Birds of a Feather

Unfortunately, they’re cuckoo birds.

New York Magazine has a story titled: “The Scariest Thing About Trump: Michael Flynn’s Team of Nutters.” After reading it, I understand their characterization, although I find it very difficult to single out any one of Trump’s demented choices and activities as “scariest.” (I’ve been in a perpetually  terrified state since November 8.)

That said, the article makes a pretty persuasive argument that Flynn is certifiable. And when you consider that Presidents have far more authority over foreign policy than over domestic matters, it’s pretty chilling.

The opening paragraphs of the article by Jonathan Chait capture the threat posed by a President who lacks not only experience, but judgment, intellect and any interest in educating himself.

The most frightening aspect of the looming Donald Trump presidency is not so much the likely outcomes, many of which are horrifying, as the unlikely ones. Running the federal government of the world’s most powerful country is hard, and many things can go wrong. Full control of government is about to pass into the hands of a party that, when it last had it, left the economy and the world in a shambles. These disasters occurred because the party’s ideological extremism made it unequipped to make pragmatic choices, and because its chief executive was a mental lightweight. Sixteen years after it last came to power, the party has grown far more ideologically extreme, and its head of state is much less competent. Many of the risks of an extremist party led by an unqualified president are difficult to foresee in advance. But one is especially glaring: the appointment of Michael Flynn to be national security adviser.

National security adviser is a crucial position for any president. It is especially so for a uniquely inexperienced one. (Donald Trump being the only president in American history lacking any public experience in either a civilian or military role.) And it is all the more crucial given Trump’s flamboyant lack of interest in getting up to speed (he confounded his aides by eschewing briefing books throughout the campaign, and has turned down most of his intelligence briefings since the election.) Flynn’s appointment is the one that contains the sum of all fears of Trumpian government.

Chait says that Flynn exhibits the worst qualities of Dick Cheney, “but in exaggerated form.” Like Trump, Flynn is a sucker for conspiracy theories. He believes, for example, that Islamists have infiltrated the Mexican border, guided along the way by Arabic-language signs he says he’s seen. (The Mexicans–and even the Texans– might find that belief a bit…bizarre.) Flynn also believes that Democrats have imposed “Sharia law” in parts of Florida. He once suggested Hillary Clinton could have been involved in child sex trafficking.

Chait says that Flynn’s subordinates at the Defense Intelligence Agency gave these frequent theories a name. “Flynn facts,” are code for the opposite of factual.

As the article documents, Flynn has surrounded himself with equally delusional staff. Perhaps the scariest paragraph in the entire article is this one:

Compounding Flynn’s susceptibility to conspiracy theories is his professed hostility to any information that undercuts his preconceived notions. According to a former subordinate speaking to the New York Times, in a meeting with his staff “Mr. Flynn said that the first thing everyone needed to know was that he was always right. His staff would know they were right, he said, when their views melded to his.”

This is the man–and the philosophy–that will guide a President Trump in his dealings with the rest of the world–a man chosen largely because his delusions, self-regard and self-righteous certainty mirror the qualities of our incoming Commander-in-Chief. As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.

If the fact that these two cuckoo birds will have control of American foreign policy (not to mention the nuclear codes) doesn’t keep you up at night, you must have nerves of steel.


  1. Just as I was kind of wondering if Mr. Trump might bring the Republican party into the light of day by focusing on and using “pragmatism” — that gets shot down with what this says! Oh, man!

  2. Back in the 30’s the perfect crime of MURDER was attempted by two geniuses at the University of Chicago. They were apprehended and prosecuted.

    In the 40’s, Adolph Hitler and his inner circle attempted another perfect crime, this time it was GENOCIDE and those that were still alive were prosecuted.

    In this century, Donald Trump and his cohorts are committing the perfect crime: FUTURCIDE. Unlike GENOCIDE, there will be no one left to prosecute. He’s already started a cascading effect of destabilization throughout the worldwide grid, which has been responsible for upholding an extremely fragile peace on Planet Earth since WW II.

