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August 6, 2020

Hal Brown Blog

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


Aug. 8, 2020


Trump flees Bedminster press conference after reporter busts him for lying about veterans: Watch video below


Here's what writer Matt Obrien tweeted: 

The mainstream media is always extremely reluctant to say that Trump lies because they can’t prove that he knows something he’s saying is false.
Running away when he’s asked to explain a false statement is pretty good evidence that he knows it’s false—i.e., that he’s lying.

The photos of the crowd at Bedminster prompted me to write this for Daily Kos today.



The excerpt that struck me the most:

The 87-year-old casino mogul had reached out to Trump to talk about the coronavirus relief bill and the economy. But then Trump brought the conversation around to the campaign and confronted Adelson about why he wasn’t doing more to bolster his reelection, according to three people with direct knowledge of the call. One of the people said it was apparent the president had no idea how much Adelson, who’s donated tens of millions of dollars to pro-Trump efforts over the years, had helped him. Adelson chose not to come back at Trump.
The idea that Trump was speaking to one of his biggest donors was lost on him is again indicative that his cognitive ability is becoming more and more impaired.
Greed and buffoonery, and just deal with the fact that he's a pig? You know what I'm talking about. Look at one of the photographs of Trump and his wife Melania alongside their good friends Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, and you've got the whole thing in a proverbial nutshell. I mean, do you have any photographs of yourself with a convicted sex offender and someone accused of procurement in a child sex ring? And Donald Trump? He's going to turn into an impeached pig who brags about grabbing women "by the pussy," who pays hush money during his first campaign for president to at least two women to cover up affairs he was having outside his marriage, who is accused by more than two dozen women of various kinds of sexual harassment and abuse over a period of decades, who becomes known for his antipathy for strong women in politics because he simply cannot stomach women who stand up to him and refuse to take his misogyny and racism. If all Trump ever did in his life was to be friends with the likes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, that would be reason enough to consign him to the sixth ring of some kind of hell we haven't even imagined yet. At the very least, he knew who they were and he knew the disgusting, illegal stuff they were doing with little girls. And you know what kind of man that is? A pig like Donald Trump.




Hong Kong News

 Excerpt:

Hong Kong's government said the sanctions were "shameless and despicable" and represented a "blatant and barbaric" interference in China's internal affairs, warning that Hong Kong was being used as a "pawn" in the U.S.-China relationship.

The Trump administration announced Friday it would impose sanctions on Lam and Luo Huining, the head of China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, along with nine other current and former officials that Washington accuses of curtailing political freedoms, following the imposition of a draconian new security law in June.

"The unscrupulous intentions of the U.S. politicians to support the anti-China chaos in Hong Kong have been revealed, and their clowning actions are really ridiculous," China's Liaison Office said in a statement.

"Intimidation and threats cannot frighten the Chinese people."





Aug. 7, 2020

Click to enlarge photos:
Before White House staff handed out masks at Trump's so-called press conference at his New Jersey golf club. Apparently being rich and white makes one immune fromCovid-19. More about his Bedminster press conference.
Before news conference Trump was caught on a hot mic telling people at club...”You’ll get to meet the fake news tonight. You’ll get to see what I have to go through. Who’s there? Oh all my killers are there, wow. So you’ll get to see some of the people that we deal with every day” Here's a picture of the reporters milling around before the press conference.

Breaking news: Trump's own intelligence officials press release about Russian election interference to help Trump and China prefers Biden win because they see Trump as unpredictable, and Iran just want to sow chaos:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ODNI News Release No. 29-20

August 7, 2020

 

Statement by NCSC Director William Evanina: Election Threat Update for the American Public

On July 24, 2020, I issued a statement to the American public providing an unclassified overview of foreign threats to the 2020 election and offering basic steps to mitigate some of these threats. At that time, I pledged that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) would continue to update the American public and other key stakeholders on the evolving election threat landscape, while also safeguarding our intelligence sources and methods.

 

Today, we are making good on that promise by sharing additional information with the public on the intentions and activities of our adversaries with respect to the 2020 election. This information is being released for the purpose of better informing Americans so they can play a critical role in safeguarding our election. Below is the latest public update:

 

------------------------

 

Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process. They may also seek to compromise our election infrastructure for a range of possible purposes, such as interfering with the voting process, stealing sensitive data, or calling into question the validity of the election results. However, it would be difficult for our adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale.

