Trump.45 is proving himself a maladept in a class by himself during his apparently unceasing quest to dig a constitutional and politically dangerous hole for himself straight to China, incidentally completely bypassing Russia along the way.
The ever expanding gargantuan Trumpian sinkhole now involves a dozen or more campaign aides, advisors, government officials, hangers on, cabinet appointees, and a son-in-law, all swept along before his raging tide of arrogance and fecklessness.
The Mueller Special Counsel episode is now certain to last at least past the mid-tem elections of 2018, so buckle up and prepare for several bathroom breaks and the obligatory kitchen runs for snacks and drinks.
There will be plenty of time to assemble the full Dramatis Personae for this tragic comedy of errors and misdeeds, but some signal events have announced themselves, particularly in terms of striking personnel terminations by the Trumpster, as he pursues vindication and absolution for his reckless, untutored abuse of presidential power, influence, and prerogatives. Telling minions like Reince or JeffBeux Sessions to make it go away just won’t work in the Big Time Mess Arena Trump.45 has strayed into and made ever so much worse all by himself.
No conclusory proclamations of witch hunt or allegations of Fake News will extricate him. So far, a side by side comparison of Trump.45’s private legal team compared to Special Counsel Mueller’s assistants is akin to comparing the World Champion New York Yankees of the 1950’s to the Toledo Mud Hens No insult to Toledo: it’s a great American, not quite big, city (population <300,00 within city limits). Toledo just doesn’t have a World Series caliber major league ball team.
The full story of Trump’s Anti Impeachment legal team versus Mueller’s studly crew is for another time.
For purposes of the legal infrastructure components of Trump’s Duck Shooting Gallery are the following sentinel events, in brief timeline form, all from 2017:
January 6: Clapper (DNI), Brennan (CIA), Rogers (NSA) and Comey (FBI) brief Trump on classified Intelligence Assessment of Russian Election Interference.
Comey (lucky man) draws the short straw to stay to disclose to Trump notice of the potentially explosive Steele Dossier.
January 18: Second call from Trump to Bharara, one-on-one, in which he was trying to cultivate some kind of direct relationship.
January 26: Trump’s Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates tells Trump’s White House Counsel in person, that Flynn is lying and is compromised by Russian knowledge of his lies.
January 27: Trump commands a solo dinner that evening with Comey, out of the blue. Trump asks for pledge of loyalty; Comey declines.
January 30: Yates is fired on another pretext (Muslim Travel Ban, now rejected by two different Courts of Appeal in its second version).
February 14: Mike Flynn dismissed by Trump under pressure, though Trump says Flynn is a good man and did nothing wrong.
February 14: Solo Oval office meeting with Comey and Trump after Sessions booted from room. Trump asserts Flynn’s goodness, ‘hopes’ Comey will let it go.
March 2: Sessions does the ultimate duck on all Russian Investigation matters, official recusal in perpetuity, as long as he serves. Trump.45 was super pissed, and is still stewing.
March 9: Unsolicited and unexpected, Trump tries to call Preet Bharara, the US Attorney Southern District New York (Manhattan & Bronx in New York City). Bharara, after consulting staff and DOJ advice, doesn’t return call.
March 10: Sessions delegates Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to fire Bharara without explanation.
March 24: White House moves to block Yates’ testimony to House Committee under doctrine of Presidential Executive Privilege, after her lawyer notifies them of her intention to appear in public. House Committee Hearing postponed, Executive Privilege issue made moot.
March 30: Trump complains of cloud over his Presidency to Comey in final one-on-one meeting, asks for public exoneration of his personal conduct. Comey defers request to DOJ most senior management.
April 11: Trump’s last phone call to Comey to get out message that Trump is not being investigated; he has been loyal to Comey.
May 8: Yates gives public testimony, avoiding certain questions based on confidential national security investigation matters.
May 9: Comey fired by messenger letter, with no notice, in time for 6 PM news cycle. After the fact public justification rationale changed by Trump.45 and minions three times over next 72 hours.
May 17: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Special Counsel Robert Mueller, without notice to White House. Trump is privately super duper pissed.
