Culturally Discombobulated

17 long, dark nights for America: Gettysburg II: Mission to Moscow

Seventeen long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Today I introduced my Contract with the American Voter – our economy will be STRONG & our people will be SAFE.

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Whether you agree or disagree with me, whether you vote for me or not, I believe we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Daily election article of interest: Making Peace With Trump’s Revolutionaries

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863, Gettysburg.

On listening to America’s newest Gettysburg address, it is clear that it does not have the succinct, distilled genius of its predecessor.

It is, however, an act of consummate trolling of American heritage that Trump would go to Gettysburg – in his own words, “hallowed ground” – and deliver a speech in which he claims the whole American political system is rigged and that he is planning to sue those women who have accused him of sexual assault. As he put it, “all of these liars will be sued after the election is over.” Nobody has behaved with such sheer audacious disrespect around American “hallowed ground” since Ozzy Osborne pissed on the Alamo, and like that case you end up feeling that there’s a compelling case for an arrest on grounds of public indecency. This was not the speech of a man setting to bring a divided nation together.

I was unable to find a full transcript of Trump’s speech online. His campaign site released a script which failed to feature his rambling, they’re-all-out-to-get-me opening statements, and featuring his new “contract” with the American people for what he intended to do in his first 100 days, but even that missed off most of them interesting, flavorful asides that Trump peppers his rally speeches with. So I ended up transcribing Gettysburg 2 myself. And it wasn’t an uninteresting exercise. Assuming that what his campaign team put out was something close to what was on his teleprompter, it was fascinating to see where he deviated with his own bizarre little asides. Highlights include:

“At my rallies they never show or talk about the massive crowd size and try to diminish all of our events. On the other hand, they don’t show the small size of Hillary’s crowds, but, in fact, talk about how many people are there. Very small crowds, you know it, they know it, everybody knows it.”

“Over the last two days, three highly respected national polls said we’re in first place. And one of those pollsters was the most accurate poll on the last two cycles, but the media refuses to even say it or put that word out, they refuse to talk about it. They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people.”

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over. But a simple phone call placed to the biggest newspapers or television networks gets them wall-to-wall coverage with virtually no fact checking whatsoever.”

“… begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia – whose wife by the way has a Trump sign, his wife, by the way, is a phenomenal woman, has a Trump sign in her front yard, isn’t that nice? I just found that out this morning. Boom. Isn’t that nice? He was great”

 Gettysburg II failed to soar to any rhetorical heights, instead, like a chipmunk run over by a 4×4 on the interstate, we painfully watched it struggle to drag its bloody carcass across the asphalt in pursuit of a quiet spot to die.


It’s my privilege to be here in Gettysburg – hallowed ground where so many lives were given in service to freedom. Amazing place.

President Lincoln served in a time of great division like we’ve never seen before. It is my hope that we can look at his example to heal the divisions we are living through right now. We are a very divided nation.

“I’m not a politician, and have never wanted to be a politician – believe me. But when I saw the trouble our country was in, I knew I couldn’t stand by and watch any longer. Our country has been so good to me, I love our country, I felt I had to act,”

I’ve seen the system up close and personal for many years. I’ve been a major part of it. I know how the game works in Washington and on Wall Street. And I know how they’ve rigged the rules against everyday Americans. The rules are rigged.

“Change has to come from outside this broken system. Our system is broken. The fact that Washington and the Washington establishment has tried so hard to stop our campaign is only more proof that our campaign represents the kind of change that only arrives once in a lifetime.

The system is totally rigged and broken.

First, the issue of voter fraud. According to PEW, there are 24 million voter registrations in the United States that are either invalid or significantly inaccurate and when I say that they are such inaccuracies it’s unbelievable. 1.8 million dead people are registered to vote. And some of them are voting. I wonder how that happens? 2.8 million people are registered in more than one state. These are numbers, folks, these are numbers. 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote. The system is also rigged because Hillary Clinton should have been precluded from running for the Presidency of the United States but the FBI and the Justice department covered up her crimes which included lying to the FBI and Congress on numerous occasions and included saying ‘I do not recall’ to the FBI on 39 separate times. She recalls everything else, but 39 separate times she said, ‘I do not recall’ – well, that’s a lie also.

