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The Hawks And The Hate

If you’ve spent any time on social media, you’ve noticed that many influential and well known Republicans are now saying they don’t recognize their party anymore, even going so far to break with it. Who would ever have thought that we’d suddenly have common cause with a Bill Kristol, a Joe Walsh, a Max Boot, or even a Cheney?

Well, I suppose there is one simple answer. Democrats have become more hawkish since the Clinton years, and that’s really the major priority for a neocon, that we project American strength everywhere possible. That’s been their whole deal since PNAC. Insofar as social liberalism goes, the idea doesn’t really interest the true neocon. Republicans as a party, however, have slid into the goo of reactionary politics in a big bad way. Obviously that degeneration began in the sixties and enjoyed acceptance in the Reagan administration, but it really wasn’t until the advent of The Tea Party that things really started to go truly whacko in righty land. It was then when star-spangled politics became legion, if you ask me. They identified with revolutionaries who were doing their patriotic duty to throw off oppression. It was absurd on its face; it got people screaming about taxes and the abolition of government and that was considered within the bounds of acceptable rhetoric. It had no regard to the people it would hurt if a functioning government could not provide services. They wanted anarchy. Freedom of responsibility from their fellow man. A radical idea of individualism that cared about nothing but itself, history be damned,

There’s nothing inherently bad about revolution; in fact, colonialism is no damn good, period. It’s important that a government come from its own land. But let’s be real about who Americans are. I am a third generation immigrant mutt, a mixture of the European refuse that landed in New Jersey in the early 20th century for a better shot at survival. I do not have slaver blood. But our white American forefathers do, and their offenses are now mine. My kin and I have prospered well enough in this country, having all of the advantages of white society that are still denied to people of color every day. But our revolution was tainted. We established ourselves with genocide and enriched ourselves with slavery, the echoes of which we are still feeling today. I’m not interested in arguments that “everyone was doing it”, especially if we want to claim “exceptionalism” as we are so often wont to do. Our revolution was supposed to be based on our natural human rights, and that was a quantum leap in a way, but it was only for white people, not the Indian “savages” nor the human chattel they owned.

So, to wrap that up, let’s just say I’m not in love with the myth of how great this country is. In terms of modernity, it’s slowly becoming a miserable experience for everyone, as the inequality gap widens. The cost of shelter, energy and food without appropriate wage increases is grinding on all families, and it feels like no one is interested in stopping it. Women just lost the Constitutional right to reproductive freedom. A steady diet of bad news screaming out of the television, radio and the Internet has made people resentful and hostile, looking for someone, some group to blame besides the greedy bastards who are Hoovering up more and more profits.

Anyway, to get back to the neocons-all they really care about is American military hegemony around the globe, and the Biden administration is providing that by proxy warring with Russia over Ukraine. So neocons have cover now to speak their conscience about the hatriot movement that has suddenly replaced the Tea Party patriot movement. Anyone with functioning eyes and ears has now seen at least part of the white supremacist movement in action; it has also seen Republican leaders, young white nationalists and talking heads on TV espouse white grievance or excuse it. Charlottesville was a major flashpoint in 2017 where we saw the true strength of the white hate movement reveal itself and its message that it would not be replaced by inferior races. You have young kids who play too many video games and can’t get a girlfriend find camaraderie in the fascist bowels of the right wing. As I write this, we are still paralyzed by the Buffalo shooting and its seemingly senseless origins. Having read the shooters screed, I can tell you that we need to have a bigger conversation on the depth of the militarization of this fascist white Christian male supremacist movement, who their targets are, and how to destroy this movement. Because it’s not about “speech” anymore-a line must be drawn, a bright one that states objectively that some information and practices are simply toxic to a polite democracy. They are hiding their hate and possibly another revolution under our founding documents and that is much cause for concern.

Let’s Talk A Little About Steve Bannon, Putin and The Future of Global Fascism

Sometimes I feel pretty fucking clever when I’ve sussed out that America is about to enter into its second dalliance with fascism and its characteristics. It will be Christian, white, and male-centric. Like Jello Biafra said once, it’s bedtime for democracy and there is no telling when it will wake up.

