Ah, January 3, 2023… You know what that means, right? Christmas and New Year’s are now history. My trees are still up. I often leave them up until Epiphany, not because I’m particularly religious, but more because I hate the process of de-Christmasfying my house, both because it’s hard work, and because it’s sad to see the lights go. I like how the trees make our living room look more lived in and homey. I’ve slowly been taking Christmas stuff downstairs to the basement, but I know that very soon, I’ll be hauling the boxes up to the living room and dismantling the whole thing. Sad…
You know what else is kind of “sad”? Hope Hicks and her ilk, bitching about how the horrifying events of January 6, 2021 now make them “unemployable”. Yes, that’s right. CNN has released the contents of an angry text exchange between former Trump White House Aid, Hope Hicks, and Ivanka Trump’s chief of staff, Julie Radford. Hicks, who, in spite of her bad decision to work for Trump, is almost surely not someone with intellectual disabilities, was “mad and upset” because the insurrection hurt her professionally.
On January 6, 2021, Hicks texted to Radford, “In one day he ended every future opportunity that doesn’t include speaking engagements at the local Proud Boys chapter,” continuing, “And all of us that didn’t have jobs lined up will be perpetually unemployed. I’m so mad and upset. We all look like domestic terrorists now.” Hicks finished her diatribe with, “This made us all unemployable. Like untouchable. God I’m so f***ing mad.”
And Radford’s response was, “I know, like there isn’t a chance of finding a job,” and indicating she already lost a job opportunity from Visa, which sent her a “blow off email.”
I just want to shake these women and remind them that there were many warnings and indications that the events of January 6, 2021 were going to happen. What the hell was she expecting? Did she really think that Trump’s attempted power grab was going to end well? Even if he had managed to stay in power after January 6th, eventually he would have ended up on the wrong side of history. And, as someone who voluntarily worked for him, and was there to hear the warnings about what was planned for January 6th, Hicks is complicit in enabling Trump. She really has no one to blame but herself.
I look at Hope Hicks, and I see a very attractive, young woman who has a lot of things going for her besides her education and experience. In fact, I’ll bet that education and experience weren’t really the qualities that helped her get a job in Trump’s administration. She’s a woman, and we know what Trump thinks of women. He sees them as sex objects.
Fortunately, there were a few people in that administration who could see the writing on the wall. Hicks noted, “Not being dramatic, but we are all fucked. Alyssa looks like a genius,” supposedly referring to Alyssa Farah Griffin, who resigned from her job a month before the insurrection. I believe it was Griffin who helped Cassidy Hutchinson, who also realized too late that working for Donald Trump eventually becomes a serious liability for most people. Hicks was apparently more interested in her career and making money than doing what’s right for the American people. I have no sympathy for her. Cassidy Hutchinson also stuck around the White House too long, but at least she worked with the January 6th committee and shared what she knows. Hope Hicks was apparently just out for herself.
According to the Farron Balanced YouTube channel, Alyssa Farah Griffin basically said that Ivanka Trump was “worse than useless” in the White House. Because not only did Ivanka not try to temper her father’s worst impulses, but she also didn’t do a damned thing to mitigate his decisions. And neither did Hope Hicks, who was thought to be able to convince Trump to be a better human.
I seriously wonder, though… do these people have any common sense? They work in politics, and have surely been around people who won’t hesitate to shaft them. I think they could all use a course in psychology, so they might learn a thing or two about narcissistic personality disorder. While I obviously can’t diagnose Trump with anything, to me it’s very clear that he’s pretty much off the charts in terms of his narcissistic tendencies. He doesn’t do anything for anyone who can’t do something for him. And his desires and needs will ALWAYS come first. So of course she was going to be screwed over. Even if he’d stayed in office, she would only be as good as her last “good deed” for Trump’s agenda. Hicks didn’t see this when she worked for him? Was she blind?
Bill and I were talking about this situation over breakfast. My husband, who is always so kind and empathic, said “Yes, it’s stupid that she wound up in that situation, but I can empathize. I know firsthand how easy it is to be blinded by this type of person.”
It’s true that Bill was married to a narcissist, and he went to war with one. And he soon learned that these very damaged people will never do anything for anyone that doesn’t somehow benefit them. They don’t care about the fallout to others when they do “nuclear style” shit like trying to overthrow the government, abusing troops, or demanding a divorce over Easter. They are focused entirely on themselves.
