#253 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 10)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington a few days after the dinner meeting with Gelly, JC and Greenie.  (Lead-n.  Last comment in conversation, Entry #252, JC said, “Follow the money.”)  (Series “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.) 

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “JC, I agree that a lot of people in Congress have been influenced by money.  Trump certainly was, too.  But…”

JC:  “…but you think there’s more, right?”

Greenie:  “I don’t want to sound as if I’m beating a dead horse but I want to come back to Jordan’s theory about the FBI.”

JC:  “When you said dead horse, what popped into my head was the classic bedroom scene from the ‘Godfather.’”

Greenie:  “Probably a good scenario.  Think about the relationship between the movie director, aka Trump, and the mob boss, in this case the FBI.  Not suggesting James Comey was a mob boss…well, you get the idea.”

Jordan:  “We get the idea.  The movie director sticks his finger in the eye of the mafia don, thinking he can intimidate him.”

Godfather HorseGreenie:  “The movie director’s problem?  He was either too stupid to realize the potential consequences or had too much hubris.  And look what happened to the director’s prized possession.”

Matt:  “I’d never thought about Trump’s behavior that way.  The comparison to the movie guy in the ‘Godfather’ is an interesting one.”

Greenie:  “Think about it.  Trump insults Comey publically.  He also tries to convince Comey to drop any investigation into Trump’s cronies.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Then Comey testifies in Congress about Trump’s behavior.  How does Trump react?  Trump and his lawyer claim Comey lied and Trump was completely exonerated by ‘Comey-the-Liar’s’ testimony.  Apparently Trump and his high-priced real-estate lawyer didn’t listen very well.”

Matt:  “In fairness to the Donald, there was no smoking gun in Comey’s testimony…at least his public testimony.”

Greenie:  “Matt, c’mon.  I know you’re a reporter and want to be fair, but you sound like you work for Fox News.”

092615_2031_Characters11.pngMatt:  “Since when did Fox News become a real news organization?  Anyway, Comey’s testimony did not provide clear-cut evidence of obstruction of justice.  Questionable behavior by Trump?  Definitely, but no clear-cut evidence of obstruction.”

JC:  “There was clear-cut evidence Trump did not understand how government works.  You know the stuff we were taught in 8th grade civics class.  Donald, were you asleep the entire semester?”

Matt:  “What I think Trump failed to realize and certainly didn’t appreciate was the out Comey gave him.”

Greenie:  “You mean the out that women use all the time?  All Trump had to do was keep the Twitter account in silent mode and, then if he had any brains, say he was sorry that he stepped over the line that separates the responsibilities of different branches of government.  I mean, how hard was it to make an apology?”

Jordan:  “I hadn’t thought about that.  An apology could have sucked most of the air out of the investigation.  It certainly couldn’t have hurt.”

Donald Unhappy IIJC:  “But, no, the Donald thought he was doing another episode of the ‘Apprentice.’  Scowl and look mean.  For some reason he couldn’t apologize and took the opposite approach by ratcheting up the negative rhetoric.”

Jordan:  “He also set up a no-win situation for himself – claiming yet again there were recordings of the conversation with Comey that exonerated him but never showing the evidence.”

Matt:  “And then offered to testify under oath about Comey and other issues.  Trump made some really stupid comments but still not enough of a reason for the FBI to take him out.”

JC:  “Jordan, the FBI is your theory.  What about Matt’s question?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “We’ve talked about this before.  The FBI, in my opinion, considered Trump to be mentally spiraling more and more out of control.  We’ll probably never know the entire story but according to credible reports, when Trump would watch TV in the living quarters of the White House, he would scream at reports he didn’t like.”

Matt:  “Sounds like Nixon but how about some more examples, please.”

Jordan:  “Reacting to Comey’s testimony was the most obvious at the time.  But two other critical areas were out of control.”

Greenie:  “I’m guessing diplomatic relations was one.  And for #2, I’ll go with defense.”

092615_2031_Characters12.gifJordan:  “Greenie, you’re two for two.  Take diplomacy.  In short order, Trump managed…in the most polite terms…to give the finger to our strongest allies – Germany, England, France and Israel.  Then he chastised Qatar for supporting terrorists.  Did he realize the US had a major military base in Qatar?”

JC:  “Probably not.  Did he even know Qatar was a country…let alone where it was?  And the country he supported instead of Qatar?  Saudi Arabia.  Mmm, the Donald must have forgotten about where the 9/11 terrorists came from.”

Jordan:  “I think worse than the public chastising of Qatar was Trump publicly ignoring efforts and statements by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State.”

FoolMatt:  “He did make Tillerson and Mattis each look like a fool.  Each had worked hard to convince NATO allies that the US was committed.  Then during the meeting at NATO, Trump claims…incorrectly I might add…claims that US taxpayers were footing the bill for other NATO countries.  Worse still, at the NATO meeting he refused to support Article 5…the key to NATO.”

JC:  “Article 5 is the one where each country commits to defend other members, right?”

Jordan:  “Yes and Article 5 is the cornerstone of NATO.  Within a few days of insulting secretaries of Defense and State…and NATO allies…he throws the Attorney General under the bus.  Why?  Because in Trump-world the AG displayed ‘weakness’ by recusing himself from the Russia investigation.”

trump-scowlGreenie:  “Can’t have the Attorney General following the law.  Have to be tough.”

Matt:  “I think it was the next week…maybe two weeks later…he started trashing the Robert Mueller, special counsel leading the investigation, and Rod Rosenstein, the second in command at Justice who was managing Mueller.  Trashing those guys was not smart.”

Jordan:  “This had Watergate written all over.  In fact, and I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but as I recall, most of the Trump outrages against the special counsel and Justice occurred mid-June.  I remember it was after Memorial Day and before the 4th of July.  And when was the Watergate break-in?”

NixonGreenie:  “Mid-June.  I remember because we’d just moved to Alexandria…Virginia, not Egypt.”

JC:  “So the guys at the FBI, who have extensive experience analyzing bizarre behavior, look at Trump and concluded he was too dangerous to stay in the job.”

Greenie:  “Then one of the FBI reps went to meet the reality TV star and make him and offer he couldn’t refuse.”

Jordan:  “You mean ‘Donald, do yourself a favor.  Resign and go play golf.’  And, oh, by the way, if you do resign we’ll also quietly drop all but the most egregious illegal money transactions with the Russians.”

JC:  “But like the movie director in the ‘Godfather,’ Trump refused, which left the FBI no choice but to take him out and save the country.”

(Continued)   

#252 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 9)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington a few days after the dinner meeting with Gelly, JC and Greenie.  Entry #252 continues Entry #251.  (Series about “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.) 

JC:  “I don’t believe it either.  Pence and Sessions must have gotten some kind of payoff.  Maybe McConnell, too.  Otherwise, why would they be complicit?”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Think about Trump’s meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office.   No reporters except for a Russian photographer.  Only when the photographs were published by the Russians did the US public know who really attended the meeting.”

