The Free World Is Not Following Its So-Called Leader

Click to see entire cover.

This is the current cover of the German magazine Der Spiegel. DS is on a tear at the moment about the so-called president of the U.S. (SPOTUS)

Germany must stand up in opposition to the 45th president of the United States and his government. That’s difficult enough already for two reasons: Because it is from the Americans that we obtained our liberal democracy in the first place; and because it is unclear how the brute and choleric man on the other side will react to diplomatic pressure. The fact that opposition to the American government can only succeed when mounted together with Asian and African partners — and no doubt with our partners in Europe, with the EU — doesn’t make the situation any easier.

They’re organizing an intervention.

It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.

So, in answer to the question Is Trump more like Nero? or Captain Queeg?, Der Spiegel chooses Nero.

The fact that the United States, a nuclear superpower that has dominated the world economically, militarily and culturally for decades, is now presenting itself as the victim, calling in all seriousness for “America first” and trying to force the rest of the world into humiliating concessions is absurd. But precisely because this nonsense is coming from the world’s most powerful man, it is getting trapped by him.

This is not a threat that will somehow resolve itself. The German economy has become the target of American trade policy and German democracy is ideologically antithetical to Trump’s vision. But even here, in the middle of Germany, right-wing extremists are trying to give him a helping hand. It is high time that we stand up for what is important: democracy, freedom, the West and its alliances.

Please. You’d be doing us all a favor.

While we’re here, let’s review today’s atrocities.

Melania is suing the Daily Mail for saying she once worked as an escort. But this is the OMG part:

The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court against the tabloid’s owner, Mail Media, seeks compensatory and punitive damages of at least $150 million.

According to the suit, Trump planned to leverage her years as “one of the most photographed women in the world” to establish new “licensing, branding and endorsement” deals worth millions of dollars. She intended to “launch a broad-based commercial brand” selling “apparel accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance,” the suit states.

It’s entirely possible this was the SPOTUS’s idea and not Melania’s, but — OMG, making money off the FLOTUS brand tacky, or what?

File this one under “sticks and stones will break my bones,” etc. —

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, said Monday that the administration will continue using the term “fake news” until the media understands that their “monumental desire” to attack the President is wrong.

“There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term,” Gorka, a former Breitbart editor who also holds a PhD in political science, told syndicated conservative radio host Michael Medved.
“That’s how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, ‘fake news.’ I’m sorry, Michael. That’s the reality,” he added.

That’s the best they’ve got? They’re going to keep whining about “fake news”? What a bunch of weenies …

Yesterday at MacDill Air Force Base the SPOTUS said this:

“The challenges facing our nation nevertheless are very large. Very, very large,” Trump said. “We’re up against an enemy that celebrates death and totally worships destruction. You’ve seen that. ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the word. Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our nation as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe.”

He continued: “You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

Never mind that the perps in Boston, Orlando and San Bernardino had no operational ties to terrorist organizations. What about those underreported terrorist attacks? Trying to not make the SPOTUS look like a complete fool, the WH released a list today of the 79 terrorist attacks he was talking about. A quick glance tells us most of these incidents didn’t occur in Europe, or North America. But never mind — the New York Times released its own list showing it had covered every one.

Didn’t George W. Bush’s WH pull something like that, releasing an absurd list of terrorist attacks they claim to have stopped? And most of them were ridiculous? I seem to remember that.

Also today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed without a single Democratic vote.  Maybe the Dems are learning, anyway.

13 thoughts on “The Free World Is Not Following Its So-Called Leader

  1. They whine about a fictitious under reporting of terrorists attacks in the media, and yet no mention from Trump on the massacre that occurred in Canada.

    More evidence of what their real agenda is.

  2. It’s a pity that DeVos got through anyhow, with Pence’s tie-breaking vote… but resistance is honorable.

    Also; “I’m sorry, Michael. That’s the reality.” Are they creating reality again? It didn’t work out so well under W. Since they run on alternate facts, and up is down upon command, then fake is real, and it is an honor to be dishonored by them. A scoundrel’s curse is a blessing.

    Remember Nixon calling America a ‘pitiful helpless giant’? The whinging of the powerful is a disgusting spectacle, but also amusing and informative.

  3. Adolf discovered a reality that Trump is going to learn. You may be the bully who can beat anybody in class, but no bully can beat everybody in class. Trump has Putin for a friend and damn near nobody else – after two weeks. The British parliament has declared he’s not welcome.

