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Tommy_Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 38,404

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I feel violated. We should all feel violated.

On the National Day of Patriotic Devotion, also known as the day in which Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, also known as last Friday, I chose not to watch any of the festivities. I chose to look at the day without a respect of what was going on in Washington, focusing only on how the sun rose in the east and set in the west, just like any other day I've lived in my thirty-something years on God's green earth.

Instead, on that particular day, I took my kids to the local fair, where they rode rides and saw farm animals and played games. I did all I could to keep the specter of what was going on out of my mind. I was only briefly reminded of things while passing by a television in a fair booth keeping track of festivities. (The odd, jarring sight of the titushky anarchists setting a limousine on fire during the motorcade parade briefly had me thinking a major breaking story had just occurred, but a check on my phone confirmed nothing particularly abnormal had actually taken place.) But watching my kids riding the swing ride, holding their little stuffed animals they had won at the booth, smiling and laughing--it managed to take me out of the greater, darker shadow and into my own little peaceful moment, if only for a bit.

But reality came a'callin, and eventually I knew I had to slowly ease myself into the undeniably unfortunate situation where we all find ourselves. I watched some of the footage of the marches on Saturday, where my mother and my sisters had traveled to participate. I forced myself to view the Madman's self-serving and utterly bizarre "speech" before the CIA. Eventually, for posterity's sake I decided I needed to see the Inaugural Address that I had boycotted watching live and which my father and many here at DU had labeled extremely dark and disturbing. First, I just read the text, but last night I mustered up the fortitude to actually watch footage online as the Madman's stilted, insincere delivery can't be fully replicated by printed words alone. Understandably disgusted, I then immediately watched President Obama's 2009 inaugural address to cleanse my soiled palate.

And so, here we are now. This is not some work of alternate historical fiction. This is real.

So how do I feel? One word: Violated.

I feel we as a country have been violated from both within, as well as from beyond.

We saw the rise of a man without true accomplishment and completely devoid of morals and civility rise to the highest level of power in our land. We saw a man display truly contemptible behavior to the point of absurdity--mocking a reporter with a disability, defrauding thousands with a phony "university", bragging about his desire to assault women. He is the stuff that fictional villains are made of. We were told time after time after time to give him a chance, that he's capable of changing, that he will change, that the office will change him. We forget that this Madman has already lived 70 years on this earth without any desire to reform himself or act to the appropriate standards that most of us take for granted. We forget that not less than three years ago he was on Twitter bragging about his "fucked up" "haters and losers", and that he continued to use phrases like those after he was a candidate, after he was a major party nominee, after he was a President-elect, up to virtually the day he was inaugurated. I'm generally an optimist when it comes to people's human nature, but this is an extreme case. People like him don't get better after years of perfecting their anti-perfect image.

And yet this is what won the day for him back in November. (Albeit thanks in part to a constitutional technicality known as the electoral college, and I'll continue to take slight comfort in the de facto--but not de jure outcome of the popular vote.) Too many of us took the legitimate cynicisms and criticisms of longstanding institutions like politics and media and like fools threw their hands to a far, far worse monster. And now this creature has taken ahold of us and releasing its grasp will be no easy task.

But that's only half of the violation we have endured. Over the past decade, we watched overseas what happens when a person takes charge of a nation who has no tolerance for democracy, dissent or autonomy of other nations. We saw what happens with power without morality. Somehow we deluded ourselves into thinking the likes of Vladimir Putin was the problem of others and not of us. And yet three years ago I watched my family's homeland descend to chaos and uncertainty thanks to his subtle hand. We should have been alarmed that a man running for president had recently openly opined on Twitter that he desired Putin to be his "new best friend." But most of us shook that off as an amusing triviality and not as a threat to our national security. Yet here we are today, and the evidence continues to mountain that our collective national mindset in the events running up to the election was stealthily manipulated in a masterful Russian mindfreak, with the only beneficiaries in the end being the Madman and Vladimir Putin.

So yes, we were indeed violated, both from within and from outside. And we the people are victims, whether we recognize it or not. Perception of victimhood these days is a funny thing though. Too often it gets conflated with being weak, or even worse, being whiny and needlessly self-pitying. But there's no shame in to admitting you have been a victim of another's bad actions. In fact, recognizing and admitting to that fact properly transfers back the culpability to the person who should be held to account. So while we have been violated, we should not shrink from admitting that we were victims to a dasdardly deed. It does not make us weaker. Quite the opposite is true.