Alyssa Farah Griffin was smart enough to see that she didn’t want her name linked to Trump, knowing that there were so many lies being promoted. While I might fault her for being involved with Trump in the first place, I do commend her for quitting while the quitting was good. She shows that she has some good sense, or at least a sense of self-preservation. I get being young and wanting to find a good job. Alyssa is obviously very intelligent and well-spoken, in spite of her Republican ties. I hope the rest of these women have learned something.
For me, it was very clear who Trump was when I heard and read his comments about grabbing women by the pussy, and believing he could do it “because he is a star”. That, my friends, is the epitome of narcissistic thinking to the point of delusion. When someone speaks like that, it means that they don’t care about ANYONE but themselves, and they are wholly unqualified to lead anyone. This is a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women and them being “okay” with it, because of who he is. It’s sick and delusional, and as an American, I am ashamed that Trump was the president of my homeland. He is a huge embarrassment on many levels.
Good leaders care about other people. Trump obviously doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and his endless needs. It has NOTHING to do with his political affiliation or beliefs, which frankly, have little to do with the Republican Party. It’s about his quality as a human being. Trump is a very low quality person. And anyone who can’t see that now has obviously missed the plot. I wish people would learn to vote for individuals over political parties. Because, as I have learned over my five decades of life, the parties matter much less than the people who comprise them. The Republican Party used to have more decent people, but a lot of them have left or were voted out, and now we’re left with extremist power hungry psychopaths, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Lauren Boebert. And these are folks who have been emboldened by Donald Trump. Trump is getting to be old, but his influence, I’m afraid, is going to last a long time. I know his supporters will eventually look at their affiliation with him with shame… and some might even wind up in prison. But it will take time before they plainly see how wrong they are, and how they are now on the wrong side of history.
Anyway… I’m sure Hope Hicks has recovered professionally from the insurrection by now. As I mentioned, she’s obviously a beautiful woman, and she has education and experience. And, you know, there are people out there who will hire her, simply because she’s very pretty. I’m pretty sure her good looks were one reason why she ended up working for Trump in the first place, sad as it is. I see she used to be a model. Maybe she can go back to that gig.
I know I’ve already written a book review today, but I wanted to add a few comments about Cassidy Hutchinson, former junior White House aide to Mark Meadows in the Trump administration. Yesterday, I read and heard about how she was “encouraged” by “ethics attorney” Stefan Passantino to lie under oath to protect Donald Trump and his cronies. Or, rather, the attorney advised her “not to recall” things that she remembered from her time in the White House. When Hutchinson asked the lawyer if that wouldn’t be perjury, he told her no one would know what she did and didn’t remember. So she could say “I don’t recall”, even though that would have been a lie. And yes, technically it IS perjury.
After I watched the above video yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I think Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero. I truly believe she is, even though she worked in the Trump administration. I’ve seen a number of people holding her work for Trump against her, and minimizing the fact that what she did took immense courage and maturity. She has proven that she’s very professional and has a high level of personal honor.
Consider this. Last summer, when she was all over the news, Cassidy Hutchinson was 26 years old and had never needed to hire a lawyer. When this stuff came up, she was out of work, because Trump lost the election. She didn’t have the money to pay for a lawyer. One lawyer she contacted said they could help, but requested a $150,000 retainer. I bet that lawyer is kicking themselves now.
Stefan Passantino, one of Trump’s crony lawyers, offered to help her, and said she didn’t need to worry about legal bills. He refused to tell her who was paying for his services. It is legal for lawyers to be paid by third parties, but clients are supposed to know who pays so that they can give “informed consent”. Someone working for Trump would expect Hutchinson to be on Trump’s side, rather than allowing her to tell the truth.
Shortly after Passantino started working with her, some of Trump’s buddies started contacting her about job opportunities. I remember what it was like to be 26 and hungry for work, although I was waiting tables at that time of my life. I’m sure it was tempting to keep her mouth shut and take the job security and legal assistance. Naturally, once it became clear that Hutchinson was cooperating with investigators, those lucrative job offers were pulled, just like the proverbial carrot on a stick.
Fortunately for all Americans, Hutchinson realized that accepting this help from Passantino was akin to making a deal with the devil. She went to her parents for help. Her mother couldn’t help. Her father, with whom she understandably doesn’t have a relationship, is a big Trump supporter and refused to assist her in hiring a lawyer. In spite of her fears about retribution from Trump and lack of financial resources, Hutchinson told the truth. And now, a lot of people are thinking of her as a hero. I doubt she’s going to have to worry about finding a job. She has her self-respect, and she may have done a lot to help save our democracy. We’ll see what actually happens to Trump. Still… what she did took some guts!
