Trumpenstan

Trump Finds His Soul Mate

  (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) *****   “The President of the United States of America is an office which imposes a vast, consequential responsibility on the person who holds it to represent America’s values to the world. If those values are liberty, equality, freedom, the rule of law, and the Constitution, Trump is failing on every front. If they are the values of the thug, the tyrant, the bully, the circus freak third-world tinpot? “Then he’ll get his pledge pin any day now.” —…

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The Biggest Winner Of U.S.–North Korea Summit: A Delighted China

  “I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.” — Donald Trump ***** “It is truly remarkable how Donald Trump, being in such a strong negotiating position, has managed to get so little from the North Koreans.”  By Evan Osnos The New Yorker (6/13/18) “Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things,” President Trump told reporters in Singapore on Tuesday night, after signing a page of loose declarations with Kim Jong Un. “I may stand…


Trump Mind Virus: America’s Normalization Of The Grotesque

  By Gary Younge The Guardian (6/8/18) During the presidential election the Huffington Post’s US site carried the following editor’s note at the end of every story about the Republican nominee: “Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims – 1.6 billion members of an entire religion – from entering the US.” Shortly before 6am on that long election night – in between Trump’s winning Iowa and being declared the victor in Pennsylvania – the Washington bureau chief announced that the note would…


Above The Law: ‘Dear Leader’ Trump’s Authoritarian Movement Is Reaching An Inevitable Conclusion

“The imperial stage of this presidency has well and truly begun.”  By Jack Holmes Esquire (6/4/18) While you were enjoying the second weekend of summer, the president and his allies were waging a sustained campaign to suggest the law does not apply to him. Things kicked off with the (probable) leak of a letter Trump’s legal team sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, published by The New York Times, in which we learned that Trump essentially has unlimited power and authority—you know, like a king. The letter suggested that: Trump cannot, by virtue of being president, obstruct justice. Trump can “terminate…


Carnac The President Caught In On-Camera Bald-Faced Lie, But, Hey, So What!

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/4/18) Last Friday Donald Trump prattled on about receiving a “very nice” and “very interesting” letter earlier in the day from North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. The letter was hand-delivered to the president by senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol. The White HOuse issued photos of Trump and Kim Yong Chol with a Trumpian scale envelope. Trump teased the journalists at a press conference, noting, “Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter? How much? How much?” When asked if Trump could share a sense of the letter’s contents Trump replied, “It…


Trump’s Leverage: Study Links White American Intolerance With Support For Authoritarianism

  By Noah Berlatsky NBC News (5/27/18) Since the founding of the United States, politicians and pundits have warned that partisanship is a danger to democracy. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, worried that political parties, or factions, could “allow cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” to rise to power and subvert democracy. More recently, many political observers are concerned that increasing political polarization on left and right makes compromise impossible, and leads to the destruction of democratic norms and institutions. A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather…


In Our Name: Agency Documents Reveal Physical & Sexual Abuse Of Migrant Kids, Teens By Border Patrol

The authoritarian, fascist mind: ”Just following orders”.   By Gabe Ortiz Daily Kos (5/24/18) Internal government documents dating back to 2009 and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago School of Law, detail horror stories of child abuse, physical and sexual assault, verbal abuse and medical negligence at the hands of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. The details should be a national security concern, because border agents were already “monstrous” under Barack Obama, and under Donald Trump they have been unleashed and stand to endanger untold numbers: “In one…


Be Alert! Trump’s Primary Tactic Of Defining Deviancy Downward Is Designed To Leave You Feeling Exhausted, Numb & Inactive

“In 1993, New York’s Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former social scientist, made an incisive observation: Humans have a limited ability to cope with people behaving in ways that depart from shared standards. When unwritten rules are violated over and over, Moynihan observed, societies have a tendency to “define deviancy down” — to shift the standard. What was once seen as abnormal becomes normal. “Moynihan applies this insight, controversially, to America’s growing social tolerance for single-parent families, high murder rates, and mental illness. Today it can be applied to American democracy. Although political deviance — the violation of unwritten…


‘Democracy In Chains’ Author Warns: “Trump is the tumor, not the cancer.”

