Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My top-super-double-classified-secret memorandum revealing that, um, err, uhhh... the people out to get Trump are out to get Trump

Actual verified image
I wrote a memo

Since I’m on the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have access to stuff the ordinary public doesn’t see. I mean really super double secret stuff that I know and you don’t. Nya nya.

I took a little bit of this. And a little bit of that, including the fact that somebody paid a guy to dig up dirt on Trump, so therefore the dirt can't actually be dirty. I threw in some real data on, probably, who we've been wiretapping or otherwise surveilling on The Other Side.

Then I mished and mashed that stuff up in a whirling psychoblender with things I made up, and things that are sort of true, and things that even if they’re not true ought to be true in my opinion. Plus stuff I got from watching Fox News.

That memo absolutely convinced me that A) Donald Trump is innocent. Of whatever. And that B) Hillary Clinton and C) Barack Obama are guilty. Of whatever. But heinous whatever. I mean really, really bad whatever.

And furthermore that D)  all Democrats are part of the secret cabal, where they jointly prick their fingers over a glass bowl and commingle their blood and swear fealty to the Deep State and the Conspiracy to Make America Not Great despite everything Donald Trump is heroically doing to arrange for…well, I forget exactly where I was going with this, but you get the idea.

All I can tell you is, that memo convinces me 100 percent. Even though I’m the guy who wrote it. So I’m going to release it soon, real soon. Event though it’s classified.

But that doesn’t mean the Democrats can do the same thing. We’ve got to stop them from releasing their own memo because…well, I could tell you, but it’s classified.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"Hey Crank, where the hell are you?" Listen, even a crank needs an occasional break. Sheesh!

Why haven't I posted recently? What's going on? Where am I?

Where the blazes am I supposed to be, huh?

Can't a guy get the oil in his crank case
changed any more without causing a 
street demonstration?
I'm resting. I've got Trump overload. I've got the Schumer Shakes. I'm got those Butt-Over-the-Trumphole, Turtle-Faced Kentucky Senator Blues. Or Butt in the Trumphouse Turtle-Faced Kentucky Senator Blues, if you insist.

I've got Pencetinitis. I've got The Kushner Quakes. I can smell that nauseating, low down, Stevie Miller snot nosed imperative stink, wafting out of the White House and poisoning the air. 

And it's affecting the way I think. For example, normally I'd be horrified by body shaming. But given that she'll twist the truth, tell a lie, or fabricate an alternate reality (I am not being redundant; they're each slightly different)...Anyway, given that she'll do all that to protect our potty-mouthed prez at the drop of one of his cheeseburgers, I'll confess that I'm also pretty sick of the fat lady singing just about every damn day in the White House. Or is it the Out House?

At any rate, if she's constantly singing the game is over. Either get President Pottymouth out of there, or get the fat lady out of there. Preferably before they and their crew hatch the Next Big Insane Thing.

Although to tell you the truth, I'm not at all sure what President Pottymouth and his putrid people have in mind for their next act. They have already weakened our military alliances; alienated our friends around the world; stuck a bomb under the national treasury and lighted the fuse; and sunk the nation's level of discourse to such cesspool depth that even I now find myself wallowing in it. So I'm in no rush to see what comes tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.

But I'll take a wild guess.

President Pottymouth and Senator Turtleface will manage to defeat DACA. They will do it by bringing a clean DACA bill to the floor of the Senate, where they will shoot it down.

Next, there will be a great forced exodus not only of DACA kids but of all undocumented (and some documented) aliens who happen to have brown skin, black skin, or...oh what the hell, throw in yellow, too. They will all be lined up at the border and told to get the hell out of our nation. But then...

But then some toady general, or maybe a general toady, will shriek, "Oh no! Oh no! We're going to lose all those low wage aliens. And we won't have all that income tax income that we can steal from the treasury to give to the One Percent.  Or all those college students that Betsy DeVos can rip off on behalf of her friends who have a piece of the action in worthless for-profit college diploma mills. And think of all those college loans we won't be able to collect on because we've shooed those people out of the country. Not to mention the first generation immigrants. It's already raised havoc with running a 711 store. Who the hell is going to take the orders and make the change, and flip the President's burgers?"