JC:  “What about Trump’s meetings in Saudi Arabia.  Lots of gold and glitter…and oh, yes, the huge military purchase allegedly negotiated by Kushner.  Just for fun, where were Lockheed-Martin and Boeing?  Aren’t they usually part of these kinds of defense deals?”

trump-scowlGreenie:  “So Trump slobbers all over the Russian’s the Saudi’s and then a few days later trashes our allies in NATO.  Trump was clearly not working for the best interests of the United States.  His argument at NATO about the extra burden on US taxpayers was wrong.  A week or so later his argument to drop out of the Paris climate accord was completely false.  That’s why I believe there was lots of money funneled to the Trump family.”

092615_2031_Characters11.pngMatt:  “And you think Pence and Sessions were in on the deal, too?”

JC:  “Sessions and Pence were up to their eyeballs in the transition team.  They knew all about Kushner’s secret meetings with the Russians about back-channel communications…and a lot of other stuff.  What they probably didn’t know was how much Trump or the family was really being paid.”

Matt:  “You think Trump’s tax returns would have helped convince people not to continue supporting Trump?”

Income TaxJordan:  “Let me jump in. Yes, the tax returns would have helped.  Highly likely that most, if not all the foreign payments were never reported.  Releasing the returns would have subjected Trump, and probably Kushner and other family members, to income tax evasion.  In addition to tax evasion acknowledging payments from foreign governments would have violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution.”

Greenie:  “So releasing the tax returns could be a fast road to jail time or impeachment…or both.  Yet, despite all these negative reports, most Trump voters kept supporting him.  Why? Didn’t they connect the dots?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Supporters claimed the events were left-wing hyperbole and the actions by Trump were meaningless or innocent.  I don’t buy in.  There was a pattern.  Too many so-called “odd” events in such a short period of time not only doesn’t smell right…but it defies logic.”

Greenie:  “Jordan, weren’t you a budding actuary at one time?  Whadda think the odds are that all these suspicious events in such a short period were mere coincidences and therefore meaningless?  Maybe 100:1.  Maybe 1,000:1?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “I’d say the odds were well beyond 1,000,000:1 and likely well above 100,000,000:1.”

Matt:  “So about the same odds as winning the lottery and getting hit by lightning the same day?”

Jordan:  “About right.  Good comparison.”

Greenie:  “Then why did the Trumpsters keep supporting him?  It makes no sense.”

Jordan:  “I think three reasons.”

potato-clip-art-clippotato3JC:  “Let me guess.  #1 is supporters didn’t really understand the issues.  Recall Trump saying something like, ‘Who knew healthcare was so complicated?”

Greenie:  “Or, another famous quote, ‘Gee, I didn’t know being president would be so hard.’  Donald, had you been living in a cave?”

Jordan:  “Ok, Greenie, wanna take a shot at another reason?”

Greenie:  “Supporters didn’t, or maybe couldn’t, link the events.  To them, all the events were discreet and there was no pattern.  Without a pattern each event could be explained away, and therefore no pattern existed.”

mortar-boardMatt:  “I agree with one exception.  People with a college degree who continued to support Trump after the first few months in office.  It’s impossible…or at least I think it is…to go through college and not develop some understanding of how events are linked.”

Jordan:  “I’d like to think you’re right, Matt, but apparently a bunch of people made it through college and never grasped that concept.  JC, have another reason?”

JC:  “This idea might be a bit off the wall but I think explains why some people continued to support Trump despite all the evidence against him…and supported Trump even though many of his actions were against their own economic interests.”

Greenie:  “If I said Richard Condon would I be on the right track?”

JC:  “Bingo.”

Greenie:  “Then, how?  It’s one thing to brainwash an individual, or even small group of people.  How were so many people brainwashed?”

JC:  “I said the idea seems a bit off the wall, but…”

Jordan:  “Now it’s my turn to guess…Fox News.”

Greenie:  “Really?  You think Fox News could have brainwashed millions of people?”

fox-news-logo bJC:  “Yes, Fox News.  I’m not certain that was the intent of Fox News, at least when it was started.”

Greenie:  “If they did brainwash people, how so?”

JC:  “A confluence of events.  Newspaper readership had been on a long slide…really since the introduction of national and local TV news programs.  Then cable becomes more and more popular.”

Jordan:  “So by 2016, for tens of millions of people, the major networks evening news programs, which were never challenged as a credible source, have been replaced by cable news.  And the lead cable channel for a number of years and leading up to the Trump election was none other than Roger Ailes’ ‘fair-and-balanced’ hard-right Fox News.”

Matt:  “C’mon Jordan, to be fair…and balanced, all cable was a bit slanted.”

pants-on-fireJordan:  “I agree the other channels could be a bit biased at times, but not like Fox.  You know as well as I that Fox should have been called the ‘pants-on-fire’ network.”

Matt:  “I’ve forgotten the source…but I remember it was a credible 3rd party and well-respected by serious journalists.  Anyway, the study indicated at least 50% and I think more like 60% of the claims made on Fox News were either blatantly false or somewhat false.”

Greenie:  “Did Kelly Ann Conway then provide her ‘alternative facts’ disputing the study?”

Bill-O’ReillyJC:  “That’s my point.  Fox routinely made up stuff and presented as hard facts.  Trump supporters actually considered Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity as serious journalists.”

Greenie:  “Let’s not forget the radio guru of bologna…Rush Man.”

Jordan:  “I recall a conversation I had with a friend…a former high-school history teacher.  Here’s a guy with a master’s degree who said to me one day when we were talking about government policy, you have your facts and I have mine.”

JC:  “Was he a Fox News regular?”

Jordan:  “Hard-core Fox along with Breitbart and who knows what else.  To him, the New York Times, and eventually the Wall Street Journal, were filled with falsehoods and couldn’t be trusted.  He also claimed that 80% of CNN’s news broadcasts were fake.”

Greenie:  “He really said that?”

Jordan:  “Yes.  He’s not a data point of one.  I know of two other friends from my undergrad days not far off his attitude…and who knows how many others.  So I think the idea of wide-spread brainwashing might not be far off the truth.”

Greenie:  “I agree it sounds silly.  But it could explain why so many Trumpsters refused to believe the evidence.”

Golf Bet 1Matt:  “Let me go back and ask again.  What about certain members of Congress…McConnell, for example.  Was he brainwashed?  Is that why he stonewalled any investigation of Trump?  What about Pence and Sessions?  Were they brainwashed?

JC:  “For those guys, follow the money.”

(Continued)

#251 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 8)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Following entry #250, several readers sent messages asking me to continue the series on “Who Took Out the Donald?”   Given the startling revelations last week…and seemingly every week… about bizarre behavior by Trump and/or key members of the Administration, I agreed.  Series about “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington a few days after the dinner meeting with Gelly, JC and Greenie.

Gelly:  “Excuse me, Jordan.  Matt…you know Matt the reporter…is on line 2 and would like to talk to you.”

Jordan:  “Sure but did he say what the topic was?”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “No, and he never does.  But, hey, he’s a reporter.”

Jordan (Picking up the phone): “Hello, Matt.  Long time.  All OK at your end, I hope.”

Matt:  “Everything’s fine, Jordan.  Thanks for asking.”

Jordan:  “I assume this is not a social call.  So, what’s up?”

Matt:  “I’ve been working on a book about the Trump Administration and I need some help.”

