Are we there yet?

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

With this scandal and that tweet talking heads declared each successive outrage a watershed event. The end of something innocent or civil or just was taken from us and surely comeuppance of the thief in chief is on the horizon. But no, there was another and then another. No one time upheaval, but several bumps, thumps and crashes. Tossed upside down one minute, yawing to the right, to the left and sometimes backward the next. It’s a terrifying ride on rapids on what may be a river of no return. Oars and paddles swept away. Rudder broken and the community boat is battered. What will be left of the magnificent vessel, this ship of state, as it washes ashore?

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72 thoughts on “Are we there yet?”

  1. renee, ya done good

    the guardian:

    New Hampshire win makes Molly Kelly 15th woman nominated by major US party


    Kelly to face governor Sununu as Chris Pappas beats 11 contenders, including son of Bernie Sanders, to become Democratic nominee for congress


  2. also in the guardian:

    Donald Trump on Tuesday touted the “incredible, unsung success” of the federal response last year in Puerto Rico, where the government estimates nearly 3,000 died as a result of Hurricane Maria.
    The president’s remarks drew swift condemnation from the island and the mainland as Trump sought to assure the public that his administration was as “ready as anybody has ever been” for the powerful 500-mile wide Hurricane Florence swirling toward the Carolina coast.
    “This is an offensive, hurtful and blatantly false comment from the president,” Senate minority leader Charles Schumer tweeted on Tuesday. “Nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. That is the complete opposite of ‘success.’”
    Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan and a fierce critic of Trump, said his comments added “insult to injury”.
    She told CNN: “This is a stain on his presidency. He says he’s done a good job when 3,000 people have died? God bless us all if this man continues on this path.”
    “I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success,” he said. “Texas, we had been given A-plusses for. Florida, we’ve been given A-plusses for. I think, in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico but nobody would understand that.”
    The administration’s efforts in Puerto Rico were widely criticized as slow and insufficient. During a visit to the island last September, Trump tossed paper towels into a crowd and told Puerto Rican officials that they should be proud the damage did not compare to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which he described as a “real catastrophe”.
    As many as 1,800 deaths are attributed to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. Last month, nearly one year after Maria struck Puerto Rico, the island’s government raised the official death toll to 2,975 people – a dramatic increase on the previous official figure of 64.
    “Puerto Rico was, actually, our toughest one of all because it’s an island– you can’t truck things onto it. Everything is by boat,” Trump said. “We moved a hospital into PuertoRico – a tremendous military hospital in the form of a ship.”
    He continued: “I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful.”

  3. Several times lately I’ve been asked whether we’ll survive Trump. I think so. Just look at 1968. Many thought we wouldn’t survive that. And of course the rest of the world wrote us off after the Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination. The Depression? Not saying we’ll be better off but one way or another this too shall pass.

  4. Maybe FEMA can distribute Dramamine (Trump-strength), because if this administration doesn’t qualify as a federal emergency, what does?

    Hope folks throw paper towels at Trump if the DC swamp floods.

    With all of those stairs,  Trailmix HQ will be safe.

  5. patd…  yeah…  both Rick and I voted for Molly Kelly.  We also voted for a Melanie Levesque for state senator and she won.  Melanie is a black woman….  we figured she’d be a breath of fresh air with all those shiny old white faces if she wins in November.

    Bink… it’s gonna be awhile until I get Woodward’s book.  Amazon got so many pre-orders that they’ve delayed the shipment until sometime between the last week of Sept and the first week of Oct.  But I hear that good things come to those that wait.

  6. “Several times lately I’ve been asked whether we’ll survive Trump.”

    He has already gutted government, staffing what’s left with sycophants and cronies, rolled back environmental regulations that keep us from being poisoned by industry, presided over economic deregulation, putting our entire economy at risk, allowed infiltration of all sorts of government sectors by Russia and who knows whom else, stoked a form of overt racism i’ve never seen firsthand until his administration, undermined public faith in our electoral process and journalism, divided the public to such a degree that balkanization of these united states seems like a real possibility…

    Sure, people will survive, but as what?  Rats on a sinking ship, to continue Pat’s metaphor.

