Thursday, July 18, 2019

Donald Trump is America's Racist-in-Chief: Why is Anyone Surprised By His Vile Attacks on Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley?

Donald Trump dug deeper than ever into his bucket of political scatology this weekend. On Sunday, in tweets already made infamous, he proclaimed:
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!
This is another version of "America: Love it or leave it!" It's troglodyte patriotism, low and unseemly coming from a drunk on a barstool, and nearly impossible to believe coming from the president of the United States.

Trump's "Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" are no mystery. He means Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, all freshmen elected last year. Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx. Pressley was born in Cincinnati. Tlaib was born in Detroit.

Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia and came to America as a refugee in 1995. Unlike those Americans who hit the geographic and genetic lottery by being born in the United States, she chose to become an American citizen in the year 2000, at 17 years old. Her patriotism and loyalty to America are proven by her choice to be a public servant and by the policy goals she has pursued.This kind of "Love it or leave it!" patriotism has always been infused with white supremacy. Such language has have routinely been directed towards nonwhites and others — especially liberals, progressives and socialists — who want to make the United States a better country. Those who throw these rhetorical bombs imagine the nation as one being a "real American" is synonymous with being white and Christian.

Trump's comments are not surprising or shocking. Throughout his public life, Trump has shown himself to be a racist and a bigot.

Journalist Jonathan M. Katz summarized this perfectly on Twitter, writing on Sunday: "Donald Trump was an authoritarian white supremacist with fascist tendencies in 2015, and every single public figure and publication that did not make that clear from the moment he announced is complicit in the #ICEraid, the concentration camps, and everything happening today."

For all of the talk about how the Democrats are obsessed with "identity politics" in reality it is Donald Trump, the Republican Party and their supporters who wield it like a whipsaw against multiracial democracy and black and brown people.

The only riddle — and it is not much of one — is why so many members of the chattering class remain in denial about who and what Donald Trump really is.

The answer lies in white racial innocence: the presumption that to be "white" is to be inherently benign in one's intent and behavior, and in the outcomes which generally result. Donald Trump is the country's most prominent beneficiary of that type of white privilege.

There remains, even now, a fear and reluctance among the mainstream news media to describe Donald Trump as a racist or a white supremacist. Instead his bigotry is treated as a puzzle or the source of indecipherable questions. We can't know what is in his heart. Trump is often said to "misspeak" or to "make inaccurate statements."

Human Rights Attorney Hope Frye Explains the Evils She Witnessed Inside of Trump's Concentration Camps

Hope Frye is a human rights attorney who has been defending the human dignity and civil rights of migrants, refugees and other groups of vulnerable people for 40 years. Hope became involved  when she chaired the Board of Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law and now leads teams of lawyers and doctors into ORR, ICE and CBP detention facilities to monitor compliance with the landmark 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement governing the treatment of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children.
The Flores decision has governed the care of these children until Trump's vile regime circumvented that agreement.
Most recently she has lead teams to McAllen, Texas, Homestead, Florida, and several facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. She is the attorney who discovered the premature newborn and recovering young mother at an overcrowded processing facility in McAllen, Texas last month.
Hope Frye explains how Donald Trump's regime is violating American and international law in its treatment of migrants and refugees and why the culture of the Border Patrol and ICE encourages cruelty towards non-white immigrants, refugees, and migrants. Frye also shares her experiences documenting the horrible conditions inside of Trump's concentration camps and what it was like to discover a young mother and her premature baby who were suffering at the hands of Trump's Border Patrol enforcers.
During this week's podcast Chauncey explains why Donald Trump's authoritarian right-wing July 4th "celebration" was a carnival of white supremacy where Trump's MAGAite faithful eagerly waited for his special love juice and other sacred fluids. Chauncey also "connects the dots" between Trump's vile July 4th event and how the Republican Party is a dangerous revanchist destructive organization on a global scale.
And at the end of this week's show Chauncey reflects on America's moral reckoning and the poem "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson.

