It's hyperbolic to call Trump the equivalent of a third world dictator. We have functioning institutions, even if they are eroding, and no matter how much he may wish the office of the president confers upon its holder dictatorial powers it does not. Nonetheless, it's not an exaggeration to point out that there are some specific tendencies he shares with the Russian, post-Soviet, and third world strongmen he so admires (they have such great "control" of their countries!)

Trashing the media and using the state as though its purpose is his personal enrichment is old hat. Any half-assed elected leader can try that. Where Trump truly excels is the consolidation of power into an inner circle consisting almost exclusively of family members. This is like, Tinpot Dictator 101. Family members are the only people you can trust not to murder you in your sleep, stage a coup while you're traveling, or (more relevant to the American setting) turn prosecution witness and start testifying against you. Everything about Eric screams "prison snitch," though. I wouldn't be surprised if he started singing anyway.

Nepotism exists in some form in every system of government. It's simply rare for nepotism in the White House to be as blatant as it is right now or for the family members given paid staff positions to be so utterly devoid of talent. Sure, JFK gave his brother an appointed position. But it was difficult to argue that Robert was not qualified for the job. What has anyone related to Trump done except spend his money and shoot endangered animals for fun?

The way the White House has leaked like a sieve during his first 70 days in office was most likely a wake up call that many of the people he thought he could trust during the campaign are actually – surprise! – self interested professionals who would murder their own mothers if it helped their careers. As that sinks in it was only a matter of time before Ivanka moved into the White House. He still has a few kids left to hire, and I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up in various advisory roles before long. Hey, Barron is only 10, but he could be put in charge of cybersecurity or something. He does show grandpa-dad how to use the internet after all.

I suppose I should express outrage, but we've descended so far into pure farce at this point that it would feel insincere to play at surprise.

45 thoughts on “FAMILY CIRCUS”

  • While I understand your feelings, we should NOT let all this stuff become normal. It's tiring, and hard, I know, but we HAVE to keep our outrage level high. The resistance stopped rump-care from becoming law, and it can stop other activities too if we keep resisting.

    Watch cute animal videos or whatnot for mental breaks, then get back into the fight!

  • Imagine if, two months after a HRC victory, Chelsea and her husband were given White House jobs and top-secret secuirty clearances.

    Imagine the number of soiled panties among every Republican member of Congress. Every member of the wingnut-welfare brigade.

    The GOP has no fucking shame. Hard to tell if it ever did.

  • @wet – That's one of those things that get my blood to an instant boil! Their hypocrisy! How do they live with themselves?

    I mean seriously. How???

    These are not the stupid rubes who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. These are smart, well-educated people. They KNOW they are being hypocritical. Do they even try and justify it in their heads or do they just think "Fuck Dems any way we can. BWAHAHAHAHA."?

  • "It's hyperbolic to call Trump the equivalent of a third world dictator."

    He's more of an… Apprentice. An Outsourceror's Apprentice.

  • "Family members are the only people you can trust not to murder you in your sleep"

    Are we sure about that? Because my guess is that if you gave those kids an honest audit of their future inheritance (i.e., somewhere between bupkis and a fuckton of debt) and then offered them $100 million and a pillow to "do the right thing" there'd be a footrace to Daddy's bedroom…

  • April, "RyanCare" failed because the freedom caucus didn't think it'd bury white trash fast enough.

  • Baron just might be the only adult in the family. Maybe he could keep the liar-in-chief in line. The others have certainly not been successful. And just maybe he knows right from wrong after all he is closer to Kindergarten than the rest and we all know that "everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten". Be nice, share, tell the truth…….. And perhaps he may not yet have been turned into a disgusting piece of S…t like his father and 1/2 siblings.

  • The t-RUMP's aren't anything like the families in "Game of Thrones."
    The folks in those books were ruthless and smart.

    With the t-RUMP's, it's more like "Game of Clowns."
    The dumb-fucks in this saga are clueless and smug.

    With the whole family being grifters, it's as if a stereotypical family of "Roma" has moved into the White House, ready to sell off any and every thing.

    If this were a movie comedy, high-jinks would ensue.
    But it's not a movie, so we get low-jinks.
    And ever lower-jinks.