    (…permanently separated parents from young children, put children in cages…)

  7. Jamie…  I do have a Kindle… but I hate it.  It’s almost impossible to flip it forward to see how long it is until the end of a chapter.  And sometimes something gives you that aha moment and you want to go back and reread a passage…  again… almost impossible to do.  Give me a good old fashion book or give me death!

    I’ll wait.

  8. Well, SFB’s approval continues to fall – it’s at 40.6 at RCP and 39.9 at 538, and falling.  The noticeable slide seems to have begun with the poll results that started coming in on 8/28.  His Disapproval/approval gap is now upside down by 13% (RCP) and 13.8% (538).  Looking at 8 polls in which his numbers are falling, (and excluding the methodologically archaic Rasmussen polls) Vox puts the average at 38%. What a fuckup.

  9. Follow up on my 11:11 comment.  At this point in his presidency, Obama had a 46.4% approval rating – roughly 5 points above SFB’s.  The difference is that where SFB has a 13 point gap between approval and disapproval, Obama’s gap was 1.4%.

  10. Letters SFB gets letters…….

    About 79,200,000 results (0.63 seconds)

    Search Results

    Web results

    An Open Letter to Donald Trump: Mr…. – Humans of New York ……open-letter-to-donald-trumpmr-trumpi…/12073828560024…
    An Open Letter to Donald Trump: Mr. Trump,. I try my hardest not to be political. I’ve refused to interview several of your fellow candidates. I didn’t want to risk any …

    David Lynch’s open letter to Donald Trump.

    Jun 26, 2018 – “I wish you and I could sit down and have a talk,” Lynch says in the post, which is written as an open letter to Trump. “Unfortunately, if you …

    An open letter to President Donald Trump | Opinion | › Opinion

    Jan 23, 2018 – Dear Mr. President,. I would like to start by stating that I did not vote for you. Frankly, the one I wanted to vote for was not picked as a top …

    Open letter to President Donald Trump: ‘Media’ not the devil you claim…/open-letter…donald-trump…/938482002/

    Aug 8, 2018 – Honorable reporters and editors toil at daily and weekly newspapers across the nation to tell the good and bad news of their communities.

    Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III Writes An Open Letter to The Pastors …

    Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III is no stranger to writing powerful viral Open Letters. He’s written several letters to President Donald Trump and his latest letter …

    An Open Letter to President Trump | Ralph Nader › … › In the Public Interest › An Open Letter to President Trump

    Jan 9, 2018 – President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 January 9, 2018 Dear President Trump, …

    An open letter to my fellow veterans. Trump doesn’t speak for you …

    Aug 2, 2018 – President Donald Trump greets supporters after arriving at the Kansas City International Airport to attend the national convention of the …

    [OPINION] An open letter to President Trump – EWN…/opinion-bonang-mohale-an-open-letter-to-president-donald-j-trum…

    Jan 19, 2018 – President Trump, we have read with consternation reports of your derisive comments characterising African nations and others as “shithole …

    Dear F*cking Lunatic: An open letter to Donald Trump – Daily Kos…/-Dear-F-cking-Lunatic-An-open-letter-to-Donald-Trump

    Dec 29, 2017 – Like most of you, I read Donald Trump’s recent New York Times interview with mouth immutably agape. Then I read this part: “Yeah, China.

    New Year open letter to Donald Trump | New York Amsterdam News …

    Jan 4, 2018 – Dear Donald,. I’m going to start the New Year by asking you a simple question in the words offamous Caribbean comedian Majah Hye: “Are …

  11. …notice Donald J. Dipshit never actually interacts with real people.  He’ll stand on a stage and perform his schtick in front of them, but you never see him pop-in and surprise people at a diner, talk to farmers on their fields, to workers in factories, parents in a day-care center…

    The rabble’s champion against Elitism wouldn’t even give them the time of day.

  12. So, Flatus & Sturg, sounds like the steering currents in the atmosphere are going to invite Florence to stay a little longer in SC than most had planned for her.  Be safe and try to keep dry.

