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August 9, 2020

Hal Brown Blog

 This is an internationally read blog  with original essays and my  opinions on news stories that pique my interest. My Bio; also Internet search for Hal Brown and Trump 


Aug. 14, 2020

New:
Just landed in New York to see my brother, Robert. We’re going for New York on November 3rd. We’re going to Reduce Taxes, Increase Law Enforcement, and bring it back BIG TIME! #MAGA


Breaking up is hard to do news: Click below to read more replies

Here's one reply


Link to NY Times article above. 


The Michael Cohen revelations about Trump and Golden Showers at Vegas sex clubs led some wordsmith to change "you're In Trouble, Trump" to the Twitter hashtag #UrineTroubleTrump which trended around the world. My friends at Duty to Warn had their tweet featured in the RAWSTORY article.
This is my own contribution:
Below: If Trump ever has a psychotic episode with predominant paranoid features experts will look back and see that there were predictors of this in his tendency to ignore reality and embrace clearly 
delusional beliefs. HB

A reporter asked Trump at a Thursday news conference for his thoughts on a recent claim about Harris, who Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Tuesday tapped to be his running mate. Harris, who will be the first black woman and first Asian American on a major party ticket, now faces right-wing attacks on her eligibility to serve as vice president. Those attacks stem from her parents’ citizenship status when she was born in Oakland, California, and are akin to birthplace conspiracy theories Barack Obama confronted. 

“I just heard that,” Trump said of the baseless legitimacy issue about Harris, published Wednesday in a Newsweek op-ed by a California-based law professor. “I heard it today, that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump continued, adding, “And by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.”

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The following story is a deep dig into the complex relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden during the eight years when they worked together. It is a personality study of Obama more than it is of Biden. There were reasons not explored in the article about why Obama was closer to Hilary Clinton, that they had more of a comfort level with each other than Obama and Biden did. Venturing an analysis of this will be left to psychohistorians in the future.  HB


The following story demonstrates that Pence is willing to jump onboard Trump's insanity train by promoting ridiculous lines of attack. Whether or not he knows he is taking advantage of the gullibility of Trump's low-information and low-IQ base remains to be seen.   HB


Playing to the idoit base who will believe it, Mike Pence Says He’ll Keep Kamala Harris From Meddling With America’s Meat 


The following story relates again to Trump's blurring the lines between reality and fantasy to the point where he comes close to making a case for his having a paranoid delusional disorder. HB

This is a story by John Stoehr from his blog.

Excerpt:

I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is the word “sabotage” is being used more often and with more feeling by leading Democrats and liberals than I have witnessed since the president took office. This is an important development. Too few Americans appreciate the depth of Donald Trump’s malice. If there’s a way to betray the republic, he will find it. The more people understand this, the more prepared they will be when this chapter in our history comes to an end—if it comes to an end.

The bad news is people are seeing only one dimension of Trump’s multi-dimensional sabotage. However, that’s to be expected. It’s not every day a demi-despot blurts out his intentions the way Trump did Thursday on the Fox Business Network. He “explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill,” according to reporting by the AP. “Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won’t have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.” He told Maria Bartiromo: “If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”

Trump, probably: “I’m gonna starve the post office to keep Americans from voting me out, even if that means taking the economy hostage, even if that means kicking meemaw and peepaw out of the nursing home and into paupers’ graves.”


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As Michael Cohen will be telling us, the following story is just another example of Trump being the head of a criminal enterprise. HB

Excerpt:

This week Forbes broke the story that Jared Kushner, “de facto chief” of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, has been speaking “regularly,” “almost daily,” with Kanye West since West’s July 4 tweet declaring that he is running for president. “Regular” conversations between the head of one presidential campaign and an opposing candidate looks like coordination and is highly irregular. Depending on what they’re talking about, they may be breaking campaign finance laws.

A provision of federal law known as the “soft money ban” prohibits candidates and their agents like Kushner from soliciting contributions that exceed amount limits or come from prohibited sources (e.g., foreign contributions). Federal law defines “contribution” broadly to include “any gift … of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office” and “anything of value includes all in-kind contributions.” Contributions from one candidate committee to another are limited to $2,000. And the FEC by regulation defines “solicit” to mean “to ask, request, or recommend, explicitly or implicitly, that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value.”

