Gerald (Jerry) Zezas
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The Trump wiretap debacle might be the end, once it is fully investigated.

Trump can’t win on this wiretap nonsense. Here’s why:

1. If it is true that Trump Tower was wiretapped, it couldn’t have been at Obama’s request, since presidents can’t put wire taps on the properties of citizens of the US. Only a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) court can do that.

2. A FISA court can only place a wiretap as the result of a justice department subpoena. The US Justice department would have to have proven to the FISA court that there was a potential threat to national security to secure a wiretap. This means that someone in the Justice Dept suspected that something nefarious was going on at Trump Tower. That’s an entire other kettle of fish that hasn’t been addressed yet.

3. If it’s not true and there was no wiretap, Trump has just demanded a “full congressional investigation” into something that exists only in his mind.

4. Finally, if it is true, and the FISA court DID authorize a wiretap due to national security concerns, Trump has just broken the law because all FISA subpoenas are classified, and knowingly disseminating classified information is a federal offense.

You know, like they kept trying to suggest Hillary did, but never proved it.

Of course none of Trumps friends ever talked to the Russians

So far:

Jeff Sessions
Michael Flynn
Carter Page
J.D. Gordon
Paul Manafort
Jared Kushner

Have all either admitted or have been found to have had meetings with the Russians.

No one would care if:

It was multiple countries that they’d met with
The one country that they’re all meeting with isn’t implicated in an election hacking scheme in the US.
The hadn’t all lied or “forgot” about their meetings.
Mitt Romney, the last Repub candidate for president, hadn’t called Russia the “largest socio-economic threat to the US on the planet”
Trump didn’t have direct, traceable economic ties to Russian oligarchs, one of whom was trying to hide money from his ex-wife and so paid Trump $100 million for an estate in Florida that Trump had recently paid $40 million for, yet neither man had ever seen or stepped foot into.

Yeah, and Hillary’s emails matter, don’t they?

This ain’t goin’ away, buckos.

Those damned Canadian Immigrants

If the problem is not simply that we don’t like people who speak a different language than we do…

If the problem is not simply that we don’t like people with darker skin than we have…

If the problem is not simply that we’ve decided that “Mexicans” are a lower form of human than we are…

Then, after reading this article from the actual US Immigration Bureau, you have to conclude that we need a wall, on the Canadian border

So What if Trump Can’t Spell?

You know, you people focus way too much on Donald’s inability to construct a coherent sentence or spell the simplest of words. You did that same shit to George Bush, remember? Just because he said things like “nucular” and “is our children learning” you assumed that he was stupid and couldn’t run the government.

Well, the joke was on you! After all, by the time Bush left office, we had been the victims of the worst terrorist attack in history, we were involved in two unwinnable wars and the economy was in the worst recession since the 1930s and…ummm, where was I going with this?

Another explanation for Trump

I, like many of the ever-burgeoning hordes of the self-proclaimed nuevo pundit class, have been searching for a succinct, cliche’-free way of explaining, primarily to myself, how all this shit came to pass.

I’ve been looking for a word, a single word to describe the mental state, or at least the mental preference, which would be required for so many people to vote, not only for Trump but against Hillary.

After much Sturm und Drang, wringing of hands and sweating of brow, the only word that comes to mind is visceral. I can think of no better explanation for why some otherwise intelligent people, (yes, I know more than a few of those who voted for Trump) would vote for what is clearly against their personal interest and, in many cases, that of their fellow citizens. For many of them, it just felt good.

Donald Trump is someone who can make certain of our citizens feel at once envious and inadequate. His willingness to brag about himself, even regarding things that he had little to do with, displays an arrogance that we sometimes see in gangster movies. His willingness to dismiss his transgressions reminds one of the rationalizations of criminal activities by those who perform them. And we buy into it.

