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November 25, 2020

Hal Brown blog

My Bio.

Hal Brown's blog (Watch the other Hal in his most famous scene and what is the significance of the image on the left?


Nov. 30, 2020

Trump trashed by the National Review for his ‘disgraceful’ conduct after losing to Joe Biden, when a self-proclaimed conservative is trashed by TNR you know he's fallen from grace






Nov. 29, 2020


Sunday Laugh led me to write my Daily Kos story:



Nov. 28, 2020

How Trump revealed the right's "psychic longing for an American strongman"

By attacking demographic change and subverting democracy, Trump became a hero for the right

By ALEX HENDERSON
NOVEMBER 27, 2020 8:47PM (UTC)

Nov. 27, 2020












Nov. 26, 2020



New image (click to enlarge)



Nov. 25, 2020



Insights:

I've seen him blathering his lies on MSNBC trying not to let hosts confront him by taking over them.. The comments to this story of scathing.

...........




Nov. 24, 2020


Nov. 22, 2020
Click images below to enlarge:
My friend noted that Trump doesn't drink
so here's a corrected insert:




Nov.23, 2020










G20 story Excerpt: It was not just the formal language that underscored the rift between European leaders and the outgoing American president. On Saturday, Mr. Trump was not listed as a participant at a sideline event at the conference on pandemic preparedness and response. Speakers at the event included President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Mr. Trump, however, played golf at his club in Virginia, his fifth day there since the election, whose results he is still contesting despite no evidence to support his claims. Mr. Trump was back at Trump National Golf Club on Sunday afternoon for his sixth tee time.

Former Republican advisers criticized the move.

During the global financial crisis, “George W. Bush convened the first G20 leaders’ summit to chart the course for repair and reform of the world economy,” said Daniel M. Price, a former adviser to Mr. Bush who was responsible for international trade and investment. “When that forum met yesterday to address the Covid-19 crisis, Donald Trump chose to play golf, underscoring the task facing President-elect Biden to restore the trust and confidence in U.S. leadership so depleted by his predecessor.”

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, the White House summarized Mr. Trump’s participation in the weekend summit and seemed to suggest that he would be involved in the G20 next year, when Italy will host.

“President Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for its leadership during its G20 presidency and looked forward to working with Italy as incoming G20 president,” Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said in a statement.










Excerpts:

The last five years have been a master class in gaslighting. For those of us who came into the Trump Era with some personal experience with narcissistsemotional abusers and flat out liars, it has been a jarringly familiar time.

For those who previously had the luxury of expecting honesty of others, this has been a sharp learning curve. We all now know exactly what it feels like to be on the receiving end of untruth so blatant and shameless it makes us question ourselves. We know what it's like to hear a falsehood repeated so insistently it almost becomes convincing. We get it from the highest levels of government, from cable news networks, from our radicalized relatives and neighbors. And we know the confusion, self-doubt and fear that come with long term exposure to what liars like to call "alternative facts."

It feels pretty crappy. But what does it feel like for the liars? How can they keep spinning their BS with such shocking ease and conviction?

As with all things, it's a matter of practice.

////////////////

The other key component of chronic lying is that it often resides in the same neighborhood as delusion. Individuals with delusional disorders have "fixed beliefs that do not change, even when presented with conflicting evidence," and oh boy, there is no shortage of a spectrum of unchanging fixed beliefs here in our country right now. This is why gaslighting is so persuasive. It's the blatant, brazen confidence that only people who really put in their ten thousand hours of bald faced lying and genuine dissociation from reality can deliver that sells it.


Nov. 21, 2020

.............below: Trump is behaving like it is...
My story:


And Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to press Mr. Trump to start the transition process, saying on Friday that it looks like Mr. Biden had a “very good chance” of winning.



My comment: I don't think Trump is manifesting symptoms so serve that Pence and the Cabinet would initiate the 25th, at least not yet.
As Trump realizes all his attempts to steal the election are bound to fail he may succumb to psychosis but I think nothing short of that with indisputable active delusions and hallucinations would convince those empowered to initiate the 25th to do so.
Would Trump ordering a nuclear attack on Iran constitute absolute proof of a severe mental illness? I am loathe to say "perhaps not." In a fair trial he'd be found guilty of a criminal act deserving imprisonment, but as the law allows in Massachusetts, would he be determined to both guilty and mentally ill and sent to Bridgewater State Hospital which is part of the state prison system where Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to being the Boston Strangler, was an inmate at Bridgewater in 1967? (He briefly escaped and was transferred to the maximum-security prison at Walpole.) I doubt it.
I find it ironic that if Rudy Giuliani was president his behavior would be more likely to convince a vice president and Cabinet to use the 25th than Trump's.




Nov. 20, 2020

Good riddance to bad rubbish

Only about 10% of the stories I post on Daily Kos get recommended. To recommend a story one likes requires registering on the website. I usually try to write from my own hopefully somewhat unique perspective the way Kos works is that community member stories with little or no original content end up on the trending list and this stay online all day. The site doesn't reward creative writing. This story got 5 recommendations. Generally a story needs 40 or more to make the Trending list. The only way I even know anyone reads a story beyond recommendations and comments it is to look at the poll which 69 people so far took today.

As the news broke that Sen. Rick Scott joined Sen. Grassley as the second GOP senator to get Covid I was going to make a countdown clock myself but then I found this:
and then just break there's this news:


“Rudy looks like your printer after you put the wrong ink cartridge in,” Jimmy Fallon said on “The Tonight Show.” “What does he use for hair dye, Hershey’s syrup?” 

