If you mention Trump in writing, the Hitler comparison is never far behind, so best to get it out of the way early.
There, I said it. Personally, though, I go for Mussolini. Let’s have a poll: is Trump an alt-Mussolini or a tinpot Hitler? (Has anybody checked whether the trains are running on time yet?)
Shall I point out something, while I’m here? Yes. Thank you, I can hear the clamor. (The people love me!) This comes from Jonathan, son, New Orleans musician, composer and Sage of St. Claude: the WH schemers and strutters imitating 20th century European mob-launched autocracies don’t read enough history. Most tin potty dictators come to bad ends. Hitler wrecked Germany, then blew his brains out in a concrete bunker. Mussolini was dragged out of his palace and hung upside down from a lamp post. Ceausescu, Mlosevich, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein – they didn’t end well. As soon as they get rid of them, their countries’ missions become to erase them from memory. Even great military leaders like Julius Caesar and Napoleon faced some grim reaping, and Trump isn’t showing any signs of military ability. Besides overestimating Flynn, his first attempt at playing soldier (they don’t like to talk about it) would have been laughable if it wasn’t a deadly sick joke. Some, like Franco and Salazar, slip through into tinpot heaven by hunkering down below the battlements and limiting the damage, but their countries try to get their memory and legacy into the ground with the body, the uniform and the rows of medals they award themselves.
Stalin and Mao Tse Tung managed to die in their beds after long, murderous lives, so maybe there is some hope for Stephen Miller to continue as a psychopathic twerp under protection of a shallow, narrow, ignorant carny big bro , although in my most humble and optimistic, he is more likely to end up in a strait jacket with a Pentagon General pulling the straps tight.
Who stole Kellyanne?
Yeah, she kicked the hornet’s nest with the Ivanka plug, but come on, Trump’s cabal don’t know there is anything wrong with that. Let’s give poor Kellyanne a break. She has to lie for a living trying to cover up for crazy people, and she is plenty crazy herself, so of course she gets laughed at. It is her noble sacrifice. She takes the bullets for us. She has been sidelined by CNN and chucked out of Morning Joe by Mika Brzezinski, but there are still plenty of access whores and comedy shows out there that would appreciate the chance to own the next “alternative facts” video.
Maybe she had some kind of breakdown and needed a few weeks to knit up the raveled sleeve in rehab under an alias. A gentle exorcism. Maybe she will burst forth again, chemically face-lifted, spiritually rejuvenated, refilled with faith that truth comes from The Alt-Lord, who Saveth Us from Facts.
Give us back our Kellyanne! Otherwise all I have is a spiritual hole left by the loss of Bill Hicks and George Carlin.
Mayor Mitch is Securing You, Ready or Not
The Teflon Master of political illusion has the NNW wind from Washington in his sails. As the family, minions and puppet masters in occupation of the White Palace turn B-movie horror into the new Constitution, our NOLAdministration (the green-tinged Perdido Palace, second floor, turn right out of the elevator. Terrorism strictly forbidden!) rolls out a “security plan.” If you say “security” three times, you’re in. Just to make sure we get it, Landrieu’s spokesperson says they had “security consultants.” Whew. I feel much better now.
The mayor says with pride to reporters that he can muscle it through without Council approval. Translation: he is the exec branch and in the new world of authoritarian posturing as a deadly fashion statement, he doesn’t have to take any lip from the likes of Jason Williams (turn left out of the elevator).
We must have this plan, they say. More accurately, this plan must have us. It is going to have us. And among the things the mayor firmly knows – he knows he is not going to pay for it.
We all know a couple of things about security consultants. We know they can attach themselves to and suck money out of cities for service to fear-mongers. We know that fear sells, and consultants help make it respectable. Fear is political crack. A steely gaze, a bit of a law enforcement or military resumé, some cop vocabulary, a carry license, and some recommendations you can get off the internet . . . I’m not saying that is what the admin’s consultants are. I’m saying there are people getting away with that, and I am saying that we should be seeing these guys in the open, facing detailed debate with our own security inquisitors, because the specific plans we are being informed about are mostly silly.
Watch out for consultants on pretext of crisis, especially when the trigger word is “security” and their conclusions too obviously benefit or aggrandize the elected politicians who pay their fees.