    How low can this go?
    Well, what I'm terrified of, is when t-RUMPLE-Thin'Skin's poll numbers get low enough, and/or the whole Kremlin Connection begins to show that there really there might have been actual acts of treason, this Orange turd will quickly drum-up a war somewhere.
    And you know that, after tax cuts, the conservatives in this country LOOOOOOOOOOVES them some war!
    And so, they'll support t-RUMP's war, no matter the consequences – they've already proven that; largely because they never think about any consequences.

    Imo – they're all invested in the Military Industrial Complex – at least the richer ones are.
    The dumbass poor conservatives will become canon-fodder. Right next to a whole bunch of young people of all political and other persuasions.
    The Young Punk t-RUMP's will, of course, sit out any war. Their orange hides are too precious to endanger.

    Tar and feathering is too good!
    Bring out the torches, pitchforks, and guillotines!!!

  • "Others have used the term rich white trash so I won't."

    Well, considering that we STILL have no idea whether this "House of Cards" is, in fact, a house of cards. Why not give them a deroganomen based on what most of us really think of the DT*'s.

    "Le Newfauxriche".

    * Dynasty Trumpligula

  • Whitt Staircase says:

    Along with all the other reasons to be suspicious of the Manchurian Doughboy, he apparently does not have any pets. If he had, no
    doubt the lucky dog or cat or goldfish would also be on the federal dime.

  • gulag: I am betting on a terrorist attack myself. Either an inside job (conspiracy theories ahoy!) or, more likely, the inevitable "real" attack.

    Because there is no way in a modern interconnected world short of becoming a hermit kingdom like North Korea any country, government, or city can be terrorist-proof.

    The only hope is that the American population is cynical enough to not buy the instant claims to establish a total 100% police state. Because you know the contingency plans are ready. Given the reality that a good 40% of the population are as addicted to fear and authoritarian follower reactions, I doubt that we will remain a free country long.

    All I need are six magic numbers. New Zealand (or Uruguay or Portugal) is beautiful and a long, long way away from this frothing mess.

  • "or do they just think "Fuck Dems any way we can. BWAHAHAHAHA."?"

    This is the only thing Republicans ever think. Ever.

  • Brain M,
    Terrorism. It's what t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin thinks might absolve him of all of his past, present, and future fuck-ups, and allow him to get total DICKtatorial power.
    And you know the Republicans won't give any push-back.

    Btw – If you can figure out a use for crippled ol' me, please, please, take me with you.

  • "Family Circus" will be sending a "Cease & Desist" order to Ed, toot sweet! There is no fucking way that they could come close to the metatastic dysfunctionality of House Trumpligula.

  • @Whit – I don't think it would be a lucky, pampered animal. Given rump's temper I think the poor thing would be subject to his fits of rage, and terrorized out of its* mind….

    (Speaking of pampered pets mine was barking to go outside. (It's pouring rain) so I open the door and she runs out…goes about 5 ft and then realizes it's raining, makes an immediate U-turn and runs back in.  It was funny to watch. "OutoutoutyesssswaitnonoIninin!")

    *So in a return email to my soon-to-be English teacher I gently point out that proof-reading is a good skill to have. He writes back that he didn't think his run-on sentences were that bad. HE DIDN'T SEE THE MISTAKE A SECOND TIME! Does this moran actually not KNOW the difference?

  • April –

    Dogs: all the joy of hanging with a toddler with none of the guilt that maybe you're ruining them for life.

    Bonus: feeling indulgent that you can tell what another consciousness is thinking.

    Or, why our computer overlords will maybe keep us around.

  • mago –

    in keeping with prior comment to April, I think They are poking us to see what we'll do.

    At least, I hope so.

  • [And because I'm only half a bottle down…]

    April —

    One of the most harrowing pet things I've ever read was the account in Black Country Girl in Red China of what happened to the little gutter waif dog she rescued and kept as a beloved pet. Don't read it. She had to borrow her PLA lover's sidearm and shoot it, after seeing what was happening to all the other dogs that had been confiscated. Don't read it. The book is full of spiders.

