryan is now using his clicker to switch power-point slides revealing more details about his fucking giant government take-over of health care to replace the last fucking giant government take-over of health care.

Makes me long for Saturday morning tweets from The Donald accusing the previous president and the government he now runs of wire-tapping his fancy Fifth Avenue tower because Ed Meese’s towel boy needed radio ratings and made the whole thing up. Of course, unlike his Birther ruse, El Douche forgot he isn’t a reality TV dork any more, he’s the goddamn leader of the free world and has direct access to and power over the machine that supposedly “wiretapped” him, but instead spends seven days and counting trying to convince the great unwashed that he needs an investigation. And the great unwashed, fully accepting that his tax returns are still under double-secret probation audits and are forthcoming, are eating it up. All of this, of course, is another in a series of ham-fisted Manhattan Real Estate Style smokescreens to make us forget the White House is being run by the Kremlin.

Back to Paul Ryan, who is starting to look like that scene in Woody Allen’s Love & Death wherein he’s dancing away with the grim reaper, because, hell…why not? There is no fucking way on the Good Lord’s green earth there are enough votes in the senate for his turd and slowly the congressional “freedom caucus” that shut the government down to defund the last health care bill ain’t buying any of it; no matter how many kiss-ass dinners the president hosts for Ted Lyin’ Cruz.

But oh, wait, another one-party ramming of a bill is a-comin’, because despite no hearings on this puppy, there was a secret all-nighter within Republican committees to prepare this for a vote. Sound familiar? Switch Democrat for Republican and it’s 2010 all over again.

the party that slowly began to take over due to the outrage of one health care law is now presenting us with another, and their argument is that this steaming pile of shit is better than the other one

Still to come; the three little letters that will make everyone cringe: CBO. The Congressional Budget Office has yet to let us all know how much this boondoggle will cost, which is why supporters of this monstrosity are trying to dine-and-dash this fucker before Easter recess and the sweat begins to form on the foreheads of the weak. Meanwhile, no one on the right has the balls to just say, “Hey, guess what? Government run national health care cannot work here, because this is not Canada, it is a republic made up of states, and each one has a different mechanisms to administer this gigantic headache and this is why the last one has not worked out as planned, and if people have to die, well then, people are dying in the Middle East every day, shit we just killed over a dozen kids in Yemen two weeks ago.”

This is what Paul Ryan really thinks, but he is stuck in this hypocritical netherworld of repeating past mistakes, because the monosyllabic chief executive in the yellow hair-hat told everyone he had a fancy, beautiful, terrific gangbuster health plan where everyone is covered and its cheap and it washes your dog and gives you head and makes your car payments and tickles your grandma’s fancy and zippity-fucking-doo-da we all great again! And now he’s stuck standing in front of live cameras and pointing at a slide show telling everyone about ANOTHER HEALTH CARE BILL and we’re stuck, or check that, I’m stuck watching it.

Yeah, I made some grievous error somewhere along the line. But it ain’t nothin’ compared to whatever salt shaker this poor bastard Ryan knocked over.

May Allah have mercy on his tainted soul.

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MORE FUN WITH THE RUSSIAN THING

Aquarian Weekly
3/8/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

MORE FUN WITH THE RUSSIAN THING
Attorney General Commits Perjury In Expanding Cover-Up

“кто-то виноват”

It has now become a weekly thing for an official of this current administration to commit some kind of malfeasance and seemingly every other week for something to emerge that ties the president of the United States to Russian meddling in the 2016 American democratic process. And daily for someone in the “Alternative Facts” White House to call this avalanche of obfuscation “fake news”.

Mere hours after Donald Trump used his gratuitous address to congress to put on a dog & pony show for the masses, reports started to surface that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions had lied to the same government body in early January about speaking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign. Making things more interesting is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation – the same one that re-opened the investigation on the Democratic candidate – knew about all these shenanigans in September. And to really throw some syrup on this stack, so did the then sitting Democratic president.

Of course, the argument goes, as a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Sessions would be on the schmoozing list of any suck-up ambassador. However, none of the other 28 such members, including its Chairman, Arizona Senator John McCain or for that matter Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who was the VP of the opposing party, spoke to him. It should be noted that Sessions was a Trump supporter and an unofficial advisor to the campaign, meaning he was an untraceable liaison within the government working for a presidential candidate.

Yet, despite having two documented meetings with Kislyak; one in July (yeah, the same months when WikiLeaks released the hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee) and again in September, two months before Election Day, Sessions told congress he met no one in the Russian government. There are many names for this kind of thing, but the most accurate is perjury.

For your amusement, turns out this Kislyak’s resume reaches back to the 1980s during the Cold War and the Soviet Union, which makes this tastier since a “former” KGB Agent runs the country and for whom our president holds a school girl infatuation.

Now, to be fair, I am not in any way shape or form shocked or even dismayed an attorney general of the United States has committed high crimes. This is part of the job description, at least since the dawn of this republic. You could barely squeeze into Madison Square Garden the list of A’s G who make Sessions look like a choir boy. However, it is getting more than a little curious how many Trump supporters received sweet cabinet gigs who have a direct connection with high Russian officials during an election season that was clearly tainted by that nation’s government.

In other words, it is getting more and more difficult to believe that there was no collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government to fuck with the American Election in favor of his candidacy. This is not to say that it is a slam dunk like Weapons of Mass Destruction or anything, but there was far less evidence of an Obama Administration cover-up of the Benghazi disaster, yet the federal government conducted seven separate investigations to the tune of 6.8 million of our tax dollars on them.

It should also be noted that this space called for the 42nd president of United States to be led from Pennsylvania Avenue in shackles when he committed perjury about getting blow jobs. I would say we are in deeper waters here.

The attorney general did at least recuse himself from actually investigating this mess. Still Democrats and some Republicans are lining up to call for Sessions to step down from his post, which is stupid in both theory and practice, because as a private citizen he could hold this thing in the courts for years; one of the perks of Richard Nixon resigning when he did, thus allowing Gerald Ford to pardon him. It is best to let him defend himself from his post until he’s taken to prison.

As I write this another AP report is flashing that three weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a private dinner in Paris organized by an obscure pro-Russia group that promotes Kremlin foreign policy initiatives and has since nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yikes.

it is getting more than a little curious how many Trump supporters received sweet cabinet gigs who have a direct connection with high Russian officials…

All of this apparently wasn’t enough for the Trump Follies (this guy has only been in office for less than two months), as once again former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, sacked for Russian ties during the summer, decided to go on the Today Show and guilt-stammer for 20 consecutive seconds before saying something that sounded like sentences connecting a coherent thought on the matter. And for some reason some enterprising agent booked a very strange man named Carter Page on the Trump Trashing Network, MSNBC.