Eve Ensler on Righteous Anger, Forgiveness and Her New Book "The Apology"

Eve Ensler is an author, Tony Award-winner, playwright and activist. Her award-winning play The Vagina Monologues ran for more than 10 years and has been performed in more than 140 countries. Ensler's new book The Apology is a meditation on the decades of sexual abuse and other violence she endured from her father and on how she finally purged his power over her life through creative confrontation and forgiveness. 
Ensler reflects on the rise of Donald Trump and America's moral crisis, privilege and responsibility, healthy masculinity, why only certain groups in America are forced to forgive the transgressions against them, and how women who dare to publicly speak out against rapists and abusers are often made to suffer more trauma. 
Ensler also explains the power of righteous anger, her own choice to forgive her abusive father, and what she gained and sacrificed through the process of writing The Apology.
During this week's podcast Chauncey explains how the culture of violence among Trump's Border Patrol and ICE enforcers is much greater and bigger than a few "bad apples" and the ways that Michael Pence's "inspection tour" of his boss's concentration camps is an example of human evil across history. 
Chauncey also cautions people that the act of brave resistance by a freedom fighter in Tacoma, Washington who engaged in direct action against one of the Trump's regime's concentration camps on Saturday will be used to make the regime's Border Patrol and other foot soldier hooligans into "the real victims". 
And on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show our intrepid host shares some movie reviews and also a wonderful animal friend story.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Global Emergency: Psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee Explains How the Mueller Report Shows that Donald Trump is Mentally Unfit to be President of the United States

Dr. Lee is a forensic psychiatrist and a leading expert on violence at the Yale School of Medicine. She is also the editor of the New York Times bestseller, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

In response to the Mueller report Dr. Lee convened a panel consisting of some of the country's and world's leading mental health experts. Acting in the interest of public health and safety their goal was to determine Donald Trump's mental fitness based on the information contained in the near-exhaustive and comprehensive Mueller report.

Their conclusion: Trump is mentally unfit, a threat to the United States and the world, and as such should have his powers severely restricted.

And it is fundraising month to support The Chauncey DeVega Show and now The Truth Report. I do not advertise on The Chauncey DeVega Show. Both of these podcasts take a great amount of time to produce each week. If you would like to help The Chauncey DeVega Show stay afloat and grow please show some love via Paypal which can be found over on the right sidebar.

Many people listen to my podcast each week because of the amazing guests I have been lucky to speak with there in our shared effort to help the American people and the world understand and survive Trump's malignant reality.

Your kindness and generosity sustains The Chauncey DeVega Show and allows it to continue and to grow.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Conversation with Author Ben Fountain About How American Democracy is Broken and Donald Trump and His Supporters are Burning It All Down

Ben Fountain is the author of the novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Fountain traveled across the country during Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign in an effort to document that political and social disaster as it took place in real time. The result is his most recent book Beautiful Country Burn Again

Fountain explains the deep and burning rage in America from a lack of hope and limited dreams which in turn helped to spawn Trumpism, why Trump's deplorables love him so, and how America's democracy went so wrong. Fountain also highlights how the Democratic Party shares no small amount of responsibility for Trump's reactionary movement because they succumbed to neoliberalism and abandoned American workers to the gangster capitalists.

On this week's show Chauncey DeVega says what must be said about (now private citizen) Robert Mueller: he is a coward and not a hero. Chauncey also warns the public that Trump and his personal bodyguard and human shield William Barr are and will be collecting receipts against their enemies such as journalists and reporters who dare to tell the truth about this regime.

On this week's show Chauncey DeVega says what must be said about (now private citizen) Robert Mueller: he is a coward and not a hero. Chauncey also warns the public that Trump and his personal bodyguard and human shield William Barr are and will be collecting receipts against their enemies such as journalists and reporters who dare to tell the truth about this regime.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rule by the Stupid and the Corrupt: Donald Trump is the King of the American Kakistocracy and Ben Carson is his Favorite Court Jester

Donald Trump is the leader of the American kakistocracy — a term that means rule by the stupid, ignorant, lazy and profoundly incompetent. As business professor André Spicer described it in a Guardian op-ed, a kakistocracy is "the wicked disorder that can result when expertise and ethical judgment are aggressively and systematically pushed aside."

On Wednesday, in keeping with his ceremonial duties as king of the kakistocrats, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in the Rose Garden after reportedly throwing a temper tantrum during a (very brief) meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump proclaimed, "I don't do cover-ups" and announced that there would no trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as long as Democrats in Congress dared to investigate him.

Along with the seal of the President of the United States, Trump's lectern was festooned with a placard that read "no collusion" and "no obstruction," and included other supposedly favorable details about Robert Mueller's investigation, at least as massaged and misrepresented by Attorney General William Barr.

The net effect of Trump's press conference was akin to a scene from Mike Judge's satire "Idiocracy" but with one key difference: Judge's fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is more intelligent than Donald Trump, possesses more charisma and after his own fashion actually cares about the welfare of the United States.

