Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Completely Surreal

The Clown Gang
America is now governed by a president and party that fundamentally don’t accept the idea that there are objective facts. Instead, they want everyone to accept that reality is whatever they say it is.
Paul Krugman
NY Times, 13 March 2017
I knew that this administration would end up as a rolling disaster (and constitutional crisis) but even I was unprepared for the speed with which it would come crashing down. The way I figured, it would take until the late spring or early summer for the unraveling to commence. Not at all, kind and gentle reader! Less than two months in and the administration of Donald Trump is falling apart - utterly so.  This is the darkest of comedies. For a politics/news junkie such as I, these are dandy times to be alive.  

Beavis and Butthead: The Movie
Ten days ago, when der Donald accused former president Obama of wiretapping his phone at Trump Tower, I suspect he isn't bright enough to realize that he was essentially accusing his predecessor of committing a felony. The explosion of disgust from Democrats and a few Republicans has forced him to "walk back" his accusation. According to Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway, the president wasn't talking about wiretaps specifically, he was merely referring to surveillance in general - whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Kellyanne even went as far as suggesting that the ex-prez might have used Trump's microwave to get his dirt on her boss. I guess the implication here is that, since the laws on the books don't mention microwaves as a means of obtaining intelligence, Trump wasn't actually accusing him of committing a crime. I suppose the relative question here should be:
What didn't the president know and when didn't he know it?
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have an antique Edison Wax Cylinder Phonograph. I think it's been spying on me. I just thought I'd put that out there. 
I know what you're thinking and I wholeheartedly agree: It just keeps getting stupider by the minute with these people. Isn't this fun to watch?
And the biggest laugh of the year is the inconvenient truth that fifty-nine percent of the knuckleheads that voted for Trump will be the ones most hurt by the new GOP health care plan, or "Trump Care" as they're now calling it. I find it interesting that Trump has let it be known that he doesn't want his name associated with the proposed bill. As John Oliver pointed out recently, this is astonishing when on considers that for decades, the man has exhibited a positive fetish for adding his name to the shittiest products ever conceived by human mediocrity. Do you remember Trump Steaks? Or how 'bout Trump Vodka? Or Trump University???
This is going to end very badly - but I repeat myself.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

As expected, John Oliver has damned-near cornered the market on all things Trumpian. Here's a link to watch a segment of a recent broadcast that I referred to in this piece:

The truth may hurt but it can be quite funny, too.


At 7:23 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Edison Wax Cylinder Phonograph... what a hoot Tom. But, seriously, you are exactly right that the goobers who voted for this idiot are exactly the ones who will be hurt by the GOP almost health care plan. What's worse is that they won't even figure it out and will continue to follow him. (Cue the dueling banjos music).

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...

LOL, what's surreal is Ms. Maddow "bomb shell" law breaking, illegal released of President Trump's tax returns.
Showed President Trump paid 24.5% of his income vs MSNBC Comcast 24%, Obama 19% and Uncle Bernie 13%. That's $38 million President Trump paid to the IRS in one year.

So much for the "rich" not paying their fair share.






At 10:42 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"LOL, what's surreal is Ms. Maddow "bomb shell" law breaking, illegal released of President Trump's tax returns." = LIE

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

It IS against the law to release a person's tax returns.


Bob Woodward, associate editor of The Washington Post, and Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, presciently discussed whether they would publish Trump’s tax returns if they got ahold of them.

“You know what your lawyers would tell you,” Woodward said. “If you publish them, you go to jail.” Baquet said he would “seriously fight to publish [Trump’s] tax returns.”
For federal tax returns, there is a specific statute that prohibits publishing without consent: 26 U.S.C. § 7213(a)(3).

26 U.S. Code § 6103 - Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information

(a) General ruleReturns and return information shall be confidential, and except as authorized by this title—
(1) no officer or employee of the United States,
(2) no officer or employee of any State, any local law enforcement agency receiving information under subsection (i)(1)(C) or (7)(A), any local child support enforcement agency, or any local agency administering a program listed in subsection (l)(7)(D) who has or had access to returns or return information under this section or section 6104(c), and
(3) no other person (or officer or employee thereof) who has or had access to returns or return information under subsection (e)(1)(D)(iii), subsection (k)(10), paragraph (6), (10), (12), (16), (19), (20), or (21) of subsection (l), paragraph (2) or (4)(B) of subsection (m), or subsection (n),
shall disclose any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee or otherwise or under the provisions of this section. For purposes of this subsection, the term “officer or employee” includes a former officer or employee.


