Culturally Discombobulated

Tag: America

55 long, dark nights for America: The wonderfully shallow demagogue of Oz

Fifty-five long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Honor to have been interviewed by the very wonderful in Detroit last week – tune in at 9pmE. Enjoy!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “In light of ‘s report on the Trump Organization’s dangerous ties, here are 20 questions that Trump needs to answer—now. 1. Will you sever ties with your company linked to foreign leaders, questionable organizations, and criminals if you become president? 2. How will you handle non-cancelable contractual obligations with parties whose interests conflict with those of the United States? 3. While refusing to release your tax returns, how will you confirm that you do not have dangerous financial ties to bad actors abroad? 4. If you were willing to work with Qaddafi—a known terrorist and dictator—is there anyone you aren’t willing to make a deal with? Who? 5. How can you be tough on Iran, given your business partnership with someone connected to Iranian money laundering? 6. Given that you’ve already questioned our commitments to NATO allies, what is your answer to this? 7. To what extent would your foreign policy be dictated by potential financial benefits for your business partners? 8. Will you disclose the nature of your personal and business relationships with all of the Russian oligarchs you are “close” to? 9. Have you or your campaign discussed U.S.-Russian relations with the Russian billionaires with whom you’ve done business? 10. How did the Russian mob boss who ran a criminal organization out of Trump Tower get a VIP pass to your Miss Universe pageant in Moscow? 11. With business ties to politically-connected Indian developers, how can you conduct foreign policy that puts the U.S. above your profits? 12. How can we be sure you’d be willing to be tough on any nation if necessary, if it would put your interests and profits at risk? 13. How can we know you won’t (again) impulsively damage relationships with crucial allies to preserve your own ego? 14. We know you engaged extensively in pay-to-play here at home. Have you bribed foreign officials or other parties abroad? 15. To what extent are you and your family currently contractually tied to payments from foreign business partners, or governments? 16. You’ve mentioned ~120 foreign deals, including in countries with national security implications. Where and with whom are you working? 17. Will your children disclose all of the foreign trips and business deals they’ve undertaken during the campaign, and with whom they met? 18. We’ll let ask this one:

19. In sum, how will Trump guarantee that if forced to choose between America’s security and his own bank account, he won’t pick the latter? 20. It’s pretty clear: Trump’s spent his life unscrupulously looking out for his own wallet above all. Why would that change as president?”

Daily election article of interest: Has Clinton’s ‘Bad Weekend’ Moved The Polls?

Trump presumably has gone to Oz to ask for a brain and a heart. 

It is a cringe-worthy admission, pathetic even, but I find myself genuinely enthralled by the thought of tomorrow’s episode of Doctor Oz. Donald, reality TV’s first President and a natural braggart, will be in his element; this sort of piffle lest we forget, and not Meet The Press, is his milieu. It is only in the artificial congeniality of a daytime TV chat show set that such a fake political candidates can be in any way comfortable as he deftly converses intimately for an audience of ten million with pre-planned spontaneity. Indeed, I am relishing the thought of it so much that I think tonight is probably one of the few nights – of the remaining fifty-five long, dark nights – that I will probably get a decent night’s sleep out of.



57 long, dark nights for America: Break out the Amoxicillin

Fifty-seven long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Just got back from Asheville, North Carolina, where we had a massive rally. The spirit of the crowd was unbelievable. Thank you!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Thanks to everyone who’s reached out with well wishes! I’m feeling fine and getting better. Like anyone who’s ever been home sick from work, I’m just anxious to get back out there. See you on the trail soon.”

Daily election article of interest: Donald Trump’s cut-and-paste policy

Break out the Amoxicillin and the Zithromax; it is not just Hillary that needs to recuperate, this entirely febrile election also requires rest, rehabilitation, and a constant supply of chicken noodle soup.

With the top of the Trump – Pence ticket seemingly on good behavior it was left to its bottom, the bland-faced Pence (in an election full of grotesques, Pence’s anodyne features have the effect of being oddly disquieting) to generate today’s headlines by refusing to call David Duke “deplorable.”

“I’m not in the name-calling business,” deadpanned Pence, a key member of the Trump campaign team.

Duke, for his part, was pleased with Pence’s response. “It’s good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media … The truth is that the Republican Party in Louisiana — I received the vast majority of Republican votes for United States senator before and for governor before that in my state. The truth is the Republican Party is big tent. I served in the Republican caucus. I was in the Republican caucus in the legislature. I had a perfect Republican voting record. It’s ridiculous that they attack me because of my involvement in that nonviolent Klan four decades ago.”

