The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Paul Ryan’ Category

Good Monday, Widdershins. I hope you had a good International Women’s Day. I saw quite a few women wearing red at my client site last week in honor of “A Day without a Woman.” It was inspirational. I think there are several more actions planned from the organizers of the Women’s March, so stay tuned!

Now to the title of my post. This comes from some research I’ve been doing on the human brain, and the way it works to keep us alive and protect us from threats. This won’t be a super-science-y piece – more of a meditation on the state our country is in, and how it’s possible for sub-human cretins like Drumpf, Bannon and their minions to win even one vote, much less 60-odd million.

As I’m sure many of you know better than I, there are older, more primitive parts of our brains that only exist to make sure we quickly and instinctively respond to threats. From an evolutionary perspective, these parts of the brains are extremely important. They initiate the “fight or flight” response, which actually also includes a “freeze” as well, giving us microseconds to decide either to go to war, or to retreat.

After millions of years of evolution, we actually developed the capability to process these responses and evaluate them. Ah, the frontal lobe! Human beings develop this part of the brain in young adulthood. At least, some human beings do.

…It organizes responses to complex problems, plans steps to an objective, searches memory for relevant experience, adapts strategies to accommodate new data, guides behavior with verbal skills and houses working memory. Its orbitofrontal circuit manages emotional impulses in socially appropriate ways for productive behaviors including empathy, altruism, interpretation of facial expressions. Stroke in this area typically releases foul language and fatuous behavior patterns [bolding mine].

My argument today is that Drumpf and his supporters have either not developed their frontal lobes, or they have developed them, but are unable to use them. Their amygdalae are in charge, causing them to respond unthinkingly to perceived threats without the calming influence of the orbitofrontal circuit. This inability to counter the constant screaming of “Danger, Will Robinson!” makes them extremely susceptible to manipulation by other like-minded people, who deeply understand the constant state of anxiety in which these primitive brains exist.

In other words…they are stupid. And because they’re stupid, they’re evil.

Read the rest of this entry »

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-Trump Chuckie

On March 4th, The Thing in the White House sent out a bunch of angry tweets blasting the previous President for wiretapping Isengard Trump Tower. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Then 30 mins later: “How long has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” When asked to clarify this insanity, The Thing’s minions really could do nothing but heee and hawww. The Thing read it somewhere, they said. NY Times! Louise Mensch! BBC! Naturally once reporters dug deeper, they found that NO, none of those reports talked Trump Obamaabout wiretapping. Mensch broke the story on her right-wing blog HeatStreet on November 7th about the FISA warrant, but all she said was that a FISC court granted permission to “examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.” In question was a mysterious communication between two Russian banks and a server in Trump Tower. (David Corn of Mother Jones broke the story of the two banks and Trump Tower, but all media dismissed it as a bizarre conspiracy theory a couple of weeks earlier.) In the follow-up reports to Mensch’s story, BBC and the failing NY Times confirmed a FISA warrant, but nobody mentioned wiretaps… except Breitbart and then The Thing in its Tweets. Ahhhhh, the plot thickens. Where did Breitbart get the information about wiretaps at Trump Tower and did The Thing just leak top secret information in a series of Tweets? Sure seems that way. Will anybody hold him accountable? LOL.

There are fleeing moments when it feels like Lady Lindsey Graham and Hero John McCain might hold The Thing accountable for the numerous impeachable offenses it has committed. Earlier today Graham tweeted: “An attack on one political party should be considered an attack on all. We must push back on Russian election interference at home & abroad.” That sounds great! However it should also be noted that Graham had lunch with The Thing earlier in the day.

“Great lunch meeting with ‪@POTUS today. President Trump is strongly committed to rebuilding our military which is music to my ears. (1/3)

President Trump is in deal-making mode and I hope Congress is like-minded. (2/3)”

“How good was the meeting with ‪@POTUS?

I gave him my NEW cell phone number.”

Somebody responded: “1-800-DOOR-MAT?” And then “You, sir, are a profile in courage.”