Then there’s the deletion of at least 33,000 emails after receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress. That’s after receiving the subpoena. As an example, it was announced this week that highly respected four-star general, James Cartwright, may be sentenced up to five years in prison with a massive fine for lying on one occasion to the FBI and he said he did that for National Security reasons. Highly respected man. Four-star general.  This took place two days ago.  How must he feel?

A big part of the rigging of this election is the fact that Hillary is being allowed to run despite having broken so many laws on so many different occasions. Why is she allowed to run? The dishonest mainstream media is also part, and a major part, of this corruption. They’re corrupt. They lie and fabricate to make a candidate who is not their preferred choice look as bad and even dangerous as possible. At my rallies they never show or talk about the massive crowd size and try to diminish all of our events. On the other hand, they don’t show the small size of Hillary’s crowds, but, in fact, talk about how many people are there. Very small crowds, you know it, they know it, everybody knows it.

Over the last two days, three highly respected national polls said we’re in first place. And one of those pollsters was the most accurate poll on the last two cycles, but the media refuses to even say it or put that word out, they refuse to talk about it. They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people.

As an example of the power structure I’m fighting AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN; a deal we will not approve in my administration because it is too much concentration of power in the hands of too few. Likewise, Amazon which through its ownership controls the Washington Post should be paying massive taxes, but it’s not paying and it’s a very unfair playing field and you see what that’s happening and what that’s doing to department stores all over the country. Very, very unfair, and you’re talking about billions and billions of dollars. They should be paying those taxes.

Additionally, Comcast’s purchase of NBC concentrates far too much power in one massive entity that is trying to tell the voters what to think and what to do. Deals like this destroy democracy. And we’ll look at breaking that deal up, and other deals like that. This should never ever have been approved in the first place. They’re trying to poison the mind of the American voter.

Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over. But a simple phone call placed to the biggest newspapers or television networks gets them wall-to-wall coverage with virtually no fact checking whatsoever. Here is why this is relevant to you, if they can fight somebody like me who has unlimited resources to fight back, just look at what they can do to you – your jobs, your security, your education, your healthcare, the violation of religious liberty, the theft of your second amendment, the loss of your factories, your homes, and much more. Look at what they’ve done to you with your jobs. It has just been learned on video that the violent protests at some of my rallies, like in Chicago, where police and others were seriously hurt – you saw that, blood pouring down their face – were caused by paid – paid – DNC and Clinton campaign operatives. Now we didn’t know this. We didn’t know this. This just came out two days ago on tape. We didn’t know this. We were amazed at the level of violence. There were paid operatives – paid by the DNC and probably the Clinton campaign. This is a criminal act. Policemen were badly hurt and so were many others. And these people should be prosecuted, but because of the rigged system they probably won’t be. Just like we found out about these paid, violent protestors, it was probably the DNC and the Clinton campaign that put forward these liars with their fabricated stories, but we’ll find out about their involvement at a later date through litigation – and I look so forward to doing that.

The rigging of the system is designed for one reason to keep the corrupt establishment and special interests in power at your expense and everybody’s expense. I have no special interest, but you, the American voter. I didn’t have to do this, believe me. There’s nothing easy about it, but I had to do it, I love our country, I love the people of our country, and I felt I had to do it.

The one thing we all know is that we will never solve our problems by relying on the same politicians who created these problems in the first place. Hillary Clinton is not running against me, she is running against change. And she’s running against all of the American people and all of the American voters.

We now find ourselves at that very special fork in the road: Do we repeat the mistakes of the past or do we choose to believe that a great future, yet unwritten, still lies ahead for us, and for our wonderful, beloved country? I think it does, I know it does. My economic plan will deliver at least 25 million jobs in one decade. Now our jobs have been taken away, they’ve gone to Mexico, they’ve gone to so many other countries, it’s a one lane highway where they get the jobs, they get the factories, they get the money, and we get the drugs, and we get the unemployment, and it’s going to change, believe me, and it’s going to change fast. And that goes for all countries. When you look at China, when you look at every country, every trade deal we have is horrible and we should be ashamed of the people that let those deals happen – they’re defective, and they knew they were defective, and they were done for a reason, and believe me, they will be unwound so fast. And we will have trade, we will have great trade. And it’ll be free trade, and it’ll be fair trade, and it’ll be real.

