Trump The Impetuous

Caprice

Trump has put in a lot of effort lately to dismantle the G7 alliance and destroy the American ethos as a nation of immigrants.

By tearing apart families who have come seeking asylum, Trump is trying to turn our beacon of hope into a No Vacancy sign. (Unless of course you happen to be white with money and connections.)

There are many problems with immigration under Trump, and ICE is proving to be one of the most disgusting examples of misuse of power in this administration. However, the removal of children from asylum seekers and the inhumane treatment they are receiving is a violation of our laws. When the Trump era is over, those responsible will find the Nuremberg Defense will be no more use to them than it was 72 years ago.

Meanwhile, the shit show of a G7 meeting began with Trump saying Putin should be a part of the meeting (Putin’s return on investment may the best ever), and ended with him straining relations with Canada (Canada!!!!).

As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it on Twitter:

“Are we executing Putin’s diplomatic and national security strategy or AMERICA’s diplomatic and national security strategy? After the last few days, it’s hard to tell.”

Even Senator John McCain felt compelled to reassure our allies, tweeting:

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin put it best when she wrote of Trump’s G7 antics:

To him, none of the benefits of the post-World War II international architecture matter. It’s about his pride, his demand for attention, his ability to create havoc — and if he needs to take a wrecking ball to the Western alliance to convince himself he’s smarter than all his predecessors, he’ll not think twice about it.

Without a doubt then, the drink tonight is the Caprice cocktail. As Merriam-Webster defines it:

caprice

1aa sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action  

  • policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than caprice
  ba sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes  
2disposition to do things impulsively
As Kindred Cocktails defines this classic:
1.5 oz gin
1.5 oz dry vermouth
.5 oz Benedictine
1 dash orange bitters
Stir over ice, strain into a chilled coupe, garnish with an orange twist
Cheers!

You Scratch My Back…

Clear

News of another Trump campaign, Trump Tower, meeting for the purpose getting illegal (and shady) foreign assistance — this time from the Middle East — comes on the heels of the Senate Intelligence Committee report confirming that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in favor of Trump.

The New York Times is reporting emissaries from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met with Donald Trump Jr and others three months before the election to discuss ways to help Trump win.

A few days ago the report from the Senate Intelligence Committee was released that backed up the intelligence community assessment that “The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.” The bipartisan report is at odds with the House Intelligence Committee Republicans who are working overtime to block any attempts to understand what happened during the election.

Also last week, Trump strangely came to the defense and sought to bolster Chinese telecom ZTE after it was sanctioned for the security threat it posed to America. Then we found out the Chinese government was giving $500 million to a Trump project in Singapore.

In fact, whether it’s Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., or Russia, Trump was (and is) willing to sell out the interests of the United States to advance his own interests, and it’s pretty transparent at this point.

As we learn more about this administration’s corrupt approach, have a Clear Intentions cocktail to wash away the swampiness.

Via Kindred Cocktails, the Clear Intentions is:

2 oz gin (Sipsmith in my case)

.75 oz Cocchi Americano

.25 oz Amaro Montenegro

1 dash celery bitters

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled coupe

Cheers!

 

This Ain’t No Disco…

Burning

May you live in interesting times.

This alleged ancient Chinese curse (more likely of European origin in the past century) seems fitting amid today’s turmoil. Between Trump pulling out of the Iran deal and Israeli rockets target Syria, I find lyrics from Warren Zevon’s song The Envoy playing in my head (Nuclear arms in the Middle East…).

On one hand, however, it is worth remembering that for all the geopolitical crises mentioned, Zevon released that song 36 years ago this summer and that was still five years before R.E.M. sung about the end of the world. The War Pigs aren’t new.

On the other hand, in the those other interesting times Donald Trump was not the U.S. President. Now we have entered a mad world where the insane becomes commonplace. For example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel today remarked that Europe can no longer count on the United States to protect it, but must take its destiny in its own hands.

As the evidence mounts daily (sometimes seemingly hourly) that Russia compromised the 2016 election, the President, and increasingly it appears the Republican Party, the world has come apart. Vice President Mike Pence and Congressional Republicans continue call for — and work toward — ending the Mueller investigation. Meanwhile, reports mount of the corrosion of bribes from Russian oligarchs and U.S. corporations funneled through Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that reveal the den of thieves running the government. For all Americans who truly put country first, this ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.

So, as we face the possibility that Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may look to military actions to wag the dog and keep investigations at bay, we have to hope they don’t light the fuse that sets the world on fire. But following Monty Python’s advice to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, we have gin, so in these Burning Times then, have a Burning Times cocktail.

Via Kindred Cocktail, the Burning Times cocktail is:

2 oz Plymouth Gin

.75 oz Strega

.25 oz Fernet Branca

2 dashes Dr. Adam’s Bokers Bitters

lemon twist

Stir, strain, garnish

Cheers!

Leaks to Drain the Swamp

Bijou

We have struck a rich vein of leak gems.

From DO NOT CONGRATULATE to news of McCabe being fired by Jeff Sessions over “Lack of Candor” after he authorized a criminal investigation of Sessions for “lack of Candor” in his Congressional testimony, the leaks are flowing like a river.