Jordan:  “From me?”

Matt:  “Probably but I’d really like to talk to your buddy Greenie.  She wrote a series of articles about the Administration and I’ve always liked her insight.”

Jordan:  “You want to meet her here, or privately?”

Matt:  “Your place would be great.  Sorry to be so pushy, but any chance we could meet today?”

Jordan:  “You want lunch, too, right?  Don’t answer.  I think she’s in town.  Let’s assume 2:00pm today here unless we get back with you.  OK?”

Matt:  “Great.  Thanks.”

(Time: just before 2:00pm.)

Jordan:  “Well, well, the dynamic duo has arrived.”

JC:  “You should be honored we’re here.  I’d convinced Greenie to catch an early movie…until you called.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Jordan, meeting with Matt will be more fun than a movie.  Exactly what does he want to talk about?”

Jordan:  “Ask him.  He just walked in the door.”

Matt:  “Hello, Greenie, nice to see you again.”

Greenie:  “Nice to see you Matt.  JC is visiting and we were off to a movie…”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “…until she convinced me meeting with you would be more fun.  Nice to see you Matt.”

Matt:  “Nice to see you, JC.  Thanks everyone for taking time, especially on such short notice.  I’m working on a book about the Trump Administration and would like to get your perspectives on a couple of issues.”

Jordan:  “Can you frame the gist of the book a little bit more…and maybe the sequencing as well?”

092615_2031_Characters11.pngMatt:  “The book attempts to address and link, if a link exists, various events leading up to when Trump was taken out.”

Greenie:  “Funny you mention the Donald being taken out.  Not really funny but all of us had a long conversation over dinner the other night about that very topic.”

Matt:  “Good.  Let’s hold the results of that conversation until we address other topics.  Topics such as, at least according to the Washington Post article, Jared Kushner contacting the Russian ambassador about setting up a secret communications channel to the Kremlin.”

Tin Can PhoneJC:  “And, duh, Kushner wanted to use the communications equipment in the Russian embassy.  According to the article, even the Russian ambassador was taken aback by the idea.”

Greenie:  “Even if the article was incorrect, which no one has ever proved, there’s a bigger problem.  This might surprise you but my view is Kushner was more of an egomaniac than Trump.  Hard to fathom, I know, but I really believe that.”

Matt:  “Interesting perspective.  Why do you think so?”

jailGreenie:  “Look, the guy’s in his mid-30’s, which is ego time for many people.  But he’s also from a family with two question marks.  Maybe I should just call them marks.  His father did time in prison for fraud.  And, he’s Orthodox, although I must say his behavior sometimes made me question his commitment.”

JC:  “I agree with the part about his father, but do you think being Orthodox was an issue?”

howdy-doody-2Greenie:  “OK, skip the Orthodox issue.  Here’s a 30-something in the White House with no previous political experience…and he’s effectively running the country.  Kushner pulls a string and the puppet Trump reacts, just like Howdy Doody.  Just thinking of it is depressing.”

JC:  “I know I wasn’t expected to be part of this conversation but I agree with Greenie.  It would be hard for anyone Kushner’s age and in Kushner’s position not to end up with a huge ego…even you, Jordan.”

Matt:  “The Kushner problem started before Trump was inaugurated.  The contact with the Russian about the back-channel network was during the transition.”

Greenie:  “Part of the problem for Trump, Kushner and some other key staffers was no Washington experience.  These guys had no idea how government really worked.”

goofy006JC:  “You mean running the running the government turned out to be more complicated than doing a real estate deal?  Who knew?  Seriously, what really baffles me is how could they have thought communications with the Russians were not being monitored?”

Matt:  “I’ve scratched me head ever since the FBI released info about General Flynn talking to the Russians.  I know he was retired at the time, but still.”

3-StarsJC:  “How could a, what 3-star general in the Marines, with some national security experience no less, not know about calls to the Russians being monitored?”

Jordan:  “Flynn knew it and ignored it.  My source, a military officer senior to Flynn and familiar with Flynn, said in a casual phone conversation shortly after the inauguration that Flynn should never have been appointed and would not last.”

Matt:  “He was right but what was the reason?”

Jordan:  “Flynn’s gigantic ego and history of uncontrolled behavior.”

Matt:  “Had anyone in the incoming administration contacted your colleague?”

Jordan:  “Not to my knowledge.  And don’t ask who my colleague is.  He’ll deny the conversation and won’t talk anyway.”

JC:  “So what I’m hearing is there were a bunch of incompetent egomaniacs with a big set of kahunas running the transition team and then the White House.”

Greenie:  “Not phrased elegantly but the conclusion seems spot on.  However, there’s one piece that seems inconsistent with that conclusion.”

Matt:  “And that is?”

PoliticianGreenie:  “Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions were experienced politicians.  Sessions had been in the Senate for 20 years and had been US attorney earlier in his career.”

Matt:  “I’m having the same problem.  Why did two highly experienced politicians let all this bizarre behavior happen?”

Greenie:  “People do strange things when money or power is on the table…and especially money and power.”

JC:  “Strange things like throwing away all principles?”

Greenie:  “Exactly.  We are almost certain Trump and Kushner were paid by the Russians.  Maybe not directly but the businesses were paid.  The Donald, Jr. admitted the Russians were the source of funds for many of the Trump golf courses.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Back to Pence and Sessions.  Where did their money go?”

Matt:  “Maybe they didn’t get any money.”

Greenie:  “I don’t believe it.”

(Continued)

#250 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 7of7)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.  Series about “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.

Scene: Restaurant Washington, DC near Jordan’s office.  Jordan, Gelly (Jordan’s assistant) and two-long time friends having drinks and hors d’oeuvres.   

(Coffee delivered to table)

Waiter 2Jordan:  “Gelly, good idea about ordering coffee.  Waiter, when you get a chance, I’ll take the check, please.”

Gelly:  “So, Jordan, I’ve been listening to your rationale about the FBI taking out the Donald.  I agree the idea seems plausible, even logical, but…”

JC:  “…excuse me for interrupting, Gelly.  I agree with you.  Plausible, yes.  Likely, maybe.  But what else info do you have to support the argument?

Jordan:  “Greenie, where are you in this?”

Greenie:  “I’m all ears waiting for more of your rationale.”

Jordan:  “OK.  If you guys buy-in so far…and it seems as if there’s more than enough evidence already to support my argument…”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Get to the point, please.”

Jordan:  “Tough crowd.  And tell me why I’m buying dinner?

Greenie:  “We like you Jordan.  We just want you to quit wandering.”

Jordan:  “What convinced me the FBI realized they needed to take out the Donald was his repeated public implications that Comey was either lying or, as he told the Russians, that Comey was some kind of ‘nut case.’  It’s not smart to belittle the well-respected head of an agency that’s investigating you, especially if it’s the FBI.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “I recall Trump calling Comey a nut case…to the Russians no less…but don’t recall him claiming Comey was lying.”

Jordan:  “Trump was a master of one thing – false implication.”

Gelly:  “At least he was a master of something.”

Greenie:  “Nice jab, Gelly.”