And that, folks, is Lindsey Graham summarized in a handful of tweets. We have to get used to the notion that no, Graham and McCain won’t hold The Thing accountable for anything until they’ve gotten what they want from him: tax cuts for the rich, bigger military, gutting ACA, etc. etc. etc. Then maybe, possibly, once that’s all done, they’ll throw The Thing overboard.

Speaking of handing out cell numbers, can anybody afford a new cell phone after Republicans pass Trumpcare? Jason Chaffetz, the man who investigated Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails to death, and who doesn’t think there is any reason to look into Trump’s connections to Russia, went on CNN to start selling Trumpcare to America.

Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.

This is, of course, patently absurd. An iPhone unsubsidized by a phone company might cover one month’s premium for a single person. How many iPhones does Chaffetz think people buy? Of course, Chaffetz himself doesn’t have to buy his own phone. He gets one from work. His cell bill gets covered too. “How much does an iPhone cost” is the new “How much is a gallon of milk?” and Chaffetz doesn’t know  the cost of either.

Medicaire

Overall Trumpcare is going to gut poor people into oblivion. It gives tax breaks to the rich, provides insurance companies with tax deductions on CEO salaries, will raise costs of premium, reinstate caps, gut preexisting conditions. Millions of people will lose their insurance. Many of them were Trump voters. Sadly many of them were not. But they will suffer also.

Why do Republicans hate poor people? It’s a question that has been asked often and there are many answers. As it came up again in the current Trumpcare discussion, I was reminded of a scene in E.M. Forster’s great novel “Howards End.” In the 1910 novel ForsterForster explored 3 groups of people from 3 different classes: the extremely wealthy and conservative Wilcoxes, upper middle class but liberal Schlegels, and poor but aspiring for something bigger Basts. The Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, try to help poor Leonard Bast, but their well-meaning interventions in his life, as well as not-well meaning interventions from the Wilcoxes, prove disastrous. He loses his job as a clerk in an insurance company after following bad advice from patriarch Henry Wilcox. When the impetuous Helen (played by Helena Bonham Carter in the magnificent film, with Emma Thompson as Margaret) tries to make her case for helping the poor to the condescending 1%-er Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins in the film), the following exchange takes place. Written in 1910, “Howards End”is still relevant in 2017.

From Chapter 22

He [Henry Wilcox] raised his finger. “Now, a word of advice.”

“I require no more advice.” [said Helen]

“A word of advice. Don’t take up that sentimental attitude over the poor. See that she doesn’t, Margaret. The poor are poor, and one’s sorry for them, but there it is. As civilisation moves forward, the shoe is bound to pinch in places, and it’s absurd to pretend that any one is responsible personally. Neither you, nor I, nor my informant, nor the man who informed him, nor the directors of the Porphyrion, are to blame for this clerk’s loss of salary. It’s just the shoe pinching–no one can help it; and it might easily have been worse.”

Helen quivered with indignation.

“By all means subscribe to charities–subscribe to them largely– but don’t get carried away by absurd schemes of Social Reform. I see a good deal behind the scenes, and you can take it from me that there is no Social Question–except for a few journalists who try to get a living out of the phrase. There are just rich and poor, as there always have been and always will be. Point me out a time when men have been equal–”

“I didn’t say–”

“Point me out a time when desire for equality has made them happier. No, no. You can’t. There always have been rich and poor. I’m no fatalist. Heaven forbid! But our civilisation is moulded by great impersonal forces” (his voice grew complacent; it always did when he eliminated the personal), “and there always will be rich and poor. You can’t deny it” (and now it was a respectful voice)–“and you can’t deny that, in spite of all, the tendency of civilisation has on the whole been upward.”

“Owing to God, I suppose,” flashed Helen.

He stared at her.

“You grab the dollars. God does the rest.”

It was no good instructing the girl if she was going to talk about God in that neurotic modern way. Fraternal to the last, he left her for the quieter company of Mrs. Munt.

[…]

“Don’t ever discuss political economy with Henry,” advised her sister. “It’ll only end in a cry.”

“But he must be one of those men who have reconciled science with religion,” said Helen slowly. “I don’t like those men. They are scientific themselves, and talk of the survival of the fittest, and cut down the salaries of their clerks, and stunt the independence of all who may menace their comfort, but yet they believe that somehow good–it is always that sloppy ‘somehow’ will be the outcome, and that in some mystical way the Mr. Basts of the future will benefit because the Mr. Brits of today are in pain.”

