#291 Quit Whining, Already. How Do We Turn Around This Ship?

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.  Conversation began Entry #289.

JC:  “I agree that Paul Ryan could have set an example of leadership for generations to come.  But, what did he do?”

bully-clip-artGreenie:  “He retired from the House.  I guess you call it retired if not seeking in November 2018 qualifies as retiring.”

JC:  “Whatever you want to call it, he bailed out.  Seems like Ryan ran away from the bully Trump.  Not what you call a good example for future generations, and not what you call a good ending to your political career.”

Jordan:  “Enough of Ryan and McConnell.  I’ve got an idea.”

Greenie:  “You’ve got an idea?  JC, did you hear that?  Jordan has an idea.”

Jordan:  “Why do I hang out with you guys?  Such abuse.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “C’mon, you love it.  Now what’s the idea?”

Jordan:  “Looking in the rearview mirror­­­­ and analyzing the past with a critical eye is important, but as we’ve talked about before, it’s hard to drive very fast by always looking in the rearview mirror.”

JC:  “Tell that to some of the cable news talking heads.  A lot of them can’t stop driving fast and looking backwards at the same time.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Let’s keep in mind the past does provide some guidance to the future.  You do agree with that, don’t you, Jordan?”

Jordan:  “Very much so.  And that’s the foundation for the idea.  I think we should provide to the post-Revenge Revolution members of Congress a list of suggestions.”

JC:  “What kind of suggestions?”

Jordan:  “For lack of a better phrase, because I hate to say it, credible suggestions for really how to make America great again.”

Greenie:  “I agree with the idea, but please, we need a different slogan.  I mean, we don’t need to reincarnate the Donald.”

JC:  “You guys serious?  What makes us qualified to suggest anything to Congress?  Granted none of us is the dullest crayon in the box but what gives us special insight?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “For one, Greenie’s articles about the Revenge Revolution.  We might have more understanding about the causes of the Revenge Revolution than anyone in Congress, especially incoming members or staffers.”

Greenie:  “I vote, yes, let’s make a list of suggestions.  If nothing else making the list will be cathartic…and will make us seem smarter at parties.”

Jordan:  “JC, you, in?”

JC:  “OK.  How do you want to start?”

Greenie:  “Why not have a brainstorming session?  You know, just blurt out ideas and write them down.  We can sort the list later.”

Number List(Following is the list from the brainstorming session about how to really make America great again.  Over the coming blog entries, a number of these ideas will be discussed in more detail.)

  1. True leadership starts at the top.
  2. Congress needs to work as a unit and with independence from the Executive Branch. Not everyone in Congress will agree, nor should they agree, on every issue but Congress must function separately from the Executive Branch.
  3. Relationship building is critical. Presidents and administrations that reach out, listen and act for the good of the people are far more effective.
  4. Re-establish the independence of the judicial system. The White House and Congress need to respect the system, the law and quit trying to influence cases.
  5. Public’s confidence and other countries’ confidence in the White House will take several administrations to rebuild – probably 15-20 years.
  6. Adults with demonstrated skills should be selected as cabinet members.
  7. Time devoted in teaching civics needs to increase in grammar, middle and high schools.
  8. Conscription should be reinstituted. An alternative to military service would be a civilian corps.
  9. Widespread infrastructure programs need to be initiated – think WPA approach.
  10. Increase research and development sponsored by Federal government, with particular emphasis on pure research.
  11. Reinstitute environmental and financial regulations…judiciously. Companies and industries have proved repeatedly an in ability to manage themselves.
  12. Increase tax rates across all quintiles with the highest rate increases on upper incomes. Use part of revenue to fund infrastructure and part to help offset the negative long-term effects of Trump tax cut.
  13. Make all elections for Federal office publicly funded with no private contributions. allowed.

Jordan:  “OK, let’s take a break.  When we get back, we can clarify the wording of some of the ideas, maybe add a few others.  We also can start digging a little deeper on these ideas.”

(Continued)   

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#290 How Republican Leadership in the House and Senate Failed the Country

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.  Conversation began Entry #289.

Jordan:  “So, you two want my guidance whether ­­­­­­­­­articles about the Revenge Revolution should include content that is clearly not politically correct?

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “You got it.”

Jordan:  “Why not just lay out the truth? Really, what’s the downside?”

JC:  “What about the backlash from all the evangelicals?  And the screamers on Fox News?”

Jordan:  “What about them?   Since the Revenge Revolution, Fox News has become a non-entity.  As far as the hard-core Trumpsters, they are never going to change no matter the evidence against Trump.”

Greenie:  “In that same vein, I’ve never heard an evangelical openly question their religion.  OK, maybe a few question openly…but they’re rare birds.”

Jordan:  “That’s my point.  Your articles will not change the hard-core’s mind so why be concerned?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “We were trying to be more diplomatic post revolution.  Won’t laying out the bare facts open old wounds?”

Greenie:  “I think Jordan’s point a good one.  See, Jordan, I gave you a compliment.”

Jordan:  “You’ve made my day.”

Greenie:  “Seriously, we need to be straightforward.  Not vicious but no sugar-coating content.  Otherwise, key lessons from the revolution will get lost.”

JC:  “Being straightforward should make the writing much easier.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Greenie, you know better than I, but isn’t crafting an objective article oftentimes more difficult than say a pure opinion piece?”

Greenie:  “Yes, and often maddeningly so.”

JC:  “Now that we’ve agreed not to be pc in the articles, I’ve got a related topic we probably should write about.”

Greenie:  “Whadda mean ‘we’ Kemosabe?  Who’s writing these articles?”

JC:  “OK, you are…but I’ll help draft this one.  We need an article or two focusing on how the lack of Republican leadership in the House and Senate enabled Trump’s craziness.”

Jordan:  “An example is…”

JC:  “Cabinet nominees.  Most of the first round of nominees: (i) lacked any experience for the job; (ii) were intellectual lightweights; (iii) and/or were known scumbags.”

Jordan:  “Maybe this article will need to be a bit more pc.”

JC:  “Why?”

drone-manGreenie:  “Good question.  Why?  If the article is about lack of Republican leadership in the House and Senate, why hold back?  Mitch McConnell did the country a major disservice by not squashing some of the cabinet nominees.”

JC:  “Think back to the Trump transition.  Was there one…maybe two cabinet member nominees who were highly qualified or didn’t have a clear conflict?”

Jordan:  “What about General Mattis as Secretary of Defense?”