Administration sources are fighting back against the corruption of this administration (or their enemies within it anyway) by staying in constant conversation with reporters.

Of course the news isn’t all coming from Washington. The whistleblower who broke the news of Facebook’s privacy and fake news “difficulties” (and the undercover sting on Cambridge Analytica) are helping to make 2016 a little clearer.

And, of course, with the mounting court cases against Trump heading toward the discovery phase, the flow of information is only going to get stronger. Stormy days ahead for Trump.

As these jewels of knowledge fall too fast to pick them all up, relax and treat yourself to a Bijou cocktail. A classic that first appeared in Harry Johnson’s 1900 edition of the Bartenders Manual, I took the recipe from Amanda Schuster’s excellent book New York CocktailsThe Bijou (French for jewel) is:

1.5 oz gin (Plymouth in this case)

.75 oz sweet vermouth

.75 oz green Chartreuse

1 dash orange bitters

Stir, strain into a chilled coupe, garnish with lemon peel or brandied cherry.

Cheers!

 

News Dump Bittersweetness

Symphony

It’s Friday evening, do you know where your Special Counsel is?

The last several days have been an onslaught of news. From gun control to trade wars to scandalous cabinet secretaries to Jared Kushner losing his security clearance and using his position as Trump son-in-law/Senior Advisor to secure massive loans to his family business, the past week has felt like months worth of major stories.

Even when you get outside of the White House, our institutions of government have run amok. The House Intelligence Committee is leaking texts of Senators for partisan gain. The end game of Mitch McConnell’s Senate obstruction is soon to play out in the Supreme Court with a union-busting case. Collective bargaining for public unions is hanging by a prayer.

We are definitely living the curse of interesting times. If Trump is draining the swamp, then we’re all in the sewer it’s running through.

Of course, some of this overwhelming pace of breaking news is not the kind that Trump wants to hear, either. Robert Mueller is tightening the noose around the Trump campaign and it ties to Russian election interference. Trump may have lost Hope (Hicks), but Mueller gives hope to the rest of us.

Whatever the news tonight, good or bad, it is sad we are even here. So while we wait, have a Bittersweet Symphony cocktail, put on some redemption songs, and think about how we might recover some of what we’re losing.

From Gaz Regan’s great book The Negroni, the Bittersweet Symphony is a tasty Negroni variation:

1.5 oz London dry gin

.75 oz Punt e Mes

.75 oz Aperol

Stir, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, lemon twist.

Cheers!

 

A Fool and His Memo

Fool

Congressman Devin Nunes’ foolishly dangerous memo is out, proving nothing except perhaps things that don’t help his buddy Trump.

Trump, being advised by Fox News fool Sean Hannity, of course, thinks the memo will help him do away with the Russian Conspiracy Investigation. It won’t. And Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post conservative columnist, nails a truth about  Trump’s declassification of the memo allowing its release of information around intelligence gathering tools.

“This appears to be the second time (the first in the Oval Office with Russian officials) that Trump has handed the Russians classified material. If Trump is not a Russian agent, he surely is acting as effectively as one.”

Trump is being Trump, like the good Russian asset he is. However, what is the excuse for Nunes, Speaker Paul Ryan, and most of the rest of the GOP? As Obi-Wan Kenobi said: “Who’s more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

As we learn about all the things the release of this memo compromises (and how #MemoDay is the top trending hashtag for the Russian bots), it is best to have one of the worst named drinks according to the staff at New York’s Death & Co, Le Bateleur.

Le Bateleur is French for The Fool, and let’s face it, tagging these idiots with foreign-named drinks would annoy them. From the Death & Co book, it is a tasty concoction of:

2 oz London Dry gin

.75 oz Punt e Mes

.5 oz Strega

.25 oz Cynar

1 dash Angosturra bitters

Orange twist garnish

Stir, strain, garnish

Cheers!

This Is Not A Drill

Hawaiian

The erroneous Hawaiian ballistic missile alert is yet another example of the far too frequent stupid, funny, scary events of the past year.

As The Washington Post reported, a little after 8 a.m. local time Saturday, many Hawaii residents and visitors began posting screenshots of alerts they had received, reading: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

It took 10 minutes for notification of the false alarm to get out.

It appears to have come from a state civil defense system that had recently reactivated Cold War era alerts due to the threat from North Korea.

Not to sound like a cranky old man, but we used to be better at this stuff. Decades of denigrating government and all of its functions seems to have taken its toll, down to just getting details like a missile alert right.

As someone pointed out on Twitter, at least this didn’t happen with blaring headlines during Fox & Friends. President Shithole was safely on one of his golf courses and away from the big button on his desk.

This is also a reminder that I really need to visit Hawaii. In the meantime, time for a Royal Hawaiian cocktail. Taken from Dale Degroff’s The Essential Cocktail, the Royal Hawaiian is:

1.5 oz gin

1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

.5 oz lemon juice

.75 oz orgeat

Shake over ice, strain into a cocktail glass, no garnish.

Cheers!