  “We’ve made more progress in the last five years than I had in the last 50.” — Charles Koch [Editor’s Note: Nancy MacClean’s book “Democracy In Chains” provides the necessary historical background to understand the how and why of the radical right’s capture of the government. It truly is an essential guide to corporate America’s Trumpland. — Mark L. Taylor] Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (5/4/18) Our democracy is at a “historic turning point,” said Nancy MacLean, the author of “Democracy in Chains,” last night [5/3] in Madison, where she was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s annual celebration….


Trumputin’s Completed Check List…

By Thomas Balistrieri the Commoner Call (5/10/18) Alienate most Americans.  Check. Threaten journalists. Check. Influence all Americans to dismiss journalists…fake news. Check. Dehumanize Mexicans. Check. Dehumanize women. Check. Make infidelity normal. Check. Make sure wife stays with infidel. Check. Dehumanize Muslims. Check. Destroy the environment. Check. Lie regularly. Normalize that.  Check. Dehumanize Blacks. Check. Justify white supremacy. Check. Lie to children and then turn on them at NRA. Check. Require note card on how to be human. Check. Periodically rant like absolute crazy man and frighten people. Check. Build literal or figurative walls to divide people. Check. Dehumanize Native Americans….


Russia Monitor: Drip By Drip Trump’s Toxic Lies Poison The Nation

“When Trump lies, he lies for a purpose. The content of his lies matters less than their function, which is to sell the idea that truth doesn’t matter – or doesn’t even exist at all. He lies to obscure reality so that he can redefine it. Trump’s lies *are* the story.” — Tweet by Matt Schlapp (4/30/18)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/5/18) Dear Fellow Readers, There is a war, let’s call it ‘Russiagate’, and there are many battles underway. Without divining motivations, we have on one side Trump, cronies and Russpublicans. On the other side we have the…


Pulitzer-Winning Reporter David Cay Johnston: “The evidence suggests Trump is a traitor”

  [Editor’s Note: Please listen to this interview. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston’s insights on Trump and his long ties with the Mafia and Russian oligarchs and the only way the democrats can unseat Trump are spot on. Unlike many, he calls things as they are. Also, listen to Chauncey DeVargas’ comments afterward. He gives a hard dose of reality that we on the left need to fully grasp about what may well be coming even if — especially if — Trump were driven from office. This is serious business, folks and the democrats and the left really…


A Short History Of Threats Received By Donald Trump’s Opponents

  By Decca Muldowney ProPublica (4/20/18) When Stormy Daniels spoke to “60 Minutes” last month, the porn actress described a threat she received years ago after speaking to a journalist about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. A stranger approached her in a parking lot in Las Vegas. Daniels was there with her baby daughter. “Leave Trump alone,” Daniels recalled the man warning her. “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.” Daniels did not report the threat to the police. On Wednesday, Donald Trump tweeted that Daniels’ account of events was “a total con job” about…


Strictly Speaking, Trump Is Actually Quite Easy To Understand

  “Men grow accustomed to poison by degrees.” — Victor Hugo, Les Travailleurs de la Mer   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/23/18) As a political junkie and psychotherapist I get a lot of people asking me to explain just what the hell is going on with Donald Trump and his gang of misfit appointees and rabid fans. They want to know: Why does he say that?; Don’t his supporters realize he is going to make things worse for them?; I can’t believe what he just tweeted!; Why would anyone think that way?; He’s gonna’ change, right?” I…


Colbert’s Interview With James Comey

  “I’m like a break-up he can’t get over.” The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (4/17/18) Watch Stephen Colbert’s full unedited interview with former FBI Director and ‘A Higher Loyalty’ author James Comey. Link to 32-Minute Video ***** James Comey To ‘Fresh Air’: The FBI Isn’t ‘On Anybody’s Side’ By Terry Gross Fresh Air (4/17/18) It’s been almost a year since since James Comey first learned that President Trump had fired him. The former FBI director was in Los Angeles visiting the field office for a diversity event when a ticker announcing his ouster scrolled across the bottom of a TV…


A Whole New Meaning For Trumputin’s MAGA

Okay — yes, yes — I know, Trumputin’s personal attorney and shady fixer Michael Cohen didn’t get arrested by the feds. He just had his home, office and hotel room raided by the FBI, sparking a Twitter meltdown by Donald “The Don” Trumputin. Just another ho-hum day in Trumplandia. But I just couldn’t help putting a comment from a reader on The Young Turks website to work in a cartoon: “M.A.G.A …..My attorney got Arrested.” So, yeah, Cohen hasn’t gotten arrested … yet. Hell, the week isn’t even done. A news item came out Wednesday that Justice Department special counsel Robert…


Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Is That Jared Kushner In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To Lock Up Dissidents?