Greenie:  “Qualified, probably.  But he never should have been allowed to head DOD.  This country has a long history of civilians being head of the military.  He might have been one of the few adults in the room, but having a general at DOD set a terrible precedent.  It was like having the fox guard the henhouse.”

Jordan:  “What about Rex Tillerson?”

PutinGreenie:  “The guy had been awarded some medal by the Russians.  Look, I have no qualms about the head of ExxonMobil, or another oil company, working with the Russians.  But don’t take the guy and put him in as Secretary of State.  At State, he needs to protect American interests and not be concerned about personal or company interests.  Making him Secretary created an immediate and obvious conflict.”

JC:  “Did the Senate leadership know the Russians meddled in the election?  Of course.  McConnell had been briefed by Justice.  Even the public knew.  Yet, still no pushback by McConnell or any other Republican senator.  Why?”

Greenie:  “The list of incompetents goes on and on.  Try Ben Carson.  What did an alleged brain surgeon know about running HUD?  Maybe because he saw some HUD housing growing up in Detroit?  He might have lived in some HUD housing.  But so what?”

ScreamJC:  “DeVos to be head of Department of Education was another lightweight.  During the Senate hearings, Betsy, bless her little heart, couldn’t answer the most fundamental questions about how the education system works.”

Greenie:  “Then, of course, we have “Mr. Lie-Under-Oath” himself.  At Sessions’ confirmation hearing to be Attorney General, McConnell had to know he was lying.”

JC:  “Jordan, do you think McConnell could have stopped many or all of these nominations from going through?”

Jordan:  “Maybe not all but he could have stopped most.  McConnell could have worked behind the scenes telling Trump that nominees with an obvious conflict or no experience in the field should be changed.  He needed to make clear to Trump that without some different nominees, there would be a series of embarrassing ‘no’ votes by the Senate.”

bully-clip-artGreenie:  “But McConnell didn’t tell Trump.  So Trump took the upper hand, berated McConnell publicly and McConnell shrank like a violet.  In the process, McConnell became an enabler for Trump’s wacko behavior.”

JC:  “What about Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House?  The House doesn’t approve cabinet nominees.”

Jordan:  “True, but the House has oversight and investigative powers in many areas.”

Greenie:  “From my perspective, Ryan lost all credibility when he allowed the committee investigating Russian meddling to disband.”

JC:  “Wasn’t the decision to disband really up to the committee chairman.  What was his name…Nunes?”

sense-checkGreenie:  “The Speaker of the House appoints many of the committee chairs.  Ryan could have gotten Nunes replaced with someone willing to pursue the investigation.  It’s possible…and we need to check this for the article…it’s possible Ryan could have appointed Adam Schiff, a Democrat to lead the investigation.”

JC:  “Wouldn’t that have been suicide?  The Speaker is elected by the party in the majority.  Ryan would have lost his speakership.”

Greenie:  “True.  But if Ryan had done so, he would have set an example that what is good for the country is more important than what’s good politically.  And Ryan likely would have been remembered for generations as a hero.  Instead, like McConnell he caved and became an enabler for Trump’s wacko behavior.”

[Note: within a few days after this entry was published, Paul Ryan announced he was not going to seek re-election to the House in November 2018.] 

(Continued)

#289 Lincoln Was Correct…about Some Trump Supporters

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC

Gelly:  “Greenie called and she and JC want to stop by a few minutes this morning.”

Jordan:092615_2031_Characters7.gif  “OK with me.  Anything in particular they want to talk about?”

Gelly:  “All she said was Lincoln.”

Jordan:  “You mean like Abe Lincoln or the car?”

Gelly:  “As far as I know, Lincoln as in president.”

Jordan (short time later):  “Well, well, well.  The dynamic duo has arrived.  Nice to see you guys.  And what brings you here…other than to see me, of course.”

Greenie:  “And he’s so modest.  Go ahead, JC, your idea is what prompted the visit.”

JC:  “I was helping Greenie edit her articles about the Revenge Revolution.  What seemed to need more explanation was why evangelical Christians kept supporting Trump.  Continued evangelical support caused some real frustration…and in fact anger…with more moderate voters who were trying to address the country’s real problems.”

Greenie:  “Neither of us had a reasonable answer at first about sustained support for Trump by evangelicals.  Here’s a guy whose behavior was the antithesis of what the evangelicals claimed they stood for.  Yet they kept supporting Trump.  Why?”

Trump Stormy 2Jordan:  “Evangelicals must not have thought having multiple affairs constituted adultery.  C’mon, only one of those affairs, as far as we know, was with a high-profile porn star.  What’s the issue?”

JC:  “And a couple of those affairs were only after his wife gave birth and was home with the baby.  I mean no good evangelical should be upset about that kind of behavior, right?”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Jordan, see what we mean?  Repeated adultery, constant lying, publicly ridiculing people who had sacrificed a lot to work in his administration, mistreatment of women…and on and on.  Yet, the evangelicals kept supporting him.  Why?”

JC:  “Look, we understand…or at least acknowledge…that some people might have voted for Trump because they couldn’t imagine anyone who was running for president could be that inept.”

Greenie:  “But when evangelicals continued to support Trump after 12-15 months in office, we had no clue why.”

JC:  “No clue until we thought back to our days in grammar school in Illinois.  That was our ‘ah ha’ moment.”

abraham_lincoln_clip_art_15515Greenie:  “Good old Lincoln came to mind.  And one of his famous quotes.”

JC:  “You can fool some of the people all the time.”

Jordan:  “What about the rest of the quote?  You left out the part about fooling all the people some of the time.”

Greenie:  “Well, we really couldn’t find any time during his presidency where Trump came even marginally close to fooling all the people, even some of the time.  So we focused on trying to understand why he was able to fool some of the people all the time.”

JC:  “If you go back and look at the data, most all evangelicals appeared to be fooled all the time.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “But why do you think evangelicals were so easily fooled?”

Greenie:  “You want the politically incorrect answer?”

Jordan:  “Where are you headed with this?”

Greenie:  “We concluded that evangelicals, like fundamentalists in many religions, bought into a religious concept they believed to be true.”

Jordan:  “Keep talking.”

Greenie:  “Think about it.  Evangelicals view their religious beliefs as the absolute truth.  They are down two, over four.  That’s it.  We’re right.  You’re wrong.  End of discussion.”

ComplicatedJC:  “Have you ever heard evangelicals question the fundamental tenets of Christianity?”