Page is clearly insane and did a wonderful job displaying this for nearly a half hour of prime time when what was once the Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor and the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a “consulting” firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business, told the host he spoke to the very same Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

My guess is these are sloppy side-surrogates stumbling around painting the president as some kind of victim of the press, the Oscars, Macy’s, Rosie O’Donnell, you name it; which gets us back to what appeared to political laymen as an utterly senseless address to congress by a president who is not asking it to declare war or presenting it with a massive roll-out of proposed legislation. But to those who have not lived in the NYC area these past four decades of Trump they are missing the bigger picture.

Rolling El Douche out there to look “presidential” and to gain favor of the Republican majority is a ploy; plain and simple. Rally the troops, so to speak, before the deluge. So was dragging into this nonsense the wife of slain Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens as a sympathy prop. The botched raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen suggested by ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and rubber-stamped by Trump, despite reservations of the former president and several commanders, for whom the president saw fit to lay the blame, made it even more imperative to present a classic Manhattan-style public relations smokescreen. It also speaks volumes on how mass deflection serves this particular president.

Remember, it was this past October beneath a torrent of bad press and general outrage over an audio clip of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, the candidate pulled a similar stunt flaunting women that Bill Clinton allegedly abused. Hence, the bigger the blowback the better chance Trump has some mud on him. This is the rule we learned in the 1980s during his very ugly public attacks on his discarded ex-wives.

Whether all this show biz and the preemptive attacks on reporters that have uncovered this chaos as enemies of the people will keep the wolves at bay is anyone’s guess. But all of this sure as hell looks like the desperate actions of someone with something to hide.

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OUT LIKE FLYNN

Aquarian Weekly
2/22/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

OUT LIKE FLYNN
Or How To Go From Inauguration to Constitutional Crisis in 25 Days

This dawning of the Trump Experiment could have gone two ways (since we eliminated “business as usual” from the get); surprisingly efficient or horribly wrong. Less than a month in it is careening towards the latter.

A bumpy start tumbled into erratic (fabricated hissy fit on non-existent massive voter fraud) and embarrassing (insulting foreign leaders, alienating Mexico), then weird (some piece of grift theater called “alternative facts” and whatever you call that press conference this week), onto combative (blaming the media for everything; “Leaks are real, news is fake”), and then, of course, the really illegal (unconstitutional executive order on immigration ban) until finally we found ourselves dealing with the treasonous. When the National Security Advisor resigns amidst an egregious international scandal worthy of some cheap spy novel before the ass groove in the main chair at the Oval Office is comfy, we’ve got problems.

For the record, I whole-heartedly agree with the president’s defense that his administration is not in chaos, we’re more into the territory of outright mayhem now.

So what happened to the ousted General Michael Flynn?

Well, for one, he allegedly did a lot of talking to a foreign diplomat before he had the gig about that country’s sanctions that the then standing president of the United States implemented due to Russian interference in the 2016 American election. And when this little nugget was leaked, he lied to the vice president and anyone within the administration, which now includes fibbing to the FBI, which opens this puppy up to a felony. All of this would be considered merely a sack-able offense if it didn’t already reek with greater intrigue.

Lest we forget that there is more evidence that the Russian government and its despotic figurehead, Vladimir Putin fucked with our election to skew the results towards the current president than anything Hillary Clinton did with her emails. In fact, the president has spent months defending every untoward thing Putin has said and done. So what looked kind of fishy and downright illegal has blown up to this headline: “Trump Worked with Putin & Russian Government to Circumvent U.S. Election as a Bloodless Coup to Power”.

And with apologies to Oliver Stone and Glenn Beck, this ain’t crazed speculation by half-assed conspiracy geeks. This, thanks to these Flynn revelations, is now highly probable. There is a now pretty good chance the current president of the United States made deals with the Russian government to partner with them in every nefarious shenanigan it plans on enacting over the next four years in exchange for a little “help” during the campaign. This coupled with Trump’s defiant refusal to divest himself of his business interests now makes him officially a puppet of the Russian government or at the very least a compromised chief executive and likely an easy victim of blackmail.

Just to make this juicer, the president has ties to a $500 billion Exxon/Russian oil deal that is scuttled by the current sanctions, and it smells even worse when considering Trump’s secretary of state is a former Exxon CEO with, you guessed it, long-standing relations with the Russian government.

To Trump’s credit, this level of high crimes usually takes a president years to cobble together. This is a man who gets things done.

Of course, this pattern of a resigning Trump confident with a direct connection to a despotic foreign government began during the campaign, as his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort was eventually booted due to first predictable denial and then under the pressure of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a reluctant acceptance of reality; a rare trait for any official in and around this circus. Shortly after the election intelligence reports reviewed by both the president-elect and his predecessor revealed without question that the Russian government’s leaks of private emails within the Democratic National Committee were directly connected to favoring a Trump presidency.

Favorite coincident of the week: The day Trump went ballistic on the White House press corps for continually pointing out his habitual lying, Putin made a public decree to squash anymore media “fawning” over the American president.

In true El Douche idiom, the president is now diverting attention away from this steaming mess by stressing that the real crime is the illegal leaks that buried his national security advisor, which, of course, is hilarious considering for the final month of his campaign he cited numerous leaked emails to prove Hillary Clinton’s guilt on a number of fronts and famously begged the Russian government to keep on hacking their way to more Clinton revelations.

To Trump’s credit, this level of high crimes usually takes a president years to cobble together. This is a man who gets things done. In less than a month he has turned whatever is left of this government into a freak-show tent worthy of the main room at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City if that hadn’t gone belly-up.

Good news for Trump on two fronts. Flynn is a decorated general. Similarly, Oliver North was an entrenched lieutenant colonel, who kept Ronald Reagan out of prison. What you don’t want here is a disgruntled lawyer on your hands, ala John Dean. They tend to sing. A lawyer gets you a helicopter out of town. A tight-lipped military goon helps you get an airport in DC named after you. Second, and far more important, is the GOP runs the entire legislative branch, which would usually be stumbling all over itself to get in on this. But rest assured, one fantastic gift the Trump Experiment keeps giving us is revealing the spectacular hypocrisy of this dysfunctional congress, which spent four years over nine useless Benghazi “investigations”, but will never touch this.