 

Many foreign actors have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and private statements; covert influence efforts are rarer. We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran.

  • CHINA – We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China. Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues. For example, it has harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.

  • RUSSIA – We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.” This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia. For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.

  • IRAN – We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections. Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.

------------------------

 

The intelligence assessments above represent the most current, accurate, and objective election threat information the IC has to offer in an unclassified setting at this time.  Providing objective intelligence analysis is the solemn duty of the men and women of the IC, who work day and night around the world, often at great personal risk, to safeguard our nation.

 

The IC also recognizes there will continue to be demand for more information as the election approaches. The IC has and will continue to provide classified election threat briefings to the presidential campaigns, political committees and all Members of Congress. We have provided nearly 20 classified election threat briefings to these stakeholders since mid-May 2020. We will also keep providing updates to the American public, consistent with our national security obligations. The steps we have taken thus far to inform the public and other stakeholders on election threats are unprecedented for the IC.

 

Aside from sharing information, let me assure you that the IC is also doing everything in its power to combat both cyber and influence efforts targeting our electoral process and continues to support DHS and FBI in their critical roles safeguarding the election. As I emphasized in my July 24, 2020 public statement, we are all in this together as Americans. Our election should be our own. Foreign efforts to influence or interfere with our elections are a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy. For more information on election participation, understanding foreign influence and disinformation, and ways in which the U.S. Government is working to secure the 2020 election, we encourage Americans to visit the following websites:


My story today:
Press Watch is a new website which was started by Dan Froomkin who has been a frequent Salon contributor  The above article by Froomkin was republished in Salon which will be a publishing partner to the new website. 

Conclusion:

Look through the full report, and you'll see a lot of findings that support the view that the political divide (in terms of both supply and demand) is the overwhelming factor driving complaints of "bias," rather than an industry-wide loss of objectivity:

  • "Given the choice … more Americans say they are concerned about bias in the news other people are getting (69%) than say they worry about their own news being biased (29%)."
  • "Democrats and Republicans differ greatly in their ratings of the media on every aspect of performance, including providing objective news reports, holding political and business leaders accountable for their actions and helping Americans stay informed about current affairs."
  • Republicans are apparently using the excuse of too much "bias" in the news to explain why they've given up on figuring out the truth. Asked whether they felt that "there is so much bias in the news media that it's often difficult to sort out the facts" or "Although there is some bias in the news media, there are enough sources of news to be able to sort out the facts," two out of three Republicans chose the former, compared to only one in five Democrats.

A deeper look at the crosstabs should be fascinating. For instance, the full report notes that "people who name a conservative news outlet as their top news source are more likely to say news media they distrust are ruining the country."

Nevertheless, there's lots of valuable information in the survey, if you read it with a grain of salt. And I'll end with some undeniable good news:

  • "Americans are more likely today to say the media's role in democracy is 'critical,' up five percentage points since 2017."
  • And "Large majorities say it is 'critical' or 'very important' for the news media to provide accurate and fair news reports (92%), ensure Americans are informed about public affairs (91%) and hold leaders accountable for their actions (85%)."

House can subpoena former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify, appeals court rules (but probably will dodge the pre-election bullet with further appeals)


My take: Once again the most corrupt administration in history will dance the Trump two-step to avoid accountability on the McGahn testimony. What remains to be seen is whether Leticia James, the formidable NY State attorney general who prevailed in reversing the Trump deportation policy , has more up her sleeve than merely suing the NRA.  Not only Ms. James, but Manhattan DA Cy Vance prevailed in his attempt to get the Trump Deutsche Bank records in his widening probe. While Trump can sue his ass off there is nothing William Barr can do to directly undermine these efforts since the DOJ has no jurisdiction over New York State and New York City.  

Related story:

Will Trump face real consequences for his crimes? The answer will haunt America's future by Heather "Digby" Parton -- What will we tell future generations — and future Republican presidents — if Trump gets away with everything?


Yesterday I was participating in the weekly roadside protest residents living in my senior facility have been having and we were getting the usual honks and supportive waves from 95% of the folks who drove by. By chance two postal trucks drove by and both of the mail carriers waved to us.  Photo below of a generic postal truck and a selfie added by me. 
............

