Trump l’oeil Art of the Con

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Wiki tells us that Trompe-l’oeil (French for “deceive the eye” — pronounced trômp ˈloi) is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.

Just after the election, an astute writer wrote this in a letter to The Star:

… we have the political version of a trompe-l’oeil painting, in which objects offer the illusion of three-dimensionality. The textures of Clinton’s fictional criminality – even monstrosity – were ultimately rendered more prominent than her opponent’s actual racism and sexism. Sadly, a rational, qualified and progressive candidate was obscured in this Trump-l’oeil. (Kirsten Munro, Toronto)

More to the point in general, the hopenchange blog also equated the new president with the art technique:

The idea is to create a nearly 3-dimensional illusion of grandeur, when the reality is that the decorative urn, Greek columns, or window looking onto a magnificent Mediterranean vista is only the depth of a coat of paint. And that’s where we’re at right now with Trump L’oeil – trying to separate the illusion from the reality.

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I haue plied the Haruest, and stroke when the Yron was hotte.

“Strike while the iron is hot” — This expression is recorded in Richard Edwards’ The excellent comedie of two the moste faithfullest freendes, Damon and Pithias (circa 1566).

By Dvitale300, a Trail Mix Contributor

As I watch this ‘debacle’ — the American Healthcare Act — move through the House like a pig that has been slathered in grease, as the AMA, AHA, AARP oppose the legislation (haven’t heard from the NRA yet), it is often advantageous in understanding WTHIGOH to examine motive.

With that in mind:

Motive #1:  This is a dodge, a scam – an effort to draw attention away from the Trump administration’s liabilities with ties to Russia. (Covering Trump’s behind)

Motive #2:  This is a dodge, a scam – an effort by Republicans to kill any chance of the promised Obamacare repeal; so that Republicans won’t have to deal with the millions of pissed off voters that will lose coverage or even health care. (Covering their own behinds)

Motive #3:  This is an honest attempt to reform/improve Obamacare while taking credit for killing it at the same time. (Staying in office – Covering their own behinds)

Motive #4:  This is an honest attempt to stop freeloading loser Americans from suckling at the teet of the government (you know – get off of their bootstraps), while at the same time funneling billions of dollars to the top 1% of the public. (Paying the rich back for their support)

What say ye?  1, 2, 3, 4 – or perhaps there’s another motive I haven’t listed.

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By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

I have had the opportunity this past week to drive around to hearings in other counties and have spent a considerable amount of time listening to talk radio. I have to admit I’ve listened to about two minutes of Fox, and the rest of it was pretty much MSNBC with a little sprinkling of Progress radio, all on Sirius XM. And of course, my opening salvo of the day is the Washington Post, where I check back periodically during the day,and a few minutes (if I can stand it) of Morning Joe.

So what’s all this lead me to? It leads me to the acronym posted at the top of this post. What The Hell Is Going On Here? I frankly can’t make sense of it any longer. What have we heard this week?

– A healthcare insurance plan that will likely lead to the loss of more people having insurance than Obamacare added to the insurance rolls. A plan that Lyin’ Paul Ryan is trying to pass through Congress within a week without the CBO score and without any real debate – by the party who complained that Obamacare was rammed down their throat after nine months of debate.

– We have Trump surrogates admitting that they met with the Russian ambassador. I think the count’s up to about 10 now.

– We have drrumpf’s past national security advisor nominee Michael Flynn registering as a foreign agent, because he took money -$500,000 – from Turkey while he was campaigning for drumpf.

– We have Trump proposing to cut the budgets of the Coast Guard TSA and FEMA in order to finance a meaningless border wall.

Frankly, it’s exhausting.

But this being a conversation starter, I’m sure there are also other things that all of you have paid attention to not listed above. Feel free to chime in.

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How Trump’s Recklessness Could Empower The Constitution

Searching for the good in Donald Trump’s irresponsible governance there is the chance that we get the presidency back to its proper constitutional limits.

Powerful, effective and popular presidents, for all the good they might have done, also burst through the barriers intentionally put in place by the nation’s founders. There’s a reason they almost entitled the job simply “Magistrate in Chief.” It was only out of respect for George Washington that they gave it a loftier name, if not the tools to match it.

Perhaps a butt-head in office will give rise to rival institutions, the courts, Congress, and yes, even the media. Already we’ve seen a handful of liberal judges out West trim the sails of his ignorant xenophobia (although that fight is long from over).

The news estate seems to be taking up Trump’s challenge, at least no longer shying away from calling him a liar. That’s a start.

But can a Republican-controlled Congress stand up to him? Against his will they are inching forward with probes into Russia’s possible entanglements with his campaign. It was also noteworthy that, unlike what might have happened with a legitimate leader accusing the intelligence community of breaking the law, GOP leaders (and just about anyone else who matters) mostly dismissed his latest conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration wiretapped him.

Trump is trying to build on past presidential usurpations of power with executive orders. But, as in the travel ban, he’s going about it in such a ham-fisted way that in the end the courts might better define the constitutional limits of this much-abused authority.

The best and brightest results might come if and when Trump commits troops somewhere without a declaration of war. A disrespected president, especially among his own party’s lawmakers, might just give Congress the will to reclaim its voluntarily abandoned war powers.

What Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that the presidency really isn’t like running his own company, a thinly-veiled dictatorship. Past over-reaching has moved it in that direction, but the truth is that the job’s actual constitutional powers are technically quite limited. Meaning that the nation tends to only allow questionable expansions of presidential powers based upon an intangible authority rooted in widespread popularity and earned trust.

Trump has neither. Which could be a good thing, if you believe in putting the presidency back into its constitutional box.

[Cross-posted via The Huffington Post]