Jordan:  “Not really.”

Greenie:  “Neither have we.  So here’s a group that buys into a concept for which there appears to be little, if any, supporting data.  Once bought in, they think this concept is the absolute truth and cannot be questioned.”

Jordan:  “Aren’t fundamentalists of other religions similar in their buy-in and absolutism?  Think of the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.”

JC:  “We agree.  But this conversation is about the US and not Israel.  In the US, evangelical Christian’s make-up a very large voting block and the Ultra-Orthodox Jews as a voting bloc are at best a rounding error.”

Greenie:  “What we have in the US is this large chunk of the population that responds like bobble heads to some religious leaders.  The religious leaders tell them what to do and they all nod their heads.  We told you this was a politically incorrect answer.”

BrainwashedJordan:  “It’s as if the group was brainwashed.”

JC:  “How else does one explain why evangelicals continued to support Trump?  Think about all the actions he took as president…forget his personal behavior.  Most of those actions were contrary to evangelicals’ supposed beliefs.  Yet, they continued to support him.”

Greenie:  “I still marvel that the vast majority of evangelicals thought Obama was not a Christian.  There was long-standing and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Most evangelicals must have been so brainwashed they would believe anything religious leaders told them.”

fox-news-logo bJordan:  “Let’s not forget evangelicals believing the absolute truths of the religious leaders of Fox News.  OK, now how do you intend to write-up this politically incorrect analysis?”

JC:  “That’s why we’re here.”

Greenie:  “We need some guidance, please.”

(Continued)

 

#288 Crypto-Currency Sent to the Crypt

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly: “Jordan, you have a call from a guy named Willie. Want to take it or should I…”

Jordan: “…I’ll take the call. You’ve never met Willie? That’s his nickname. He’s the banker and neighbor in Charlotte.”

Gelly: “Now I know who you mean. Didn’t realize his nickname was Willie.”

Jordan (picking up phone): “Willie, thanks for calling back.”

BankerWillie: “Your voice mail said you wanted to talk about crypto-currency.”

Jordan: “Yes. Need some guidance.”

Willie: “I can help with macro issues but I’m not a technical expert.”

Jordan: “Right now not concerned with the tech side…maybe later. Really want to understand how the Federal government views…or viewed…crypto-currency. What were the perceived implications on policy decisions of crypto-currency?”

Willie: “Where do you want to start?”

Jordan: “First, is crypto-currency considered a real currency or not? From what I gather, crypto-currency is a currency, but not a currency sponsored by a government. You know, it functions like the US dollar or Euro but there’s no government behind it, right?”

Willie: “You got it right. Crypto-currency is a de facto currency created by a non-government entity.”

Abbott CostelloJordan: “In a way, the crypto-currencies remind me of the US prior to the creation of the Federal Reserve. Lots of variation in value and no one quite sure who’s in charge?”

Willie: “Wondering who’s on first is not a bad way to look at it. Crypto-currencies are like a bunch of banks issuing their own currency…except rather than issuing paper notes its digital currency. And rather than backed by gold or silver, it’s backed by what one might term vaporware.”

Jordan: “So, if a bunch of groups issue their own currency, how do you use it? What merchant is going to accept your crypto-currency? The merchant has to get someone else to accept it, otherwise he’s screwed.”

StealingWillie: “Another good question. A lot of the so-called crypto-currencies vanished early on. Some never got any momentum and some were never issued even after investor funds were taken.”

Jordan: “But a couple of the crypto-currencies made it big time. What I still don’t understand is where the value came from? You did say it was like vaporware.”

Willie: “Just thinking about it is somewhat baffling. The most popular crypto-currencies were created out of thin air. OK, the currencies were created using a complex computer algorithm…but essentially out of thin air.”

Jordan: “You mean there was no real value? Zippo…nada…nothing?”

Rabbit Out of HatWillie: “A couple of crypto-currencies were backed by some assets. One was even backed by gold, but most were backed by nothing.”

Jordan: “Who would fall for a scheme like that? Reminds me of the tulip craze in the 17th century. At least for that craze, people bought some asset, albeit a tulip.”

Willie: “Supporters of crypto-currency claimed it was no different from currency issued by governments, so-called FIAT currencies. The FIAT currencies – US dollar, for example – no longer have precious-metal backing. According to these supporters, governments just print money with no underlying value.”

TurtleneckJordan: “While true that governments might have gone off the gold standard, governments do have assets…and a way to generate revenue. Governments can collect taxes. Save one or two, crypto-currencies had no assets and none had authority to collect taxes.”

Willie: “Creators of crypto-currencies claimed value was created because only so many would ever be ‘coined.’ Since the supply of coins was finite, value was created and justified.”

Jordan: “Aside from the illogic that a finite supply of something automatically creates value, what was their view of the real purpose of crypto-currency?”

Willie: “Some will claim my opinion’s biased because I’m in the banking industry. My view crypto-currency was attractive to certain groups for two basic reason: (i) help facilitate illicit transactions, especially drugs; (ii) help avoid taxes.”

Fed Reserve LogoJordan: “Over the years you’ve dealt with the Federal Reserve. How did they view crypto-currency?”

Willie: “At first, crypto-currencies were viewed by the Fed as an annoyance, but not a major issue. Think of a crypto-currency as a mosquito or a gnat.”

Jordan: “Then the mosquito started to grow…like a mosquito on steroids.”

Willie: “You’re right. Once on steroids, the Fed began to look at crypto-currencies as a threat to its control.”

Jordan: “How so?”

Bag of MoneyWillie: “Two primary roles of the Federal Reserve are managing monetary policy and controlling the banking system. The already difficult job of managing monetary policy became much more difficult with the alternative-currency universe.”

Jordan: “So the more crypto-currencies were used instead of dollars…the more crypto-currencies became a larger percentage of the money supply…the more exaggerated the Fed’s actions needed to be to achieve the same desired policy effect. The Fed was dealing with a smaller pie, as it were.”

Wall Street SignWillie: “Most people did not fully appreciate how crypto-currencies forced the Fed’s hand. Crypto-currencies took a bigger and bigger slide out of the Fed’s monetary pie. In order to achieve the same result as before crypto-currencies, the Fed was forced to exaggerate changes in interest rates, both up and down. The exaggeration also affected Wall Street. As a result, the Fed was unhappy, Wall Street was unhappy, many investors were unhappy and the general public was unhappy.”

Jordan: “Anything else?”