    A bunch of world leaders have tried to minimize how obnoxious and abrasive Trump is and that’s professional and diplomatic to try to give the US a chance to restart diplomatically. But the sense among world leaders that they don’t have to bow to this orangutan is I think becoming universal.

    If we are lucky, the World Community of leaders will ban Trump – refuse to meet with him and reject his invitations to meet in DC. They can send the second string ambassadors to negotiate while they deny Trump legitimacy. If Trump threatens to strike out militarily or economically, the World Community needs to threaten the US with sanctions. I’m hoping this won’t happen (sanctions) but I do want the world to tell Trump that they reject him and will try to deal honestly and fairly with the second level of surrogates.

  4. I’m afraid that becoming the laughing-stock of the sane nations of the world, the abomination that is our (S)POTUS, that orange lumpy THING with the worst toupee/hair-weave EVAAAAAAAAH, t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin, may decide to play, ‘I’ll give ’em some REAL NEWS now! I wonder what THIS button on MY nuclear football will do? And THIS one?’

    And there go several nations, and millions of people.

    And then WE get nuked, in retaliation!.

    I’ve always said that if the last person alive in the rubble that once was the USA is conservative/Republican, then s/he with their dying breathe will claim victory over the Libtards, and the world!

    Right now, with their decades long (wet) dreams of killing social safety-net programs like Obamacare, public education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., THIS close, the Republicans think that starting (and, even losing) a nuclear WWIII, is worth the risk!

    FSM, we need a noodle inspired intervention!
    Maybe t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin can choke on some of the crappy and bad for you foods he loves, and has a stroke (though, this begs the question, ‘how will we be able to tell if he sustained any lasting brain damage?’). Like on a bowl of Spaghettios, or a Chef Boyardee meatball!

  5. maha,
    What happened to the 2nd part of your website links – the ones after “mia?”

    Yours is my home page, and I use your list to visit other worthy sites.
    Is it because I use “Chrome?”

    Btw – this just started a couple of days ago, and I’ve been using “Chrome” for years, with no problem(s).

  6. Trump in his delusions is going to push this to the brink of disaster, and it will likely work to his advantage.

    Other countries are going to find ways to stand up to the bully, not only by banding together – they did something similar during the Bush years – but by weakening us to get the bully off their backs. And as I said above, Trump is going try and use this to his advantage.

    The US Dollar is the reserve currency of the world. Because everyone is holding dollars and critical things like oil are exchanged using dollars, everyone is stuck with this currency, even as the US has run up massive debts and by any reckoning looks like the world’s greatest deadbeat. Were we any other country in the world, the IMF would’ve declared us bankrupt years ago.

    There have been steps going on for years to move toward some other financial basis, to get around this problem. Then you have rising powers like China who want their currency to play a role in this.

    If these efforts succeed, and in my opinion it’s only a matter of time, you will see a massive, Argentina style devaluation of the dollar. This is how you stick it to the bully – you destroy their currency, their power and their hold over you.

    Now, this will produce unbelievable chaos and hardship here at home, where people, if they’re aware of these things at all, they think this happens only in other countries. Did you know that, as part of Dodd-Frank, a failing bank can seize the money you have with them, as a way of propping themselves up? This has happened in other countries (Cyprus a few years ago), and now it’s written into the law here (it’s called a bail-in). It’s the opposite of FDIC insurance.

    When things go south here in a big way – and this is only one scenario, I can think of a few others that have nothing to do with banking, but this is my number one scenario because so much is already in place for it to happen. There will be rioting and bloodshed in this country like nobody’s ever seen. This is an insane country where there is one gun for every living person, and where people routinely shoot each other over trivial things.

    When things go south here on a massive scale, desperate hungry people are going to turn to the President for help. The President will go to Congress and ask to set aside the normal rule of law “temporarily”, but it won’t be temporary. Things will be so desperate and people so vulnerable that they will go for it. This is how Trump becomes dictator, for real. By this time, Trump despite all the incompetence we’ve seen so far, will have had some successes in his program that will benefit his base, and you can bet his base will go for it.

    Look at the Betsy DeVos confirmation. Despite her obvious incompetence, every single Republican got in line behind her, because 1) she’s a billionaire donor, and 2) who knows what Trump would do to them in retribution. That’s a foreshadowing of how Trump is going to muscle through his program, including getting the votes from Congress to set aside the rule of law “temporarily” so Donald can fix everything. Recall that during Trump’s campaign that was his claim: “I ALONE can make America great”. This is exactly what Mussolini said with regard to Italy. This is how he thinks, it’s how he’s been operating ever since he got in.