  3. Sheila and all; I am truly nearing full meltdown level mentally, physically and emotionally. My dread of what is coming on Friday morning (in addition to the nightmare already evidenced by the Republican Congress) is overwhelming; on the other hand, I want it over and done with so I can find a way to move ahead. IF there is a way out of this maze of inhumanity; IF I will be allowed to survive the full onslaught of the new owners of America.

    Please – those of you ready to try to tell me they are NOT new owners – this is the first time in our history that they have had FULL ownership and control of all laws and the ability to make the Constitution null and void. SCOTUS has already given them the opening to buy the government and they have succeeded via Citizens United – a fucking misnomer if there ever was one related to this government at any level.

  4. A man easily manipulated like his soon to be boss. That is why Putin choose him and many if no all of his other choices .

  5. If we expand our vision beyond our borders, there are other “birds” rising to power. It will be interesting to watch how all these close-minded “birds” interact with one another.

    The goal of the United Nations was to make a universal government for all nations allowing us to interact beyond borders. Technological advances has allowed us to be global citizens, but this fear driven isolationism is driving us in the opposite direction.

    However, as a nation, our “leaders” haven’t accepted this universal government concept because our “leaders” are really followers. Our country is run by un-elected Oligarchs who are driven by unrestricted free market capitalism.

    Trump’s isolationist beliefs run contrary to these Oligarchs who operate economic empires in many other countries and rely on the intelligence community and secretary of state. Look at Rex Tillerson, the former CEO for Exxon-Mobil. He used the SoS many times. I’m sure he also used our IC. Also, he worked with Russia because they have massive oil reserves.

    Globalism and profits for the Elite, with austerity and isolationism for the 99%?

  6. “Compounding Flynn’s susceptibility to conspiracy theories is his professed hostility to any information that undercuts his preconceived notions. ”

    This sentence alone makes Flynn the perfect fit with the extremely fanatical right wingers. I am surrounded by those types of extremists and they become very hostile if you have a different opinion than theirs. Hostile, aggresive, threatening, etc. That is why I sometimes unload my frustration on this blog.

  7. JoAnn,

    “I want it over and done with so I can find a way to move ahead. IF there is a way out of this maze of inhumanity; IF I will be allowed to survive the full onslaught of the new owners of America.”

    Without a showing of civic courage, which has been ALMOST totally absent for many, many years, the onslaught cannot be stopped. Why do you think Trump has been attacking Congressman John Lewis on a daily basis on Twitter?

    If any living person is a symbol of CIVIC COURAGE, it would be Congressman John Lewis.

  8. Todd,

    You hit the nail on the head with this comment –

    “However, as a nation, our “leaders” haven’t accepted this universal government concept because our “leaders” are really followers. Our country is run by un-elected Oligarchs who are driven by unrestricted free market capitalism.”

  9. “For we both know that into the discussion of human affairs the question of justice enters only where the presence of necessity is EQUAL, and the powerful exact what they can, and the weak grant what they must.”

    ~Thucydides, an ancient historian, philosopher, and general

    If you don’t STAND-UP, for whatever the reason, to power then the result is a forgone conclusion.

  10. Every time Trump publicly attacks some respected person more people get their eyes opened and see the man for what he is. Imagine if he had self control and an ounce of finesse. His latest approval ratings tell the tale. Now, the real problem is just how long will it take for the US Congress to wake up and smell the coffee. Will that happen in time to save the Union?

  11. Theresa,

    “Will that happen in time to save the Union.”

    Hopefully so, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it. The underlying factor is white power and that concept isn’t limited to just the Alternate Right. How many Republicans are going to vote against WHITE POWER? Talking about suicide.

  12. I have been calling Mike Flynn Trump’s “precious bodily fluids” general. If you wonder what that is, take a couple of hours on Friday to watch “Dr. Strangelove.”

    Don’t look for Congress to control the craziness of the Trumps team. They are just as crazy. Our only hope is if the moderate Republicans in the House and Senate decide it’s in their best interest to team up with the Democrats. Right now, the fear of being “tea partied” in their next primary keeps them from doing that. The common goood is only served when lawmakers’ self interests align with it.

