Trumpageddon

A Vox article came out today that has brought a me a little closer to understanding something that has been rather puzzling until now. I know I’m not the only one to scratch my head while Trump is openly embraced by the likes of Jerry Falwell, or huddled in a circle jerk prayer meeting with elite religious leaders in the Oval Office. Just last Monday Rick Perry came out to praise Trump as “the chosen one” by God, or whatever, and I believe Nikki Haley piled on that particular praise as well. Political opportunism and cynicism aside, just what the fuck is going on here? How can a man who paid off a porn star with whom he had sex with, all while he had a pregnant wife at home, be “the chosen one”? How can a guy who’s first instinct is to lie, even about inconsequential things like inauguration crowd sizes, be the vessel of God’s, or whatever’s, will and not that of Satan, the supposed father of all lies?

Enter Ezra Klein, author of the aforementioned article, “The post-Christian culture wars” to shed a little light on the subject. He paints an image of aging conservatives, and how they view the very real changes that are occurring in this country. Secularism is on the rise, especially amongst the Millennial and Gen Z sets, and conservatives have of course responded by losing their shit. They tend to view this demographical shift as an existential threat to all that they hold dear. And by “all that they hold dear”, I of course refer to the bigotry, racism, homophobia, and general fear of the “other” that pervades conservative thought, and animates them at the polls like nothing else.

First one must understand that just being Christian gives them, in their own eyes at least, a moral authority. Anyone who does not subscribe to that moral authority are going directly to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars. They believe that morality simply does not exist in the absence of religion, and ethics are a strange and foreign language lacking the weight of God, or whatever, handing down the rulebook from on high. Furthermore, they avail themselves of the delusion that secularists are out to get them and ground every last Christian into dust because of their antiquated, bronze age beliefs. They are forever unable to reconcile their holy scripture, the literal word of God, or whatever, with the horrible, bigoted, racist, homophobic, et. al., legislation rendered in the name of that scripture. If it’s comes from the Bible, then it comes from God, or whatever, and is therefore of the highest moral authority. Anyone opposing that legislation is in short the enemy; an opposing force in a war that only they believe is real.

All of which leads us to Trump. Here, they have a man who will do or say anything to further their cause. Here they have a man who is willing to stand up to these subversive progressives, or anyone else whom they believe are gleefully dismantling their cherished, Christian norms and standards. These are people tired of being shamed as bigots, racists, and homophobes, choosing instead to remain oblivious that they are in fact siding with bigots, racists, and homophobes. Now they have someone in the White House who shares their willingness to maintain that delusion, or at least is willing to give that delusion some serious lip service. In Trump, they have a man willing to get his hands bloody so that they can stay above the fray, so to speak. All of this is enshrined in the slogan “Make America Great Again”,  with its implied sense that in their view things have gotten worse over time, and not better. For those of us not living in Trump’s Bizzaro-land universe, we rightly ask, “at what point was America greater than it is now?”, For those of us unconvinced by our own self-righteousness, or lacking faith in the invisible man in the sky theory, the slogan represents an open embrace of all of the evils that were thought to have been overcome since the founding of our republic.

Putting the secularist shift and the rise of Trump into focus here, other things start to fall in place. Viewing the rise of secularism as an existential threat to Christianity enables them to adopt a winner takes all mindset. Things that were once unthinkable, such as supporting a wretched, narcissistic, anti-intellectual fuckwad like Trump and calling him “the chosen one”, are now rationalized away with relative ease. Yes, that’s right. Their paranoid, desperate bid to remain relevant has brought them to the negotiating table, and they made a deal with the devil himself. In this deal, the Christians get to indulge in their delusions that they are not bigots, racists, and homophobes for just a little while longer, and Trump gets the Christian vote.

I do however take a bit of solace, given the self-destructive path that this appears to be leading down. Consider these paragraphs from the article:

The irony of all this is that Christian conservatives are likely hastening the future they most fear. In our conversation, Jones told me about a 2006 survey of 16- to 29-year-olds by the Barna Group, an evangelical polling firm, that asked 16- to 29-year-olds for their top three associations with present-day Christianity. Being “antigay” was first, with 91 percent, followed by “judgmental,” with 87 percent, and “hypocritical,” with 85 percent. Christianity, the Barna Group concluded, has “a branding problem.”

