The Trump Watch – Late November

Have you ever made fun of someone who did something wrong or in error or clumsily or badly, only to find yourself later making the same mistake? If you have, you learned one easy lesson that you never needed to relearn: keep that kind of criticism to yourself.

If only our president had learned that one easy lesson.

Yes, what Al Franken did was wrong, and as part of our national process of sorting out what we’re going to do about people who conduct themselves in such an abusive manner, he may end up resigning from the Senate – or being kicked out by his peers.

But that didn’t stop Agent Orange, a long-time veteran of posing a threat to women, from trolling Franken about sexual harassment. Trump tweeted that

The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..

This from a guy who was captured on tape bragging about how and where he grabs women he wants regardless of whether the attraction is mutual.

But he wasn’t done.

And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?

That a guy with his track record for inappropriate behavior would have the audacity to criticize another for the very same behavior is just…just…amazing.

Glass Houses, Part 2

A little while back Agent Orange criticized past presidents, and President Obama in particular, for not directly and promptly contacting the families of American soldiers killed in wars overseas. You’d think that someone who had so publicly made such comments would be very careful about not engaging in the very behavior he criticized so harshly.

You’d think – but you’d think wrong.

It took him 12 days even to acknowledge publicly that four soldiers were killed in Niger – and even longer to contact their families.

Pot to kettle: you’re black, dude.

Lying About Taxes

Many times Trump has said that taxes in the U.S. are the highest in the world. Eventually, someone must have pointed out to him that he’s wrong about that, leading to this tangled web of a statement:

Some people say it differently, and they will say we are the highest developed nation taxed in the world. . . . A lot of people know exactly what I am talking about, and in many cases they think I am right when I say the highest. As far as I am concerned, we are really essentially the highest. But if you’d like to add the ‘developed nation,’ you can say that, too. But a lot of people agree that the way I am saying is exactly correct.

“And people thought MY speech was tortured!”

You got it: “some people say” and “they will say” and “a lot of people” and “as far as I am concerned…” means that “If I’m wrong, don’t look at me. That’s what THEY said.”

Have you ever heard such nonsense?

Even this tortured explanation doesn’t cover his tracks, though, because the fact is that taxes in the U.S. are not the highest in the world.

Italy’s taxes are higher than those in the U.S.

India and the U.K. have higher taxes.

France, Canada, and Japan have higher taxes than the U.S.

Australia has higher taxes than the U.S.

And Germany’s taxes are only 0.16 percentage points lower than the U.S.

All, by the way, developed nations.

So when Trump says the U.S. has the highest taxes in the world he’s lying – and he knows he’s lying but he keeps on lying anyway.

The Master of Overstatement

Trump can’t stand Rex Tillerson, is always on the verge of firing Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, has had problems with Steve Mnuchin, and had to dump Tom Price for stealing taxpayer money.

Plus there are, heaven help us all, Rick Perry and Dr. Ben Carson.

Still, he lavishes praise on his cabinet, as reported by the Washington Post.

“There are those that are saying it’s one of the finest group of people ever assembled as a candidate — as a Cabinet,” he said. “This is a tremendous amount of talent,” Trump continued. “We have just gotten really, really, great people. I’m very proud of them.”

Not to equate the capabilities of some of Trump’s cabinet members with an inanimate object, but…

The moment he read this The Curmudgeon immediately planned to do a little research to identify some better cabinets but the Post anticipated that its readers might feel that way and did the work for them:

Sure, George Washington sat around the Cabinet table with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox and Edmund Randolph (note: the cabinet had only four members back then). Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War with William Seward, Salmon Chase and Edwin Stanton by his side. Franklin Roosevelt beat the Depression and the Nazis with Henry Morgenthau, Harold Ickes and Henry Stimson.

But no, Trump believes his is one of the best ever.

Okay, maybe he figures that including Jared and Omarosa as adjunct cabinet members puts his group over the top.

Surely He Didn’t Say That

“No need to give me any talking points. I’m sure I can just wing these calls.”

But surely, he did.

When making condolence calls to the families of soldiers killed in action in Niger, Agent Orange really did say to one of them about their son that

…he knew what he signed up for…

Way to express sympathy, Mr. President. He might as well have declared “Them’s the breaks.”

Paranoia

Yes, Agent Orange really did suggest that the FBI conspired against him, tweeting about the notorious pee-pee papers that

Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?

Does he REALLY think the FBI did that? And if he does, don’t we need to wonder whether he’s REALLY in complete control of his faculties?

Do You Remember?

Trump says he does.

Says he remembers everything.

“One of the great memories of all time”

…he told reporters while pointing to…well, to whatever that is under that bizarre mess atop his shoulders.

One wonders if he remembers what he said about building a wall; about repealing Obamacare on day one in office; about the capabilities of his son in-law Jared; about draining the swamp; about immediately stopping drug trafficking; about bringing back coal and steel jobs; about fighting for LGBT rights; about suing the women who dared accuse him of sexual harassment; about investigating Hillary Clinton; about renegotiating NAFTA; even about changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Danali.