Howards End

Also, in brief: Richard Steele, the British spy who wrote the infamous “pee pee” dossier, has resurfaced. While American Senators want to hear him testify about what he knows.

WikiLeaks is dumping top secret CIA documents.

And contrary to earlier denials that he’s never met the Russian Ambassador (a man nobody has ever met), a newly unearthed article in the Wall Street Journal from last April says that Trump met with the Russian Ambassador and greeted him warmly.

What’s on your mind Widdershins? This is an open thread.

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Don’t blink anyone! You might miss a major development from the White House. The Drumpfster Fire Shit Show is showing no signs of slowing down. No amount of Russian hooker urine can extinguish it. It’s the Chernobyl and the Fukushima meltdowns combined and the fallout will span the globe. Although not if you ask a Republican. Everyone is just great if you ask a Republican! Everything is going according to plan…

In a matter of a day Drumpf held an emergency situation room meeting in the middle of a dining room and fired/accepted resignation/encouraged retirement of a man named Flynn. First, the Mar-al-Lago disaster. Picture it: Drumpf, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, wives 16708703_10154983688274761_4762941159713180703_nand friends, are having a wonderful $20,000 (give or take) dinner surrounded by dozens of their closest friends/donors. When suddenly news arrives that North Korea (which would within the next 24 hours assassinate the rightful heir to their throne by two female assassins who poisoned him with a dart in the middle of a Malaysian airport!!!!), anyway, before a 007/Jason Bourne assassination of a perceived rival and brother, North Korea’s demented leader launched a missile towards Japan. So naturally, Drumpf and PM Abe go into full Presidential mode by hunkering down at their dinner table, cell phone flash lights activated, figuring out how to respond. Their dozens of closest friends/donors are witnessing this, taking photos, posting to facebook. Because an international crises as reality television is where we are right now. This is all perfectly normal! All the Republicans think so! HRC’s e-mail server: bad. Classified documents about a rogue/crazy country that may start a nuclear war disseminated and discussed in a crowded room: good. Nobody wanted to miss the entrée. When you paid thousands of dollars for access, you better get a good show.

Oh, and let’s not forget Rick. Rick is The Man. Rick carries a briefcase with him that contains the nuclear codes. Rick is posing for photos with guests. Rick is The Man!

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And then, if you can believe our lives, that wasn’t even the craziest thing that’s happened all week. The crazies thing that’s happened all week (writing this on Tue night) is we are finally getting real evidence of Russia setting up a Kremlin satellite office in Washington DC. I won’t go into the Michael “Lock Her Up!” Flynn details because we are watching this shit develop in real time. But as of now, Rethuglicans still don’t think there’s any reason to investigate anything. Paul Ryan, McTurtle, Chaffetz, all say there’s nothing to see here and let’s move on. Rand Paul says it’d be crazy for Republicans to investigate other Republicans. And it’s hard to argue with his logic! Give this for Rand Paul: he’s not lying. He’s not pretending that there are any principles at stake. It’s all about party loyalty. Which was an interesting thing I realized when I was talking to a Republican friend on Monday. She doesn’t really care about Trump one way or the other. She just cares that a Republican is in power. She detested “Barry.” She thinks McTurtle “is a pussy” who allowed Barry to get away with everything. Hillary is the biggest criminal ever. So there we are. For many people who still support Drumpf, it’s really just about Republicans being in charge.

snl-spicey-leafblower

And Mike Pence is being built up as the victim in all this. Supposedly Pence had no idea Flynn had spoken to the Russians about lifting the sanctions. LOL. Is this just the beginning of setting up Pence as a man of principle who would make a great POTUS-46? And do you know who else is the victim in all this? Michael Flynn if you believe this nonsense.

In any case, so far HRC’s only comment on this topic was a re-Tweet of a comment by Philippe Reines.

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I get a feeling that the only person who might be enjoying all this insanity is HRC and maybe Obama.

I also think that considering Hillary Clinton’s vast criminal network and the trail of murdered bodies she has left behind over the decades, Michael Flynn is lucky to still be alive.