On Jimmy Fallon.

“Rudy dyed his hair, but his head is challenging the results,” said “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. “Evidently, he had his hair styled at Jiffy Lube.”

“You know your legal strategy is f----- up when even your hair starts crying about it,” Noah said.

“He was literally dying up there today,” Jimmy Kimmel said. “Isn’t it funny? The ones who shout ‘Fake news!’ the loudest all have fake heads.”

“Thanks, Rudy,” said James Corden, host of “The Late Late Show.” “Because everybody knows you can’t explain the facts that when things are far away they are hard to see without referencing the 1992 film ‘My Cousin Vinny.’

Republicans aren't scared of the Trump & Rudy show — they love this stuff

Republicans aren't staying quiet because they fear Trump — this clown-car coup has nothing but upside for them


Conclusion:

Trump and Giuliani's official arguments for why Trump deserves to invalidate the election are a bunch of incoherent and baseless conspiracy theories. The actual argument underlying all that, however, is simple: The coalition Joe Biden built is composed of people who don't deserve the right to vote.

The reason the larger Republican Party isn't pushing back is that they largely agree with this underlying argument. Whatever personal distaste many Republicans may have for Trump's gauche behavior or the alcohol content of Giuliani's shoe polish sweat, they're inclined to see only upside for themselves in letting this play out. 

Maybe Trump pulls off a miracle and succeeds in his coup, which means their party captures the White House for four years — or more. 

But even in the far likelier event that the Trump coup fails, it's a win-win for most Republicans: He has done an immense amount to advance the goal of delegitimizing huge swaths of the American electorate that prefer Democrats. Besides, "establishment" Republicans don't have to go out to dinner with Trump anymore and listen to his vainglorious monologues. So of course Republicans aren't standing up to him. Why mess with a good thing? 




Click to see Bill Kristol's Twitter thread






So let’s keep the focus where it belongs, on Trump’s ability to shake trust and confidence in our democracy. No republic stands without that trust and confidence. Trump understands that. Time and again he has shown that the Republic and its people do not matter to him.

He did not care about abusing his office in pressing Ukraine’s president to investigate Trump’s most feared rival, Biden. He has paid no attention to the raging Covid pandemic or any other public business now that he has been defeated. He does not care about anything other than himself, and ultimately, proving that he is not a loser. If cannot be a winner now, then in 2024.

.............................................. Nov. 19, 2020 .............


One (of four) FANTASY histories of Donald Trump by Hal Brown

From the age of four on President Donald Trump grew up in the affluent neighborhood of Jamaica Estates in  Queens, in New York City. 

Screenshot2020-11-19at4.37.39AM.png

Had things not worked out so well financially for his sociopathic racist father, Fred, he could have ended up moving at the age of four from the comparatively modest home where they lived until then instead of to the mansion he lived in through most of his childhood, say for example,  to a rental in Maspeth section of Queens. 

Screenshot2020-11-19at4.52.55AM.png
About Maspeth in the 1940’s: www.documentcloud.org/...

Had the vagaries of fate ordained that Fred Trump failed at business despite his unbridled ambition, say for example, if he became an alcoholic like his oldest son, Fred Jr., Donald would not have been given enormous sums of money (despite Trump lying about the amount it, at least $413 million, not a “mere one million) to start his businesses.

Instead Fred Trump could have worked at one of the numerous Queens neighborhood butcher shops:

Screenshot2020-11-19at5.43.41AM.png

Trump would have ended up going to public schools where he'd have been a run-of-the-mill jock and bully barely passing his classes by forcing other students to cheat for him. He’d never have gone to Fordham and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. I doubt he’d even want to get into Queens College which is part of the public New York City university system.

He might even dropped out, or been kicked out, of high school for cheating or bullying. There’s a good chance he’d have gotten a job at the butcher shop where his father worked and learned to become a butcher.

I can see him fending for himself on the streets until he managed to join one of the many small time Queens youth gangs and eventually move up to be accepted into the West Side Zombies:

To some in Queens, who lived in Corona and Bayside in the fifties and early sixties, the Bayside West Zombies were the toughest gang in New York City. Three of them made the newspapers from the 1960 of a murder that was committed in a Manhasette, Long Island supermarket of a cop.

The young Trump would have been a nascent malignant narcissist. As he discovered that he could succeed by dint of sheer ambition and being more sociopathic, more brutish and self-aggrandizing than his peers he would have moved up in the gang’s hierarchy. 

Considering that everyone knew what his father did and where Donald worked, he might have been given the name “butcher boy” when he was starting out his gang career.

In the world of gangs merely beating up hapless victims in the neighborhood and stealing from them wouldn’t be enough to move into a leadership role. He’d have to fight against other gangs in rumbles and prove himself with chains, knives, and zip-guns. In other words, the president we know today as the cowardly “cadet bone spurs” would have had to have gotten his hands bloody.

It is quite likely he would have ended up ruthlessly killing several people by beating them to a bloody pulp.

Trump would have relished the approbation coming from fellow gang members and enjoyed having others try to curry favor with him, and be turned on by having everyone else in the neighborhood be afraid of him.

He would have had to develop his “rep” as someone you mess with at your own peril. He would have consolidated his power through intimidation. In this respect he would be the Donald Trump we know today. 

If  Trump had stayed in Queens he could have been able to become the biggest most feared gang leader in all of Queens. His nickname would have gone from butcher boy to The Butcher of Queens.

