Potpourri v3.0

A partial compendium of Trumpian Distractions designed to keep your eye off the ball. CLICK HERE to see how they anticipate distracting you from what they don’t want you to see.

Reading time – 3:51; Viewing time – 5:59  .  .  .


The past week was busy:

– Paul Manafort was convicted on 8 criminal charges.

– Michael Cohen plead guilty to multiple felony charges.

– Michael Cohen also accused the President of directing him to commit felonies.

– Allen Weisselberg, the longtime CFO of the Trump Organization, was granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors. He knows where all the bodies are buried.

– David Pecker, CEO of the media empire that publishes the supermarket trash rag the National Enquirer, was granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors. He knows where the hush money went.

Of course, there was more, but as the pundits are saying, the walls are closing in on Donald Trump. One result of that is the ever-expanding list of Trump’s outrageous tweets designed to distract us from the Justice Department investigations into criminal wrongdoing of the Trump organization, his foundation, his campaign and his administration. See the Art of the Distractions box in this post for a short list of the Trumpian stupid stuff from just the last 7 days.

For now, begin to brace yourself for what likely will become multiple Constitutional crises. This is going to get really ugly before things start to get better and, perversely, it may be the world’s greatest political theater.

Meanwhile, get active. Mark election day, November 6, on your calendar. Decide which two of your friends you’ll bring with you to the polls. Here’s why you’ll do that:

Roughly 125 million votes were cast for president in 2016. 102 million registered voters stayed home. That brought us Donald Trump and this spineless Congress.

Friends don’t let friends fail to vote.

Final note on this topic: As of this writing we still haven’t heard a word from Republican legislators about any of the criminality close to the president that’s been uncovered by federal investigators. The Rs insist on remaining jellyfish.

♠ Nukes

It’s likely you were shocked over Trump’s sometimes veiled and sometimes blatant nuclear threats toward North Korea and Iran, but, surprisingly, there’s good news attached to his rantings.

Last week the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine held a public workshop entitled Exploring Medical and Public Health Preparedness for a Nuclear Incident – you can look it up here. The good news is that the people in charge of dealing with a nuclear “incident” are investigating our preparedness and perhaps recommending changes for the better.

The bad news is that Trump’s rhetoric has made the investigation necessary.

♠ The Democrats’ Problem

Chris Buskirk curated the New York Times “Opinion today” last week and offered a George Orwell view of democratic socialists, writing,

George Orwell, himself a democratic socialist, neatly described the political dilemma faced by the Sanders crowd: “The inability of mankind to imagine happiness except in the form of relief, either from effort or pain, presents Socialists with a serious problem.”

It seems to me that Buskirk is quite wrong. Bernie Sanders is very clear about a democratic socialist future. His dilemma, as Buskirk labels it, is the inability to bring a majority of voters to his view.

The real dilemma of most Democrats is that they can’t seem to find a coherent message with two hands and a flashlight. Add to that inability a few more, like being solely reactionary to circumstances and rarely proactive, communicating in the most needlessly complex way that leaves people befuddled, a refusal to focus on a unifying message, and the seeming inability to speak with blue collar Americans where they’re at.

More painful yet and, as placeholder for all wimpy Democrat ways, we watched the debate where Hillary refused to tell Trump to stop stalking her and to sit down and shut up. Democrats have a way of creating their own worst obstacles, often through lack of assertiveness. Perhaps our new generation of candidates will do better at this.

♠ Coherent Message

We all have our key issue and I know yours is important. I believe, though, that one overrides all others because everything you hold dear will disappear if this Big Kahuna issue isn’t resolved: keeping our democracy. That’s why Robert Mueller is so important to the United States right now and why his work must go all the way to completion.

After we put the bad guys in prison we can tackle money in politics next, because that is what informs and distorts your key issue and that tsunami of special interest money is helping to destroy our democracy.

Save our democracy. That’s the coherent message. Let’s focus on that.


Education Secretary Betsy “I’ve never been to a public school” DeVos is weighing using money intended to drive academic enrichment for students to buy guns for teachers. Yes, really.

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One Response to Potpourri v3.0
  1. Paul Winsor Reply

    Hi Jack

    I’d like to write about the “coherent message”.

    During the last 2 provincial elections, I could not decide my chosen candidate until the very last second. Literally my fingers moved from one candidate to the other until finally there was a choice.

    I’m not really sure why I picked either one. Here is my rationalization after the fact.

    In the first case, the conservative party leader proposed a solution to lower the cost of bureaucracy that he and his buddies cooked up on a napkin. This lack of consideration seemed nuts to me.

    The established liberal government wasted money hand over fist. To get re-elected they promised to shutdown the construction of many NG power plants in close races. (Billions). Pretty awful and expedient.

    So I chose the liberals. Why? Because I liked my local MPP. I’d spoken to him about several issues and he had been helpful.

    What a cluster! But what could I do? The PC leader seemed politically incompetent and the liberals were unabashedly buying votes, but at least I liked Charles.

    So this spring, here I was again. Liberals were out in my mind. So the choice was between the conservatives which were now a populist party or the socialist party (NDP).

    I chose the conservatives. Why? Because I knew these guys were going to act as they promised. Get some control on costs, legislate a buck a beer, push back on Trudeau’s carbon tax etc. I didn’t agree with some of the promises but at least they would act. The other party seemed like they would be pushed around by their radical lobbying groups.

    If I was American, I have no idea if I would have voted Trump or Clinton but I know I would have decided in the last second.

    I think that I am the kind of voter the left needs. However, unlike me, they should be sure that voting left is the right thing to do.

    I think that could happen if the party is forthright and clear on their most important issues while never acting stupid.

    So what can the left be forthright and clear about?

    Reinstate the EPA!
    Universal Healthcare, period!
    Increase legal immigration targets while strongly enforcing illegal immigration!


    Regarding not being stupid:

    If you use Bill Clinton’s slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid” as a basis. The new slogan should be “Don’t act stupid, stupid”

    Trump has probably rattled most voters that are like me. But if they feel voting left will lead to wish-washy and expedient policy, Trump could win again in 2020.

    Good Luck, the world needs you guys to figure this out.