  13. buzzfeed:
    A Series Of Suspicious Money
    Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting
    Investigators are focused on two bursts of banking activity — one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election.
    The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower has become one of the most famous gatherings in American political history: a flashpoint for allegations of collusion, the subject of shifting explanations by the president and his son, countless hair-on-fire tweets, and boundless speculation by the press.
    But secret documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal a previously undisclosed aspect of the meeting: a complex web of financial transactions among some of the planners and participants who moved money from Russia and Switzerland to the British Virgin Islands, Bangkok, and a small office park in New Jersey.
    The documents show Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, at the center of this vast network and how he used accounts overseas to filter money to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the Trump Tower meeting. The records also offer new insight into the murky financial world inhabited by many of Trump’s associates, who use shell companies and secret bank accounts to quickly and quietly move money across the globe.

    Now, four federal law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News, investigators are focused on two bursts of transactions that bank examiners deemed suspicious: one a short time after the meeting and another immediately after the November 2016 presidential election.
    The first set came just 11 days after the June 9 meeting, when an offshore company controlled by Agalarov wired more than $19.5 million to his account at a bank in New York.
    The second flurry began shortly after Trump was elected. The Agalarov family started sending what would amount to $1.2 million from their bank in Russia to an account in New Jersey controlled by the billionaire’s son, pop singer Emin Agalarov, and two of his friends. The account had been virtually dormant since the summer of 2015, according to records reviewed by BuzzFeed News, and bankers found it strange that activity in Emin Agalarov’s checking account surged after Trump’s victory.
    After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting. Kaveladze’s company, meanwhile, had long funded a music business set up by the person who first proposed the meeting to the Trump camp, Emin Agalarov’s brash British publicist, Rob Goldstone.

    The transactions came to light after law enforcement officials instructed financial institutions in mid-2017 to go back through their records to look for suspicious behavior by people connected to the broader Trump-Russia investigation. The bankers filed “suspicious activity reports” to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which in turn shared them with the FBI, the IRS, congressional committees investigating Russian interference, and members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
    Suspicious activity reports are not evidence of wrongdoing, but they can provide clues to investigators looking into possible money laundering, tax evasion, or other misconduct. In the case of the Agalarovs and their associates, bankers raised red flags about the transactions but were unable to definitively say how the funds were used.

  14. the guardian:
    Stormy Daniels intends to tell all.
    The pornographic actor who alleges she had a brief affair with Donald Trump will publish a memoir titled Full Disclosure next month, she said Wednesday.
    “It will blow your minds,” Daniels said during an appearance on ABC’s The View talkshow.
    Daniels’ publisher says her memoir will contain “everything about how she came to be a leading actress and director in the adult film business, the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage, and the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her”.
    After Trump became president, Daniels launched a national tour of guest appearances at strip clubs branded as “Make America horny again”.

  15. wapo:  Trump issues new order authorizing additional sanctions for interfering in upcoming U.S. elections
    President Trump issued a new order Wednesday authorizing additional sanctions against countries or individuals for interfering in upcoming U.S. elections, but lawmakers of both parties immediately said the effort does not go far enough.
    The order would allow Trump to sanction foreigners who interfere in the midterm elections to be held in less than two months. It covers overt efforts to meddle in election infrastructure, such as vote counts, as well as “propaganda” and other attempts to influence voting from abroad, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told reporters.
    The harshest sanctions outlined in the order would be up to the president’s discretion.
    “This is intended to be a very broad effort to prevent foreign manipulation of the political process,” national security adviser John Bolton said during a briefing Wednesday.
    As The Washington Post first reported in August, the order appears to be an effort to stave off bipartisan legislation that would mandate tough federal action.
    Bolton said criticism that Trump had been too deferential to Russia or blinkered in his view of Russian election interference played “zero” role in the new action.
    Trump has repeatedly said he wants to combat foreign interference, Bolton said, and the United States has already sanctioned Russian individuals and entities.
    “I think his actions speak for themselves,” Bolton said.

    Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) immediately issued a joint statement calling the White House effort insufficient and calling on Congress to pass tougher legislation now.

    “Today’s announcement by the Administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it,” they wrote. “The United States can and must do more,” such as the mandatory sanctions attached to legislation they proposed, the senators wrote. “We must make sure Vladimir Putin’s Russia, or any other foreign actor, understands that we will respond decisively and impose punishing consequences against those who interfere in our democracy.”




  16. Glenn Kessler at the WaPo Fact Checker finds that in two of IMPOTS’ last rallies, over 70% of his claims – all of his claims in those rallies – were false.