As the president who has the often trending Twitter hashtag of #Trumpliedpeopledied because of his Covid denial, and now his refusal to allow the Biden transition team to work with the official Covid team, he can justifiably the butcher of America. (Click to enlarge image below.)

Screenshot2020-11-19at6.41.22AM.png

The second fantasy history of Donald Trump

It is quite possible that as posited in my story above, Fred Trump had ended up working in a Queens butcher shop and Donald followed in his footsteps he would have ended up as such a coward that he would have simply ended us as a butcher working in Queens. 

The third fantasy history of Donald Trump

More likely, considering his ambition and the fact he’d still be a malignant narcissist, he would have gotten into a a career where people with such personalities can get ahead by using their charm, lying, and cheating.

The fourth fantasy history of Donald Trump

There’s fodder for a fourth fantasy history. It would be a true rags to riches story.

I suppose he could have gotten into local politics and managed to move into state and then national politics and become another moron member of the House. 

I doubt he’d have become a modern day Al Capone because he isn’t intelligent enough although he’d ,most likely take bribes from real and corporate gangsters.















Nov. 18, 2020


Breaking News: 

Federal judge tears into Trump administration over its handling of DACA


Hardly anybody is reading my Daily Kos story today.
Breaking news: A federal judge based in Pennsylvania has heard enough from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Judge Matthew Brann of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday announced (PDF) that he was formally canceling an evidentiary hearing that had been scheduled to take place on Thursday.


Trump Posts News So Fake That Tucker Carlson Had To Apologize For It

Trump’s latest false claim was debunked before he even made it.






Below: The author George Cassidy Payne is a social worker and adjunct professor of philosophy.




The crackpot factor: Why the GOP is worried about turning out the vote after Trump

Future GOP candidates lack Trump's secret sauce for attracting new voters — his appeal with Crank-Americans

Related to above: For Some, Joining the Proud Boys Was a Stop on the Way to Neo-Nazi Terror Vice



More about Ivanka and Jared


Asia:




Covid News




Nov. 17, 2020
The photo tells the story:
(click to enlarge)
Excerpt:

Few images capture the position of privilege from which the president operates better than the ones that depict him at his golf club in Virginia. In several of the pictures, he isn’t playing the game — or even holding a club — but rather simply tooling around the course like a feudal lord in a golf cart with his personalized campaign baseball cap pulled low.

These aren’t depictions of a sportsman or a statesman. For Donald Trump, who has recently turned golfing into his prime presidential duty second only to tweeting, they are portraits of a reckless man in full — specifically a man full of himself.

Trump is the unmasked duffer clutching the wheel of a golf cart, zipping over knolls while his caddie — also unmasked — hangs off the back. Trump has noted that these outings are an efficient form of exercise — practically medicinal, which is about as accurate as saying that being borne up the side of a mountain on a donkey is a form of good-for-you cardio.


My Story today... 

I changed the image for this story:


Republicans sound alarm on Georgia Senate runoffs as they privately weigh Trump’s influence (Wash Post $)


Excerpts:

Republican leaders are increasingly alarmed about the party’s ability to stave off Democratic challengers in Georgia’s two Senate runoff elections — and they privately described President Trump on a recent conference call as a political burden who despite his false claims of victory was the likely loser of the 2020 election.

Those blunt assessments, which capture a Republican Party in turmoil as Trump refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, were made on a Nov. 10 call with donors hosted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It featured Georgia’s embattled GOP incumbents, Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, and Karl Rove, a veteran strategist who is coordinating fundraising for the Jan. 5 runoffs.

The comments by the senators and Rove were shared with The Washington Post by a person who provided a detailed and precise account of what was said by each speaker on the call. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to divulge the contents of the private discussion.

The private GOP phone call highlighted the party’s rising angst over the highly unusual dual runoff campaign, which is unfolding under the cloud of the Georgia presidential recount and Trump’s refusal to concede, while at the same time Democrats appear energized and emboldened by Biden’s win in the state.

Some on the call expressed particular concern about Georgia’s fast-changing electorate, driven by the increasingly liberal metro Atlanta region and the push by 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to register more Democratic voters, especially in the state’s communities of color.


from Salon:

There's a visual image I'd like you to embed in your mind, to be wheeled out whenever you might feel even the slightest bit complacent about the incoming Biden administration. For many of us, it's impossible to forget.

Back in April, Columbus Dispatch photographer Joshua Bickel snapped an unforgettable image of Trump supporters — no distancing, eyes vacant and maskless mouths agape — protesting the COVID protocols in Ohio during the first major spike in cases. Bickel stood inside the lobby of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus while the protesters shrieked and chanted outside, pounding on the locked doors. It looked almost exactly like that scene in "Shaun of the Dead" in which Simon Pegg and the rest of the cast is trapped inside the Winchester Pub with a large gaggle of zombies pressed against the front door.

Click above to read tweet


Trump’s misbehavior is no laughing matter  The Day 

The Day newspaper, formerly known as The New London Day, is a local newspaper based in New London, Connecticut.

The Irish Times view on Donald Trump’s behaviour: denying reality to the bitter end

Donald Trump’s narcissistic petulance in continuing to refuse to accept he is a loser is hardly surprising. Trump will leave the White House as he ruled it, with complete disregard for democratic norms or propriety, obsessed with one thing: himself. He brings to mind, as Sarah Lyall in the New York Times put it, the delusional Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” who won’t surrender even after his arms and legs have been hacked off – “Tis but a scratch,” the knight declared.

from The Washington Post:

The Trump campaign has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit a petition asking for a statewide recount, as well as the $7.9 million payment.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Monday announced the fee that would be required and said it would need to be paid up front.

