“The time will…come when we will not…remember…September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day…The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this…did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percentage of the world’s people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the U.S.; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world; and that its ecological costs increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the supposedly prosperous.”
– Wendell Berry, In the Presence of Fear, I, III
“We all live by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those of us who are ‘enlightened’ all maintain that those coolies ought to be set free; but our standard of living, and hence our ‘enlightenment’, demands that the robbery shall continue. A humanitarian is always a hypocrite, and Kipling’s understanding of this is perhaps the central secret of his power to create telling phrases.” – George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, February, 1942
“…CLOs (collateralized loan obligations) are loans to corporations. Yet they are not traditional bank business loans, nor corporate bonds as have been issued for centuries. Like CMOs (collateralized mortgage obligations) they are supposed to compartmentalize risk and thus reduce it. But instead they will amplify dangers, just as in the opening years of this century. The fact that the basic Federal Reserve internet page of CLOs repeatedly references ‘Cayman Islands’ should raise red flags for everyone.” – Edward Lotterman, Bismarck Tribune, 7/12/20
“Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, who is seeking a second term, said Tuesday there is ‘not a chance’ he will return the $10,000 from Dickinson-based Fisher Industries and Fisher Sand and Gravel, headed by Tommy Fisher…Fisher Industries built the private (border wall in South Texas) section in January, and has since won a $1.3 billion border wall contract from the federal government, the largest award to date… ‘There is zero chance’ Armstrong said, of the possibility he would return the money. ‘If I can’t take a contribution from someone in the community, I don’t want to be in Congress.’” – Bismarck Tribune, 7/15/20
“…The primary aim of modern warfare…is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.”
– George Orwell, 1984, 1948
“I demand to know. Yes or No? Is Paris Burning?” – Adolf Hitler August 25, 1944
“It’s so nice to be insane; No one asks you to explain.” Helen Reddy, Angie Baby
“With malice toward all and charity for none” defines the Trump Presidency. Optimists hope for a democracy left after January 20, 2021. Pessimists fear dark forces will thwart a peaceful transition from Republicans to Democrats by then. Meanwhile, increasing death tolls, economic and political collapse go on, enabled by weak egos and room temperature IQs in Trump’s orbit, and brain cell, spine deficient Governors in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma, who seem unable to apply common sense to a common terror of Covid-19.
As I waited for my preordered copy of Mary Trump’s sold out take down of her Uncle Donald’s sellout of the United States, I was preceded in line by a white, 70+ dude who asked that his book be put in a bag, because, “I’m a Republican.” My raucous laughter caused a bookstore manager to ask “what was up,” as the gentleman tucked his “bootlegged” bounty away, and made his way out of the store. The teller told me that my outburst had “made his day.” If Trump is done here, he’s done everywhere. To guess what’s left by the time he’s gone, I asked my KGB friends.
High Plains Reader: Now that Mary Trump’s book, as well as unhinged “press conferences,” are making it clear that President Trump is insane, what are we going to do?
Putin: Your democratic system eschews violence as an agent of change or resistance, but since Trump is at war with America and its functions, like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), he must be opposed by all means short of violence. Freedom isn’t as free as you’d like to believe. Many have forgotten, or not learned, that self-reliance requires self-sacrifice. You have too many fools like your President, equating liberty with self-indulgence, and willing to follow his whims.
HPR: He should resign, as his niece advises; but he likely won’t, and he incites violence.
Rasputin: Today’s demonstrators, in the spirit of the late John Lewis (D-GA) and C.T. Vivian, are fearless in defense of democratic non-violence. Sane and gutsy Governors and Mayors, your private sector, judiciary, doctors, universities, civil service and military, obeying the Constitution and not Trump; your millionaires screaming “tax me,” have enough legal power to hem him in.
Señor Perro: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler slams Trump’s “toady temp,”(DHS)Ken Cuccinelli’s sending in unmarked Federales to whisk away random citizens as desaparacidos a la Argentine Generals, only to have them assert their rights and be sprung by the ACLU, et.al. Unfortunately, DHS “storm troopers” have been able to incite violence among the impatient — and conniving. It remains to be seen how mysterious “Rent-a-Nazis” will do against Portland’s “wall of moms.”
