“Survivor 2016 — Rumble in the Jungle”

Where is Mark Burnett when we really need him? Oh yeah — he’s guarding the MGM vault where all the “Apprentice” production videos are hidden. Pity. Thanks to iron-clad legal agreements between the show’s principals, chances are we’ll never even see so much as a snippet from those thousands of hours full of Trump’s disparaging, bullying, sexist remarks.

No doubt most voters will be glad to hear that another video tape starring Trump at his boorish worst is unlikely before November 8th. Me, too, at least on one level. But the statistically inarguable truth is that were we all to see the unreal reality star on tape, joking about forcibly f**king or molesting a cringing female cast or production staff member to her face, it would be the end of Trump’s candidacy. Period, as Ryan likes to say. Full stop.

Of course such a videotaped revelation would also mean the likely end of a Republican House majority, period. Full stop.

So we’re left with the latest unprovable if emotionally-charged accusations against the sleazy buffoon. Will these allegations be enough to cause his few remaining educated female supporters to either switch their support to Clinton, or, if not, stay home on voting day? What proportion of them might go to the polls, simply skip the Presidential box and vote for the Republicans down-ballot?

These and similar possibilities make predicting the contests extraordinarily difficult this year. And we’ve not yet factored in other fallouts from the two sexist jerks on a bus video. Like Republican and Independent adult males, for example. It’s one thing, your Truthteller contends, when Humpty Trumpty spews his bigotry about immigrants and Latinos, and quite another when he brags about sexually assaulting our precious white girls and women. The notion he could have invaded the dressing rooms of naked teen beauty contestants for all those years he owned all those pageants is enough to turn any father’s or uncle’s or brother’s stomach. If anything, the men who heard that tape and now, these latest reports, may turn out to be even more opposed to him when they enter the polling booth than the women.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that the Trump brain trust has decided to adopt, as they put it, a “Scorched Earth” strategy. Since Trump has burned his last bridges with possible new supporters, Bannon and his Queen of MissMisDirection, Kellyanne Con, will now try and make Hillary Clinton stink of even more sexual perversity than their combed-over clown candidate. Their hope? To make so many Clinton supporters so angry at her that they’ll stay home on Election Day, thus enabling Trump to squeak through to a victory.

It won’t succeed. It will only serve to motivate parents of all persuasions and their adult kids to vote in even larger numbers than the Dems are now envisioning. No one wants their daughters, sisters, wives, and moms to be subjected to the tawdry remarks and insulting behavior represented by Donald Trump. The thought that such a girl-ogling, sexually sick monster could somehow be sitting next year in the Oval Office, pushing reactionary Supreme Court Justices, promoting anti-woman legislation, and helping Ryan and Company further degrade our rights, threaten our families, stick us and our children with new federal deficits as they cut taxes on the super rich will mobilize the progressive and independent voters in numbers unseen even by President Obama.

Words shatter

Found in an email:

Humpty Trumpty was born to prevail,

at business, at building, no way he could fail.

No height in Manhattan Daddy’s wealth couldn’t scale,

and no female living the man couldn’t nail.

 

Humpty Trumpty could always get laid.

On models, on others, he endlessly preyed

He touched and he groped, hands wandering far,

“It’s OK, they love it! I’m rich! I’m a star!”

 

Humpty Trumpty rode on a bus,

cruising for women to abuse in his lust;

bragging of conquests, of his smooth gift of gab–

just show him a skirt; he knew where to grab.

 

Spying a victim, he quivered with heat.

“Quick! Gimme a Tic Tac! I need to smell sweet!

And no worries, sport, I’ve a license to grope.”

Which he really believed, the fat boorish dope.

 

Then he stepped off the bus in a hurry to meet

the young woman who waited, a celebrity treat.

Big smile, clever chatter, he began his routine;

he was sure she’d give in like some starry-eyed teen.

 

This was right, only fair, it was what he deserved.

But Oops! Oh no! He’s been stymied, unnerved!

In the midst of the hunt, he’d forgot he was wired.

Now he’s on the carpet, about to be fired!

 

Humpty Trumpty went on the TV

denying and lying: “Hey that was not me!”

But too many times the truth he’d denied;

“Dump the odious Trumpty!” his backers now cried.

 

And all of the spineless, those still on the fence,

from McConnell to Cruz, from Ryan to Pence,

all look down on the mess they’ve created,

staring at chaos, and voters’ rage, unabated.