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In the meantime, do not unbuckle your seatbelts. There is a lot more of whatever this is to come. Even as I write this CNN says they have names of Trump campaign officials who spoke to the Russians, but not releasing names yet because they are waiting for comment from the White House. And Drumpf’s staff, which includes a former contestant from his show, getting into a physical altercation with a reporter. Or maybe not. Apparently a secret recording was made but it may have been edited before being played for some journalists. This is our life, welcome.

sean-spicer-snl-melissa-mccarthy-2

I leave you with a song I’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks, since I’ve discovered this remarkable young singer. Troye Sivan is 21 year old South African/Australian and this song, “Heaven,” is a balm for the soul. He wrote it about the pain and joy of coming out as gay, for all the people who have done it before him and for those who will do it in the future. “Without losing a piece of me, how do I get to heaven? … So if I’m losing a piece of me, maybe I don’t want heaven.”

 

 

winona

As I sat down to write Wednesday morning’s post on Tuesday night, I realized by the time it published it would already be out of date. The dizzying speed with which Bannon and Trump are trashing our democracy is impossible to process and stay up to speed on. In just 10 days they’ve managed to create multiple constitutional criseses [sic]. Aside from the original sin of conflict of interest we don’t know the full extent of because Trump has not and will not release his tax returns (WikiLeaks says they plan to find them and release them… the irony of that can not be avoided, to paraphrase Angus King’s comment to steinJames Coffey at a Senate hearing after Comey said he does not comment on ongoing investigations when asked about FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in our elections). But since then Trump/Bannon’s multiple executive orders, that anathema he and other Republicans screamed at Obama about for 8 years, have created nothing but chaos in our system. The biggest one, of course, was the refugee executive order. Throwing people’s lives into chaos by refusing previously vetted refugees into the country, but also by refusing people with green cards into the country, they revealed – well, it’s hard to tell. Incompetence or malice? Perhaps a combination of the two. Bannon and another Trump aide Stephen Miller wrote the executive order and forced it to be signed without consulting with any other agency, or even Congressional Republicans. Though Congressional aides helped write it….without telling their bosses. That is a big deal. I wish I could see the expression on McTurtle’s face when he learned of his aides secrecy. It would be funny if the secrecy also wasn’t terrifying.Senate Luncheons

To add to the chaos, Border Patrol defied a judge’s ruling that people detained be allowed to see a lawyer. That is a very big deal as well. We now have the judicial branch being openly defied by the administration and part of its security force. Federal Marshalls would have to go in and force Border Patrol to follow court’s orders. Imagine how that would play out. Because I can’t.

Which brings me to this: for many months now Democrats have been waiting and begging Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to save us from Trump. Throughout the insanity of the campaign Ryan and McConnell became almost sane. But in truth they were just sane compared to Trump and that’s not a fair comparison. In fact, Ryan and McConnell are fucking scum. We have been waiting for them and the Republican Party to come in and paul-ryansave us all from Trump. That didn’t happen during the election. The Republican Party never turned on Trump, no matter how awful he became. Even John McCain (when will be get used to the fact that the war hero died when McCain ran for President?) didn’t fully turn against him. McCain just refused to talk about him, which isn’t the same thing. So no, McCain and Lady Graham won’t save us either. The endless articles being written about how Trump will alienate Republicans enough that they will turn on him are as tiresome as the endless articles about what white men want. It’s nonsense. Nothing Trump does will ever make the Republican establishment turn on him and impeach him. Nothing. McConnell and Ryan are not biting their tongues. They are not cowards who just need a little bit of encouragement and courage. They are not spineless – they are soulless. They want everything Trump is doing. They might be annoyed at some of his methods. But they want what Trump wants. That’s the truth we have to face.trump-nixon

So where does that leave us? I honestly have no idea. I’m sorry for the downer post. I’m sure the comments that follow over the next couple of days will fill us with even more dread as Bannon/Trump continue their destruction of America and the world around us. I do fear, however, that Trump’s Presidency will not end peacefully. I don’t know how big the violence will be or who it will be directed against, but I think that is the only way this can end.

Please tell me that I’m wrong!

i-was-gonna-get-up

head-in-hand-regret

Can I blame it on being drunk?