As the Vox web site points out, Trump has boasted about his memory in the past as well, repeatedly and without a shred of proof when continually insisting that, contrary to all available information, he saw Muslims in Jersey City celebrating the 9/11 attacks on New York City by insisting he has

the world’s greatest memory

He’s wrong.

So Much for Branding Expertise

Republicans are great at naming things: the Death Tax; the Reducing Barack Obama’s Unsustainable Deficit Act; Revoke Excessive Policies that Encroach on American Liberties Act – or for easy reference, the REPEAL Act; Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS; the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017; and many others.

But when House Speaker Paul Ryan decided to give Agent Orange the honor of naming the Republican tax bill, Ryan got more than he bargained for.

Or less.

Actually, much less.

Okay, much MUCH less.

The best the so-called branding wizard in the White House could come up with is

The Cut Cut Cut Act.

Seriously. That’s the best the branding expert could do: The Cut Cut Cut Cut Act.

A Little Hypocrisy?

No, make that a lot.

Agent Orange has invested a great deal of time and effort in denigrating the New York Times. He says the Times is dishonest, a purveyor of “fake news,” and a failing business. In fact, he routinely refers to it as “the failing New York Times.”

So you have to wonder why he specifically called New York Times reporters after the arrest of his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to remind them that he himself is not under investigation.

If he’s so contemptuous of the Times, why did he call Times reporters to make this point? There are plenty of friendly reporters who would gladly make that point for him, and of course there’s always the toadies of Fox & Friends.

The Curmudgeon hates playing amateur psychologist – he often refers to such people as “Sigmund Frauds” – but you have to think that deep, deep down Trump craves the Times’s approval and respect.

Still Name-Calling

This time an oldie but goody. Recently Agent Orange tweeted of his old sparring partner Elizabeth Warren that

Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.

He did this just three days after declaring November Native American Heritage Month.

Practice What You Preach

Agent Orange has made it clear that loyalty is very important to him. It was his demand of loyalty from James Comey, and Comey’s refusal to give it, that led to Comey’s firing and in turn led to the hornet’s nest that firing unleashed and it’s what led to that bizarre cabinet meeting in which he invited his top people to sing his praises.

But for Trump we’ve seen that loyalty is strictly a one-way street. The manner in which he’s treated Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is appalling and now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is getting the Sessions treatment. Confronted with press reports that Tillerson is less than impressed by his boss’s intellectual capabilities and asked if he was keeping Tillerson in that role, Trump told reporters that

We’ll see. I don’t know who’s going to be [here for the] duration.

Loyalty for this president is, alas, very much a one-way street.

Roy Moore

“Hey there, little lady. Ya SURE you wanna pull the Democratic lever?”

When Trump finally –finally! – spoke out about Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate unnaturally drawn to teen-aged girls, his response was

We don’t need a liberal Democrat in the seat.

No, he’d much rather have a sexual predator in that seat.

Better Late Than Never

As he has noted in the past, The Curmudgeon sometimes falls behind in his New Yorker reading; from what he hears, many other New Yorker readers do so as well. During recent confusion involving his move from one home to a new one, moreover, he is often lucky to find the next New Yorker at all, so in addition to falling behind in his reading he also is reading out of sequence – hence the following excerpt from the August 28 edition, written in response to Trump’s indefensible defense of some of the Charlottesville protesters as “very fine people.”

After his press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower last Tuesday, when he ignored the scripted attempts to regulate his impulses and revealed his true allegiances, there can be no doubt about who he is. This is the inescapable fact: on November 9th, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced, and immoral human being as its President and Commander-in-Chief. Trump has daily proven unyielding to appeals of decency, unity, moderation, or fact. He is willing to imperil the civil peace and the social fabric of his country simply to satisfy his narcissism and to excite the worst inclinations of his core followers.

The Sheer Size of the Ego is Dazzling

 Last week we learned that Agent Orange has notified Time magazine that he does not want to be considered for Time’s “person of the year” for 2017. He made this request, he explained, in response to Time contacting him about being man of the year but he declined, citing the need for a photo session and interview.

His words, (via tweet, of course):

Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

This Time cover adorned many Trump properties. It’s a fake.

Only one problem: the folks at Time say it didn’t happen.

That Time didn’t contact him and inform him that he was being considered for man of the year.

Didn’t inquire about scheduling a photo session.

Didn’t inquire about an interview in association with the distinction.

Trump, we know, is obsessed about being on the Time cover and being Time’s man of the year – so obsessed, we learned last year, that he once had his graphics staff created a fictitious Time magazine with him on its cover.

And then hung that fictitious image through the Trump empire as if it was the real deal.

Becoming Time’s person of the year isn’t an election. It’s not a contest. Time decides based on whatever criteria it chooses to employ. People don’t run for person of the year and they don’t get to withdraw from a race they’re not running.

Unless they’re Agent Orange, obsessed with being on Time’s cover and sick over the thought of someone else gaining that distinction and the humiliation he would feel if that were the case.

Fore!  

“Will Louis C.K. or Charlie Rose be joining us?”

Last weekend Trump played a round of golf with Tiger Woods.

What, he couldn’t persuade Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey to fill out his sexual predator foursome?

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