Under Wisconsin law, the state will pay for a recount if one candidate wins by 0.25 percent or less. When the threshold of victory is under 1 percent, however, the losing candidate can request a recount — provided they agree to pay in advance.

Unofficial results show Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,500 votes, or 0.6 percent.

Rudy Giuliani: Losing election lawsuits is part of our plan ‘to get it to the Supreme Court’




 Trump Loving Pastor Said He “Can’t Get” COVID Says He Tested Positive for COVID

Trump supporters who won’t accept the election result are suffering from collective narcissism. We can help them by Clinical psychologist Alan Blotcky

As a clinical psychologist, I know how we should deal with this situation


Nov. 16, 2020

Summary of Jennifer Rubin article about future of GOP

Trump national security adviser Robert O'Brien says it looks like Biden has won

At the Soufan Center's global security forum, O'Brien also predicted a "very professional transition."













Trump is batshit crazy, but where did the phrase come from? Presumably from batty (“crazy”), itself from earlier have bats in one's belfry, from tendency of bats to fly around erratically. Possibly influenced by or derived from apeshit, particularly in phrase go apeshit. Alternately from Urban Dictionary: The phrase has origins in the old fashioned term "bats in the belfry. ... and many years passed without the bell being rung, bats would eventually come and inhabit the belfry. ... A person who is batshit crazy is so nuts that not only is their belfry full of bats, but so many bats have ... Family: "So, did he have a psychotic break?

Nov. 15, 2020


Near death, Covid patients still deny it is real. Click below to enlarge


As Joe and Jill's daughter, Ashley will be the complete opposite from Ivanka. Thank goodness. Read Story. 




The Media:

When the New York Times decided to use color photos instead of black and white I was disappointed. I am a fan, if you want to use that word, of black and white photography even though I take pictures in color. I thought that at least artistically the paper called "the old great gray lady" had succumbed to the trend among other newspapers. 

They were one of the last newspapers to add color (read story or click below to enlarge):


From that article:

When The New York Times first considered printing in color in the early 1990s, it did not go over well with some. 

Steven Heller, the former art director of The New York Times Book Review, remembered his skepticism.

“It’s so silly now, but at the time I said never,” he said. “I mean, we were the old Gray Lady. I didn’t see us putting on new clothes.”

As fate would have it, it was the Book Review under his helm that was the first section of the paper to print something in color. The year was 1993, and the cover greeted readers with a striking illustration of a bright green and orange serpent.

“We were the testing ground for it,” Mr. Heller recalled. “It was the Book Review; we dealt in illustrations, not photos, so if anything went wrong with the colors, it was no big deal.”

Soon afterward, other sections of the paper took the color leap in both illustrations and photography. Travel took readers to exotic destinations in vivid hues. Arts and Leisure followed, and so did Real Estate.

Yet the A section of the paper, the daily news section, remained color-averse. It wasn’t until Oct. 16, 1997, that the first color images graced the front page of The Times. (The Times Magazine had used color at various times since 1933.)

Until autumn of that year, New York was the only major city in the nation that did not have a newspaper printing full-color news photographs each day. USA Today had been producing color in its pages since its first issue in 1982. So what took the daily edition of The Times so long?

Here's the very first edition of the paper:

Until today, unless I missed an article they resisted putting a drawing or cartoon on their website main page. The have used graphics, sometimes animates one, but this Jennifer Rubin opinion piece seems to be their first. It isn't featured on their print edition front page (click to see full PDF):


Here's the Rubin column:


This is how it appears on the website (Click below to enlarge):

For those without a NY Times subscription, I am too lazy to actually summarize Rubin's OpEd so I will offer an except from the beginning and end of her essay:

It’s hard to tell whether Donald Trump is attempting a coup or throwing a tantrum.

Crying voter fraud, his administration has refused to begin a presidential transition despite his decisive electoral defeat. Some Republicans have floated the idea of getting legislatures in states that Joe Biden won to disregard vote totals and instead appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College. The president has decapitated the Pentagon, putting fanatical loyalists in some of its highest ranks. Anthony Tata, who called Barack Obama a “terrorist leader” and tweeted a lurid fantasy about the execution of the former C.I.A. director John Brennan, is now the Pentagon’s policy chief. This is all supremely alarming.

But there’s cause for comfort, of a sort, in signs that the president is preparing for life outside the White House in exactly the way one would expect — by initiating new grifts. Trump has been sending out frantic fund-raising requests to “defend the election,” but as The New York Times reports, most of the money is actually going to a PAC, Save America, that “will be used to underwrite Mr. Trump’s post-presidential activities.” Axios reports that Trump is considering starting a digital media company to undermine Fox News, which he now regards as disloyal.

These moves suggest that while Trump may be willing to torch American democracy to salve his wounded ego, at least part of him is getting ready to leave office.

*********************************

Trump is in for years of scandals and humiliations. We will doubtlessly find out more about official misdeeds he tried to keep secret as president. Republicans who hope to succeed him will have reason to start painting him as a loser instead of a savior. He’ll have to devote much of his energy to trying to stay out of prison.

After all that, could he be back in 2024? Of course. Trump is, if nothing else, relentless. But this election was just the latest reminder that he is far from invincible. When he is no longer in office, there will be many more.