I'd put Jerry Falwell's newsworthiness somewhere between Wayne LaPierre and Kanye West on a scale ranking people who make the headlines who aren't named Trump or are members of his administration. The Falwell story is a minor diversion, but it is still gratifying to watch karma bite him in the ass.
 
One of President Donald Trump’s most prominent evangelical supporters was mocked online after being asked to “take an indefinite leave of absence” by Liberty University.

“Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University after posting a racy photo to social media from his vacation where his pants were unzipped, his midriff was out, and he is standing next to a woman holding a glass of dark liquid. He later deleted the photo,” The Washington Post reported Friday.



Recommended:

Below:

The Daily Beast often has snarkier editorial photoshops on their stories than what they used today,  so I made my own. Why bother picking on these defiant bikers who think that by virtue of their obstreperously pugnacious stance they are immune from the fake virus.

As the rally’s Facebook page attests, the bikers come from across the country. 

“Leaving from NH today. See ya soon!” posted Howard Saborn of New Hampshire. 

“Coming for the 1st time on Saturday from Virginia,” Vickie Farmer announced. 

“On our way now. Stopped in Missouri to sleep. Be there Thursday night,” Jesse Robison of Georgia posted. 

“Be there Friday from San Angelo Tx.,” David Buckner said. 

“On my way I ain’t scared of the media flue or as we call it round here election flue see ya soon sd,” J.F. Watson of Ohio said.

“Just call it a big protest !! And it be A-Ok!!” J. Toothman, also of Ohio, suggested.

Rod Florquest of Wyoming was among the thousands who had arrived early. 

“You really have to look to see someone wearing a mask,” he reported, as though this was a good thing.

And, having come from seemingly everywhere with whatever virus they might happen to carry, they will all mingle and return home with any virus they happen to pick up. Some will have purchased one of the souvenir T-shirts that retired school counselor Linda Chaplin of Sturgis saw a street vendor selling. The front reads:

“Screw COVID-19

 I came to Sturgis”




Cartoon of the day:

While Americans struggle to free ourselves from authoritarian rule we shouldn't forget that Hongkongese live with this everyday. Trump's China policy is as much a part of his personality as it is based on any real concern for the residents of Hong Kong. We must have a president with a rational policy regarding China. Here's the most recent news: US sanctions Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam over democratic crackdowns




Aug. 6, 2020

The conclusion:

Trump's unpredictability is something that permeated official US interactions with the leaders of countries across the globe—from Iran to Syria to North Korea to Canada and Mexico to NATO allies. 
"The general concept was discussed, not as a strategy we deliberately adopted, but rather as something we pointed out as a matter of fact," said Mulroy 
 (deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until 2019)
. "The thing is, it wasn't a ploy," he explained. "I think both allies and enemies realize that his decision process was unpredictable even to those advising him up to and including the secretary of defense and national security adviser."
Trump's capriciousness left the advisers responsible for virtually every corner of the globe guessing. 
"I had many meetings where my counterparts would ask, 'Can we really believe what you're saying? On whose behalf are you speaking?'" said Fiona Hill, President Trump's former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council and key witness during the impeachment investigation of the President in November 2019. "This makes the US a capricious partner for anyone who is interacting with us as a collective."
Trump's unpredictability was not a national secret. US adversaries were keenly aware that his own advisers and the institutions and agencies they lead were often in the dark about the President's intentions and therefore sought to take advantage, said Susan Gordon, who served as the United States' second-highest-ranking intelligence official as principal deputy director of national intelligence.
"Our partners, adversaries, and competitors know we don't know the next play," Gordon said.
    With any other president or any other administration, such deliberate unpredictability might be seen as a flaw, identifying it as a criticism. But in the view of Trump and his most devout supporters, his unpredictability is a keen negotiator's strength to be lauded. 
    "For him, the unpredictability is a card that he liked having," said Yun (
    who served as President Trump's special representative for North Korea policy until 2018) 
    .
    Excerpt: After a particularly bad day, 
    Donald Trump attempted to cheer himself up with his favorite unconstitutional idea of being president forever. He tweeted out a video of a mockup Time Magazine cover showing Trump 2020, Trump 2024, and so on, eventually ending with Trump 4Eva. This is how he soothes himself after a long day, and that’s just as worrisome as the thought of this crazy person never leaving the White House. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