Good Weekend to you Widdershins!

Well the talking yam has yet to take office but the congress critters have already started their session and naturally the first thing the Repubtards did, right out of the gate, was to start their “let’s kill obamacare” stuff.  Paul “grannystarver” Ryan says things are too urgent and just can’t wait.  Now thatone-mistake may be because he’s afraid of what folks and other congress critters might see.  And indeed they would be correct in wanting to at least find a replace before they decide to repeal.  Still, it’s going to be those angry folks who pulled the lever for Trump who will regret their vote the most.

Across rural America, the Rust Belt, Coal Country and other hotbeds of Trumpism, voters have repeatedly expressed frustration that the lazy and less deserving are getting a bigger chunk of government cheese.

I would say that getting some cheese is better than getting no cheese. What’s the old saying:  Act in haste-repent in leisure?  They’ll have plenty of time now for the new version:  Act in haste-die without healthcare.  So these folks are going to experience regret.

one-day-look-backverb (used with object), regretted, regretting.

1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.):

He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.

2. to think of with a sense of loss:  to regret one’s vanished youth.

noun
3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
Coincidentally, there are just tons and tons of songs about regret(s).  They may be regrets of the romantic variety or not.  Still, they are songs of regret and all of those folks who never thought Trump or the Repubtards meant it about killing off Obamacare will have lots of time on their hands to experience their regrets.  So, I’ve put together a few regretful (wink) songs below and hope you’ll add some of your own.
black-line divider-no-background-th
(1) Chasing Pavements ~ Adele
(2) Cut Here ~ The Cure
(3) I can never go home anymore ~ The Shangri-Las
(4) I Told You So ~ Carrie Underwood
(5) Regret ~ LeToya Luckett
(6) I’m Sorry ~ Blake Shelton

* * * * *

Now for those of us who actually knew better than to believe a thing the yam or Sanders or anyone else if-id-knownsaid, we have our own special song.  We have no regrets about how we voted in November.

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Okay, those are my picks and I hope you will add some below.

 

Hell yeah they’re gonna be that stupid

 

GOOD MONDAY WIDDERSHINS!

 

Surprise – Fredster here.  Real life has called mb away from us so I’ll be handling the, as I called it, not so activist Monday.

If the picture above doesn’t give you a clue, I’ll fill you in.  The Republicans, realizing they are probably going to get their butts handed to them at the top of the ticket are making ready to once again prove that yes, they are the stupid party.

An article in Politico states that the Repubs are going to start working against Hillary…oh probably before she even gets all the furniture moved into the White House.  The way things look it appears Hillary is going to be the first Democratic President since Cleveland to assume the Presidency without also being in control of both

“Oh yeah we’re gonna mess her up!”

houses of Congress.  While it is true that yes, she has gotten some endorsements from some Republicans, and has even gotten that support without changing the progressive economic plan she spoke of at the convention, it seems that the making nice-nice will come to an end.  So what does that mean exactly?

That means the bipartisan show of support she has now — thanks to Donald Trump and the “alt-right,” conspiracy-driven campaign Clinton attacked Thursday in Reno, Nevada — is likely to evaporate as soon as the race is called.

Yes, once the election is over the regular order of business, i.e. partisan conflict, aka the status quo, is going to go right back to where it was in the Obama presidency.

If she wins the presidency, Clinton would likely enjoy the shortest honeymoon period of any incoming commander in chief in recent history, according to Washington strategists, confronting major roadblocks to enacting her ambitious agenda, as well as Republican attacks that have been muted courtesy of the GOP nominee.

As Annie Karni says in the article, Obama and Bill Clinton had at least two years of having the House and Senate in Democratic possession and that it was “a period during which they were able to enact major portions of their agendas. “.

The Democrats are feeling pretty confident that they’ve going to be able to get the Senate back, the House is looking like it will stay in the hands of the Republicans.  And since so much legislation begins in the House and even if bills are written and passed in the Senate, they still have to pass the House, this is going to leave Hillary with a problem.  As Jonathan Cowan, president of the moderate think tank Third Way said:

“What that would leave her with is an absolute imperative to govern from the center,” said Cowan, a former Bill Clinton White House official. “She will have no choice. There is no choice. Obama will have picked most of the low-hanging executive orders, and she’ll be in this Grover Cleveland moment.”

