Pour one for our surrogate homies

Last week Anderson Cooper made an interesting comment:

Jeffrey Lord (one of Trump’s Surrogates) was explaining why he doesn’t care that President Donald Trump called James Comey a “nut job,” and AC retorted back saying, “If he took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.”

It got me thinking about what it must be like to be a surrogate to a petulant child that changes his mind so much that it must be white noise inside that head. I really feel for them. It is like a 24/7 thankless “polish the turd” job that they have voluntarily accepted. Think about how the sequence typically plays out with the most recent news cycle example:

  • Trump fires Jim Comey, Director of the FBI and his surrogates are out defending the decision
  • Each one of them goes into the various news outlets stating that there is ZERO connection between Trump’s decision to fire Comey and the Russian Investigations. Some of them even get smug about it when they are pressed for information. To the point, they look at the anchors and go, “I really cannot believe that you are not believing this”
  • And then the next day…………..their boss comes on the air and completely contradicts everything. I mean literally everything (and says that he moves too fast for his staff).

Too fast? Too fast? having the attention span of a gnat; an ego that doesn’t fit the White House and a brain that is constantly changing is not the attributes of “moving too fast”. Our President is like the dog in the movie “Up”….Squirrel and he is gone. It is like trying to grab a wet bar of soap.

I really wonder how these surrogates feel. Do they go back home and sit in the shower in a fetal position and weep? Do they go home and take off their “optimism” mask and just let loose (a la Kate McKinnon in the SNL skit – LINK ).  At some basic level, I am assuming these are smart people who have “opted in” to get on board on the Crazy Train for some gains.

How does one become and get trained to be a surrogate? Is there is surrogate boot camp? Funny or Die speculated this in their hilarious bit here: http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/anen.

I realize most surrogates take these roles both on the Democratic and Republican sides so that they can get plum assignments after their candidate has won. Wonder if Chris Christie is thinking that he is always the bridesmaid and never the bride?  But this crop of Trump surrogates have their work cut out for them. Which makes me wonder whether it is really worth it? Day after day like mummified zombies to keep hitting the talking points even when (in real time) you boss is completely contradicting you. Who knows…maybe it is worth it.

Which brings me to the mother of all Surrogates for Trump…..Fox News and the Right Wing Media. They have had a “little bit” of difficulty in spinning all the crap that has hit the fan over the past few weeks. As AC noted it is “deny; deflect; downplay” on all things related to the Trump scandals. As Trevor Noah puts it – “They (FoxNews) are basically his Snapchat filter. Whatever the reality is they always make him look better than he is.”

So much for fair and balanced. Everything bad that has happened to the President is either:

  • Fake News
  • Liberal Media bias
  • Liberal Media witch hunt
  • Obama was worse than Trump
  • Trump won the elections – Dems are sore losers

Check this article – “Limbaugh on Comey Firing – “What An Epic Troll” Trump pulled on the Democrats”.  Wonder how it feels living inside a bubble 24/7:

Trump’s surrogates are thrown under the bus by him so frequently that they can start writing a new book called, “Memoirs from Under the Bus”. So on a somber note – Pour one for our surrogate homies!

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Eve Teasing

During the campaign cycle, there was example after example of our President’s peccadillos and perverted actions. As I had stated in a previous blog post, most of his voter base chose to ignore or “normalize” this behavior for other attributes or issues they felt were more pertinent. For example, women chose to ignore his misogyny stating that he speaks his mind; will drain the D.C. swamp and has done a great job at raising a family. Cognitive dissonance aside, now we are seeing an all-out attack on women’s issues and these people who voted for this President are COMPLICIT!

Take these quotes for example (link):

  • “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
  • “I would never buy her any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”
  • “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
  • 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?
  • all women hate prenups because they are gold diggers.

These are all from our current ‘Leader of the Free World”.

Just so that we do not fall into the confirmation bias hole, it is important to note that Bill Clinton was no picnic either. A helluva lot of his behavior was extremely egregious and should not be condoned. But he did not bring this behavior into policy. Yes, he was a hound dog and not a shining example of what the moral compass a President should have ..but come on..the equivalency is not even close!

For example, take a look at the above photo….I keep staring really hard at the photo above for some semblance of logic. This is the photo of Trump signing the anti-abortion bill called the Mexico Rule. Which  It prohibits giving U.S. funding to international nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion ― even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services (Link). An issue that is so profoundly impacting women ..but not one in sight!

Then there was this cringeworthy headline from HuffPo – “Donald Trump Kicks off sexual assault awareness month by defending Bill O’Rieilly

And there was the story that Mike Pence does not dine alone with any woman unless his wife was present.