Now it’s awfully hard to believe that Steve Bannon, who looks like some weird mixture of Baron Harkonnen from Lynch’s Dune and a wino, is of any particular threat to American democracy. It’s almost hilarious that he has Mike Lindell on his “War Room” on the regular. He’s probably facing jail time soon, depending on how much he pisses a judge off by turning his contempt trial into a media circus.

However, as far as the right wing goes, he’s the daddy-o of American neo-fascism, or populism, or nationalism, whatever you want to call it. And when he fell out with Trump, he moved on to bigger and better things. After the White House, he went abroad to spread the populist word, powwowing with right wing parties, dictators and autocrats around the globe. He’s a Putinist, and I guess now is a great time to introduce a notorious living Russian fascist, often referred to as “Putin’s Brain”, Aleksandr Dugin. (More on the Dugin-Putin relationship here). The guy appears to be completely insane, a mad monk advocating for a Russian empire that stretches all the way to Ireland. I am sure that Putin, while a little touched in the head himself, listens to Alex’s counsel, smiles in his mind, takes the good parts and leaves out the absurd. He did come up with the idea of annexing Crimea, and thinks Russia should treat Ukraine as theirs, which they have done de facto by invading and robbing Ukraine of its ability to trade freely. I’m not going to get into an argument with any of you chuckleheads out there who seem to have no clue about military tactics and realpolitik, the end game of this invasion is that Russia gets good cream and lots of political leverage over the rest of the world from Ukraine’s food and energy markets. And there isn’t shit the West can or will do about it. (UPDATE 4/2: Zelenskyy isn’t giving up territory for peace, and NATO is now sending deadlier assets. He’s either going down with the ship, or this is going to be Afghanistan II: The Return Of The Bear Trap.)

Anyway, back to this character Dugin for a minute. He is quoted as saying, “We, conservatives, want a strong, solid State, want order and healthy family, positive values, the reinforcing of the importance of religion and the Church in society”. Sound familiar? That’s word for word what the Republican Party in America has come to stand for. Coming from the mouth of a Russian fascist. A “traditionalist”. Democracy, liberalism, and individualism are all anathema to his thinking, a refutation of the principles of America’s revolutionary ideas. He said of Putin as early as 2007: “There are no more opponents of Putin’s course and, if there are, they are mentally ill and need to be sent off for clinical examination. Putin is everywhere, Putin is everything, Putin is absolute, and Putin is indispensable.” It’s not dissimilar to the cult of personality that surrounds Trump, or any other “strongman” who can control people. The main difference between Putin and Dugin, is that one is pragmatic and one is a romantic. He wanted Putin to take Georgia as well as Ukraine. Putin took the chunks he could hold, probably knowing from Hitler at Stalingrad that when you spread yourself too thin, you will get your ass kicked. He believes that COVID is a “kind of divine reprimand, a divine decree against humanity.” and “It is a kind of punishment for globalization.” Dugin attacks the arts and the schools for their decadent thoughts (again, sound familiar?), even finding physics and chemistry to be “demonic”. The man is a mystic, looking for signs of the apocalypse.

So let’s circle back to Bannon: what’s the connection between him and Dugin? Well, they met once, in 2018, in Rome. While they agreed philosophically, the meeting did not go well, as Dugin was focused on the United States as the great evil, and Bannon felt it was China. I guess we should be glad they did not agree or join forces, but the idea that America is engorged with “evil” is becoming chapter and verse for more and more Republicans, no doubt to Putin and Dugin’s glee. We will be rid of Steve Bannon soon enough. But if we continue to share a traditionalist fascist destiny with Russia, then I am afraid the world over will become a dark place to practice freedom.

Rattled By The Rush

Show of digital hands-which of you putatively liberal motherfuckers bowed out of voting in ’16 so you could see everything fall apart?

You’re a lot harder to find than you used to be. I’m glad that most of you have been shamed into silence.

All I can say is that you are lucky that Trump is a boob. You better hope he doesn’t find his stride, because he’s still dreaming of a white, Christian, corpo-fascistic police state.

