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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Chaos is a ladder.

The media should get used to reciting the serenity prayer because I’m not sure it really understands what it’s dealing with when it comes to Trump.

This piece on Bob Corker at The New Yorker starts to get to the heart of the matter:

raju: Is the President of the Untied States a liar?

corker: The President has great difficulty with the truth on many issues.

raju: Do you regret supporting him in the election?

corker: Well, let’s just put it this way: I wouldn’t do that again.

raju: You wouldn’t support him again?

corker: No way. No way. I think he’s proven himself unable to rise to the occasion. I think many of us, me included, have tried to . . . I’ve intervened, I’ve had private dinner, I’ve been with him on multiple occasions to try to create some kind of aspirational approach, if you will, to the way he conducts himself. But I don’t think that that’s possible. He’s obviously not going to rise to the occasion as President.

raju: Do you think he is a role model to children in the United States?

corker: No, no, absolutely not . . . . When his term is over, I think, the debasing of our nation—the constant non-truth-telling, the name-calling—the debasement of our nation will be what he will be remembered most for. And that’s regretful, and it affects young people. We have young people who for the fist time are watching a President stating absolute non-truths, non-stop, personalizing things in the way that he does. And it’s very sad for our nation.

raju: Do you trust him with access to the nuclear codes?

corker: I don’t want to go into . . . in our hearing process, certainly, we are gong to be addressing the fact that he, with only one other person on the defense side, has tremendous powers. Again, I don’t want to carry this much further. But, look, I expressed concerns a few weeks ago about his leadership, and . . . his stability, and the lack of desire to be competent on issues and understand. And nothing has changed. But, again, I don’t want to make this, you know, a daily issue. There is work that we need to do, and he is currently the person from the executive side that we have to deal with.

In other words, this is as good as he’s ever going to be. He’s not going to get more presidential by accurately reading the prewritten speech on a TelePrompTer. He doesn’t want to learn and he’s incapable of learning.

What you have here is an entropy machine. He’s there to introduce disorder into the system. It’s intentional. This is what his voters wanted. They want to upend the system and make the politicians bend to their will.

But that’s not how things actually work. More often, the powers that be will quickly seize on disorder to profit and restructure so as to make the emerging new system more accountable to themselves. Readers should check out The Shock Doctrine for a historical perspective on how this works and who stands to gain from it. (Well that didn’t take long in Puerto Rico)

There is no way to normalize Donald Trump. He’s delta S all over the place. Maybe no one intended for him to get into office. Maybe it was all fun and games and great ratings because he was just so fucking off the wall last year.

It wasn’t an act.


I’m feeling a bit bad ass today. Let’s go with the Allman Brothers on the way home. It’s classic rock week at The Confluence. Put your favorites in the comments.

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

CNN reports that GOP lawmakers are being forced to choose to stand with what they thought were their original Republican values or get behind Trumpism.

Maybe they should have thought of this last year when they got hard thinking about all the harsh legislation they were going to be able to force down our gullets with a Republican in the Oval Office. They knew what he was. They didn’t have to endorse him. They’ve got their Supreme Court Justice now.

Anyway, here’s what they’re up against:

Instead of lining up behind Corker and Flake, the party’s leaders on Capitol Hill closed ranks, desperate to preserve hopes of the tax reform that Trump and establishment lawmakers badly need, despite their mutual antipathy.

“The party is currently being redefined in Donald Trump’s image with his priorities and his tone and way of doing things,” said Matt Latimer, a former aide to President George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“The traditional Republican Party has to decide if they are going to acquiesce to that or rebel against it. Right now the majority of the base seems to be in favor of acquiescing. There are very few willing to revolt right now.”


There seem to be liabilities to stirring up the base with inflammatory and stupor inducing rhetoric, bigotry and appeals to “Daddy’s in charge” deference to authority and over the top patriotism that amounts to little more than flag waving and tears in the eyes at God Bless the USA at NFL football games.

You can have a party completely dedicated to Trump and his boorish, destructive agenda and you can have a government run by his league of loyal lackies.

But you can’t call it a democracy. It’s something else. And excuse me, but the majority of voters in this country didn’t sign on to that.

So, kudos to Flake, Corker, Collins and McCain for finally standing up and saying No. But it’s a little late for fiery speeches when the pitchforks are already fluffing us like hay and the torches are burning things down.

If you’re serious about dismantling Trump, now would be the right time to join the other team and impeach his ass before we can’t find our way home.

If you’re going to be brave, go BIG.


Another post on the same topic from the failing New York Times.

Does anyone else get the impression that the Republicans are running around with their hair on fire about Trump and they know something about him that we don’t know?

I’m beginning to think they are seeing their window of opportunity closing and they need to nip this in the bud right now. They take a risk if their primary base gets angry about this. Maybe it’s reverse psychology. They still need a critical mass of Republicans in the Senate and as bad as he is, Roy Moore is running for a crucial seat. Maybe all this sound and fury is intended to stir up resentment in the base so that it turns out for Moore in Alabama and Gillespie in Virginia.

It could be 3 dimensional chess or maybe they really mean it.

If the former, I hope is fails. If the latter, they’d better make sure it’s a clean knockout.


It feels like Fall today. The temperature has dipped and will hover around 50 today here in Pittsburgh.

So I finally busted out my new over the knee boots and black leather jacket, black tank, sweater, socks, distressed jeans and scarf. And I am HOT.

Literally. Too many layers. I’m going to sweat like crazy all day. Ugh!