Given his horrible public and private behavior and his gross defects in character and morals, Donald Trump's "no collusion, no obstruction" is the political equivalent of an attorney asking a defendant in court, "When did you stop beating your wife?" That the president of the United States must repeatedly deny engaging in criminal behavior is a de facto confession to virtually everything Trump has been accused of doing.

And of course Trump chose to lie, as usual. During his Wednesday press conference Trump chose a lie of omission: the other part of the ABC News infographic which he and his minions chose to discard detailed all of Trump's allies who have been charged, convicted or imprisoned because of Mueller's investigation.

A king has a court. This is especially true in a kakistocracy. Donald Trump's favorite jester of the moment is Ben Carson, the famed brain surgeon now turned secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

On Tuesday, Carson testified before Congress, displaying no evidence of the supposed intelligence that enabled him to become one of the country's most celebrated pediatric brain surgeons.

During his testimony, Carson could not answer basic questions about his job and what it entails. He appeared to lack even the most elemental expertise necessary to serve in a cabinet-level position — for any agency.

Carson was unable even to answer a simple question about foreclosures: Carson repeatedly confused the term "REO" (meaning real estate owned properties) with Oreo cookies.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Donald Trump, The Republican Party And Their Russian Allies Ambushed American Democracy — But The Democrats Won't Fight Back

Donald Trump, the Republican Party and their Russian allies ambushed American democracy during the 2016 presidential election.

When caught in an ambush there are three viable options.

Hunker down and do nothing. This is a losing tactic. The ambushers still win.

Retreat and run away. This too is a losing tactic. The ambushers still win.

Attack. This is the only way to defeat the ambushers.

It would seem that the Democratic Party's leaders have not learned these very important rules. They will continue to do the first two things and are terrified of the last.

In their attack on American democracy, Donald Trump, his Republican Party and their allies have demonstrated a continual disrespect for the rule of the law, the Constitution and the country's democratic norms and rules.

As revealed by Robert Mueller's report, Trump has actually attempted to have Hillary Clinton put in prison.

Trump colluded with Russia, a hostile foreign power, to steal the 2016 presidential election from the American people. (Whether this was a criminal conspiracy or not, as defined by law, is missing the point.)

The Trump regime has put thousands of children and their families in concentration camps. Trump also has plans to unleash America's military on the country's cities with orders to arrest "illegal aliens." Like other authoritarians, Trump has no respect for human rights and international law. In the most recent example, he apparently plans to pardon American war criminals for Memorial Day.

Trump has obstructed justice, both publicly and in private. He continues to ignore the emoluments clause of the Constitution, using the office of the president as a way to personally enrich himself, his family and other members of his inner circle through apparent bribery, kickbacks, direct payments and other schemes.

Trump encourages violence against those Americans he and his supporters view as the "enemy." He publicly admires and supports authoritarian rulers and other dictators.

Trump declared a national state of emergency, ostensibly to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but more likely in order to expand his power by weakening the Constitution's checks and balances on his power.

Trump has installed an attorney general and other officials who view him as a monarch who is above the law. To that end, Trump has ordered his administration not to cooperate with Congress regarding subpoenas, appearing at hearing, or surrendering documents and other information as mandated by the law and precedent.

Democracy is their enemy: Donald Trump and the Republican Party continue to enact laws that will keep nonwhites and other Democratic Party supporters from voting.

How have the Democratic Party's leaders responded to Donald Trump and his out of control authoritarian regime?

Friday, May 17, 2019

Donald Trump is America's White Welfare King

Donald Trump is America's White Welfare King.

He fulfills this role in several ways.

Trump threatens the sense of safety and security — the general welfare — of White America by making constant, ominous threats about the murderous, rapist and otherwise dangerous nonwhite immigrants who are invading our sacred nation. Trump then promises to "keep America safe" from these "invaders" by building a "fabulous wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump stokes the egos and collective narcissism of his resentful and bigoted supporters. He satisfies their short-term emotional welfare by fueling and arousing the psychological wages of whiteness.

Trump makes great promises about restoring, securing and protecting the economic welfare of those "forgotten" Americans in Rust Belt and red state America by forcing the coal industry and manufacturers to remain in those areas. Trump also makes promises about health care, the environment, education and other public policies. His promises, are of course, lies.

It is a rare thing when Donald Trump the White Welfare King actually provides anything of material benefit or substance for his supporters.

