Why Trump’s Taxes Will Be A Big Deal, No Matter What

Taxes, what taxes?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Ahhh, Trump’s ever-elusive taxes. I don’t know exactly what’s going on in the Federal courts right now to give you a detailed explanation, but I enough to get some sense of the significance. Really, at this point, the best case scenario for House Trump is they’re able to successfully slow-walk the whole thing past the Senate trial. Once Trump’s acquitted, House Trump can pretty much tell the rule of law to fuck off and do whatever the fuck they want. No power grab will be too brazen as we lurch towards the 2020 election which will, by definition, be neither free nor fair.

But let’s suppose SCOTUS rules one way or another in time for it to be relevant. Let’s go through the possible endgames.

If Justice Roberts simply punts the issue, then that’s a pretty big decision. Trump will have either cough his taxes up, or not. Either decision will be a massive turning point in not only House Trump’s political history, but the nation in general. More on this in a second.

SCOTUS Rules In House Trump’s Favor
Justice Roberts takes the case and fascist Republicans’ vision of a remaking the Judiciary finally pay off the way they crave, then Trump’s a Putin-style authoritarian. He’s above the law. Game over.

SCOTUS Rules Against House Trump
Like I mentioned, all this only matters if it happens in time to influence the existing impeachment process. Otherwise, lulz. So, let’s say the House Trump attempt to slow walk fails. In a 5-4 vote, Trump’s ordered to release his taxes immediately.

Trump Ignores This
While the dipshit MAGA fuckheads would spin this as a mere “process crime,” in fact, it would be the biggest Constitutional Crisis since the end of the Civil War. If Trump simply ignored this ruling, it would likely be thrown into the impeachment pot as “obstruction of SCOTUS.” For the average dumbass MAGA person who just hates black people and women, I guess they’ll feel free to overlook this situation until Trump’s acquitted and the ICE camps can be weaponized.

Trump Abides By This
If Trump weirdly does the right thing and releases his taxes, this just might save his sorry ass. If everything we’re afraid of is in them, is in them, it would be such an explosion that House Democrats would realize they had to dig into the taxes to sort out exactly the astonishing scope of Trump’s criminality. By the time the dust settles, it’s Feburary 2020, “let the people decide” is a Republican mantra and Trump is free to get Peter Thiel to bribe individual Electors. Or not. There’s a small chance it would be this taxes that might tip the political scale against him in the Senate. But I find that dubious.

It’s more likely to be Trump completely losing his shit or MAGA anti-impeachment violence that would ultimately cook Trump’s political goose.

If Trump Really Was A Political Genius Like Maggie Haberman Keeps Suggesting, He Would Do This

Yeah, Maggie Haberman, Trump’s a political genius.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Trump is a moron. If he really was all that smart, he would flood the zone with corruption and sit back and wait. Instead of stonewalling, he would open the floodgates. Release his taxes. Let everyone testify. Release the unredacted Mueller Report.

This would so overwhelm House Democrats that they would spend months investigating all of this. They would be pushed into the primary season and people would just say at some point, “Let the people decide.”

Trump would then be effectively politically pardoned AGAIN. He could become even more brazen. He gets re-elected through criminal means. Yeah, the 2020 election would be an American Brexit at this point, but all he cares about is getting into his second term. Once he’s in his second term, his new Veep Kris Kobach (or whatever young, passionate fascist he picks to replace Pence) will establish the Thousand Year Trump. Don Jr. eventually becomes president and we have Trumps for the next twenty years.

Though Trump could just name Don Jr. his veep for 2020 and cut out the middle man. That really would establish The Thousand Year Trump.

But Trump’s an idiot. He’s nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner. He’s going to be acquitted by the Senate unless something extra-political happens and it backfires.

Well see, I guess.

Ivanka Trump’s Political Future

Vice President Ivanka Trump?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am not prepared to believe Trump finally faces an existential threat, at least on a political level. Politically, he’s fine. The Republican Party is now the fascist Trump Party and he is likely to be acquitted on the facts before us and go about his merry way. He will bribe individual Electors, get Russia to directly hack into our election systems or he will simply get Bill Barr to indict his opponent in Oct. 2020.

But let’s daydream. What if Trump loses his mind during the process of impeachment or, say, there’s MAGA violence that makes the average person so furious with House Trump that Der Fuhrer finally meets his political match — himself. Who would President Pence pick as his Veep?