Jordan:  “I recall…must have been the second week when all the Comey stories broke…that Trump started rambling during a press conference with some non-critical head-of-state and made some strong implications that Comey had lied.  That was a few days after he implied there were tapes implicating Comey.”

trump-scowlGreenie:  “Of course, Trump never produced the tapes.  In fact, from what I understand from the few people I still know in the right places, the FBI was likely taping Trump’s conversations.  I don’t know if the Donald ever understood how sophisticated the FBI technology was for listening in on conversations.”

Gelly:  “What about Trump’s calls to Comey to get the FBI to drop investigating Trump’s staff’s dealing with the Russians?”

Greenie:  “You’d think a president would know not to try to influence the group investigating him.  What did he think Comey was going to do?”

Egotist CartoonJC:  “Remember, he’s Trump.  He’s the center of the universe and everyone else revolves around him.  He probably thought Comey would act all the other munchkins Trump employs or calls a friend…do what the boss man wants and don’t ask question.”

Greenie:  “Did he realize the government doesn’t operate like a family-held business?  Apologies for the rhetorical question.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “Look, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box but I look like a genius compared to Trump.”

Jordan:  “Don’t sell yourself short Gelly.  I shouldn’t have been surprised but what really frustrated me was the lack of meaningful action by Trump’s staff.”

Greenie:  “You talking the big-dog staff or the munchkins like Sean Spicer and his what’s-her-name assistant press secretary?”

JC:  “You mean that Conway bimbo?”

Greenie:  “No, Conway wasn’t the assistant press secretary.  She was Ms. Alternative Facts.  She was awful, too.  Anyway, doesn’t matter now what her name was.”

Jordan:  “I meant the big-dog staff, agency heads like Tillerson and Mattis.  Plus Speaker of the House Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell.  These guys were supposedly adults.”

Hide and SeekJC:  “So instead of being adults, these guys played hide-and-seek behind some fence.  In the meantime, Trump got more and more out of control.”

Jordan:  “I don’t know what the agency heads or Congressional leaders were waiting on before taking action against but they could not have been that blind.”

Greenie:  “Politics before country was their mantra.”

Gelly:  “So…and I know we’ve touched on a number of issues…so, when one assessed the risks of Trump’s crazy behavior and matched that behavior against the lack of action by either cabinet officials or leaders in Congress, the FBI concluded the Donald had to be taken out.  And then the FBI took him out, right?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Gelly, you got it.  Great summary.  And with that I need to go.  Later, guys.”

(Unison):  “Bye Jordan.  Thanks for dinner.”

JC:  “Now that he’s gone, let’s start talking about stuff that really matters.”

Greenie:  “You mean like, Gelly, how are the kids?”

 (Conclusion of ‘Who Took Out the Donald?’…at least for now, anyway.)

#249 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 6)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.  Series about “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.

Scene: Restaurant Washington, DC near Jordan’s office.  Jordan, Gelly (Jordan’s assistant) and two-long time friends having drinks and hors d’oeuvres.   

G092615_2031_Characters2.jpgreenie:  “Jordan, you buy Sandy’s story?”

Jordan:  “Sandy’s story is plausible.  But I don’t think he’s right.”

Sandy:  “OK, why not?”

Jordan:  “A couple of Special Forces guys taking out Trump is plausible, but…”

Sandy:  “So, you don’t like my logic?”

Jordan:  “I didn’t say that.”

092615_2031_Characters8.gifSandy:  “Then why not Special Forces?  What’s wrong with that?  A couple of buddies of mine from the black hole told me.”

Jordan:  “Sandy, you and I know better.   Guys in the black hole don’t talk…at least not outside a very small group.  And no insult to you, but I don’t think you’re in that group.”

Greenie:  “OK, Jordan, if Sandy’s story isn’t right, then who did take out the Donald?”

Jordan:  “My best guess is the FBI.”

Greenie:  “Why?”

Jordan:  “Just think back to how Trump insulted the FBI as an agency…and then fired the head of the FBI,  James Comey.”

traitorJC:  “In the course of a few days, Trump also embarrassed, more like stabbed in the back, second in command at Department of Justice.  What was his name?”

Greenie:  “Rod Rosenstein.  Such a nice boy.”

JC:  “You sound like his mother, already.”

Jordan:  “So Trump fires Comey but does not have the courtesy to call the guy before he makes it public.”

Sandy:  “Didn’t Trump have some body guard deliver the message to FBI HQ?”

gangster-cartoon-clip-art-540pxJC:  “The delivery boy was a former body guard that Trump promoted to head of Oval Office security, or White House security, or some title like that.  Whatever the title, he was a thug in a suit guarding the Oval Office.”

Greenie:  “Let’s keep going down the FBI trail.  Trump fires Comey.  But the rationale for the firing kept changing.  I can’t remember how many times.”

JC:  “At first, I think Trump cited some letter from Rosenstein or Sessions that claimed the FBI had mishandled the Clinton email investigation.  Trump also claimed morale at the FBI was terrible and it was Comey’s poor leadership.”

Greenie:  “Except right after that claim the acting director of the FBI said morale at the FBI was very good and Comey highly respected…in public testimony before Congress, no less.”

JC:  “Then Donnie Boy changed the story again and claimed he’d been unhappy for some time and thinking of firing him.  Right, Donnie, Comey got you in the White House.  How quickly you forgot.”

PT BarnumGreenie:  “And along the way with the ever-changing story, Trump claimed Comey was a showboat and publicity hound.  Pardon me?  Looks who’s calling the kettle black.  No one was more of a showboat that the Donald.  Mr. P.T. Barnum reincarnated.  The Donald always had to be at the center of the ring.”

Sandy:  “I get why you’re leaning toward the FBI.  Plus, I’ll bet the FBI had lots of tapes and other info about Trump and staff dealing with the Russians.”

Greenie:  “I agree with your logic…and that I think was the real reason for the firing.  And Trump’s threat of having unfavorable tapes about Comey was laughable.  But, if you’re the FBI, why not wait for Congressional committees to complete their investigations?  If there were a clear connection to Russia, Congress could impeach him.”

Jordan:  “I think there was more than ample evidence.  Congress should have started impeachment proceedings.  But the Mitch McConnell and the head of the Senate Committee, Richard Burr…”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “…from your great state of North Carolina…”

Jordan:  “…Please, NC is not my great state.  Anyway McConnell and Burr really sat on their hands so the investigation crawled along.  The House committee was even worse.”

JC:  “That’s what I’ve never understood.  As I recall, McConnell was re-elected in 2014 and Burr in 2016.  They both had plenty of time before the next election.  Why tie your wagon to a liar?  Why not do the right thing for the country?”

Jordan:  “I’ll never understand it either.  Either McConnell was like a deer in the headlight or had no kahunas.”

Siers Irwin and BurrGreenie:  “I think both.  Burr was more like McConnell’s lackey.  Certainly not like the NC senator during Watergate, Sam Ervin.” (Copy of Kevin Siers cartoon from Charlotte Observer.)

Jordan:  “I don’t understand either.  However, among the adults inside the Beltway, there was a real concern that Trump was out of control.  In fact, so out of control he really had no idea what was going on.”

Greenie:  “I know there are lots of examples of unusual statements.”