As always, King Trump is a political sadist who injures and damages his supporters — especially those of the fabled "white working class" — but then promises to provide a salve for the very pain that he and his Republican Party caused. His trade war with China and the economic hardship it has caused America's farmers and other groups is one such example.

As reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, last week Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent (from 10 percent) and threatened to impose still more and higher tariffs. To no one's surprise, China responded with similar tariff increases. Despite Trump's comments to the contrary, these costs are borne directly by consumers in both countries.

Mr. Trump, cognizant of China’s penchant for hitting where it hurts, said he expected Beijing to once again retaliate against America’s farmers by slowing or stopping purchases of agricultural products, like soybeans and farm equipment.

Trump's administration provided $12 billion in aid to farmers last year to partly make up for sales lost to the trade war, and will likely provide a similar bailout this year as well, quite likely larger. The Times report continues:
Farmers say that they would prefer free trade over government subsidies. But with exports of products such as wheat and soybeans to China drying up, they are willing to take whatever help they can get. 
“It’s going to be needed,” said John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa, and chairman of the American Soybean Association. “I hear from so many farmers now, how they’re struggling.” 
Mr. Heisdorffer said that many farmers are feeling emotionally drained by the ups and downs of the trade negotiations with China and that he hopes Mr. Trump can find a way to roll back all the tariffs. 
“At this point, I still hear a lot of support for the president,” he said. “We support what he’s doing, but we felt all the time that there was a different way than tariffs to have done it.”
As if emulating Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and the other authoritarians and dictators he so publicly admires and swoons over, Trump proclaimed on Twitter on Tuesday that "Our great Patriot Farmers" will somehow be the ultimate beneficiaries of his trade war with China.

Trump's taxpayer bailouts for America's farmers is an old story, a fixture in the country's past and present which is often taken for granted.

Whiteness is a form of property that pays economic and other dividends to white people. Although all white people do not benefit in the same way from this fact, it is nonetheless one of the universal benefits that derives from being deemed "white" in America and other parts of the world.

There are many examples of this bounty. As a group white Americans (and European immigrants) were given free land — most of it stolen from indigenous people by the Homestead Acts passed during and after the Civil War. Historians and economists estimate that this land would be worth trillions of dollars today. This inequality was one of the foundations (along with white-on-black chattel slavery) of the race and wealth gap that still exists, 150 years later.

Writing at Aeon, Historian Keri Leigh Merritt explains:
The Homestead Acts were unquestionably the most extensive, radical, redistributive governmental policy in US history. The number of adult descendants of the original Homestead Act recipients living in the year 2000 was estimated to be around 46 million people, about a quarter of the US adult population. If that many white Americans can trace their legacy of wealth and property ownership to a single entitlement programme, then the perpetuation of black poverty must also be linked to national policy. Indeed, the Homestead Acts excluded African Americans not in letter, but in practice — a template that the government would propagate for the next century and a half. 
With the advent of emancipation, therefore, blacks became the only race in the US ever to start out, as an entire people, with close to zero capital. Having nothing else upon which to build or generate wealth, the majority of freedmen had little real chance of breaking the cycles of poverty created by slavery, and perpetuated by federal policy. The stain of slavery, it seems, is much more widespread and lasting than many Americans have admitted. Yet it is the legacy of the Reconstruction — particularly the failure of land redistribution — that so closely coupled poverty and race in the US.
Beginning in the 1930s and the 1940s, the New Deal era's VA and FHA loan programs provided money and other economic supports for white Americans. Nonwhites were largely excluded from these opportunities.

Collectively these programs helped to create the American middle class, which at its inception was almost entirely white. They did so by unequally and unfairly transferring income and wealth away from nonwhites.

In total, the VA and FHA home loan programs and the G.I. Bill were the largest wealth and income-creating, as well as wealth transfer programs in the 20th century and perhaps all of American history — if one "neatly" and incorrectly excludes slavery and land theft From Native Americans.

What social scientists have described as the "submerged state" — tax credits, tax breaks and other government incentives that many Americans receive but do not generally acknowledge —disproportionately transfers wealth and income to white people in America as compared to other groups. Opportunity hoarding by the top 20 percent of Americans, a group that is disproportionately white, also contributes to extreme social inequality.

Here's another factor that ought not to be overlooked: The Republicans' recent "tax reforms" were a gift of at least $1.5 trillion from the American people to the very rich, a group that is disproportionately white and male, and significantly older than the general public.

