Monthly Archives: February 2017

Donald Trump, Deconstructed

Here are a few questions about Donald Trump:

  • Why does he avoid teleprompters?
  • Why does he love the poorly educated? (He said so, remember?)
  • Why did he not realize that he had signed an executive order placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council?
  • Why does he not type most (or at least many) of his own tweets but, rather, dictate them to staff to type?
  • Why has he refused to take daily briefings from intelligence and national security staffs?
  • Why does he not read lease agreements?
  • Why does he not read books?
  • Why does he speak at no greater than a fourth grade level?
  • Why does he surround himself so closely with Don, Eric, and Ivanka?

The answer may be as simple as it is shocking: President Trump can barely read. Whether it’s dyslexia, ADHD, or just simply that he never learned to read above lower grade school level, all indications are that it’s not just that he doesn’t read. It’s that he literally can’t read.

Inability to read explains much of what we saw during the campaign and, certainly, what we’ve been seeing in the weeks since his inauguration. And I am totally serious, here – this is not a joke. I think the man is functionally illiterate. How else can we explain what we’ve seen? His grown children stay close because they are clearly aware of their father’s inability to read. They protect him by filtering all that goes in and out. They know, and they cover for him.

It accounts for why he doesn’t read his briefing documents, newspapers, or other materials. He simply can’t assimilate them, and so he is totally dependent upon his staff and television to give him what is ultimately highly filtered and potentially biased input. Thus, he is easily manipulated by those around him, accounting for how Steve Bannon ended up on the NSC. Bannon simply had him sign the order, knowing that it would not be read before the signature was affixed. The proof of this is that Trump now says he “wasn’t briefed” about what he was signing. The ugly and frightening truth is that Steve Bannon is more the President than is Trump, a fact terrifyingly satirized by Saturday Night Live, when the actor playing Bannon (dressed as the grim reaper) took over the President’s role, relegating an infantile Trump played by Alec Baldwin to the side, where he sat at a child’s desk and played like an idiot with a toy.

Trump, the real estate mogul, has stated that he does not read lease agreements and, on one occasion documented on video, when challenged to do so he was unable to interpret one. Trump, the politician, disparages teleprompters because he can’t read them. And Trump, the ersatz everyman, says he loves the poorly educated. Of course he does: he’s one of them.

The man elected to the Presidency of the United States is an ignorant, arrogant, bullying, misogynistic, impulsive, functionally illiterate dolt who is at risk of, and is likely already a victim of, manipulation by those around him, Steve Bannon being arguably the most dangerous. He has appointed a Cabinet of the most unqualified, individuals imaginable, and the team as a whole is committed to a vision of America that will only do grave damage to those who gave him his greatest support but are too blind to see what they’ve done and what is about to befall them.

There is an old saying: the fish stinks from the head. Look no further here. It’s that guy who can’t read the handwriting on the wall. I almost, but not quite, feel sorry for him. I do feel sorry for those of us who know what’s coming.

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Where, Oh Where, Do We Begin?

It’s been less than two weeks and it’s already hard to know where to begin. The irrational, executive order on immigration and refugees? The firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates (instantly making her a martyr), the firing of the ICE Director, the directive to start building the wall, threatening to send U.S. troops into Mexico, hanging up on the Australian Prime Minister? Well, these among other travesties and incompetent acts are all worthy of discussion, but for now I’d like to say a few words about President Lout’s appointment of the man likely to be our newest Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch.

First, a bit of review. In the presence of a vacancy on the Court, it is the Constitutional duty of the President to make a nomination, following which it is the responsibility of the Judicial Committee of the Senate to vet the nominee and of the full Senate to confirm or not confirm the nominee, as the case may be.

In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death last year, President Obama fulfilled his Constitutional duty by nominating Judge Merrick Garland, a universally respected, highly qualified, moderate jurist to take the deceased Scalia’s seat on the Court. Senator Mitch McConnell, aka “The Turtle”, vowed that no nomination made in the final year of President Obama’s term of office would receive any consideration by the Judicial Committee. In doing so, he excused his raw and unconstitutional action by citing what he called the “Biden rule”, a nonexistent rule based solely upon something Joseph Biden said several years ago but having no basis in legislative law. McConnell. thus laid the groundwork blocking any fair and required action on the nomination. This disgraceful act resulted in the theft of the nomination from President Obama, and left the Court one justice short of its normal complement of nine individuals. The Court responded by failing to take on a number of cases that it otherwise might have considered.

So now, Presidential Lout, fulfilling a campaign promise to pick someone acceptable to the far and evangelical right, has nominated an extreme conservative to fill the empty slot, and Republicans are gloating over their unconstitutional triumph. Worse, it should be noted that the Lout’s gang is accusing Democrats of being obstructive by threatening to filibuster the nomination. This, of course, is utter hypocrisy given prior Republican behavior.

It seems inevitable that Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed, although the Democrats may be able to delay confirmation to some minimal extent. But I do believe that an additional protest is warranted. I suggest that when the roll is called for confirmation, EVERY DEMOCRAT SHOULD, INSTEAD OF VOTING “NO” OR BOYCOTTING THE VOTE, LOUDLY PROCLAIM A VOICE A VOTE FOR MERRICK GARLAND. This will do nothing to change the outcome, but at least it will get the attention of the public and remind everyone of the disgusting and obstructive behavior of Senate Majority Leader Turtle and his cohorts in governmental crime.

As a final comment regarding Neil Gorsuch, there are those who have suggested that the Lout might not be getting quite what he is expecting with the appointment. Gorsuch is a strict constructionist, yes, and a far right conservative, yes, and takes a radical view of religious rights (the Hobby Lobby decision) and, consequently, is no friend of women’s rights, but because of his belief in strict adherence to established principles embodied within the Constitution and legislation, there is a glimmer of hope that he at least will not mindlessly support the wild decrees of the Lout. If true, this would be at least one positive in what so far seems an abysmal turn of affairs in our beloved country. Not enough to justify, in my mind, his confirmation to the Supreme Court, but the simple fact is that he will be confirmed, so we need to take whatever small hope there may be that he won’t be the disaster we’re nevertheless expecting.