It seems unlikely that that branding problem will be fixed by a tighter alliance with Trump, who polls at 31 percent among millennials and 29 percent among Generation Z. If young people are abandoning Christianity because it seems intolerant, judgmental, and hypocritical — well, intolerant, judgmental, and hypocritical is the core of Trump’s personal brand.

God, or whatever, help them Christians if Trump is their last, great hope at relevancy, because things do not look good going forward.

To conclude, and in the spirit of fellowship, I’m going to dispense some sage advice to my Christian brethren. Stick to the message of love and respect for your fellow man (or woman), and leave all that hateful shit behind. Nobody is trying to go after your religion, but rather the bigoted views that arise from your twisted interpretation of it. If your God, or whatever, is going to punish you for baking a cake for a gay couple, and yet casts a blind eye to kids being separated from their parents and locked in cages, I don’t wanna even know what pure hell that famed kingdom in heaven is going to be like. You don’t need Trump at all, and the sooner you all realize that, the sooner you can get back to the business of passing the offering plate around on Sunday with a reasonable expectation of seeing it come back filled with fat stacks of cash.

R E S P E C T

Hot off the heels of announcing the demise of ISIS leader Al Baghdadi, Trump came out of the White House and attended a baseball game. Far from getting any slack for coming up with a rare and conveniently timely win, he was booed. Videos have been going around all day showing Trump clearly expecting to receive cheers before it slowly dawned on him that quite the opposite was occurring.

My feelings of despair and ennui are gonna be yuge!

Then chants of “Lock him up” began that were apparently in the 100 decibel range, quite loud in other words. Loud enough for him to hear them for sure. And then there were signs all over that fans had unfurled calling for Trump’s impeachment.

I personally am in the, “you reap what you sow” camp on this one. Some seem to feel otherwise, saying in short that we should respect the office of the presidency regardless of who inhabits it. Normally I might feel the same, but these days are anything but normal and nobody disrespects the office of the presidency more than the man who currently inhabits it. This is not the time to sit around revering the office and our fragile republic from afar, this is the time get up close and personal and demand that it be made respectable once again.

Yes, I get that the “lock him up” shit is beyond the pale. I get why we shouldn’t be calling for the politically motivated imprisonment of our political opponents. Pretty much anybody with a brain and sense of history can agree to that wholeheartedly. However, the one man who should know this implicitly clearly doesn’t. It is for him that such things need to be held up like a mirror, so that he can see what it’s like to be in the crosshairs so to speak. He should squirm and feel uncomfortable at the prospect of having his own words spit back at him by a stadium full of outraged constituents.

I don’t harbor any hope whatsoever that such methods will produce anything other than that wonderful sense of schadenfreude that I, and millions of other will get from this. Not because I believe those methods to be in error, but because Trump will never be respectable, or do what a respectable president does without a second thought, which is to listen to any other voice but the massively ill-informed one inside his head.

Owning the Libs.

Many people, some of them with larger brains than I can rightly claim ownership of, have thrashed those mighty intellects collectively against the seemingly impenetrable wall of support Trump enjoys from Conservatives. Notice I did not say Republicans, a subject that I will revisit shortly. I think mostly though, that they have attempted to overcomplicate things in their attempt to explain whatever appeal he has to his hardcore, fanatical base. This group is a third rail in Republican circles; everybody knows it’s there and it’s dangerous, and nobody wants to step on it for fear of getting ousted from office. Hiding from the press in their congressional offices, they look the other way as their RINO president is doing everything he can to systematically destroy this once great republic and reduce it to a banana republic, or worse.

Let’s start with his open admiration for any dictator. As Nancy Pelosi said, all roads lead to Putin with this one. Putin is of course one of the more successful dictators, and you may be saying “But Jaime Christ, he’s elected”. Knowing what we know now, and the manipulations that he engaged in to alter the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, I think it’s safe to surmise that he doesn’t hold free and open elections in high regard, and Russia’s own electoral process that somehow keeps electing Putin is certainly not beyond reproach. His stance against the press is similar to Trump’s continued assault on the US press as the “enemy of the people”. Then there is Duterte, and Kim Jong Un, or Jair Bolsonaro, and pretty much every terrible leader currently in power, all of whom he has praised while simultaneously speaking ill of nearly every leader of the free world. The conservatives who think of themselves as constitutionalists that believe in limited government cannot possibly support this. He’s aligned himself with leaders who enact brutal and deadly crackdowns on their own citizens, and those that would imprison their politcal rivals, and he’s squandered whatever international respect we had left as defenders of liberty.