June 8: Comey testifies to Senate in open session. Trump ignores the event as he is deep into Infrastructure Week prime events.
Timeline Events Integration
So, here’s the timeline setup. Yates is appointed by Trump voluntarily during Presidential transition as Acting Attorney General of United States to begin his term, while awaiting Sessions; confirmation. Bharara was deliberately selected by Trump for retention as US Attorney for Southern District (NY) and notified in December 2016. Comey was in the middle of serving a 10-year term as FBI Director, asked specifically by Trump to stay on before and after inauguration (January 22).
Moving forward, Comey delivers bad news (January 6), and rebuffs request for loyalty pledge (January 27). Yates informs Trump (January 26) Flynn is compromised and has lied to Trump & Pence (oh yeah and the American people). Bharara refuses to engage in private one on one conversations with Trump (March 9).
Trump fires Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates on January 30.
Trump forced to fire Flynn on February 14. Inadvertent Friendly Fire casualty.
Trump fires Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney (New York Southern District) on March 10.
Trump fires FBI Director Comey on May 9.
Bang, Bang, Bang; you’re all dead. Now stay dead, you wascals. Trump.45 is a precision accurate gunslinger in an amusement park. Just ask him. Total vindication.
Sessions is up next.
Then Rosenstein, in chronological order
Bang, Bang, maybe?
The question on deck is whether Mueller will get the full Nixonian Saturday Night Massacre treatment based on Trump.45’s inflammatory brain fever, before he can do real damage to the Trumpster’s legacy. It’s tempting man, very tempting. Now talk about a bold stroke of Striking for Liberty and Justice for America. Pure Trup45 style and extra points for boldness.
Four down, three to go. That ought to clear the field for more compliant underlings to flourish under Trump.45.
And let’s not entirely ignore a small inner circle list of confidants who are on the bubble, as it were, and may be swept away and drowned, in part, due in the FBI Russia Investigation backwash effect.
These jolly folks, with jeopardized lifespans, include:
Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff (supposed to be in charge of preventing leaks).
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary (who takes it on the chin for constantly screwing up Trump’s clear channel of communication, no matter how often the Trumpster flip-flops and waffles).
Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President and son-in-law to Trump(he’s not really blood, and the FBI is taking a very unhealthy interest in his various doings).
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president (she’s O.K on her own, but her husband got legally snarky and turned down a real job in Trump’s DOJ, normally a firing offense)
Steven Bannon, White House Chief Strategist (the most tenacious of the senior White Hose staff, with his lips firmly planted near trump’s backside).
So, realistically there are probably another 4-5 semi-obvious targets at risk to bear the brunt of Trump.45’s growing wrath. Actually, we should also probably add the dearly departed Mike Dubke, about to be former White House Director of Communications, who was either pushed or jumped from the Trump Train on May 18.. Does it really matter?
This is Trump’s version of cleaning house in the most foolish way legally possible. From the top-down legal perspective, Trump thinks he is aiming at inanimate ducks on a rack in an amusement shooting gallery. What he actually resembles to outside observers is a real life Elmer J. Fudd, of Looney Tunes cartoon fame, running helter-skelter and chasing non-compliant ducks who move and talk back.
Beyond the cartoonish character of Trump’s profound lack of legal understanding of his rights, privileges, obligations, and lawful constraints as President, In the real life version, the mechanical ducks he thinks he is picking off with ease can actually move in three dimensions, outthink him, put stuff in writing with legal impact, and can fire back with larger caliber weaponry than Trump’s .22-caliber modified amusement park rifle.
Or, switching to pugilistic sports wisdom, as Mike Tyson famously said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.
From the Sun Sentinel, November 2012:
November 9, 2012 by Mike Berardino, Sun Sentinel columnist
Of all the famous quotations Mike Tyson has spawned over the past quarter century, my favorite is this:
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
In advance of the former heavyweight champion’s appearance Saturday night at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, where he will perform his one-man stage show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” I asked Tyson if he remembered the origins of that quote.