Every victim has a breaking point. That is a fact that both the Madman and Vladimir Putin will inevitably have to face.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Jan 24, 2017, 12:20 PM (7 replies)

The untold abject horror of the turn of events at today's press conference.

The soon to be President of the United States very literally shouts down a reporter from a news organization that--while not in any way perfect--has been a legitimate source of news for nearly four decades, refuses to even allow him to ask him a question, and he proceeds to brand said news organization in front of his peers as being "fake news."

He then immediately turns to another reporter of a news organization that has existed for less than 10 years, that serves as a popular destination for members of the alt-right and white supremacists, that contains stories with absurdly provocative racist, sexist and bigoted headlines such as "BIRTH CONTROL MAKES WOMEN UNATTRACTIVE AND CRAZY", "THE SOLUTION TO ONLINE 'HARASSMENT' IS SIMPLE: WOMEN SHOULD LOG OFF", "HOIST IT HIGH AND PROUD: THE CONFEDERATE FLAG PROCLAIMS A GLORIOUS HERITAGE" and "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS PROTECTS MUSLIM RAPE CULTURE", who very recently ran a documentably false story about Muslims supposedly burning down a church in Germany which was immediately debunked by German authorities, an organization that until recently was run by his soon to be senior policy advisor, and gladly takes that organization's reporter's question, which was........

"With all the problems that we've seen throughout the media during the course of this election, what reforms do you recommend for this industry here?"


Ladies and gentlemen, I think we've officially arrived at the Dystopia. I hope you've enjoyed your trip.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Jan 11, 2017, 04:34 PM (58 replies)

The Madman's Press Conference: A short story by Tommy Carcetti

It all came back to where it had first started--where everything had first started.

Several dozen reporters sat somewhat patiently in the gilded gold lobby of the Darth Vader-like Midtown Manhattan monstrosity that was Trump Tower. The din of murmured conversations echoed against the vaulted ceilings and brass plated fixtures that slowly squeezed the transversing humanity inside of it like a tacky, gauche boa constrictor. At the front of the folding chair set-up stood a podium, empty at the moment, with a Kinko's manufactured sign hastily taped onto its face.

A red, white and blue unofficial logo on the placard read: "Donald J. Trump. President-Elect of the United States."

Members of the press mostly browsed on their phones. Some checked their watches. Others explored their modest press packets containing one eight ounce miniature bottle of Trump Water, a pen with the Trump Tower logo, a Trump Tower notepad, and two Andes chocolate mints. Those who did talk amongst themselves were admittedly curious, because the Madman who at one point in his campaign attacked Secretary Clinton for not holding enough press conferences had gone silent for months after one July press conference where he notoriously dared the Russian government to hack into US government emails and mine them for valuable information.

The advance press release teased that the Madman would discuss the subject of the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails and the possible culprits of such infiltration, but questions abounded. Would the Madman point his modestly-lengthed finger at the Russians? Would he call for greater cyber security measures? Would he bring along Don King this time, or perhaps would it be Dennis Rodman instead?

The clock ticked passed the announced 11:00 am start time for the press conference. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen. Twenty. Still, the press stayed, in great anticipation of whatever newsworthy information the Madman might intentionally--or unintentionally--throw them.

Just as the collective patience of the audience was about to wane, the Bose speakers flanking the podium rung out and throttled the attention of everyone in the lobby.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," an unidentified voice announced, "The President-Elect of the United States.....Donald....J.....Trump!"

Immediately, music began playing.

Cheesy, 1980s styled synth rock instrumental music.

The intro to Van Halen's "Jump," to be exact.

The reporters looked around trying to find where the Madman would be entering. The answer should have been obvious, knowing the past. A large mass of people wearing dark suits began descending on the Trump Tower escalator. In the middle of the gaggle stood a figure that was unmistakable to the entire world. That yellowish-whitish tuft of sheened hair, oddly sculpted in helmet like fashion around the spray-tanned orangish wrinkled face, all on top of the sloped, hulking shoulders that somewhat resembled a vulture at rest.

It was the Madman.