The Republicans meanwhile are keeping their mouths shut and though in a “normal” election they would tear into the Democratic nominee, they are “holding their fire” they say.

At the same time, many Republicans who have aligned themselves with Clinton say they feel as if they have been “holding their fire” — and that ends Nov. 9.

“In any other election, the majority of national security Republicans would be going after her, and I would be enthusiastically doing so,” said Kori Schake, a veteran of George W. Bush’s National Security Council and State Department, and an adviser to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “She wasn’t a particularly good secretary of state; the lack of judgment on emails was a shock to a lot of us. She rightly criticized the Bush administration for its failures creating stability in Iraq — and made the exact same mistake herself on Libya.”

Glad i saved the tea bag stuff

Glad I saved the old tea bag stuff

Oh my, does that mean the possibility of Jason and Trey starting up the “hearings apparatus” again?  Oy vey!

“A lot of us would like to hold her accountable for the failures, but we are holding our fire,” Schake said. “It’s because all of us are afraid of Trump. If she wants to maintain our support after, she’s going to have to address our policy concerns about the economy and America’s role in the world.”

I can say this with some confidence:  fugget about it!  Don’t see that happening no way no how.  However, Tim Miller a Republican strategist and former Jeb! employee said:

Those Republicans are gonna do what? Again?

Those Republicans are gonna do what? Again?

“The cannons have been lowered against her because of our candidate. Hillary Clinton, being a multi-decade partisan who fought tooth and nail with Republicans and called them her

enemy, is uniquely ill-suited to having a honeymoon period if she wins.”

So I guess it’s “out with the old and wait minute – bring that old right back in here”.

There’s a lot more in the article that you should read, including the fact that the Republicans are already working on plans to target Democratic Senators in the 2018 election!  So check the article out.

Okay!  That’s all I have for today.  What’s on your minds?  Everything is wide open for discussion.

 

 

 

 

Good morning and welcome to what promises to be a most glorious week.  It will be the week for which we have waited eight years.  This will be the week where a woman will capture the nomination for President of the United States. Not just any woman — Hillary Rodham Clinton.  The former old boys’ club of Presidents is about to get a much-needed infusion of I.Q., emotional intelligence, backbone, resilience, and good common sense.  Folks, this is really happening.

MB is inundated in an avalanche of work and family business.  She will be around this week to celebrate with us and will return next week.  Choices

Let’s say you have a choice.  The choice – being the brunt of Donald Trump’s unyielding insults; or demonstrating, for the entire world to see, a complete and utter lack of personal integrity. Which would you choose?  This is the Faustian choice that faced Paul Ryan after his sanctimonious proclamation he “wasn’t yet ready to endorse” L’Orange Cantaloupe.

Given the self-dealing graft, adultery hypocrisy, and pedophilia of recent Republican Speakers, Ryan had few guideposts.  Given the recent role models, a continuation of non-existent integrity seasoned with a heaping helping of bankrupt morality seemed to be the special of the day.

Since Ryan wasn’t yet ready to endorse thirty days ago, we can only surmise Trump did something during the last thirty days that caused Ryan to take the plunge.  Was it Trump’s plan of making Kim Jong Un a BFF?  Or was it Trump’s commitment to education exemplified by Trump University?  Or was it Trump’s demeaning a federal judge of Latin descent?  Could it be insulting the only female Latina governor or his personal excitement over the 2008 housing crash or the way he called a female Senator Pocahontas?  All within the last thirty days.

And Ryan wasn’t flying blind.  There were other signs along the way:

Marco Rubio called him a “con man.” Mitt Romney called him “a phony, a fraud.” Cruz called him an “amoral pathological liar” and said if he is elected “this country could well plunge into the abyss.” Lindsey Graham said Trump would lead to “another 9/11.”David Brooks called him “epically unprepared to be president.” George Will said that “his running mate will be unqualified for high office because he or she will think Trump is qualified.” The house organ of conservatism, National Review, condemned him in florid terms. A Super PAC was created just to stop him.