The formally big-bad, morally impregnable House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz has already stated that he won’t even pursue an investigation into General Flynn, never mind the president, who knew about this atrocity since January 23 and did nothing about it until the Washington Post got involved. In fact, as late as this past weekend some mouth-breathing shit-stain named Stephen Miller, who doubtless grabbed a cool gig at the White House on the strength of photos he was going to post on the Internet last summer of Trump peeing on a German hooker, defended anything the president did as some kind of religious experience. I half expected him to start speaking in tongues instead of whatever monosyllabic falderal he rolled out for the networks.

Either way, this will buy us more time on the Trump train, which for my money is the most entertaining ride of a life-time.

Keep it coming.

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SORRY…NO “DO-OVERS”

Aquarian Weekly
2/8/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

SORRY…NO “DO-OVERS”

The President was very clear during the campaign whether it was economic security or national security that he has an agenda that he articulated very clearly to the American people and that it is his job to lay that vision out and that the people who he appoints and nominates…their job is to fulfill that and if they don’t like it then they shouldn’t take the job.
– Press Secretary Sean Spicer, White House Press Briefing; January 23, 1017

The above quote originally addressing the sacking of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce the president’s mostly unconstitutional and highly controversial executive order temporarily barring refugees entry into the United States from seven terrorism-specific countries should be the general rule going forward. And every American must come to accept this. This goes for those with perhaps buyer’s remorse or maybe those who woke up in mid-January and realized that because they voted their conscience a crazy man is running the free world or whatever mass hysteria Donald Trump has and will ignite in this country over the next four years.

Spicer is right. The president was quite clear, in fact, loudly and passionately so, perhaps more so than any candidate before him, about what he planned on doing if he were to win the White House, which he did. And now he is going about his business. He told you he was going to be the bull in the china shop, so stop complaining.

There’s no “do-overs”, folks. Or as we used to say, “no give-backs” or “backsies”. Trump is president and it doesn’t matter what transpires from here on in beyond legal avenues, like with the Patriot and Affordable Care acts, parts of which were deemed unconstitutional or at least got their day in court. This is now temporarily the way of the U.S. of A., and it’s time to come to grips with it.

This goes for the new record Trump has achieved by being the first president to dip below 50 percent within a week of taking office since “approval ratings” were first gathered by George Gallup sometime during the Great Depression over 80 years ago. To further illustrate this dubiously spectacular achievement it took Barack Obama 936 days and George W. Bush 1,205 days to reach a majority disapproval rating. And this number ain’t going up anytime soon, it would seem.

But where do they find these people? Four months ago they could have prevented this, but over half the eligible populace failed to vote. So I assume a good portion would have likely been just as pissed at Hillary Clinton. But, then again, Trump has gone hog-wild on executive orders. He’s signed 19 in two weeks, which if extrapolated out over four years would be accumulate to a tick under two thousand by the end of his first term.

Remember when Republicans went nuts about Obama’s executive orders and called him a tyrant? And remember when Democrats defended each and every one of them? Just the opposite is happening now. I actually heard Speaker of the House Paul Ryan say the other day that everyone should take a deep breath and not over-react to Trump’s aforementioned “Muslim Ban”. Wasn’t he the guy who warned of “Death Panels” an hour after the ACA was passed?

Or course he was the same guy who, based on his principles, could not immediately endorse the candidate who would be president during the campaign. Principles? Yeah, he has principles like one and half a million people were at the inauguration and Trump was only speaking in metaphors when he said all the things he is now doing and for some reason people are having hissy fits over. Ryan is a shallow and unprincipled political hack, but he’s at least dealing with the fact that Trump is president and not some alternative-universe dreamed up by Kellyanne Conway’s hallucinogenic fever dreams.

Trump told you he was a maniac; “very clearly”.

We all understand that Trump was already the least popular president in half a century to be elected and the only one since tracking began to have as quick a disapproval rating; not to mention taking the worst beating in the popular vote for a successful campaign. We all knew this for the interminable 20 or so months this thing dragged on, and now there’s all this shock and grief?

Things we also knew: Trump is in Vladimir Putin’s back pocket, diplomacy is alien to him, he’s afraid of Steve Bannon, and he had no interest in divesting himself of any of his current business dealings; if you ask, he is under audit and cannot address it, even though this is a completely made up excuse.

According to Market Watch this morning the Wall St. crowd has now realized Trump was not fucking around about alienating our top two largest trade partners in China and Mexico by threatening penalty trade tariffs and using the force of the federal government to control the means of production by penalizing companies for building plants wherever they damn well please. In other words, socialism. In fact, this is the very definition of socialism, so if somehow Trump’s time-machine could take us back to 1988, when I dabbled in such trite and debunked political concepts, then I might be digging all this.

But as it is, I do far less drugs now and stopped living under the delusion that any government can do a damn thing about the unfair nature of life or cease progress or to make everything peachy keen for the feckless and frightened among us. You grow up, or you live in a spoiled rich-kid’s bubble and become president or sit at home clutching your lunch pail and wish for daddy to give you your factory back.

Regardless, I am not sure that after two weeks anyone could seriously render a verdict on someone they don’t already have figured out. And, again, I ask: What does it matter? Minds have already been made up. Votes have been cast. Shenanigans were afoot, and will be again in two years for the mid-terms. But none of this should be Donald Trump’s worry. He’s a busy man wondering what Meryl Streep thinks of him. Trump told you he was a maniac; “very clearly”. He is now president. He can maniac-it-up all he wants.
No “Do-Overs”.

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“ALTERNATIVE FACTS”

Aquarian Weekly
2/1/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

“ALTERNATIVE FACTS”
What The Trump Era Can Teach Us About Our National Illusions

When world-class political flack, Kellyanne Conway uttered the gorgeously provocative and spectacularly honest phrase “alternative facts” to defend some nonsense blathered by the White House press secretary at the behest of our paranoid new president on NBC’s Meet The Press, it conjured up the kind of joy in my soul that is rarely sparked. Only a true poet can take the magnificence of all-things and parse it down to a hymn to the human spirit. Conway is an artist. And artists are inspired by muses, and there is no greater muse to the delicately trained ears of this reporter than Donald J. Trump.02-01_af

And like Rosa Parks, whose seemingly trite refusal to move from her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus became the symbol of the burgeoning Civil Rights movement 61 years ago, the goofy defense of how many people showed up to Trump’s inauguration has become, thanks to Conway’s abstract reasoning, a teachable moment for our republic.

Now, firstly, one is right to ask; what exactly is an “alternative fact”?