I know a lot of people think Hutchinson should be criticized for working for Trump in the first place. I am inclined to cut her a break, though. It sounds like she was raised by Republicans, like I was. She may have never had a chance to consider other political views. Her father is a Trumper, so much so that he would protect Trump over helping his own daughter. She describes herself as a first generation college student, which probably means her parents are working class. Democrats used to be considered the party for “working class” people, but now it seems that Republicans are mostly folks who aren’t big on education. Trump even famously said that he “loves the poorly educated”. Hutchinson also went to Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Virginia, which is very close to where I grew up. It’s a very conservative, red, part of Virginia. She’s only twenty-six years old. Maybe she hasn’t been exposed to other ideologies yet, in spite of her degrees in political science and American studies. Or maybe she considers herself the old style of Republican, which is what I used to be.
I’m sure Trump and his minions thought Cassidy Hutchinson would be easy to manipulate, flatter, bribe, or threaten into compliance. There she was, a beautiful young woman with just a bachelor’s degree and some entry level experience. She had her sights set on a political career and was making it happen. Surely they could get her to cooperate in this little matter, right? She sure proved them wrong. Maybe it would make sense to do Trump’s bidding, but it would have meant being beholden to him forever. Lots of Trump’s pals were contacting her relentlessly before she was to testify, trying to sway her testimony. I’m glad she realized that trusting them would be foolhardy. Trump is a snake, and he has no honor. There’s no guarantee that Cassidy Hutchinson would be rewarded for her cooperation. People like Trump routinely use people until they’ve gotten all they can and then ditch them. So Hutchinson was absolutely right to do the right thing.
“It wasn’t just that I had Stefan sitting next to me; it was almost like I felt like I had Trump looking over my shoulder,” Hutchinson testified. “Because I knew in some fashion it would get back to him if I said anything he would find disloyal. And the prospect of that genuinely scared me. You know, I’d seen this world ruin people’s lives or try to ruin people’s careers.”
Hutchinson testified: “Pam [Bondi- Former Attorney General of Florida] texted me that night and said something to the effect of: ‘Susie, Matt Schlapp, and I had dinner with POTUS at Mar-a-Lago tonight. Call Matt next week. He has a job for you that we all think you’d be great at — that you all — we all think you would be great in. You are the best. Keep up the good work. Love and miss you.’”
I’ll bet none of those people are calling her now… The article continues:
Ben Williamson, a former White House aide who was still working for Hutchinson’s former boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, reached out to Hutchinson the night before her second scheduled interview with the committee with a friendly reminder.
“He said something to the effect of: ‘Well, Mark wants me to let you know that he knows you’re loyal and he knows you’ll do the right thing tomorrow and that you’re going to protect him and the boss,’” Hutchinson testified. “‘He knows that we’re all on the same team and we’re all a family.’”
Williamson did not immediately offer a comment.
Hutchinson was still concerned about lying under oath. She spoke to Passantino about her misgivings, and he said:
“I would have heard if he was mad about anything discussed in yours, but it’s just a good reminder that the boss does read transcripts,” Hutchinson recalled Passantino telling her. “And we want to make sure that, like, whatever he’s reading isn’t going to put you in a bad situation.”
The WaPo article I linked indicates that there’s another brave woman who deserves some credit. Alyssa Farah Griffin, another former Trump aide who had managed to break free of the MAGA cult, spoke to Hutchinson, who confided that she was withholding information at Passantino’s request. Griffin served as a conduit to the January 6th committee, letting them know that Hutchinson had more information that she was willing to divulge.
Through Griffin, Hutchinson answered more questions from the committee. When Stefan Passantino found out about it, he demanded to know how the committee found out. She tried to maintain plausible deniability, but the jig was up. The lucrative job offers dried up, and she was out in the cold. Hutchinson told a staffer, “I’m about to be fucking nuked.” She soon started to realize the price she could be paying for betraying Trump. I’m sure she experienced great anxiety and sleepless nights, realizing that these heavy hitting Republicans could and would happily steamroll her in their bid for maintain power and money. She could have given in to that and been a slave to Trump’s MAGA cult. She chose integrity, instead.
According to The New York Times:
“They don’t know what you know, Cassidy,” she quoted [Passatino] as saying. “They don’t know that you can recall some of these things.”
After the interview, Ms. Hutchinson said, Mr. Passantino told her that he would help her get her “a really good job in Trump world.”
“We’re going to get you taken care of,” she quoted him as saying. “We want to keep you in the family.”