Mr. Swamp Fox: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms defies Georgia Governor Brian Kemp that she NOT protect citizens by ordering the wearing of a mask. Meanwhile, ordinary folks register in droves, to vote in November, drive out Republicans, and repair damage yet to come.
HPR: More damage to come!?!
Lena: Yes. There are still plenty of Trump idiots out there who think you and I can die for their freedom, but that they are immune from responsibility, accountability, or a virus.
Schickelgruber: Hey! Not all Trumpsters are idiots. There’s big money to be made on human misery if you know how to cash in. Like that North Dakota contractor who got a $1.3 billion deal for Trump’s “infrastructure” scam of a border wall, while donating money to his local Trump-loving Congressman. He, and his ilk, building cages for brown children and their families on the Mexican border, aren’t much different from killer cops snuffing out the life of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, MN, or a black woman, Brionna Taylor, in Louisville, KY. Such opportunists are firm believers that profits and power are more important than people.
Headless Horseman: Trump’s crumbling border walls are chump change compared to all the money (former Vice President) Dick Cheney made for Halliburton and other contractors in the Middle East, after his “weapons of mass destruction” lies put the U.S. in a 2nd Iraq war.
Schickelgruber: There’s always big bucks to be made in locking people up, whether for private prisons in America for drug offenders, or concentration camps in Nazi Germany for the offense of being a Jew, a Pole, politically to the left, or gay. Today’s “bully builders,” and Republican enablers, are kindred spirits of those who built Dachau and Auschwitz for the 3rd Reich.
HPR: Oh my! In the past, North Dakota contractors for the Bank of North Dakota, and their many nursing homes, college campuses, and hospitals, used to be enablers of the doctrine that “people are more important than profits,” not these current sand and gravel sadists.
Lena: Covid-19 has forced into the open Trump Republicans, who, short months ago considered themselves immune from accountability, to a shocking reality that their Red States, are not more immune from a killer flu virus than Democrats, and Blue States. Even Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former Chief of Staff, is complaining, albeit mildly, about the lack of adequate national testing, as if he were (renowned, and ignored, Trump Administration viral expert) Anthony Fauci.
Corporal Kangaroo: Mulvaney’s friends and family are affected by the virus spread. Surprise!
Mr. Swamp Fox: The corona virus has become the great leveler. My alligator friends and Prudence Possum caught (Senate Majority Leader) Moscow Mitch McConnell, (Attorney General) Barracuda Bill Barr (B-6th power) confronting (Treasury Secretary) Steven “Money” Mnuchin about the economic crunch to come, due to the greed of their buddies in the 1%.
Moscow Mitch: Are you sure the economy won’t tank before Trump tanks in November? (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is killing me on this second Covid relief bill, Steven. The truth about how we have stolen Covid money, on top of dissipating surpluses racked up by Democrats under Obama, is coming out almost as fast as proof of Trump’s insanity from his own mouth, as well as that of his niece. I might not even be able to shut down the Post Office.
Money Mnuchin: Your nonsense about voting procedures 60 years ago isn’t helping Mitch. As long as you and Barr let Trump screw with medical science, I can’t even save Wall Street.
B-6th power: You mean that Wall Street honchos and Republicans in Kentucky are also losing friends and family to Covid-19? Oh my stars and garters! I didn’t start the fire. You guys did.
Moscow Mitch: And you, Bill, can’t stop Trump from hitting harder against the wildly popular Dr. Fauci than increasingly popular (presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee) Joe Biden!
B-6th power: Trump’s campaign has tried to distort Joe Biden’s admirable overcoming of his speech impediment from a youthful stammer to indicate signs of age-induced infirmity, but Trump’s tiny 74 year old brain and big mouth impediments make him an easy target for the much more intelligent and empathic 77 year old Biden and 80 year old Nancy Pelosi.