“People were asking me [before a fight], ‘What’s going to happen?,’ ” Tyson said. “They were talking about his style. ‘He’s going to give you a lot of lateral movement. He’s going to move, he’s going to dance. He’s going to do this, do that.’ I said, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.'”
Trump has counted Mike Tyson as a celebrity friend, but he hasn’t absorbed this bit of colorful life wisdom.
Too bad. It might save him some bruises and broken teeth to come.
Never mind. This particular epic has a long way to go before the Judges announce a winner, whether by decision or knock out.
Stay tuned. This really is the Ultimate Reality TV Show. Too bad, it involves the health of our precious political democracy and feeling of community in the United States. Trump.45 insists on his show before a live audience.
In the end, Trump is really just an American carnival sideshow act. Soon enough in historical time, he will be gone and fading in memory.
I hope (not a Presidential level command, mind you, just a fervent expression of personal interest, make of it what you will) that I am still around to watch it to the end and compos mentis to boot.
Honestly, Toledo, no slight or disparagement intended towards your fine heartland American city. Located in Northwest Ohio, at the western end of Lake Erie, it is a city of 281,000 souls, just shy of the statistical requirement to be called a Big City (300,000 population), but well over the limit for Small City designation (less than 100,000 population)
Dating from the 1830’s Toledo is known as the City of Glass after Libbey Glass (which moved there from Massachusetts base in 1888 and never looked back). Toledo is also the spiritual home of Jeep vehicle manufacturing, so they have done their part in wartime for America.
From the Wikipedia entry for Toledo, Ohio (partial):
Toledo is a city in and the county seat of Lucas County, Ohio, United States. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, at the western end of Lake Erie bordering the state of Michigan. The city was founded by United States citizens in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River, and originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory. It was re-founded in 1837, after conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio.
After construction of the Miami and Erie Canal, Toledo grew quickly; it also benefited from its position on the railway line between New York City and Chicago. It has since become a city with an art community, auto assembly businesses, education, healthcare, and local sports teams. The city’s glass industry has earned it the nickname, “The Glass City”.
The population of Toledo as of the 2010 Census was 287,208, making it the 71st-largest city in the United States. It is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio after Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. The Toledo metropolitan area had a 2010 population of 651,429, and was the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the state of Ohio, behind Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Akron.
Toledo has a Triple-A International League Minor League professional baseball team affiliated with the American League Detroit Tigers organization most recently since 1987, and a proud baseball tradition since 1883. Their 2016 league won-lost record was 68-76, for a winning percentage of .472 (4th Place in the International League West Division). Look at their most recent record as providing room to grow and improve.
Historical players of note from the Toledo team include: Kirby Puckett, Bobby Murcer, Casey Stengel (yes, that Casey Stengel who guided the 1950’s Yankees teams to baseball immortality), and Hack Wilson.
From the Wikipedia entry for the Toledo Mud Hens:
The Toledo Mud Hens are a Minor League Baseball team located in Toledo, Ohio. The Mud Hens play in the International League and are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers franchise of Major League Baseball, based about 50 miles (80 km) north of Toledo. They play their home games at Fifth Third Field.
Professional baseball had been played off and on in Toledo since 1883, but the Mud Hens era began in 1896 with the “Swamp Angels”, who played in the Interstate League. They played in Bay View Park, which was outside the Toledo city limits and therefore not covered by the city’s blue laws. The park was located near marshland inhabited by American coots, also known as “mud hens.” For this reason, the local press soon dubbed the team the “Mud Hens”—a nickname that has stuck to Toledo baseball teams for all but a few years since. After only one year, though, the team moved to Armory Park.
- Kirby Puckett
- Billy Bean
- Billy Beane
- Moe Berg
- Tony Clark
- Octavio Dotel
- Doug Fister
- Curtis Granderson
- Mike Hessman
- Omar Infante
- Gabe Kapler
- Shane Loux
- Craig Monroe
- Bobby Murcer
- Max Scherzer
- Casey Stengel
- Tom Underwood
- Jim Walewander
- Hack Wilson
An All-Time favorite cartoon character from Looney Tunes was Elmer Fudd. He was usually portrayed holding his gun and looking for suitable targets, especially Bugs Bunny. However, Elmer sometimes saw his way clear to engage a slippery, devilish duck, one Daffy Duck by name. If you grew up in the U.S in the 1940’s to 1970’s you know his persona, right down to his English language syntax difficulties.