Remember all the experts that made some real good money as Y2K consultants, charging fat fees to fix a non-problem?
Personally, I am used to the cameras. In my last city, there were thousands of them everywhere. But here in post-911 USA, we are in the realm of managed paranoia. Council Member Williams is right to ask: what is the access to the data recorded? Is it just local cops catching pickpockets and muggers? Or can ICE and the Border Patrol with the White House Borgias’ boot up their bums use it to persecute immigrants? Can the FBI use it to set up one of their stings to tag hapless discontent but poor and inarticulate people, like they just did in Missouri?
“The President shall not be questioned!”
Ah, but the mayor and the consultants are invoking the Gorgon head on the shield: terrorism. Dum da dum dum. Don’t know about you, but I am fed up of terrorism. I will try to do a number on that in the next NOLAscape, but for right now, let’s just note the word. The mayor might be angling for federal money, because the T-word is a Beltway funding buzzer. But Mr Williams is right: these cameras generate digital data. If the monitors know it, the NSA knows it, too. If the NSA has it, Trump’s social police can get it. Stephen Miller can Make America Great Again right here, bringing police brutality back to our potholed streets. Chief Harrison will not be able to control the information or what ICE and the Border Patrol do with it.
They are using “terrorism” to justify these gadgets:
They are supposed to stop a “terrorist” or a nut case or somebody whose Mardi Gras has gone funny from speeding into Bourbon Street with a truck, mowing down people in the name of Allah or the White Jesus Militant wreaking Purgatorio on the annual festival of classic Catholic sin.
Thought experiment: a nefarious guy with a thick mustache offers you some big loot for scaring the hell out of New Orleans revelers on Bourbon. Mass murder is okay, just a tool of the trade. You review the defenses. “I know what I’ll do!” you conclude. “I will choose a method that won’t work! I will try to drive a truck right through that barrier thing, get blocked and get shot.” You’re only a simple terrorist, after all. It would never occur to you to cut off its power, or use a different weapon, like grenades or guns, which are all over the place, since the Second Amendment and the arms business are our symbols of freedom. Frustrated by those canny consultants, you will think: “I’ll just try the old truck trick again. Won’t work, but what they hey . . . ” Maybe, you see, just maybe, they did not notice that if somebody steals a truck and rams it into one of the barriers, especially with some explosives in it, they will still scare the hell out of everybody, in addition to killing people between the start of their run and the barrier, even if it does go up in time.
Or maybe, just maybe, bad guys would try a different trick.
Security strategy. (1) First apply social and military pressure until the pot boils over. (2) Then bomb the pot but don’t turn off the cooker. You can’t even pretend to win without an enemy.
I am going to start a Republican peace movement: declare War on War.
Will a gay mayor from the Rust Belt be the Democrats’ next leader?
That’s a headline in the Guardian this week (2/23).
Do we really still need that crap? Isn’t sexual and partner preference a closed case yet? Pedophilia clearly is not; ask Milo Yiannopolis. Trans bathrooms are capable of wearing pickup truck ruts in the Southern Republican mind while the bloodhound blows the dog whistle – check Milo again, North Carolina, and the NBA.
Equal pay, anti-abortion mania, rape culture, child marriage, honor killings, female genital excision, burkas, religious right body and bedroom police – there are plenty of social gender and sex topics still open for serious discussion. But gay? Still? That is getting to the level of puerility of Trump on campaign trying to lay one on Cruz (another national nightmare) because his third trophy wife was more coiffed, botoxed, made up and expensively dressed than his opponent’s real wife. The Guardian has a responsibility to be more intelligent and connected to the culture of 2017 than Donald J. 45. Buttigeig is running for DNC chair not deacon of the megachurch.
The ostensible problem of homosexuality in politics used to be that you could be blackmailed for it. That’s pretty much over except in countries still in or ahead of us in re-entering the Dark Ages, so forget it. Talk about something that matters politically.
Welcome back, Kellyanne! In the supportive nest of CPAC, in cheerful bright colors, she told us that the hoots and hollers and laughter are just because she is a woman in a position of power. Nothing to do with the stuff she says. Pure magic!
© NOLAscape February 2017