This is a far more complicated question than you may at first imagine. Pence wants to use the MAGA base to win two full terms on his own. So, it’s unlikely he would pick someone like Nikki Haley because she’s, well, not a Trump. That leaves Ivanka and Don Jr. The reason why I doubt it would be Don Jr. despite his popularity with the MAGA base is he’s such an outlandish hothead that he would likely use his position as veep to challenge Pence for the 2020 Republican nomination.

That leaves Ivanka.

It’s likely Ivanka would be nominated and confirmed by the Senate at lightning speed the moment Trump was somehow finally physically dragged out of the Oval Office. Pence would see Ivanka as the “safe” member of House Trump that would help him on a number of different levels. Ivanka as his veep would reassure MAGA as to his fidelity to House Trump. He would get to name the first woman — and Jewish — veep in American history.

Really, given how little the veep position really does, Ivanka is pretty much perfect for the job. You could pace out any number of different nightmare scenarios involving unintended consequences to this move, but that’s pushing it. Ivanka is an example of someone who thinks that the are “owed” something simply because of their connection to someone who paved the way. She’s in a curious political position because her bonkers brother is far more appealing to the MAGA base, while she herself is at least superficially someone who might for a heartbeat bring the nation together. The moment it sank in how bad she was on a practical level, the usual political divide we inhabit would kick in again.

Put another way — not even Ivanka could coast to the Republican nomination in any traditional manner. Her only real shot at ever becoming president would be if Pence somehow magically found enough shame to resign in disgrace. I just don’t see that happening. Pence at this point is more likely to do exactly what Trump would do only with a theocratic bent to it.

But I do suggest you keep an eye on Ivanka. If there was some sort of last-ditch effort at having a compacted resignation on Trump’s part (this will never happen) then maybe Ivanka-as-veep might be a bargaining chip desperate Republicans might use to coax a reluctant Trump out of office. Or, maybe they might use her as veep on a more basic level — to simply get Trump physically out of the Oval Office should he miraculously be convicted by the Senate.

How We Got Into This Trump Mess & The Fascist Dystopia Ahead

A Republic, if you can keep it.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

When the final history of the American Republic is written — and fear it will be a lot sooner than we would like — the end first came the night Richard Hatch won the first season of Survivor. Everyone was in shock. But it also marked the beginning of modern reality TV. Trump was the greatest beneficiary of that night, in hindsight.

Trump is the culmination of several macro trends in American political history. On one had you have the rise of Fox News. On the other you have how detached the average media person is from the practical lives of the average person in a flyover state. This is a side effect of income inequality caused by the Reagan Revolution. You also have the rise of social media. The massive flaw of social media is not only do the most extreme positions of any issue set the tone of debate, but it’s very, very easy for it be weaponized by an outside, hostile force.

Mix all this together and you find yourself where we are now. Fox News and income inequality in tandem caused a lot of Red State people to feel not only disenfranchised, but alienated from the media narrative that Blue State people were seeing. All of this accelerated in Obama’s second term as the lingering damage of the Great Recession began to sink in. Add to this just plain old racism being for political gain by — you guessed it, Donald Trump — and you end up in the situation we’re in.

In 2016, roughly half the electorate was primed for someone like Trump. This is when social media and the Russians kicked in.

So we find ourselves in a situation where many Red State voters actually are quite happy with the prospect of authoritarian rule. They can’t even grasp what the benefits of liberal democracy would be in the first place. And, so, here we are. It definitely appears as though there’s a good chance that impeachment in itself will be the final death blow to the American Republic. But I don’t say this as some sort of indictment of the process that may bring House Trump down politically.

What I mean, rather, is we’re finally seeing the fruits of a decades-long agenda on the part of Republicans. Even if Trump is politically vanquished, the Republican Party is now finally so radicalized that Pence could very well simply do exactly what Trump was going to do but with a more theocratic spin to it. And don’t get your hopes up if there’s a Pelosi presidency. Even that would be a delay to this process.

There are half a dozen would-be Trump successor on deck in the Republican Party ranks, from Kris Kobach to Tom Cotton to The Kooch. It’s a bit surreal to someone in LA or NYC the lengths that Republicans will to defend someone as demonstrably bonkers and corrupt as Trump. But that says more about the rot at the heart of our political system than anything else.

So, buckle up. My prediction is very soon we’ll have some sort of theocratic fascist “manage democracy”in the United States that will last at least 20 years. At some point at the moment when the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to croke and the browning of America kicks in, there may be some sort of shift in politics. But for the foreseeable future, Trump’s American Carnage is definitely on track to become a hold hard reality.