  The Young Turks (3/30/18) The Saudi crown prince has boasted that Jared Kushner is “in [his] pocket” because, he says, Kushner fed him top-secret U.S. intelligence to crack down on critics within the Saudi royal family. Kushner reportedly also promised he would get Rex Tillerson fired as U.S. Secretary of State. Kushner has warped U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in an apparent attempt to secure desperately needed funding for his failing real estate empire. Link to 16-Minute Video Editor’s Note To The Above Video… By Mark  L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/5/18) When Trumputin came to power…


Knowing The Difference Between ‘A’ Problem & ‘The’ Problem: Our Trumputin ‘Fresh Hell’ Is The Result Of Our Selective National Blindness

    When no one is held accountable the same thing will happen again. On The Media / WNYC (3/30/18) Fifteen years since the start of the Iraq War, we live in what many see as a fresh hell: the erosion of institutions and standards at the highest levels. But political science professor Corey Robin argues that the Trump era is merely an extension of the same reflex that gave us the Iraq War — and much that preceded it. Robin recently wrote a piece for Harper’s Magazineabout the American tendency to re-imagine the past [See below]. He and Brooke discuss our collective failure to draw…


The Art Of Corruption: Trumputin Family Shady Deals In India

  By Anjali Kamat The New Republic (3/21/18) Investigations into Donald Trump’s foreign entanglements may have largely begun with Russia, but the president and his family have a special relationship with India, too. Since Donald Trump and his children first began talks with developers in India, around 2007, the Trump Organization has entered into more deals there than in any other foreign country. Five of them are still active—four luxury residential projects and one commercial tower—and are valued at an estimated $1.5 billion. Donald Trump Jr. has made at least ten trips to India over the past decade, calling the country “the biggest…


Don’t Equate Trump’s Linguistic Slip-ups With Stupidity

  By Mary Pipher The Toronto Star (2/1/18) I don’t know about you, but one of the ways I’ve been coping with the Trumpian horror-show to the south is watching late-night American comedy. A regular dose of the acerbic and principled witticisms of Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee helps release some of the terrifying tension doled out daily by President Trump & Co. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear different versions of the same jokes about pathetic crowd-size fixation, dangerous dictator-worship, or the entitled vapidity of Ivanka+Jared (Jarvanka?) — I laugh because I need relief from…


A Poem For The Last Days Of American Empire

    “The Second Coming” Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body…


Get Ready Fellow Citizens, This Is Going To Be A Whole Lot Worse Than Watergate

 Fair warning from the Under World…   By Michael Tomasky The Daily Beast (3/20/18) Something changed last weekend, did it not? The firing of Andrew McCabe. The statement by Trump lawyer John Dowd to The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff that Robert Mueller should end his probe soon. Donald Trump’s tweetstorm just after that, his first tweets mentioning Mueller by name along with promises by aides that more attacks are on the way. The amped-up speculation that Trump will fire Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who hasn’t recused himself so that someone can fire Mueller. Somewhere in there also came an official reassurance by…


Book Review: ‘Russian Roulette’ Documents Decades-Long Relationship Between Trumputin & Russian Interests

  By Charles Kaiser The Guardian (3/20/18) Whenever I finish a book like Russian Roulette, I ask myself the same question: why is anyone still debating whether there was collusion between the Russians and Donald Trump? Like Collusion, a comprehensive volume by the Guardian’s Luke Harding, this narrative by investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn leaves the reader nearly overwhelmed by evidence that Trump and Vladimir Putin have been striving to collaborate for years. It was 2013 when Trump first tweeted that he wanted to be Putin’s “best friend”. Later he told Fox Putin looked “like a great leader”. Putin’s constant goals…



“On Tyranny” Author Timothy Snyder Pulls The Trumputin-Russia Story Together & Explains The History Of Our Present National Crisis

