A Game Of Chance

Recall, if you will, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Not the crowds as small as his hands or the deranged “American Carnage” speech, but how many well-meaning people, many of them liberal, took to social media to admonish the opposition to “Respect the office of the presidency”, “If he fails, America fails” and “Give Trump a chance.”

It was the spark that set off our powder keg.

Most famously, comedian Dave Chappelle urged America to keep an open mind when he hosted the first Saturday Night Live following the election.

A lot has happened since Election Day. One wonders if Dave Chappelle still stands by what he said in those punch-drunk days of 2016.

Six months later, Chappelle is taking it back. During his set at the Robin Hood Gala in New York on Monday, he offered up an apology for those choice words during his monologue, according to NBC’s Willie Geist, who was in the audience. “I was the first guy on TV to say ‘Give Trump a chance,’” he told the crowd. “I f—ed up. Sorry.”

Whether or not he deserved it or not, Donald Trump was given the benefit of the doubt. As Chappell discovered, when you play a game of chance, the odds tend not to be in your favor.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Seventeen)

Daily Melange

I can’t stop thinking about Sean Spicer.

America’s newest patron saint of live-televised fuck-ups elevated his game to historic levels this week.

After incorrectly saying that Hitler did not use chemical weapons in WWII, President Trump’s thumb-headed mouth piece referred to a concentration camp as a “Holocaust center.”

I’ve wondered about the actual intelligence level of Spicer for some time now.

I get it.

Not everyone in the Trump Administration is stupid, but surely that doesn’t disqualify Spicer from being a few fries short of a happy meal.

This is a guy who’s used the height of two separate stacks of paper as a core talking point.

Remember his first interaction with the press?

It’s gotten to the point where one can easily argue that Spicer at the very least is grossly incompetent.

And I don’t want to hear about him being a diversion. Likening concentration camps to giant Nazi Targets with “Holocaust Center” in block letters emblazoned on the front of the building is so laughably absurd that I literally had to make sure I was not tripping acid before accepting what he said as reality.

Personally, I think Trump has kept Spicer around to appease GOP brass and not look weak by firing his administration’s senior media White House official.

There’s also the possibility that Spicey’s clung to the gig so long because his gaffes are distractive explosions across all platforms of media.

Remember when Neil Gorsuch was sworn in to the Supreme Court?

Will this outrage override the revelations regarding Paul Manafort?

Regardless, I think if you have to call Sheldon Adelson and try to apologize to the entire Jewish people, you are probably going to be fired.

My guess is Trump gives him the axe within the next week.

Heads are already rolling and you might as well cut ties and distance yourself from a guy who you already are concerned looks too much like Melissa McCarthy anyway.

I will miss those sketches though.

Then again, the spice must flow.

 

It Gets Weirder

Either the president is really that paranoid (his political style certainly is paranoid, and instead of cynical manipulation of the electorate it could be an organic extension of his personality);

OR

Donald Trump is asking for a formal congressional inquiry into Barack Obama’s alleged wiretapping, which he would like to have folded into the greater Congressional investigation of the Russia matter, to confuse the issue through theatrical misdirection;

OR

Obama actually did bend the intelligence community to his will, getting them to spy on Trump because he didn’t like him.

The last seems the least likely (given that the Breitbart article which triggered this latest abusive episode against the norms of society strung together disparate ideas into a nonsense theory), but none of these options is comforting in its implications.

(Year Zero/Day Forty-Five)

Three Kids Stacked In A Trench Coat

Yesterday was as bad as you thought it was. Today is terrible. Tomorrow will be worse.

The news zips past you like rural landscape viewed from a high-speed train. Swaths of the population are being targeted by a demagogue with the emotional intelligence of a rock bashing into a human skull.

The Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight.

Take the time to laugh. It may seem unnatural, the humor of the gallows. Doesn’t matter. Laughter has the potential to be empowering against fear; besides, things can be irrevocably fucked and completely absurd at the same time.

Come, join me for a few choked chuckles. From The Washington Post:

“That speech was a home run,” Trump said of his remarks at the CIA, choosing to open his first major TV interview since the inauguration with a baseball analogy. “See what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming. … I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time.”

From The New Republic:

Staff have made sure that the pantries are stocked with his favorite snacks, which the Times reports are Lay’s potato chips and Doritos. It is very clear that Donald Trump, president of the United States, is three kids stacked in a trench coat.

From The New York Times:

Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, distinguished himself with the most adorable distraction: He cradled a Boston terrier puppy, stroking her chin, as he greeted reporters eager to ask about Mr. Trump this week in the basement of the Capitol.

“Her name is Tilly,” he said, before politely shrugging off questions about Mr. Trump.

Still awash in existential terror? How about…

If that didn’t lift your spirits, have a drink or twelve. Booze makes moving dry goods into your bunker feel like less of a chore.

 

(Year Zero/Day Seven)