Nov. 14, 2020
This is cool:



Kayleigh McEnany busted after boasting ‘More than one MILLION marchers’ showed up in DC for the MAGA rally 


Fox News Trivia: I have screen savers with baby animals, including lots of adorable baby foxes. A bit of trivia: Fox is named after what was then called (and still commonly referred to as) 20th Century Fox, its original corporate sibling before it was acquired by The Walt Disney Company, and indirectly for producer William Fox, who founded one of the film studio's predecessors, Fox Film. From Wikipedia: Fox was a Hungarian-American motion picture executive who founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915 and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain in the 1920s. Although he lost control of his movie businesses in 1930, his name was used by 20th Century Fox and continues to be used in the trademarks of the present-day Fox Corporation, including the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, and Fox Sports.


His parents were both Hungarian Jews.The family immigrated to the United States when William was nine months old and settled in New York City, where they had twelve more children, of whom only six survived. Wilhelm once sold candy in Central Park, worked as a newsboy, and worked in the fur and garment industry as a youth.

Here are some cute baby foxes.



Nov. 13, 2020

Nov. 12, 2020

 top of their cover to the election:



 



Nov. 11, 2020





y Hal Brown

This is one of those stories that really doesn’t need much or even any explication beyond the title and illustration. Is Trump going to reap all the top secrets he has access to and offer them for sale?

He’d do this for both revenge and for profit. We know that he’s a sociopath, so what would stop him from doing this except the absolutecertainty he would go to prison? It’s obviously a rhetorical question with a one word answer: nothing.

We can characterize Trump’s tenure as president with Twitter hashtags using aliterations. 

  • #pathologicalpresident
  • #pompouspresident
  • #PutinsPuppet
  • #peabrainedpresident (lots of synonyms for stupid but only one begins with P)
  • #petulantpresident
  • #pusillanimouspresident (goes with #cadetbonespurs)
  • #prevaricatingpresident
  • #pissedoffpresident
  • #paybackpresident (his current quest for revenge)
  • #profiteering president
  • #patheticpresident
  • #prisonerpresident (our hope for his future address being 354 Hunter St, Ossining, NY)

The last hashtag was prompted by the fact that we have national security experts talking and writing about Trump selling state secrets for both profit and revenge.

For example, this was written on Oct. 31st well before Trump launched his desperate attempt to negate the election of Joe Biden into full orbit: Can Trump Sell U.S. National Security Secrets With Impunity?

Screenshot2020-11-11at5.14.52AM.png

This is in Vanity Fair from yesterday: HOW MANY STATE SECRETS IS TRUMP GOING TO SELL TO PAY OFF HIS DEBTS?

Excerpt

Intelligence officials are reasonably concerned that Trump could spill state secrets at a rally in an attempt to brag about all the information he was privy to as president, or, in a scenario that the country has never had to worry about before, that he might do so in an effort to pay off his mountain of debt:

Experts agreed that the biggest risk Trump poses out of office is the clumsy release of information. But they didn’t rule out that he might trade secrets, perhaps in exchange for favors, to ingratiate himself with prospective clients in foreign countries or to get back at his perceived enemies.

“People with significant debt are always of grave concern to security professionals,” said Larry Pfeiffer, a veteran intelligence officer and former chief of staff to CIA Director Michael V. Hayden. “The human condition is a frail one. And people in dire situations make dire decisions. Many of the individuals who’ve committed espionage against our country are people who are financially vulnerable.”

Unfortunately, there’s little the Biden administration can do to prevent Trump from spilling national secrets because, unlike many a Trump employeemedical professional, or woman he paid to keep quiet about an alleged affair he says never happened, presidents don’t sign nondisclosure agreements. Biden could refuse to give Trump intelligence briefings, which former presidents have historically received before meetings with foreign leaders or other diplomatic missions. “I think that tradition ends with Trump,” Priess said. “It’s based on courtesy and the idea that presidents may call on their predecessors for frank advice. I don’t see Joe Biden calling up Trump to talk about intricate national security and intelligence issues. And I don’t think Biden will send him anywhere as an emissary.”  

And then, there’s the ultimate deterrent:

The last line of defense, like so many chapters in Trump’s presidency, would pose unprecedented considerations: criminal prosecution. The Espionage Act has been successfully used to convict current and former government officials who disclose information that damages U.S. national security. It has never been used against a former president. But as of January 20, 2021, Trump becomes a private citizen, and the immunity he enjoys from criminal prosecution vanishes.

Of course, the odds of the government going after Trump via the Espionage Act are probably slim to none, it likely all depends on how desperate he gets!

This is from today’s Washington Post: There’s no way to stop an ex-president from selling U.S. intelligence secrets

Screenshot2020-11-11at5.26.55AM.png

The Post article concludes with a bit of sarcasm:

To be sure, perhaps the White House’s current occupant is actually a scrupulous man, given to honesty and fair-dealing. Perhaps he and his family would never consider compromising our national security to our adversaries for money, or power, or leverage. Surely they’ll vacate the White House while taking nothing of importance with them and leaving our national security intact. All the times Trump blabbed about classified information — like bragging to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte about the position of two nuclear submarines, or tweeting the faces of Navy SEALs while in Iraq, or publicly showcasing an image from a multibillion-dollar spy satellite, or revealing Israel’s clandestine efforts in Syria to the Russian ambassador — those were all honest mistakes that didn’t endanger our national security.