 

Humpty Trumpty had buildings so tall,

but his power and wealth could not stop his great fall.

Now all the Koch forces, and all Ryan’s men,

can never put trumped-up Humpty together again.

 

With Truthteller’s best wishes for the good eggs, everywhere.

Did I miss anything?

If you happened to be on vacation the past few days, or visiting your sick aunt in Sri Lanka, or doing, well, you know, real stuff, and you see the polls this morning and through the weekend, you may be wondering why we’ve gone from “the tightening” to “the rightening” in less than a week.

The quick answer is Trump and Clinton had a debate, he got thumped good, and then he spent the next few days trying to re-write the reality, only managing to confirm what the debate showed: he is totally unequipped to be President.

To get the complete answer one would need to hear the full ninety minutes. But there are dozens of web sites with the many highlights and lowlights. Incapable of answering a question, Trump tried to harangue, divert and lie his way through a thicket of issues. Ultimately he showed himself as the shallow, bombastic, threatening phony he is, even trying in vain to bully Clinton as she crushed him in exchange after exchange.

The people have decided that Clinton beat the windbag by an average of two to one, and now the polls are beginning to reflect that judgment. By Friday she should be leading again by about 5% nationally, and the most important Battleground states should be seeing her comfortably ahead. So much for the “tightening”.

The most important point

If you didn’t catch the debate, you missed what your Truthteller suggests is the single most important exchange. In the transcript of the debate, you’ll see that Trump boasted he’d earned $694 million last year. Here are his exact words:

“But you will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections, where I filed a 104-page essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have. It shows income — in fact, the income — I just looked today — the income is filed at $694 million for this past year, $694 million. If you would have told me I was going to make that 15 or 20 years ago, I would have been very surprised.”

Then during Clinton’s barrage re: his tax returns a few minutes later, he brags about not paying taxes. He actually says it’s smart. (He should say his tax lawyers and accountants are the smart ones, but Trump is incapable of admitting that.)

We can only hope the Clinton campaign will run ads asking the essential questions and exposing him for the greedy money-grubber Elizabeth Warren labels him. If I were writing copy for Clinton’s team here’s what the ad would say:

“Donald Trump brags that he pays no Federal taxes. He says it’s smart to screw the American people if he can legally get away with it. Just how smart? Last year he boasts that he earned $694 million. And he wont tell us how much he paid in Federal taxes, or how much he donated to charity. Was it zero? He takes in nearly 700 million, and manages to keep it all for himself by being “smart”? No wonder he doesn’t want you to see his tax returns. No wonder he wants to eliminate the Estate Tax. No wonder he wants to keep his business practices hidden, and keep all his hard-working supporters in the dark, too.”

 

Pivoting, Trump Style

If “pivot” means do a one-eighty, then of course a pivot by Trump has to be twice as great. And sure enough, he’s done a full 360 turn, taking him and his unfortunate watchers full circle, where we can expect him to be just as mindless and ignorant as before, but with teleprompters and a ramped up volume.

Proof? Just a few days after bringing on his new campaign leadership team, we see the “new” Trump on full-throated display, as he shouts his meaningless or outright lying claims from behind teleprompters. I mean, readers, he literally shouts, as if his voice and tone were somehow going to be anything but scary to those his campaign needs to be persuading at this late stage.

“Believe me!” he yells at African-Americans, “I’m your friend! I promise you! Trust me!” he insists, in spite of the history of the Republican Party, which has totally ignored the needs and issues of Black Americans for the past forty years and more.

Of course, we all, I hope, understand that Trump’s not really “outreaching” to all those Black voters safely not seated in his rally audiences; he’s speaking to on-the-fence White voters, ostensibly re-assuring them that he’s not really the racist his sociopath mouth has projected these past 15 months. His real message? He’s suggesting he can make up wholesale lies, undersigned by a phony promise of support for African-American concerns, then sell it to them because, as he and his white-supremacist pals will tell you, these ignorant Black voters will believe anything.

They won’t, Donald. Especially coming from you, who’ve made your racist notions and bigotry clear to all who care to listen. And, more to the point, the 95% of Black voters who support Clinton won’t simply walk away from her; they remember how she and her husband have advocated for all America’s minorities for all those same decades of Republican disdain and hate-based neglect.