Federal law does make it illegal for “any person” to publish an unauthorized tax return:

It shall be unlawful for any person to whom any return or return information (as defined in section 6103(b)) is disclosed in a manner unauthorized by this title thereafter willfully to print or publish in any manner not provided by law any such return or return information. Any violation of this paragraph shall be a felony punishable by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

It IS against the law to release a person's tax returns, but not if the person already released them. Private citizens deserve that protection. Our leader, who broke a tradition of releasing taxes, raises the very real question of legitimate public interest.

The White House responded without even waiting for the show to air, issuing a statement that seemed to confirm the authenticity of the forms even as it defended Trump and assailed the network for publicizing them.

Since the Trump White House basically confirmed the tax information, and likely released it, it would appear there was no "unauthorized disclosure" to prosecute. Their "authorized disclosure" negates the prosecution.


Despite the illegality of "unauthorized disclosure" of tax documents or information, it appears that Maddow's invocation of the First Amendment is a sound-enough legal defense to protect against any lawsuits that could arise from the publication of President Trump's tax returns. They were exercising their First Amendment rights and released the information to serve the public interest.

But we know how much Trumpists respect out Constitutional free press, don't we?

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"Trumpists respect out Constitutional free press".

HUH, what?

"Since the Trump White House basically confirmed the tax information, and likely released it".

Lie until proven with evidence to back.

"It IS against the law to release a person's tax returns".....
The rest is pure sophistry and speculation. IE: damn I hate it when I'm proven to not know what I'm talking about.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The First Amendment is not "sophistry and speculation", despite the far Right's opposition and demonization of our free press.

Speaking of breaking the law, Dear Leader committed libel in his false accusation of Obama tapping his phone. IOKIYAR.

Once out of office Obama can sue the liar and take him to court.

Republicans are scum.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

For many Americans, how you see this administration doing relates totally to what you want to believe and where you get your news. When it's Oliver or Maddow, it will be different than when it's Limbaugh or O'Reilly (pundits all even though some are supposedly comedians). It's too early to say it's self-destructing but that's a possibility. A lot of dems don't care if it takes the country down with it-- as all that matters is that it regains power.

I've been watching the Roosevelts, the documentary by Ken Burns. I suggest it's a good place to get perspective on from where we've come, problems we still would face without a reasonable government in place, and of course, fascinating personalities of the three famous Roosevelts.

What I keep wondering is why we don't have those running government who understand that it serves a valuable purpose to protect the vulnerable from the predators (rich and poor) but when it goes too far, it becomes one of the predators. Balance seems impossible and we constantly swing between extremes of too much and too little. Maybe that's all about human nature :(

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...


I keep wondering why it's the job of the Federal Govt to take care of everybody.

I keep wondering why President Trump has paid a higher % of his income in taxes than Uncle Bernie?

How you been, it's been a while since I've seen you post.

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Gotta love Cluckie. He whines about "Commmies" and then supports a "President" who sells us out to a former KGB agent.

Trump "leaked" that tax form because it's the only one where he MADE money.

But still not enough to support his lifestyle if that form is typical.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

I generally save rants for my blog rant, Major :) and I have a book to finish. I can't resist though reading here, especially the comments. I like to see how people are thinking-- get a LOT of that from both sides in FB too ;)

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Once again Mozart shows us why he isn't the sharpest pencil in the drawer.

"Trump "leaked" that tax form because it's the only one where he MADE money."

a. no proof President Trump leaked just a diversion
b. what's wrong with getting his (illegally) tax return for the one year he made money (your claim), he paid $38 million in taxes that year?
c. should President Trump pay taxes when he made no money?
d. support claim that President Trump sold out to anybody.

Mozart you have Trump Anxiety, I recommend you go back to heavy drinking. Face it, you predicted I had better get used to saying Madam President, you were so wrong.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger wagonjak said...

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