A few hours ago, I wrote to a fellow blogger to express my bewilderment at Roger Stone's latest. Trump's human tapeworm seems intent on fomenting another civil war. But why? Heretofore, Stone has been all about the money. Where is the profit in insurrection?
Usually, when weird shit goes down, I can come up with a theory. I may not have the truth, but at least I have a theory. Yet even I have had a hard time conjuring up an explanatory scenario for some of the bizarre things that the Trump campaign has done.
For example: Why did Donnie go to Connecticut at a time when he should devote all of his energies to the battleground states? And why did Trump follow up by going to Wisconsin to preach a law-n-order message right after a flurry of civil unrest?
The Connecticut poser gnawed at me all day yesterday. I finally came up with...well, not a full-fledged theory; more like the rough sketch of a theory.
Before I lay it on you, let's take another look at the popular idea that Trump is intentionally trying to blow it. Michael Moore has offered a variant of the "He's in it to lose it" scenario:
Donald Trump never actually wanted to be president of the United States. I know this for a fact. I’m not going to say how I know it. I’m not saying that Trump and I shared the same agent or lawyer or stylist, or if we did, that would have anything to do with anything. And I’m certainly not saying I ever overheard anything at those agencies or in the hallways of NBC or anywhere else. But there are certain people reading this right now, they know who they are, and they know that every word in the following paragraphs actually happened.
But, let me throw out another theory, one that assumes Trump isn’t as dumb or crazy as he looks. Maybe the meltdown of the past three weeks was no accident. Maybe it’s all part of his new strategy to get the hell out of a race he never intended to see through to its end anyway. Because, unless he is just “crazy,” the only explanation for the unusual ramping up, day after day, of one disgustingly reckless statement after another is that he’s doing it consciously (or subconsciously) so that he’ll have to bow out or blame “others” for forcing him out. Many now are sensing the end game here because they know Trump seriously doesn’t want to do the actual job—and most importantly, he cannot and WILL NOT suffer through being officially and legally declared a loser—LOSER!—on the night of November 8.
Sorry, Michael, but your narrative does not suffice.
It doesn't tell us why Trump brought Ailes on board to help him debate Hillary. It doesn't tell us why Stone is screaming about election fraud. It doesn't explain why Trump recently made a couple of on-message stick-to-the-teleprompter speeches. It doesn't explain why Trump shook up his campaign and (belatedly) made two important new hires.
Trump is not in it to lose it. People may say that hiring Bannon amounts to the rearrangement of chairs on the Titanic. But if you want the ship to sink, why move the chairs?
On the other hand, the "He's in it to win it" theory also doesn't explain what's going on. Why did he tell the Republican party that he won't "pivot" -- that he won't clean up his act?
We now come to my theory. It's a bit more complex than Moore's, but it comes down to two simple concepts.
1. Trump's financial position is a lot more precarious than he lets on.
2. He's in it for the money.
Sure, many of us have been saying for a while that Trump probably isn't worth the ten billion bucks that he claims. But the Chris Hayes clip embedded above suggests that the Donald has one foot in skid row and another foot in a marble hall -- poised on a banana peel.
The gist: Donald bought and refurbished a famous golf course, and supposedly gave it the "grade A" treatment. But he stiffed the painters to the tune of $34,000. Not a lot of money. Nevertheless, the debt went unpaid for years, until the matter ended up in court. Judgment went against Trump, who not only had to pay the money owed but $300,000 for his opponent's legal fees.
Obviously not the kind of behavior we expect from a Commander--Chief.
But it's the kind of play one expects from a wheeler-dealer who constantly has to rob Peter to pay Paul. Most of us have resorted to similar tactics: We make the gas company wait for its money so we can pay the internet bill. Sometimes we incur extra fees when we juggle our bills: Such is the price we pay to buy more time. We do these things because we have little choice. Many of us live on the edge.
But why is Trump so close to the edge? Why did he feel obligated to stiff those painters for $34,000?
Look at the low-class things this guy has done for money: Reality teevee. Those slimy seminars. That ridiculous steak company. Wrestling.
The man is desperate. Financially, he is spinning plates. He may have his name on properties worth billions, but he has run out of Peters to rob, and he faces a horde of Pauls who demand to be paid.
He has stiffed his contractors so often that he has been named in 3500 lawsuits. He has stiffed the banks so often that nobody in the financial industry wants to lend him any more money. People sometimes say that Deutsche Bank will still do business with Trump, but that isn't true: He stiffed even them, resulting in a major lawsuit. Now he is relegated to dealing with a shadowy "exclusive" subsidiary of Deutsche Bank -- an institution which has a long history of dealing with Russia, I might add. As near as I can tell, nobody else will do business with Donald J. Trump.