Before, say, the Beatles, there was this thought that popular music had to be massaged through several layers; songwriters, performers, managers, public relations firms, record company geeks, etc. The Beatles changed all that by becoming all of these. Don’t fool yourself, this is what the mastery of the artist formally known as Citizen Trump, but in this space will forevermore carry the nickname El Douche, has done with the word “fact”. It is taking an absolute and transmogrifying it before our eyes; a science meet art meets steaming piles of crap principle that speaks volumes.

To wit: Prior to this historic appearance on an otherwise dull sixty-minute program originally founded on political discourse but slowly deteriorated over the years into a mind-numbing spin-cycle, a “fact” was “a piece of information presented as having objective reality” or “a thing that is indisputably the case.”

Fact: The earth revolves around the sun.

Alternative Fact: The sun revolves around the earth.

Those unfamiliar with genius might call such a thing a “falsehood” or even a “lie” or at the very least the evidence of stupidity. This is wrong. These definitions miss the point of Trump and the United States of America. The concept of an “alternative fact” is not new, but somehow, through the creative machinations of a true mastermind, it has shed light on our national delusion that has and continues to forge ahead unbounded, and, miraculously, never gets called into serious question. Nay, it gets celebrated and passed on with pride.

Now, in politics you are expected a measure in truth-bending, but this is child’s play compared with the symphony of madness Trump wielded for over a year. There was one point in which I was unsure if Trump wasn’t some kind of Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton satire or maybe the entire thing was happening in his/our head like Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas or Scientology. (A man running a campaign for political office continuing to say he is not a politician is worthy of Lewis Carroll). However, Conway’s admission that we can now deny that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit by simply saying it does not puts on trial the very nature of our American tradition of “Alternative Facts”.

Here’s one that will get Conway wet; Columbus discovered America.

This is a monumental “alternative fact” that we not only celebrate but continue to teach in schools to our children, who one day may grow up to use phrases like “alternative facts” with a straight face on television, purportedly sober and not joking.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica (soon to be outlawed under the Alternative Fact Executive Order): “During four separate trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central and South American coasts.”

Or…Columbus never set foot on North American soil.

This is fact.

Alternative fact: Columbus discovered America.

Also included as bonus “alternative facts” is Columbus “discovering” anything, as there were indigenous peoples inhabiting these lands and the always amusing “proving that the earth was not flat”, which was first determined by a Greek philosopher named Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C. and corroborated many times thereafter.

I can hear Conway moaning now.

I know this makes me hot.

One of the epic “alternative facts” of recent times was the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, which was the grounding principle of getting the richest, most powerful nation in the world embroiled in a multi trillion-dollar desert war, costing thousands of American and Iraqi lives and dozens of other horrors.

Fact: Iraq had no WMDs.

Ah, but that ordeal pales in comparison to my lifetime’s greatest “alternative fact”, which is still not widely known. Chances are you are reading this for the first time, but please (unlike Conway, Trump or whatever is going on in the White House right now) check my research: North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an “unprovoked attack” against a U.S. destroyer on “routine patrol” in the Tonkin Gulf on Aug. 2, 1964 and North Vietnamese PT boats followed up with a “deliberate attack” on a pair of U.S. ships two days later.

What was known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which resulted in the egregious Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, providing President Lyndon Johnson unchecked aggressive powers over all of Southeast Asia, and as a result, unleashed the Viet Nam War, the most damaging useless conflagration this nation has ever endured. For fun and frolic, this later laid the foundation for the kind of powers granted to daddy and son George Bush to enact their highly questionable forays into Iraq.

If Kellyanne Conway is not cumming by now, I can’t imagine why.

Debunking other “Alternative Facts” include:

Pilgrims did not host the first Thanksgiving.

Paul Revere never declared “The British are coming” nor did he even make it to Concord.

There were really only twelve original colonies, not thirteen.

Teddy Roosevelt nor his half-assed Rough Riders ever stormed San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.

Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball.

in politics you are expected a measure in truth-bending, but this is child’s play compared with the symphony of madness Trump wielded for over a year.

This barely scratches the surface of “alternative facts”. So, I ask, how can a country that lives comfortably with illusion be equipped to defend against the kind of bullshit it is fed from every corner from history books, politicians, the media, agenda-motivated bloggers, and the like? We are programmed to accept the “alternative fact” from our religious institutions, schools, and other myopic groups that aim to gather us in like a mindless flock to march lock-step into a mass hallucination.

This explains the popularity of television, which, in turn, gave us a Donald Trump.

Hey, when you’re forced to put your hand on your heart and pledge allegiance to your country, as if you are a potential insurrectionist, in the first grade, it tends to dull you to mind-games.

And so we thank Kellyanne Conway and El Douche for their continued harping on the pointless defense against fact like a nearly three-million shellacking in the popular vote is the result of dead people and illegal aliens and there were more people seeing the Trump inauguration than anything ever in recorded history or the Mexican government and not the American taxpayer will be paying for a border wall or the president did not brag about assaulting women, he loves them.

Their unyielding dedication to this time-honored craft has allowed us a short but meaningful stroll down bullshit lane, which, of course, will change nothing, as we will continue to swallow our “alternative facts” and hold parades on fantasy holidays, and, I guess, believe anything Trump tells us. But at least we will know we are full of shit, so then we can’t blame everything on the Chinese.

“Alternative Facts”: An American tradition since a slave owner wrote “All men are created equal.”

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GROUND RULES FOR DONALD TRUMP COMMENTARY

Aquarian Weekly
1/25/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

GROUND RULES FOR DONALD TRUMP COMMENTARY
A Template for “Covering” a Weird Presidency

You can’t argue with crazy.
– Doc Slater

As one can imagine, I have been getting a bevy of advice on what I should be writing or how I should be dealing with the emergence of this thing called Donald Trump. And I do not use “thing” pejoratively, although it can be taken as such, because no one knows what the hell to expect from the 45th president of the United States. Funny thing is this edict also applies to those who voted for him, and, quite frankly, Donald Trump himself. He is a complete unknown. He has never spent ten seconds in the service known as civil. He has cast nary a vote, dealt in any way with a civic budget, certainly has not commandeered an army or run a state or a county or district. There is no track record beyond his infamously obligatory, “Believe me…” or “Trust me…” Even Trump’s spotty and controversial business ventures are a complete mystery.

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This ambiguity also has a daily spin to it, as Trump tends to not only contradict his own comments day-to-day, but sometimes within the same sentence. If someone can figure out if he is pitching universal health care or not through several interviews over just this past week you win a prize.

But there will be plenty of time to dissect our bizarre journey into darkness. What we are going to deal with first is how this space will conduct itself for the foreseeable future.

