CSotD: What’s Going On?

Good to see that Barry Blitt is as confused as I am.

I didn’t stay up to watch the debate, figuring I could pick up the analysis the next morning, but all I got from the analysis the next morning was a reassurance that going to bed was the right choice, since nobody seemed to think anything came out of it.

Well, except that now some people whose take on things I generally respect are asking why the GOP even bothers.

It’s obvious they intend to nominate Trump, even if he does shoot someone on Fifth Avenue or defrauds someone elsewhere in NYC or steals top secret documents or whatever.

For awhile, observers suggested that the debates were tryouts for the VP slot, but now Trump has indicated that he isn’t going to pick anybody on that stage as a running mate, which seems to reduce the entire thing to an exercise in gum-flapping.

I suppose you could hope it’s a series of tryouts for the 2028 elections, but if Trump wins, there may not be any 2028 elections.

As far as he and his advisors are concerned, the “tryouts” were held on January 6.

Gotta say, it’s a sad state of affairs when you turn to David Rowe for an optimistic view of things. A complete collapse of this house of cards would be lovely, but it’s not clear that it would have any more impact on Trump voters than the aforementioned murder on Fifth Avenue.

He’s done a great job of setting things up so that his supporters are convinced that the entire justice system is a plot against Dear Leader, and they began demanding dissolution not just of the FBI but of the entire Department of Justice well before any indictments were handed down.

Which parallels the way in which he started shouting “Fraud!” and “Fixed!” long before the 2020 elections so he could disguise any loss as a plot against him.

One of his attorneys argued in court yesterday that over-valuing his assets was not fraud because that’s just the way commercial real estate works. Having covered real estate as a reporter for several years, I agree that it’s a full-contact sport with few rules; Trump may be an outrageous example but it’s an outrageous profession.

Still, you are required to remain within the law, few as those rules might seem.

One interesting question is whether Deutsche Bank recognized his fake evaluations and loaned him money anyway, but, if so, fraud remains illegal, and, while the way the bank handles it internally is up to them, those loans have impacts beyond the bank walls.

The other interesting question is how Republicans have switched from wanting to prosecute the Clintons over the totally normal oddities of the Whitewater commercial project, which got a huge ho-hum from those of us familiar with commercial real estate.

Howsoever, as Ann Telnaes says, it’s all a shell game in which the point is to distract the suckers while you move the pea around, such that any guess they make will be wrong.

A born-and-bred New Yorker like Trump might be more familiar with the dealers of three-card monte who set up at random spots in the city, and while it’s not the same sort of “dealing” he cited in “The Art of the Deal,” both types call to mind the line in “My Little Chickadee”:

Gambler: Say, is this a game of chance?
Cuthbert J. Twillie: Not the way I play it.

That’s the second time in recent days that I’ve cited Fields, and your reward for putting up with it is this fascinating rumination which turned up when I wondered if the terms “monte” and “mountebank” were related.

Spiritually, yes, etymologically, no.

Speaking of Whitewater and the related Arkansas Project attempts to link the Clintons to whatever conspiracies could be uncovered or invented, the sudden war on Jamaal Bowman for pulling a fire alarm without a fire has some interesting nuances.

It’s hard to know if Bob Gorrell (Creators) drew this cartoon before the foolish-but-harmless facts emerged, but he’s only one of many conservatives who leapt upon the chance to shift attention towards a Democrat.

But — as with the Menendez issue — Democrats were as quick as Republicans to demand that Bowman be held accountable, while it should be noted that, even if it had happened in the Capitol building — which it didn’t — he did not assault any police officers or smear feces anywhere or steal anything, all actions which the GOP is willing to overlook.

He apparently was not attempting to delay the vote but rushing to be part of it, he was in an entirely separate building and, in his haste, he apparently misread a sign saying you had to sound the alarm to get the door to open … okay, it was a blockhead move. But hardly a criminal one.

DISCLOSURE: In the interests of transparency, you should know that, when we were in the sixth grade, my friend Jimmy and I were coming back from an errand when he jumped up to ding the alarm bell on the wall with his finger. When he came down, his elbow hit the fire alarm itself, activating it and causing the entire K-12 school to be evacuated. He got a good scolding but neither a detention, a suspension nor a prosecution.

Anyway, as John Buss notes, if there was no fire when Bowman pushed down that alarm, there’s sure one now.

I wonder if they’ll be selling postcards?

And in the interest of effectiveness, a quibble with Jeff Danziger (Counterpoint).

I’m 100 percent behind his mockery of Kevin McCarthy for having sacrificed our nation’s honor in order to hang on to his Speaker’s gavel, while Republicans may call domestic opponents “communists,” but are, in matters international, loyal to Mother Russia.

I’d just like his cartoon more if, instead of Ukrainian defenders, Danziger had depicted executed civilians and kidnapped children. We should have never self-censored photographic and video evidence of war crimes in the interests of protecting squeamish Americans from harsh reality.

Sometimes truth needs to hurt.

Help us, Gen Z. You’re our only hope

First Dog on the Moon knows who to count on, and I’m glad to see them stepping up in all sorts of ways.

Including remembering some of their grandparents’ music. Welcome aboard, youngsters!

5 thoughts on “CSotD: What’s Going On?

  1. “We should have never self-censored photographic and video evidence of war crimes in the interests of protecting squeamish Americans from harsh reality.”
    “And Babies?”

    We are so protected from reality and the truth in this country that even the most unconscionable acts of horror are reduced to the abstract. Perhaps, as terrible and insensitive as it sounds, if we had allowed to see the crime scene photos at Sandy Hook, we could have restructured the conversation about what we’ll accept as a nation.

    1. I think you should have put a trigger warning on that comment. Now I’m going to have to go lie down with a cool washcloth on my forehead.

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