I could imagine a few scenarios where this doesn’t happen quite the way I imagine. If Republicans really, really, REALLY overplayed their hand during the impeachment process and there was mass violence by people opposed to impeachment, then I think we might get enough of a delay in the march towards fascism for the browning of America to kick in. But that’s such a remote possibility that I just don’t see that being applicable. Even then, there’s a chance that Republicans would use the very violence THEY INCITED to do the very things I propose they want to do in the first place. So, in a sense, we’re in a no-win situation.

No one is going to save us. We’re on our own.

V-Log: #Impeachment, #Writing A #Novel & Thoughts On Susan Orlean

by Shelton Bumgarner

This one is a fun one. Enjoy.

President Nancy Pelosi Must Be Our Endgame Now

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me be clear — I’m no big fan of Nancy Pelosi. Even for me, she’s a bit too “woke” for modern American retail politics. But she is a leader and she does have what it takes to be a caretaker president simply so we can have a free-and-fair election in 2020.

If this was a normal Watergate-level scandal, then I would be content with President Pence. He’s conservative as hell, but for the sake of the country, simply pushing Trump out politically would be enough to right the ship of state at last. But, given that this is the biggest existential threat to the Republic since states started leaving the Union after Lincoln’s election, President Pence won’t cut it.

He’s too wrapped up in the criminal fascist conspiracy that is the current Trump Administration. Pence needs the old heave-ho too. I have no idea how this could possibly happen given that Pence has no shame, but sometimes it’s good to dream big politically. We need to set our sights on getting Pelosi into the White House as soon as possible using the framework that exists within the Constitution. In fact, I only even suggest this because it’s the only acceptable outcome if you take this clusterfuck seriously.

It’s too easy to imagine that Pence becomes president and lulz, Barr and Pompeo remain in office and we simply slide into a theocracy. I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those “secularist” Barr and Pompeo bemoan and I don’t particularly feel like finding myself in a weaponized ICE camp in some sort of surreal mixture of The Plot Against America and The Handmaid’s Tale. Pence’s vision of America is based on hypocrisy and the enslavement of women. If that’s not enough to actively work to politically shank him, I don’t know what is.

But, to be honest, the only way we get a President Pelosi is a Radical Resistance. We throw down the gauntlet. Pelosi takes up the moral mantle of the show president by pounding away at the entire corrupt, fascist Trump Administration on a daily basis. We’re in enough of a crisis that she needs to scare the shit out of people. Use inherent contempt to arrest Rudy. Lobby Obama to speak out. Maybe even get Jon Stewart to go on an impassioned rant on The Late Show.

Or, put another way, Pelosi needs to set the national agenda everyday. Trump and Pence are like characters from the movie Scream. They are attempting to tag-team the destruction of our Republic into some surreal dystopia.

I have my doubts, however, that Pelosi is up to it. She’s too conservative on a Constitutional level. Too reluctant to be political aggressive in any way beyond her status as a Constitutional officer. We’ll see, I guess. Stranger things have happened. Maybe she’ll at last rise to the occasion in the manner the nation needs her to.

Wargaming Republican Impeachment Strategies

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I know this is a crisis because I have no idea what the endgame of all of this is. All I know at this point is whatever the outcome, we’re in a new era. This is no ordinary scandal. This is the biggest Constitutional crisis since late 1860 after Lincoln was elected president and states started to leave the Union.

But let’s wargame from the badguy’s point of view. By doing so, maybe we can be ready for their strategies when they arrive.

Change The Narrative
This Republican strategy would be to get access journalists at The New York Times to coo that the super-secret information found on Joseph Mifsud’s Blackberry proves, PROVES that the entire basis of the Mueller probe was a setup by the Deep State. Barr drops a slew of criminal referrals and Trump pardons half a dozen people in quick succession. We’re all left shell shock as The New York Times drops its interest in the sweeping corruption and criminality of the Trump Administration for fawning declarations that Trump has been vindicated. Doesn’t matter if any of it’s real. All that matters is Maggie Haberman keeps her status as “the Trump Whisperer.”

If there is any civil upheaval, Trump uses the Reconstruction model to dissolve Blue State governments. The ICE camp infrastructure is weaponized and I find myself rotting in a camp somewhere. It doesn’t even matter that it all turns out to be bullshit. The media narrative has changed and Trump wins.