Then there are Christian Conservatives, who spent 8 years decrying Bill Clinton’s well known infidelity. He lied on the stand to cover up his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and the Republicans in Congress impeached him for it. Now we have a president who is not only unfaithful to his wife, his third one no less, but pays off the women he’s having affairs with to buy their silence during an election. Oh, and he lies to our collective faces about it, even though he’s been recorded having a conversation discussing the payoff to Stormy Daniels. But I suppose it’s more important to refuse service to gay people, and to force rape victims to birth their rape babies, then to expect the POTUS to uphold even the thinnest veneer of respectability, honesty, and loyalty to someone other than himself.

Then there are the cowards in Congress who dare not stand up to him, choosing instead to kiss the ring of the would-be king for fear that by doing the right thing, they may get voted out of office. They know, without a doubt, that this guy is a wrecking ball wholly unfit for any role in public service, and yet they will not only stand idly by, but defend things that just 3 short years ago would have been unthinkable to hear out of a Republican’s mouth. Furthermore, a wave of Republicans are retiring, choosing instead to betray their oaths of office and run away from the fight with their tails between their legs. I have little respect for those who stick their necks out to criticize Trump when they’re forfeiting whatever skin they had in the game before doing so.

Again, these are observations that many other people have already made, and continue to scratch their heads over. Conservatives as a voting block support Republicans by and large, yet it’s obvious that Trump is not, nor was he ever a conservative. Neither is he a Republican, a distinction the was clearly demonstrated recently with his sudden pullout of Syria, which finally earned Trump a rare Republican rebuke after three… fucking.. years of this bullshit presidency. There is however one thing that the big brained talking heads continue to ignore.

There is one thing that I see Trump supporters try to do over and over again that I believe is the one defining trait that really matters to them, and that’s a concept called “owning the libs”. They don’t care about policy. They don’t care about debating the issues, or what the facts are surrounding a given issue. They don’t care about what’s lawful or constitutional. They don’t even care about the truth or basing policy on factual information. If you’ve ever seen a hardcore Trump supporter attempt to engage in a debate, they quickly find themselves out of their depth and resort to personal attacks the moment they back themselves into a rhetorical corner. Their idea of winning a debate is speaking louder than everyone else, and lobbing more personal insults that have nothing to do with the subject being debated than their opponent. It’s not about listening to the other side and responding, because that’s all just fake news and deep state propaganda that can just be ignored. This is why the facts just simply do not matter to them. To them, getting in “sick burns” and shutting down the debate before it begins are the objectives. They care more about winning simply to see the other side lose, than for taking any supposed high ground morally or intellectually.

So how do the Libs combat this? Let us consider what it is that Trump, and by proxy his supporters, crave the most: attention. Stop the press gaggle that forms every time he gets on a plane or helicopter. Stop pointing a camera at him simply to get the next stupid sound bite to get outraged over. Whatever he says in most cases if literally irrelevant, and he should therefore be treated as irrelevant. The press has unwittingly become an accomplice to the daily Trump outrage machine, and it needs to end. Force him to seek out the press to get his message out, not the other way around. Most of all though, I would like the press to be more aggressive in painting him as the liar he is. Don’t just point out that what he is saying is incorrect, call him out for lying. Finally, when he’s attacking a member of the press, stand up and be counted by supporting your fellows and protesting such treatment, rather than letting that individual twist in the wind. Otherwise, Trump is gonna continue to walk all over you guys and his base will only ever see just another case of Trump “owning the libs”.

Lebron James, Son of Heaven.

I should preface this by saying I’m not much of a sports fan. It’s not that I don’t understand sports, or haven’t been entertained by a sporting event. I do on occasion attend sporting events and tend to root for the local teams. Mostly though, I drink and eat massively overpriced beverages and foods, and the game is background to those activities for the most part. That being said, I have held the opinion in the past, and have even vocalized said opinion to my friends, that sports is the downfall of society.

This idea sprang up in my mind during the OJ murder trials. The image that was fixed in my head was of the Heisman Trophy, but with a knife where the football should be and a bloody, if ill-fitting glove, on the outstretched hand. The hero worship and adulation that players receive is wholly misplaced, and it has been a recurring theme to see them fall from grace in a most spectacular fashion. I’ve often felt that if people dedicated as much time, effort, and money as they do on sports to more worthwhile endeavors, that the world just might be better off for it.