He’s trying to silence the media. He’s given over Cabinet positions to people who want to destroy the cabinet they preside over. He’s picking at your healthcare. He’s ready to sell the globe to the highest bidder. Oversight from Congress is dead in the water, and the Attorney General sees no evil nor hears it. People are disappearing into the clutches of border security because of their nationality or race. Trump has a Supreme Court pick in his pocket that could end women’s privacy rights. I could continue, but you’re a smart bunch, you have read all this elsewhere.

And some of you good liberals brought us here, thinking that yucky medicine would stop the sickness that you perceived that America had come down with.

I’m ready to be done with this line of thought. We dodged a bullet when we drew Trump. He might be too stupid to be a true reactionary. But I don’t think a lot of you would have let the election go by if the enemy were more competent. I’d like to think that, at any rate.

What I’d like to do is challenge the notion that we need to be dropped on our heads before we do the right thing.

I’d at least like to make the case that in a post-Trump world, we don’t have to get dropped anymore to attain the type of change we want. It’s actually dangerous, and may cause lasting damage.

I may be totally wrong. We might be living in Bedlam, where repeated shocks to our systems are the only cures for our true ills. If this political theory of occasional shock treatment is to hold, we must come to the conclusion that we are no better than rats who learn which pieces of cheese are electrified, or dogs who know not to cross the flags in the yard. We must be terrorized and kicked for our own good once in a while, so we don’t forget what happens when we break the rules.

In other words, we don’t know what’s good for us unless we are shown forcefully what is bad. And I have to say, that’s a very, very dangerous place to be. Political divisions aside, we are still an advanced, democratic, educated and interdependent society whose machinery is too sophisticated to need a spanner to be thrown into it just so a trusty repairman can come and fix it. Don’t follow leaders, and watch your parking meters. Maybe I’m looking at us with rose-colored glasses, but I like to believe that along the way, most of us have learned to be good on our own, with a few tried and true rules to guide us. Rules, not rulers.

I just feel the need to disagree with this negative way of looking at America, and being hopeful like that is alien to me. But two steps back for one step forward is bad math. And we never get what we want by not buying in. It is hard to believe in retrospect that the dazzling, positive energy of the ‘sixties culminated in the election of Richard Nixon. We went into a dark place populated with things like enemies lists, critic silencing, Kent State, Cambodia and Laos and the shattering of the middle class. Sound familiar? The left said All or Nothing and everybody got Nothing. Hubert Humphrey may have been boring, but he wasn’t and would never be the creep that Nixon was.

That just happened again. We on the left gambled after Bernie Sanders succumbed to Hillary Clinton and got Nothing-we asked for and got the Trump administration. Jesus, I am still having trouble putting the words “Trump” and “administration” together. As I said, were he competent, all the puzzle pieces are in place for him to silence his enemies, circumvent the press, rob the joint blind with his golf buddies, start a hot war and pave the way for the next generation of bleached, unquestioning, obedient citizens who will happily allow another generation of Jesus-loving, vicious faux-patriotic thieves to take what’s left of what belongs to all of us.

Alright. Much too much chatter, I need to get to my point. I’m obviously still smarting from how this whole thing went down, where a bozo supreme like Donald Trump made liberals fight amongst themselves the way we have.

It would appear that I am breaking my own neck to say we deserve better than Trump. I’m trying to fight my natural bent towards looking at things negatively and saying we got what we deserved. I’m looking over this and wondering who the hell wrote it, which is a feeling I am familiar with, I fear.

But for some reason, I can’t let this go by anymore.

I think we are playing with fire. I don’t find the glibness comforting, nor do I support the thesis which is: we have to put the crazy in charge to usher in the sane. It’s highly presumptive. Every damn article I see like this always assumes everyone will wake up and never let the bad thing happen again.

I have an idea: how about preventing the bad thing before it fucking happens? Because one of these days, and it may come sooner than you think…the half-nelson that Trump and his banditos have this country in might get ratcheted up so it hurts to strike back. Do we need to bleed, or did we already know well in advance of the election that Donald Trump was a dangerous maniac?

We shouldn’t have to make teachers  go to the streets to retain our rights. They already do something called educating our children. They need dry erase markers, not picket signs. Parents don’t have time for this shit either, they being employed themselves.