    Let’s be honest folks yesterday was a pretty bad day for Donald Trump. Uh, if for no other reason than the fact that that Axios interview that made him look like an idiot went viral. Most people, if you were on social media yesterday, you saw that clip. You saw how unprepared the president is, how unprofessional he is and how he certainly does not like when a good interviewer asks him tough questions and calls him out for his nonsense. So he was a little depressed. So I guess in an effort to cheer himself up at the end of the day, he decided to tweet out, uh, for, you know, uh, God only knows how many times he’s tweeted this thing out, but it’s the little video clip that shows Trump forever. You know, it’s a mockup of a, a, I think a time magazine cover that has little signs, you know, Trump 2020 Trump, 2024, 2028, 2032.

    And he keeps going and going and going for all of eternity. And then it ends of course, with Trump at a podium. And the thing underneath him says Trump forever Trump forever, because that’s what he wants. And this again is not the first time he has tweeted out this video clip. It is not the first time. It is not the second time. It’s not the 10th time that he has made some kind of reference to staying in office longer than is constitutionally allowed. But I think the more interesting part of all of this is the fact that he did this as a way of self soothing after a bad day, that is the psychological damage that this man is suffering from. That he can only feel better about himself when he tweets this thing out. And it’s not just tweeting it out. It’s the responses to it.

    Excerpts: 
    Trump is not Hitler, though no credit due to him. He would be if he could. He has had to move slowly. We still had a few cultural antibodies. He’s not yet a mad King George monarch, a Confederate president Jefferson Davis, a nationalist Kaiser Wilhelm, or a Russian oligarch Stalin for the same reason. He would be if he could. He has had to move slowly.

    If reelected in November he would be unstoppable and no, that’s not hyperbole. Indeed, the Trump cult threatens to reverse the outcomes of practically every war the United States has ever won.

    ...............Conclusion:

    There are two ways for narcissists to prevail elevating oneself or demoting others. In a way, “sado-narcissism” is redundant. Narcissists are by definition, sadists. Snyder’s use of “sado” makes the goal of demoting others explicit.

    As Snyder explains in his excellent book, “The Road to Unfreedom” Putin landed on a broad sado-populist strategy for dealing with the United States and Europe. Disadvantaged after the official end to the cold war, with no industrial or resourced advantages, he focused not on elevating Russia but worsening conditions within Europe and the US, dividing the nations of the EU and turning American’s against each other through his useful idiot, our sado-narcissist president.  A second term for him would be the bulk belated reversal of all our past war victories.

    This is our nation’s darkest hour. Never has so much sado-populism been inflicted on so many to the advantage of so few. Our nation’s most formidable enemy ever is not at our borders, it is a cancer that grows within. And no that’s not hyperbole despite the preemptive strategic hyperbole of the wolf-crying sado-populists.

    Trump chooses for ambassador to Germany a racist Fox commentator who is pro-Putin and anti-Merkel WaPo subscription

    Excerpts:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked by Douglas Macgregor’s selection to be U.S. ambassador to Germany. When it comes to the appointment of officials, the Trump administration appears bent on refuting Darwin. Instead of evolution, we are seeing devolution. No matter how unqualified, dangerous or extremist an appointee, odds are that whoever comes next will be even worse...............

     Conclusion: Macgregor has also been an outspoken critic of Merkel’s government. He claims that Germany “seems more concerned about providing free services to millions of unwanted Muslim invaders, to be blunt, than it does about its own armed forces in the defense of its country.” He even thinks that Germany has gone too far in making penance for Nazi crimes: “There’s sort of a sick mentality that says that generations after generations must atone for the sins of what happened in 13 years of German history and ignore the other 1,500 years of Germany.”

    Like Trump, Macgregor has cast doubt on the NATO alliance, saying that we should withdraw our troops in Germany and make it clear “that we are not going to be the first responder” if allies are attacked by Russia. Also like Trump, Macgregor has a disquieting tendency to echo Vladimir Putin’s propaganda. While appearing on Russia’s state-owned RT, he justified the Russian invasion of Ukraine by falsely saying that eastern and southern Ukrainians are “clearly Russian” and “should be allowed to join Russia.” By contrast, he criticized the U.S. intervention to stop the ethnic cleansing of Muslims by “Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo.”