Here is what I will not do here: There will be no “What the hell is he doing?” or “You can’t do that!” or certainly any “It’s completely insane and no one has ever…” editorializing here. The assumption will always be that – judging from everything Trump has said and done for the entirety of his public life all the way through his campaign – what you are seeing and about to see is going to be, or appear to be insane, stupid and completely outlandish compared to any and all examples of the past, regardless of your support or opposition to him.

Trump has no idea what the fuck he is doing and this is precisely why Trump was elected: He is not like everything else. Talk to any Trump voter, even those who held their noses because they despised Hillary Clinton, and they will tell you this: “We are tired of politicians and we don’t care if Trump appears nuts or childish or boorish or misogynist or racist, we want someone who is not affiliated with any ideology to blow the whole friggin’ thing to smithereens!”

Now this should be taken with a caveat: What people don’t know about how government works you could barely shoe-horn into the Grand Canyon. So there is an excellent chance these Trump supporters will be surprised at how this whole thing can go sideways. This may not change the bulk of his core support, for they will merely defend anything he does or says to not look like they voted for a moron. This is how these things go; supporters make excuses for their choice and those who are against him will accuse him of everything from bad weather to bad hair days. Not even the presence of a Reality TV guy is going to change that.

So there will be no pointing out “crazy”. Crazy is what people wanted. Let’s see where crazy gets them. Or at least gets the people in the Rust Belt, who ultimately made Donald Trump president.

As stated in our quick post-election “analysis”, which went from “What the…?” to “Okay…sure”, we pointed out that if not for Hillary Clinton coughing up Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, she and not “the crazy” would be running things. And what that tells us is that this will be the aim of this space going forward. Forget “The Wall” (although for fun I might be inclined, if a member of the White House press corps, to ask the president every day when that promised check from Mexico is forthcoming) and the other unconstitutional Wizard of Ozian nonsense Trump garbled to the gullible, this is what he needs to do as president to be successful: Bring back the millions of jobs this country has seen go the way of technology and progress since the 1980s and especially the advent of the Internet and our fancy global economy.

If Trump does that, if he can shoe-horn a 18th century time machine edict into our 21st century series of events, then those who put him in office will deal with “the crazy”.

Trump has no idea what the fuck he is doing and this is precisely why Trump was elected…

Now, assuming Trump doesn’t embroil the nation in an apocalyptic war, which is always possible no matter who’s in charge and that whatever his overlords in Russia deem necessary, the amount of damage he can do to this colossus of a republic is fairly minimal.

Unless you allow it.

For instance; unless you were suckered into volunteering for Bush’s horrid Middle East rebuilding project, what did the Iraq or Afghanistan wars really do to harm you? If anything, the disaster of the banking crisis in 2008 was far worse, and we not only fully recovered from that, we are the strongest economy in the world.

Sure, Trump’s proposed trade-penalty taxes and his failure to get another nation to pay for a border wall could be groundbreaking madness, but really, is your wife going to leave you because of it? Will your car break down? You children suddenly hate you? Beer taste bad? Hair fall out?

Nah.

So there will also be none of this, “Donald Trump is destroying the very fabric or American…fill in the blank “around here. There is no fabric of America. That is a myth sold to you like mouthwash by people who need to justify outrage or a gig. There is also zero chance that anyone who is president “represents” you. I have lived through nine of them and not one represented me. I represent me. Always have and always will. The words I put in this space and how I choose to express myself in my daily life and my work is what “represents” me. This is what represents you. Politics is bullshit. Obama was bullshit and now Trump is indeed bullshit. Changing bullshit does not make it less bullshit or not bullshit, just different bullshit.

And so we will apply Doc Slater’s axiom about “the crazy” and comment on the fall-out.

Business as usual around here.

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JOE COOL…OUT!

Aquarian Weekly
1/18/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

JOE COOL…OUT!
Our Journey From Hope To Change To Trump

Barack Obama is the only major party candidate for president I have ever voted for with gusto. And he shall be the last. That is my gift to him on his way out. The man I dubbed Joe Cool was historic for many reasons, but that is the only one that counts around here. Of course this only applies to 2008, for I went back to my independent ways four years later. Nevertheless it was a monumental vote for me, and one that I shall ultimately remember him by.

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True, I voted for G.W. Bush in 2000, but that’s because I despised Al Gore. I never forgave him for the whole PMRC shenanigans in the 1980s. Still haven’t. And I would do it again, even though I blame Bush for 9/11, which is now all the rage but was considered some kind of treason in 2001. Fuck him and fuck Al Gore.

All of these votes are a matter of record in this space, but it doesn’t do much beyond explaining that since 1980 I have never and will never again vote for a major party candidate beyond the 2008 Barack Obama model. That idea was, is and will always be a completely bullshit either/or decision that is needlessly heaped upon the citizenry, which came to an ugly head this past year when I have now personally spoken to two dozen people who voted for one of the two candidates they were purportedly “forced” to vote for with a measure of growing apathy to outright disdain.

I gladly voted for what would be the 44th president of the United States in 2008 for one main reason, well, two; the first is that damned whiz-bang, hootenanny king-hell mutha of an Iowa Caucus victory speech he delivered on January 3 of that year. It remains the finest political oratory that I have had the pleasure to digest in real-time. I must have played that thing twenty times in a sixteen hour period, like the first time I heard Exile on Main St. or Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” or that part in “Three Babies” when Sinead O’Connor hits the high note. That speech is far better than most any that I have studied and it may be the last time I would actually believe in anything to do with politics again.

For those who dig Obama, I suggest you watch it. It’s on YouTube and it will make you throw up when you consider what transpired from that day forward; how much of the soul of that guy at that time was sucked out by our politics, even upon winning the presidency. That night the bar was set too high for the likes of us or him. But man, that Democratic primary was, along with the Republican one this year, the most fun I had covering this game to power we roll out every four years. I was never concerned by what transpired afterwards, as I’m not now. It reminded me why people who care about such things love politics, think it matters or actually believe it has any true effect on their lives. Listening to that speech transformed me, for the shortest but most enjoyable of weeks, maybe months, but then I went right back to being a cynical jack ass and proud of it.

It is important to point out that what makes the human condition at once so mesmerizingly horrific and beatific is what can be framed in a moment of true sweeping progress and is then easily sullied by the stark light of reality. This is what happens to those who see the utter lack of purity in things and understand fully how fucked the whole concept is and how those who don’t see it and think politics is some kind of elixir to the gaping hole in their faith-centers come to the same rude awakening eventually.