But obviously only if she lied for Donald Trump and his cronies… and only if she was willing to sell her soul to his MAGA cult. It’s not a nice way to live, is it? Yes, she should have avoided Trump in the first place, but because she was there and was willing to talk, we know a lot more than we might have. Cassidy Hutchinson is to be commended for her grace under pressure, her commitment to honesty and professionalism, and her extreme bravery and integrity. I’m sure she will be rewarded for this on many levels. The biggest and best reward of all, in my opinion, is maintaining her dignity and self-respect. She’s going to go down in history as a courageous young woman who didn’t bow to Donald Trump. She seems to be one of the few and proud. I think she has a bright future ahead of her, as long as she stays healthy and safe… because, frankly, I would not put it past Trump to try to get her offed somehow. He has proven, time and again, that he’s an insane, ruthless, vindictive bastard who will stoop to incredibly low levels to get revenge on his enemies. I sincerely hope she has some protection.
As I mentioned in today’s first post, my husband, Bill, is gone this week on a business trip in Bavaria. I don’t have any local buddies to hang out with, so that means I have a lot of empty time on my hands. When Bill was deployed to Iraq back in 2007, I spent a lot of time watching reality TV. At that time, we lived in the States on Fort Belvoir, and we had FiOS (fiber optic cable TV and Internet– which is just becoming a “thing” here in Germany). This was before Apple TV, so I couldn’t spend my time watching relics from my childhood, the way I do today. I’m glad for Apple TV and YouTube, because now I can watch stuff I missed back in the day.
Back in February 1987, I was fifteen years old, and very busy with school and taking care of my horse. I wasn’t at all interested in politics, religion, or current events. I was kind of “dumb” then, as we didn’t have all of the news and information sources we have now. In those days, the Soviet Union was still very much a thing. People worried about nuclear war to the extent that it was a topic on sitcoms, like The Golden Girls. There were a number of Soviet themed films that were released for the big screen. I remember the movie, Red Dawn, came out in 1984, when I was 12 years old. It was the very first PG-13 rated movie, mainly because it was, and still is, a very violent film about Soviets invading the United States. I remember being very “fired up” when I saw that movie the first time. I was young and impressionable, and thought the height of patriotism would be to join the military and fight for my country. Hell, when I was 12, I might have even made the military’s weight standards. 😉 Actually, I’m kidding. As a teenager, I thought I was fat, but I really wasn’t. Like I said… I was kind of dumb in those days… dumber than I am today. But today, I am fatter than I was in the 80s.
Since the Soviet Union was still so threatening, the American Broadcasting Company, otherwise known as ABC, made the mother of all miniseries. It was a seven night EVENT, which even in the era of network TV, was a big production for a miniseries. Most miniseries lasted two or three nights. I was interested in very few of them, because like I said, I was BUSY then… and not interested in politics, religion, or current events. But other people were interested, so ABC made this miniseries called Amerika. It was set in 1997, in a fictional midwestern town called Milford in Nebraska. It starred, Kris Kristofferson, Mariel Hemingway, Cindy Pickett (“Ferris Beuller’s mom”), Christine Lahti, Robert Ulrich, and a very young Lara Flynn Boyle, among other people who are now either dead, or more or less famous than they were in 1987.
The premise of Amerika was that the Soviet Union’s leaders had messed with our elections and that had led to a “bloodless” coup. The United States was no longer. Instead, it was broken up into smaller areas. The flag and national anthem were changed, and the idea of communism was introduced to our capitalistic society. The miniseries was about how the country changed. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and it was obviously based on the propaganda of the time. Remember, the Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991, so a lot of today’s adults weren’t around when it was still in existence. But some of us old farts remember it very well.
Well, I completely missed seeing Amerika when it originally aired. It only aired once, because it caused a lot of issues with leaders in the Soviet Union, who were outraged by it. It was also a really long television event that was probably expensive and disruptive to air. In the 80s, we had our “must see TV”, and these kinds of special shows would usurp our old favorites. And then, after just a few years, Amerika seemed over the top and ridiculous, as the Soviet Union literally fell apart, and formerly closed borders started opening. Hell, the movie was set in 1997, but I was actually finishing up my Peace Corps assignment in Armenia, a former Soviet country, in 1997. So, as you can see, it didn’t make a lot of sense to air the program again. It was later released on video, but it doesn’t look like a DVD set was ever released. However… someone did upload the entire series to YouTube. I watched the whole thing in several sittings, as the program is over fourteen hours in length. Even couch potatoes like me need to get up and move sometimes.
