That’s Gonna Leave A Mark

Black Spot

The impeachment of President* Trump is under way.

Despite his protestations that no president has ever been treated worse, Trump, from the White House lawn, continues to abuse his power openly, calling for Ukraine and China to interfere in the 2020 election and investigate a political rival.

His flailing over the past week and the meltdown it has exposed it not simply impacting His Orangeness, it is also unhealthy for our country. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked what future historians will see when they look back on this period in our history, she said “an aberration.” Let’s hope so. The blemish Trump is putting on our democracy cannot be allowed again.

Getting through the crazy days ahead, with Rudy Guiliani subverting U.S. foreign policy on a global wild goose chase to track down ridiculous conspiracy theories born in the farthest reaches of the right-wing fever swamps, is going to take a few stiff drinks. An appropriate one would be The Black Spot cocktail. Via Kindred Cocktail, the Black Spot is:

1 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

1 oz Jamaican Rum

.75 oz Coffee Liqueur (Mr. Black)

.25 oz Islay Scitch (Laphroiag)

.25 oz rich demerara syrup

3 dashes orange bitters

Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the Laphroig. Do not discard. Stir other ingredients over ice and strain into the glass.

Cheers!

Unfit At Any Speed

Chaos Monkey

President* Trump is doubling down on one of the most bizarre weeks he’s had in office (King of Israel and The Chosen One being key moments). Today he is busy embarrassing America on the world stage at the G-7 meeting in France, being Putin’s errand boy arguing for Russia to be re-included in the meeting despite its being kicked out for invading Crimea. And he is trying to claim other world leaders are asking him, “Why the American media hates your country so much. Why are they rooting for it to fail?” But it’s probably just all the unborn chicken voices in his head.

Coming on the heels of Trump’s remarks on his trade war with China on Friday that sent markets into a tailspin, the Disruptor in Chief has been even more erratic than usual, prompting James Fallows to write a piece for The Atlantic called “If Trump were an Airline Pilot,” examining how if Trump were in any number of regular jobs of responsibility and exhibited his recent behavior he would likely be removed.

  • If an airline learned that a pilot was talking publicly about being “the Chosen One” or “the King of Israel” (or Scotland or whatever), the airline would be looking carefully into whether this person should be in the cockpit.
  • If a hospital had a senior surgeon behaving as Trump now does, other doctors and nurses would be talking with administrators and lawyers before giving that surgeon the scalpel again.
  • If a public company knew that a CEO was making costly strategic decisions on personal impulse or from personal vanity or slight, and was doing so more and more frequently, the board would be starting to act. (See: Uber, management history of.)
  • If a university, museum, or other public institution had a leader who routinely insulted large parts of its constituency—racial or religious minorities, immigrants or international allies, women—the board would be starting to act.
  • If the U.S. Navy knew that one of its commanders was routinely lying about important operational details, plus lashing out under criticism, plus talking in “Chosen One” terms, the Navy would not want that person in charge of, say, a nuclear-missile submarine.

Unfortunately for America, President Looney Tunes isn’t going anywhere because his Republican enablers in Congress clearly put party over country. Still, you have to wonder if it might sink in with Republicans that this force of destruction could endanger their own reelection prospects. Which also makes it curious why they wouldn’t just remove Trump (impeachment or 25th Amendment) and be just as happy or happier with a less erratic but even more Christian Right-wing President Pence.

While you sit back waiting for the next lunatic thing from Trump to emerge from the G-7 Summit this weekend, have a Chaos Monkey cocktail. Via Kindred Cocktails, the Chaos Monkey (named for the book about Silicon Valley) is:

2 oz Scotch, Monkey Shoulder

.5 oz Creme de banane

.25 oz Amaro Montengro

1 barspoon Amargo-Vallet, or substitute with a dash or two of Angostura bitters and a dash of demerara syrup

Lemon twist

Stir over ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large cube/sphere. Garnish with a lemon peel, expressed.

Cheers!

 

 

China Fight!

China Fight

The King of Israel, who lost his bid for Greenland, is now telling American companies to withdraw from China after China imposed a retaliatory $75 billion in Tariffs today.

