The Talking Dog

December 3, 2016, National Treasures

Item: Perhaps auditioning for the reality show/game show: Who wants not to be a cabinet secretary, putative Veterans Affairs Secretary candidate Sarah Palin pours Alaska-cold cold water on her chances by suggesting that the much-touted-by-Trump taxpayer bailout to keep Carrier jobs in Indiana smacks of crony capitalism (her actual post even used the word "socialism.") Good luck, Sarah. As our reigning beat-poet-of-the-far-right, at least I will always think of you as a national treasure, even if that cabinet thing falls through.

Item: Will the Donald's actual stupidity and ignorance save him from a clear diplomatic blunder of a direct communication with the notional leader of Taiwan? Taiwan operates as a de facto independent nation, but both the People's Republic of China and many in Taiwan (including the long-time-ruling Kuomintang party) regard Taiwan as part of one unified China as far as "legal" status, an ambiguous state recognized by the United States since, oh, relations with the mainland normalized in 1979. Taiwan's current ruler (and her party) is more "independence" minded, which has annoyed China and soured cross-Taiwan-Strait relations. Some hard-right Republicans have always questioned the official ambiguity, and are delighted with Trump's move, while others (the people with actual knowledge of actual world conditions) believe this upsets decades of diplomacy. Whether gaffe, "diplomatic incident," or just Donald being Donald, what's good for the Trump Organization is Good for America... good and hard.

Item: Putative Education Secretary (and Amway heiress... and Blackwater honcho Erik Prince's sister) Betsy DeVos suggested (like, a long time ago, so what difference does it make, right?) that her work on education reform is a means to "advance God's kingdom." Or something:

During a 2001 meeting of “The Gathering,” an annual summit for wealthy Christians, Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos were interviewed on stage about their work promoting the use of government funds on private and religious schools. Betsy DeVos likened her work to the battles in the biblical region known as Shephelah, where David and Goliath were said to have fought.

“Our desire is to be in that Shephelah, and to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God’s Kingdom, but not to stay in our own faith territory,” she said.

Item: At least one Trump voter has already realized and publicly acknowledged that she voted to cut her own throat by doing so (congratulations geniuses... it wasn't like a Hillary win would be "good..." this election was about trying to avoid, you know... bad things of heretofore unimaginable proportion... and then some)... in the case of California's Teena Colebrook, this was because she was aggressively abused during a foreclosure by OneWest Bank, run by incoming-Treasury-Secretary (and longtime Goldman Sachs-er) Steve Mnuchin... she now says she wishes she hadn't voted. Well, it should be some solace to Ms. Colebrook that, as a Californian, her vote never matters anyway.

Ms. Colebrook had to leave the Los Angeles area and now lives with her boyfriend in much smaller San Luis Obispo, CA, where she volunteers at a homeless shelter (acknowledging that she might have ended up there.) I don't know... what did you think would happen when you knowingly voted for a con-man, Ms. Colebrook? This is a con-man whose supporters now tell us that his compulsive lying streak (actually, some say that, as a bullshit artist, he's even worse than a liar) has led his close surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes to suggest that "There's no such thing anymore, unfortunately, as facts".

Maybe those of us in the elite coastal bubbles of the I-95 and I-5 corridors should acknowledge that, while many of us lead prosperous jet-setting lives, much of the interior of this country is severely hurting, and a campaign fought on personalities (while writing off those same hurting people as racist, bigoted, misogynistic and ignorant... Brexit anyone?) would lead to... well... exactly where we are? At least Chris Cilizza of WaPo thinks the Trump cabinet picks are sorta good news...

This has been... National Treasures. Enjoy the weekend. I hear winter is coming.