All of which brings us to the latest “scandal” involving the NBA, and what its most famous player hailing from my home state said about it. For those who haven’t been paying attention to this, it started when one of the coaches tweeted support for the protesters in Hong Kong. For those keeping score, that’s a tweet supporting democracy, free speech, and all that protesting an oppressive, dictatorial, civil rights abusing, single party government entails. He was immediately admonished by Chinese officials and the tweet was quickly taken down. The NBA, for its part, has largely sat on the fence hemming and hawing with much wringing of hands, and while they haven’t exactly punished the coach, they haven’t defended him either. This all resulted in a backlash in China, resulting mostly in the Chinese pulling vast amounts of money out of the NBA, and millions of deluded Chinese fans lapping up the official party line and expressing outrage. With that as backdrop then, we have Lebon James, the prodigal son of Cleveland chiming in with this:

“I think when we all sit back and learn from the situation that happened, understand that what you could tweet or could say could affect people. We all talk about this freedom of speech. Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, and you’re only thinking about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke, and so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say, and what we do. Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”

It’s ironic that he would cite education or the lack thereof, or try to even pretend that this isn’t purely about money. This, from a guy who tried to quit high school to get into the NBA earlier. If he was so invested in education, or at least being in a position where he could legitimately call out a lack of education in others, perhaps he should have sought a college education rather than money and fame. If he truly cared about others emotionally and spiritually, he would have stayed in Cleveland rather than leaving to pursue even more money and fame. It just rings hollow in my ears, especially when he turns around and denounces free speech as negative and harmful, choosing instead to come down on the side of money and pandering in Chinese propaganda.

Being an Ohioan, what I’m about to say might be considered blasphemous, but it must be said nonetheless. Fuck Lebron James. Yes, that’s right. I said FUCK Lebron James. I mean really? Physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Supporting democracy with a tweet is harmful physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Who does this guy think he’s kidding. Who’s thinking only of themselves and their bank account now? So I say again, fuck Lebon James. Not only for spewing ignorant nonsense to justify being in the pocket of the Chinese, but for making me agree with the likes of Laura Ingraham when she said to Lebron, “shut up and dribble”.

 

Blind justice, or blinded justice?

There’s been a lot of noise coming from the Republicans lately about what they deem as the unfair treatment of Kavanaugh. It’s all a bunch of bullshit really. All one needs to do is look back over the 8 years that Obama was in office to see that, particularly with how they treated Obama’s last nominee, Merrick Garland. They refused to even hold a hearing, much less a vote, for nearly a year as the clock ran out on Obama’s second term. How fair was that? If you think that Garland was treated fairly, yet rant and rave that Kavanaugh’s treatment has been unfair, you’re not really being totally honest.

Republican’s can point fingers all they want, but they have nobody else but themselves to blame for this. They did everything they could to obstruct each and every one of Obama’s judicial appointments. So much so, that the Democrats were forced to remove the 60 vote filibuster threshold in order to get any judicial appointments through the Senate. What were the Republicans doing instead? What was the most constructive thing that they could come up with to do with their time while Obama was in office? How about attempting to repeal the ACA over 70 times, knowing full well that Obama would veto it each and every time.

Fast forward to the present, after McConnell completed the dismantling of the filibuster by removed the 60 vote threshold for SCOTUS nominees. Among the consequences of that Senate rule change was to transform the confirmation hearings into a highly partisan farce. Democrats, left with few other options to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation, resorted to assaulting Kavanaugh’s character by dredging up decades old sexual assault allegations. Republicans, faced with what they called “credible” accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, continued the farce by relenting to demands for an additional FBI investigation into the matter. I say farce, because the FBI was clearly directed to not look too deeply into the allegations, as the Trump administration establishing guardrails that would all but guarantee an outcome in their favor.

I don’t see any corroborating testimony. Do you see any corroborating testimony?

If anything, this whole debacle has exposed how little the truth really matters anymore. We have a president who lies daily, and I’m not talking about simply mistaking the facts or getting them confused. He is literally attempting to mislead the American public on a daily basis. So much so, that his lawyers are absolutely terrified of Trump being interviewed by Mueller because they know the inevitable result is that he would perjure himself. Fittingly, we now have a nominee for The SCOTUS who was caught lying during his hearing, and who also expressed a clear political bias, in a fit of anger no less.