I don’t want to get too much into the specific plot of this series, because frankly, it seems like an overwhelming task. As I mentioned up post, the series was set in a fictional town of Milford, which was named after the enterprising American family that helped build it. Some of them still lived in Milford, only to watch their town being overrun by Soviets and American politicians who figuratively “got in bed” with them in a bid to seize power. We watch as people with private businesses can no longer offer what they used to have. A woman who ran a cafe for over thirty years was forced to serve soy products instead of the comfort food she used to offer. Later, everyone is forced into a curfew and heavily armed Soviet soldiers bust the woman’s neon sign, which had been lit for decades. She cries as she’s forced into the back of a truck to be driven off to God knows where.
We see a talented young dancer (Boyle’s character, Jackie Bradford) being ignored when she auditions for a show because she’s too good and would ruin the uniformity of mediocrity of the others. By the way, while I can see where the writers were going with this point, years of watching Soviet athletes and listening to Soviet trained musicians tells me that the culture certainly embraced the talented. They were showcased! Just watch any 70s or 80s era Olympics or a Russian ballet! But the point is, communists didn’t give anyone an incentive to excel, since everyone was “treated equally”. Except they actually weren’t. There were certainly people in communist countries who had it better than others did, due to their stations in life.
We see dissidents being forced into “re-education” camps. Kristofferson’s character, a former politician and 1988 presidential candidate named Devin Milford, had been imprisoned in Texas for trying to fight against the regime and speaking out against corruption. At the beginning of the series, we see him being released and sent into exile in Milford, where he is to stay within 25 miles of his property or risk being jailed or shot. He watches as families lose their homes as Soviet squatters are not recognizing the former Americans’ rights to own land. Children in school are being propagandized with communist principles, which they spout off by rote.
Devin’s eldest son is sent to a psychiatric hospital to be “treated” for thought crimes. He and his fellow patients are shown propaganda while hooked up to electrodes, drugged, and kept in cells. His middle and youngest sons are kept from him. The middle child is bright enough to see through what is happening, but the youngest child becomes very indoctrinated, to the point at which he turns on his father, with a literal gun. Devin’s ex wife, Marion Andrews (Wendy Hughes), is becoming a government leader who wants her ex husband killed.
Fellow Milfordite, Peter Bradford (Robert Ulrich) becomes president, with his wife Amanda (Cindy Pickett) as his first lady. Amanda is very disturbed by all she sees, and tells Bradford that she can be his wife, but not his first lady. Sounds kind of like Melania Trump! Except Amanda is nowhere near as narcissistic and vacuous as Melania is. 😉
And then there’s Kimberly Ballard (Mariel Hemingway), who was very young and beautiful in 1987. She plays a musical theater actress whose work is affected because of censorship. She also gets involved with a Soviet military leader– well… she falls in love with him, and he falls in love with her. But their love can’t survive, because she’s an American through and through, and he’s a Soviet. And politics always take precedence over love.
Like I said, this is a very long series, and to be honest, it was a bit of a plod to get through it. It starts off rather slowly, but then gets more interesting. The musical score may be familiar to some people, too, as the composer of much of the music was Basil Poledouris, the same guy who did the music for the original Red Dawn. In some ways, this film reminded me a bit of Red Dawn, minus most of the violence… at least at first. As Americans start waking up to the reality of communism, a la a frog in slowly heated water, there’s more violent action. Some of it was kind of chilling to see, even by today’s bloodthirsty standards. There are a lot of “dead” people shown– eyes frozen open in shock and horror, as fake blood runs down their faces. In 1987, it was still uncommon for Americans to see mass shooting events.
In some ways, Amerika still seems far fetched and ridiculous. It’s now 2022, and 1997 was a long time ago– 25 years! But realizing that this movie was made in 1987, it’s kind of interesting to see what we had in 1997 that wasn’t yet conceived of in 1987. So, for 1997, Amerika seems pretty quaint and antiquated. However, I moved to Armenia in 1995, which was only about 3.5 years after the Soviet Union fell apart. Things were still very antiquated there in 1995, and things were still pretty much run like they were in the Soviet era. In fact, conditions were worse there at that time, because they were on their own. We had no electricity most of the time; some places had no running water; and almost no one had hot water from a tap. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia in 1995, I took bucket baths with water heated on my kerosene heaters or propane stove. I read books at night by kerosene lamp light. Anything I wanted to buy was behind a counter. And I lived in a series of ugly Soviet era cookie cutter apartments.