  • @Mo – Yeah, we all know about the dog round-ups over here. The market where I shop has a dog table….dead, skinned dogs just lying there waiting to be cut up. I avoid that area.

  • It's worth noting that one of our two major political parties does not believe at all in Good Government and rather explicitly has advocated for policies that support authoritarian oligarchy for at least the last 35 years. Republicans really rather like Putin's style because it's what they hope the US becomes.

  • @mainmata:

    I don't think that the 60M+ who voted for Trumpligula are aware that pie will not be sliced into 60M+ wafer thin slices. Fuck 'em.

    @ April:

    I came home, it was raining. I came in and dropped my shit on the floor, said to Buddy the Wonderdog, "Hey, Schnuckeldortz; you wanna go out?". He was at the door in about two seconds. I opened it and let him out on the porch. He ran to the edge of porch and said, "Fuck this.".

  • @ April:

    Yeah, well, in their case? the ones with the small brains want to put US down because we won't sit up and beg.

    @ define and redefine says:

    I was Flynn, I'd watch out for people with poky-stabby things like ricin tipped umbrellas. Check all your fire alarms, too, also, Mike. Be sure that they still have that little chip of Americium or Cesium that's s'posed to be there. The, throw out all of your food and hire tasters.

  • Anybody who prefers the company of canines over the two-legged is a friend of mine.
    Anyone who butchers and consumes them is beyond redemption.
    Uh, there's a metaphor here somewhere.

  • Hi, guys–so, my friend died, and her husband killed himself the same day. The cremation/memorial service was yesterday–we all chipped in to cover it (it's more expensive than you'd think, so plan ahead). Her brother and his wife flew in yesterday morning to deal with the "estate" (a 20-something-year-old Volvo sedan and the clothes and other personal effects that fit in a rented 600-square-foot studio apartment).

    In an attempt to find something good about life, I've agreed to take in a foster dog today–the vet says he's probably 6 and he's a mixed-breed, about 25 pounds. I've missed having an animal in the house. Everyone think good thoughts for me, okay?

  • I do not know you or your friends well enough to feel their loss or yours. I do know that humanity is endlessly capable of love/hatred, depending on the circumstance. I try hard to skew to the "love" side for you and your friends, the middle for the vast bulk of humanity and the hard edge of hatred for the sort of monstrous fucking asshole who thinks piling up money is more important than helping those who need help and more valuable than love itself. I can only hope the p.o.s. that decided your friend and her husband were disposable winds up with something painful, chronic and ALWAYS incurable. I know that I'm a horrible person in that regard. Thanks the universe, that Hell is a construct of the overlords used to frighten the weakminded.

    Buddy the Wonderdog sends his love (along with mine) for your new family member.

    An easy biscuit recipe:

    2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthurs)
    1 egg
    1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
    2 Tbsp bacon fat or bacon bits

  • I sometimes hate this fucking Chromebook.

    An easy biscuit recipe *:

    2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthurs)
    1 egg
    1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
    2 Tbsp bacon fat or bacon bits
    2 Tbsp peanut butter
    1 goodly pinch of pepper
    1 cup +/- water

    Put everything in a cheap, old, beat up thrift store bread machine (this dough is so stiff it will kill a fair sized Kitchen Aid mixer–never do a double batch, that will kill a bread machine) on the dough setting, turn it on, when the dough is mixed and needed, remove it from machine, cut it into two equalish hunks. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour to relax the gluten a bit. Roll out on floured board to about 1/4" thickness and cut into appropriate sized chunks.

    The biscuits can sit in a warm oven for a while to dessicate them a bit or baked as is @ 350 degrees for anything from 25 to 40 minutes depending on your oven and degree of doneness desired.

    Not dog food, treats, even Bud knows that!

    * This is an adaptation of one of MANY recipes available on the internet.

  • March 30th, 2017 at 7:00 am
    "Family members are the only people you can trust not to murder you in your sleep"

    Matt Says: "Are we sure about that? Because my guess is that if you gave those kids an honest audit of their future inheritance (i.e., somewhere between bupkis and a fuckton of debt) and then offered them $100 million and a pillow to "do the right thing" there'd be a footrace to Daddy's bedroom…"

    No, because it's billionaire debt, meaning that one can still live like a multi-millionaire forever. It's ordinary person debt which means that you live in your car and are terrified of it being repoed while you're in it.