I have a great idea-let’s send Ben Cohen and those who think like him to go into the streets since he’s obviously got it sussed. I don’t think an opinion column writer should be the one blowing the shofar when people’s jobs are in jeopardy if they act out. It’s just irresponsible to predict revolution when you are not in the corps.

We knew what Trump was. We knew how audacious his warped vision was. Yet some of you let him pass, assuming he would destroy himself. I am not convinced he will-and I’m not sure that allowing a gargoyle like Betsy DeVos to even consider privatizing and Christianizing the school system is acceptable. We should have howled long before the brick hit. Because this Congress will dole out those vouchers and it could be your school that takes a haircut. If you’ve been vaguely aware of political goings on, you know this has been an interest of the Republican party for a while now. Now it’s dark.

What I am trying to say is: don’t assume bad medicine is the answer to everything. Don’t be glad the fox is in the henhouse, when you knew the nature of the fox already. It’s not a long term fix, and it’s a dodgy short-term one as well that asks a lot of the already burdened. We have been given the gift of foresight along with our opposable thumbs and bipedalism. Let’s telegraph these punches to the body politic next time around, stay informed, and vote strategically. I’m ready to go into the street, but I don’t have to be happy about it, and I certainly don’t need a goddamned newspaper columnist to tell me I need to go.

 

 

Twitler Gets Something Right

So when last we talked, I was relaying to you how gobsmacked I was and continue to be that we have elected ( I know we really didn’t, relax) the most terminally vain uncurious mercurial impish hyperprivileged puckerfaced whitebread tiny dicked fascistic jingo know nothing illiterate conspiracy loving con artist fraud huckster crybaby prick pervert whackadoodle media slut bunco dealer we could find.

Somebody clearly did not place limits on their child. Frederick Christ, I’m looking at you in hell, sir.

Everyone except Donald Trump seems to know that the wheels are coming off his bus. That’s not necessarily true, I guess, seeing as how the percentage of the popular vote Donald got roughly equals the percentage of approval he enjoys, or does not enjoy since he thinks that all numbers pertaining to him are fake, unless of course we’re talking about numbers that he pretends are his even though he’d been in office for a week when the tabulations were made. But I hear he is on a constant diet of Fox News, who is happy to massage Trump’s ego by showing tight camera shots of massive”pro-Trump” events while suggesting that protests against Trump are by violent anarchists and professional agitators paid to attend.

I have seen the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. And I guess I understand that. I’m reading “It Can’t Happen Here” at bedtime and Donald Trump is Buzz Windrip without the folksy charm, starring Steve Bannon as Lee Sarason and Mike Flynn as Dewey Haik-and the Republicans are more properly named as the “Corpos”. It’s troublesome that comparisons to these real and fictional fascists are to people whose rise to infamy presage horrible wars. Trump can start a shooting war whenever he chooses as long as he lets Congress know why he’s doing it in 48 hours. He’s used belligerent language toward China and Iran, most notably, and his favored dog whisperer thinks that a Sino-US war is inevitable.

I still think Donald Trump is more like Howard Hughes than Adolf Hitler. Guy’s fucking crazy, putting up gilded fucking drapes in the Oval Office and will probably screw himself out of this job by pissing off everybody in government, even his own Congress who can’t wait to get hold of his signature so they can destroy said government like they always say they will.

But I really can’t wait until Trump’s dealings with the Russians are exposed. I think that’s the most interesting thing that we need to see. Donald Trump has lied about his relationship with Putin, even going so far to pretend that he had never met the guy before the election amidst charges that the Russian government was responsible for the DNC hacks. He’s on record for complimenting the autocratic thug repeatedly.

If there’s one thing we know Donald Trump likes, it’s money. And I believe that Vladimir Putin, fellow oligarch, is making plans with him to divvy up the globe to enrich each other. During the Obama administration, we had lots of trouble with an adventurous Putin in Ukraine and Syria. He was an adversary, trying to break free from the cage NATO put around him. The Cold War never ended, really-Russia imploded in the 1990s and reemerged as an aggressive world power to be reckoned with under Putin. Like most “communist” nations, they reshaped themselves as capitalist dictatorships, using the State to enrich business interests and their whores in the government.