Willie: “Two other critical issues. A key reason the Fed was created was to help facilitate trade. Many of the crypto-currencies fluctuated wildly in value, which created uncertainty and slowed trade.”

Jordan: “What’s the second issue?”

TaxesWillie: “Federal revenue. While the Fed is not responsible for collecting taxes, in order to manage monetary policy, the Fed needs to have a good idea of sources and uses of Federal funds.”

Jordan: “Because the flow of crypto-currencies was hard to track and therefore hard to collect taxes on that flow, forecasting Federal revenue became even more uncertain. Right?”

Willie: “You got it. From the Fed’s perspective, and a lot of other people agreed, crypto-currencies were a cancer that was restricting trade, making monetary policy more difficult to manage and reducing potential government revenue. The solution? Ban crypto-currencies. Send crypto-currencies to the crypt. Does that help explain crypto-currencies?”

Jordan: “Yes, very much so. Thanks. Willie, as always, nice to chat. Let’s get together soon.”

#287 Who Took Out the Donald…Mama Bear?

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Greenie, JC and Jordan having lunch near Jordan’s office in Washington, DC.  Conversation continues from Entry #286.

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie: “OK, now that we’ve solved the mystery of the creation of the universe, I have another topic.”

Jordan: “Which is?”

Greenie: “Who took out the Donald?”

JC: “We’ve already discussed that and Jordan claims it was the FBI.”

Greenie: “I know we discussed it earlier but when I started to write the articles about how the take out might have affected the Revenge Revolution, I realized we’d never discussed…or I don’t remember ever discussing…what triggered the FBI to take action.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC: “You mean what event or action by Trump caused the FBI, or whatever group was responsible, to say, ‘enough, already. He needs to go.’”

Greenie: “Well, we know it wasn’t Trump who called and said to the FBI, ‘Gee, why don’t you take me out.’ So, Jordan, was there an event that triggered the take out? You were the first person I know to call the take out. What’s your opinion?”

Jordan: “While there was a time gap between the event and the take out, my view is the event was the weekend when Sessions fired Andrew McCabe. That was sometime early spring 2018.”

JC: “Why that particular event?”

Tilted-scale-hiJordan: “Because by early 2018 it had become clear Trump was in the hands of the Russians…at least financially. They had him by the you know what.”

JC: “But a lot of people suspected Mueller already had evidence of Trump’s financial obligations to the Russians. So, why the firing of McCabe the tipping point?”

Jordan: “Until Mueller subpoenaed Trump’s business records, Trump was either in denial of what seemed obvious to the world or too naïve…”

JC: “…or more likely, too stupid to understand what was going on. After Tillerson got fired, he finally stated publicly what he’d said before. Trump was a moron.”

trump-youre-firedGreenie: “So why did Trump have Sessions fire McCabe? Firing McCabe accomplished nothing. Then Sessions got fired by Trump soon thereafter.”

JC: “Pardon me for being so blunt, but you just answered your own question — why did firing McCabe trigger the take out? Trump thought the firing would discredit McCabe.”

Greenie: “Discredit McCabe with whom? Maybe Trump’s base but at that point Trump’s base no longer counted in the real world. I must say Trump calling McCabe a liar was a bit much even for Trump. Seriously? Trump calling someone a liar and expecting the world to believe him?”

JC: “In Donnie Boy’s world the base was the only thing that mattered.”

Full HouseGreenie: “Do you guys think Trump really understood who held all the cards? In the Washington poker game, Trump didn’t have a pair of deuces and Muller had a full house, yet Trump thought he could bluff Mueller.”

Jordan: “And Muller’s full house included all the FBI agents. Just think about how crazy his behavior was. Trump dumps all over Comey and McCabe and trashes the FBI as an organization. That’s about the same level of stupidity as trying to steal a bear cub while mama bear is watching nearby, not even hiding.”

Mama BearJC: “Pissing off mama bear is not smart. And doing so never has a good outcome.”

Greenie: “So now we have Mama-Bear-FBI watching the Donald trying to steal one of her cubs…actually two, no three of her cubs – Comey, McCabe and Mueller.”

Jordan: “Still wonder why the FBI took out Trump? Actually, I do think there’s a bigger reason. Yes, the FBI was pissed about the Donald trashing the agency and also trying to steal the cubs, but the overarching reason…”

JC: “…the overarching reason was the professionals thought Trump was mentally unstable. Nobody could predict what he would do next.”

FBI LogoGreenie: “Most serious adults in the US…and worldwide…have great admiration for the FBI. I think it’s fairly well-known that when joining the agency you pledge to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ The people who I know connected with the Agency take the pledge very seriously.’ Trump’s behavior violated the pledge and effectively left them no choice.”

JC: “Still baffles me why Trump did not understand the potential consequences of his behavior. It’s not as if you had to be a genius to predict the outcome. Jordan, you predicted it and we know you’re no genius…right?”

TurtleneckJordan: “I’d like to ignore your last comment but you’re correct. Anyone with a modicum of gray matter could have seen what was going to happen when you mess with Mama-Bear FBI.”

Greenie: “Fortunately, the take out and transition were reasonably peaceful.”

Jordan: “For the peaceful transition you can thank the FBI and some of the military-trained adults who’d been in the White House. Those guys knew who to call, when to call and what to tell the remaining staff to do. Lots of good work behind the scenes.”

070715_2218_141SenseChe1.gifGreenie: “Even after the transition from Trump, the country had the Revenge Revolution. Granted a few years later but probably a lot more peaceful that it might have been.”

JC: “You know what? Even though we’ve had the Revenge Revolution and we’re looking backwards, talking about the Trump years exhausts me mentally. Why don’t we go back to discussing an easier topic?”

Greenie: “You mean an easy topic like the creation of the universe?”

Jordan: “While you guys decide on what to chat about, I’m taking a break.”

#286 Diversion: Can We Talk Evolution?

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Greenie, JC and Jordan having lunch near Jordan’s office in Washington, DC

Jordan:  “Greenie, glad you could break away for lunch.  You can protect me from your buddy here.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Now, Jordan.  Yes, it’s nice to see you but when did you need protection?  Has JC been harassing poor little Jordie?”

JC:  “See, Jordan.  You’re far too sensitive…and taking yourself way too seriously.  You need to get out of Washington more often.  You’re starting to act like some of those people in Congress.”