  13. Corporate oligarchy and political fascism are joined at the hip. Both work well in tandem but are grossly authoritarian and brook no interference from the delicate and now apparently quaint notions of self-government by democratic means as envisioned by Madison, according to modern day politicians who have long since sold their souls for money and power.

    Friday our democracy begins its move in earnest toward the cliff under a plutocratic leadership we somehow elected to set policies and goals; it is up to us to reverse this toxic course of events if we are to save and expand what is left of our tattered democracy. Expect no help from those allegedly representing us, most of whom have long since sold out to the monied interests. It’s up to us.
    Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis J. Brandeis summed it up well when he noted that (as paraphrased) “We can have great concentrations of wealth in the hands of the few or we can have democracy, but we cannot have both.” Thus aptly stated, we are on our own, but that is not necessarily a reason to despair; we were on our own at Bunker Hill and the Concord Bridge as were the French at the Bastille, and democracy ultimately prevailed. With determination and perseverance, we can again save our democracy from those who would end it in the pursuit of money and power.
    Is saving our democracy which was earned by the blood-soaked sacrifices of our patriot predecessors worth the effort it is going to take us for not only its preservation but its expansion as well? I vote yes. To reiterate, it’s up to us. Freedom isn’t free – never was. Let’s pay the price.

  14. An NSC Advisor, among all the other things that the person in that position is responsible for, is supposed to offer some balance. Flynn will not be capable of that and will instead very likely create chaos due to his eccentricities. This was and is a bad fit from the day his name was mentioned. He will fuel Trump’s windmill tilting which is dangerous.

  15. My only hope is that the concerted efforts for many, many, years of a few leading pro-democracy NGO’s to cover-up the real dangers facing our teetering democracy will not have prevented us from creating a new effective pro-democracy FRONTwhen the problem finally “hits us in the face.”

    A week or so ago, JoAnn presented us with a very important specific example of what I’m taking about.

  16. Theresa,

    “Every time Trump publicly attacks some respected person more people get their eyes opened and see the man for what he is. Imagine if he had self control and an ounce of finesse. His latest approval ratings tell the tale.”

    Trump hasn’t won yet. This is the difficult time for any takeover. It’s the consolidation of power. You need a leader to do that. He definitely isn’t one. He’s nothing but a rich crook. He will control the government for awhile. But because of his weak leadership ability, he will lose on the OUTSIDE while he is attempting to control the INSIDE.

    The fool thinks this is Germany. The Weimar Republic was under siege before it even started. Trump is taking on American Democracy which has been in existence for almost 250 years.

    Who do you think will win? I’m placing my bet with the “good guys and dolls” not with the DEPLORABLE.

  17. A partial list of failed coups from Wikipedia:


    1919: German Communist Party attempts and fails to overthrow the government.
    March 1920: A failed right-wing coup against the Weimar Republic.
    November 8, 1923: failed attempt by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler with Erich Ludendorff to seize power in Bavaria.
    July 20, 1944: Members of the German resistance failed to assassinate Adolf Hitler and seize control.

  18. It seems that both the US and the European Union have stepped away from global leadership roles.

    That leaves Russia and China fighting for first place and the rest of the world wondering about who to realign to.

    Putin IMO is merely a smarter Trump but just as ruthless and amoral. He will do whatever benefits him personally, Russia be damned.

    However the Chinese are realizing the economic opportunities of globalization for their people. All 1.4B of them.

    They become IMO America’s and the EU’s global replacement.

    What will follow that is anyone’s guess.

  19. Am I supposed to recognize Donald Trump as my President when our Pledge of Allegiance contains words such as”one nation under God,” “indivisible,” “and “with Liberty and Justice for all?”

    I feel an attack of positive COGNITIVE DISSONANCE coming on. I’m staying with the Pledge until it is changed.