But to quote another statesman: C’mon, man.

A sitting president could very seriously and privately tell an unscrupulous former one not to engage in the trading of secrets for money, and put it in writing. But Trump, his family, and their flunkies probably won’t listen to a stern tongue-wagging from their political adversaries. They know that federal judges who owe their lifetime appointments to his efforts will probably protect him, as will a compliant political party and allied media outlets.

An unscrupulous president has lived his entire life escaping the consequences of his behavior. Why should that luck run out now?

Trump has already gotten away with things that have had him rated by historians as competing with James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson as the worst president in history. For example: We’ve forgotten the worst president in American history — Could Donald Trump really rival James Buchanan? Washington Post but this was written by an historian in May. A lot has happened since then.

Here’s where things stand with historians today: U.S. election: Who was the worst president in America's history? Trump is competing with some truly bad presidents.

I’m not a historian. I think may take a number of years before there is a consensus among historians where Trump fits in among the bottom three or four presidents unless he continues with his attempt to steal the election and certainly if he turns total traitor and reveals or sells state secrets.

The appalling thing is that regardless of this he won’t lose his core supporters. Most of them probably never read and comprehended a real book let alone an old Classics Illustrated or replacements like Cliff’s Notes unless they had to cheat in a high school class. I risk seeming to be a snob suggesting even if they read these abbreviated versions they didn't understand them.

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Screenshot2020-11-11at6.29.45AM.png

Hmmm.. I began writing this with “This is one of those stories that really doesn’t need much or even any explication beyond the title and illustration.” Obviously I got carried away.




Civil war brewing inside Proud Boys as top leader says he’s done pretending he isn’t a Nazi Living in Portland this literally hits home for me.



With vote-counting continuing in parts of the country, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s popular-vote margin over President Trump is widening substantially.

As of late Wednesday morning, Mr. Biden, with 77.3 million votes, led Mr. Trump, who had 72.2 million, by 5.1 million votes and 3.4 percentage points. That’s up from his lead on Friday of 4 million votes and 2.8 percentage points. (In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million but lost the election to Mr. Trump by 77 electoral votes.)


A very brief summary of this very long article:


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1. Personally profiting from official business

Since Jimmy Carter, most presidents have used blind trusts or other means to separate themselves from active control or ownership of assets to assure the public that they would not make decisions out of financial self-interest. (Barack Obama did not set up a blind trust. His money was in mutual funds, Treasury bills and the like.)



2. Not releasing tax returns

The tax-release tradition began after Richard Nixon’s tax scandal in 1973, when he famously declared, “I’m not a crook.” Nixon released several years of returns in 1974, months before resigning amid the separate Watergate scandal. His successor, Gerald Ford, released years of summary tax data, including income, major deductions and taxes paid. Starting with Jimmy Carter, every president has released full tax returns — until President Trump.


3. Refusing oversight


This past spring, President Trump fired or removed five inspectors general: the internal watchdogs for the intelligence community, the Defense Department, Health and Human Services, the Transportation Department and the State Department.


4. Interfering in Department of Justice investigations

Since at least the 1970s, administrations have generally taken care to insulate the Department of Justice from presidential meddling and limit White House communications about investigative details.

Not the Trump administration.


5. Abusing appointment power

President Trump has flouted the constitutional appointments process to fashion a government reliant on acting officials who have not been confirmed by the Senate. He is the first president since before Ronald Reagan to have more acting than confirmed Cabinet secretaries…


6. Insulting allies while cozying up to authoritarians


To hear President Trump tell it… Trump has shown an affinity for strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. He has spoken glowingly of the “love letters” he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “a tough guy who deserves respect.” He congratulated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the “unbelievable job” he was doing on his country’s drug problem, despite reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings.



7. Coarsening presidential discourse


President Trump has communicated more unfiltered words to the public than any other chief executive — not just through Twitter, but via rambling rally speeches and impromptu jousts with reporters. This stream of presidential consciousness is like “a fireside rant, but one that has no beginning and no end,” Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes write in their book “Unmaking the Presidency.”


8. Politicizing the military

President Trump has trampled the line between politics and the military from the second week of his presidency, when he chose the Pentagon room dedicated to the most highly decorated military heroes as the setting to sign his controversial order barring refugees and blocking travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. between our military and our foreign policy goals.”


9. Attacking judges

Past presidents have signaled displeasure with court rulings, but they have not challenged the legal system’s legitimacy as Trump has.


10. Politicizing diplomacy and foreign policy


All diplomacy carries a whiff of politics — Republican foreign policy is different from Democratic foreign policy — but President Trump has put a uniquely electoral stamp on foreign affairs. politicized not just the content of the policy, but the conduct of the diplomacy, to such an extreme extent.”





11. Undermining intelligence agencies


President Trump called the intelligence chiefs who served under Barack Obama “dirty cops” and “sleazebags,” while he has continued to feud with the agencies and his own appointed directors.


12. Publicizing lists of potential Supreme Court picks


President Trump took the novel approach of releasing lists of potential picks for the Supreme Court. 


13. Making far more false or misleading claims than any previous president


Through Aug. 27, the sum was 22,247, to be exact, according to The Post Fact Checker’s database.


14. Abusing the pardon power


George H.W. Bush was criticized for pardoning Iran-contra figures, Bill Clinton for pardoning a fugitive financier, and George W. Bush for commuting the sentence of an official in a case related to the leak of an undercover CIA agent’s identity. But President Trump’s 44 pardons and commutations have been especially self-serving.