JC:  “You mean lies, right?”

trump-scowlGreenie:  “Well, lies too.  But statements where Trump seemed to have no clue about the topic.  Then he’d tried to cover his lack of knowledge with some statement, which often turned out to be head scratching.”

JC:  “An example come to mind?”

Greenie:  “Ya’ know, for some reason the incident I’m thinking about never got much coverage.  Maybe it was the topic or maybe all the other noise going on at the time.”

Sandy:  “So what’s the situation?”

Greenie:  “Discussion, I think in the White House but I can’t remember for sure.  Anyway the topic centers on linking affordable health care and economic growth.”

JC:  “Let me guess.  Trump states that health insurance cots the average family maybe $100 per month…no $200 per month.”

Greenie:  “Try $15 a month.  Then he rattles off some other economic statistics that are grossly wrong.  And sitting at the conference table are the head of HHS and the Treasury guy…you know the one from Goldman Sachs.  And do they correct him?”

Trump KingJC:  “Of course not.  The king had spoken.”

Sandy:  “Alright, you’re making me a believer about the FBI.  You think he was really that much out of control?”

Jordan:  “For the FBI, the icing on the cake, as it were, was Trump’s willingness to tell lies and make no effort to make any correction.  Barely 100 days into the Trump Administration, there had been so many lies that no one could be trusted…White House spokes people and certainly not Trump.”

TurtleneckGreenie:  “So the FBI must get a sense that the chaos in the White House could start spreading throughout the government, and then spread throughout the country.  Widespread chaos almost always leads to one…a revolution.  So given that risk, Trump was taken out.  All in favor of the FBI, raise your hands.”

Sandy:  “Unfortunately we still had a revolution.  Admittedly, it probably would have been much worse if the FBI…or somebody…had not taken action.  And speaking of taking action, I need to go.  Nice to see you all again.”

JC:  “Nice to see you.  Say goodbye Sandy.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGreenie:  “Goodbye Sandy.”

JC: “Gelly, you’ve been awfully quiet.  Everything OK?”

Gelly: “Just listening and I’m fine, thanks.  May we order some coffee, please?”

(Continued)  

 

#248 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 5)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.  Series about “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.

Scene: Restaurant Washington, DC near Jordan’s office.  Jordan, Gelly (Jordan’s assistant) and two-long time friends having drinks and hors d’oeuvres.   

Voice: You’re right about how much worse the Revenge Revolution could have been.  But the ‘who-done-it’ part is wrong.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “And you are?”

Sandy:  “Well, I was at the next table and couldn’t help but hear the conversation.  And, you got a key part of it wrong.”

Gelly:  “Like I said, ‘who are you?’”

Sandy:  “Actually your buddy here…Jordan…knows me.”

Jordan:  “C’mon, how would I know you?”

Sandy:  “Let me give you a hint.”

Jordan:  “Wait…Sandy?”

Sandy:  “You got it Jordan.  So I’ve lost some weight…”

Jordan:  “…and grown a goatee.  You look good.  But what brings a guy like you to Washington?  This is not your kind of town.”

092615_2031_Characters8.gifSandy:  “Work here now.  Work for the…”

Jordan:  “…don’t tell us.  Let me guess…the NRA.  Right?”

Sandy:  “Yes, and loving every minute of it.”

JC:  “Could you guys do us a favor and let us in on your secret.  Who are you, Mr. NRA?”

Sandy:  “Obviously you don’t remember me but we’ve met before.  Your name’s something like ‘JC’, right?  And I’ve also met you (pointing to Greenie).  Your name is some color…but I’ve forgotten what color.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Greenie.  I vaguely remember you.  JC and I were having dinner with Jordan and we ran into you in the restaurant.”

Sandy:  “You got it.  And the third member of the female trio is…?”

Gelly:  “Gelly.  Nice to meet you Sandy…at least I think so.”

Jordan:  “Sandy, tell us what you think’s wrong about our theory of who took out the Donald.”

Sandy:  “Like usual, you pointy heads…you know I like you Jordan, but you are a pointy head…you’re making it too complicated.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “In defense of Jordan, which I don’t do often, how’s it too complicated?”

Sandy:  “I agree the Russians, the CIA and even the FBI are good candidates to have taken out the Donald.  There were way too many loose cannons on the White House staff and all the agency insiders got real nervous.”

Greenie:  “You mean loose cannons in the White House like General Flynn?”

Sandy:  “He was borderline crazy and only out for himself.  His ego and greed got in the way of any rational thinking.”

JC:  “I agree there’s probably a bunch of other candidates who would qualify as incompetent…but who’s on your list of dangerous characters?”

Sandy:  “Rather than listing individuals, think about what Trump and his staff did…or at least tried to do for themselves.  Not do for Trump supporters, let alone do something for the populous, but just for themselves.”

Trumpcare Rose GardenGreenie:  “You mean like completely gutting healthcare for worker bees and transferring a bunch of money to themselves.  Everybody from doctors to Warren Buffett thought the House’s version of Trumpcare was terrible.  And the Donald and staff praised it, even gloated over it.  I still remember the picture from the Rose Garden.  Yuch!  What else?”

Gelly:  “Yeah, you mean the one-page tax plan that transferred even more money to the wealthy…and who knows how much was going to be transferred directly in the pockets of the Trump’s and the Kushner’s.”

JC:  “You mean like gutting all the environmental protection so Trump’s so-called Secretary of State could reward his buddies at Exxon by allowing then to drill willy-nilly drilling on Federal land?”

Sandy:  “And I’ll tell you one that might get me fired from my current employer.  Proposing that a concealed carry permit in any state must be honored nationwide was incredibly stupid.”

JC:  “Am I dreaming?  A NRA guy is actually saying what I just heard?”

Sandy:  “Yes, I said it.  That proposal would have allowed some local official in who-knows-where Wyoming with a population of 8,000 to have power over the mayor of NY City with a population of 8,000,000.”

Greenie:  “Wow, I’m impressed you feel that way.  Maybe this guy is all right after all.”

Wild West GunSandy:  “Look, even in the wild west, you had to check firearms in certain locations.  The wild west guys seemed to know more about the dangers of firearms than the dodo birds in the White House.”

Gelly:  “So where’s this conversation going?  Seems as if we’re off track.  I mean, like who killed JR?  Well, more like…”

JC:  “…more like who took out the Donald?  So Sandman, who do you think took out the Donald?”

Sandy:  “A couple of regular guys.  Maybe not regular guys by your standards, but hey, regular to me.”

TurtleneckGreenie:  “Are these NRA kinda guys?”

Sandy:  “Big time.”

Jordan:  “Former military?”

Sandy:  “Special forces and then some.”

Gelly:  “But weren’t these kinda guys big Trump supporters in the 2016 election?  So why would they take him out?”

 traitorSandy:  “You listed all the reasons – tried to repeal health care, tried to give more tax breaks to the wealthy, tried to gut EPA.  The supporters felt stabbed in the back.”

JC:  “But those actions seem to be the very reasons these guys voted for Trump in the first place.  What changed?”

Sandy:  “Remember that French lady who said something about letting the starving peasants eat cake?”

