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Home of the Knave, Brand of the Tweet

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It's taken us all longer that it should have to arrive at the obvious:  Trump was never running, Trump never wanted the job, and we've all been conned in a fashion no one ever thought possible.

It would be like learning the whole point of NASA's moon missions was to test out if the place really was made of cheese, and, if so, to keep it from the Russians, at least until we had global dairy prices locked down.

Only a green-cheese maniac would think of using the American presidential race as a con game and a self-promotion tour -- and so, a maniac did.  And has.  We've all been had.

Look at the wreckage, all the carnage, the shredded landscape -- and that's just around each of the new, daily-dozen of the dim-witted, ham-handed, face-palmed Trumping pronouncements.  Smoldering craters, everywhere.

Back at the beginning, what did we know, we electoral chumps?  We rode the primary Tilt-o-Whirl, like good little citizens, playing the Important Adult Business game, not realizing we were being played at the deepest possible levels.  We were playing Crazy Eights -- or Tipsy Twenty-Twos, whatever, based on your candidate count -- with the Berserk Chimp Gang, just as they wanted, sure.

Only thing was, the rest of the Chimp Gang was rifling through our cars in the parking lots, and our homes, and our bank accounts, while we were wondering why The Big Player was stalling.  (After all, even for Trump, how tough is it to answer the question, "Got any fours?")

Well, a queasy, lifelike picture is starting to emerge from all those very troubling puzzle pieces we've been randomly flung, like cow chips, hot from the sun-stroked broadcast spreader.  The paper bag of excrement is full and, while it is not yet on fire, it has been soaked in jellied gasoline, so it's ready to go up in a fireball if anyone so much as looks at it wrong.

It's quite true that Trump would have been better served if he had simply parked his daddy's money in an index fund, rather than gallivanting around playing Self-Important Business Genius, attaching his name to things he didn't own, while visiting bankruptcies upon the innocent, stiff-arming creditors.  However, intelligence, at some level, does include the sort of carny-barker canniness which allows the slippery sort to separate some skin from the rubes.

The Trumpster could never be realistically accused of Genius, but he's got plenty of carny-barker Slipperiness to spare.  This is how, by some accounts, he's been able to garner up to two billion dollars (can that possibly be right?! yes, Donald agrees!) in free media.  How?  Via the rubbernecking draw, and crowd fascination, possible from saying one train-wreck thing after another.

In no particular order, here are only a few of the thousands of awkward puzzle bits we've all been catapulted and demanded to catch:

*  Trump has long allowed humorous critique of himself, his hair, his family, just about anything -- except one thing:  the amount of money he has. Anyone countering the official Trump count of his Dollar Pile, and he surpasses ICBMs for sheer ballistic and orbital thrust, launching lawsuits like ninja throwing stars.

*  A number of stories have always found their way into the news regarding the value of the self-Trumpeting star.  Lately, the stories are such that the vast fortune really isn't there -- lookout!  ninja star! -- and that there is one boatload of debt there instead.  Nothing up my sleeve.

*  Why not clear up this confusion by releasing tax returns, as all candidates do?  In TrumpWorld, that is not allowed.  That would be popping the balloon of a carefully-constructed illusion.  It would be telling -- peeking behind the curtain, glancing around behind the facade.  (And, no, say experts of all stripes, there is nothing about a government look-see audit which would prevent the release -- unless, of course, there is income there from embarrassing sources, such as Russia, land of the boyish Trumpian bromance... or indications of stashed or embezzled funds, Ponzi schemes, complicated Peter-to-pay-Paul runarounds...)

*  At first, it seemed a canny game:  say outrageous things, get free ink.  Weird, but admirable, in a seasick way of progressing, by lurching around on deck.  Trump made it look outrageous, but purposefully outrageous.  Slowly, day by day, he let his brain off its little leash, letting it scamper further all the time.  The Bizarre Unleashings were buying free press as well as scooping up hoards of adoring supporters.  (I think this part surprised even His Majesty -- he underestimated the depth of rabid mindlessness of which Americans have become supremely capable, after having been stuffed with right-wingnut propaganda for more than 30 years.)

*  Trump then needed to launch his Ultra-Psycho Persona (copyright, trademarked) on the populace in order to start fading in the polls -- but first, he thought, it would be wonderfully self-confirming,  to get the nomination...  Easy, for someone already convinced he was a serious contender, that he coulda gone all the way...