If that sounds familiar, it should, and it should bother you. But we can discuss that at length some other time. Maybe after I feel like digging up more examples showing what an asshole Tucker Carlson is. Don’t hold your breath, I am easily distracted.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Trump did an interview in his safe space with Bill O’Reilly. And if you think Don The Con has been um…unstable up to here, you missed this:

“President Donald Trump appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.
“But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.”

Now I’m not sure if Donald Trump knew what he was saying-he may have just sputtered that in a hasty defense because he got pushed in a corner. It caused a lot of people-like old military hand Barry McCaffrey-to perk up and lose their cool:

JACKSON: MSNBC military analyst and retired four-star general Barry Mccaffrey, who is joining us here. General Mccaffrey, thank you for being here. President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin is really backing the headlines in a big 
way. You heard what he said about Putin and Bill O’Reilly’s comments that Putin is a killer. How concerned are you about not just what the president is saying but the relationship that the U.S. Is going to have with Russia, where that’s going to go from here? 

MCCAFFREY: Hallie, I’m actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that. One could argue that’s the most anti-american statement ever made by the president of the United States, to confuse American values with Putin, who is running a criminal oligarchy, who kills people abroad and at home, who imprisons journalists and takes away business property, who shares it with his former K.G.B. Agents, who invades and seizes crimea in eastern Ukraine, this is an astonishing state of affairs. It’s hard to know what to think about it.

It’s halfway to crazy to be dismissive of the danger Vladimir Putin represents, and shrug about how his regime takes care of its dissidents. Trump says…so what? We are killers too.

I expect this kind of thing to come out of Ajamu Baraka’s mouth. I don’t expect it from a Republican. Was it candor? I didn’t really think that Donald Trump was capable of critical thought. Maybe he did read the briefings, and his loose lips opened under fire.

 

Whatever the case may be, Trump dropped a truth bomb.

We are not innocent-not even our best and brightest are beyond reproach. We have laid waste all across the globe as a nation since our inception and we have not let up since. In my war of conquest (and don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t one), it is estimated that we killed almost 200,000 civilians and incinerated entire towns that were unfortunate enough to harbor our enemies. God only knows how many we maimed. You can feel free to hit the history books anytime you like and string together our atrocities, or let someone like Noam Chomsky contextualize and enumerate them. Hell, read Howard Zinn to find out how we spread destruction and death and penury and torture in our own country.

I’m sorry to say-perhaps not sorry, perhaps a bit relieved in a way, that Trump got something objectively correct. But it won’t change my general opinion that he is still an insane clown. It won’t wake anyone up that needs waking. It won’t make me take to the streets and break some car windows of my own. I’m a coward (so far) when it comes to certain forms of direct action. The worst thing that will happen is that people get inured to the idea that we can tolerate and horse trade with someone who acts like Vladimir Putin does when it comes to attaining his objectives. Then again, we don’t pay much mind to the criminal regimes around the world that we support already because it’s in our “strategic interests”(read: whatever perpetuates our super-hegemony). There are already people on the right wing who think that cracking skulls and maybe even some killing right here in America are spiffy ways to manage dissent. So we would do well to be extra wary of Donald Trump and the people he runs with. He may know just enough to be dangerous, as they say. The seeds of tyranny, well sown in our history, are beginning to germinate, and the world could be in grave danger with the two most powerful oligarchs in the world getting ready to carve it up for themselves and their business associates if we let them.

 

 

 

 

Laugh Of The Day

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My Soulless Governor

I’m under no illusion about where I live. I’m in the Bible Belt, and that seems to mean more than being surrounded by Book-waving Christians. But this group intersects with another group popular here; the persecuted white male. If I had to provide you with a Venn diagram, you would find that the shaded area is rather large. The circles might as well be concentric, so close are they.

Mr. Persecuted White Male doesn’t believe in basic women’s rights. He thinks he should have the right to own an arsenal because the 2nd amendment is the only amendment he can quote. He think that his god is being disappeared from polite society. He’s a reconstituted bigot. He hates taxes and support for the poor, regardless of how poor he is.

