In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.
Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.
A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and family interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.
Important subplot: Trump says he officially classifies all conversations he ever had with Bolton about anything. Therefore, if Bolton reveals any conversation at all, that he is a criminal, and will hopefully be prosecuted.
This is what dictators do. They play with the law. Trump, as dictator, could just declare Bolton to be a traitor and have him arrested and sent to Gitmo (maybe Trump doesn’t know he has that power?) but he plays around with it like this, makes the point more clear: Anyone who interferes with Trump’s power is in trouble.
This is a story that I learned from a well respected scholar of Chinese history and archaeology, K.C. Chang. He was, briefly, my graduate advisor. I am not a scholar of Chinese anything, and I can’t remember if this story had a textual source, but I have a vague feeling it was in a book introduction or review article written by Chang, and the subject matter was Chinese historiography. Historiography is the study of historical writing, in other words, the study of methods in history. When one studies Chinese historiography, one is often looking at very ancient texts, written by ancient Chinese historians. Apparently, “historian” was a job, not necessarily that different from “scribe” in some other ancient contexts, and during some times and in some places, the Chinese historian sat in the court of the Emperor.
Every now and then, I look for the original story, or some version of it, but I can never find it. It is a story with a lesson so important that it should be retold many times. I do not attest to its veracity, but I will stand by its meaning. Lacking a source to refer to, I hereby make up, er, reconstruct, a version of it so I can put it here in this blog post and refer to it later.
The story goes like this.
An Emperor was sitting court, and attended to by one historian and the historian’s assistants, and others. A man had been accused of a crime, and the Emperor was to decide his fate. Those arguing on behalf of the man clearly demonstrated that he had not committed the crime, and should be let go, but the Emperor had taken a dislike to this man, and ordered his immediate beheading. And so, he was beheaded.
The historian recorded this event, and included in the record, made right then and there, a phrase such as “The Emperor had the man wrongly beheaded.”
Made aware of this, the Emperor insisted that the historian, right then and there, “correct” the record to indicate that the Emperor was just in his decision. The historian pointed out that this was wrong, and he could not change the record.
The Emperor ordered the historian beheaded, and so he was, right then and there.
The first assistant historian then took over the job of historian, and recorded, “The Emperor had the man wrongly beheaded. Then, on seeing that the Historian recorded this accurately had that Historian beheaded.”
Becoming aware of this entry to the historical record, the Emperor insisted that the new historian “correct” the record to show that the Emperor was just. That historian refused, and under the order of the Emperor, was promptly beheaded.
The next assistant historian then took over, and recorded that the Emperor had wrongly ordered the beheading of a citizen, then, wrongly ordered the beheading of the historian that recorded that fact, then ordered the beheading of the historian that recorded that fact. This historian fully understood that he would now be beheaded as well.
But he was not. The Emperor saw that his own reputation was becoming more and more severely damaged, and he understood that a line of historians would form at his court to record this, because this was the role of historians at this time and place. The Emperor relented, went on with other business, and the third historian lived.
And this is why we know today of what that Emperor did.
First, a few important military facts. Tanks are not the main way the US military fights a war. They are certainly used, but less then might be assumed given recent events in Washington DC. Also, our enemies are less and less likely to use tanks against us. Our long distance and air-assault artillery means that any nation we go up against that puts most of its eggs in the tank basket loses in a few days. Tanks for the memory, tanks, but tanks are becoming somewhat passe in regular warfare. Continue reading Don’t be afraid of Trump’s Tanks→
“He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf … if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.”*
Reilly has been with Trump on the fairway, the green, and in the weeds, and has seen first-hand how the president plays–and it’s not pretty. Based on his personal experiences, and interviews with dozens of golf pros, amateurs, developers, partners, opponents, and even caddies who have first-hand experience with Trump on the course, Reilly takes a deep and often hilarious look at how Trump shamelessly cheats at golf, lies about it, sues over it, bullies with it, and profits off it.
From Trump’s ridiculous claim to have won eighteen club championships, to his devious cheating tricks, to his tainted reputation as a golf course tycoon, Commander in Cheat tells you everything you need to know about the man.
1) Mueller found no collusion, but does his report explain why a half dozen key Trump Crime Family members blatantly and in apparent coordination with each other lied about their contacts (which did happen) with Russian officials and agents?
This could be explained as follows.
For their part, Russia interfered with the election. This is known.
For their part, the Trump Crime Family attempted to coordinate with the Russians, but the Russians are not stupid. They regarded the Trump people as the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Strait, and while Trump Jr, Flynn, Pence, and the rest of them, kept trying to open back channels and bend over backwards for the Russians, the Kremlin kept them at arms length. Why allow the idiots to get themselves arrested or impeached, thus becoming useless, rather than useful, idiots?
2) The special prosecutor a) chose to not move forward on obstruction but b) it was Barr and the Justice Department that determined that this is not worth pursuing. It is pretty clear that Trump committed obstruction, he is just going to get away with it. We have to see the report itself to consider this further.
3) Since so much of the left, the Democratic, the blue-wavist, momentum was (unwisely) tied up in this report, that is done now. Trump was polled as behind various Democrats in head-to-head comparisons, and his popularity and approval ratings were all down. The next head to head comparisons will likely show Trump as a possible 2020 winner, and his approval ratings will now go abruptly up. Had this report come out in this exact manner last October 1st, there would not have been as strong of a blue wave.
4) That slightly squishy zone, those who are Trump supporters but who we thought could be convinced to turn on him, will now harden and move fully into the Trump camp. This includes voters, the handful of Republican Senators that occassionally pretended to contemplate doing the right thing, and everyone in between. That particular political strategy for Democrats, not very important to begin with, is surely now zero gone.
5) We are probably left with only one option: To vote Trump out of office, and along with him, a bunch of Senators.
6) Now more than ever, infighting among Democrats is dooming our children, our planet, and ourselves.
Before you spend any more energy criping about Pelosi and impeachment, find out what impeachment is and how it would go.
What people need to understand is that the Senate, i.e., the Republicans, i.e. Mitch McConnell himself, runs the show in the impeachment hearings. It is done by the Senate. They do it. It is them. Not the house.
It is a trial is run by the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding, and the President present the whole time in the front of the room. Trump will be able to call witnesses. Repeat. Trump will be able to call witnesses. McConnell will be able to call witnesses. Repeat. McConnell will be able to call witnesses.
This means that not only will the impeachment fail, but the Republicans in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, will basically be putting on Celebrity Apprentice 2.0 staring Donald Trump.
It won’t just be a fail. It will be a multi day show put on and arranged entirely by Trump’s people.
Unless we get to a point where there is the necessary number of Republicans in the Senate to convict, we do not want this to happen. Pelosi is right.