JC:  “You mean Marie Antoinette.”

Sandy:  “That’s the one.  And you know where she ended up.”

GuillotineJC:  “Maybe heads should have rolled at the White House sooner.  Sorry, that was too easy.”

Sandy:  “As I was saying, Trump’s let-tem-eat cake moment…really two moments…were when the worker bees started to realize he wasn’t delivering on the promise of higher-paying jobs.  The types of jobs he promised never came back.   And then the tax proposals that kept funneling money to his family.”

Greenie:  “Not to be a stick-in-the-mud, but making the first family rich has happened the last few administrations…and probably a lot longer.”

irs-logoSandy:  “I know, but at least the other guys didn’t try to get rich while in office.  Trump supporters didn’t want to believe at first what was really happening.  But when the tax returns got released, the evidence was in black-and-white.  All but the blind could see what was happening.”

 Gelly:  “So the Trump supporters are not making any progress financially and the Donald and family are getting richer by the day.”

Sandy:  “All those excuses about not being able to not release tax returns…all BS and a smokescreen to hide the truth about where the money came from and how much he was raking in.”

Greenie:  “So, now the initial Trump supporters are getting very upset.  Then, these so-called regular guys…at least by NRA standards…decide to take out the Donald.  Jordan, you buy Sandy’s theory?”

(Continued)            

#247 Who Took Out Howdy Doody…err the Donald? (Part 4)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Gelly, JC and Greenie having drinks with Jordan following a session in Jordan’s office.  Conversation starts Entry #244.

Waiter: “Would you folks like to order some food?”

Waiter 2JC:  “Yes, we would…right Jordan?”

Greenie:  “I agree, although I’d prefer some hors d’oeuvres to a full dinner.”

Jordan:  “So what do you guys want?”

Waiter takes order.

Gelly:  “I’m still a bit confused about who took out the Donald.”

Greenie:  “Do you agree it probably wasn’t the North Koreans or the Mexican drug lords?”

Gelly:  “Yes, either one of those groups seems unlikely, now, although I must say both seemed to be reasonable candidates at first.”

Greenie:  “Then if we stick to our list, that leaves the Russians or someone, some group inside the US government.”

Water BugGelly:  “I guess that’s what’s confusing me.  I agree Trump was like a water bug when it came to international policies – he’d head off in one direction one second and then quickly shift to another direction.  But other than some blustery talk about bombing North Korea and the infamous wrong-way destroyer claim, he never caused any turbulence below the surface.  The diplomats and the professionals somehow handled the foreign-policy issues.”

JC:  “So you think the real danger was on the domestic side…to US citizens and the fabric of the country, right?”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “Seems to me that some of the Trump proposals, if implemented as drafted, would have completely split the country.  Even though some of the crazier the ideas were eventually watered down, we still had the Revenge Revolution.  Just how much carnage would there have been if had not been taken out?”

JC:  “Jordan, your turn.  You’ve been awfully quiet.”

Jordan:  “I agree the damage domestically could have been much worse had the Donald stayed in office.  Not worse than nuclear war, which I thought we might have for a while.  Fortunately, some cooler heads among the military top brass really got control of the all the nasty weapons.”

Howdy-DoodyGelly:  “Ya’ know, it’s probably not fair, but when I think of Trump as president I think of Howdy Doody.”

Greenie:  “That’s great.  Howdy Doody…and with a bad haircut!  What a great picture.  Now, as I think about it, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry.  Maybe I should do both.”

JC:  “Back to you Jordan.  You’re a big dog inside the Beltway.  I mean you get calls from POTUS, visit the White House.  What really went on?”

Jordan:  “I was not part of the ‘in’ crowd during the Trump Administration.”

JC:  “C’mon.  Staffers and guys like you all know one another.  What went on?  Who took him out?”

Jordan:  “I’ll give you my take but your buddy here, Greenie, might know more than I do.  She’s the real insider.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Thanks for the compliment…but it’s been a while since I was an insider.  Anyway, I want to hear your take.”

Jordan:  “I think Gelly’s right.  Trump was like Howdy Doody.  A small group of puppeteers were pulling the strings and he would react accordingly…often without thinking or even understanding.”

Gelly:  “I know I said Howdy Doody, but wasn’t he smart enough to realize what was going on?”

Jordan:  “I don’t know what his IQ was but I do know he was woefully uneducated about a wide range of subjects…and especially about government.  I’m not sure he even read, let alone opened, the Constitution.  His knowledge of geography was breathtakingly and embarrassingly awful.”

Gelly:  “Didn’t he have an MBA from some top school?  What was the name of it?”

JC:  “Wharton.”

Gelly:  “That’s it, Wharton.  I remember he claimed he graduated first in his class.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Maybe first in not studying and first in narcissism.  But he’s no one’s academic.  And I’m sure Wharton would rather not admit he’s an alum.”

Greenie:  “You know the tell-tale signs of his lack of education were his statements that ‘Who knew health care could be so complicated?’ and ‘Being president is more difficult than I imagined.’”

JC:  “Duh, Donald, you been living in a cave?  What really scared me was I’m not sure he had any idea of what was really going on…other than playing golf at Mar-a-Lago.”

Greenie:  “Then the Howdy Doody president introduces two absolutely off-the-wall proposals – replacement for Obamacare and a tax plan.  Both would have resulted in huge transfers of wealth to the already wealthy, including the Donald.”

Gelly:  “What about letting oil and gas companies drill willy-nilly on public land?  We sure didn’t need any more oil or gas.”

Greenie:  “He claimed his actions were for job creation.  That claim was a ruse, if he ever understood what he was proposing.”

JC:  “Back to you, again, Jordan.  Who took him out?  If not the CIA, who else should we put on the list?”

Waiter: “Excuse me.  Here’s your hors d’oeuvres.”

TurtleneckJordan (to waiter):  “Thank you.  Just one check and give it to me, please.”

JC:  “Thanks Jordan but just because we’ve got food and you picked up the tab doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.  Who besides the CIA could have done it?”

Jordan:  “What I heard is a couple of black-hole guys directed by the top-level adults inside NSA.”

Gelly:  “If that’s the case, what happened to the Secret Service?”

Jordan:  “They were likely told to discreetly disappear for a few minutes.”

gangster-cartoon-clip-art-540pxJC:  “More like, if you don’t disappear voluntarily, then you, too, will disappear.”

Jordan:  “I suspect that’s about how the conversation went.  Greenie, what have you heard?”

Greenie:  “I’d say your story’s about right.”

JC:  “Unfortunately, taking out the Donald didn’t stop the Revenge Revolution.”

Greenie:  “But as we talked about, can you imagine how much worse it would have been had he stayed in office?  I shudder to think of it.”

Voice: “Folks, you’re right about how bad it could have been.  But some of your story is wrong.”

(Continued)

 

#246 Who Took Out the Donald? (Part 3)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.
Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.
Scene: Gelly, JC and Greenie having drinks with Jordan following a session in Jordan’s office.  Conversation starts Entry #244.

WaiterWaiter delivers a round of drinks.

Greenie:  “I have a request, please.”

JC:  “And that is…?”