“Elmer somehow remained Bugs’ classic nemesis, despite (or because of) his legendary gullibility, small size, short temper, and shorter attention span.”
Does this trenchant description remind you of anyone in contemporary America, dear Reader?
From the Wikipedia entry for Elmer J. Fudd:
Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters, and the de facto archenemy of Bugs Bunny. He has one of the more disputed origins in the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon (second only to Bugs himself). His aim is to hunt Bugs, but he usually ends up seriously injuring himself and other antagonizing characters. He speaks in an unusual way, replacing his Rs and Ls with Ws, so he always refers to Bugs Bunny as a “wabbit”. Elmer’s signature catchphrase is, “Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits”, as well as his trademark laughter.
The best known Elmer Fudd cartoons include Chuck Jones’ masterpiece What’s Opera, Doc? (one of the few times Fudd bested Bugs, though he felt bad about it), the Rossini parody Rabbit of Seville, and the “Hunting Trilogy” of “Rabbit Season/Duck Season” shorts (Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit, Duck!) with Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck. An earlier character named Egghead set some of Elmer’s characteristics before the character’s most famous trademarks were set.
Tex Avery introduced a new character in his cartoon short Egghead Rides Again, released July 17, 1937. Egghead initially was depicted as having a bulbous nose, funny/eccentric clothing, a voice like Joe Penner (provided either by radio mimic Danny Webb or actor Cliff Nazarro) and an egg-shaped head. Many cartoon historians believe that Egghead evolved into Elmer over a period of a couple of years. However, animation historian Michael Barrier asserts, “The Egghead-Elmer story is actually a little messy, my sense being that most of the people involved, whether they were making the films or publicizing them, not only had trouble telling the characters apart but had no idea why they should bother trying.” Egghead made his second appearance in 1937’s Little Red Walking Hood and then in 1938 teamed with Warner Bros.’ newest cartoon star Daffy Duck in Daffy Duck and Egghead. Egghead continued to make appearances in the Warner cartoons in 1938, such as in The Isle of Pingo Pongo and A-Lad-In Bagdad. In A Feud There Was (1938), Egghead made his entrance riding a motor scooter with the words “Elmer Fudd, Peacemaker” displayed on the side, the first onscreen use of that name. Egghead shifts from having a Moe Howard haircut to being bald, and wears a brown derby, a baggy suit, and a high-collared shirt. Egghead returned decades later in the compilation film Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters. More recently, he also made a cameo appearance at the end of Looney Tunes: Back in Action and was also given in his own story, which starred him alongside Pete Puma, in the Looney Tunes comic book.
One animation history suggests that the Egghead character was based on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! cartoonist and entertainer Robert Ripley, while the name Elmer Fudd might have been a reference to the then-popular hunter Elmer Keith.
Egghead has the distinction of being the first recurring character created for Leon Schlesinger’s Merrie Melodies series (to be followed by such characters as Sniffles, Inki, and even Bugs Bunny), which had previously contained only one-shot characters, although during the Harman-Ising era, Foxy, Goopy Geer, and Piggy each appeared in a few Merrie Melodies.
In the 1939 cartoon Dangerous Dan McFoo, a new voice actor, Arthur Q. Bryan, was hired to provide the voice of the hero dog character. It was in this cartoon that the popular “milk-sop” voice of Elmer Fudd was created. Elmer Fudd has since been the chief antagonistic force in the majority of the Bugs Bunny cartoons, initiating one of the most famous rivalries in the history of American cinema. Barrier notes, “Elmer Fudd was not a modified version of his fellow Warner Bros. character Egghead” and that “the two characters were always distinct. That was evidenced … by Elmer’s being identified in a Warner publicity sheet for Cinderella Meets Fella (filed with the Library of Congress as a copyright description) as ‘Egghead’s brother.'”