*  So, after his coronation as the Grandiose Orange Party's nominee and all-around best-words valedictorian, Trump ramped up his Crazy Strain another few notches on the PsychoTrumpeter -- which meant ramping up the insults.  No one was too small, or too large, for the venom-fest:  babies, propaganda artists on his own side, at Fox, members of various races, religions, you name it.

*  Finally, after a concerted, indefatigable effort, in which he allowed his skin to further thin to less than one micron, and by staying umbilically connected to Twitter's speed-dial-capable, Insult-O-Rama service he pioneered, The Donald saw a beginning slip in his numbers.  (Trump breathed a sigh of relief;  he never wanted this job -- it was too much work.  It cut into the brand-name building of his name, which is why he was offering a previous Veep candidate a chance to run everything, foreign and dometic, while Trump, uh, did stuff. You know: Made America great some more.  And like that.)

Good thing his numbers started to fall.  It was plenty scary enough to see what a thin-skinned, narcissistic knee-jerk-reactionary with launch codes looked like.  Thank goodness, he wouldn't have to trot out all those other trauma-inducing plays and ploys (shudder) he'd already written for us all.

And here we are.  Trumpster's numbers are in the dumpster, and he couldn't be happier!

[Deep breath.]

Why is that, exactly?  Here's a flickering guess.  Donnie's playing us again, leap-frogging off the latest diving board onto a higher (to him) diving platform, now that he's off the hook for that President business.  But, Trump still needs to stay in the public eye -- for the sake of his own mighty ego, and for his brand (same thing) and for his own money-making (same-same).

The company he's keeping tells us a lot.  He's back in cahoots with Roger Ailes, formerly of Fox.  Plus, Trump's hired a Breitbart psychopath, Steve Bannon, to lead whatever is left of the Fluffernutter's campaign.

I dunno about you, but I smell a blind run at Fox coming on.  There's a scent of blood, money, and blood-money in the air and water...

Say what you will about their own propagandistic predilections, Fox is successful -- one and a half billion in profits last year -- so, there is still plenty of money to be had bilking suckers on the midway.

And, Breitbart's hellworld deluxe viewpoint makes hallucinating conspiracy theorists look like Rhodes scholars and genius grant recipients.

The ground is already prepped, they know:  Courts have previously paved the way with Fox, ruling that there is no obligation to tel the truth in providing newscasts.  Fox proves that one daily, just to keep the concept fresh and alive, and to keep the money river flowing.

Breitbart, however, takes Truth to the basement in its parents' home and tortures it for fun, just to see what will happen -- how to make its eyes bug out.

I can hardly wait to see what kind of money-making truth-leper Trump and Ailes and Bannon will spawn.

Better be quick, boys.  Trump needs the money.

- Postscript -

Slippery-Man Trump strikes again:  In his continual pursuit of perfect unknowability, Trumpee has settled down a bit and stuck to his script.  (You know, using that teleprompter thing that is terrible when Obama uses it, but terrific when Trump does.)

This change could owe itself to Trump & Co. reconsidering that The Trumper being President might be OK -- that a sitting president could get a lot more done in helping start up a new, no-holds-barred Psycho Channel, kicking Fox off the money cliff, and helping them set sail towards billions in profits.

Then again, it could be just another Crazy Ivan by Trump, unhappy unless he's surprising people with his herky-jerky decision-making style, fanning the fires of confusion with his short, sharp, jerky mannerisms, motions, incoherent partial phrases, and self-serving superlatives.

But, you know billionaires:  It's always Capitalism, on the way up, while the profits are flowing into their pockets, and it's Socialism on the way down, when there are costs to be paid by the public.

Meanwhile, now that supporters and contributors are paying the bill, and not Trump himself, it's a grand time to bump up his campaign's rent payments five-fold, to himself, over there in the Emerald-and-Gold Tower of World Delusion Headquarters.

So, we can expect more donnybrooks in Donnie's campaign after all.

You want Truth?  Well, follow the money -- the yellow-gold road.  Say hello to the Wizards of Id and Odd when you get there.  Tell 'em Sanity sent you, to measure everyone for canvas-and-leather cardigans.

Today's Bonus:

(Not work safe)  I think we're all on the same page here:

Lost your footing and balance this political season?  Well, this musical breeze in the trees might help:

...or these sounds from everywhere, simultaneously:

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