If Kushner has explicitly or implicitly requested or recommended that West spend money on West’s candidacy, with the motivation of having West siphon votes from Joe Biden, then Kushner has arguably violated federal law by soliciting in-kind contributions from West to Trump in excess of the applicable $2,000 contribution limit. Under this theory, every dollar West spends on his campaign with Kushner’s encouragement is an in-kind contribution. And West has spent well in excess of $2,000 on his campaign efforts to date, including, for example, payment of $35,000 filing fee to the State of Oklahoma to have his name on the ballot.

Kushner knows all of this; he’s been through this illegal solicitation business before. As I explained in a summary of a section of the Mueller Report, Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated Kushner and other members of the Trump campaign for possible illegal solicitation of an in-kind contribution from Russian foreign nationals at a 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Mueller concluded that team Trump’s solicitation of opposition research on electoral opponent Hillary Clinton could constitute an illegal solicitation of a contribution from a foreign national. But Mueller decided not to prosecute Kushner and others, in part, because of a lack of evidence that Kushner knew at the time that what he was doing was illegal (knowledge of the law is necessary for a criminal conviction in this area), and because of possible challenges proving the value of the solicited opposition research.


Night 77: Peaceful march, quiet Justice Center group

Protests in Portland began May 29

Posted:  Updated: 

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 77th consecutive night of protests in Portland took a sharp turn away from nightly clashes with law enforcement as just a few dozen people took to city streets and remained peaceful.


Aug. 13, 2020

RawStory reports it with excerpts:
Rachel Maddow is reading the entire forward:

So many people are reading the forward to Michael Cohn's new book that the site keeps crashing. You can preorder the book here disloyalthebook.com I'm posting the forward here if their website crashes.

Disloyal, The Foreword: The Real Real Donald Trump

The President of the United States wanted me dead.

Or, let me say it the way Donald Trump would: He wouldn’t mind if I was dead. That was how Trump talked. Like a mob boss, using language carefully calibrated to convey his desires and demands, while at the same time employing deliberate indirection to insulate himself and avoid actually ordering a hit on his former personal attorney, confidant, consigliere, and, at least in my heart, adopted son. 

Driving south from New York City to Washington, DC on 1-95 on the cold, gray winter morning of February 24th, 2019, en route to testify against President Trump before both Houses of Congress, I knew he wanted me gone before I could tell the nation what I know about him. Not the billionaire celebrity savior of the country or lying lunatic, not the tabloid tycoon or self-anointed Chosen One, not the avatar @realdonaldtrump of Twitter fame, but the real real Donald Trump—the man very, very, very few people know.

If that sounds overly dramatic, consider the powers Trump possessed and imagine how you might feel if he threatened you personally. Heading south, I wondered if my prospects for survival were also going in that direction. I was acutely aware of the magnitude of Trump’s fury aimed directly at my alleged betrayal. I was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and I kept the speedometer at eighty, avoiding the glances of other drivers. Trump’s theory of life, business and politics revolved around threats and the prospect of destruction—financial, electoral, personal, physical—as a weapon. I knew how he worked because I had frequently been the one screaming threats on his behalf as Trump’s fixer and designated thug.

Ever since I had flipped and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel’s Office, the death threats had come by the hundreds. On my cell phone, by email, snail mail, in tweets, on Facebook, enraged Trump supporters vowed to kill me, and I took those threats very seriously. The President called me a rat and tweeted angry accusations at me, as well as my family. All rats deserve to die, I was told. I was a lowlife Judas they were going to hunt down. I was driving because I couldn’t fly or take the train to Washington. If I had, I was sure I would be mobbed or attacked. For weeks, walking the streets of Manhattan, I was convinced that someone was going to ram me with their car. I was exactly the person Trump was talking about when he said he could shoot and kill someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. 

My mind was spinning as I sped towards DC. For more than a decade, I had been at the center of Trump’s innermost circle. When he came to my son’s bar mitzvah, a generous gesture that I found touching, he told my then thirteen-year-old boy that his Dad was the greatest and that, if he wanted to work at the Trump Organization when he grew up, there would always be a position for him.

“You’re family,” Trump said to my son and I.

And I fucking believed him!

