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.”