Despite the assurances of Cheeto Mussolini that Trade Wars are easy to win, the current spat with China is threatening to send the U.S. economy into recession, even though his Royal Orange Geniusness wants to blame the bad wishes of democrats. This Friday night it is definitely time to put this week of bad craziness behind us.

Despite finding out the president is the “chosen one” and the “second coming of God” he apparently couldn’t keep GOP benefactor David Koch alive or keep the Amazon from burning and worsening the climate disaster now unfolding. In all of the ridiculous unprecedented madness of the Trump era, this past week may become especially noteworthy, and I’m sure Putin was certainly enjoying himself.

As a cap for the week, and an aperitif for Americans heading into the long holiday weekend next week, have a China Fight cocktail via Saveur Magazine. It is the creation of Aymeric Tortereau, of Café Juliette in Lyon.

The China fight is:

1.5 oz cognac

.75 oz Bigallet China-China

.25 oz elderflower liqueur

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with an orange twist.

Happy Friday, Cheers!

 

Full Reverse

Fallback

It should come as no surprise that a politician with an ill-defined slogan to “Make America Great Again,” would end up spending a lot of his time looking backward. Trump’s governing approach puts a lot more emphasis on “again” than “great,” so he ends up retreating from many of his own policies.

The latest came today, as Reuters reports Trump is telling advisors to calm Midwest farmers upset over the administration’s decision to allow refiners to add less ethanol into gasoline.

This comes at a time when concerns of a recession have begun to get under Trump’s skin, posing a potentially bigger threat to his presidency than impeachment. Along with the Trade War with China, the ethanol issue is just one more self-inflicted wound that is especially damaging in the Midwest, where Trump will need a strong showing to win re-election. The Washington Post reported on another key self-inflicted Midwest wound last week, citing Trump’s failure to make good on promises of expanding the Navy, which is likely to cost many jobs in Midwest shipyards and elsewhere. Really just political malpractice.

Despite strong and historically significant signals from the bond market about the potential for a recession, Trump and his minions continue to trot out echoes of President Herbert Hoover claiming our economic fundamentals are good, just as Hoover did in October of 1929.

Meanwhile, the economy, as measured by a number of factors, including job growth, is falling back to levels not seen since we began climbing out of the Great Recession. Proving that Trump is falling behind the achievements of president Obama, and Trump knows it. But his economic team does not appear up to the task of heading off, nevermind recovering from, a recession.

Backtracking for Trump isn’t limited to the economy, either. After seeming to embrace an overwhelmingly popular (supported by 90% of Americans) gun safety measure with stronger background checks, Trump is backing off and siding with the NRA again.

As Trump moves backwards on guns, and the economy moves backward to dangerous territory, have a Fallback cocktail from Sasha Petraske (originally meant for an Autumn menu but I’m as ready for a season change as a regime change at this point). The fallback is:

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

.5 oz Amaro Nonino

.5 oz Carpano Antica

1 oz applejack

1 oz rye whiskey

orange twist garnish

Build in a whiskey glass, adding the bitters, amaro, Carpano Antica, applejack and rye add 1 large cube and stir until chilled and garnish.

Cheers!

 

Demolition Man

Wreck

Trump and his GOP minions are once again working to end the Affordable Care Act. This continues to be one of the overriding goals of the Trump presidency. Since his installation as president, Trump has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement and pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement. This is all part of Trump’s attempt to erase the legacy of President Obama (in fact, it is now being reported that Trump did indeed scrap the Iran deal to spite Obama), but to say this is simply part of his white supremicist fantasy belittles his role in Putin’s grand vision to dismantle the post-World War II Order established by the U.S. and Western Europe. Trump’s attacks on NATO are well documented. But his TradeWars are aimed squarely at the economic order that was being formed 75 years ago right now. The Bretton Woods Agreement that laid the foundation for global economic cooperation was negotiated in July 1944 in New Hampshire.

Trump’s racism was on full display over the weekend, from telling several U.S. Congresswomen to go back where they came from, to his Deportation Force raids targeting overnight action against immigrant communities from Latin America. (I’m sure there are no people from Russia in Brooklyn who overstayed their visas.) These raids are much less about law enforcement than fear. Not that there was any doubt, but it must be abundantly clear even to the thickest skulled “journalist” trying to “understand” Trump supporters that MAGA is about the racism, not economic anxiety.