Pulling over at a service plaza, I gassed up and headed inside for a coffee, black no sugar. I looked around to see if I was under surveillance or being followed; a sense of dread consuming my thoughts. Who was that FBI-type in the gray coat or the muscle-bound dude a few paces behind me? The notion that I was being followed or stalked may have seemed crazy; but it was also perfectly logical. I wasn’t just famous—I was perhaps the most infamous person in the country at the time, seen by millions upon millions as a traitor. President Trump controlled all the levers of the Commander in Chief and all the overt and covert powers that come with the highest office in the country. He also possessed a cult-like hold over his supporters, some of them demonstrably unhinged and willing to do anything to please or protect the President. I knew how committed these fanatics were because I’d been one of them: an acolyte obsessed with Donald J. Trump, a demented follower willing to do anything for him, including, as I vowed once to a reporter, to take a bullet. 

On the eve of my public testimony, lying in the still of the night in my hotel room, taking a bullet assumed a completely different meaning. That was the level of ruination I had brought upon myself- complete and total destruction. I closed my eyes, wishing the nightmare would end. When I started working for Trump I had been a multi-millionaire lawyer and businessman, and now I was broke and broken; a convicted, disgraced and disbarred former attorney about to testify against the President on live television before an audience of more than 15 million Americans.

“Hey, Michael Cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” GOP Representative Matt Gaetz tweeted at me that night, to cite just one example of the juvenile idiocy and menace aimed in my direction. “I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…”

Sitting in the green room on the morning of my testimony before the House Oversight Committee, I began to feel the enormous weight of what was about to happen. For some reason, after all that I’d been through, and all I’d put my family and the country through, waiting in that room was the moment when the gravity of what was about to happen truly hit home. The United States was being torn apart, its political and cultural and mental well-being threatened by a clear and present danger named Donald Trump, and I had played a central role in creating this new reality. To half of Americans, it seemed like Trump was effectively a Russian-controlled fraud who had lied and cheated his way to the White House; to the other half of Americans, to Trump’s supporters, the entire Russian scandal was a witch hunt invented by Democrats still unable to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton had lost fair and square in the most surprising upset in the history of American presidential elections.

Both sides were wrong. I knew that the reality was much more complicated and dangerous. Trump had colluded with the Russians, but not in the sophisticated ways imagined by his detractors. I also knew that the Mueller investigation was not a witch-hunt. Trump had cheated in the election, with Russian connivance, as you will discover in these pages, because doing anything—and I mean anything—to “win” has always been his business model and way of life. Trump had also continued to pursue a major real estate deal in Moscow during the campaign. He attempted to insinuate himself into the world of President Vladimir Putin and his coterie of corrupt billionaire oligarchs. I know because I personally ran that deal and kept Trump and his children closely informed of all updates, even as the candidate blatantly lied to the American people saying, “there’s no Russian collusion, I have no dealings with Russia…there’s no Russia.” 

The time to testify nearing, I asked the sergeant-at-arms for a few minutes of privacy and the room was cleared. Sitting alone, my thoughts and heart racing, I had the first panic attack of my life. I struggled to breathe and stand. The pressure was too much; I had contemplated suicide in recent weeks, as a way to escape the unrelenting insanity. Reaching for a seat, I started to cry, a flood of emotions overwhelming me: fear, anger, dread, anxiety, relief, terror. It felt something like when I was in the hospital awaiting the birth of my daughter and son, with so many powerful and unprecedented emotions welling up in anticipation. Only now I was that child being born and all of the pain and blood were part of the birth of my new life and identity.

Trying to pull myself together, I went to the private bathroom and checked my eyes to see if they were bloodshot or puffy. To my relief, they weren’t. I splashed my face with cold water and felt a calm coming over me, and then a surge of confidence and adrenaline. I had pled guilty to multiple federal crimes, including lying to Congress, but I was there to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I knew that Trump and the Republican House members would want me to hesitate, falter, show weakness, even break down. They wanted me to look unreliable, shifty, and uncertain about the truth and myself. This was blood sport and they wanted me to cower. I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction, I decided. I was going to nail it.

“Showtime,” the sergeant-at-arms called out, opening the door. “You’re on Mr. Cohen.”