Whatever it was, Paul Ryan, unassailable budget quack and proclaimed intellectual savior of the Republican Party opted to forego the Trumpian insults for door number two.  Door number two hiding an undeniable demonstration of Ryan’s utter lack of personal integrity.Trump is becoming more acceptable...

What is fascinating is that Ryan wasn’t alone on this journey of self-discovery.  He isn’t even unique.  He is the prototypical Republican.  Trump is fast becoming the huckleberry of Republicans or at least 70% of them.

Perhaps it wasn’t any particular position of Trump because no one is quite sure what position the mango-haired, barely house-trained human meerkat will take:

[W]hat you see may not be what you get.

This applies as well to Trump, about whose policies we still know next to nothing. What we do know is that Trump is a chameleon who changes his positions with the same conviction he takes to the wedding chapel. More hummingbird than flip-flopper, he flits from one position to another, rarely alighting anywhere for long. Oh, yes, I like this one! No, that one.

Is Trump’s flexibility owing to a low threshold for boredom? Or does he perhaps suffer severe attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder? Suffice it to say, if he were a Democrat, Republicans would be blitzing the airwaves with cartoonish ads featuring Trump’s head on a hummingbird, his nectar-straw Pinocchio-esque.

But Trump isn’t a Democrat.  He’s now the leader of the Republican Party and as such, he should be setting an agenda beyond Twitter insults.

As researchers at the financial firm Nomura pointed out in a note to investors last week, the “issues” section of Trump’s website lists only seven topics, and his plans total just 9,000 words. “In contrast,” the researchers wrote, “at roughly this point during the campaign in 2000, Governor George W. Bush published a 450-page book of speeches offering detailed policy proposals on everything from education to tax reform to the environment to trade and Social Security.”

RIP GOPThink about that for a moment:  The Republican Party has nominated someone who is intellectually inferior to Dubya — a President whose decision-making would have been enhanced by a Ouija board, a Magic 8 Ball, and malpractice by Cheney’s cardiologist.

In a policy dance of the seven veils, Ryan has insisted he will lay out a Republican Agenda this month.  And just like a June bride, he is blushing and bashful about the content.  Let me help by being the first to review the inevitable Ryan Agenda:  The tax cuts are bogus, regulatory overhaul will leave the “at risk” more vulnerable, repeal of Obamacare will increase the uninsured, and robbing women of the right to make their own health care decisions is a fever dream of old, crusty white guys.

It’s against this anorexic agenda that the press will have to gin up a race.  Our two-party system isn’t built to function around a one-sided race.  Coke has to have Pepsi and vice versa in order to compete and compare.  Coke versus sewer water isn’t the stuff of great marketing campaigns.

Journalists undoubtedly will be driven to the altar of false equivalency – the craven idol of journalistic laziness.  Through their equivalency contortions they will undoubtedly bolster Trump while tearing Hillary down.  They must maintain parity for their ratings and preemptively forestall any possible criticism since “working the ref” is always the last refuge of the team that sucks.What-Leadership-Traits-matter

We have already seen this theory at work.  How many times have you seen Hillary questioned about “honesty” or “trustworthiness”?  Ever wonder why? Pretty simple.  Women candidates always have a demonstrable advantage on honesty. Reporters attack Hillary on honesty to bring parity to the race since there’s no question who is the most qualified. Where has the “vast right wing conspiracy focused their thirty-year assault on Hillary? Where is Trump focusing his “crooked” attacks?  It is all an attempt to refocus attention away from the fact Hillary has been investigated more than Lucy, the Ethiopian skeletal relic, and repeatedly has been pronounced:  Squeaky clean.

So Ryan shouldn’t be sad.  He’s not alone.  He can’t be what he’s not.  As his spiritual guide Ayn Rand said, “There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.

With Ryan’s tepid, but servile and unctuous endorsement of Trump, he proved he was playing the fashionable non-conformist by holding out for thirty days before doing what we all knew he was going to do from the start.  There is no better way to leave your mark on the Republican Party than by surpassing a grifter, a hypocrite, and a pedophile in setting a new low for integrity-free cowardice as Speaker of the House.  Congratulations on your choice Mr. Ryan.

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