The Madman made his gradual, mechanical descent down the escalator, extending both his thumbs out to the crowd while a smirk formed at his mouth. At the bottom of the stairs, as if on cue, the music segued from Van Halen to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" as the Madman and his entourage made their way toward the podium. As the huddle began to disburse, a second figure emerged walking next to the Madman. This one was much shorter than the others, wearing a dark suit and red tie, his hair thick blonde but much more naturally so than that of the Madman. It almost appeared as though there was a genetically miniaturized version of the man walking alongside him.

"Good God," one reporter whispered to his neighbor. "He's cloned himself."

In reality, it was the Madman's 10-year old son, Barron Trump.

Mercifully, the Greenwood tune died down as the Madman took to the podium. Barron took to the Madman's right, looking as understandably bored as any 10-year old would being forced to accompany his father on the job as opposed to lazying the day away on an X-box.

"Good morning. Good morning everybody," the Madman said in his unmistakable nasal-tinged New York accent as he fiddled with the microphone attached to the podium. "Isn't this great? Isn't it great to be here? You all love it here. Admit it. There's nothing that beats this, nothing at all."

Flashes and camera snaps abounded as the Madman begun his remarks. Dualing teleprompters stood at the side of the podium. They were both left unplugged.

"I'm calling you all together today to give you a very brief statement and announcement regarding the claims from the intelligence community that the DNC emails were hacked during the election," the Madman continued. "A lot of you out there have made a lot of claims that I somehow benefited from these hacks or had something to do with them. Some of you have even said that the Russian government was behind the hacks because they wanted me to win."

The Madman let out an impulsive sniff. Barron stood passively next to him, hands at his side, taking in the press before him.

"I just think for you all to say that, it's sad," the Madman declared, "It's sad and it's pathetic and it's sad. So sad. You guys just want to sabotage me as I start my journey with the people, the people, to Make America Great AgainŠ. And it's not fair to me and it's not fair to the Russian government and Vladimir Putin who has so graciously reached out to me and expressed a desire to repair relations between our two countries after years and years of the failed Obama policies."

He paused and sniffed again.

"But enough about you, because it's not about you. It's about the American people. And of course, me," the Madman said.

"Anyways, the reason I'm calling you together here today is because I decided to conduct my own intelligence review about the hacks," the Madman continued. "So I got a bunch of guys, smart guys, the best guys, and they sat down together and they looked at the intelligence, all of it, and they found out what was really going on. And I have to tell you, it's shocking. It will shock you. Truly shocking."

Another sniff.

"So remember when I had that debate with Crooked Hillary Clinton, I mean Hillary Clinton, sorry, and I told her that anybody could hack a computer, even some really fat disgusting 400 pound guy?" the Madman asked. "And then I went on about how great my son was with computers, and all you guys could talk about was how stupid I sounded and how you thought Crooked Hillary Clinton, I mean Hillary Clinton, won the debate?"

Barron, at the time nearly falling into a standing slumber at the boorishness of his father's remarks, shook to alertness upon being referenced by the Madman.

"Well, when I had my guys, who were the best guys, look into it, and yeah, so it turns out that Barron is actually the one who hacked the DNC. My son. He's the one who did it," the Madman announced.

"Huh, Dad?" Barron shot his father a quizzical look.

"Much as I'm as proud of my children, all of my children, but especially my oldest three, I know you here in the press are going to demand accountability, so I have to do something about it or you guys aren't going to shut the hell up," the Madman declared. "And I'd really like for you guys to shut the hell up."

"Wait, what?" Barron gestured as his father, who ignored him and continued on unfazed.

"So that is why I, with a very heavy heart, and using the absolute powers granted to me by the United States Constitution as the President-elect, am hereby instructing my private security detail to seize Barron and transport him to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to be held indefinitely, and maybe then, just then, he'll learn his lesson."

"WHAT THE FUCK, DAD?!?" Barron shouted.

Gasps of horror emerged from the press corps. Out of a side corridor emerged two large, muscle-bound men dressed in khaki fatigues and black bulletproof vests, their faces obscured by balaclavas, with no insignias on their uniforms but for a golden "T" badge sewn on their shoulders. They surrounded Barron and grasped him by both arms.

"Dad....Dad....DAD!" Barron screamed as the men began to pull him away.

The Madman shrugged and sniffed before continuing with his remarks.