But, in other ways, Amerika is scarily prescient. The miniseries was probably conceived of by right wing political conservatives, as it has a very anti-communism message. BUT… as we all know, in 2016, the Russians fucked with our presidential elections. We had a “Republican” leader in Donald Trump, who doesn’t really resemble an old style Republican at all and, in fact, isn’t one. Trump is a fascist, dictator wannabe, and he’s spawned a bunch of power hungry acolytes who would love to follow in his footsteps, even though he’s clearly against freedom and outwardly said the Constitution needs to be “suspended” so he can be put back in power.
Yesterday, there was news about how, on January 17, 2021, South Carolina Republican Ralph Norman sent a text message to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, calling for Trump to institute “Marshall law”. He means “martial law”, of course. But he was actually calling for Trump to use military force to overturn the legal and fair 2020 presidential election, to prevent Joe Biden from taking his rightful place as the US President. Can you fucking believe it? These are Republicans! Aren’t they supposed to be about smaller government, the Constitution, and freedom for everyone (except women of childbearing age)?
I saw a lot of comments on the Amerika videos. Many people were trashing Biden, and saying that America is headed for the scary communist dystopian reality presented in Amerika. And yet, I lived in a former Soviet country, and I learned that the people living there weren’t bad people. They really weren’t that different than I was. They just came from a poorer country in need of assistance. In the 25 years since I left Armenia, I have been really heartened to see how far the country has come. It’s truly become a cool place to be, in terms of the incredible culture and the insane talents of its citizenry. Meanwhile, the United States is starting to look more like it could go the way of the old Soviet Union, as Trump and his minions try to take over and force us to accept his “leadership”. I’m actually not that afraid of Trump anymore, because he’s old and has been revealed for what he is. BUT… I am afraid of the younger, smarter, more polished, power hungry types in his wake who claim to be patriots and fans of the Constitution, but want to do away with fundamental American principles like separation of church and state, the right to privacy, and not having the military running the government so that the overall unpopular extremist, dictatorial types like Trump can stay in charge.
This week, there was a coup stopped in Germany, which is where I live right now. The people involved in that are now in massive legal trouble. They have been arrested. In the United States, Donald Trump is still a free man, in spite of showing us who he is, and what he wants to do. For some reason, Republicans think their party is still what it was years ago, when it was about keeping government out of people’s private business and keeping taxes low. Do these folks really believe that Trump and his deplorable minions won’t be trying their best to take what’s yours? Trump just wants money and power. But there are people inspired by him who want more. They have shown us… and there are a lot of awful people in public office who care more about being re-elected than doing what is right for the citizens of the United States and running free and FAIR elections, without corruption.
One thing that I did learn, having lived in Armenia, is that abortion wasn’t really a big deal in the Soviet Union. I met many women who’d had them, mainly because birth control wasn’t freely available, and their men didn’t want to bother with condoms. And when you’re making the US equivalent of $10 a month, it’s hard to have enough money to raise children. But, it hasn’t escaped my attention that a lot of Republican business owners who don’t want to pay a living wage, nor do they want to offer birth control coverage on health insurance policies provided through work, are very much against allowing abortion. At least for now. 😉 Some of those folks might eventually realize that religion makes it harder for them to control the masses, as people have a power higher than the state. I think with time, religion and the so-called morals espoused because of “God” will become much less fashionable among Republicans, just as the Constitution apparently has.
Anyway… just like I was in 1987, a lot of Americans are concerned about other things. And they aren’t paying attention, even though we have a lot more ways to pay attention now, than we ever had in the past. I hope some people wake up before we start seeing America turn into Amerika. I don’t even want to say that all Republicans are bad, per se. It’s just that the old school ones are being replaced like MAGAts… like cancer cells, they are taking over.
So, although Amerika was a “plod” to get through, I am glad I took the time to watch it. It made me think. If I had taken more time, I probably could have written a much better blog post about it. But if I manage to inspire someone to watch it and draw their own conclusions, maybe I will have done my good deed for the day. It was eye opening for me, but not in the way that other viewers saw it, apparently. This is the type of thing conservatives would tend to watch, because of that dirty word– communism– and Soviet Union style politics. They don’t see the similarities between Soviet Union style communism and Trump style fascism that I see, like the Trump style desire to suppress the media— something very much in the Soviet playbook. As someone who has experienced life over there, and has voted on either side of the spectrum, I see other, more frightening things. We, as a nation, need to collectively wake up and do something about these deranged, fascist, violent people before it’s too late.
WHEW… I meant for this to be about two movies. Guess I’ll be writing another post, which seems fair enough, since it’s snowing outside right now.
