American Hustle, Trump style

irving-rosenfeldThe movie American Hustle focused on the scam activities of Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser. As fate would have it, America is now witnessing the return of a scam artist the likes of Rosenfeld, whose dramatic combover and clandestine financial dealings strongly resemble our ostensible President-elect, Donald Trump.

The similarities are striking on many fronts. Trump’s refusal to release any type of financial information about his business dealings have raised suspicions about the nature of his relationships and his true net worth. All these questions he dismissed with a wave of his hand as if there was nothing to see behind the man that has left a long trail of bankruptcies, lawsuits and business failings in his wake.

urlHis claim instead is that “I am rich.” But he forgets that the word has an ironic as well as a literal meaning. When someone questions your integrity, and your response is that your integrity is unassailable simply because you have money, the appropriately cynical response is, “Oh, that’s pretty rich.”

In other words, something stinks about the claim of absolute integrity. It deserves to be questioned, because Donald Trump is a scam artist the likes of Irving Rosenfeld.

Facts have now emerged that Donald Trump may well have been helping to scam America to win the election. His associations with the Russian government and the favoritism he has expressed toward its President, Vladimir Putin, are now exposed as scam designed to vladimir-putin-afp_650x400_81464860163shift results in favor of Trump. Russian hackers stole information and dumped it into the public sphere through Wikileaks.

This was all designed to damage the reputation of Hillary Clinton. If this was a true collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the scam may well constitute treason. It would almost certainly provide justification for the Electoral College to dump Trump on grounds that he is unfit for office.

Let’s face it: Even the Republican Party itself feels scammed by its President-Elect. There is a fair chance that even if Trump were installed as President, the Congress might move to impeach Trump on whatever grounds it can establish. The goal would be to install Vice President-Elect Mike Pence as President.

But that too would constitute a scam on the American people. It is likely that the arch-conservative Pence was approved by the GOP with the plan to replace Trump somewhere along the way. This entire ordeal is an American Hustle that is, according to all standards of political ethics, highly un-American at its source.


The fire within: Saddam and The Donald

saddam-husseinWhen the United States turned its attention away from 9/11 to attack Iraq, people with a conscience in America asked, “Why?”

The reasons were made up and trotted out. “Saddam Hussein is a bad guy,” Bush tried to convince the nation. There were even misinformation campaigns linking Saddam Hussein to the events on 9/11. These were lies floated for ideological purposes.

See, the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party had long been looking for excuses to descend on the Middle East. 9/11 gave them that excuse.

The ugly truth of what happened once the United States conducted another round of Shock and Awe is that our soldiers on the ground gathered up and tortured Iraqi citizens in the very same prisons used by Saddam Hussein for those purposes.

dick-cheneyVice President Dick Cheney has defended the use of torture, and President George W. Bush has never officially disowned it. The talking heads on the conservative side such as Sean Hannity did some cheerleading about waterboarding but the torture at Abu Ghraib was much worse than that. Yet the only real voices ever heard from the Republican side against torture included John McCain, who was himself a victim of torture as a prisoner of war.

Yet the current nominee for President of the United States, one Donald Trump, actually ridiculed John McCain for being captured. The Donald also blithely accepted a Purple Heart given to him by some delusional supporter.

Yet despite this massive disrespect shown toward the sacrifice and pain of real soldiers in both combat and torture situations, Donald Trump has offered no regret for his remarks. Nor has he actually apologized for any of a long series of insulting words aimed at the disabled, blacks, Mexicans or women over the course of his campaign. All his apologies seem to be aimed toward his own fragile ego rather than those victimized by his ugly racism, bigotry and misogyny.

hillary-clintonYet some people like to claim that Hillary Clinton is the more dishonest and untrustworthy candidate. She has apologized for her remark about “deplorables” siding with Donald Trump. But she’s right. And that word “deplorable” is nothing on the order of the insults Donald Trump aims at people.