Finally, there was this – An executive order from President Trump, signed on the eve of Equal Pay Day, has canceled an Obama policy that directed companies with federal contracts to afford equal treatment to women in the workplace (link)

Not to paint with a broad brushstroke…what is the issue with Republican representatives and this insane war on women’s issues?

Let’s take the Pro-Life issue. Republicans would love to abolish Roe vs Wade and dance on its grave. They may actually get their wish if they continue to stack up activist right wing Supreme Court judges. How would these righteous men of the Congress and Senate react if a committee of women decided that all men over 30 must have mandatory vasectomies or mandatory removals of prostates?

My thought is should this not be a woman’s issue? I view this as …we all should be Pro Life for the woman which means should this not be her choice? See here is where the logic falls apart for me – for every issue (taxes; health care; guns etc.) the drumbeat from the right is – “Government cannot litigate my choice, I will decide what is good for me”. How come this is not applicable to abortion? For some reason, government intervention is OK on this issue. And yes the irony is not lost on me when progressives who support choice say they want a “single payer” health insurance system.

Another hot button issue is Planned Parenthood that has riled up the right ever since the (now debunked video) came out stating that they were selling baby parts for research.

Here are five myths that have been proven false (Link):

  • Abortion comprises most of Planned Parenthood’s services
  • The Planned Parenthood videos show a fetus being harvested for its brain
  • Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue for profit
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood is a guaranteed way to save taxpayer money
  • Planned Parenthood doesn’t really help advance women’s health

All proven wrong with clear data and facts to support. However, did it stop the mother of all overreactions? Nope!…this resulted in the aforementioned executive order on the Mexico Rule.

What is with Republicans and women’s issues? every election there is some new crap that comes up that makes you wonder what motivates these people? Personally,  I think it comes down to when you were brought up. They idealize a time in the past where the man went to work and the woman stayed at home and had dinner and a drink ready at the end of the day. It was a time the woman knew here place and her role in society. Your neighborhood had the “right” amount of ethnic representation. It was a glorious time for men. They controlled everything – media, wall street, businesses.

Bill Maher had a very interesting line in his recent show –And then the 60s came and screwed it all up! Bill Maher had a very interesting line in his recent show – If you loved the 60s there is a good chance you are progressive and if you hated the 60s there is a good chance you are a conservative. 

Obviously, we cannot paint everyone with a broad brush, but if you consider that these are no longer beliefs but are now getting made into policy it makes you wonder.

There is one bright spark  – Trump has single handedly done what NO Democratic President has done before…….piss off the entire women’s voting demographic. The silver lining is now we have more and more women actively engaged in the political process and a significant increase in candidates running for elected office. As Maher, puts it lets hope that this President is the LAST of the 50s Man!

Life in bigly Pieces

I asked a friend of mine why he voted for Trump and he had two answers. First, he hated the other candidate and second he wanted an “outsider” that will clean up Washington and make the country great again. I thought to myself, all noble reasons to vote for the candidate but wait a minute, what if the candidate was a walking bag of contradictions, with all the red flags laid out in plain sight that even a moron could figure it out.

Nothing about the last election cycle was subtle. While both candidates were seriously flawed, as demonstrated by their likeability polls, there was clearly one that was just plain wrong.

There is an old Hindu saying from the Bhagawad Gita – “Everyone gets what they deserve and not what they desire”. This is one time I disagree with that saying! we really don’t deserve this and certainly did not desire this.

For the past few years, I have been lamenting that our collective intelligence as a country has been dropping at an alarming rate. I am specifically referencing to our ability to confront, absorb and act on facts that are presented to us. Topics that the rest of the civilized world takes for granted as facts  – evolution; climate change etc. are still hotly debated in our country as if they are still opinions. We are starting to live in a fact free world.

Typically there are two telltale signs to this dumbing down:

  • the rush to “normalize” shocking and egregious behavior
  • the complete and utter refusal to acknowledge facts and evidence

I realize that our current President did not win the popular vote but he still was quite close and my point is this should not have even been a contest. If any candidate said/did 25% of the things he did, there is no way he/she is getting elected. 

So, my personal belief is that this we are living in one giant CONFIRMATION BIAS bubble. The right says there is fake news from the left and the left says there is fake news from the right. However, there are facts and facts don’t care what opinion you have. The atmosphere doesn’t give a flying crap if you don’t believe in climate change and that carbon levels have been increasing.

Take this election, everyone saw their version of the facts and cast their vote for this President. This was an election of ‘vote for the pieces‘ but not for the WHOLE!