    Macgregor is a racist crackpot who is pro-Russia, anti-Merkel, anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican. He has no business representing the United States in any embassy, much less in one for an important ally. But I fully expect that if Macgregor is confirmed and Trump stays in office long enough to choose a successor, whoever comes next will be even more odious.


    Excerpt: I don’t know what would “allow” the man to win it. I guess we would have to roll back the events of 2020, the virus, George Floyd, the protests, all of it. America is not the same nation it was on New Year’s Day and the last one to comprehend that is the guy sitting in the Oval Office. That would be truly incredible if we were talking about anybody other than Trump.

    Another thing Trump predicted on Fox News this morning is that the virus “will go away, like things go away.” That makes seven months in a row that Trump has predicted that the virus will go away and it has not, it’s only gotten worse.

    This is the biggest psychological tell of all. Trump keeps saying the virus will go away because he needs it to go away. He can’t deal with it and doesn’t want to. He just wants it to stop existing. And he has spectacularly botched the response to it. 157,000 people dead and counting. We have 25% of the world’s cases and we’re only 4.2% of the world’s population — but Trump would have you believe we’re “winning” because he can’t process reality, because he’s spent his life living in a money-insulated bubble. That’s why he’s useless.

    The tragedy of this is that the man is no kind of a leader and didn’t think he had to be. He thought he would just play a leader on TV. And the GOP gave him the green light. That’s the tragedy. And for that, the GOP needs to be held accountable along with Trump.

    November 3 can’t come fast enough.


    Former first lady Michelle Obama says racial inequality amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has left her feeling that she has "some form of low-grade depression."

    "Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting," she said in the latest episode of her podcast released Wednesday.

    Obama added that the mounting stories of Black people being wrongfully arrested, killed or "dehumanized" have been weighing on her. And while George Floyd's death in police custody sparked an outpouring of outrage, the issue of racism in America long preceded the incident.

    "I’d be remiss to say part of this depression is also a result of what we're seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest that has plagued this country since its birth," she said.

     ...................

    Below: Everything in this Salon interview with another expert is consistent with what Mary Trump describes in her book. We have more understanding of the psychological make-up of this president and how his personality effects his behavior than of any other president.

    Excerpts:

    President Donald Trump is an adult brat, a very young child in the body of an elderly man (I would have put Trump's head on another toddler's body, right)He throws temper tantrums and lives in his own alternate reality. He cannot self-regulate, understands very little about the world, and must be the center of attention at all times. He cannot play well with others if he does not get his way, and overall possesses limited cognitive, emotional and intellectual abilities.........................

    The expert Daniel Drezner isn't a psychologist. He's a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. None the less his analysis is psychotically sound. Drezner is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Here's an excerpt from his answers:

    Temper tantrums, poor impulse control, short attention spans, knowledge deficits, oppositional behavior, aversions to new things, too much time looking at TV or tablets or smart phones and related behavior. Each of the chapters in my book opens with a quote from the American Academy of Pediatrics' "Guide to Raising Children." A great deal of Trump's behavior is described by that very book. The analogy of Donald Trump as a toddler is a powerful one.

    Interestingly, my description and the evidence of Trump's toddler-like behavior is echoed by his own staffers as well as the press coverage of him. Trump has almost no control over his temper. He has temper tantrums. He cannot sit still and focus at all. Like a toddler, Donald Trump does not know a great deal about the world. As White House insiders have shared, it is almost impossible to brief Donald Trump on important matters of national security and other concerns because of his attention span and inability to focus.

    Donald Trump is different from toddlers in at least two rather important ways.

    The first is that toddlers grow up. Toddlers behave the way they do in terms of temper tantrums because they are just trying to navigate the world and have yet to develop the cognitive capacities to engage the world in a more mature fashion. Trump is more than 70 years old and he is not going to change.

    The second difference is that toddlers have parents or some other caregivers. Toddlers have authority figures that they will at least acknowledge or respect their authority. Donald Trump is president and commander in chief. He has no parents or other authority figures to tell him what to do. His staffers have various tactics that they use to try to engage with or constrain him. But in the end Donald Trump has the authority to do what he wants. As such, the White House is like a poorly staffed and maintained day care center where the turnover rate among employees is massive.