And unlike Trump, who has dumped three wives while simultaneously groping and gawking and harassing women his whole career, Hillary Clinton worked to repair the damage her husband caused to their marriage. Some of that was not pretty. The carnage from affairs never is.

But rather than show empathy toward this woman whose forgiveness and support of her flawed husband is exemplary in its example to work things out in a situation that was very public and less than perfect, people attack her for being calculating, mean and dishonest.

A month ago I got to witness the lengths to which some people will go to express their hatred for Hillary Clinton. A man that had friended me on Facebook through association with a business networking organization posted a meme on my Wall accusing Barack Barack Obama.jpegObama of being a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is worth noting that I had long since Unfollowed this man due to his ugly, partisan posts. I only wish I’d Unfriended and Blocked him.

Because once I suggested that his post was inaccurate based on the fact that Obama was in a legitimate context by talking about his record while campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton, the guy went on a tirade. I repeatedly raised the issue of context, citing the fact that a President cannot talk about his own record and how his actions apply to his own party without mentioning his own name. Yet this man, supposedly a professional psychiatrist and Ph.D by trade, insisted that he could diagnose President Barack Obama as being possessed of Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the post he shared on my Timeline.

So I ended the discussion and took down the meme from my timeline. What happened next was the stunning part of this exchange.

This s0-called psychiatrist and supposedly Christian Family Counselor then Messaged me through Facebook demanding an apology for supposedly branding him a racist. What I’d actually suggested to him was that Donald Trump is a racist, and that anyone supporting Trump or the Republican Party at this point could legitimately be supporting racism as a result. This enraged the man.

So he went on the attack through Messenger as well. “You are a Sick Fuck,” he told me.

And at that point, I did Block him. Unfriended him too. His behavior was psychotic. And in that respect, he indeed mimicked the attack pattern of Donald Trump even though he claimed not to actually support The Donald as a candidate. “Anything is better than Hillary Clinton,” he had insisted.

urlBut his behavior proved him wrong. And just like the Republican leaders who tortured Iraqis after deposing Saddam Hussein for doing the same thing, that psycho doctor supporting Donald Trump earned the label he applied to me.

It’s an unfortunate truth that discussions on Facebook and other social media can quickly escalate this way. Surely organizations are at risk for having their reputations sullied as a result of people getting ugly on their social media sites. We all have our Personal Brands to protect.

But when you consider what has transpired in the political arena this year, and consider the self-fulfilling prophecy of how the Republican Party took its motives and beliefs to war in Iraq, and tortured people the same way Saddam Hussein did in those Iraqi prisons, it is all too clear where the righteousness stands in this political election. No one can defensibly claim that Donald Trump is a reasonable nominee or qualified to be President of the United States. Conservatives not only let this happen, they made it happen by seeking out the extremists of society to support their cause.

IMG_6707We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of encountering this ugly vein of society, the basket or bucket of deplorables as Hillary Clinton aptly branded them. More like a raging blaze in a firepit.

Again, her honesty about the ugliness of some elements of society may not be pretty, but it is very honest. The deplorables in society have used the rise of Donald Trump to spout anger and racism and cast blame on those they hate. It will be interesting to see if this disgusting fire can even be put out. Not likely.

The political Right deserves full blame for this national disgrace. They have been dishonest with themselves in allowing Trump to get this far. They have been dishonest with the nation in who the party has nominated in the first place. None of the sixteen candidates nominated by the party seemed fit in any way for national office. The zealots running the zoo on the Right side of the aisle have taken it all too far.

It’s time for Trump to step down, and Mike Pence too. The Republican Party should not have a candidate for President at all in 2016. The party is a disgrace that has tortured America with its extremism for far too long. Rather than an election, we should demand a National Apology, elect Hillary Clinton and move on. Nothing else is acceptable at this point. The Donald and Saddam are one and the same. The Republicans created them both as you’ll recall. It’s time to put a stop to this madness.