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Member since: Tue Dec 6, 2016, 10:49 AM
Number of posts: 2,725

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So, imagine there is a person in the White House who is pretty much running the show.

Through some combination of flattery, obsequiousness, deception, and manipulation, he/she manages to steer Donald in some vaguely consistent direction. Let us also imagine that the public face of Trump is the real him. There's no eleventy-dimensional chess grand master hiding behind that mask.

Would this Master Manipulator allow his/her president* off the leash to spend one-on-one time with the head of the world's other nuclear superpower? I don't think so. Seems to me that you end up with a reductio ad absurdum. Either Trump really is a genius (against all evidence to the contrary), absolutely no one is really running the White House, or the Master Manipulator is Putin himself.

People have tried to make sense of Putin's behavior at Helsinki.

He had all kinds of opportunities to pump up Trump's reputation as a shrewd dealmaker and a tough negotiator which would have made Trump more useful to him but he passed them up.

If you ask me, Putin looked a whole lot more like a guy spiking the football in the end zone after the game-winning touchdown.

Is it possible that Putin threw Trump under the bus at Helsinki?

I mean, it doesn't seem too hard to me for Putin to have crafted some bullshit disagreement between him and Trump so that people could say, "Oh, yeah, Trump's his own man. See, he didn't knuckle under to Putin." But it seemed like the whole thing was "The Vlad Show, featuring his little poodle Donnie."

Maybe the turmoil in this country cause by the wholesale revulsion at the behavior of the president* is part of Putin's plan.

Only one thing will be accomplished at the summit:

Totally normalizing the idea that the Bogus POTUS can carry on totally secret negotiations with another head of state. Otherwise Dim Donny doesn’t have the mental faculties to negotiate the return of a defective toaster to Walmart.

So whatever happened to Rush Limbaugh?

Once upon a time, the Outrage Du Jour usually came from him. Now, you almost never hear about him. Did he get pushed out of that many markets?

Or, did he have a crisis of conscience and is now trying to mitigate some of the damage he did over the years he was popular?

I kid.

So there's this nutcase friend of mine who tells me there is no actual national Democratic Party.

Just a few recognizable faces that pop up on the TV from time to time to make the occasional perfunctory statements but never actually do anything. Poor fellow. I feel bad for him. He's really gone right off his rocker.

He has, right?

My positive message for the 4th.

A month ago, I started working a blue-collar factory job to pick up some needed extra bucks. I'm one of the few Anglos out working on the factory floor. The majority of my co-workers are Hispanic and the rest are a mixed bag of Haitians, Nigerians, Asians, and a lot I'm not sure of. The lingua franca on the shop floor is Spanish, but there are lots of other languages out there too. We deal with it.

The overwhelming impression I get of my coworkers is that they are really good people. They help me when I flounder or fall behind, correct my mistakes without getting all judgmental about it, tease me good-naturedly about being "Poppa" (because I'm not young, unlike most of them), fret about my physical well-being, and in general make the place an OK place to work despite the fact that the work is a grind and the pay is peanuts. They treat each other well too. If I were called away by my temp agency to a white-collar job somewhere, I'd miss those people. I really would. It's been an absolute pleasure to work alongside people with good attitudes.

And to those people who say they're taking jobs away from real Americans -- hey, I walked in, old white guy, nearly dead*, and got a job right way. The jobs are there. If you say you're not taking the job because the pay sucks, then say so. It's not like the people working there marched in and demanded to be paid less so they wouldn't have to work next to Anglos.

*I exaggerate, maybe.

So, someday in the future, when people are (re)building a democracy...

...and the issue of free speech comes up, how would they try to handle the concept of speech financed by people with deep pockets? I'm thinking specifically of our current problem actors like Twitter, Facebook, Fox News, and Sinclair Broadcasting. I happen to be something of a free-speech fanatic, but I'm not sure how a democracy can survive a continuous tsunami of propaganda and deception like we're experiencing now.

Any thoughts?

This was my sign at the White Plains NY march today.

Saw no counterdemonstrators or hecklers. Lots of thumbs-ups from passing drivers.

When do the ones putting kids in cages realize that dead kids are a lot less trouble than live ones?

"I'm sorry, boss. A whole bunch of them just caught something and died. You know, all those people are pretty sickly."
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