    Biden Says He Wouldn't Stand In The Way Of A Trump Prosecution 

    Joe Biden says that he believes prosecuting a former president would be a "very unusual thing and probably not very ... good for democracy," but he would not stand in the way of a future Justice Department pursuing criminal charges against President Trump after he leaves office.... "Look, the Justice Department is not the president's private law firm. The attorney general is not the president's private lawyer. I will not interfere with the Justice Department's judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law," Biden told NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

    ‘Gigantic fraud’ Trump sparks twitter outrage by claiming Biden is ‘against the Bible’


    In an interview with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera on Thursday, President Donald Trump claimed that former Vice President Joe Biden, a lifelong Catholic, is “against the Bible” — a comment that stunned even Rivera. The comment from Trump — who was infamously unable to name a single verse from the Bible — drew outrage from social media.


    From the Editorial Board of The Washington Post

    EXCERPTS: PRESIDENT TRUMP sent a message to Twitter — and by extension all communication platforms and outlets: If you cross me, you’ll be punished. Now, he has sent a message to the Federal Communications Commission: Cross me for misusing my powers in this way, and you’ll be punished, too. Michael O’Rielly has served  two terms on the FCC under two presidents, and was expected to serve another — until this week, when the White House announced it would withdraw his renomination. ............. - ...............But for Mr. Trump, the lack of a pretext is the point. The president wants Mr. O’Rielly, his fellow FCC commissioners and appointees across agencies to know what happens when they dare to put the rule of law first, just as the president wants Twitter, and Facebook, and all influential companies on the Internet or off to know how carefully they must tread with him in charge. This is a flagrant assault on the First Amendment under the guise of defending it, and an assault on those who seek to defend the right of free expression.

    Excerpt:

    In our conversation, Stevens exploded with loathing for the party he once faithfully (and lucratively) served. He rejected the common view that Trump had hijacked the GOP. No, he explained, the triumph of know-nothing Trumpism marked the culmination of an internal conflict that had existed for decades between the party’s “dark side” and its professed ideals. Even William F. Buckley Jr., often hailed as a grand public intellectual and the founding father of the modern conservative movement, was “a stone-cold racist” in the 1950s, Stevens pointed out. (Buckley at that time considered white people more “advanced” and more fit to govern.)

    “A lot of us in the party liked to believe the dark side was a recessive gene, but it’s a dominant theme,” Stevens, a seventh-­generation Mississippian who was named for Confederate Gen. Jeb Stuart, told me. “And it’s all about race. The Republican Party is a white party and there still are more white people than non-white people.” So that is whom the party aims at—even if this will eventually be a losing proposition as the nation’s demographics continue to shift. Ronald Reagan achieved a landslide victory in 1980 by bagging 56 percent of white voters; 28 years later, John McCain lost with 55 percent of white voters. Perhaps the party’s fixation on white voters can work one more time with Trump in 2020. “But we’re talking about the Confederacy—literally,” Stevens said.

    And Nazi Germany. On his own, with no prompting, Stevens went straight to the Defcon-1 analogy: “I tell my GOP friends, ‘It’s crazy to say it’s 1934 in Germany…when it’s clearly 1936.’” He insisted that the 1930s are important for understanding the current moment. “When there was rising anti-Semitism, isolationism, and pro-Nazi sentiment, why did the US not become fascist?” Stevens asked. “Because of FDR. Leaders matter, and the GOP has now completely abdicated its role.” Instead, the party has yielded completely to demagoguery and race-baiting to exploit the racism and resentments of certain white voters. Throughout his decades as a Republican, Stevens considered this racist element a bug in the system. He now realizes it has been a feature.



    Never responding to an unsolicited email is a good practice. I received the one described in the article below. In fact, it is legit. However, if I followed through all I could get is a maximum of $12 in a lawsuit settlement. Is it worth it? No. However, if nobody adds their name for their $12 Google pays nothing.


    Aug. 5, 2020

    On MSNBC The 11th Hour With Brian Williams:


    Below: My Daily Kos story for Wednesday


    Below: Not only is this a disgusting and a reprehensible photoshop for a Trump ad made to look like a dejected Biden is sitting in his basement when it is really a picture of him in church praying, but it is a bad photoshop because he looks like he's sitting on thin air. Besides it also looks like his basement has walls made out of concrete with ghost-like images in the background.  
    The actual photo: 
     As Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted, this photo is of Biden praying at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Delaware on June 1 following the death of George Floyd. 
    It's common practice for attack ads to make use of downcast photos of political opponents, but it's notable that the Trump campaign is trying to make Biden look bad with a photo of him in a solemn religious moment.