"So, in conclusion, I alone have solved the DNC hacking mystery and thanks to you as a result of you people continuing to pester me about it, a ten year old boy is going to be sent off to a detention center to live alongside terror suspects who have spent years stewing in custody without the benefit of due process of law," the Madman said. "I hope you in the press are all very happy for yourselves for that fact. I know you are. I'm sure you all just love it."

The Madman shot off a silent glare to the reporters. Barron's shouting became more faint as the Madman's security detailed pulled him off towards the hallway.

"Oh, Barron," the Madman shouted in the direction of the hallway, "While you're down there, say hello to your sister for me."

More muffled sounds emerged from the hall.

"No, not Ivanka," the Madman answered. "You know, the other one."

The Madman turned to the press corps and smirked. "Ivanka," he scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief.

The entire group of reporters sat in stunned silence, their mouths all agape.

"Oh yeah," the Madman added. "And in the event that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton somehow are able to evade my security detail and successfully flee the country before I take office, any subsequent economic downturn, err, um, well that all is going to be Barron's fault as well, so two birds and one stone and all that shit."

More silence. The Madman sniffed again.

"I think this is the part where you guys are supposed to ask me questions, so let's get this over with," the Madman said.

It took three more sniffs of the Madman before a female reporter finally mustered up the courage to stand up. She raised a shaking hand.

"Mr. President-elect," the reporter began. "Any idea as to what the future First Lady might think of this, with you sending her only son to Guantanamo Bay?"

"First Lady?" the Madman responded, "You mean Ivanka?"

"Um, no," the reporter replied, puzzled. "I mean Melania."

"Oh yeah. Her," the Madman went on. "Honestly, I don't know. I don't really care. Truth be told, the odometer on Melania keeps on going up and up and there's only so much plastic surgery can do for her. Time to trade her in for the newer model. She's like what, thirty-four?"

"She's 46," the reporter answered. "Forty-six years old."

Impulsively, the Madman shuttered and clenched his teeth, like a vampire faced with a crucifix.

"EHH!" he exclaimed. "Yeah, I guess you can say that settles that, then. Say, how old are you, sweetie? Because I have to say, not bad. Not bad at all."

The Madman leered in and smiled. The reporter shook her head and sat down, disgusted. Another one several rows back stood up in her place.

"Mr. President-elect," the reporter said, "Is this some sort of horrific publicity stunt? Sending your own son to Guantanamo Bay for hacking that the intelligence community clearly believes was perpetuated by the Russians to help get you elected? Do you really intend to keep your son down there as a scapegoat while blaming us for it?"

The Madman shot off a brief eyeroll accompanied by a sniff before answering.

"Well," the Madman said. "There's the pardon power. That's the great thing about being President, it's that you can pardon people. And I intend to pardon people around me. A lot. Like, constantly. And I'll be pardoning myself too, just to be fair. So to answer your question, sure, I could always pardon Barron if I like, so maybe I'll do that eventually."

The Madman stopped, waiting for some feedback from the reporter. Instead, he got shut out.

"But maybe I'll let him stew for a month or two before I do that," the Madman continued. "Teach him a lesson. You know, Millennials. He's a Millennial. They all just think they're entitled to everything, those Millennials. They think the world should just give them a job, even if they're not even remotely qualified for it. And everything will be about them, only them, that's all they want to talk about, themselves. And they're so goddamned obsessed with social media and broadcasting every single little thought in their head on social media and at some point you just have to say just shut the fuck up about yourself because you're just making yourself out to be a damn fool to the world and making more and more people hate your guts."

The press corps remained dead silent. The Madman sniffed again.

"Okay, well, I'm about tired of all this, so it's been fun. Really fun," the Madman said. "You're all going look forward to my next few tweets, believe me. I'll do this again, well, whenever I really want to. And when it happens, you're going to really love it. You really will."

With that, the Madman stepped away from the podium and was quickly surrounded by his entourage as they made their way to the escalator. Soon, the P.A. system kicked in the familiar choir intro to The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want," the unofficial and very much unauthorized show closer of the Madman's campaign. The Madman climbed aboard the golden escalator and gave the gathering one more double barreled thumbs up as he ascended upwards before being ushered into an elevator back to his palatial apartment at the top of Trump Tower.

And the press, somewhat overwhelmed by the spectacle that had just unfolded before their very eyes, slowly began to stand up, gather their things and leave, and wonder as to the next time they'd be called before the Madman.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Jan 5, 2017, 01:20 PM (6 replies)
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