Jordan:  “Alright guys.  Enough kvetching.  What are we going to talk about over lunch?  What about…”

Greenie:  “…excuse me but if you were going to suggest discussing progress on my articles on the Revenge Revolution, please don’t.  I need a break.”

Jordan:  “OK, then what?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “You want something far out…no pun intended.”

Jordan:  “Such as…and what pun?”

JC:  “Evolution.”

Greenie:  “Since when did you become the scientist?”

JC:  “Think about it?”

Greenie:  “Think about what, Ms. Einstein?”

JC:  “How could species evolve from a bunch of elements?  And how did the universe get started?

albert-einsteinJordan:  “Greenie, maybe Ms. Einstein is on to something.  I’ve never really bought into the Big Bang Theory.  Understand the theory but what I can’t figure out is where did the matter come from?”

JC:  “See, this might be interesting.  Where did all that stuff come from?  Nothing just doesn’t go bang.  Nothing had to be something before it went bang.”

Greenie:  “So, if you need something in order to have it go bang, then who or what provided the something?  Little green men?  ET’s friends?”

StarsJordan:  “Green is not my color.  I like ET’s friends better.  Seriously…if that’s possible with this group…I’ve always been fascinated by the number of stars.  Now after the Hubble telescope, we know there are even more billions of stars and millions, if not billions of galaxies.”

JC:  “And, if you believe in the tooth fairy, out of those billions and billions, earth is the only place where life exists.  Right.  Take another hit on that joint.”

Greenie:  “How does all this link to evolution?”

JC:  “Evolution, at least on earth, may not be so random.  What if we’re a science experiment of one of ET’s buddies?”

Jordan:  “If evolution is part of a science experiment, it explains a lot.”

Greenie:  “How?”

ETJordan:  “We know…let me rephrase that…there appear to be more than three dimensions.  We don’t know exactly how many but let’s say there are five dimensions.”

JC:  “So ET’s buddies could be operating in all five dimensions while we’re operating only in three.  And…”

Greenie:  “…Let me try.  We know time is relative.  A billion years to us might be 10 years to ET.  Like a gnat’s life is three days by our standards but maybe 100 years by gnat standards.”

Jordan:  “Keep going.”

Petri DishGreenie:  “One of ET’s buddies has this experiment.  And as part of that experiment there is a giant petri dish called earth.  ET’s buddy puts of few drops of something in the dish and things start to grow.”

JC:  “After a while some of the amoebas get bigger and eat other amoebas.  Over more time other amoebas take on different shapes and new flavors of amoebas evolve.”

Jordan:  “After who knows how long, the “generic man” amoeba evolves.”

Greenie:  “All this seems sort of weird, doesn’t it?  We’re an experiment in ET’s buddy’s petri dish.”

JC:  “Weird, yes, but have you got a better explanation?  Plus, who’s going believe this idea anyway?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Does it really matter who believes it?  Probably not.  However, more people might be closer to believing it than we think.  I find it very interesting that when you look at the core beliefs of a bunch of different religions, there always seems to be some ‘super-power’ of sorts at the top.”

JC:  “And a belief in that ‘super-power’ makes life less complicated, right?”

Jordan:  “Yes, it seems to.”

JC:  “By the way, Jordan does this mean you’ve given up religion for a petri dish?  Next time we have lunch are you going to order a BLT?”

Jordan:  “You’re funny, JC.  No, religion is still very important. At a very minimum it provides great guidelines and boundaries.  And no BLT, unless its turkey bacon.”

Greenie:  “Whew, beginning to wonder about you, too.   C’mon, you really like turkey bacon?”

(End of discussion on evolution…at least for now.)    

 

 

#285 Why Is Banning Assault Weapons a 2nd Amendment Issue?

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: JC and Jordan ordering coffee at shop near Jordan’s office in Washington.

Clerk to Jordan: “Hi Bubbles, the usual?”

Jordan:  “Yes, please.  And JC, what do you want?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Grande, medium roast.”

——– Have coffee and find table —————-

JC:  “OK, you’ve got to tell me.  Where’d the name ‘Bubbles’ come from?  You leading some kind of secret life none of us know about?”

Jordan:  “Nothing that exciting.  When I started coming here regularly, I asked them to top off the coffee…since I don’t take cream.  One day when they put on the lid, some bubbles oozed out of the drink hole and onto the lid.”

Coffee cup and lidJC:  “And, so what?”

Jordan:  “That’s what I said, ‘So what?’  But apparently some customers are very picky and ask for a new lid if any bubbles ooze out.”

JC:  “So you, poking fun at those who take themselves too seriously, begin asking for bubbles, right?”

Jordan:  “And, voila, I became known as ‘Bubbles.’”

JC:  “Well, Bubbles, I think we’re going to have company.  An old friend of yours.”

Jordan:  “Hi, Sandy.  Long time, no see.  Have a seat, if you want.”

092615_2031_Characters8.gifSandy:  “Hi, Jordan.  If I recall, it’s JC, right?”

JC:  “Yes.”

Sandy:  “I really shouldn’t sit with you, Jordan.  I’m still mad at you.”

Jordan:  “For what?”

Sandy:  “Your efforts to overturn the 2nd Amendment and take away all our guns.”

Jordan:  “C’mon, Sandy, I never supported overturning the 2nd Amendment.”

AR-15Sandy:  “Sure you did.  You wanted to ban the sale of all assault weapons…and even make owning one illegal.”

JC:  “Excuse me, but you please help me understand something?”

Sandy:  “What would you like to understand?”

JC:  “How a ban on owning an assault weapon affecst rights under the 2nd Amendment?  I’m missing the link.”

Sandy:  “Because the ban was the first step toward a total ban on owning any weapons…and another major step toward a socialist state.”

JC:  “Sandy, let’s be serious, please.  No more NRA hype.  Remember there’s been a Revenge Revolution and the US political landscape is different now.”

Sandy:  “But you don’t understand.”

ComplicatedJC:  “You’re right.  I don’t understand.  The assault ban still allowed ownership of all kinds of hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols.  I’m not a hunter but why would you need an assault rifle to kill a deer?  Where’s the sport in that?  Maybe we should arm the deer.  That would make it more fun.”

Jordan:  “She’s right…well, maybe not about giving guns to the deer.  From your perspective, what was the real issue?  No civilian needs an AR-15.”

Sandy:  “Need assault rifles for protection.  That was the issue.”

Jordan:  “Protection from what?  You and I both know there’s no ad hoc civilian group, no matter how well armed, that has any chance against the military.  So really, what’s the heartache over the ban?”