When his career began, Trump received loans from major banks only because his Dad would co-sign. While Fred Trump was alive, he was able to insure that prodigal Donald didn't screw things up too badly. Under the lash, the younger Trump actually showed signs of becoming a decent manager: Donnie needs a boss.
It is fair to suspect that Donald Trump can get loans from that Deutsche Bank subsidiary only because he has acquired a new co-signer -- a new "dad," if you will. A dad named Vlad. More on that later.
Right now, I want to put across one simple concept: Running for president has become Donald Trump's job. It's how he makes money.
He says that he hauled in $80 million in July, but none of it went to television ads. (Although it appears that a few spots are finally going to start showing up.) The only thing that he has spent money on was Trump merchandise -- the hats and such -- which he hawks at his events. From an MSNBC piece published last February:
Trump loaned his campaign $10.8 million during the final quarter of 2015. Individual donors also pitched in $2.3 million since Oct. 1 to his campaign, according to the Washington Post.
The cost of the hats ranges from $20–30 on Trump’s campaign website. It is unknown how much he profits from the hats – a detail that is not mandated by the FEC.
What does this tell us? If we presume (as many do) that the $10.8 million actually came from Uncle Vlad, we see that Donald Trump uses other people's money to produce doo-dads which are then sold to profit Trump personally.
And now -- finally -- I can offer a guess as to why Donald Trump went to Connecticut, a state that no Republican can win.
Connecticut is prosperous. The people who live there have money. Simple as that.
There aren't enough Trump supporters in that state to prevail in the general election, but the supporters who do live there have some extra cash. People there can afford to buy lots of merch.
(Think about it: What other candidate has ever worn a hat like that while giving speeches? Donald Trump is sending a simple message: Buy the hat.)
Affluent people are more likely to donate. Snaggle-toothed hillbillies can't give much, but middle-class folks in true-blue Connecticut will sign up to have their credit cards dinged every single month. I have little doubt that the dings will continue even after the election.
Wisconsin is still reeling from civic unrest. Although Trump almost certainly cannot win the state, he can appeal to the fears -- and the wallets -- of terrified white people.
In short, I think that Donald Trump's campaign is an "Elmer Gantry" operation -- an evangelical tent show designed to fleece the rubes. He's putting millions in the bank against the day when his business empire faces Bankruptcy #5. Right now, this moment, he's making his golden years secure.
Does this mean that Trump is out to lose, as Michael Moore and others have suggested? No. Embracing failure is not in Trump's nature.
It is in Trump's nature to win through deviousness.
I still think that he and Stone (and Vladimir) have a plan. An ace or two up their collective sleeve.
But the victory plan is based on trickery, not campaigning. The rallies are all about making money. That's why Trump won't tone it down: He has to keep his people happy. They are paying him good money for all of that red meat.
I'm working on the "why" too. Have you looked at the possibility that the FSB/SVR's aim is to split the US? A PPP poll indicates that a majority of Trump voters in Texas want it to secede if Clinton wins. Trump responded by promising there won't be a "Texit" if he is president. The idea is now not only out there, but it has attached itself to Trump.
The presence of conditions for small fascist insurrections in many states may explain his campaigning schedule. Maybe it doesn't look so strange from where the Russian military command are standing. Perhaps the idea isn't to win a majority of the voting market to back him in the polling stations, but to persuade smaller markets to act in other ways.
Dividing the US is reminscient of Zbigniew Brzezinski's plan to split Russia. Brzezinski's plan is taken seriously in Russia. Of course it is ludicrous when considered simply culturally, but it isn't when it's considered in the context of a major US-Russia war.
"How many divisions has Trump?" The answer is of course "none". But he has a hell of a lot of support from the kind of armed white guys who'd like nothing better than lynching some black people, as some of the events at his rallies have shown so clearly.
I wouldn't slot Oleg Deripaska as simply a good friend of Putin. He's also friends with the Rothschilds, and the Rothschilds have a very great interest in Siberia.
I'm wondering what on earth is coming in this campaign regarding Israel. I heard a Trump campaign official saying that the reason those former national security guys signed the letter against Trump was because they put Israel first.
Sure, Trump is in it for the money. Will he drop out? He may do. A threat can be more frightening than its execution. We can be sure that he doesn't conceive of the idea of withdrawal without a dollar sign in front of it. Moore doesn't seem to get the Russian state involvement, though.
If the national security establishment of the USA does not want Orange Julius Caesar--and it appears strongly that it does NOT want him--what Stone wants, and even what Tsar Putin wants, will not matter one whit.
Why do you think the Corporate Media has started taking a harder line toward Orange Julius? The national security establishmentarians are calling in their markers--and they, of all people, would know if there is anything out there capable of really damaging Hillary Clinton's chances. The fact that they are supporting her suggests there is NOT, or else they have already buried it well and deeply. Indeed, they would have known in advance if there is, and pressured the Democratic Party to nominate someone else.
