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The Mad Corruptions Of Trump Presidency, Inc.

Where’s Shakespeare when we need him? Only the Bard of Avon could do literary justice to the tortured madness of Donald Trump, who fluctuates between petulant self-pity and weird self-praise.

His brags are especially weird because they usually involve achievements he hasn’t made. It’s as though his saying something makes it true — even though everyone except his most naive devotees can clearly see that he’s either hallucinating or lying. In June, for example, at a rally launching his reelection campaign, he retrumpeted an old campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” assuring the adoring crowd that “that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.” Trump gilded the lie with this beauty: “We stared down the unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests.”

In fact, he brought that entire unholy alliance directly into the White House, the cabinet and every agency to create a corrupt government of, by and for corporate plunderers. At least 230 corporate lobbyists have come inside the Trump Inc. administration. He also opened a luxury hotel right in the center of the swamp, just four blocks from the White House, so he and his family can extract high-dollar hotel payments from special-interest lobbyists wanting favors from the Trump regime of swamp critters.

But wait … didn’t The Donald make his political hires sign an ethics pledge agreeing not to lobby the agencies where they work until five years after they leave? Yes, but remember, Trump is a master at the Art of the Loophole, and his “pledge” provides ample room for an invasion of weasels, including an exception allowing former officials to lobby on agency rule-making. Do they think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? Rule-making is what agencies do! So, this gaping loophole frees Trump officials to sell their insider influence to corporate interests wanting to rig the rules against you and me.

At Trump’s vainglorious campaign rally, he also declared that “nobody has done what we have done in 2 1/2 years.” Sadly, that’s the truest thing he’s said.

News Alert! News Alert! This just in: Donald Trump has discovered homelessness in America.

News Update! News Update! Donald Trump says he has the solution to homelessness in America, points out that he’s already ended homelessness in Washington, D.C.

Once again, we can thank Fox News for its in-depth reporting, going deep into the furrows of Trump’s mind to dig out this startling presidential insight and achievement.

In a June interview by Fox TV sparklie Tucker Carlson, the president of the United States articulated his concern about so many Americans’ now living on the streets. Homelessness is “a phenomenon that started two years ago,” Trump explained to the clueless Carlson, calling the problem “sad.” Our billionaire president showed his usual grasp of history and social awareness by adding, “We never had this in our lives before in this country.”

Oddly, the Fox Man let this go without questioning it. Maybe he was dazzled by Trump’s next observation, analyzing why people live in the street: “Perhaps they like living that way,” posited our presidential son of privilege.

Whatever. The Donald proceeded to declare that it’s intolerable to have such homelessness in our rich country — not because so many poor people are suffering, but because businesspeople and shoppers face the indignity of having to walk past the homeless to get to their offices, banks, cafes, etc. As Tucker beamed credulously, Trump proceeded to offer his solution: simply outlaw those people from cluttering our sidewalks and streets. Then, The Donald royally declared that he “may intercede … to get that whole thing cleaned up.”

Indeed, he claims he’s tidied up homelessness before: “I had a situation when I first became president. We had certain areas of Washington, D.C, where (homelessness) was starting to happen. I ended it very quickly. I said, ‘You can’t do that.'” After all, Trump explained to the obtuse Fox interviewer, “When you have leaders of the world coming to see the president … they can’t be looking at that.”

It’s one thing to have a president who thinks “Out of sight; out of mind” should be an actual public policy. It’s another thing to have a president who’s clearly out of his mind.

 

Populist author, public speaker and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes “The Hightower Lowdown,” a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America’s ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at HightowerLowdown.org.

Danziger: In The Slimelight

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel.

Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Danziger: “Drain The Swamp”? Or Drain The Treasury?

Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. Represented by the Washington Post Writers Group, he is a recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army as a linguist and intelligence officer in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Danziger has published ten books of cartoons and a novel about the Vietnam War. He was born in New York City, and now lives in Manhattan and Vermont. A video of the artist at work can be viewed here.

#EndorseThis: Are Trump’s Shady Foreign Deals Unconstitutional Too?

On Late Night, Seth Meyers takes “a closer look” at the foreign deals that Donald Trump and his children have done in dozens of countries — and why the Trump Organization’s continuing pursuit of profits abroad is not just tacky but may violate the Constitution. Evidently the president-elect believes he can disregard the ethical obligations that have bound his predecessors. But if he flouts the Constitution, he isn’t invulnerable to impeachment.

It’s a quick tutorial on law and ethics, with jokes.