Remember, these are the same people who were so fired up about Clinton lying on the stand, and more directly to American’s in general, that they launched an expensive and lengthy investigation that culminated in a failed impeachment attempt. Keep in mind how the Republican’s lost their fucking minds over calls for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s sexual conduct. This is Kavanaugh we’re talking about; the very same guy who proposed to purposely embarrass Clinton and aggressivley assault his character by asking lots of pointless questions about his sexual encounters with Lewinsky. It is no wonder then that Kavanaugh would attempt to paint the Democrats as seeking revenge for how he treated Clinton since it’s obvious that’s what he would do, given what we know about his work as deputy to independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

The Devil’s Triangle?

All that is to say, in Kavanaugh’s own words even, that “what goes around, comes around”. It’s telling that he would even say such a thing, and it’s clearly something that will guide his decisions on the bench of The Supreme Court for decades to come. He’s been a partisan hack his entire life, having worked on Ken Starr’s independent investigation, and in the junior Bush’s administration where he helped craft their quasi-legal justifications for torture. He’s kissed all the right asses along the way to get where he is now, and I’m still as certain as I was last week that his life’s ambitions will be realized over the weekend, truth, justice, and integrity be damned.

Boys will be boys.

No matter which side of the aisle you lean on, it’s suspicious timing for the Democrats to drop 11th hour sexual assault allegations like this. That being said, I’d like to point out that Senator McConnell is now very much reaping what he has sown. Merrick Garland wasn’t even given so much as a meeting for 10 months. If they had been in as much of a hurry to fill a Supreme Court vacancy back then, we wouldn’t be watching this trainwreck unfolding before our eyes.

I remember the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings back in 1991, and I can tell you that little has changed since then. Now I know what you’re thinking dear non-existent reader, “but Jaime Christ, we didn’t have a Me Too movement back then”. While that is true, I’d argue that such a point is moot. Considering that Judge Kavanaugh is still likely to be confirmed this Friday, and old white guys still appear to have the same mindset as they did 27 years ago… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Would you fuck me? I’d fuck me.

Okay, that’s not exactly honest. There is one difference that I would like to point out. His defenders it seems, rather than accuse Kavanaugh’s accusers of lying, or just going the easier route of claiming not to believe their stories, have chosen an even more heinous defense. I’ll dub it the “If True” defense. Basically, it is an attempt to minimize the alleged attacks, and it goes something along these lines: If these allegations are true, it still doesn’t fucking matter.

But rather than launch into a lengthy explanation, let’s go straight to the source. This is Kevin Cramer, Republican Rep. from N.D., who’s comments encapsulate the “If True” defense quite perfectly:

“These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement. They were drunk. Nothing evidently happened in it all, even by her own accusation. Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere”

First, he’s making the defense that all involved were drunk teenagers, (even though Blasey claims to have had only 1 beer that evening), and we all know that teenagers can’t hold their liquor and therefore cannot be held responsible for their actions while under the influence. As if that wasn’t enough, he also attempts to minimize the attack by calling it an attempt that never went anywhere. He’s actually stating a position that since they were drunk minors, and no penile penetration occurred in any of the victim’s orifices, that none of it really matters and we should all just move along and let Kavanaugh ascend to the highest court in the land, posthaste.

Then there was our illustrious Commander in Chief, with his patently thoughtless and ill informed opinions, when he assured the American people that if it were a real assault someone would have called the police already. Never mind that an estimated 80% of all rapes go unreported. Even more entertaining was Brett’s buddy Ed Whelan who spun a wild yarn on twitter. He used Google Maps and Zillow of all things to push a crazy theory that the actual offender was a Brett Kavanaugh look-alike. He then proceeded to post the name of the aforementioned look-alike along with his photo, and publicly accused a private citizen of rape.

The best defense though was Kavanaugh’s own when he gave an interview on Fox News, seated next to his supportive and loving wife, and commenced to deny, deny, deny! During those denials, he made the not so dubious claim that he was a virgin during his high school career, and remained a virgin for some number of years thereafter. It’s an admission that none of us were even remotely curious about to be sure, however it would not have precluded him from making any, eh-hem… failed attempts at rape. Having never succeeded at doing the deed during that period of time, by force or otherwise, is not a valid defense.