One deep breath and I stepped into the hallway, into a crush of photographers and TV cameras and the craziness of wall-to-wall national obsession. I made my way alone through the jostle and shove of the surging crowd as I experienced the out-of-body sensation of seeing myself on television screens walking in to testify. It was truly bizarre to be at the epicenter of American history at that moment, to personify so many fears and resentments, to be the villain or savior, depending on your point of view, to speak truth to power in an age when truth itself was on trial. There I was, watching myself on TV, the Michael Cohen everyone had an opinion about: liar, snitch, idiot, bully, sycophant, convicted criminal, the least reliable narrator on the planet.

So, please permit me to reintroduce myself in these pages. The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that whatever you may have heard or thought about me, you don’t know me or my story or the Donald Trump that I know. For more than a decade, I was Trump’s first call every morning and his last call every night. I was in and out of Trump’s office on the 26th floor of the Trump Tower as many as fifty times a day, tending to his every demand. Our cell phones had the same address books, our contacts so entwined, overlapping and intimate that part of my job was to deal with the endless queries and requests, however large or small, from Trump’s countless rich and famous acquaintances. I called any and all of the people he spoke to, most often on his behalf as his attorney and emissary, and everyone knew that when I spoke to them, it was as good as if they were talking directly to Trump.

Apart from his wife and children, I knew Trump better than anyone else did. In some ways, I knew him better than even his family did because I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was: a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.

There are reasons why there has never been an intimate portrait of Donald Trump, the man. In part, it’s because he has a million acquaintances, pals and hangers on, but no real friends. He has no one he trusts to keep his secrets. For ten years, he certainly had me, and I was always there for him, and look what happened to me. I urge you to really consider that fact: Trump has no true friends. He has lived his entire life avoiding and evading taking responsibility for his actions. He crushed or cheated all who stood in his way, but I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them. I was the one who most encouraged him to run for president in 2011, and then again in 2015, carefully orchestrating the famous trip down the escalator in Trump Tower for him to announce his candidacy. When Trump wanted to reach Russian President Vladimir Putin, via a secret back channel, I was tasked with making the connection in my Keystone Kop fashion. I stiffed contractors on his behalf, ripped off his business partners, lied to his wife Melania to hide his sexual infidelities, and bullied and screamed at anyone who threatened Trump’s path to power. From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies to silence Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise—I was an active and eager participant.

To underscore that last crucial point, let me say now that I had agency in my relationship with Trump. I made choices along the way—terrible, heartless, stupid, cruel, dishonest, destructive choices, but they were mine and constituted my reality and life. During my years with Trump, to give one example, I fell out of touch with my sisters and younger brother, as I imagined myself becoming a big shot. I’d made my fortune out of taxi medallions, a business viewed as sketchy if not lower class. On Park Avenue, where I lived, I was definitely nouveau riche, but I had big plans that didn’t include being excluded from the elite. I had a narrative: I wanted to climb the highest mountains of Manhattan’s skyscraping ambition, to inhabit the world from the vantage point of private jets and billion-dollar deals, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. Then there was my own considerable ego, short temper, and willingness to deceive to get ahead, regardless of the consequences.

As you read my story, you will no doubt ask yourself if you like me, or if you would act as I did, and the answer will frequently be no to both of those questions. But permit me to make a point: If you only read stories written by people you like, you will never be able to understand Donald Trump or the current state of the American soul. More than that, it’s only by actually understanding my decisions and actions that you can get inside Trump’s mind and understand his worldview. As anyone in law enforcement will tell you, it’s only gangsters who can reveal the secrets of organized crime. If you want to know how the mob really works, you’ve got to talk to the bad guys. I was one of Trump’s bad guys. In his world, I was one hundred percent a made man.

Before I could read my opening statement to the Oversight Committee on the day of my public testimony, the Republicans started to play procedural games. It was clearly an attempt to rattle me, I thought, a spectacle that only demeaned them and the institution itself. As I started to answer questions, it was evident that the Republicans didn’t want to hear a word I had to say, no matter how true or how critical to the future of the country. For all the hard truths I spoke about Trump, I wasn’t entirely critical of him, nor will I be in these pages. I said I know Trump as a human being, not a cartoon character on television, and that means I know he’s full of contradictions.

“Mr. Trump is an enigma,” I testified to the committee. “He is complicated, as am I. He does both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.”