    This is how being a bully will work to Trump’s advantage. Every day he is seizing more and more power, either by law – those edicts he writes – but mostly in little psychological ways. Just today I read that he joked / made a statement in Congress about destroying some Texas state lawmaker’s career because he didn’t go along with Trump’s beliefs about police power and asset seizure. Every day he is seizing more and more power, pushing his limits.

    And because people here are so weak, and because of this country’s vulnerabilities – financial foremost among them – the scenario I’ve outlined above is, to my mind, almost locked in and is playing out before our eyes.

  7. I guess Melania is ready to join the pack of hyenas to feast on Donnie’s latest kill. I hope Melania and Ivanka don’t get into a turf war for marketing their high end products. Now they are going to be competitors drafting off the Donald in a very restrictive market. Nordstroms just dropped Ivanka’s line because her product wasn’t selling.
    They’re all a bunch of vultures.

  8. I heard Sebastian Gorka on NPR yesterday. He was the far and away the most abrasive personality that I have ever heard interviewed. (He easily overwhelemed the previous high water mark made when Terry Gross interviewed some repulsive fool from the ‘band,” “Kiss.”)

    This article from Politico is worth reading.

    Here’s one of the money quotes: “To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable [sic] demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army,”

    This coincides with the tribalism and the apparently impenetrable epistemic insularity that we are experiencing. I realize that I am simplifying, and packing a lot into psychological and perceptual phenomena, but, I have to start somewhere. “Onward through the fog,” as we used to say.

    I realize the value of critical self-reflection. “Mistakes were made,” and we have to come to grips with our shortcomings. But, at this point, I read guys like Glen Greenwald and to a lesser extent, Chris Hedges, and I see them as falling prey to a kind of narcissism, in that they pursue a kind of idealogical purity that is untempered by our current reality and the practical necessity of putting all of our “(queer) shoulders to the wheel.” We can hash out our difficulties later, we can debate freely up to the point where it begins to divide us. But, at this point in time, division is death, and we have to grasp that as fact.

    I recall an article, written by a very smart young graduate student back in those heady days when Hillary’s victory seemed assured. The gist of the article was about a division between older feminists and feminist V 2.0. She asserted that she “wanted more than just a vagina in the Whitehouse.” However valid her criticisms might have been, they eroded a solidarity, that in retrospect, might have been our singular hope for survivial.

  9. So America has died, or at least the part of it that is the United States.  It is awaiting it’s reincarnation while wandering for the mandatory forty nine days.  The experience is surreal, Webster’s word of the year, with peak definitional inquiries on the day after the election.  To get a visual, one should Bing or Google images of Bardo. Using the words Tibetan or Buddhist with the search will eliminate images of Bridget, which I find a bit surreal also, but distracting.   I assume the death was related to opioid use with OxyContin and it’s main proponent Rush Limbaugh at center stage.  The image from Der Spiegel of the poster child of the seven deadly sins and the severed head of liberty is apt.  Sometimes the best mirror one has is the one you can only view through the eyes of an objective outsider.

  10. BTW, the Daily Mail did not accuse Melania of being a prostitute. The news about the article in the Daily Mail sounds that way, but the article itself didn’t. The article was primarily concerned with her racy photos, the possibility that she started working in the USA before getting legal (she has never produced any paperwork showing that she had the appropriate paperwork at the time), and the possibility that she and Donald got together several years earlier than they’ve claimed. In doing so they mentioned that both a book and an article had claimed that the people who ran the modeling agencies she worked for also operated escort services and “gentlemen’s clubs”, and reported the denials of those people.

    The Daily Mail is regularly salacious but the reaction to this article has not accurately reported their article. That’s way too common with our generally crappy media, but I’m sure it has also been encouraged by Trump and his publicists. In fact, I’d bet that as far as Trump is concerned, the article’s characterization of him (“with a ridiculous comb-over”) was the real issue.

    Lastly, in looking all that up yesterday I saw some of the jewelry Melania has been selling. Naturally it’s incredibly tacky junk, but we thought it was even more interesting because we’d seen a lot of cheap Chinese made jewelry a couple years ago when we were having fun buying jewelry and watches on eBay. The stuff she’s selling can be bought on eBay for well under ten bucks (often under two dollars) including shipping from China.

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