So they'll dispatch a great army to chase after the hard-working immigrants and their high-achieving Dreamer kids and bring them all back. But at that very moment, the waters of the Rio Grande will be parting, and the immigrants and Dreamers will be crossing the suddenly dry riverbed to bring their hard work, and innovation and talent to a different land. And when the Pentagon's armored tanks plunge into the the space between the Rio Grande's parted waters in pursuit, the waters will roll back, and a whole division of tanks will be drowned.

No, wait, wait! Listen to me. Don't run away jeering. Just shut up and listen. I am not making this up.  It's all true. It says so, right there in the Bible.

And if you don't believe me, ask Mike Pence.

Pharaoh's heavy armored division moments before drowning. 
Actual genuine photograph from the Sarah Sanders collection 
of historically accurate and totally truthful non-fake news pix.
And now leave me alone, willyuh? I'm going back into hibernation.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

CRAZY AS A BEDBUG: a few observations relating to a column about Donald Trump by David Brooks. Plus some notes and a true tale or two about the deceptive behavior of psychopaths.

I know it’s rather late in the day to be getting around to this, but David Brooks’ column in the New York Times this morning contained a remarkable statement.
Give David Brooks a
Ph.D in naiveté
"First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by."
The statement is remarkable because of its disquieting naiveté. Just because he’s affable, and seems like a “good guy” who is “well informed enough,” doesn’t mean Trump isn’t a complete psychopath. Many psychopaths have an extraordinary capacity for appearing “normal,” and affable, and even disarmingly charming.

This "affable guy" died in the
electric chair
You want a case in point? How about this guy — one of the most charming and affable serial killers in the history of the United States. In fact, it was his charm that enabled him to work as a volunteer campaign worker (for a Republican candidate, naturally) and that also enabled him to meet, enchant, and then rape and murder somewhere between 36 and 100 women.

It turns out that psychopaths can be as affable as anyone else. In fact, some of them find affability a useful tool when they turn it on.

I spent seven years of my life living with a psychiatrist (who, before she died, was referred to at various times in this space as “The Crank’s Beautiful Girlfriend.”) She was indeed an exceptional beauty, and also a brilliant psychiatrist with a celebrity patient roster, who followed a hard-and-fast rule.

“I don’t take psychotic patients,” she told me. “I certainly don’t  take psychopaths. I don't like crazy people. You can’t trust them. They’re dangerous.”

“But you’re a psychiatrist,” I said, a bit shocked.

“Yes and I don’t waste my time with insane people. Or risk my life.”

On the outside chance that she’d make a fatal misdiagnosis, this small, willowy, exquisite woman kept a  can of mace in her top desk drawer. But she never had to use it. She was pretty infallible in her diagnoses. And she was firm in her opinions as to whom she’d treat and who would be better off seeing some other head shrinker.

Then there was the case my younger brother ran across, roughly 40 years ago, when he was a Legal Aid lawyer in New York City,  assigned to deal with nut cases.

A bit of background. In the State of New York you can (or at least could, back then) incarcerate people who are not guilty of a crime if a court adjudicates them to be a “danger to themselves or others.” 

They may be incipient Ted Bundys. They may be the kind of lost soul who pops up in the news for a day after acting on a message from God that advises them to push a subway passenger off some platform into the path of a speeding train. They may be any number of things, but they’re as crazy as bedbugs and a lot more dangerous.

Many of these people don’t like it in the looney bin. And the law allows them a way out. Periodically, they’re entitled to go back to court, present evidence, or at least a claim that they’re as normal as everybody else, and ask the court to free them. Since many of them have no money, the Legal Aid Society often represents them. Hence my brother.

One day, my brother told me about a truly amazing client he’d just represented. The bus brought his client to the courthouse, where my brother had about ten minutes to meet and interview him before they both went before the judge.

“The guy was completely rational,” my brother said. “He was charming. He had somehow kept up to date with the news. He could rattle off what he had read in The New York Times that week. And then he could explain  — in cogent detail — why it mattered.