“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” one of the Republicans taunted me, perfectly expressing the stupidity and lunacy of his party’s antics. To drive this point home, they actually made a sign with a picture of me on it. In bold letters, the sign proclaimed, “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire.”

I recognized the childish games, replete with a Trump-like slogan, because I had played them myself. In the pitiful sight of Republicans throwing aside their dignity and duty in an effort to grovel at Trump’s feet, I saw myself and understood their motives. My insatiable desire to please Trump to gain power for myself, the fatal flaw that led to my ruination, was a Faustian bargain: I would do anything to accumulate, wield, maintain, exert, exploit power. In this way, Donald Trump and I were the most alike; in this naked lust for power, the President and I were soul mates. I was so vulnerable to his magnetic force because he offered an intoxicating cocktail of power, strength, celebrity, and a complete disregard for the rules and realities that govern our lives. To Trump, life was a game and all that mattered was winning. In these dangerous days, I see the Republican Party and Trump’s followers threatening the constitution—which is in far greater peril than is commonly understood—and following one of the worst impulses of humankind: the desire for power at all costs.

“To those who support the President and his rhetoric, as I once did, I pray the country doesn’t make the same mistakes as I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying,” I testified to Congress, exhorting them to learn from my example.

“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” I concluded. “This is why I agreed to appear before you today.”

Representative Elijah Cummings had the final word, as chair of the Oversight Committee. I sat in silence, listening to this now deceased man with decades of experience in the civil rights movement and other forms of public service, who as a lawyer had represented disgraced lawyers like me. He understood that even the least of us deserve the opportunity to seek penance, redemption and a second chance in life. Cummings was the lone politician I encountered in all my travails who took an interest in me as a human being. When I reported to serve my sentence, he even took steps to ensure my security in prison. It was a selfless act of kindness for which I will always be grateful. 

“I know this has been hard,” Cummings said to me and the nation, his words hitting me like a kick in the gut. “I know you’ve faced a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world. And I mean that from the depths of my heart.”

Representative Cummings concluded by saying, “We are better than this.”

Amen, I thought. 

Now, sitting alone in an upstate New York prison, wearing my green government-issued uniform, I’ve begun writing this story longhand on a yellow legal pad. I often wrote before dawn so not to be disturbed in my thoughts when my fellow inmates awoke. I had to report to the sewage treatment plant where some of us worked for a wage of $8 a month. As the months passed by and I thought about the man I knew so well, I became even more convinced that Trump will never leave office peacefully. The types of scandals that have surfaced in recent months will only continue to emerge with greater and greater levels of treachery and deceit. If Trump wins another four years, these scandals will prove to only be the tip of the iceberg. I’m certain that Trump knows he will face prison time if he leaves office, the inevitable cold Karma to the notorious chants of “Lock Her Up!” But that is the Trump I know in a nutshell. He projects his own sins and crimes onto others, partly to distract and confuse but mostly because he thinks everyone is as corrupt and shameless and ruthless as he is; a poisonous mindset I know all too well. Whoever follows Trump into the White House, if the President doesn’t manage to make himself the leader for life, as he has started to joke about—and Trump never actually jokes- will discover a tangle of frauds and scams and lawlessness. Trump and his minions will do anything to cover up that reality, and I mean anything.

Watching Trump on the evening news in the prison rec room, I almost feel sorry for him. I know him so well and I know his facial tics and tells; I see the cornered look in his eyes as he flails and rants and raves, searching for a protector and advocate, someone willing to fight dirty and destroy his enemies. I see the men who have replaced me and continue to forfeit their reputations by doing the President’s bidding, no matter how dishonest or sleazy or unlawful. Rudy Guiliani, William Barr, Jared Kushner and Mike Pompeo are Trump’s new wannabe fixers, sycophants willing to distort the truth and break the law in the service of the Boss. All this will be to no avail. Trump doesn’t want to hear this, and he will certainly deny it, but he’s lost without his original bulldog lawyer Roy Cohn, or his other former pitbull and personal attorney, Michael Cohen. 

During my testimony, Republican House members repeatedly asked me to promise that I wouldn’t write a book. I refused, repeatedly. It was another way of saying I shouldn’t be permitted to tell my story, in essence giving up my First Amendment rights. It was a clear sign of desperation and fear. I have lost many things as a consequence of my decisions and mistakes, including my freedom, but I still retain the right to tell this story about the true threat to our nation and the urgent message for the country it contains.