My security plan – so important, they’ve taken the jobs from us – my security plan will bring safety to our poorest communities.

My ethics plan will end the corruption in our government. We will – the corruption is massive – we will drain the swamp of Washington D.C. and replace it with a new government of, by, and for the people. Believe me. That is why I have chosen Gettysburg to unveil this contract, I am asking the American people to rise above the noise and clutter of our broken politics, and to embrace that great faith and optimism that has always been the central ingredient in the American character – and there is nothing better or stronger than the American character. I am asking the American people to dream big once again.

What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter – and begins with brining honesty, accountability and change to Washington D.C.
Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington:

FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated. Regulations are killing our country and our jobs;

FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service – they’re making a fortune;

FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government – very bad;

SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections – that’s what’s happening.

On the same day, I will begin taking – and really taking strongly – seven actions to protect American workers; our American workers have been treated so badly by politicians that don’t have their interests at heart and we’re going to change that, we are going to change that very, very fast:

FIRST, I will announce my intention to totally renegotiate NAFTA, one of the worst deal our country has made, signed by Bill Clinton, or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a potential disaster for our country.

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator. China is a currency manipulator. What they have done to us by playing currency is very sad, and I don’t blame them, they’ve been very smart, I blame our politicians for letting this take place. So easy to stop, so easy to stop.

FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

FIFTH, Very importantly, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal; and we will put our miners back to work.

SIXTH, I will lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks that allow for this vital energy infrastructure projects to go forward, we have roadblocks like you’ve never, ever seen, environmental blocks, structural blocks, we are going to allow the Keystone Pipeline and so many other things to move forward. Tremendous number of jobs and good for our country.

SEVENTH, We are going to cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure. We are paying billions and billions and billions of dollars, we’re going to fix our own environment

Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and constitutional rule of law. We have to do that:

FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia – whose wife by the way has a Trump sign, his wife, by the way, is a phenomenal woman, has a Trump sign in her front yard, isn’t that nice? I just found that out this morning. Boom. Isn’t that nice? He was great – from one of the 20 judges on my list -you know we’re going to make great decisions from twenty outstanding judges from the list we submitted – who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

FOURTH, we will begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country – these are drug dealers, gang heads, gang members, killers – and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back. And when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and they had someone who was bad, really bad, and they brought him back to the country and the country wouldn’t take him, she said, ‘bring him back, we don’t want to force the country to take him.’ There won’t be one such instance if I become President, believe me.

FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. And if you look at Syria and the migration, we are taking in thousands and thousands of people into our country, we have no idea who they are, what their thought process is, where they come from, and Hillary Clinton wants to increase that number coming in by 550%. Raidcal, Islamic terror is right around the corner. We have to be so tough, so smart, so vigilant, we can’t allow that to happen. We have enough problems. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting. We will be very careful.


Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:

Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. We need that so badly. Jobs. We need jobs. Our jobs have left us. Our good jobs have really left us. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class – who have been forgotten.  It’s called the forgotten man and woman, they have been forgotten. A middle-class family with 2 children will get basically, approximately a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate. It’s stuck. We can’t bring it back.

2. End The Offshoring Act Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.

3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.

4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.

6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.

7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.

9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values

10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.

This is my pledge to you.

And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people.”

18 long, dark nights for America: To Gettysburg

Eighteen long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Just returned from Pennsylvania where we will be bringing back their jobs. Amazing crowd. Will be going back tomorrow, to Gettysburg!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “We’ve got to make sure that women and girls are treated with the dignity and respect in our country that we deserve.

Daily election article of interest: Trump’s Striking Lack of Interest in the Supreme Court

One of the toughest to deal with consequences of today’s internet outage was being denied the tweeter feeds of each Presidential candidate – though it must have been a relief for Kellyanne Conway to know her client would – however temporarily – not be able to tweet. While I am looking forward to finally get to unfollow both of them once this election is over in a little over two weeks time, for the moment they are compelling to me. There’s the glorious, unintentional hysteria of Trump’s and the bland written-by-committee feel of Clinton’s merge wonderfully together, there is defintely a ying and a yang to their accounts, it’s one of the main reasons I lead each of these nightly posts with their twitter highlight of the day.