I’ve noticed that lately, WordPress has been offering unsolicited blog ideas. Just beneath the post title, there’s a question to answer. I’m sure it’s to help bloggers who are stumped for a good topic. I do sometimes have that problem, but I probably wouldn’t turn to WordPress for help. The topics they suggest are a little too mundane for my taste.
Today’s suggested topic is, “What is one thing you would change about yourself?” Yesterday’s was, “Are you a night person or a day person?” I don’t know if everyone who uses WordPress gets the same suggested topics. I don’t even know if every user gets this new gimmick. For all I know, I unwittingly flipped a toggle switch somewhere in the settings. I hope not everyone gets the same topic. Otherwise, all of the bloggers would be writing about the same thing.
I guess it doesn’t bother me too much to have suggested blog topics. I usually have something in mind for my posts, though, or I have a hot repost to republish. I will admit that today, I have struggled a bit for a topic, hence the reason I’m writing this in the middle of the afternoon instead of the morning. I also had something else to do today… after I threw up my breakfast. 🙁
Yes, it’s true. Once again, my face looks all measley, because of a forceful puking session. This usually happens when I cough too violently, or the coffee is too acidic. Today, it happened because I tried to eat Gruyere cheese. I have very sensitive tastebuds. There are certain flavors that are overpowering and make me sick. I can’t eat strongly flavored cheeses, for instance. I usually do okay with Gruyere cheese, but today I was eating a soufflé, and there was a big hunk of cheese in it. I spent too long chewing it and next thing I knew, it was time to hurl.
You’d never know it to look at me that I have these kinds of food aversions. I also have trouble with certain textures, which is why I can’t eat most cheeses unless they’ve been melted.
Because I had that unfortunate morning bout of sickness, I didn’t really feel like writing anything new for the blog. This was true, even though Donald Trump’s latest stunt has given me plenty to write about. Over the weekend, Trump suggested “suspending the Constitution”, so he could be placed back in office. I don’t know what Trump has to do before people wake up and pull their heads out of their asses. This man is literally suggesting that he’s above the Constitution! So all of the MAGA folks, who have been yammering incessantly about the importance of the Constitution, now have a hero who wants to see the Constitution terminated! Trump is literally promoting unAmerican values!
I wish I could say that I thought people would wise up about Trump after this news. I’m sure most of them are claiming that it’s “fake news”. But Trump put this in writing, for God’s sake. It’s absolute lunacy. If ever there was a sign that Trump should never be near the White House again, this is it. Trump is literally telling people what he would like to do… He’s not lying, folks. We can’t afford to disregard these statements. There’s too much to lose.
Anyway… today has turned out to be just another grim Monday in Germany. The weather is cold, damp, and cloudy. It’s chilly enough that I can see my breath, and the cloud cover is so thick that it’s been oppressively dark and gloomy all day. The dogs didn’t get a walk today, either. It’s hard to believe that just a few short months ago, it was so sunny and dry that our backyard was covered in crispy patches of parched grass. Now the backyard is like a mudpit.
I have managed to put a few presents under the tree for Bill. Arran is still doing well, although he’s driving Bill crazy, because he gets up several times a night. It will be my problem next week, as Bill has to go away on business again. This time of year is kind of depressing, in spite of the Christmas holidays. I think I would find it less depressing if the sun would come out every once in awhile.
Well, that about does it for today’s post. Let’s hope Trump gets knocked out of commission sooner rather than later. I truly fear for the country as I’ve always known it.
A couple of years ago, I discovered the very “New York” lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had served as Donald Trump’s “fixer” in the years before he regrettably became our 45th POTUS (though to me, Trump will always be more of a SHPOS). I read and reviewed Cohen’s book, Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. I remember liking Disloyal, as Cohen had a very conversational tone that pretty much spelled out what a shitty person Trump is, and why he was a terrible president. Cohen pretty much confirmed my suspicions that Trump is a malignant narcissist, and that makes him an inherently poor choice as a world leader.
Cohen, who was once a very successful attorney with a beautiful wife, two gorgeous children, and a thriving career, went to prison for Donald Trump. I remember hearing him interviewed before he was locked up, and I liked what he said. He admits to being a bit of a shyster. In Disloyal, he even admitted to admiring Trump and wanting to be like him. He made the mistake of thinking that Trump might someday see him as an equal. Of course, because Trump is a grandiose narcissist, he doesn’t see anyone as his equal. People respond to his charm, and his ability to say the things that will spin up a crowd. But it’s all bullshit. Cohen didn’t find this out until it was too late. He paid dearly for working for Trump. I was grateful to him for sharing his story two years ago, even though I knew he did it, mostly, for self-serving purposes.