But political speeches come and go; what really matters to me in retrospect is that first run between 2009 and Obama’s re-election in 2012, when there absolutely had to be a shift in viewpoint of the presidency, and not a racial or ideological one, per se, and Lord knows it certainly will never be a political for me. It was ultimately a brief but dramatic generational shift; the second reason I voted for Barack Obama. He is from my generation; the butt-end of the Boomer (but not quite), and too old for X – that “between generation” that was born with the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy Assassination and weaned on Viet Nam and Watergate and was far too young to get high at Woodstock. We did not fight the battle of Civil Rights but watched the potential for an Equal Rights Amendment be crushed by the forever-maddening puritan ethics bullshit which I think now that a playboy TV thug is president we can stop pretending we care a lick about.

Be that as it may, I am proud of that 2008 vote, even though the first Obama term was somewhere between stabilizing and shit. I hated the parade of Clinton cast-offs he dragged in. I wanted everyone in the cabinet to be from my generation as well, not pathetic hold-overs from the ego-addled lunacy of the 1960s through the 1980s. We had just endured two Boomers on both sides of the aisle, both of whom ended final terms in ignominy. But remember, this is a man who took office under by far the worst economic collapse of the Western hemisphere that anyone under 100 years-old could recall. The Dow was somewhere in the six-thousands and soon gasoline would spike to nearly five bucks. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were disappearing.

Historians will rightly or wrongly credit Obama’s presidency with halting this hemorrhage, but that will be the last thing his first term slam-dunked, unless you work in the American automotive industry. But there will always be the Affordable Care Act, which was a half-assed boondoggle that never worked because it cannot function in the human condition explained briefly above. It would be known as Obamacare, a term I did not use, like calling people not from India, Indians. But the president embraced it from good to bad to worse. I, for one, never bought it and neither did the country, as within two years the dismantling of the Democratic Party began.

that Democratic primary was, along with the Republican one this year, the most fun I had covering this game to power we roll out every four years.

That will also be the legacy of Obama; beyond the transformative nature of electing an African American in a mostly racist, back-water, religiously fanatic intellectual sinkhole of a nation. His party was abandoned by him. And this is where the generational thing comes in. Obama didn’t give a shit. He also didn’t give a shit about explaining anything he did well, like finally killing the man who committed the greatest crime against America that didn’t include bankers. He probably should have killed some bankers.

But doubtless and without argument, Obama’s second term, one I did not endorse because up to that point second terms were always a disaster – Viet Nam, Watergate, Iran/Contra/Monika Lewinsky/a hundred things Bush screwed up – was the finest of my lifetime. Granted, the bar was low, but the economy that was in a historic shambles continued to recover, albeit slowly, yet with a record number of months of job growth, because Obama was, and historians will record this too, the first truly “progressive” president; the one that did not fall under the anachronistic tag of liberalism. One that worked in the pragmatic, grown-up-in-the-70s mentality that was ingrained in us.

Be that as it may, the most important event that happened during Obama’s second term is the rightful, legal ratification of marriage equality and he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Trust me, the refusal of a black leader to acknowledge an obvious civil rights abomination against a community of tax-paying citizens is one of the things that made me cringe in 2008, and almost had me run back to the independent candidates, but remember, despite being in my enlightened generation, marriage equality always seemed like a pipe dream, like women voting once was. The very idea that this country could actually twice vote for a progressive black man as president is a nod to that generation and the next; you know, the one that did not buy into another Clinton – but that is another column for another day – certainly kick-started a groundswell for civil rights the likes of which we had not seen in two generations. I am glad to have been alive and be an American for that and then embarrassed for all those who continue to oppose it, because it is sad and bigoted, but entirely understandable. This is the change we were supposed to believe in, but you know what? The president was an innocent bystander. We, the law, the United States Constitution made that happen.

You see, beyond the Iran Deal, which I supported heartily and believe if the Republicans take their collective heads out of their 19th century asses will finally begin to transform the horror-show Middle East through secular economic concerns, and not third-century, voodoo religious nonsense. This is what progress and my generation should believe; at least the free thinking among us. And if the election of Obama’s successor is any indication, the religious right is still very much on life support, and that is the best we can cite for progress.

The rest for Barack Obama is window dressing. But failing a spate of impeachment hearings or ramped up phony wars or secret unconstitutional weapons deals with enemies or Nixonian abuses of power, this was one no-drama-Obama presidential run.

Thanks for allowing my generation a crack at this shit-sandwich.

Now it’s back to a bloviating, narcissistic, media-whorish Boomer again.

Good luck.

Joe Cool…out!

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NEXT UP – OUST CHRISTIE

Aquarian Weekly
12/14/16

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

NEXT UP – OUST CHRISTIE
Freeing the Garden State of Assholes since November, 2016

Feeling good.

Still high on our rousing victory over the scum that is Scott Garrett. That’s right, Garrett, you’ve got a few more weeks to bring the full force of the United States Congress down on me, then it’s off to the funny farm to protest stuff you’re afraid of or make a boatload lobbying for economic national socialism.

So we now turn our attention to our governor, Mista Christie, who has been more or less a political dead man now for months. We began to smell the familiar stank of decay on him around February when he dropped his charade of becoming president and became Citizen Trump’s bellhop. Turns out standing behind a candidate trying to appear relevant during campaign rallies netted him a whole lot of nothing, as he was summarily dropped from the fancy transition team minutes after the president-elect’s stunning upset victory on November 8, and has now been tossed from the shortlist of boot-lickers the new administration has lined up to duly ignore or explain or no-doubt apologize for what is sure to be high and wild times on Pennsylvania Avenue over the next four years.

I just want to point out that this is the Trump Administration that Chrisitie cannot get a sniff in. “Apes Tossing Feces at Each Other” is the employable motto over there. Pretty much anyone who supported Trump and can suck air for five minutes without keeling over and can kind of put two sentences together with verbs and stuff is being given prime gigs. Shit, Trump’s Atlantic City pit-boss will be heading the Department of the Interior. Pretty soon Sarah Palin, whose IQ is a tick north of 70, will probably be running something important. The guy in charge of National Security thinks the religion of Islam is a front for terrorism while a rabid anti-Zionist is pulling the strings. And I’m sure I have the wording wrong, but I think Dr. Ben Carson is in charge of the Department of Jesus or something or other. But Chris Christie? He’s out.

This is akin to having Motley Crue kick you off the tour for being “a little drug-happy”.

It’s bad is what I am saying.