     A dangerous Trump lie

    President Donald Trump is making dangerously false medical claims once again, this time to advance his agenda of forcing the nation’s schools to re-open despite the coronavirus pandemic, which is growing worse in many parts of the country.

    On “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning Trump said that children are “virtually immune” from contracting the coronavirus, which is false.

    “It doesn’t have an impact on them,” Trump told the Fox News morning team. “And I’ve watched some doctors say they’re ‘totally immune,’ I don’t know I hate to use the word ‘totally,’ the news will say, ‘Oh, he made the word totally and he shouldn’t have used that word.’ But the fact is they are virtually immune from this problem, and we have to open our schools.”

    Excerpts:

    Do narcissists quit their jobs if they believe they will be fired and don’t want to face humiliation? Or are narcissists immune to humiliation?

    It’s difficult to answer that question, but Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D, gave some insights into a narcissist’s “secret fears” in Psychology Today Nov. 18, 2018:

    “Narcissists are unable to tolerate failure of any sort and public humiliation is considered the worst type of failure that could happen. A narcissist’s ego is an extremely fragile thing and when she feels she is being laughed at or is losing the respect of others, it can be tremendously upsetting. The narcissist’s ego is the only protection they have from the world and when their ego integrity is breached, narcissists often respond in ways that seem markedly out of proportion to the circumstances for average people.”

    That would fit with Trump’s out-of-the blue suggestion that the election should be postponed. Wouldn’t shutting down democracy, the very essence of our being as a country, be way out of proportion? Congress fixed Election Day in 1845 as the second Tuesday after the first Monday. Inauguration Jan. 20 is set in the Constitution....................

    .................. “Trump is a narcissist and he cannot help but react to threats to his delicate psyche,” George Conway, the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, told The Washington Post recently. The Lincoln Project airs ads aiming directly at Trump’s psychological weaknesses in hopes of driving him mad and defeating his reelection bid. “He is a very sensitive, weak human being who cannot take criticism.”

    “You can’t take your foot off the gas, but he’s going to lose and he’s going to lose big,” Conway said. “The reason why I’m confident of that is not because of the polls, but because of his essential nature, his self-destructive nature. He doesn’t know how to handle the current situation. He can’t lie his way out of it anymore. And if we keep the pressure on, keep doing what we’re doing, he’s going to dig himself deeper.”

    Resigning could be Trump’s easiest way out of the mess he has created.

    After all, President Richard M. Nixon, shattered by Watergate and beset for years by anti-Vietnam war demonstrators, resigned Aug. 9, 1974, rather than face impeachment, though he was more prone to depression than narcissism. Studies note that many presidents had narcissistic streaks, but Trump gets first place  prize. That should make him happy, though he’s often pictured as scowling.

    Excerpt:

    Reality is finally catching up with our reality TV star President. Faced with an unprecedented economic collapse triggered by his own clear failure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic (something other industrialized nations have managed to pull off), the Donald tweeted hopefully last week that the November election might need to be rescheduled. 

    No one really knows if Trump is hoping to emulate the strongmen he admires and name himself president-for-life, or if he was just trying to create a distraction from the awful jobs numbers that show what a mess he’s made of the U.S. economy.

    "Trump has lied so much for so long, people are finally just tuning him out."

    Either way, it’s clear he sees the writing on the wall. The American people have had enough of malignant narcissism and feckless governing. They are tired of living with the disastrous results of this President’s non-leadership. Joe Biden is ahead of Trump by double digits, and is leading in swing states including Wisconsin. Unless the Republicans up their voter suppression game to previously unimagined heights—or, as Trump suggested, call off the election—Trump is toast.

    As terrible as these times are—and as terrifying as it is to see things devolve so far so fast—there is something hopeful about Trump’s failure. 

    For one thing, Trump himself is losing the one thing that is most precious to him—our undivided attention. The fact that Trump’s election gambit failed to elicit a big reaction from either side of the aisle in Congress or from the public shows that we’ve entered a new phase of politics. Call it Trump fatigue. Trump has lied so much for so long, people are finally just tuning him out. No amount of posturing, preening and shock-jock showmanship can distract people forever from their own circumstances. 

    ............