One last thing I can say with great confidence, as you turn the page and meet the real real Donald Trump for the first time: This is a book the President of the United States does not want you to read.

Michael Cohen

Otisville Federal Prison, Otisville, New York, March 11, 2020





During an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday, President Donald Trump took aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), saying that she was a “poor student” at “I won’t say where she went to school, it doesn’t matter.” 

“This is not even a smart person,” Trump added.

Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in political science and economics.




A win at The Supreme Court:

Heather Cox Richardson has an excellent blog which I doubt you've seen.  She is an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College, where she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. She previously taught at MIT and the University of Massachusetts.

Richardson has authored six books. Her sixth, titled How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America, was published in March 2020 with Oxford University Press.

She is also a founder and editor at Werehistory.org, which presents professional history to a public audience through short articles. Between 2017 and 2018, she co-hosted the NPR podcast Freak Out and Carry On. Most recently, Richardson started publishing "Letters from an American," a nightly newsletter that chronicles the 2019 Trump–Ukraine scandal in the larger context of American history.... more on Wikipedia

Read her blog here:



Aug. 12, 2020

Did the Chinese stop Hongkonger's access to my blog over the past two weeks?


Click above to enlarge image

by Hal Brown

Each day I post a variety of stories that pique my interest, sometimes with my own editorial comment or snarky photo manipulations on my modestly named blog, HalBrown.org. The readership while small (about 7000 click a month) has readers from around the world.

Until a about two weeks ago half to a third of the readers were logging on from Hong Kong as were reading from the United States. On a few days more people logged on from Honk Kong than did from the United States.

This week there were none at all leading me to wonder if the Chinese have cracked down on Internet access from residents trying to read all American websites, even small blogs like mine.

I have been covering the Chinese crackdown on protestors and dissidents in Hong Kong, most recently the story described in this article: Prominent Hong Kong Publisher Arrested Under New National Security Law. I also cover the ethnic cleansing of the Uighur minorities with links to articles like this: China Suppression Of Uighur Minorities Meets U.N. Definition Of Genocide, Report Says.

I generally posted excepts in case readers are reluctant to go to the major media sites out of fear of being monitored by Chinese security.

I have no way of knowing what has happened.

This is also posted on Daily Kos where I doubt very many people will read it.


Psychiatrist Bandy Lee interviews Mary Trump

This is the first interview where a mental health professional interviews Mary Trump.


Excerpt:

Lee: You mentioned in one interview that he could be charged with negligent manslaughter, and I would agree. In fact, I believe he meets the criteria for culpable homicide. Whether that is manslaughter or murder depends on “the guilty mind,” the mens rea, that we evaluate in forensic psychiatry or psychology. But we do have someone who is responsible for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of deaths through wrongful conduct. 

Trump: That is why, in the book, I do not come out and diagnose him because my point is, who cares what his diagnosis is? Look at what he is doing, and look at how his behavior is shaping the behavior of the people around him. That is the problem. If we had a patient who was an imminent threat to herself or others, we would be required by law to do something. This man is directly responsible, and I agree with you, there is culpability and purpose here. He is directly responsible for the death of thousands of Americans, which could have been avoided if he had just taken responsibility.

Lee: Would you like to give any last word? 

Ttump: Listen to people who know. Listen to the professionals. Listen to the experts. Listen to the people with the expertise, who have spent years and decades of their lives, honing their skills as professionals, who understand these things, and pay attention to what he is doing, and look at those behaviors through the lenses we are offering.

Mary Trump to her Uncle Donald's supporters: If you care about him, get him out of the Oval Office - Psychologist and bestselling author says her uncle can't help being cruel — but his enablers should know better

Excerpts from interview conducted by Dean :


Trump: As you just said, kindness was considered weakness, and weakness was an unforgivable sin according to my grandfather. My grandfather's opinion was the only one that mattered, honestly. It wasn't just kindness, it was illness. Physical illness or alcoholism was certainly considered a weakness. Admitting to your mistakes, apologizing — all of these things were considered weakness. We see the direct line from that to how Donald operates today.