This is not surprising, since the governor of New Jersey has now set a record-low in approval ratings. We’re now at 19 percent, folks; the most pathetic in two decades around here. If this was a normal state run with a history of somewhat competent civil servants you’d likely have to reach back a century or so for that kind of futility. But this is New Jersey. Usually, if you can spell cat after being spotted the “C” and the “T” and stay out of jail, you can get 40 percent. Our bar is low and we expect lunacy. Of course, Christie can always say he’s no worse off than Sam Brownback, who has turned Kansas into the Hunger Games without the attractive young people.

Bad is my point here.

The latest Quinnipiac poll, which is mostly a Republican bitch, stated in its summation that “Everyone hates Chris Christie.” This is a direct quote. That is not opinion; it is what the data tells them. Water boils at 212 degrees, a whale is a mammal, and Chris Christie sucks ass. According to a parsing of the raw statistics, every possible group despises the man.

In a strangely Darwinian way, Mista Christie has managed to become the most non-partisan of concepts. He has brought the state together like nothing else could. He is indeed a “uniter”. We all think he is very, very bad.

This, however, in political parlance, makes him toast.

Now we begin to see if we can get him to quit. This is our goal here.

Then we can get around to legalizing pot, reverse this onerous gas tax, and stop bear hunts. Get this state rolling, jack.

Water boils at 212 degrees, a whale is a mammal, and Chris Christie sucks ass.

I am appalled that only 4,200 or so people have signed Petition 3908 thus far. It is a memo to congress to send Christie out on a rail. I have mostly ignored it, because petitions to congress are stupid, but also because the Tar & Feathering rider has been summarily removed. Hell, I figure with Trump in charge we can bring back some of the things that truly made this country great. Like rolling fat useless government slags in scolding tar and heave large pillows of feathers over them while children sing “God Bless America” and we fire cannons at the Irish.

But I digress.

Chris Christie is a horror show and he must go and he will go, it is merely a matter of time, but humiliation must also be part of the procedure. This is why despite my repeated calls to Trump Tower to beg the Human Grenade to give Christie some kind of job just to get him out of here; valet, new pit boss in Atlantic City, or throw him a spade and have him break ground on the already paid-for Mexican wall; I have decided the best thing is threat of incarceration. I have it on good authority that he cannot merely be shamed from office. Although, to be fair, I did not need iron-clad sources on this; have you seen what this guy looks like? He goes out looking like that and actually appears on TV. What could you possibly do that would shame the man?

For this project I will employ my new buddy, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. He owes me big time. It is not every century a Democrat runs my district, and it isn’t every political season that a loon like yours truly gets to lean on a congressman for pay-backs.

First Garrett, now Christie.

Last chance to drag New Jersey in the twenty-first century.

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THE BALLAD OF DISTRICT FIVE

Aquarian Weekly
12/7/16

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE BALLAD OF DISTRICT FIVE
How Acting Like a Total Jack Ass Helps Flip the Tide of Politics

Victory is mine.

At least that is how I choose to frame it. When you get a column someday, then can you crow. This is my moment and I’m taking it.

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Sure Democrat Josh Gottheimer now represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, my district, after what was a highly contentious and some say patently ugly battle over the past months. But that is merely a sidelight around here. What really happened is I got involved. For the first time. And I kicked ass.

I’m not entirely sure what the hell Gottmeier’s got going, but I know he is not his opponent and our current Congressman Scott Garrett. This was an opposition front from the get-go. Topple the horrid and deal with the terrible. Old time politics. Gory. Brutal. Music for the masses and sweet demolishment for the wicked.

Fuck Donald Trump. I’m a bigger asshole and I can prove it. My victory is even more unlikely.

2016! Assholes are in!

Let me just point out that my throwing this thing into turmoil helped to flip a district that has not elected a Democrat in 85 years. That’s right, long before my parents were on the planet. Eight decades plus. Nearly a century. Not one Democrat.

Then I got pissed.

And I wish to be clear; I was not necessarily politically pissed. It matters little that Garrett was a Republican. He is scum. And he had to be sent packing.

At first I was merely inconvenienced, then mildly annoying, then increasingly angered. It was around flat-out pissed that I got involved in the race.

If you think about it, the entire history of civilization is summed up in the above sentence.

American Revolution is Inconvenience – Annoyance – Pissed.

It all began for me with simply researching what the hell my representative was about. I suggest you do so, as soon as you are done reading this. I don’t care what you stand for, but when everything the person representing you in congress stands for makes you want to violently retch, it is time to get warmed up.

As soon as Scott Garrett’s record revealed itself to be a tsunami of bigotry, spite and overall dumbness, taking this thing into the realm of the asinine suddenly appeared worthy of my angst-in-motion.

Okay, let’s recap; A few weeks ago I became embroiled…okay, I embroiled directly…in a very public tete-a-tete with Garrett, whom I openly challenged to a fist fight in print. I felt, and rightfully so, that everyone needs a beating once in awhile in their life. I took them. Many times. They are good for the soul. They teach you that ideologies and debate are all well and good, but a direct hit to the temple can wake a man, give him needed perspective. Garret was way overdue for this, and I took up my patriotic duty to administer it, with extreme prejudice.

This was not my initial plan. I was having the time of my life covering what was the most absurd of presidential campaigns run by two giant assholes and generally making glib of all-things as usual here. Then I started getting inundated with robo-calls from the Garrett campaign. One or two a week became five or six and then it was every evening, right around eight or so. Sometimes, as I shared with my readers, it interrupted key dancing time with my eight year-old daughter. We dig punk and we dig it loud and the incessant phone ringing and then some automated falderal being read in a sub-mental drone could not be obliged.

To be frank, I was already at a boiling point with Garrett’s bi-annual digital town halls that would call my home and then for close to twenty minutes, if I dared answered or my machine picked up, would not allow me to remove it from my line. My phone connection was literally hijacked by this nonsense.

And so I began badgering Garrett’s campaign to cut the shit. They did not comply. I could have reported the whole operation to the FCC or some such, but I despise “proper channels”. I like to get ugly. Not to mention, I have this nifty forum and it seemed right to use it in the most vicious way.

American Revolution is Inconvenience – Annoyance – Pissed.

As you might have read in the now infamous series of Garrett bashing (“Scott Garrett Needs an Ass Kicking” and “Scott Garret’s Intimidation Machine Versus Me”), which resulted in the aforementioned challenge to brawl, I could not have been more blatantly satirical. Yet, I thought it my journalistic duty to gather a comment from him. Several professionally placed calls to his campaign came up empty. The campaign then decided this would be a good time to accuse me of harassment (ironically what started all this was their harassment of my home phone) and got local police involved.