With all chaos and change swirling through Washington DC and tugging back and forth with Moscow it is easy to feel lost and confused and uncertain as to just what the hell is going on. In this series of short video talks Yale historian Timothy Snyder brings sense out of chaos and knits together an understanding of the patterns and personalities redefining our world and lives. Snyder is an expert on 20th century totalitarian regimes. His 2017 book “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century” is an essential owners manual for anyone living in Trump’s Amerika. You can link…


Trumputin’s Vagina Delusions: ‘Sgt. Bone Spurs’ Says He Could Have Saved The Day In Parkland

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/1/18) Set aside the insanity and moral vacuum and political cowardice of an administration whose centerpiece response to yet another school shooting is to put forward the idea of arming up teachers and “hardening” our schools into closed bunkers. All of that is bizarre enough but then we get Donald ‘Sgt. Bone Spurs’ Trumputin pontificating about how things would have been different if he had been on hand at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus: “You don’t know until you’re tested, but I really believe I’d run in there even if…


‘I hear you’ – Trump Depends Upon Cue Card To Remind Him To Listen To Shooting Survivors

  Presidential agenda … By Martin Belam The Guardian (2/22/18) Briefing notes captured by photographers at US president Donald Trump’s White House listening session with survivors of gun violence show that he needed to be reminded to say “I hear you”. Close-up pictures of the note revealed that it had five points, of which the first was a reminder to ask the question: “What would you most want me to know about your experience”. The second question listed is “What can we do to make you feel safe?” The president’s note also prompted Trump to ask survivors for their ideas,…


Understanding The Values That Keep Trumputin Supporters Loyal

They’re standing by their man, even as he fails to live up to his promises. By Paul Buchheit AlterNet (2/18/18) It’s incomprehensible to many of us that people could support a president who, in Bernie Sanders’ words, “is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.” Based on various trusted sources and a dab of cognitive science, it’s fair to conclude that there are three main…


The Best At Being The Worst: Trumputin Breaks All Records For Failure, Bigly!

Trumputin — So Proud.   By Brad Reed The Raw Story (2/19/18) President Donald Trump’s first year in office — which was marked by a nonstop stream of scandals, as well as record-low approval ratings — was so bad that a survey of scholars has already ranked Trump as the worst president ever. Writing in the New York Times, political scientists Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn reveal that their most recent survey of scholars shows that Trump’s first year was seen as a catastrophe by both Democrats and Republicans in the field of political science. According to the survey, Democratic…


America Is Under Attack & Trump Doesn’t Give A Damn

  By David Frum The Atlantic (2/18/18) As the rest of America mourns the victims of the Parkland, Florida, massacre, President Trump took to Twitter. Not for him the rituals of grief. He is too consumed by rage and resentment. He interrupted his holidaying schedule at Mar-a-Lago only briefly, for a visit to a hospital where some of the shooting victims were treated. He posed afterward for a grinning thumbs-up photo op. Pain at another’s heartbreak—that emotion is for losers, apparently. Having failed at one presidential duty, to speak for the nation at times of national tragedy, Trump resumed shirking an…


Introducing ‘Trump, Inc.,’ A New Weekly Podcast On The Many Mysteries Of Our President’s Businesses

  There is a mystery here. By Eric Umansky & Andrea Bernstein ProPublica (2/7/18) A couple of months ago, a few of us from ProPublica and WNYC sat together in a conference room and started scribbling on a whiteboard. We were brainstorming all the possible paths to investigate around President Donald Trump and his family businesses. It looked like Carrie Mathison’s wall. There’s so much that’s still unknown. We don’t know if the president is taking money from his businesses, or what deals are happening, or who his partners are, who’s providing the financing. It goes on and on. There’s no way to determine…


Why Domestic Abusers Thrive In Trump’s White House

  By Jessica Valenti The Guardian (2/9/18) It’s no secret that Trump respects men who keep women in their place: “You have to treat ’em like shit.” Perhaps that’s why top White House staffer Rob Porter got a hero’s goodbye this week, even as a picture of his ex-wife’s battered face was splashed across the news. Porter, accused of assaulting both of his ex-wives and a former girlfriend, gave his resignation but “was not pressured to do so”, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders. In fact, Sanders lauded Porter as having the full confidence of the president and Gen John Kelly, and took…


If You Want To Understand Trump, Understand This: Revenge Is What He Cares About Most