    More than two-thirds of every factual claim made by President Trump at two of his rallies turns out to be false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.

    In July, The Fact Checker examined every factual claim made by the president at a rally in Montana. He returned to Montana on Sept. 6, and we decided once again to put every statement of material fact to the truth test to see whether the July rally was an outlier.

    In July, 76 percent of his 98 statements were false, misleading or unsupported by the evidence. Last week the tally, out of 88 statements, was 68 percent. The average percentage for the two rallies was 72 percent.

    What you get when morons elect an idiot to run the country.

  17. keeping to the thread theme – not the best rendering or up to Seeger, Guthrie and Gilbert version, but the artwork is nifty

  18. Hurricanes are “tremendously (blank)” according to Dumb Donald.  MatchGame 2018.  Wet.  Tremendously wet.

  19. Looks like Flo is going to do a wet and wild wash job to the Carolina’s and Georgia.  Important to watch the projected rain path.  It is still going to cover a lot of the territory of the eastern third of the U.S.

  20. Trump’s morning tweet rant…

    “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”

  21. and more…


    “…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico”

  22. That tweet (Tweets?) shows teh perfect justification fo rthe IMPOTUS and SFB designations.  He’s both in this topic.

  23. So, which of his golf courses are at risk? How many sandbags will his soldiers need to fill to protect his greens?

  24. From WaPo:

    An estimated 3,000 people died after the devastating Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year. Large swaths of the island were without power for months. FEMA was short thousands of workers and underestimated how much food and supplies were needed in the recovery, according to a federal government report.

    But in the eyes of President Trump, the government’s response was a raging success — and one he touted this week as a monstrous hurricane pinwheeled toward the Carolinas.

    “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan),” he wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

    It’s a frequent tactic of the president — elevate a widely perceived failure or mistake and defend it as a great triumph while attacking his critics. His detractors say it is shameless and sometimes comical gaslighting; supporters say he is just a master marketer who uses hyperbole and always shows strength.

    God!  IMPOTUS/SFB.

  25. OMG, Craig… those tweets say the prez has finally gone over the edge!  It won’t be long now before he starts howling at the moon.

  26. Let’s see how long the big, orange putz lasts with no clean water, mosquito swarms, no power, no food, no meds.   The idiot doesn’t understand that the impact doesn’t stop when it stops raining. God, what a douche!

  27. Wow, he’s not even trying to hide the racism a tiny bit saying that those darned, not-quite-white-enough people in PR didn’t appreciate the help.  They needed (and still need) more help.

    PS – Houston has not recovered, either.

  28. I got that image wedged into my brain as a result of reading 5 books in a row by Colleen McCullough about late republic/early empire Rome.  She really took it to the barn with that particular part of  that particular part of the story.


    as for who’s Sulla……

  29. Under SFB’s PR casualty theory, if applied to a nuclear accident, people who died from radiations sickness days, weeks and months after the accident shouldn’t count as victims of the accident. The standard for exactly how stupid one man can possibly be continues to rise and rise and rise.

  30. Times may come and go, not following any particular script, but a stroked-out and drooling old man with power of the sword is the same in any age.

  31. Don’t forget folks, I need specifics to investigate any trouble you’re having with the site. Also helps to know which browser, operating system (Windows, Apple, mobile or desktop etc).

  32. Apple had me blocked this morning, too, but it always corrects itself.  (Think of it as a test in persistence.).  It was slow on many websites, so I think it was my carrier or Apple, not the trail.

  33. It looks like I just need to get a new Apple Watch with built in EKG and detect-a-fall and fire all the doctors.

  34. wonder if the patten testimony to senate intel comm (among other things like the 8 guilty verdicts) is why the latest plea deal is being sought.

    cbs news:
    The Senate voted tonight to authorize the Senate Intelligence committee to release a transcript of the committee’s interview with W. Samuel Patten. Patten, an associate of Manafort‘s, had pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register as a foreign agent.
    The prosecution in the special counsel’s case against Manafort in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia requested a copy of the interview with Patten conducted by the Committee.  Patten was charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agents for Ukranians.
    Patten was a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a man U.S. authorities said has ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik worked closely with Manafort, who was found guilty last month of eight financial counts. Kilimnik also is a co-defendant in a pending case against Manafort in Washington that accuses them both of witness tampering.



    abc news:

    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been in ongoing negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office over a potential plea agreement, sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC News.
    The discussions, which have picked up steam in the last several weeks, come ahead of Manafort’s second trial, which is slated to begin later this month in federal court in Washington, D.C.
    Sources tell ABC News that Mueller’s office is seeking cooperation from Manafort for information related to President Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign. Manafort, however, is resisting and his team is pushing prosecutors for a plea agreement that does not include cooperation, at least as related to the president, sources said.