All of this back-and-forth, of course, was published here and on the fancy Internet and that is when things got interesting.

It started with calls from the Gottheimer Campaign. They had been spending way too much time trying to answer for me, and the seriousness of first my challenge and then the cops being brought into the fray. They asked if it was okay to send newspapers and online blogs my way and even requested I address a rally for their candidate, for which I answered the same way I have for nearly twenty years of this; “I don’t do rallies.”

It wasn’t until Politico contacted me that I realized this had gone national and it was directly affecting the race. Some off-the-record comments, which I can now reveal, since Gottheimer is the congressman-elect, from his people were telling me the negative feedback from voters to the petty and feckless over-reaction from Garrett was putting a strain on his campaign. They were actually answering questions on whether they understood the concept of satire and whether Garrett was afraid of a 54 year-old writer who is a little over five foot and 125 pounds soaking wet with a bag of nickels in his pocket. Even the cops who were calling me laughed at the whole thing.

And then I found out there were tapes of my calls to the Garrett Campaign, not only archived, but sent to the authorities. I was able to obtain them through a journalist whose name shall not be revealed, because I wouldn’t want mine revealed, not so much to protect sources.

I cherish those tapes now- every syllable dripping with sarcasm and rage. They will be my legacy here.

For all the crap I have stirred up over the past nineteen years of this cannot compare to acting like a complete idiot and having it result in a victory.

Now I know how Donald Trump feels.

Fuck him. I’m a bigger asshole.

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PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP – AN EXPLANATION IN TWO PARTS

Aquarian Weekly
11/16/16

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP – AN EXPLANATION IN TWO PARTS

Editor’s Note: The following are two brief explanations on how a reality TV star is now president of the United States by first jc and then his old colleague, former Conservatively Speaking columnist, Bill Roberts.

I have to be honest; I’ve got nothing.

Really, what right do I have to pontificate when I was spectacularly wrong about this entire thing? And not only the results of the election, but long dissertations on demographics and gender gaps and the shifting generational pull away from the kind of throw-back populist falderal pitched by the new president elect, Citizen Donald J. Trump.

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First off, data took a big nosedive here – in fact, everything in the realm of modernity was cast aside for at least one election cycle; global trade, progressive socials issues, the realities of a 21st century cyber-based economic model, international diplomacy and geo-political military intervention. And really, that is the nut here; in the end Hillary Rodham Clinton would have been president if she held fast to the reliable Rust Belt. She did not. Big league. As her opponent may put it. Pennsylvania (not Republican since 1988), Michigan and Wisconsin (not Republican since 1984) and even Minnesota, as of the time of this writing still being counted, which was the only state the Democrats won in ’84.

What all this tells me is this result had less to do with corruption and emails and untrustworthiness and the FBI than it did with raw, blue-collar economics, which used to be solidly Democratic, or at least when Ronald Reagan wasn’t on the ballot. This was about a changing world that scares the shit out of the low-educated white man, the overwhelming support of which shifted these states into Trump’s column and turned him from punch line TV clown into the president of the United States. But it is also about anger. Anger sometimes wins the day. This time it surely did.

Turns out, Trump was wiped out by Hispanic/Latino vote, skimmed a little off of the Obama African American vote, lost out on the college-educated white vote (somehow he was not sunk by women), but not by the margins that could stem the tidal wave of lower middle-class people expecting a messiah to bring the 1950s back.

Good luck with that.

We know less about Donald Trump than any human who has achieved this station. He is vaguely erratic, sometimes unhinged and always recalcitrant. I have no idea what he stands for or what he will do. But now being on the other side of the Trump phenomenon, since I was one of the few journalists who seemed to grasp his significance in the primaries but whiffed on the general, it must be stated that this is the greatest political upset in our nation’s history. Period. Trump was an eight-to-one underdog and he swept the table he needed to sweep. American history was written on November 8, 2016, for good or ill.

So maybe he can deport 11 million people and build a multi-trillion dollar wall on the Mexican border and most importantly force American companies back from abroad. I highly doubt it. But then again, I highly doubted this.

jc

**************

Okay, here is my morning after “Inside Baseball” explanation over why I was so sure Trump would win despite being told otherwise by so many other people. This is a bit long and may be boring, unless you are a political geek, so buyer be warned.

This wasn’t difficult to see if you knew what you were looking for. First off, this was a repudiation of the GOP and the NeverTrump crowd. The base didn’t believe the Establishment any longer and if you opened your ears and eyes you would have felt the outrage building. The ascension of Trump is of the GOP’s making and it was clear to see. The NeverTrumpers sadly have to make a choice. The party is no longer yours. The door is still open to you and you can come home. We welcome you home ,but just know the people now own the GOP.

Trump had a populist message that was resonating with folks who watched their factories close and their jobs move away in the name of progress. Those folks were in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and they truly wanted change, yet after the politicians spoke, change was all they had left when their jobs and paychecks left town in the name of NAFTA. The shattering of the Blue Wall was astounding to see in real time.

to sum it up, prognosticating Trump’s win was not hope or faith. It was looking at real numbers and listening to real Americans.

As for the hidden, shy Trump voter, this was an easy one to see. If you had listened back in the primaries, instead of just screaming about who was a real conservative, you would have seen the GOP set a record for new voter registrations. They weren’t there for McCain and they weren’t there for Romney…they showed up for Trump, so it wasn’t a stretch or a leap to believe they were coming out for Trump. Now, the polls would never capture them because they hadn’t voted in 2012, so they were never going to show up on a pollsters call list, but they were there. I studied the polls and saw they sampled Democrats too high and didn’t adjust to what I felt to be a correct sampling number, which was about a GOP plus-five. This formula held true in PA, MI, OH and WI. What was shocking was how well the Panhandle in Florida performed in blunting Broward, Dade and Palm Beach’s Democratic onslaught. I admit, I always believed Trump would win in Florida, but the way it occurred even shocked me.

So to sum it up, prognosticating Trump’s win was not hope or faith. It was looking at real numbers and listening to real Americans. Had the media done that as I did, they wouldn’t be sitting there with egg on their face looking all stupid this morning.

Speaking of the media, you guys are done. You are through, you cast your lot as an active combatant and now you will pay the price. People will no longer place any value in your reporting and the ridicule you will receive is well-earned and you must endure it as it is a self inflicted wound.

Finally, here is why Trump will be one of the greatest President’s in our nation’s history. He knows we voted for his message and his ideas not necessarily him the man. He knows if he lets us down, we will fire his ass in four years. He is the right man for the job and I am proud to call him “My President”.

Bill Roberts
Conservatively Speaking

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