The striking statement about today’s tweets is Trump’s cry of “to Gettysburg!” There Trump will make a speech outlining the first 100 days of a Trump presidency, and yes, your memory is right and Trump did deride Clinton in the second debate for alluding to Lincoln, as, in his opinion, she is no Abraham Lincoln. Seems, however, like he’s not so coy about allusions being made between himself and Lincoln.

19 long, dark nights for America: If I Win

Nineteen long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Crooked took MILLIONS from oppressive ME countries. Will she give the $$$ back? Probably not. Don’t forget her slogan — “TAKE THE MONEY!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Between the three presidential debates, Trump told roughly one lie for every 50 seconds he spoke.

Daily election article of interest: Donald Trump Says The Election Could Be “Rigged.” Here’s Why He’s Wrong.

“I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win.” Donald J. Trump

Just in case you were wanting your mind to be put at ease.

20 long, dark nights for America: The Third Presidential Debate

Twenty long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “That was really exciting. Made all of my points. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “That feeling when you win three straight debates.

Daily election article of interest: Homeless vote: 11 tent city dwellers on Clinton, Trump and choosing a president

And so we’re done with the campaign’s not very debate-y debates; they  were, if anything, a peepshow, a glimpse into the breakdown of a miscalibrated superego.

This, however, was the best of the debates, which is a bit like designating one of your bowel movements during a bout of diahorrea as “the best”. It was the least painful, but it’s all relative. That it was somewhat coherent and occassionally informative was primarily down to Fox News’ Chris Wallace as moderator. It’s suprising to write that considering his employer, but, to be completely fair, I seem to recall that GOP Primary debates hosted by Fox were the most successful of those car crashes – at least, from a moderator’s perspective. Wallace managed to keep some control of the evening without being overbearing and his blindsiding of the candidates with asking them to make final statements when none had been agreed beforehand was a brilliantly sly move.

Of course, all that will be remembered about this debate in the immediate aftermath is Trump’s refusal to say whether he will accept the legitimacy of the election result if it goes against him. “I will keep you in suspense,” was his glib response treating the very real concern that a man who is running for President has no trust in our democratic system and his response to our worries is to tease out his answer as if it were the season climax of one os his reality TV shows.

Perhaps, however, the long lasting soundbite and image, the one that will be recalled in the decades to come is his “such a nasty woman” comment about Hillary. What was shocking was the unneccessaryness about it, by which I don’t it was unecceassry in its rudeness (though it was) but it just came out of nowhere, it wasn’t part of a large rhetorical point he was making, or a calculated gamble to try and damage his opponent, it was just the unfiltered thought process of Trump being aired to the rest of America. That’s the thing aboutTrump, for all his talk about how the system and establishment are conspiring against him, eveything that trips him up is always self-inflicted.


Here, if you’re interested in this sort of thing (and I hope, unlike me, you’re too sensible) is footage of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones watching Trump debate.


21 long, dark nights for America: Drain the swamp

Twenty-one long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “I will Make Our Government Honest Again — believe me. But first, I’m going to have to in DC. If we let Crooked run the govt, history will remember 2017 as the year America lost its independence.  Hillary is the most corrupt person to ever run for the presidency of the United States.

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Carter. Bush. Clinton. Bush. Obama. Not one of them believes Donald Trump has what it takes to be president.

Daily election article of interest: Citizen Pain 

A hit single is like lightening in a bottle; it’s tough even for the true greats to try and replicate. Consider, for instance, poor Whigfield; she never could top “Saturday Night”. And so it is with Trump, his Lock Her Up chant and hashtag is in a way his Macarena – an infectious hit that most intelligent people really wouldn’t want to be caught chanting in public. Well today Trump debuted his disappointing follow up effort – #DrainTheSwamp.

I don’t know if his campaign team had been carefully focus grouping the phrase over the past few weeks to see what most resonated or if it just came to Trump in a 4am brain fart, but on the basis of his multiple tweets he is certainly trying to seed it to the wider public. But that’s the tricky thing in trying to make something go “viral” – it takes more than just repeatedly coughing in people’s faces.


Another unwelcome release today was Michael Moore’s announcement that he is releasing a surprise film about Trump. It’s one thing when Beyonce drops an unannounced album, not so much when Michael Moore does it with a movie …