  • The Evangelical groups wanted their Supreme Court appointee. So three marriages and dodgy morals – not a problem.
  • The old guard wanted their personal and corporate tax cuts and someone that can run the country as a successful business.  So three bankruptcies and multiple businesses that hoodwinked and swindled people – not a problem
  • The hawks wanted their defense spending – So cozy relationship with Russia –not a problem
  • The Alt-Right that wanted their ‘white America’ and no minorities and other religions – So someone who has a Jewish son in law, has deep real estate and financial interests in Muslim countries – not a problem
  • The ” suburban women” wanted a man who could speak his mind and who wasn’t a Washington insider – So someone who is a documented misogynist and (still) wears the badge with honor – not a problem
  • The “forgotten blue-collar voters” wanted someone that could change the status quo, bring  jobs back and drain the swamp – So someone who has no idea of the nuances of policy and government, can rattle countries and relationships with inane early morning tweets and has deep ties to the traditional Washington lobbies –not a problem
  • And finally, the folks that went – ” I can’t vote for her so I will vote for him” – how is that working out?

Everybody look at a piece and ignored the whole! And now we have the ass-whole. Two months into this administration and we are longing for the blundering days of Dubya. Even he is on the talk circuit saying, “Y’all need to give me a break”.

Let me state this, the other candidate was no picnic either. I am sure a similar list can be put together. But the critical point as P.J. O’Rourke (LINK) points out:

“I’m votin’ for Hillary.

“I am endorsing Hillary. And all her lies and all her empty promises. I am endorsing Hillary. The second worst thing that could happen to this country. But she’s way behind in second place, you know? She’s wrong about absolutely everything – – but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

Alternate Facts – Is this the ‘new normal’. I sincerely hope not as I fear for my children and the next generation. I really don’t want our country to follow the plot of the movie – Idiocracy.

Cause remember the following gem from our new Secretary of Education –  “I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

I shudder in fear for our next generation. At this point, our only choices are – get active, resist and execute the indivisible.com playbook and pray pray that there is minimum collateral damage.

That is my hope….BIGLY!

 

 

Faux News

What is happening to the Fourth Estate? I thought our founding fathers were astute in putting checks and balances and ensuring that a free press actually challenged the other branches of the government. There was no way to foresee this huckster that is now the leader of the free world. Take the most recent sequence of events:

  • A judge provides an opinion in Fox News stating that a British Secret Service Agency colluded with the previous President to “wire tap(p)” the existing President when he was a candidate
  • The White House picks up this story and provides it was a “tongue in cheek” evidence that their allegations had momentum
  • When confronted by the press the President very glibly deflected the whole matter stating that we should check with Fox News, as they were culpable for generating this in the first place. 
  • Both Fox News and the British Intelligence vehemently stated that this entire narrative had no grounds in reality and was simply false
  • Finally, in the Congressional hearing, both heads of the NSA and FBI also stated that there was no proof that there was any hacking by the former President

There have been a lot of articles and reviews in the recent past that (rightfully) call the Press to question on how much free publicity they provided the current President during the election cycle. The President, in turn, loves to chastise the press as ‘Fake News” at every opportunity.

However, there are a few problems with this:

  1. The President and his team are very selective. Any outlet that questions or challenges his policies or statements is deemed as “Fake News”. Alt-Right websites, news outlets that have a sycophantic relationship with the administration are “Real News”. The evidence is clear based on how many interviews have been granted to Fox News and Breitbart in comparison to the other news outlets
  2. The word Fake News itself seems so vague. The President uses this as a suitcase term to rally the base. The right wing media obviously has embraced this term as a convenient passive aggressive response to anyone or any organization that directs any criticism at this administration.
  3. Finally, where is the indignation? where is the anger? for years we have heard the right say that the media has a liberal bias and then that turned into “fake news” but now when fake news is turning into “news that is fake” where are all the people of conscience, from the right? Remember the birther arguments, does that sound familiar,or is that “real news”?

Which brings me to my main point. We all now know where the fake news is coming from. It is not the main networks or any outlet that is rightfully questioning the accountability of this administration, it is coming from the White House.

THE FAKE NEWS GENISIS (Source – myself):

(I realize I missed the Facebook channel in the steps above)

I remember a quote from one of the reporters, “in the absence of facts, both our opinions are accurate”. Even though we are now living in a fact free country, I am encouraged in the fact that the press has been hitting back and calling for accountability and we are hopeful that this will reduce the level of egregiousness.

At the end of the day, the blame lies squarely on us, the people. We allowed ourselves to get hoodwinked, sucker punched and bamboozled into this.

My faith in the intelligence of our plebiscite is at an all time low. Maybe common sense is not so common after all!