This is such a drastic — but highly likely — strategy by House Trump that the risks would be so extreme to their absolute need to maintain power and as such grift that really its implementation would likely be the absolute end of House Trump. But I guess House Trump could pull it off with their New York Times lackies. Republicans sold the Big Lie of WMD in Iraq, so I guess they could do the same with extra-Constitutional despotism. Probably they wouldn’t be quite so drastic as I fear. Something more incoherent and incompetent might occur. But House Trump definitely has a taste for blood right now. It will be interesting to see the reaction when people actually start dying.

This would be the Republicans finally stop pretending that there is actually anything you could possibly say to get them to impeach and convict Trump. This is within the spectrum of, “Ok, well fucking convict him.” They simply don’t even try to give any type of cogent defense of Trump. Republicans simply look at you blankly and say, “So?” This seems like a very viable response on their part.

I would say this one is the press’ responsibility. Get Republicans on the record as simply not giving a shit. Eventually, maybe, they might begin to realize that 60% of the electorate thinks they’re a cult and hates their guts. But, lulz, the bad guys always win, right?

Why Barr Has Been So Quiet

Thanks, Mr. President.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Editor’s Note: I am getting a minor trickle of interesting with this post, apparently from two types of people. One group is fucking MAGA shitheads who are spooging their pants at this worst case scenario. If that’s you — fuck you and eat shit. The other group seems to be people in the DC area who may — or may not — know something we don’t know about the upcoming Barr Report.

Also, two things have me questing this dire prediction.
1. Trump got briefed about it yesterday and was very angry for some reason.
2. Trump has been very quiet about it. If there was a lot of good news for him, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself — he would definitely be making it seem as though the deep state liberals who were after him were going to get their just desserts.

But it is still possible that this worst case scenario may happen. If you see that as something to look forward to, please, please, eat shit you fuckhead.

Remember, nothing matters in the modern political world but how optics and the media narrative work together. That’s it. Nothing else. So even though Mueller proved 11 instances of obstruction of justice, because Barr put out his “summary’ that sucked out all the air for impeachment that was that. And when Mueller did not give Chris Wallace the necessary “optics,” impeachment was dead.

And here we are a few months later and Trump is in deep trouble.

Yet, it appears as though Barr is lying in wait to drop a big old bomb that will change the narrative and save Trump. Here’s what is likely to happen — sometime very soon Barr will announced that he’s “proven” that the origin of the investigation into Trump was not the drunken bragging of doofus Papadopulos to the Australians, but that of the sooper-secret machinations Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud is some sort of spy or something. Trump believes that if he can “prove” this, then all his problems will evaporate. That’s why Barr and Pompeo have been bouncing around the globe looking for evidence to back this Infowars-level batshit conspiracy theory.

Everything will come to a screeching halt because instead of talking about the demonstrable evidence of impeachable offenses on Trump’s part, we’ll be talking about the criminal referrals that Barr has announced. We’ll also be talking about how Trump has abruptly pardoned Flynn, Manafort and a half dozen other people.

Chris Wallace will tut-tut everyone who thinks that Trump should be impeached, saying the optics are “horrible” and we should just move on. And the access journalists at The New York Times will nodded their heads in agreement.

Trump brazenly meddles in the 2020 election. If he has to dox or bribe individual Electors, he’ll do it. If he has to indict the Democratic nominee, he’ll do it.

Fuck MAGA. Fuck Trump. Fuck you if you support him.

V-Log: Idle, Incoherent Rambling About #Writing A #Novel, #Trump & #Feminism #WritingLife #AmWriting #WritingCommunity

Some thoughts.

Sondland Has Given Us A Downlow ‘Holy Shit!’ Moment

Shelton Bumgarner
No QUiD PrO QuO…Oh, nevermind.

by Shelton Bumgarner

Get this — Ambassador Sondland is going to say is going to say that Trump did, in fact dictate to him the “no quid pro quo” text, but that he took it at face value and did not know for a fact that this was the case.

What’s more, he believes that while there may have been a quid pro quot, it was not “criminal” in nature.

There’s a lot to unpack here. This is a very lawyerly way of answering the question. I know this and I’m not even a lawyer. What he wants to do is stake out the idea that lulz, quid pro quo! Or somehow excuse both himself and the president of any criminal wrongdoing. There is a big problem with this thinking, though — it’s easy to call bullshit on it in a single tweet.

This is not a complex thing to explain. Law Twitter could explain how bonkers this defense is very easily — and probably will, over and over and over and over again.

For any other president, this would be a significant blow. But FOX News exists and Blue States and Red States are growing to hate each other with a white hot rage because of, well, fucking Trump, so I dunno what will happen.

Probably nothing.