  35. vanity fair:
    “Trump Believes There’s a Coup”: Freaked by the Times Op-Ed, the President Is Seeing Enemies Everywhere
    With Anonymous still on the loose and the “administrative state” unchecked, the last person Trump trusts is Stephen Miller.

    But Trump’s anger over Woodward’s book is dwarfed by his continuing fixation on the anonymous New York Times op-ed. Sources told me Trump is “obsessed,” “lathered,” and “freaked out” that the leaker is still in his midst. His son Don Jr. has told people he’s worried Trump isn’t sleeping because of it, a source said. Meetings have been derailed by Trump’s suspicion. “If you look at him the wrong way, he’ll spend the next hour thinking you wrote it,” a Republican close to the White House said. Much of what’s fueling Trump’s paranoia is that he has no clear way to identify the author. One adviser said Trump has instructed aides to call the anonymous author a “coward” in public to shame him or her. “He’s going to continue to shame this person,” a person close to Trump said. “The author will break under pressure or will eventually say, ‘fuck it, it’s me.’” Plans to administer polygraph tests to staff have seemingly died. “Nobody knows who it is,” a former official said.
    Besides family, one of the only people Trump continues to trust is Stephen Miller. “The op-ed has validated Miller’s view, which was also Steve Bannon’s, that there’s an ‘administrative state’ out to get Trump,” a Republican close to the White House said. “There is a coup, and it’s not slow-rolling or concealed,” Bannon told me. “Trump believes there’s a coup,” a person familiar with his thinking said. Trump’s relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, which was already strained, has become almost nonexistent, a former official said.

  36. hey pogo!  better not turn your back on your computer…

    the guardian:  Are robots coming for your lawyer?

    There’s a lot of attention being paid to how artificial intelligence technology will potentially replace many low-paid, low-level, unskilled jobs like retail clerks, customer service agents and factory workers. But now a startup is taking aim at a different kind of industry – one with highly skilled, highly paid professionals: law firms.


  37. Poobah, happy to contribute info.

    patd,  we’re already seeing the creeping of AI into retail – Sam’s Kroger, Target and Walmart are all using self-checkout, but in fairness, Walmart’s isn’t quite as intelligent as it needs to be.  I’ll be interested in seeing  to what extent AI moves into the legal field.  Not exactly sure how that will work. Plenty of people in Family Law act as their own lawyers – and god knows most of them could benefit from using some AI platforms.  AS it is they create all sorts of messes that they come to us a year, 2 or 3 later (or in one case 19 years later) to try and get their screwups straightened out.  And let me tell you it’s a whole lot easier to to unfuckup something on the front end than it is on the back end.

  38. HAAH!! Patd, “Read the link, dumbass,” you might have said. Transactional work for startups seeking funding sources.  I don’t do that, but from what I know of it, it can be absolutely mind numbing.

  39. wonder if the twit’s congressional supporters ever consider the fact that only 24% of eligible voters voted for trump.

    not much of a mandate.   and if they are weighing the consequences of continual chaos, my bet is that after kavenaugh is  confirmed, they will begin to turn on trump and convince him to resign.  they will be able to face their conservative donors with the fulfillment of another anti-choice judge on the bench, regulatory gutting and big tax cuts…so who needs him anymore to make their case?

  40. FWIW, I’ve had no persistent problems on the Trail. I use a variety of computers, all using the latest iterations of Win10 and Firefox. I use high speed connections allowing the software to configure things. I refrain from tweaking.

  41. Do I read this right ? That Hillary created a murderous her-icane to make the anti-christ look bad ?

    Did I actually read that ?

  42. abc news:  Paul Manafort and special counsel reach tentative plea deal: Sources


    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC News.

    The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions..
    Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
    ABC News spotted the team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.

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