    And now, the family is worth billions – I assume that Goldman Sachs gave them a deal making all of that debt go away immediately upon election.

    The Trump family is now going to be an extremely rich family.

  • Demo, to be honest, this dog would eat flaming matches if you put them into his bowl, so I'm sure he'll LOVE the dog treats *and* it gives me a good excuse to make bacon–"I need the bacon fat for dog treats!" :-)

    In agreement with Ed's "Everything's bad" philosophy, people's inhumanity gets to me sometimes. Not only what we do to each other, but also to animals. April touched on the situation of dogs in China, but "it's a dog's life" here, too. The new dog *adores* people and is desperate to please, yet someone just threw him away like trash. He thinks every meal is his last one ever and gets frantic–yet he's not food-aggressive (I tested, he passed). My last dog came to me because an elderly woman got a puppy for companionship after her husband died, and five years later, fell and broke her hip. The dog stayed by her side for 2 days until the leader of the rescue group (who lived next door) realized she hadn't seen either of them and came to investigate. The woman went to a nursing home and her adult kids literally opened the front door of the house and pushed the dog outside to fend for himself.

    Moral of the story–people who mistreat animals suck. You'll notice the Trump family doesn't have any pets.

  • Buddy came to me from a nearby neighbor. She got him from rescue and took very good care of him. Shortly after she rescued him (and his name was "Beau" when she rescued him–I have ze paperz!) she needed cataract surgery and was going to put him in a kennel. I said I would keep him at my house and she was thrilled. After 10 days the doctor said she could resume normal activities–she ASKED if Buddy could come back home. I took him over, along with all of his blankets and toys (which he had ZERO interest in playing with) and he never forgot our 10 day sleepover. 2 years later his roommate was diagnosed with terminal cancer (liver) 3 or 4 weeks before she passed. I asked what would happen with Bud and she mentioned a couple of possibilities. It was obvious how concerned she was about his well-being. I said that if he had a good home to go to, that was fine; if not, he could come to my house. It'll be six years in July.

    He's a pain in the ass, he's the opposite of a conversationalis, he's endlessly curious about things like catshit and small dead animals (snacks, to him) and has idiopathic gran mal seizures although he's on pheno–it works 95% of the time. He's on homemade wet food and treats and he loves Rachel Ray Just 6 (I'm pretty sure he pretends he's crunching small bones). He goes without a leash and has managed to get himself skunked a few times. He will not be replaced when he passes and I will probably think of him every time I put the key in the front door or come down the stairs.

    I do not get people being shitty to people or animals, except that I understand they're living very fucked up internal lives.

    Sorry, Ed, I didn't mean to make this Gin, Tacos and Hairy Roommates Blog.

  • @Demo; thanks for giving your furry PITA a home! I'm sure it soothed his previous owner's heart to know her dog was going to someone who cared for him. IMO, that's what "pro-life" is really about.

    And thanks, Ed, for giving us a place to get away from the endless parade of dreadful news. It seems like I can't get through the news anymore without yelling, "Are you effing kidding me?!?"

  • @Katydid- I am SO sorry to hear about your friend, and her husband. You and they are in my thoughts and prayers.
    And as for the other thing, good luck with the pooch. Any chance of training the dog to defend decent people against violent political extremists? ;)

  • DC – If Ed's gonna be mad at anybody it'll be me since I started the "Harry Roommates" thread, but aside from banning me what's he gonna do? I'm too far away to hit….


  • Robert Walker-Smith says:

    I have long said that when our two sons grow up and move away, I will get a mature black cat from the shelter. A sedate, dignified beast who will enjoy being an indoor cat. I will call* it Snowball and read Lovecraft to it. At this point, I'm still hoping to live long enough for that to happen.

    *Cats, like Tolkien's dwarves, have secret names they never reveal. They tolerate being addressed by the names we use.

  • greatlaurel says:

    Katydid, Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your friends. They were truly exceptional people. I have no words that can do justice to this terrible tragedy.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Your rescue dog is a lovely idea.

    Take care.

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