  20. I will bet anyone that Donald Trump will not last 4 years. The Republicans are allowing him to dig his own hole. Trump will either self-destruct or quit. He has no respect for the office he cheated his way into, and won’t care what anyone will have to say when he quits. Then we will be left with Pence. Not much of a trade! Now, maybe we will get lucky and someone will shoot him and put him, and us, out of this misery.

  21. Peggy, Dr. Strangelove is one of my favorite movies of all time, along with Usual Suspects.

    Recently, I read a book by Sue Grafton. She describes a character as follows: ” I didn’t want to force my observations on a fella that doesn’t want to hear. He’d have pooh-poohed that, too. Trouble with _________, is he didn’t believe a thing unless it came from him. He’s the type if he didn’t know something, he made it up. If he didn’t feel like doing something, he claimed he did it anyway. You couldn’t pin the man down. Ask him a question, he’d act like you accused him of negligence.”

    This seems to describe the Trumpet to a “T”. He has assembled a Cabinet and Advisors that might be described with a thought process of, “Do not confuse me with the Facts.” They are ideologues and as such a reasoned approach with options to their ideology – Does Not Compute. Adding to and/or supporting the ideology is strong dose of Crony-Capitalism and Corporatism.

  22. I see so much anxiety here, including Shelia. It’s as if “the sky is falling.” Relax, sit back and enjoy the show. It might be hilarious.

    The consequences of a Trump presidency may seem dire, but no one can predict the future, studies have shown.

  23. Mankind has always progressed by anticipating problems and mitigating them before the fact. Waiting until after being truly ineffective.

  24. The rest of the world is just getting a taste of where the US is headed in the near future; trump and his appointees have no idea what’s coming from outside the US in reaction to their words and actions.

  25. Unfortunately, I do not find this site to be “mankind.” It is extremely paranoid about the evil of a Trump presidency. Let’s do an assessment after a few years.

    BTW, Pete, what (legal) means would you employ to mitigate before the fact?

  26. Robert Flora or Gopper reincarnated?

    A friend I trust, she researched the source, posted on Facebook that the TV viewing will be closely watched and counted on Friday. Nielson will of course be tracking this also. Not turning on your TV will NOT count as not watching the inauguration. Watch Trump inaugurated as fuhrer if that is your choice; personally I consider that as a show of support for him. If you want to be counted as anti-Trump inauguration, tune your TV to a safe channel. TCM, HBO, TV Land, etc. and leave it there; if you will be away from home and want to be counted – either way – turn your TV on to your selected channel before leaving home. I will check the local noon news to see if he could do as instructed to get himself inaugurated…or, maybe he knows a better way to become president and will Tweet instructions.

  27. What are the odds that Trump and Webb will always agree, since each is always right? “You’re fired.”

  28. When I think of all the various NSC advisors that have had that job since 1947 I cannot see how Gen. Flynn is anywhere close to being in their league. To contrast him with Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example, is totally impossible.

    I see Flynn, with his penchant for conspiracy theories and his very odd relationship with Russia, as a retired flag-rank Army officer, as being totally unsuitable and possibly dangerous. Even giving him a job on the NSC staff as a substitute where he has someone over him that is more grounded. might still be a whopper of a mistake.

    There’s also that strategy versus tactics thing at work here. From what I’ve read Flynn is good a tactical intel but to formulate actual strategy requires capabilities and a mindset he may simply not have.

  29. Roberta before the fact mitigation could have been deployed before the election and is now being deployed in the Senate confirmation hearings.

    We didn’t take the consequences of the Putin/Comey thing seriously enough. Nobody took the threat of Trump and Pence seriously enough.

    The press put profit ahead of truth.

    A majority of Americans understand how dire our current straights are but assumed someone else would prevent them from happening.

    All lessons learned but too late for these times.

  30. Same as every other year, Davos is again plastered with the slogan of the World Economic Forum: “Committed to Improving the State of the World.” But whatever improvements are supposed to be made, one can safely assume they will not conflict with those in attendance continuing to enjoy the state of the world as it is now, with canapés and aged Bordeaux and private jets at the ready.