Greenie:  “Before we get mired in more Beltway BS, I’d like to propose a toast to the Steak & Shake and the Custard Cup.”

Custard CupGelly:  “Huh?  A toast?  I’ve heard of Steak & Shake…in fact I’ve eaten there…but the Custard Cup?  What’s that?”

Jordan:  “The Custard Cup is a mom-and-pop ice cream stand.  But not just any mom-and-pop ice cream stand.  It has the best…all caps on ‘THE’…best ice cream I’ve had anywhere, period.”

JC:  “I agree.  Even though I’m not an ice cream fan…”

Greenie:  “…can you believe it, she doesn’t like ice cream.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “As I was saying, even though I’m not a big ice cream fan, the Custard Cup is king of the ice-cream hill.”

Gelly:  “So where is this joint?”

Greenie:  “Ice cream stand, please.  Custard Cup is not a joint.  The Custard Cup is a couple of blocks from where JC grew up.  In fact it was well within a mile of where Jordan lived and where I lived growing up.”

Gelly:  “So a neighborhood hangout, huh?”

Jordan:  “More than the neighborhood.”

122913_1337_14BringingU2.pngGreenie:  “A toast to the Steak & Shake and especially the Custard Cup.”

Jordan:  “Hear, hear.”

JC:  “Alright, now that the sidebar is over, back to the mystery of who took out the Donald.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Ya know, I think it’s the group we’d rather not think about.”

Jordan:  “You mean not the Russians, not the North Koreans, and not the Mexican drug lords.”

JC:  “You’re thinking inside job?”

Greenie:  “I’m still not sure about the Russians but the more I think about it, the North Koreans and Mexican drug lords seem out of the picture.”

Jordan:  “Why’d you drop them from the list?”

Looney TunesGreenie:  “Had the Trump Administration not acted like Looney Tunes characters, I would have left them on the list.  But behavior by the Trump family…and even by some of the so-called adults on the Cabinet was so unprofessional.  Bizarre is not the right word, because it was worse than bizarre.  But I can’t think of the right word.””

Gelly:  “You think there was an incident that tipped the scale for the CIA…or whoever the responsible inside group was?”

Greenie:  “Yes, and I’m not sure the public appreciated the significance of how the event affected the country’s credibility among world leaders, friend and foe.”

JC:  “What was the event?”

Greenie:  “In my view, for the serious government officials who actually help protect the country, the scales tipped when the Trump Administration…the president, the Secretary of Defense and the head of the National Security Agency…I’ll ignore press secretary…all claimed that the aircraft carrier what’s-its-name was part of an armada ‘steaming’ toward North Korea when actually it was ‘steaming’ away from North Korea toward Australia.”    

JC:  “I agree, Greenie.  That erroneous claim had to be one of the biggest screw-ups in American history.  The statements were not an intentional lie to deceive the enemy, like you might have had in WWII.  These guys were trying to intimidate North Korea but just did not know what was going on.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “That was really a ‘duh’ moment for me and I suspect many people.  It’s not as if there was no way to track the aircraft carrier and what, a couple of destroyers?  I mean, doesn’t the US have satellites, airplanes and even such low-tech things called radios?”

JC:  “Jordan, you’ve been around these beltway guys for a while.  You’ve even been in the White House.  What were these guys thinking?  No one checked to make sure the claim was right?  You’re pronouncing to the world a major strike force is headed to North Korea and no one checks the facts?  Even worse, when they did find out the mistake, no one corrected it publicly.”

Aircraft CarrierJordan:  “Must have been an interesting conversation in the Oval Office after someone pointed out the mistake.  ‘Let’s see, if we just ignore telling the public we made a mistake, no one will find out.  Those ships are in a big ocean.  Who’s going to see them?’”

JC:  “That might have worked when countries had an armada, as the Donald called it…but not in the 21st Century.  C’mon guys.  Wake up.”

Greenie:  “Ok, we need to ask if there was a tipping point other than the claims about the wrong-way armada.  What about a series of events that might have tipped the scales?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “I suppose one could point to any number of single events or series of events demonstrating stupid-is-as-stupid-does behavior.  But I think for most people, there’s usually a single incident that tips the scale.”    

Greenie:  “I agree.  Think about relationships with other people, feelings about a restaurant…whatever.  You go along and go along with a less-than-satisfactory relationship and then at some point you say to yourself, ‘Enough, already.  No more.’”

Jordan:  “And, I agree the wrong-way armada was probably what triggered the CIA to take action.”

JC:  “Bad pun, Jordan.”

Waiter: “Would you folks like to order some food?”

#245 Trump Taken Out – Why? Follow the Money (Part 2)

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Gelly, JC and Greenie having drinks with Jordan following a session in Jordan’s office.  Conversation starts Entry #244.

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Jordan, if you don’t mind, I’d like to continue the conversation we began at the  office.  You know lots of the ins and outs of Washington…so why did the Donald get taken out?”

Jordan:  “Greenie, you’re more of an insider than I am.”

JC:  “Jordan, quit stalling and just answer Greenie’s question, please.”

Gelly:  “Yes, please.  I’m interested, too.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifJordan:  “Simple.  Well, maybe not so simple…but easy to understand.  It’s the old adage of ‘Just follow the money.’”

Greenie:  “You think Trump was on the take when he was president?  Surely not.”

Jordan:  “Unlikely he was on the take per se…like Flynn and Manafort were on the take.  But Trump was up to his eyeballs in debt.”

Gelly:  “I thought he was some kind of billionaire several times over.  I mean with all those hotels and properties that he owned.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “I hear you Jordan.  How much do you think he owed on those properties…and to whom?”

Greenie:  “A lot of the stories written long before he became a presidential candidate suggest his record as a developer was questionable at best.  How many times did he go bankrupt?  And didn’t he stiff a bunch of major US banks?”

JC:  “Why didn’t he ever release his tax returns?  The excuse about being audited was sheer baloney.  Besides why didn’t he release his 2016 return when he sent it in?  The IRS doesn’t start any audit until you file a return.”

irs-logoGelly:  “So you guys think he was heavily in debt.  If so, like JC said, money owed to whom?”

Jordan:  “I realize it’s a while ago but think back before the election in 2016.  There was strong evidence of people involved in the transition had links to Russian banks and to the Bank of Cyprus, which was notorious at the time as a haven for laundering money.”

Cypress BankJC:  “What was that guy on the transition team who had been some high-level dude at Bank of Cyprus?”

Greenie:  “That guy became what was it…Secretary of…?”

Jordan:  “…Commerce.  You mean Wilbur Ross?”

Greenie:  “That’s the guy.”

donald-trumpGelly:  “Then are you saying then that the Russians took out Trump?”

Jordan:  “Not necessarily.  As JC said in the office, the Russians had the Donald by the short hairs.”

Greenie:  “Really, JC, such a nice girl like you.  You need to clean up your language.”

JC:  “What else do you want to call it?  It’s true.”

Gelly:  “If the Russians took him out, then wouldn’t they would lose their leverage with him?  Plus, maybe never get their money?”

Greenie:  “Agree, except maybe they still had their leverage.”

Gelly:  “I don’t get what you mean?”