School

Sandy:  “Well, you didn’t support protecting schools by arming teachers either.  Don’t you like kids?”

JC:  “Oh, Sandy, Sandy, please.  You don’t need to pretend to be a talking head on Fox or a politician who changes the subject and tries to blame someone else when he can’t answer the question.  What was the real issue?”

Jordan:  “Let’s take your comment about wanting to arm teachers…and even putting barricades around schools.”

Sandy:  “Good.  Now you’re talking some sense.”

Jordan:  “Tell me, what would either arming teachers or fortifying schools prevent?”

Sandy:  “Mass killings at schools.  Protecting our kids.  Why don’t you like kids?”

JC:  “He likes kids.  I need to understand what’s going to stop a shooter from hiding across the street from the school?  Or even sitting in the car and then shooting a bunch of kids when school lets out?”

Jordan:  “The shooter could also just fire a few rounds, blow out a window and then have a whole classroom of targets.”

JC:  “Jordan, that’s gross.”

Jordan:  “Gross, yes, but anyone with some infantry training in the military…and Sandy has more experience than I have…knows how to take out a bunch of people quickly, especially with an assault rifle.”

Sandy:  “Are you saying there’s no way to protect these school kids?”

Jordan:  “What I’m saying is a mass killing is much easier with an assault weapon.  And that’s the reason I opposed any ownership of assault weapons outside the military.”

Sandy:  “The ban won’t stop killing.”

JC:  “Oh boys.  Sandy, I think everyone agrees that the ban is not a silver bullet, as it were.  Some mass killings will continue to happen as long as there are so many guns around.”

Seat beltsSandy:  “So why have a ban on owning assault weapons?”

JC:  “To help reduce the number of killings.  Here’s a comparison.  Mandating seat belts and air bags in cars and trucks didn’t eliminate some people dying in wrecks.  But as a result of the mandate, there have been far fewer deaths.  Got it?”

#283 Creating Clarity from Chaos (Part 2)

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Commentary: The last two week’s entries are a bit different — a personal dialogue.  No characters.  No scenes in coffee shops or in the office.  Just personal dialogue.

At the end of Entry #282, I gave no hint about a recommendation for reducing gun violence in America.  The vagueness was intentional, in part, because I wanted to: (i) think through my ideas; (ii) recognize possible meaningful actions at the state or Federal level during the then upcoming week.

Yes, I know one week does not a trend make.  But this past week helped solidify, at least for me, what action needs to be taken.

AR-15First, it appears more and more people are realizing what the military and gun enthusiasts have known for some time – the AR-15 is not a sport rifle, is not a hunting rifle but is an assault weapon designed for killing as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.

My conclusion and recommendation: sale and ownership of AR-15’s and similar military-grade weapons need to be banned.  The ban would apply to new sales through dealers or between private individuals.  Further ownership of any AR-15 (and other designated weapons) would be banned.  No grandfathering.

Weapons currently in private hands would be returned to authorities for disposal.  Owners would receive some compensation for turning in the weapons.  Those not turning in designated weapons would be subject to a felony conviction and losses of rights associated with such a conviction.

The only sales of AR-15’s and other designated weapons would be to the military.  An attempted sale of such weapons to any other individual or entity would carry an automatic felony conviction and void any compensation for turning in the weapon.

ComplicatedWhy such a harsh recommendation?  First and foremost, these type weapons are not needed outside the military.  For those who insist on firearms to protect self and/or property, hunting rifles, shotguns and pistols are more than adequate.  For hunters, using AR-15’s is hardly sport, even if hunting elephants, lions, tigers or bears, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway.

Aside from the lack of need for these type weapons, I am recommending the approach because compromise will not begin to solve the underlying problem of ownership of military weapons in civilian hands.  This baby cannot be cut in half.

The NRA and the hard right have such a warped sense of reality on this issue that a compromise would only migrate efforts to reduce gun violence from outlandishly unworkable to extremely unworkable.  The NRA’s approach to any effort to address the problem is to offer No Rational Alternative.

ReaganBanning assault weapons is not unprecedented.  Beginning in 1994 Federal law banned the sales of newly manufactured assault weapons.  Former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan, wrote to the U.S. House of Representatives in support of banning “semi-automatic assault guns”. The law passed with bi-partisan support.  Congress let the law expire in 2004.

The law had many loopholes, which reduced potential effectiveness.  Part of the justification for not renewing the ban in 2004 was the lack of clear evidence that crime had been reduced.  Well, I’ll tell you what.  Put enough loopholes in any kind of regulation and people will find a way around the regulation, thereby negating its intended purpose.   The justufucation for not renewing the ban seems as ill-conceived as using a sieve for a drinking cup and wondering why you can’t get much water.

The NRA and hard right, as both are prone to do, have created alternative universes to help justify their position.  The interpretation of the Second Amendment is a good example of an alternative universe.

What is the wording of the Second Amendment?    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shaConstitutionll not be infringed.”

Why was the Second Amendment added to the Constitution?  At the time the US had a very small standing Army, debt from the Revolutionary War was high, and the Federal government had very limited resources and virtually no taxing power.  To have an effective militia meant that the states and its residents needed to comprise most of the troops (think today’s National Guard.)  In addition, there was concern about defending the country against a foreign invasion (e.g., war with the British didn’t end until the War of 1812) and individuals settling the west were fighting Native Americans.

Rifle Flint LockIn that context, the Second Amendment seems perfectly logical.  Guys, get it?  The regular citizens of the country made up the military when the Constitution was written.  And, if you’re a strict “Constitutionalist” and interpret the Constitution as originally written, the weapons were single-shot flint locks, not AR-15’s.

Look, if you want to get your jollies and fire AR-15’s, 30-calibre and/or 50-calibre machine guns, toss hand grenades and other things that go boom, then join the Army or Marines.  You might feel a little differently after you’re the target of someone firing these weapons.  Not quite as much fun.

Does the proposed ban on military-grade weapons have a chance of passage?  What about those who believe that a ban on these type weapons is only the first step of many that will allow the Federal government to take complete control of one’s life.  Out with the democracy and in with socialism.

House of RepsGet serious conservatives.  If you understood government, you might realize that you already live in a country where the government allows you basic rights.  That piece of property you think you own?  Your right to ownership is a function of government.  The freedom to travel?  That freedom is a function of government.  Hate to burst your conservative bubble, but the freedoms that you have are because the government lets you have those freedoms.

