All dolled up for Operation Orange Don

A popular matryoshka “nesting” doll depicts Russia successfully devouring the US presidency. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin.

A popular matryoshka “nesting” doll depicts Russia successfully devouring the US presidency. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin.

BY MAX BURBANK | On Friday, January 20, our long national plummet down the rabbit hole comes to an end, and all signs point to a very hard landing in Wonderland. Congress and the president-elect have promised to “hit the ground running” — but that rarely happens when your chute fails to open on the way down.

That’s a crap metaphor, I know. Alice wasn’t skydiving; but if she had been? And she represented the American Experiment as we have known it? And her parachute was the transition? Well, the American Experiment would be boned, my friends, ’cause that is one tangled-ass chute that wouldn’t stop a four-pound paratrooper kitten from splattering like a watermelon at a Gallagher concert. See what happened there? My out of control metaphor just killed a kitten! And Gallagher! Jesus wept — do you even know who that is!?

It’s possible I haven’t slept since November 8.

The point is, we’re entering uncharted territory. There’s no historical precedent, and any pundit who tells you they know where we are headed probably told you a Trump victory was a demographic impossibility. I know I did. So let me tell you where we’re headed. I’ll give you three hints: It’s very cold a lot of the time, the national dish is a bowl of borscht with a side of misery, and it’s Russia.

We all know that Trump literally has a shirtless equestrian Putin poster over his bed which he stares at dreamily while writing “Mrs. Donald Putin” all over his notebooks. He could care less that all of our national intelligence organizations now agree Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on the election designed to undermine faith in the democratic process and discredit Clinton. Trump insists the Russians didn’t do it, because Julian Assange told Sean Hannity they didn’t. So, a professional Russian conduit told Trump’s Minister of Propaganda that Kremlin house organ WikiLeaks did not get their info from Russia.

Listen, when a sewage pipe tells you the stuff flowing through it isn’t crap? Don’t believe it. Trump doesn’t; not really. But he actively wants you to believe 17 US Intelligence agencies aren’t credible, and an albino fugitive sex offender he once called a spy and accused of espionage is. Why would he want that? What’s the endgame here? Stick with me.

That bastion of liberal hysteria, The Wall Street Journal, reports that when Trump isn’t busy midnight tweet-slapping celebrities, he’s working on a plan to “pare back” and “reorganize” the nation’s top spy agencies. Once he gets rid of staff currently keeping tabs on Russia, what caliber of people will he replace them with? Who can say? But Trump’s chief advisor on the project is Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a gentleman who believes Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizza place called Comet Ping Pong.

Trump is also calling for all Obama appointees, including ambassadors and leadership positions at the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) to clear out their desks by Inauguration Day. It’s typical to ask for letters of resignation — but also to leave staffers in place until replacements have been appointed and confirmed so someone can be, oh, I don’t know, RUNNING agencies necessary to our national security? This process can take months, years — sometimes, entire presidential terms.

Donald Trump's "Cabinet of Deplorables" is ready to deploy. Image by Herb Rich.

Donald Trump’s “Cabinet of Deplorables” is ready to deploy. Image by Herb Rich.

And then there’s Rex Tillerson: Presumptive Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO and, wait for it, recipient of the Russian Order of Friendship, a medal physically pinned to his chest by Vladimir Putin. See, the Russians were super grateful to Tillerson for brokering a massive oil deal, but then these pesky sanctions put the kibosh on that over some petty nonsense about annexing Crimea. Of course, it might be possible to lift those sanctions if you were pals with the Secretary of State.

Why would a president-elect, regardless of their political beliefs, flack relentlessly for Putin, take Russia and Assange at their word while denigrating and hamstringing US Intelligence, appoint Putin’s bestie Secretary of Sate, and leave our international, security, and nuclear agencies without leadership for an indeterminate amount of time? It’s like his game plan is to empower the Russians and weaken us. Why?

Simple: Operation Red Dawn. Operation Orange Dawn? Operation Orange Don. There we go. That’s the ticket.

I know it sounds crazy, it makes no political sense, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not political. It’s just business. It’s the art of the deal, the yugest, most beautiful deal in history. See, American banks stopped bankrolling Trump quite some time ago, due probably to his constitutional aversion to paying his bills. Somehow he’s managed to stay in the game. How? He went to a loan shark. Here’s how Donald Trump Jr. put it as far back as 2008 (as quoted in notorious supermarket tabloid The Washington Post, citing clickbait trade publication eTurboNews): “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Here’s the thing about loan sharks: When they call their marker in, you can’t refuse and sue them. They tend to rough you up a little, maybe break your leg, maybe murder everyone in your family while you watch. It’s kind of a whim-based business practice. As of press time, it turns out there might be a little blackmail involved as well. Nice presidency you’ve got there, Mr. Trump. It would be a shame if surveillance video documenting your enthusiasm for the works of R. Kelly ever came out.

Operation Orange Don isn’t as exciting as the movie “Red Dawn.” It’s not an invasion, per se. It’s more like “Amerika,” a little-remembered 1987 ABC miniseries, where we gradually became part of the greater Soviet Union by way of being a client state. It was slow, boring, and the production values sucked, which is probably a really good description of the next four to eight years — if we’re super lucky.


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