Lately, I’ve seen Michael Cohen making the rounds on YouTube. I’ll admit, he can be entertaining to listen to. He uses a lot of profanity, which I kind of enjoy… on some level. He has a thick New York accent, which somehow charms me these days. I used to like southern accents, because I am a southerner. Sadly, I no longer feel the same affection for the South, as I’ve seen Republican governments strip women of their rights to bodily autonomy, and I’ve watched salt of the earth people buying into Republican bullshit. It was as if living in Europe cleansed me of most of my appreciation for my home… even if I still love a good bowl of grits.
So anyway, this morning I finished Michael Cohen’s latest book, Revenge, which was just published October 11, 2022. I purchased the book five days after its release, so I was clearly eager to read it. And now that I’ve read it, I feel somewhat less satisfied than I did after I read Cohen’s first book. Revenge is informative, and Cohen is every bit as blustery as he was in Disloyal. But Revenge isn’t about what it was like to work for Trump. Instead, it’s more of a warning to people… as well as a good long vent about Trump’s misdeeds. It’s not that I don’t find venting entertaining sometimes. It’s just that sometimes, Cohen seemed just a little bit whiny in this book. Sure, I agree that he has every right to complain… to some extent. He paid a dear price for being loyal to Trump. However, he seems to think he has some deep insight into Trump’s character, or lack thereof. He doesn’t, really.
In 2016, when the news broke about Trump’s comments regarding women– how he kisses them whether they want him to or not, and grabs them by the pussy– I knew then exactly what Trump is. I knew then that he was not suited to lead the country. I am just a simple overeducated housewife, but it was plain as day to me that Trump is a toxic, abusive, autocratic wannabe. How is it, then, that people who are supposedly smarter and more successful than I am had to learn the hard way? Is it because they suffer a bit from narcissism themselves? In Cohen’s case, I think so… but Cohen isn’t in Trump’s league of narcissism. Thankfully, not that many people are.
I do like to listen to Cohen in small doses. He’s fun to listen to, because he comes across as personable and plain talking. However, I realize that if he hadn’t gone to prison, he’d probably still be loyal to Trump. It’s the same as the Republicans who are now turning on Trump. If he’d turned out to be the “kingmaker” he purported to be before the recent midterm elections, I know that people wouldn’t be turning on him now (and thank God they are doing that, regardless of the reason). If his candidates had won big in the 2022 elections, he wouldn’t be about to go down in flames. But that didn’t happen, so people are turning on him. Cohen, I’m afraid, seems to be in that group. He does what will ultimately serve him, and his best interests. Of course, that’s what most people do, when it comes down to it. I guess it just seems disingenuous to me that he’s now trying to come off as someone who is totally decent. I felt like in Disloyal, he was a bit more honest and genuine. In Revenge, he just seems angry, self-pitying, and hurt, and as rightful as I think he is to feel that way, it doesn’t make for the most appealing or engaging reading.
I do applaud Michael Cohen for turning lemons into lemonade. He’s turned his legal career loss into a new career. Now, he writes books, speaks on YouTube and late night TV, and offers his opinions on Trump and his cronies. I think it’s commendable that he’s picked himself up and recovered. If this shit with Trump hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t know who he is. So he did get something from his ordeal, as humiliating and awful as it was. But he got it because he reached for it, and not everyone would have been capable of doing that. The fact that, like Trump, he has a bit of a narcissistic streak, he was able to mostly shake off the ordeal. Except it’s obvious to me that he’s still kind of outraged and very offended. I’m still wondering how it is that someone as smart and successful as Cohen is didn’t see what, to me, has been very obvious for many years. And, I think that Cohen would be singing a very different tune if he hadn’t been one of the people Trump has fucked over so forcefully. But that’s just my opinion, of course. I could be wrong.
Anyway, I liked Disloyal better than Revenge. It just seemed like a better written, more honest look at what happened. Cohen freely admitted some of his own responsibility in that book, which tells me he isn’t a malignant or grandiose narcissist. In Revenge, he just seems to be looking for…. exactly that. Revenge. I would have liked to have seen a little more personal accountability from Cohen, and less ranting and raving. And, a lot of what is in this book can be found in many of the most recent YouTube videos Cohen is showing up on these days. To Cohen’s credit, though, amid the vitriol, he does offer some recommendations and potential solutions, which makes his book worth reading if you’re interested. Personally, I much preferred his first title, though.
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