In Jill Stein news – I’ll confess her looked at her twitter feed to see if she had posted any medical advice for Clinton – she tweeted the following:

I’m not sure if she is intentionally making a comparison with herself and Martin Luther King or she is just being embarrassingly clumsy here about a story relating to her visit to Moscow in the winter to attend a conference sponsored by Russia Today (those charmers again) where she was critical of American foreign policy. Not that one shouldn’t be able to intelligently critique American foreign policy, but perhaps at a convention where you are uncritically meeting a thug such as Putin is neither the time nor the place, and, yes, while it is true that the US has a shameful history of Russia-baiting smears, it is also true that Russia has a long shameful history of finding for themselves useful idiots.

To sleep; fifty-seven nights now. Does Amoxicillin and the Zithromax affect your dreams?  Side effects, the web informs me, include diarrhea that is watery or bloody and swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue, that’s all very well and good, but does it give you night terrors about what life might actually be like under your Presidency?


63 long, dark nights for America: Returning to the question of God for a second again

Sixty-three long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Mainstream media never covered Hillary’s massive “hacking” or coughing attack, yet it is #1 trending. What’s up?”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Trump says he “knows more about ISIS than the generals do.” Not only is that wrong, it’s disrespectful to our men and women in uniform'”

Daily election article of interest: Trump won’t talk about being a birther — or many other controversial comments

Thought before bed tonight is another look at Donald and his faith. In an interview last year with CBN News, an American-Christian production company founded by Pat “Hurricane Katrina is God’s punishment for America’s abortion policy” Robertson, the following conversation took place:

David Brody: “Who is God to you? What are some of your thoughts on this? Clearly, you’re a smart man, you’re a smart businessman, you’ve contemplated this before or have you contemplate this?”

Donald Trump: “Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it fifteen years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.”

So there is God to Donald and I take it back my earlier thought that Donald couldn’t possibly believe in a being superior to himself. Instead God is the guy who can make great deals happen, creates golf courses that Donald can own, allows him to make “one of the great deals they say ever” and yet doesn’t even ask Donald for a percentage stake. Donald is no Gerald Manley Hopkins, we’re not talking about a man of deep, complicated faith here.

Just sixty-three dark nights of the soul to go, America! 

68 long, dark nights for America: “This is the worst party I’ve ever been to.”

Sixty-eight long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “I am promising you a new legacy for America. We’re going to create a new American future. Thank you OHIO!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Turns out, hosting Miss Universe pageants abroad doesn’t equate to diplomatic skills.”

Daily election article of interest: How to Talk to a Trump Voter Who is Wearing Headphones

The primaries took place a lifetime ago, an almost forgotten antediluvian epoch back when behemoths still roamed the plains and we considered Iowa politically relevant. They were the salad days when Lincoln Davenport Chafee was a just a crazy kid with an even crazier dream – and now … well … the salad has gone bad, the mayo has turned (we are talking America here so I am, of course, assuming that the metaphorical salad is a potato salad).

The photographer M. Scott Brauer has a great project of that period, a first hand look at the sheer banality of a modern American primary, in this case New Hampshire – This is the worst party I’ve ever been to.

“I’ve taken a different approach as I photograph this story, using a harsh and direct flash, evocative of early press photography. The campaigns usually bring in their own lighting and backdrops, and this technique is a deliberate attempt to subvert their control of the optics of politics. Shooting in this way reveals the edges of this political spectacle: cold food left on a buffet line, duct tape holding up the banners, wiring in the corner of the room, bored staffers and journalists, binder clips keeping the American flag in perfect posture.”


I found looking through Brauer’s images, rather than reacquainting myself with the day’s news, a more fulfilling use of the hour before sleep.There is something about the banality of the American election that is oddly reassuring in the face of the current heightened rhetoric, that it is dull normalcy that will eventually set things right.

71 long, dark nights for America: “The healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Seventy-one long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Does anyone know that Crooked Hillary, who tried so hard, was unable to pass the Bar Exams in Washington D.C. She was forced to go elsewhere.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Dear Donald: You can’t make America great again when you don’t make things in America.”

Daily election article of interest: Trump surrogate apologizes for tweeting cartoon of Clinton in blackface

There are a few professions – airline pilot and medical doctor spring to mind – where personal presentation and clarity in communication remains important and helps put others at ease.

Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump’s personal physician, or rather more specifically his gastroenterologist, inspires no such confidence. Sporting long blond hair that even Fabio would consider passé and an unsettling smile, he looks like a third-rate magician who is stuck performing nightly in a fourth-rate casino. Placed alongside his famous patient, it is Doctor Borenstein who is the one that looks the more ridiculous.

And yet ridiculing his appearance is nothing to ridiculing his letter regarding Trump’s health that he wrote back in December.

“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

It read suspiciously as if Borenstein were channeling the voice of Trump. Borenstein has now admitted this week that it was a letter that he dashed off in five minutes while Trump’s limousine waited outside his office. However, in fairness to Dr Borenstein no doctor is going to know Trump’s condition quite like his gastroenterologist as considering the amount of bile Trump emits he must be his number one patient.