Even Trump's payouts to farmers will disproportionately benefit white people. Why? African-American, Hispanic and other nonwhite farmers have been systematic targets of racial discrimination, by the U.S. government as well as many white communities across the country.

Who is excluded from the largess of King Trump's White Welfare money machine?

The people of Puerto Rico. Trump believes they do not need any additional disaster assistance because they are, in his eyes, lazy and need to help themselves.

The people of California. They are somehow responsible for the infernos that caused at least $9 billion in damage and killed 85 people.

Nonwhite people in America's inner cities and other parts of the country. Conservatives — and too many others, including some Democrats — believe they have "bad culture" and need to learn "personal responsibility." Federal money for improved schools, housing, and other needs would, in Trump and the right-wing movement's deranged view of "the inner city" (aka black people), be wasted.

Children, the elderly, the sick and infirm, the homeless, the disabled and other groups who, in the right-wing movement's neoliberal, Malthusian and social Darwinist worldview are "surplus people." Ayn Rand's and Milton Friedman's and the Koch brothers' dreams have become the American people's nightmares.

Who is included in King Trump's White Welfare gift-giving?

Big business and the already rich, of course. The Pentagon is never to be denied. But most important, "Trump's people" — those whom his advisers and supporters deem to be the "real Americans." They are white, right-wing conservatives. Many are also Christian nationalists, Dominionists, and right-wing fundamentalists of other varieties.

In American politics the following truisms still apply: "All politics is local"; "A chicken in every pot"; "What have you done for me lately?"; and "Bring home the bacon."

Historian Ibram X. Kendi recently described Trump's farm policies in a Twitter post this way: "Welfare for conservatives against welfare. But even more insidiously, this is buying votes. The Trump administration buys White conservative votes and suppresses the votes of his enemies — and neither is an international corruption scandal. What a time to be alive."

This is King Trump's great "innovation": He has melded his unapologetic white identity politics with authoritarianism, naked corruption and poorly designed welfare policies for white people.

Monday, May 13, 2019

When Prophecy Fails: Donald Trump is the "Sunk Cost" President and the "Billion-Dollar Loser"

Donald Trump does not exist. He is a character who plays many roles simultaneously. Trump is a vigilante, professional wrestling villain, a TV pitchman and a reality TV star. He's also a cad, a bully and a wannabe dictator. And yes, he is a billionaire. (Or rather, he plays one on TV.) Because of his guile, boldness, help from foreign sponsors and — yes, let's admit it — his charisma, in 2016 Donald Trump won the greatest role on the world stage: President of the United States of America.

Last Tuesday, the New York Times revealed more about the man behind the character: Donald Trump is also a "billion-dollar loser."
The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.
The Times reported that Trump "appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer" during the years in question. In 1990 and 1991 alone, Trump's "core business losses" of roughly $250 million a year "were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers," according to IRS information. Trump did not pay any income taxes in eight of the 10 years for which the Times obtained his returns.

This is not much of a revelation. It only confirms what has long been suspected and (increasingly) known by the public.

In 2018, the New York Times revealed that Trump received at least $400 million from his father, mostly through elaborate schemes to avoid paying taxes and other untoward if not illegal means.

Investigative reporter Craig Unger told Salon last October that he believes Trump has laundered money for foreign oligarchs and criminals:
By 2002, a company called Bayrock Group LLC had moved into the 24th floor of Trump Tower. They began partnering with him. They made Trump an offer that he could not refuse. It was a completely different paradigm from his old business relationships. Suddenly Trump started dealing with cash and he couldn’t get bank loans except some from Deutsche Bank. He was so bankrupt that almost no Western bank could loan him a dime. 
These were ways of laundering money that Trump had. The financing of building projects that involved $400 million or $500 million to build a skyscraper. Once the building was built, they could sell the condos through the shell companies, limited liability corporations and so forth. This was done anonymously in all cash transactions with the Russian oligarchs and other people affiliated with the Russian mafia.
In a conversation with Salon in April of 2018, Pulitzer-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who has followed Trump's career for decades, discussed the president's apparent criminal connections:
Here are the key things people should know about Donald Trump. He comes from a family of criminals: His grandfather made his fortune running whorehouses in Seattle and in the Yukon Territory. His father, Fred, had a business partner named Willie Tomasello, who was an associate of the Gambino crime family. Trump's father was also investigated by the U.S. Senate for ripping off the government for what would be the equivalent of $36 million in today's money. Donald got his showmanship from his dad, as well as his comfort with organized criminals.
This new information about Trump's finances also connects directly with Robert Mueller's findings about the president's collusion with Russian cutouts and other representatives, and the dark cloud of other highly suspect behavior which still hangs over Trump's regime.