Enter the Chief Executive Hatemonger

As if we needed more evidence of Trump’s willful determination to raise his campaign’s level of irrational hate and ignorance, we note how he’s turned over the leadership role to Stephen Bannon, the boss and ideological head of Breitbart News.

Trump has named Bannon as the “Campaign CEO”, although it isn’t clear what a political-type CEO might be–in our mind the “CEO” of a political race is the candidate. But in a case like this one where the candidate appears to have no brains, or will to work, or patience with campaigning, maybe turning all this boring detailed stuff over to an experienced political operations manager is a typically brilliant Trumpian move.

Except…

Stephen Bannon has exactly zero experience in directing a major political campaign, much less in turning one around that’s drifting toward the rocks. What he does have is years of experience in publishing hit jobs targeting Hillary Clinton. And years of experience running hard core right wing racist, xenophobic web sites. And a radio show specializing in promoting conspiracy theories. And the first name of Steve, to go with all those other Steves Trump recently named to his “Economics Advisory” team, even though their history is one of ripping off economies, not fixing them. Bannon’s an ideal Steve for Trump, in short.

For sure, Bannon’s a perfect choice for managing a web-based 80 day hate-burst directed at Clinton, the liberals and progressives backing her, and the huge group of Republican establishment and moderate sell-outs and traitors undermining Trump. But he’s suspect as an actual manager of a full-on national campaign team. Meaning Trump needed to also appoint an experienced political campaign manager.

Step on down, Kellyanne!

Polls going down? Leading Republicans racing for the exits? Women still strongly opposed to the man who would be il Douche? Time to turn up the nasty. Adios, Reince, Ryan, and Mc-Mc-McConnell; Bye bye, Mr. Manaflub; hello, Ms. Kellyanne Con.

Kellyanne Conway! Wow, someone with polling and campaign strategy chops! Now, we’re talking! And talking. And talking. And talking. Which she does really well, provided she is not forced to say anything factual, answer a direct question, or give a rational explanation of Trump’s latest idiotic rant or thoughtless comment. She is really something at saying nothing!

Which explains why Conway is far and away the star performer among Trump’s media surrogates. She’s so accomplished at spreading misinformation on the cable news channels that it’s surprising Trump would pull her off the air. Oh, but he needs a campaign manager, right.

But the problem is, she isn’t one. She’s a mid-rank pollster who’s never managed a campaign of any size, much less a national one. Her role will be the latest in a long, unsuccessful line of Trump whisperers, riding on the plane with him, calming his inner Beast. “Everything’s good, Mr. Trump! Forget those dozens of mean, biased polls; look at these two!…See?! The sun’s coming up, Mr. Trump! The rally tonight in Beyond Hope, Florida, will be a great success, I just know it will! But please try not to speak quite so loudly this time over the teleprompters, OK?…Yes we can sleep at Mar-a-Lago, tonight, poor tired baby.”

What we’re witnessing is supposedly a “new” Trump campaign, but what we’re actually seeing is the same old campaign, namely the non-campaign presided over by Lewandowski, then Manafort. Neither Mr. Hate nor Ms. Sunshine is going to be paying any serious attention to campaign financing, implementing a ground game, or getting the loose-lipped candidate prepped for the debate with one of the true barracuda debaters of our era.

And no, in case you’re wondering, Roger Ailes may try to coach Trump a bit before Clinton slices him up like a pouting, whining, overripe orange persimmon, but Ailes is not going to allow himself to be closely connected with the campaign; he knows it’s basically a lost cause, and he doesn’t need that after being booted from Fox.

The net result? No effective campaign means no change in the likely outcome, which Dr. Sam Wang, the best election pollster for this Truthteller’s money, this morning says is a 95% probable win for Clinton.

Yeah, yeah, I know: “We mustn’t be over-confident! He could possibly make a come-back! Florida isn’t a lock!” The first being wise, and the third being true, for now, but the second being nonsense. Confidence comes from rational, detailed analysis, assisted by solid data if one is lucky or persistent enough to have it. Overconfidence reflects the absence of qualified analysis. A comeback? A great horse may be able to make up three or four lengths with a powerful stretch run, but an inferior candidate is not going to succeed in walking back the mountain of stupid, hateful, insulting, lying, self-destructive words he’s shouted for over a year. Especially if he has to waddle all the way.