As for breakaway attempts in Texas or wherever--this is not 1861. The Federal Government of the USA is much stronger now than in 1861. Nah gah happen. Lynchers are cowards at heart. A whiff of grapeshot, and they'll soil their Rebel-flag underpants and scatter.
Since I live in the South, I can assure you that none of the snaggle-toothed hillbilly former rebs or current wannabe rebs have the sack to stand up and shoot when someone is shooting back. They are cut from the same cloth that the western blowhards like the Bundy Bunch are wearing. I would take anything that falls from Moore's mouth with a large grain of salt; his Berness has infected Moore's brain and I'm sure he's hoping that a Clinton email or something will put her in the ground so St. Bernie can save us from Goldman's Sacks.
I think it's all about the mailing list. Never would there ever be another chance to collect a list of bigger suckers. Let's say there's 3 million donors. Not only can Trump market all manner of various crap, he can sell the list to others... Buck a name works out to many many dollars if you sell the list more than once.
I don't think it's much more complicated than that. Bringing on Bannon and all the chaos involved there makes a much more refined and exclusive list.
posted by OldCoastie : 4:26 PM
Lynchers are certainly cowards at heart. But this thesis isn't made in 1861. It's rooted in today's changing forms of warfare. As Russian general Valery Gerasimov put it in 2013, in a text in which he considers what the US-led west achieved using new methods of warfare in the Arab world and proceeds to set out an updated doctrine for the Russian armed forces, "The defeat of the enemy’s objects is conducted throughout the entire depth of his territory."
If about a quarter of Texans are already saying they'd rather secede than stay in the US under Hillary Clinton, that doesn't mean Texas will secede - but it's easy to picture 1000 local armed uprisings, across the US, maybe including some led by nutcases hell-bent on re-running Mount Masada. With the insurgents united by the fanatical belief that the election was "rigged" and Clinton is a "crook". By that time, there may also be some open conflicts between the US and Russia - in Syria, the Baltic area, the Ukraine, or some combination. The situation on the home front would cause the US federal government big trouble that they would find it hard to solve with mere grapeshot.
"Trump, this person close to the matter suggests, has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself"
posted by b : 6:17 PM
B worries too much. The Dixie wing of the Great Amurkan Booboisie know damn well they got their sorry @$$es kicked the last time they tried to secede. No more than a trivial handful will be stupid enough to try it again, if any try it at all. Selah.
It would seem that Trump's modus operandi for much of his "deal making" career has been the "big move", the "trump card"; strategic posturing before landing the blind side punch. Trump hasn't invested in the standard campaign stratagem of building a nationwide mechanism piece by piece to capture the White House following the tried-true arduous path. Perhaps he seeks a short cut, a knock out punch. In fact, perhaps he is counting on it.
Consider the recent Wikileaks dumps on the DNC. A curious focus for Wikileaks considering the espoused egalitarian notions of Julian Assange. Wikileaks hasn't offered any commensurate dumps on Trump who poses a greater threat to Assange's sense of liberty. But Assange is a "hunted" man as is his sometimes cohort Edward Snowden. Both men without countries at the moment, with Snowden an extended "guest" of the Russian government. Hunted men are sometimes known to make deals.
Therefore it is not just a little bit curious that the DNC hacks have their origin in Russia, and that Putin and Trump have been trading "warm fuzzies" in recent times.
Now Roger Stone suggests that he has learned through a friend of Assange, that the latter is planning an "October Surprise" dump, intimating that it will destroy Clinton's chances. It would be a "blind sided punch", a "trump card" if you will. Why spend 82 million dollars or go through the exhausting motions of traditional campaigning if you have a trump card? Why clean up your act or polish your turd if you expect to scoop up all the marbles anyway?
Perhaps, Trump isn't being lazy or politically naive. Maybe he's just being economical: "getting the mostest for leastest." In finance it's called leveraging. And historically, he likes to win through intimidation, through hired muscle (often of the litigating kind). Trump also has a penchant for manipulating perception to achieve his goals. A "trump card" has the earmarks of all these attributes.
Just to make this scene even more "scintillating" we have the recent revelation of a "Ivanka-WendiDengMurdoch-Putin" triad. Why isn't Alex Jones all over this like paranoid flies on a big pile of steaming Russian bear dung? Why so silent Alex? Bear got your tongue, or are you too invested in Trump?
posted by Anonymous : 1:01 AM
I really doubt Donald Trump and Roger Stone are smarter than the U. S. national security establishment.
The members of that establishment, almost to a man (or woman) are backing Hillary. If she does have something potentially devastating in her background, I rather think they would know it, and so they would have pressured the Democratic Party establishment to nominate someone else.