15. Using government resources for partisan ends


From his first full day in office, when President Trump ordered the National Park Service to produce photographic evidence that his inauguration crowd was larger than Barack Obama’s (it wasn’t), he has used the levers of government to score personal or political points.



16. Making racialized appeals and attacks


No president in the modern era has relied so heavily on racialized appeals to his base.



17. Dividing the nation in times of crisis

During national crises, presidents are expected to hold the country’s hand and pull us together, if only for a little while.


18. Contradicting scientists

Norms guiding the presidency are meant to ensure that decisions on policy aren’t arbitrary or overly political, and that the best expert guidance is heeded. President Trump’s rejection of these customs has been on display during the coronavirus pandemic.


19. Derailing the tradition of presidential debates


Presidential debates are not always illuminating, with candidates resorting to talking points and the occasional well-rehearsed zinger. But the first 2020 presidential debate was an unprecedented cacophonous fiasco, largely because President Trump ignored the agreed-upon rules and interrupted Joe Biden 71 times in 90 minutes. t


20. Undermining faith in the 2020 election results


Every incumbent president in American history has accepted the prospect of a peaceful transfer of power. No sitting president in modern memory has gone into an election predicting fraud and illegitimate results.


LOCAL

INTERNATIONAL





Nov. 10, 2020


Nov. 9, 2020

Wow!

Quote: 

 “And I have to say, even I’m surprised at just how relieved I am that we don’t have to suffer through another four years Donald Trump — the single most annoying human being on the face of the earth. 

Even if you put aside everything else about him — the racism, venality, cruelty, corruption, mendacity, vindictiveness and flagrant disregard for any life other than his own — he is still just a world, historically irritating man. I mean, can you imagine living through another four years of having to see his sweaty, overcooked, ham of a face on your television every day?” Seth Myers





Click to enlarge:
Bizzaro World just from RawStory




Scroll down past the pictures for the stories

Click images to enlarge.

 









Excerpt: We’re in an unsettling moment. A mentally ill president has just suffered an incredible blow to his ego, and we have no idea how he will react beyond continuing to spew falsehoods that undermine faith in our democracy among those many millions who still follow the man. Will there be mass firings of political appointees? Unhinged executive orders? Something worse?

And that’s not the only uncertainty. For the next 10 weeks or so, Trump is going to have to share the stage with Biden as the president-elect inches toward assuming the presidency. Will Trump see the attention shifting to Biden and act to bring the spotlight back onto himself? How far could he go in doing that? How far will his Cabinet let him go before invoking the 25th Amendment?


Bye Bye Get Lost Go Away video

Wait for it. Trump will declare himself the winner.

Then he'll use taxpayer money to hold a gigantic celebration in Washington.
Click to enlarge:
Wait for it. Trump will declare himself the winner.
Then he'll use, to try to use, taxpayer money to hold a gigantic celebration in Washington. 
You know if he saw any of the Biden/Harris event last night he is in a full-blown rage. 
Maybe it won't be too late for the 25th Amendment. 
Being a malignant narcissist does't justify it,
but being in the throes of a delusional psychosis does.

McConnell is the face of radical-Republican contempt


Click to enlarge



Nov. 7, 2020




Below: Taken in Ballina, Ireland, ancestral home of Joe Biden 

The comments to the following videos all related to Biden'/Harris winning.
I thought of posting this when I saw dancing in the street.
Perhaps unconsciously I remembered these lines:
This is an invitation
Across the nation
A chance for the folks to meet
There'll be laughin', singin', and music swingin'
And dancin' in the streets
Philadelphia, P.A.
(Philadelphia, P.A.)
Baltimore and DC now

"Dancing in the Street" (WIKI) is a song written by Marvin GayeWilliam "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter. It first became popular in 1964 when recorded by Martha and the Vandellas whose version reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart. It is one of Motown's signature songs and is the group's premier signature song. A 1966 cover by the Mamas & the Papas was a minor hit on the Hot 100 reaching No. 73. In 1982, the rock group Van Halen took their cover of "Dancing in the Street" to No. 38 on the Hot 100 chart and No. 15 in Canada on the RPM chart. A 1985 duet cover by David Bowie and Mick Jagger charted at No. 1 in the UK and reached No. 7 in the US. The song has been covered by many other artists, including The KinksTagesGrateful Dead and Myra.

Who knew?

FEATURES

‘Dancing In The Street’: Behind Martha Reeves And The Vandellas’ Song

Both a euphoric floor-filler and a call to arms, Martha And The Vandellas’ ‘Dancing In The Street’ remains a prime example of Motown’s 60s pop perfection.



NOV. 7, 2020


HOPEFULLY the NY Daily News will have a special edition.
 It will be on every newsstand in the five boroughs
 of New York City.
It will be a collectors item because they
I wish I could get one. I'd probably frame it.

The other NYC tabloid:




‘You’re fired!: Internet explodes in a frenzy of joy after Biden ousts Trump



Below: Too bad Trump is playing golf and can't hear this.
SongS of the day:


All across America people broke into tears. 
I did. Van Jones did it online TV.

Excerpt: "Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated."

"I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands," Trump says in the statement.

Trump is currently at his Virginia golf course.






I figured I might as well post my photo on Twitter.

Narcissistic injury, and narcissistic rage, are real psychiatric phenomena.