Money Mnuchin: You two had better figure how to give Nancy and (Senator Minority Leader) Chuck (Schumer[D-NY]) what they want, if you want schools to open. Democrats are not going to help Trump unless you help them. They know that (Education Secretary) Betsy DeVos doesn’t care if Public Schools open or not. Also, Trump’s “pet” Republican Governors are realizing they can’t please him, and may try to please the people who elected them instead.
Moscow Mitch: My big donors really hate it when I work with the Democrats. It’s easy to leverage Democrats, of course, because they care what happens to Americans, and we don’t.
Money Mnuchin: Democrats are easier to work with than you, even though I betray them by dishing out big relief money to your friends. They are a minority in the Senate right now, but Democrats have the majority of brainpower and courage in the House and Senate, and public sentiment knows that this year. You’re in trouble in Kentucky, Mitch. Your opponent is a Vet, and Veterans’ organizations are running ads about Trump’s and your treason with Vlad Putin.
Moscow Mitch: Unfortunately, it’s easier for Trump to leverage all of us, since he is nuts.
B-6th power: True, but Trump also has “Wizard of Oz syndrome.”
Money Mnuchin and Moscow Mitch: Wizard of Oz what?
B-6th power: No brain, no heart, and no guts. He’s malleable by us, as well as Vlad Putin.
Money Mnuchin: So that’s the good news. What’s the bad news?
B-6th power: While Americans turn to Democrats, Republicans with any self-respect have also turned on us, and are calling us out. Former Florida Congressman David Jolly won’t call himself a Republican anymore, and uses the “stupid” word to describe Republicans in Florida and Washington, D.C. Life long Republicans may not call themselves Democrats, but they’re going to vote that way in 2020, or “stay home,” which is almost as bad.
Moscow Mitch: I hate it when Republicans tell the truth. Those Lincoln Project guys are killing us with it. And they are much more savage than Democrats are willing to be. But I still might be able to sneak in some more right wing judges before our ship goes down.
Money Mnuchin: Your “right wing” judges, except for hating women and fair elections, aren’t really reliable. They are turning out to be genuinely “conservative” rather than the reactionary ones we were hoping for, like (Supreme Court) Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
B-6th power: We need an exit strategy
M & Ms: A bail out? The Cayman Islands?
B-6th power: No. Democrats won’t be nice like Obama in 2009. A bailout this time means public ownership or stringent regulation; criminal punishments to keep us from stealing the U.S. blind a third time in two decades. We have to play offense; turn a “Ukraine” into a “Benghazi.”
Money Mnuchin: What!?! Military hero Bob Mueller doesn’t make as popular a villain for (Senate Judiciary Chair) Lindsay Graham (R-SC) as (former Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton.
B-6th power: I know that, but Trump doesn’t. We need him to focus on his petty hatreds and childish grievances until we shovel him out of the way next January. Then we buy back integrity by selling ourselves as saviors “from the inside”, like the so-called “good Germans” during the Nazi period, and get a “Dick Cheney” type for our next “imperial President.”
Moscow Mitch: Forget it Bill. He’s getting worse. We’ve overplayed our hands this time, and Trump’s indifference to human suffering is going to kill even more Americans before he’s gone.
Money Mnuchin: Ivanka Trump says people who are out of work, can try “something new.”
Prudence Possum: It was a pretty pathetic conversation. I really needed a shower after hearing all that cynicism. I felt even dirtier when I found a staff member’s poem in the swamp:
When Money Walks It Is the Saddest Sound………………………………………………….. BM & the M & M’s
“When money talks it makes the sweetest sound.
That’s what we live for, cheat for, ev’ry day.
But now we’ve gone too far; there’s hell to pay;
While, money walks and stomps us to the ground.
Vlad Putin knew that Trump would build a wall
To nowhere; and could wreck the U. S. A.
He’d screwed his own, so this was easy prey;
To help Americans, themselves, to fall.
If we could mask our motives ‘til next year;
Then Democrats would have to clean the mess
We made. But wait! This happened recently;
With Bush and Cheney. ‘Then,’ is way too near;
And Covid forces sins we’d n’er confess
Into the open. We are doomed, we three!