All of this is to say that despite the Me Too movement, despite the precipitous fall from grace of the once mighty Kevin Spacey’s and Harvey Weinstein’s of the world, and despite seeing the man formerly known as America’s Father get carted off to jail in cuffs this week, history will almost assuredly repeat itself.

A comment for these trying times?

So I got my first comment 4 days ago, and it appears to be spam? I’m not sure, because it makes no sense at all, contextually, grammatically, or even semantically. I have been wondering who (or what AI’s) may have been looking in on this unadvertised, unlinked, unofficially published corner of the internet. I do know that Google has indexed the site on at least one occasion, but I can’t imagine what search might put it high enough in the results to lead any wanderers here.

But hey, I’ll take it I guess. Someone, or something, made a passing glance and scrawled some enigmatic message on my site.

The common man, or con man?

There is something to be said for telling the truth. It’s a prized jewel amid a mountain of costume jewelry, and in these times it’s a dwindling national resource. We’re told that facts are not facts, and that the news is fake. We’ve been introduced to the idea that there are “alternative facts”. All of this is just another way of saying we’re being lied to, and not just a few times, but all the times.

Yesterday we finally heard a bit of truth though with regards to the Stormy Daniels cover-up. Rudy Giuliani, now a member of Trump’s legal team, made the admission that not only did Trump know about the $130,000 payment made to Daniels, he also paid Cohen back for the payout. Previously Trump had denied any knowledge of the payment and up until this point, Cohen had claimed to have made the payment without Trump’s knowledge. Trump also denied there was an affair, and publicly accused Daniels of lying, for which she is currently suing Trump for defamation.

For Trump to finally make this admission publicly alludes to an effort to get ahead of the facts. It is my contention that Cohen’s files, seized by the FBI last month, most likely contained damning evidence to that effect. Trump isn’t the type of guy to come clean of his own accord, and the only reason I think that he would come clean is to beat the NY AG’s office to the punch.

When the facts do not support Trump’s narrative, the next tool in his arsenal is to start to shift blame. Just today, one can read Trump’s tweets to see that this effort has already begun.

Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.

Here he’s attempting to minimize the charge that this was a violation of campaign finance laws. He’s asserting that the source of the payoff was not from campaign funds. Never mind that it was to benefit his campaign, or any of the other morally questionable aspects of this entire debacle. Never mind that he originally lied about it. Never mind that his wife was busy birthing a son for him, while he was carrying on an extramarital affair. But it gets better.

These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair, despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair.

This is a classic Trump tactic. It’s a two pronged attack to deflect blame and claim innocence despite being caught red-handed. 1.) Everybody’s doing it in the circles I run with, it’s totally normal, and 2.) I’m actually the victim here. He’s counting on you not to think that hard, because really, what billionaire cuts a check for something he didn’t do? As for the letter Stormy wrote claiming there was no affair, it’s perfectly understandable if you buy into her story about being approached by a stranger in a threatening manner, telling her to forget Trump. I find it believable though because so far her story has remained consistent, and as Giuliani revealed this week, also accurate. Trump on the other hand has a lot of explaining to do, particularly to Melania.

Finally, Trump had this to say.

Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction.

Let’s ignore the blatant spelling error, or the fact that he’s claiming she violated the agreement, because I recall the Wall Street Journal breaking that story rather than Stormy Daniels. He also wants you to know, again, that the money didn’t come from the campaign, and that burying a story by paying people off is totally legit if you’re a wealthy celebrity for whom such agreements are merely common place.

And let’s not forget to mention that hideously transparent letter that his doctor wrote during the campaign, describing Trump as potentially the healthiest individual to ever run for president. Perhaps someone out there was actually shocked when Harold Bornstein also revealed this week that the letter was authored not by him, but by Trump himself. Or that his office was raided, and Trumps records removed, by men working for Trump after Bornstein casually mentioned during an interview that Trump was taking Propecia, a well known drug for male pattern baldness.

Our futures are in the hands of a con-man my friends, and not a very good one at that. The phrase I keep coming back to though, the one that makes me think there is more to this story, is his claim that such agreements are common. I don’t doubt him for a second that they are common, at least for him anyway, which ultimately means there must be other women with similar agreements out there, somewhere.