    Care for another serving of cognitive dissonance, anyone?

  31. Robert Flora,
    Your comment insinuating a “wait and see” attitude is what, I submit, got our country where it is. Our so-called democracy (the electoral college for the slave states has made representative democracy an oxymoron) has always been in danger and never more so with the millions of people each year, much less during a presidential election, opting out of their freedom to vote!

    The future IS determined by what we do (or don’t do) TODAY. History illustrates this clearly as well as Psychology 101. People not voting determines that tomorrow’s vacuum is filled by those who did vote. Trump is the perfect evidence of too many in our country taking a back seat with our precious gift of voting.

    It is way time for a mass revival of citizen responsibility and accountability (along with education which John Adams saw as the lifeblood of our country). Indeed, I believe there should be a federal law requiring people to vote, just like having a license to drive. God knows Trump is far more dangerous than a drunk behind a wheel (or perhaps the equivalent of). Another example of the need for sane laws and regulations that protect us from harm.

    The fact is, you and I can already see the future by what we have seen already from the man-child Trump. He talks before he thinks (assuming he does even think). NEVER a good attribute for any kind of relationship building or a true critical study in a crisis . His language is brash on a 7th grade school yard level (at best). He has no problem making a mockery of people and situations, even to the point of slander at its most base level. He comes across as a truly rich, spoiled, brat who thinks the sun shines on his every public tweet and TV circus. He is embarrassing by parading his “success” and women and thinks himself having class. Again, embarrassing.

    I, personally, am not in a “crisis” mode. The world has overcome many despots over the centuries. America, itself, has had to deal and grow through revolutions, wars, racism, sexism, etc, etc. Trump is a McCarthy on steroids. No more, no less. Difference is, January 20th.

    But I believe we will not only survive, we will come out on the other end of his tenure (and The Money Party aka the GOP and too many D’s) hopefully wiser and saner like after WW 2. Indeed, we are witnessing, as Gerald Stinson stated, nothing less than an economic Pearl Harbor with our government comfortably in the ownership of the Wall Street/Corporate Class .

    The antidote? As it was in 1776 and since….We, The People, have to get involved. Period. Not just a few of us….ALL of us…if, in fact, we will ever truly realize a government for and by “the people.”

  32. This from a group of people who backs a policy of allowing anyone entry into our country, without knowing who they are and allowing them to vote. Unless they are Cuban.
    Silly woman

  33. I’m telling you, there’s no THERE there!

    DT gives me the DTs!

    So far, I would throw the BS flag on all the nominees, starting with the President-elect. Nobody’s home under the orange “do”. Nobody!

    Marv’s right: We have ’til Friday, and it’s coming up right soon!

  34. Boo Dog you, like your president, don’t appear to have any idea how the government properly operates.

  35. Do tell dolep!

    Complain about spies. Commute the sentence of a spy who cost people their lives.

    Proper working of government?

    I didn’t vote for him, nor am I a fan. He will be your Pres too!

  36. Marv – “Back in the 30’s the perfect crime of MURDER was attempted by two geniuses at the University of Chicago. They were apprehended and prosecuted. ”

    Leopold & Loeb?

  37. Marc

    What’s your recipe for meatloaf?
    Who cares!

    Yes he is your President regardless of what is in the Pledge or in your fortune cookie.

  38. Marv

    What’s your recipe for meatloaf?
    Who cares!

    Yes he is your President regardless of what is in the Pledge or in your fortune cookie.

  39. “Marv, What’s your recipe for meatloaf? Who cares!”

    Boodog, doesn’t seem to like my cooking. Actually, I make a very good meatloaf. After the “Boys from Brazil” destroyed my law practice in Dallas, I returned home and became the Head Chef for the Liberty Center for the Homeless here in Jacksonville with a staff of 10. The Veterans Center found the job for me. Fortunately, the Director of the Center would only hire a veteran.

    I had to go to the library between meals in order to learn how to cook the next one. The library was only a few blocks away. I guess I’m a quick learner.

Comments are closed.