“His conversation was lively. He was clear-headed. In my mind there was no question about it. This guy was one hundred precent sane. He had to be released. Justice demanded it. So I brought him into the courtroom. And I put him on the witness stand."

Sure enough, my brother’s client charmed the judge, too. The judge was listening, fascinated, smiling, nodding agreeably, clearly under the spell of the witness, who swore his incarceration was all a mistake. His testimony even included a pretty plausible theory about how he could have been locked up through the error of a city hospital's foreign-born doctor, who spoke barely more than rudimentary English and who, through lack of English, misunderstood something and made an error.

The testimony was not only rational, it was clearly analytical. It was utterly reasonable. Clearly, the judge seemed to be thinking, he was hearing the testimony of what these days you might call “a stable genius.”

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, my brother spotted the state attorney, who appeared agitated, upset, and outraged. The state attorney whispered furiously into the ear of a psychiatrist who had accompanied the prisoner from the looney bin. The psychiatrist whispered back. The state’s attorney whispered something else. And there was another whispered reply.

Finally, it was the state attorney’s turn to cross-examine my brother’s client. But there seemed no evident point in doing so, since my brother's client was so evidently sane.

“Tell me,” asked the state’s attorney, “who is the President of Mexico?”

“Why, I am!” my brother’s client replied confidently, and without missing a beat.

“And how much are you paid to be President of Mexico?”

“Well that’s very hard to say because they can’t send me my money while I’m being held prisoner in New York. They put the money in a trunk and it’s buried under a tree in Guadalajara where….”

The judge’s smile faded. His eyes rolled in big circles. In due course the bus from the crazy house backed up to the court house, and two armed guards saw to it that my brother’s client was on board.

They never saw each other again.

MORAL: Just because somebody can act rational for twenty minutes or so doesn’t mean he wouldn’t nuke the planet, first opportunity he gets, particularly if you say whatever his magic words are. Got that, David Brooks?


Who’s ultimately more dangerous?

“I’m the most cold hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” — Serial Killer Ted Bundy

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen…"—  Stable genius Donald Trump

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Why the people who voted for Trump hoping he’d produce jobs, jobs, jobs are in the long run screwed, screwed, screwed

What McDonald’s is touting as “America’s best first job,”
 won’t be anybody’s job pretty soon. A machine will 
do it, and the minimum wage kids can go starve. Thanks
 to Garth Hallberg, author of “The Picketty Problem,” 
for tipping me off to this video.

Right now we have full employment, thanks to the logical conclusion of policies put into place by Donald Trump’s nemesis, Barack Obama.

But if Trump, or his voters, think that by opening up vast stretches of gorgeous wilderness and relatively unpolluted oceans to oil drilling or coal mining they'll produce more jobs, they’ve got another think coming. 

The people digging in those mines, or drilling for that oil won’t be people. They’ll be robots. Already robots are doing clerical tasks. Commonplace example: you don’t have to call the front desk at your hotel and ask for a wakeup call any more. You just press a button on your I-phone and say, “Hey Siri, wake me at seven a.m. The telephone gets the request, and remembers to fill it.

Now your friendly minimum wage hamburger flipper is on the verge of being replaced by a machine that gets paid nothing per hour and doesn’t give a flying pickle about finding a better second job. Or about working Sundays and holidays. 

Next come the Trump-voter robots. They’ll do everything Trump voters do. They’ll drive trucks. They’ll  dig for coal. They’ll  drill for oil. They’ll  tend bars. They’ll dispense pills in hospitals. They’ll  even trade stocks.  In fact, some stock traders already are robots. 

The ideal solution, I crankily aver, is to divvy up the few remaining job among more people. Take the profits that robots earn with their tireless productivity and use it to hire three workers where we once had one, each now with shorter hours, longer holidays, and fewer days in his or her workweek. That way everybody makes a living, everybody has a place to go during the week, and we avoid millions of homeless and unemployable people sleeping in the streets.

But I’d almost lay you money it ain’t gonna happen. At least not in the United States where greed is more sacred than holy water used to be.

Instead, the soon-to-come newspaper headline for the reign of the robots will read: “Bots to Trump Voters: Drop Dead!”