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Do Not Ask For Whom The Buck Stops, It Sure As Hell Doesn't Stop With Trump

Trump

Donald Trump's stupid shutdown over the WALL Nancy Pelosi told him he's never gonna get drags on for the third week. Furloughed federal workers are trapped in a Steinbeck novel with no clear ending. Isn't Trump in some way responsible for the misery he causes? The president rejected any accountability during his regularly scheduled "Looney Tunes" remarks to the press.

REPORTER: "Does the buck stop with you over this shutdown?"

TRUMP: "The buck stops with everybody."

This is an interesting spin on the phrase former president Harry S. Truman popularized. How can one singular dollar stop with everyone? It would be so gross and sticky by the end. That's why people use Venmo. Maybe Trump was speaking metaphorically. If so, what a bold collectivist statement! The buck stops with us all. Everyone gets a buck! That sounds awesome, but unfortunately, Trump isn't some common Marxist. He's only talking about redistributing blame.


Hey, Ms. Kennedy, please don't tell us how to do our jobs. We'll find a way to drag Trump, even if there is no point. Trump has tweeted bromides about leadership that sounded like John Lennon lyrics if the former Beatle were a Wall Street sociopath. But that was when Barack Obama was president and everything was his fault. Now, Trump is president and everything is everyone else's fault. Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in Cairo yesterday where he attacked Obama as if the guy was still president. Believe us, sir, wishing won't make it so.

"Passing the buck" is a common theme in the Trump administration. You know, the "buck" in that famous phrase doesn't refer to money. It's actually a knife. The handle was made from a buck's horn (poor Bambi's dad). When playing poker, you'd pass the buck-handled knife to the person whose turn it was to deal the cards. I was all set to link to you some more fun facts about "bucks," Truman, and real presidents, but this is what I discovered at the Truman library site.

Trumanlibrary.org

Because you know, the government is shut down. (Yes, yes, you can continue past the warning and Truman probably didn't update any of his entries, please do not get bogged down in details like this parenthetical already has.)

Trump probably never considered or even imagined that federal workers led lives of such quiet financial desperation that going a few weeks without work could cost them everything. He needs to drag Democrats into the moral quicksand with him. This is both shameless and stupid. The shutdown isn't some left cheek sneak he passed in the Oval Office with no one the wiser. He crapped himself in front of the nation, as Pelosi will never let him forget.

The president is a gangster who doesn't respect your intelligence enough to be subtle. Instead of "Nice government you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it," Trump just drops, "I will shut down the government if you don't give me what I want. I am threatening you. This is the threat."

The speaker's clip is relatively brief. Trump actually kept incriminating himself. And just look at Chuck Schumer's posture. Doesn't Trump know the dude's obviously wearing a wire?

TRUMP: "So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it…. I will take the mantle of shutting down."

He said "mantle" a lot. No one knows why. Does he have a buck on the mantle? No, because the buck stops with everybody.

I'm not going to flatter Trump by claiming he has some grandiose psychological disorder. I'm also not going to insult those who suffer from mental illness by comparing Trump negatively to them. No, Trump is just a spoiled brat whose parents didn't raise him right. He probably seriously believes whoever doesn't give in to his latest nonsensical demands is equally, if not more so, responsible for his unreasonable reaction. This is why you don't hand the presidency over to egomaniacs who slap their names on tasteless buildings and tasteless steaks.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins runs from March through May at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo.

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Remember a few weeks ago when House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler sent a very nice and loving request to 81 people and entities associated with Donald Trump, including the White House, asking to please FUCKING GIVE IT a million documents, in order to aid Judiciary's investigation into Trump's millions of crimes? Well, the deadline was Monday, and some folks are helping! Others are not!

According to Nadler, they've already gotten "tens of thousands" of documents, and all signs point to more document requests coming, to approximately one million more people. There have been some surprises, too. Steve Bannon is helping a LOT, turning over thousands of pages (which is perhaps too much if you've ever seen that episode of "The West Wing," where CJ Cregg talks about being so crazy over-compliant with Congress that they just snow down investigators with everything, including take-out menus and junk mail). Trump Inauguration weirdo/longtime associate Tom Barrack is helping, and Hope Hicks is also too gonna be a good little helper. And so on!

And some are asking for "friendly subpoenas," like for instance attorney Keith Davidson, who used to rep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who's asking for that in order to "formalize the process," as Politico puts it. (Some people don't like being asked nicely.)

Still others are saying straight up NO, and some of them have better reasons than others. Roger Stone is pleading the Fifth on advice of counsel because, you know, he's in trouble with the law right now. Rick Gates says he can't really help, citing how he is still a cooperating witness who is very business hunting wabbits in multiple ongoing investigations. And Julian Assange said no, because (LOL) he is a journalist, you guys, and Congress shouldn't subpoena journalists about their sources. (Actually WikiLeaks is a cut-out for Russian intelligence. Which is kind of like "journalist," except not remotely.)

But the real story here is that the White House, in response to pretty much every document request it's gotten, is saying "FUCK OFF! WE ARE GOING TO DO THE WATERGATE THING! IT WORKED OUT VERY WELL, IN WATERGATE! FUCK IT, LET'S DO THE WATERGATE THING!"

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