After all, who did not want Tony Montana to beat all those sons-of-bitches who invaded his mansion? Who among us has not repeated numerous times, “Say chello to my lidda fren” in order to display the same arrogance in the face of an overwhelming onslaught from our enemies? Did any of us really want Vito Corleone to die when he was gunned down in the street while buying oranges? Of course not. We cheer for every one of them, didn’t we?

Donald Trump is our fantasy gangster. Disdainful of the multitude of women who are thrown at his feet, fearless of being caught in a lie. So financially powerful as to refuse to pay those who work for him, often just before he tells them, “Go ahead and sue me. The legal costs will be more than I owe you”.

George W Bush was the cowboy, remember? The guy who “cleared brush” from the ranch he bought just before the election, at the behest of Carl Rove, and sold immediately after his term was up. Yeah, some cowboy. He was the guy they said would be good to have a beer with, even though his alcoholism ironically precluded him from drinking beer. He was one of us. (The word “us” is used rhetorically. I exclude myself from that group).

Our president is our president because those who have trouble acting on information prefer to act instinctually, viscerally, impulsively, thinking, perpetually it seems, that that little fucking ball is going to land on black for them at any moment.

They can just feel it.

.

Why do we believe in belief?

I’ve spent the last few years trying to understand why there are so many intellectual differences among people who come from the same planet, live substantially similar lives, have similar DNA, genes, hopes, fears and phobias. I have yet to come up with an answer, but I’m getting closer on the hypothesis.

The thread that runs through all of our differences appears to be tethered to that thing upon which many of us would give our lives. That thing is called belief.

1. “I believe that he’s telling the truth”, said the woman who let the thief in because he claimed to need to use the phone.
2. “I believe his alibi,” said the jurors who acquitted OJ Simpson.
3. “I believe that I have found the one,” said, roughly the roughly 50% of all married couples who will get married, and then divorced.
4. “I believe that I can stop in time,” said the tailgater just before he rear-ended the guy in front of him.
5. “I believe that he loves me, “ said the teen who was about to reluctantly give up her virginity to a guy who couldn’t care less.
6. “I believe the salesman when he says that this is a very good deal on this car,” said the woman…you get the idea.

Or, here’s a variation on the above:

1. My gut instinct tells me that stock is going up.
2. I can feel it in my bones that black is coming up next.
3. Those lottery numbers are getting closer and closer to my kids birthday dates.
4. Trump can’t win the presidency. I just know it.
5. Today’s gonna be a great day. I can just feel it.

This may all seem harmless, but, as with most human endeavors, certain of us take those beliefs to extremes. Examples are:

1. I believe that these magnets, copper bands or crystals will heal my arthritis.
2. I believe that these supplements and vitamins will cure my cancer.
3. I believe that this faith healer can shrink my tumor.
4. I believe that if I pray to God I will win this boxing match or football game or I will be able to find my car keys.
5. I believe that if I follow this or that interchangeable (but incompatible) religious dogma that I will spend eternity in paradise.

This is still a work in progress, but, other than the existence of certain books of dubious provenance, what is really the difference among these various beliefs?

And so, the question becomes: If you rely upon belief of any kind, what makes you believe, based on empirical evidence, that belief is something that is actually reliable?

Who, exactly, elected Trump?

We all understand that anxiety associated with a Trump presidency. We also know that he was duly elected as a result of a constitutional vagary that allows the Electoral College to vote for the president based on delegates and not the popular vote. It’s been that way for 250 years and it is thoroughly legitimate, irrespective your personal feelings.

But yesterday, on this or that radio show, I heard some self-congratulatory goon state unequivocally that “the American people chose Donald Trump and his policies, and the American people want him to do what he’s doing”.

Just to clarify, as I said above, I can’t and don’t doubt his legitimacy as president, much as I would like to. But don’t let anyone tell you that the American people chose him. They did not. They chose Hillary by nearly 3 million votes, irrespective the unproven and frankly idiotic rantings by Trump about illegal votes. Everyone knows that those claims are bullshit and will never be investigated for fear that they’ll be disproven.

To sum up. Yup, Trump is the president for the next four years. But not because the American people chose him.

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