Elmer Fudd, resembling Egghead early in his career, is annoyed by a rabbit in Elmer’s Candid Camera.
In 1940, Egghead–Elmer’s appearance was refined, giving him a chin and a less bulbous nose (although still wearing Egghead’s clothing) and Arthur Q. Bryan’s “Dan McFoo” voice in what most people consider Elmer Fudd’s first true appearance: a Chuck Jones short entitled Elmer’s Candid Camera. The rabbit drives Elmer insane. Later that year, he appeared in Friz Freleng’s Confederate Honey (where he’s called Ned Cutler) and The Hardship of Miles Standish where his voice and Egghead-like appearance were still the same. Jones would use this Elmer one more time, in 1941’s Elmer’s Pet Rabbit; its other title character is labeled as Bugs Bunny, but is also identical to his counterpart in Camera. In the interim, the two starred in A Wild Hare. Bugs appears with a carrot, New York accent, and “What’s Up, Doc?” catchphrase all in place for the first time, although the voice and physique are as yet somewhat off. Elmer has a better voice, a trimmer figure (designed by Robert Givens, which would be reused soon later in Jones’ Good Night Elmer, this time without a red nose) and his familiar hunting clothes. He is much more recognizable as the Elmer Fudd of later cartoons than Bugs is here. In his earliest appearances, Elmer actually “wikes wabbits”, either attempting to take photos of Bugs, or adopting Bugs as his pet. The rascally rabbit has the poor Fudd so perplexed that there is little wonder as to why Elmer would become a hunter and in some cases actually proclaim, “I hate wittle gway wabbits!” after pumping buckshot down a rabbit hole.
Elmer’s role in these two films, that of would-be hunter, dupe and foil for Bugs, would remain his main role forever after, and although Bugs Bunny was called upon to outwit many more worthy opponents, Elmer somehow remained Bugs’ classic nemesis, despite (or because of) his legendary gullibility, small size, short temper, and shorter attention span. In Rabbit Fire, he declares himself vegetarian, hunting for sport only.
Elmer was usually cast as a hapless big-game hunter, armed with a double-barreled shotgun (albeit one which could be fired much more than twice without being reloaded) and creeping through the woods “hunting wabbits”. In a few cartoons, though, he assumed a completely different persona—a wealthy industrialist type, occupying a luxurious penthouse, or, in one episode involving a role reversal, a sanitarium—which Bugs would of course somehow find his way into. In Dog Gone People, he had an ordinary office job working for demanding boss “Mister Cwabtwee”. In another cartoon (Mutt in a Rut) he appeared to work in an office and had a dog he called “Wover Boy”, whom he took hunting, though Bugs did not appear. (Elmer also has a hunting dog in To Duck or Not to Duck; in that film, the dog is named Laramore.)
Several episodes featured Elmer differently. One (What’s Up, Doc?, 1950) has Bugs Bunny relating his life story to a biographer, and recalling a time which was a downturn for the movie business. Elmer Fudd is a well-known entertainer who, looking for a new partner for his act, sees Bugs Bunny (after passing caricatures of many other famous 1940s actors (Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby) who, like Bugs, are also out of work). Elmer and Bugs do a one-joke act cross-country, with Bugs dressed like a pinhead, and when he does not know the answer to a joke, Elmer gives it and hits him with a pie in the face. Bugs begins to tire of this gag and pulls a surprise on Fudd, answering the joke correctly and bopping Elmer with a mallet, which prompts the man to point his rifle at Bugs. The bunny asks nervously: “Eh, what’s up doc?”, which results in a huge round of applause from the audience. Bugs tells Elmer they may be on to something, and Elmer, with the vaudevillian’s instinct of sticking with a gag that catches on, nods that they should re-use it. According to this account, the common Elmer-as-hunter episodes are entirely staged.
In this video clip from YouTube, Daffy Duck plays a mean trick on rival Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd fuddles along trying to keep up.
This is a full length Looney Tunes Elmer Fudd classic cartoon from 1943 on YouTube titled, “To Duck or Not To Duck” (Daffy Duck).