David Brooks, a conservative op-ed columnist for the New York Times, recently suggested that to make progress closing the gap on certain social issues we need to respect the other side’s point of view.  I agree…and on most issues I think the approach will work.  On the issue of working to reduce gun violence and why recognizing that ease of access to and ownership of assault rifles is a major contributing factor, I’ve tried to listen, as have many others.  But when you’re dealing with people whose position has no rational support…and dealing with people who are even unwilling to discuss the issues, I say, David, in this case you’re wrong.

The ultimate insult to rational people came this past week when many in the NRA and on the hard right claimed the students at the Parkland, FL high school where 17 fellow students and teachers died, were not students but paid actors.  Sure Rushman.  17 people get killed.  Some students protest because adults are either too lazy or too stupid or too brainwashed by you, Fox and others, to take no action.  And you have the gall to claim the students are phony?  No, Rushman, you’re the phony.  The kids have guts.

Hey Hey LBJI hope these students ask their grandparents to coach them about how the grandparent protested the Vietnam War.  Then the kids can go to Washington, march in front of the White House and chant, “Hey, hey, Donald J!  How many kids did you kill today?”

The students are the future of this country.  Rather than mock them, we should support them.

Where does that leave us?  Given the rigidity of the right and the No-Reasonable-Alternative NRA, the only significant step that I can think of to begin to change the culture of gun ownership and to begin reducing gun-related violence is to ban the manufacture, sale and ownership by non-military personnel or entities of all military-grade weapons.  With the ban, no one’s right to own a weapon for hunting, sport or defense will be affected.  Folks, we need only one military.

#282 Seeking Clarity from Chaos (Part 1)

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Commentary: This week’s entry is a bit different — a personal dialogue.  No characters.  No scenes in coffee shops or in the office.  Just personal dialogue.

What can anyone say to help clarify the chaos we’re living in?  While nothing seems appropriate or triuly meaningful, let me provide some perspective on a couple of issues.

I skipped an entry last week to work on two proposals: (i) help improve air quality by reducing emissions from aircraft; (ii) complete development of a remarkably simple micro-utility system that can help provide clean water and electricity to people worldwide.  I had drafted comments about Trump’s stupid idea to have a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue but decided the comments were far less important than the proposals that could offer society some potential benefit.

abraham_lincoln_clip_art_15515Then came the week of February 12, 2018.  The week started with some people celebrating the birth of a truly great president…Abraham Lincoln.  The rest of the week, however, was mind-numbing blur of events…at least mind-numbing by pre-Trump standards.

The least mind-numbing was that Trump paid…excuse me, Trump’s lawyer paid an adult film star $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair with the Donald.  Just stop and think about the lawyer’s admission.  The to-be president had an affair with a porn star.  The affair started just after the current First Lady gave birth.  OK, so it’s not the first time a president has stepped out on his wife…but stepped out with a well-known a porn star? I mean really.  The Donald must have been seeking professional advice about sex that also included frequent practice sessions.

And why did the lawyer claim that he paid the porn star out of his own pocket with no reimbursement from Trump?  C’mon, such bologna.  The lawyer probably squawked because the Donald didn’t pay him back.

RosensteinThe week ended with indictments of 13 Russians and a couple of Russian-run companies for meddling in the 2016 elections.  So when the indictments were announced, how did the White House respond? Praise for the Justice Department?  Condemnation of Russian interference in the elections?  Nope.  Only a claim there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians since the indictments indicated the meddling started before Trump formally declared his candidacy.

If the White House only were staffed with people who had graduated from eight grade rather than just kindergarten.  Did anyone in the White House with half a brain listen to what Rob Rosenstein said?  The indictment was specific to a certain segment of Russian interference in the elections.  There was a strong implication in Rosenstein’s remarks of other indictments to come and those indictments would include a different set of characters.

GallowsThe Donald and his incompetents club are not close to being off the hook.  Truth is Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump but tightened the noose a notch or two.

Either event – porn star or the indictments – could have toppled an administration in “normal” times.  But life in Washington and America after Trump – aka, AT – is anything but normal.  (And the new “not-normal”-normal is why the country is headed for its fifth revolution, the Revenge Revolution.)

What’s most disappointing in the AT era is not the behavior of the Donald.  Anyone mildly familiar with his past knew he was boorish, childish and incredibly insecure…although maybe not to the extremes of today.  To understand Trump, all one had to do was visit Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.  A perfect reflection of his personality.

goofy006So what’s most disappointing then is the behavior of Republicans in Congress.  And if you’re a hard-core Republican reading this, please no attempted counters that the Democrats are at fault.  Pal, Republicans control the House, Senate and the White House.  What more do you want?  Yet, the Republicans seem clueless…and have stopped thinking.  Did Trump suck out your brains so you can no longer think…and then take your morals along with the brains?

The lack of brains and morals was vividly displayed this week following the killing of 17 students and teachers in Broward County, FL. Look, I know the president is supposed to try to console the nation in times of such tragedies.  That’s not going to happen with the Donald.

So the job falls to those next in the line of succession.  Starting with the first in line, VP Mike Pence.  Did I miss something or did Pence seem to find some place to hide after his gigantic diplomatic faux pas at the Olympics.  Hey, Mike, if you can shake hands and support some real a-hole dictators elsewhere in the world, you can at least shake hands with the sister of a guy who has nuclear weapons and might be willing to use them on his neighbors and the US.  In case you don’t know it, talking to an enemy doesn’t cause people to die.  War is ugly and costly.

FartSpeaker of the House Paul Ryan was talking out of his you-know-what, babbling incoherently about the usual Republican talking points – enforce the gun laws on the books, help the mentally ill and oh, yes, the Second Amendment is sacred.  Oops, I almost forgot, we need to pray for the families of the people killed.  While not next in line, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated the meaningless drivel.

So, Republicans, where’s your spine…and your brains?  Here’s how the real world works.  Guns kill people.  Understand?  It’s not complicated.  One more time – guns kill people.

AR-15Guns are designed for one purpose…and one purpose only – to kill.  What’s more, weapons designed for the military – AR-15-like weapons – are designed to kills lots of people quickly.

For those gun supporters who have never been in the military, I suggest you watch a demonstration of the fire power that can be laid down by weapons carried by soldiers in a light-infantry unit.  The amount of firepower is breathtaking.