For a Republican who wants to “Make America Great Again” and has the economy on their mind, it would be hard not to look back at the Post-War period, when the U.S. was the economic engine of the Free World, and the rules governing the international economic order where largely prepared by America, as a Golden Age, but it’s precisely this order that Trump has taken a wrecking ball to. While Cheeto Mussolini separates families to fill his for-profit concentration camps with contracts held by his buddies and his unAmerican fixation on tariffs keeps new appliances like washers and dryers too expensive for most Americans, have a Home Wrecker Cocktail and make your plan to vote against Trump and everyone who supports him. Via Cocktail Virgin, the Home Wrecker is:

1 1/2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Cheers

The Madness & Airpower of King George

PLANE

Trump’s big 4th of July Soviet style military parade turned out to be more Chernobyl than Red Square, melting down as the crowds stayed away and the torrential rains came. After his mail-order escort won the annual D.C. wet t-shirt contest Cheeto Mussolini got up behind his rain drenched bullet-proof shields to read his TelePrompTer and went full retard. Mostly the speech was labeled “inoffensive” as Vox put it with others providing similar characterizations. Slate credited the speech as “not a complete authoritarian nightmare.” But then Trump tried to give a history lesson that bizarrely noted how Americans took over the airports during the Revolutionary War. That produced some of the best Twitter memes in years as the snark got flowing. Trump has also been criticized for not following the standard Independence day script that ties the birth of the United States to immigration. Despite the heavy rains, Trump likely would have spontaneously combusted if he had to talk about America’s greatness deriving from being a nation of immigrants. Trump and his Republican enablers have been very good at projection for years, attributing every nefarious idea they have to democrats or their adversary du jour. I would not be surprised if Trump’s airport comment doesn’t stem from the reaction to his attempted immigrant ban when the Resistance took over the airports when he came to power.

Trumps inability to articulate ideas about the nature of America, let alone long accepted platitudes is just another exhibit in the case that Trump is not a real president. As a reminder that he is no more a real president than those Revolutionary War airports, I suggest a Paper Plane cocktail. Probably my favorite”new classic cocktail” created at Milk and Honey in NYC, via Sasha Petraske’s Regarding Cocktails the Paper Plane is:

.75 oz bourbon (Buffalo Trace)

.75 oz lemon juice

.75 oz Aperol

.75 oz Amaro Nonino

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers!

American Value

Treasure

Notwithstanding the inhumane detention of refugees at the southern border, or Trump’s Soviet-style military parade usurpation of Independence Day, perhaps one of the most unAmerican developments of this era has been the complete rejection of democracy by the Republican party.

As the oldest democracy in the world, how the U.S. conducted its democratic politics was once a model, and the standard against which other democracies were judged. But today, one party, the Republicans, are actively working against the operation of democracy by suppressing the vote. Adding a citizenship question to the census is just one tactic. Despite a court order to remove the question, Trump is now looking to reinstate it as part of the census, in just another show of his disregard for the rule of law. The court order against Trump’s desire comes even as Republicans do everything they can to remove independence from the Judiciary by picking judges to pack the courts with those synpathetic to GOP policies. One place that has worked for them is in their ability to keep picking their voters through Gerrymandering.

The ridiculously partisan Gerrymandering has damaged the structure of our democracy, to the point where votes cast in a legislative election can clearly give a majority to the democrats but Republicans still gain a majority of seats. In a show of force better than Trump’s military parade, both Mother Jones and The Washington Monthly profiled groups fighting back against the GOP Gerrymandering machine this week.

The undermining of our representative democracy is not new, and I have written about it here, here, and here. If we can rebuild representation in our government, then we can rebuild our democracy, restoring the value we once brought to the world. Removing the stain of Trump won’t be easy, but rebuilding our democratic institutions will help. On this Independence day, have a National Treasure cocktail and remember what we have always treasured as Americans (and it’s not tanks on parade). Via Frederic Yarm @cocktailvirgin the national Treasure is:

.75 oz Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
.5 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
.5 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Martini Gran Lusso)
.5 oz Campari
,25 oz Cynar

Cheers!