By David Corn Mother Jones (1/30/18) With the recent developments in the Tale of the Mad King—the revelations that President Donald Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last year, that Trump was enraged that former FBI director James Comey was allowed to fly back to Washington on an FBI plane after he canned him, that Trump told FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe he should ask his wife what it was like to be a loser, that Trump has supported the release of a dodgy classified memo drawn up by Republican aides that supposedly questions a super-secret surveillance order approved by the Justice Department—there has been much…


Conservative David Frum Warns That Recovery From Trump Will Be ‘The Work Of A Generation’

  WBUR (1/16/18) The new book “Trumpocracy” catalogs the damage that top never-Trumper David Frum says the president is doing to American institutions and the presidency. That damage will last for a long time after Donald Trump, Frum, a writer for The Atlantic and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, said in an appearance Tuesday on the NPR show On Point. “It will be the work of a generation to get them to back to normal,” Frum told guest host John Harwood of CNBC. “Because one of the things Donald Trump has done is, he’s discovered a lot of the things were never written down. They’re not laws,…


CARTOON: The World’s Ugliest American Becomes America In Retreat.

In word and deed, Donald Trump personifies the American ignoramus abroad. By Richard North Patterson The HuffPost (1/23/18) One year into the Trump administration, as our president prepares for his trip to address the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, here is the dynamic abroad: no foreign enemy could have degraded America’s global standing so completely in so short a time. In word and deed, Donald Trump personifies the American ignoramus abroad. He insults foreign leaders in tweets, then melts in their presence. He switches positions based on personal flattery. He parades his ignorance of geopolitics. His erratic behavior and bellicose…


Daniel Ellsberg: Under Trump, The Threat Of Catastrophic War With North Korea Is Real & Growing

  By Lucy Feldman Time (1/18/18) The country is currently not the closest we’ve ever come to nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg, but we are still likely to face annihilation. And recent false alarms in Hawaii and Japan, erroneously alerting residents to incoming missiles, do nothing to quell the anxiety. “This was a little rehearsal,” Ellsberg says, “but not the first one, of being right on the edge of destruction.” The history-making whistleblower softens no blows, sugarcoats nothing. The 86 year-old went to battle with the U.S. government when he released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, walking away a free man after a…


Debasing The White House: Here’s What Trump Said About Presidential Leadership During 2013 Government Shutdown

Trump’s White House (Everybody’s talkin’ about it.) “I mean problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top.” — Donald Trump Common Dreams Staff (1/18/18) As the White House on Friday refused to accept any responsibility for the government shutdown that will result if Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a spending deal before midnight, remarks made by citizen Donald Trump in 2013 reveals what he thought then about the role of presidential leadership during a similar political crisis under President Barack Obama. “I mean problems start from the top and they have to get…


Biographer David Cay Johnston: Trump Is Determined To Provoke War To Draw Focus From Racist & Erratic Behavior

  Democracy Now! (1/18/18) The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is proposing widening the permissible use of nuclear weapons to include responding to cyberattacks and other non-nuclear attacks to U.S. infrastructure. The Pentagon has already outlined this expanded nuclear strategy in a draft document sent to President Trump for approval. It comes amid a “After all, what helps strengthen your position if you’re a dictator-in-waiting, which is what Donald is, but some kind of incident that will stir the public and focus people away from his crazy, racist, uninformed, ignorant behavior?” series of moves by the Pentagon and…


A Despot In Disguise: One Man’s Successful Mission To Rip Up American Democracy By The Roots

Untold Story: This is where the Koch brothers and the plan to destroy American government began. (Editor’s Note: I am reading this book and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is far more readable than the topic might suggest and ESSENTIAL information to understand the true extent of the threat from the Trump republican party. – Mark L. Taylor) By George Monbiot The Guardian (7/19/17) It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is to…


Your Brain On Politics: Trump Uses Twitter To Effectively Manipulate Us All. Here’s How To Stop Falling For His Con

By George Lakoff & Gil Duran Sacrament0 Bee (1/4/18) President Donald Trump’s use of social media has radically transformed presidential communications. His short bursts of text move markets, disrupt diplomacy and inflame political anxiety almost daily. His smartphone has become one of the most powerful weapons in political history. As a result, there’s a growing pressure campaign by many Democrats to force Twitter to ban him. But kicking Trump off of Twitter would fail to address the real problem. For one thing, Trump also uses Facebook. And if Facebook banned him, he’d simply jump to another social media platform like…