Strange Untruths

We thought we’d been numbed to the outlandishness of Donald Trump’s fabrications. They came at such a frequency over the past 16 or so months that most of the utterances the mentally unraveling president has made were consigned to the junk inbox of our minds. Sometimes, though, there are truth-deficient boasts so divorced from the world the rest of us live in we can’t help but take a perverse pleasure in their extravagance.

“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news — it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

[T]he U.S. hasn’t experienced a fatal crash by a passenger jet since February 2009, making it impossible for Trump’s policies to have caused the number of deaths to drop any lower.

Barring his removal from office, we have to wonder where this ends. Will he claim he singlehandedly wrote the Declaration of Independence? That he discovered fire and invented the wheel? That crime has fallen consistently since the first season of The Apprentice?

Will his strange untruths (or delusions) lead him to claim “I didn’t even take credit for leading Seal Team Six in the daring raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, even though I could have. That’s just the kind of humble guy I am. It’s why I wrote the hit single ‘Humble’ and let Kendrick Lamar rap it.”?

We’ll know soon enough.

(Year Zero/Day Three Hundred and Fourty-Seven)

In Like Flynn

Are we supposed to greet news of Gen. Michael Flynn’s flip with rapture? And a flip it is,

as WTFJHP succinctly summarized:

Flynn promised “full cooperation” with Mueller’s investigation and is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has a sterling reputation, and he’s no stranger to organized crime cases (See how he flipped Sammy “The Bull” Gravano over at Hive). There are those who met the latest twist in the Russiagate saga with relief. Soon it will all be over. I think not.

It’s not not Mueller’s skills I question, it’s the assumption that Trump can be taken down through cut and dry legal means. This would only work in a fantasy United States where democratic norms are still adhered to.

Since he inflicted L’affaire Comey on himself, the president has entertained firing Mueller, pressured members of his own party to cut Congressional investigations into his campaign’s collusion with Russia, and floated the potential pardon of guilty parties, perhaps even himself. His political understanding goes as far as yearning for pure authoritarianism. He has the power to stoke the lizard brains of his (fascism-craving, white rage-filled) followers into a frenzy. Does that sound like the kind of politician who plans to go quietly?

(Year Zero/Day Three Hundred and Sixteen)

Three Hundred

Q: How many days into Trump’s term in office did it take for Democrats to introduce articles of impeachment?

A: Three hundred, not that it has a snowball’s chance of doing anything other than stalling in the House. It’s the thought that counts, I guess? Except the next thought must invariably be President Mike Pence?

(Year Zero/Day Three Hundred)

The Darkest Timeline

Fans of Dan Harmon’s pre-Rick and Morty joint Community have spent a lot of the past year referring to the events unfolding as “the darkest timeline”; that is, the timeline where the confluence of random events has led to the most disasterous outcome.

Though an entertaining proposition to explain these benighted times, I didn’t take it seriously until today, when

In an extraordinary — albeit veiled — attack, former President George W. Bush delivered a scathing assessment Thursday of President Trump and his policies, suggesting he has promoted bigotry and falsehoods to the detriment of the country and its values.

Speaking at a policy seminar in New York, the nation’s 43rd president never mentioned Trump by name. But his target was unmistakable.

“We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”

“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” he said at another point. “The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”

George W. Bush is a voice of reason against Trump? Dubya, the war criminal who destabilized not only Iraq but much of the Middle East? Dubya, the buffoon whose criminal negligence was response for the severity of the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian crisis (remember how nearly two thousand New Orleans residents [often poor, often black] died?). Yeah, that guy. If this is the darkest timeline, surely Bush the Sequel is the grinning troll.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Seventy-Three)