Greenie:  “Remember a couple of months into the term when he did 180 degree turn on the Russians?  In just a few days the Russian went from good guys to bad guys…or at least that’s what the Administration wanted us to think.”

PutinJordan:  “Good point, Greenie.  I’ve always been suspicious about the sudden change in attitude.  And, then, within a day or so of the change in attitude, Secretary of State Tillerson is at the Kremlin and has a private, unscheduled, undocumented two-hour meeting with Putin.  That meeting doesn’t smell right.  How much of a bad-ass could Tillerson have been?  Just a couple of years before, Putin gave Tillerson a Russian Order of Friendship medal.”

JC:  “Whatever the Administration was trying to do, one thing’s for certain.  Trump was like a spinning top.  He changed positions constantly.  We never knew where he stood…or what he was thinking.”

Gelly:  “Or even if he was thinking.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Good one Gelly.”

Greenie:  “I agree Trump’s change of position on the Russians might have been a diversion.  Think about the growing pressure from the investigations into Russian influence on the election.  The Senate’s investigation was just starting.  He had every reason to try to make Congress and the public think he was being tough on the Russians.”

JC:  “Let’s say the diversionary tactic was true.  But what happens if the Donald then balks at paying his debt?  If he balks, then the Russians lose very little by talking him out?”

Gelly:  “Seems to me that once he realized he could use the military to his advantage – look at how he puffed up his chest using the military in Syria and to threaten North Korea – maybe he thought he could intimidate the Russians as well…and then he could walk away from the debt without any consequence.”

Mickey-Mouse-fingerJordan:  “I agree he might have thought he could give the proverbial finger to the Russians and walk away…but that’s not how it works.”

Waiter:  “Excuse me, folks, would you care for another round of wine?”

(To be continued.)

 

#244 Recall When the Donald Was Taken Out

First-time readers, the dialogue in 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 Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment if Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “Jordan, the dynamic duo is here to see you – JC and Greenie.”

Jordan:  “Well, well, well.  What a surprise.  What brings you two?  Pleasantries, I hope.”

JC:  “Not really.”

Greenie:  “Pardon the manners of my buddy.  Jordan, nice to see you.  Do you have a few minutes for us, please?”

Jordan:  “Of course.  Something happen?  You guys look a bit troubled.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “I’m visiting JC for a few days.  She offered to edit some of my articles on the cause of the Revenge Revolution.”

JC:  “So last night we finish the edits, then pour a couple glasses of wine and watch a movie.”

Greenie:  “But not just any movie.  A classic…’Caine Mutiny.’”

Jordan:  “Great movie.  But so…?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “So…Jordan, does Captain Queeg’s behavior in Caine Mutiny remind you of anybody who used to be in Washington…you know, like…”

Jordan:  “…like the Donald?  Pardon me, president Trump.”

Greenie:  “That’s what we thought too.  Just that association brought back memories of the early days of the Trump Administration.  Watching the characters in the White House was like watching Looney Tunes.”

Looney TunesJC:  “I’d forgotten how wacko those guys in the White House really were…starting with the Donald.”

Greenie:  “Rather than looking for missing strawberries, old president Queeg was looking for 3 million, no 5 million missing votes.”

JC:  “When Queeg couldn’t find the missing votes, he claimed some other bizarre event…like his phone at Queeg Tower being tapped by president Obama.”

trump-scowlGreenie:  “When there was no evidence of a wiretap, he claimed the former Attorney General broke the law by doing her job and should be put in jail.”

JC:  “All the time, of course Trump was denying there was any contact between his campaign and the Russians, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

Confused Clip ArtGreenie:  “Finally, Queeg appoints his wet-behind-the-ears son-in-law as executive officer in charge of the ship…and also appoints the pretty-face, but ‘not-the-brightest bulb’ daughter, as key advisor.”

Jordan:  “I’d forgotten how depressing and dangerous that situation was.  Queeg, the White House staff really…even many of the cabinet members had no clue.  I remember thinking these guys must have been charter members of the Incompetents Club and got together at some of the club’s meetings.”

dunce capsGreenie:  “Queeg….I mean Trump was really dangerous.  What I think was even worse – a lot of supposedly responsible people, including Republican leadership in the House and Senate….didn’t want to admit how much Queeg and staff really were out of control.”

JC:  “So now you see why we’re upset?”

Jordan:  “Yes, but that was some years ago.”

JC:  “Jordan, didn’t you see what was really happening with Trump?”

Jordan:  “I saw it.  It was just hard to believe and even harder to swallow.”

Greenie:  “And probably easier to pretend it wasn’t really happening.”

JC:  “Greenie, in fairness to Jordan, I’d like to tell you about a conversation he and I had during the early days of Queeg’s Administration.  At the time I promised not to repeat it.  Jordan, is it OK if I tell her?”

Jordan:  “No harm now since its history.”

Greenie:  “What are you guys talking about?”

JC begins to repeat a conversation she had with Jordan in spring 2017

Jordan:  “JC, what do you suggest we do about the Trump Administration?  It seems out of control…and incredibly dangerous.”

JC:  “You’re asking me?  I thought you were one of the muckety mucks inside the Beltway.  You tell me what we should do.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Well, I really hate to say this…I mean I’d better think about it.”

JC:  “Quit stammering.  What are you trying to say?  Spit it out.”

Jordan:  “The only way this chaos in the White House is going to get resolved is by…by taking him out of office.”

JC:  “You mean ‘taking him out’ the way I think you mean ‘taking him out’?”

Jordan:  “Unfortunately, yes.”

JC:  “Who’s going to do it?”

Jordan:  “My view there are three likely players…hit people if you will.”

PutinJC:  “Let me guess.  One is the Russians, which seems like an obvious choice.  From what I can tell, they have him by the short hairs.”

Jordan:  “Such a diplomat.”

JC:  “Well, it’s true.  How much money does he really owe them?  And what else do they have on him?  Plus, Putin does not play nice.  Another candidate is the North Koreans.  Kim what’s his name seems as bad a Putin…maybe worse.  How many family members has he killed?”

Jordan:  “OK, who’s number 3?”

JC:  “Mexican drug dudes.  These guys are ruthless and have no compulsion about taking out family members, which unfortunately puts Melania and Baron at risk as well.”

Jordan:  “The Mexicans were not on my list.  You’re right, they should be.”

JC:  “Then who’s your number 3…now number 4?”

Jordan:  “That’s what bothers me the most.”

CIAJC:  “You thinking an inside job…like someone from one of the intelligence agencies or the special ops guys in the military?  Yikes, the thought of that makes me squirm.”

Jordan:  “It should make you squirm.  But these guys see the Donald in situations we don’t.  If you listen carefully to some of the guys in the know about these agencies, they think he’s out of control.  Their job is to protect the country and the Constitution, not some individual, even the president.”

Back to the current conversation

Greenie:  “That must have been a sobering conversation.”

122913_1337_14BringingU2.pngJC:  “It was.  But now all that’s over.  To end on a more positive note, the country survived after president Queeg.  Lots of turmoil and the Revenge Revolution but we survived.”

Jordan:  “Yes, we did survive.  Now, you know what guys?  I think we could all use a glass of wine, including Gelly…and I’ll buy.”