In a post this week for the DCReport (his own site), Johnston connects the dots:
In the Oval Office Trump disclosed sources and methods, the most sensitive intelligence information, to the Russian foreign minister and its ambassador to America. We know this only because the Russians announced it, by the way. 
Imagine for a moment what would have happened if Barack Obama had behaved that way. 
What is the complete financial history between the oligarchs, as Putin’s gang of thieves is known, and Trump? 
It may be that Trump is just a fool, not Putin’s tool. But we don’t know because Trump is stonewalling on the Mueller Report, which he tried to block by firing Mueller (his aides would not carry out the order) and holding back testimony and the redacted portions of the report. Since Trump has said Mueller vindicated him, why would Trump do this? The answer is obvious. 
The story of Trump’s taxes is the story of a man whose lying, cheating, stealing and continual need for cash to sustain the image of a multi-billionaire has made him vulnerable to kompromat. It is the story of a known tax cheat who has taken an oath to uphold and defend our Constitution but ignores that oath, violate that oath.
It is a story whose most salient financial circumstances and connections remain hidden. And they will remain hidden unless we demand transparency not from Trump, who will never be open, but from our Congress.
Will all these "revelations" actually damage Trump's popularity and his likelihood of winning re-election in 2020?

Democrats, never-Trumpers and members of the so-called Resistance are desperate to believe that it will. They cling to the enduring hope that Trump, the tin-man dictator, has a hidden off-switch that will deactivate him. In this narrative exposing Trump as a fraud will somehow force his supporters into a moment of realization that they made a horrible mistake in electing such a person and continuing to support him in overwhelming numbers. Alas, no such button exists.

Donald Trump's popularity will endure. This is a function of many things. Trumpism is a cultural movement, not merely a set of political policies or goals. Trump and his followers are knotted together in a political cult. His appeal has always been about much more than celebrity politics; he is a symbol of racial grievances and white rage, a widespread rejection of America's multiracial democracy. Democrats and others who oppose Trump and his authoritarian movement still fail to understand that symbols such as these cannot be defeated by appeals to reason or the deployment of facts.

There are (at least) two other reasons why Trump's exposure as a billion-dollar fraud will in all likelihood do nothing to affect the likelihood that he wins re-election in 2020.

A Conversation with Ira Steven Behr About the Legacy, Meaning and Politics of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the New Documentary What We Left Behind

There are two guests on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Ira Steven Behr was the showrunner and executive producer of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is also the co-director and executive producer of the new documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Behr has also been a writer and executive producer on the HBO series Outlander.

He reflects on the origins of Deep Space Nine, what he learned from the new documentary What We Left Behind, the challenges and triumphs of creating what would be such a highly influential non-episodic TV series, escaping the shadow of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the choices that were made regarding Avery Brooks' character Captain Benjamin Sisko (the first black starring character in Star Trek history), how the show dealt with topical issues such as religion, ethnic conflict, poverty, sexism, as well as gay and lesbian relationships.

Behr also shares the storyline of what a hypothetical eighth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would have looked like.

Hugo-award nominated podcaster and writer Alasdair Stuart is the second guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

He shares his thoughts on the new movie Avengers: Endgame and its problematic treatment of female characters such as Nebula and Black Widow, how the film is a well-deserved love letter to Robert Downey Jr.'s depiction of Iron Man, and where the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes with and after the new Spiderman movie.

Chauncey and Alasdair also share some hopes and worries about J.J. Abrams and his new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and ponder why this generation of fans seem so invested in how much money a movie makes as some type of (sad and pathetic) validation of their own self-esteem and identity.

On this week's show, Chauncey DeVega laughs at those members of the so-called "Resistance" who think that this newest "revelation" about Donald Trump losing a billion dollars and likely committing tax fraud will actually hurt his popularity among the Trump CHUD cultists and Republicans as a whole. Why won't this newest "scandal" matter? This is all explained by the sunk cost fallacy and the classic social psychology research study When Prophecy Fails.

Chauncey also reflects on Gene Roddenberry's hopeful vision of the future as seen in Star Trek and how far America and humankind have to go to achieve such a goal.