This map doesn't look so bad:






Nov. 6, 2020
This is Dartagnan's most recommended story. 


My Daily Kos story:

If you missed Morning Joe, what elected Republicans think now:



Trump's deep narcissism acted as a distorted mirror for millions of voters | Hadley Freeman (The Guardian)

Excerpt:

Narcissists see what they want to see. What makes Trump more unusual is that an astonishing number of people see what they want to see when they look at him. Let us take a brief journey back to the early days of what I guess we can describe as Trump’s emergence on to the political scene, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man emerged on to New York City in Ghostbusters. How eager some people were then to reassure us that all was fine, because they wanted it to be. “It would be a mistake to think that [Trump] is all instinct and impulse. He wants to bring to governing the same calculating business style that he has brought to communicating,” Michael Gove somehow managed to write in the Times, while simultaneously giving Trump a proctology examination with his tongue. “The Donald I know,” another British commentator wrote at the time, “is a smart, streetwise, charming (yes seriously!) guy who runs his businesses by putting good people into top jobs and letting them get on with it.” All those “my friend, Donald” takes: how sweetly they have aged. Like cottage cheese left for four years next to an orange boiler.

It’s strangely apt that such a raging narcissist should function as a distorted mirror to so many, one in which they see their own fantasies reflected back at them. Whether he actually is a billionaire or not has never been important: since the 1980s he has presented himself as the cartoon image of one – Daddy Warbucks crossed with a particularly rubbish Bond villain – and people see what they want to see. His white working-class supporters saw in him their own aggrievement at not being accepted by elites who rigged the game; the elites saw a fellow plutocrat who would protect their fortunes. Before this election I often heard people talk anxiously about how, even if Trump lost, “Trumpism” wouldn’t go away.


Nov.5,2020

MSNBC cut away from Trump's speech after 15 second because he was lying. CNN (and of course Fox) kept it on. However, afterward this is what Anderson Cooper said on CNN:

 Trump is ‘like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun’




Here's Usher singing it with Barack and Michelle in the audience

Every YouTube version I could find has comments about the election about it. Down to the wire now as Georgia could go for Biden soon.

One would think a guy currently out on bail under federal charges would steer clear of 18 USC 115(a)(1)(B) (threatening a federal official)


From Bandy X.Lee, MD




Nov. 4, 2020

Maybe I can get Rudy to retweet this, pull my own Borat on him.

Waking to a wake:

I added the cartoon to this story. All I had to do was a Google Image search for Trump tantrum to find lots to chose from:



Breathe, Democrats: Yes, the Trump trauma is severe — but there's no reason to panic -

This election is an agonizing nail-biter — but not a 2016 rerun. Trump knows that, and he's losing his shit - Digby
We know this. And yet because everything in us recoils from the idea that everything Donald Trump has done has not shaken these people from their fealty to him, it's still stunning when it actually happens. Trump's fans have no problem with tearing children from their mother's arms and putting them in cages, banning immigrants and visitors from Muslim countries, calling Nazis "very fine people," apologizing for terrorists who plotted to kidnap and execute a governor, or a thousand other atrocities he's committed, not the least of which is the mishandling of a devastating pandemic that has resulted in 230,000 deaths — most of which could have prevented if he had the slightest ability to do his job. They still trust him, despite the fact that the economy is in worse shape than at any time since the Great Depression because he treated the pandemic as a PR problem he could solve with spin and propaganda.

However the election ends, white supremacy has already won, Chauncey DeVega

What is actually known with great certainty about the 2020 presidential election is that white supremacy and racism have been reaffirmed and not repudiated.


Despite hundreds of thousands of people dead in the United States from the coronavirus and Trump's sabotage of the relief efforts, along with his cruelty, violence, tens of thousands of lies, treasonous behavior and destruction of the country's economy; despite the many thousands of brown and Black migrants and refugees held in his concentration camps and other detention centers; despite his vast corruption, lawbreaking, racism, white supremacy, and nativism; despite his destruction of America's and the world's environment, thereby imperiling the survival of the human race; despite being credibly accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of women; and despite his ignorance, stupidity and overall evil, Donald Trump remains remarkably popular in the United States.

Moreover, Donald Trump has the highest base level of support in the history of modern polling in the United States. His political cult members and other followers love Donald Trump precisely because of how horrible he is and not despite it. It is a form of political sadism. Trumpism and America's current version of right-wing politics is a form of political religion binds its followers to the Great Leader and the movement in a deeply existential way.

Excerpt:

With the future and democratic reputation of the American republic hanging in the balance, this is not an occasion for bombast. Rather it is time to reach humbly in the darkness, seeking only to summon such measured words as convey the intense dignity of this moment. In short, I think we all feel the hand of history on our pussies.

Donald Trump, America’s howling id, has not lost this election. Then again, Joe Biden has not won it. Shortly before 6am UK time, Biden addressed a rally – never a better time for one, mate – and told the Delaware crowd he was “optimistic”. In split-screen Trump addressed his Twitter retinue, and told them of “a big WIN”, adding “they are trying to STEAL the election … votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed.” Expect him to invade Pole-land in the coming days.

Still, whatever happens now, no one can argue that a result this close was a repudiation of his way of doing business, so anyone expecting the gibberingly loyal Republican party to tack away from its current psychiatric space for the next couple of decades ought probably to get used to disappointment.



Trump supporters replied to this viciously attacking
Twitter CE Jack Dorsey. Read them here.


Click images used in Daily Kos story to enlarge:



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