I have met many respectable souls in my time down here in the land of the neverending heat. But Republicans run this place; and this is how I know there’s a lot of Mr. Persecuted White Males running around, open carrying with their Duck Dynasty overalls on.

Mr. Persecuted White Male is afraid. That’s the bottom line. And his party and god make him this way.

What’s the most common fear in America these days? Actually, it is a fear that we all have, globally. If the headlines are correct, that fear is of terrorism. I personally fear Mr. Persecuted White Male more, because he is far more likely to act upon his psychotic fears near me than a terrorist. But I could go on about that at length in another post.

 

Ina sloppy segue, let’s move our focus to the Middle East. We all know that Syria is no longer an independent state. It is saturated with rebels against the government and this cancer called ISIS.

I can shoot and point a gun, but I would not be a fighter if I were a Syrian. I’d be a refugee. My family comes first and getting the hell away from the bombs and the murdering would suit me just fine.

It’s heartbreaking and we should all step up to help these refugees as much as we can. But that doesn’t sit well with the right wing; politicians are hell bent on a no-more-Muslim policy-in fact, one of them has called for a registry for those living here.

But now let’s move back to my homestate-where my dickless fuck of a governor is withholding sustenance from Syrian refugees:

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed an Executive Order in November instructing all state agencies to halt any and all activity regarding Syrian refugees.

Ravae Graham, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Human Services, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the department will follow the Nov. 18 memo with a newly arrived family. “We are just going to follow that process as outlined,” she said.

A family of three from the Syrian crisis been relocated to the Atlanta area, where state officials are making life very diificult.

That’s right; this executive order nullifies a refugee’s right to receive food assistance. Fuck you, thanks for coming, now go eat garbage.

There’s a silver lining to this-I don’t know who he was trying to impress, but this is illegal:

The federal government has told Deal that he must roll back his executive order in order to comply with federal law. Jessica Shanin, associate administrator at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,wrote a letter to the state in November warning that denying food stamps to Syrian refugees would violate federal law, noting that states cannot discriminate based on national origin or religion.

Is Deal up for election again? I’d like to know. Unless he’s angling for a Cabinet spot in the fantasy that is a Republican presidency,I don’t see why he has to be an unrepentant prick about this. If it’s the former, this is a great way to get Mr. Persecuted White Male to get on board. If the latter, he has to be as radical as the fascists who seek the big chair in order to get noticed.

Shit on Nathan Deal for grandstanding when real people are literally dying to get into this country because their old one barely exists anymore.

 

 

 

 

To Be Expected

Fox News’ stable of pundits and commentators are easily the most witless fuckbags ever to stink up a TV channel lineup. They’re out there every day being wrong about something. I couldn’t pass this up:

Townhall editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich accused New York City mayor Bill de Blasio of being a fascist for reviewing business relationships with 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“This is the problem,” Katie Pavlich said Thursday on Fox News’ The Five. “What Bill de Blasio is doing by going through all of the contracts that they already put in place with the city — this is called fascism, when you get into the middle of — going retroactively to look at business deals that have already been made based on legality and law and business, and you go back and say, we don’t like what you said, so we’re going to take away your livelihood and punish your businesses. That is fascism.”

The word “fascism” has been defined down to the point where anything one does not agree with is called it. There is some debate about what constitutes actual fascism, but its basic principles are ultra-nationalism and the projection of The State as the ultimate expression of civilization. It is paranoid and authoritarian. North Korea is probably the closest analogue of it that we have today. What Katie alludes to is a far cry from fascism. You just can’t go throwing that word around simply because you oppose someone else’s thinking. Unless, of course, they are thinking like a fascist. A real one, not this fuckery of language which has become all too common in our discussions.

I’m sorry, twitterbird, but what is at work here is one of your favorite things-the “free market”. If Bill DeBlasio doesn’t think Donald Trump is a good business partner, he can terminate that relationship and do business elsewhere. Hate to break it to you, but Donald Trump is much like a fascist himself. He’s obsessed with the primacy of America, and doesn’t want “foreigners” because they debase The State.

It’s your system that allows what you think is Bad. It’s the “marketplace of ideas” that Trump is failing in, babe.

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