After you’ve been wowed by the demonstration, imagine yourself on the receiving end of all that firepower.  Yes, imagine yourself trying to get away and survive or even return the fire.  Let me tell you, if you’re up against anyone with a limited amount of military training in the light infantry, you don’t have a chance.  And having a bunch of people around with concealed weapons will make little difference…and could make your chances of survival much worse.

The more concealed weapons with the public, the more the shooter will position himself like the shooter in Las Vegas – barricaded and protected against return fire.  Argue all you want that more guns in the public’s hands actually save lives…but your arguments Airplanedon’t hold water.  As awful and frightful as this sounds…and it is…I could go to a gun show and buy weapons that allow me to shoot down a commercial airliner.  What’s even worse, at most major airports I could position myself outside the perimeter of airport security and still be able to take down the airliner.  Scary isn’t it.

So what’s the solution?  (Continued)     

#281 Trump Gets Annual Checkup with Board of Directors (Part 3 of 3)

Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington, DC. Conversation begins Entry #279

Board Member: “Mr. Trump, you just said you’ve accomplished more than any CEO in the history of this company. Just what do you think you’ve accomplished?”

Me FirstTrump: “The list is tremendous…very long, very long. For one thing employment is higher than it’s ever been. Just look at all the new employees we’ve added this past year. Tremendous, right?”

Board Member: “Well, let’s put your claim in perspective. Just so we are talking apples to apples, what was the percentage increase in employment?”

Trump: “Apples, schmaples, I deal in numbers. Who worries about percentages anyway? Figuring out percentages is too complicated…and misleading.”

Board of DirectorsBoard Member: “So you want to compare the number of employees added this past year to employment say 20-30 years ago when the company was much smaller. Did I understand you correctly?”

Trump: “Look, I know I’m a winner. No one else is better than I am. Why are you always challenging what I say? You should jump on my wagon. What’s wrong with you anyway?”

Board Member: “The Board challenges your claims because you have a history of lying and cheating.”

Trump: “Says who? Tell me who said that. I’ll fire the SOB.”

Board Member: “We know you’ve lied about the results of the company. We also want to talk about lying in your personal life. Your actions do not reflect well on the company.”

Trump: “Whadda mean? My personal life is clean as a whistle. I’m a germaphobe, you know.”

Trump Stormy 2Board Member: “Is it true you had an affair with an adult film star?”

Trump: “You mean Stormy? That was no long-term affair. Just a fling. Besides being with her was educational. When I want to learn something new, I go to an expert…and trust me, Stormy is an expert.”

Board Member: “Calling Miss Daniels an expert might be the most honest statement you’ve made while CEO of this company.”

Trump: “I know she’s an expert because she’s expensive. I mean really expensive.”

Board Member: “Mr. Trump…”

Trump: “Why do you keep calling me Mr. Trump? I’m the president and CEO of this company. You should address me as Mr. President. I deserve it. Understand?”

Deutsche BankBoard Member: “Like I said, Mr. Trump, could you please explain your relationship with Deutsche Bank?”

Trump: “What relationship?”

Board Member: “We know you have a relationship with them. Why did you select Deutsche Bank?”

Trump: “Because none of the a-hole US banks would lend me money. Those banks are all filled with liberals.”

Board Member: “Excuse me but the banking industry is hardly filled with liberals. Did the US banks refuse to lend you money because you stiffed them? Refused because you defaulted on loans several times?”

trump-scowlTrump: “All those bankruptcies were not my fault. If the other partners had just…”

Board Member: “…Pardon me for interrupting but weren’t all those projects managed by the Trump organization? And didn’t all the properties have Trump as part of their name?”

Trump: “There you go again, trying to blame me for something I had nothing to do with. When’s this witch hunt going to end?”

Board Member: “So the Trump projects fail and declare bankruptcy…at least six as I recall. And when the projects go BK, the banks get stiffed. Then when you want to start another project, the US banks say ‘no thanks’ so you turn to Deutsche Bank. Just what did Deutsche Bank get in return for lending you money?”

traitorTrump: “A decent interest rate. You know what a tough negotiator I am.  The other guy always loses.”

Board Member: “Please, Mr. Trump, we’re not that naïve. After all those BK’s, you were in no position to negotiate anything. We know you’re not a reader and would rather watch TV. I assume you’ve seen the movie the ‘Godfather’?”

Trump: “One of my favorites.”

CorleoneBoard Member: “Well, when people came to the Don…not you, the head of the Corleone Family…they were in no position to negotiate terms. The Corleone’s always ended up with more than what you label a ‘decent return.’”

Trump: “If you’re so smart, tell me what do you think Deutsche Bank got?”

Board Member: “Earlier in this conversation you said your involvement with Deutsche Bank included laundering money.”

Money LaunderingTrump: “’Laundering money’ was a slip of the tongue. I corrected myself.”

Board Member: “Based on the fines assessed against Deutsche Bank for laundering money…and some other information we’ve secured about your finances…it was no slip of the tongue.”

Trump: “Prove it.”

Board Member: “Want us to show you the evidence? One thing you need to understand, FBI LogoMr. Trump, we know how you are obsessed with trying to appear wealthy. So part of our investigation included following the money trail. If you’d like we can take our findings to the FBI or IRS.”

Trump: “Liberal organizations…and unfair to American patriots like me.”

Board Member: “You’re leaving us no choice, Mr. Trump. The Board has made a decision.”

Trump KingTrump: “I don’t care what the Board thinks. You’re supposed to do what I say, not what you want to do. You’re supposed to be loyal to me. I’m the king…I mean president and CEO.”

Board Member: “No, Mr. Trump, you are not king…and now you are no longer president. You’re fired.”

Trump: “But you can’t…”

Board Member: “Mr. Trump, your next decision is to step down quietly or face likely prosecution for you, some of your staff and some family members. Your choice.”
———————–
Jordan: “Gelly, I finished the memo. Thanks for giving it to me.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly: “Your predictions were pretty accurate.”

Jordan: “Trump chose to fight, which was a big mistake on his part. His ego got in the way. He just couldn’t leave so the FBI ended up taking him out.”

Gelly: “Do you think the Revenge Revolution could have been avoided if Clinton had won the election? She really won but didn’t win the Electoral College. You know what I mean.”

TurtleneckJordan: “I know what you mean. My answer is the Revenge Revolution would have happened anyway.”

Gelly: “You think the hard-right Republicans were hell-bent on destroying the democracy regardless of who won?”

Jordan: “Yes, but let’s hold that discussion for later. I need a break.”