But as far as the way cruelty functions, I think it functions on a couple of different levels. One, it distracts. If he needs to distract from some fiasco he's created, which happens many times a day at this point, he's going to do something so outrageous and cruel that it's going to draw people's attention away. It's also a way for him to exercise power over people who are weaker than he is, and I think part of that is also the function that it had for my grandfather, which is that he enjoys it.

++++++


Trump: First of all, don't back down. Don't be deferential. He insults reporters on a daily basis, it's kind of shocking to me that they keep showing up. The other thing, and this is not my original suggestion, I've been hearing this for a while, they need to team up. They need to have each other's backs. I know we can't expect that from Fox or OAN, but other mainstream outlets have to pick up where, if Donald shuts down a reporter, the next person has to ask the same question until he either answers it or storms out. That's it. I'm not entirely sure why they think that there's any purpose to continuing to do what they've been doing. They're basically showing up at campaign rallies now, and there needs to be pushback on that, otherwise I don't see the point.

: Do you think overall that the media has been too timid? One specific example is last week on Fox News when he called Black Lives Matter a Marxist organization. Weeks before that he called it a symbol of hate. He's got a horrific track record of demonizing African Americans. "You can't take a knee in silence, you should be fired for that," he said to black athletes. "If you march in the street, you're a Marxist and a symbol of hate." To me, he's a white supremacist. I have no problem calling him that. Reporters are restrained, to say the least, in doing it. Is that timidity hurting us?

Trump: Of course. It's awful, and it leads me to believe that no lessons have been learned since the horrific coverage of the 2016 election. It leads me to believe that they're more interested in access than they are in journalism or journalistic ethics. The fact that he's continuing to get away with making these broadsides without any follow-up. The follow-up question is: Define Marxism. He needs to be confronted squarely with his racism. He's a racist. His comments aren't "racially tinged." They're not "racial," whatever that means. They're racist. He's a racist. He's endangering the lives of Black Americans every single day in this administration. Why are people continuing to tiptoe around this? And I'm sorry, people I guess have to have respect for the office, but nobody has been more disrespectful to the office that Donald has been. So why should he be treated with respect? It's mind-blowing.

Link photo below embellished by me.

Another photo I was compelled to embellish: Link below


Below: Click photos to enlarge



 Kamala Harris when she was a primary candidate  "So, let me tell you, we need somebody on our stage when it comes time for the general election who knows how to recognize a rap sheet when they see it and prosecute the case so let's read that rap sheet, shall we." CNN 2018 June 22, 2019


Click above. There are numerous good tweets in this article but this is one of the best:




Aug. 11, 2020

Dueling legal bombshells: Barr vs. New York - read story.

Plus: Could Trump go eventually to jail in New York?

Will America soon have its first Shawshank President? Will Donald Trump find himself fending off riots in the Attica mess hall? Tweetless and at the mercy of 2,000 “angry Democrat” inmates?

A number of recent developments show that one cannot rule it out. Things took a decidedly serious turn last week when New York prosecutors told a federal judge that there were “public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.” They added that they that they may also be investigating possible crimes involving bank and insurance fraud, according to the New York Times, which also reported that Deutsche Bank has been complying with a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office subpoena for months, turning over detailed financial records in connection with some $2 billion the bank has lent Trump.



This is echoed by Duncan Levin, formerly a senior staff member under District Attorney Vance and an ex-assistant U.S. attorney. Whether the president would actually be sentenced to prison is a political call, Levin said. “Can you imagine an ex-U.S. president actually being sent to prison?” he told me. “It’s inconceivable that Trump didn’t know about the hush money payments. But it’s highly unlikely that he’d be arrested on misdemeanor charges. They would have to be very serious felonies.” False statements to financial institutions would count.

More likely, he added, the DA may be zeroing in at this point on Trump’s inner circle. “Michael Cohen didn’t act alone. He collaborated with people within the Trump organization to cover up the hush payments just before the election,” Levin said. Look, at least initially, for indictments of Trump underlings.

The good news, though, is that Vance will not put off his investigation and possible indictments until after the November election. DA’s proceed on cases irrespective of extraneous events, including a general election, Levin said.

But the hope of many that Trump could finally be held accountable for his crimes may be remote. At most, one can imagine him behind bars at a white-collar correctional facility like that of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, as opposed to hard time at a penitentiary like Attica. For now, though, time will tell. The Americans who want to see justice carried out are more likely to watch this shamed crook-in-chief spending his remaining years out of office consumed in exhausting and financially draining legal battles, fully exposed for the criminal he’s always been.


Unfortunately, Trump felt the need to continue his press conference after he came back (after the Secret Service hustled him away due to the shooting), and sweet Jesus, what a fucking idiot.

Here is Donald Trump saying that in "1917" the Spanish flu (of 1918) "probably ended the Second World War," which was just a "terrible situation," how the "great pandemic" did that, and "probably ended the Second World War." Yeah, that was a total thing, just ask a historian like Dinesh D'Souza, he'll probably tell you how this is absolutely correct...................

................Also try not to laugh at Trump reaffirming his accusation that Joe Biden is hurting God and the baby Jesus. Trump said you just have to "look at the manifesto that they've come up," which ... yeah, we have no fucking idea. Trump either has dementia, or he plays a dementia patient on TV. He also said the "Bernie plan," which is apparently also the Biden plan, is something you just simply cannot put "in the realm of a religious group of people," because that's a good way to say a thing in English. Then he bragged about his poll numbers and talked the "manifesto" (still don't fucking know) and talked about Joe Biden thumping baby Jesus right behind his ears and .................... ............There is no aspect of this election Trump will not work to undermine, like the dumbfuck authoritarian shitheel he is. 

Aren't you glad Trump didn't stay in the bunker hiding, allegedly, but instead came back to finish his press conference? Oh boy, what a treat.


Aug. 10, 2020




Trump mocked in Twitter for revealing Gettysburg as potential RNC speech location: ‘The site of your base’s biggest defeat!’





Quote of the day from Digby's "Art of the tantrum: Trump's bewildering, doomed attempt to play savior"

 The man who sold himself to America as the greatest dealmaker the world has ever known can't bargain his way out of a paper bag. He walks away, holds his breath until he turns blue and then lets the other side decide if they're going to let him take the country down with him. That's the art of the tantrum, not the art of the deal. 


Touched A Nerve? Trump Flips Out After Anthony Scaramucci Delivers Warning On Fox News








The Daily Beast which recently put many of their articles behind a paywall is also publishing Covid articles like this for free.

 


Now, thanks to the pandemic, both the Times and the Post have a large number of coronavirus related articles which anyone can read whether or not they have subscriptions. Not only do they post numerous informational articles but they also post opinion stories related to the pandemic in these sections.  There’s even a video today:  “The Trauma of Caring for Coronavirus Patients” featuring a hospitalist doctor, a physician assistant and a palliative care physician who worked at one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the Bronx.  

Below are the links to the numerous cororavirus related stories from The NY Times and The Washington Post.

Of course many Daily Kos posts reference articles and opinion columns from the Times and Post and the stories on the growing number of paywall websites, as does RawStory. In many instances you don’t have to read the the summaries but if they are included in the free coronavirus sections of the Times and Post you can read the originals.


Some people try to get around paywalls. I prefer not do do this because I think it is dishonest. I know lots of people resent the paywalls so much they have no reservations in thwarting a news organization’s attempt to increase their revenue beyond what they can make by advertising. There's even an article on Medium (below) about how to do this. Ironically Medium only allows readers a limited number of clicks before they too are required to subscribe.

PAYWALL HACKS









Prominent Hong Kong Publisher Arrested Under New National Security Law


Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several executives at the media company he founded have been arrested for colluding with foreign forces, the highest profile arrests thus far under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing just over a month ago.

Lai, 71, is the chairman and majority owner of the staunchly pro-democratic newspaper Apple Daily and its publishing company, Next Digital. Share prices for Next Media surged 300% within hours of his arrest as pro-democracy supporters urged each other online to support the company.

Lai's two sons Timothy Lai and Ian Lai were also arrested Monday morning after being accused, respectively, of conspiracy to defraud and collusion with foreign forces. Hong Kong police said a total of seven individuals — among them Next Media executives — had been arrested on Monday under the national security law for colluding with foreign forces.

"It's a combination of charges. Most are being arrested on some type of conspiracy to commit fraud charges ... but really it's just an effort to decapitate the management as they took out the top senior management with those charges," Mark Simon, a senior executive at Next Digital, told NPR.