    Excerpt:

    Politico's got one of those pieces today where they talk to inside Republicans and try to figure out where it's all going wrong, but none of them are able to see the obvious, which is that it's going wrong because Donald Trump is broken and flawed and incompetent and stupid and beyond help.

    Naturally, one of their prime sources was Rudy Giuliani, and oh boy, he was TALKIN'. 

    First though, here is a quote from a "senior GOP congressional aide," who gets the closest to understanding that the problem is Trump.

    "It used to be that he would do five rallies a day and say whatever came off the top of his head and he thinks that won him the election. [...] It's like when a 25-year old gets drunk and shows up at a family engagement. That can be cute. But if you're a 50-year-old and you show up at the gathering drunk and embarrassing, that just hits a little differently. It's not cute anymore."

    But Giuliani says WRONG, and that Trump should be the 50-year-old drunk he always knew he could be!

    Giuliani thinks if Trump just leaned into stoking white racist fears MORE and talking about Joe Biden having dementia MORE, then all of a sudden people would want to vote for Trump. First, the white racist fears:

    "If I were running the campaign I would do a commercial with the people in St. Louis who had to guard their homes with guns. That's a suburb!"

    It is not a suburb, you dumb shit who couldn't be bothered to look at a map and learn a damn thing before opening your mouth. The racist entitled white assholes in that video live off Kingshighway (sic, St. Louis!) on Portland Place in Central West End, down the road from St. Louis University, near the east side of Forest Park. If you know anything about St. Louis, you know that is about five minutes from downtown, in the city limits, and if you are in the St. Louis city limits, you are very much not in the suburbs, since the city itself is a teeny tiny 65-square-mile wedge.

    Below: Take this not just with a grain of salt, but with a huge mound of salt.

    This is my comment to the article:

    Take this with a grain of skeptical salt. The author is a Fox News contributor and I don't know if he's a consultant to the Trump campaign as has been noted in another comment but he is "Fox’s Favorite Physician Is More Concerned With Panic Than He Is With the Pandemic - Dr. Marc Siegel’s medical advice often contradicts the CDC’s guidance." Quote: "He frequently appears on Fox & Friends and Tucker Carlson Tonight. He has written three books about pandemics, all of which reach the same broad conclusion: Americans are overly concerned with the ill effects of pandemics, and the fear of viruses is often worse than the viruses themselves." Not only that, he is not a psychiatrist and Bandy Lee is. Furthermore she is a forensic psychiatrist who can see though the manipulative charm of sociopaths. Hal Brown, MSW, Member Duty to Warn. See 

    Fox’s Favorite Physician Is More Concerned With Panic Than He Is With the Pandemic


    Two decades of pandemic war games failed to account for Donald Trump

    The scenarios foresaw leaky travel bans, a scramble for vaccines and disputes between state and federal leaders, but none could anticipate the current levels of dysfunction in the United States.

    Excerpt, In conclusion:

    The end game approaches

    Perhaps the biggest limitation of simulation exercises was that they didn’t actually drive policymakers to prioritize and fund improvements to the public-health system. Morrison now questions whether it’s even possible to do that through simulations alone, or whether people must experience an epidemic at first hand.

    After more than 70 people in Taiwan died as a result of SARS in 2003, the government mapped out its emergency-response network. “Every year since then, for the past 17 years, they’ve held annual outbreak exercises and practised, practised, practised,” Morrison says. When the first coronavirus cases were reported in mainland China, Taiwan’s well-oiled systems quickly kicked into gear. Despite its proximity to the outbreak, Taiwan has had only seven deaths from COVID-19 so far.

    Now, the United States has experienced a tragedy, too. The daily number of new COVID-19 cases broke records throughout much of July, after many states attempted to reopen their economies. Frieden says that one of the most crucial actions now is for health departments to strengthen their response systems by analysing data in real time, so that they can tailor interventions as needed. “The best public-health programme is a programme that uses real-time data to make real-time decisions,” he says. “Real life is our exercise.”

    But the end game that received the most attention in the aftermath of many simulations — drugs and vaccines — might indeed be the only way out for countries, such as the United States and Brazil, that have failed to contain the virus. Here, too, the simulations have warned about the disjointed efforts of governments and businesses. Biosecurity experts hope that CEPI and other initiatives to coordinate research and assistance will finally pay off.

    Looking forward, many hope that the mistakes in handling the coronavirus will spur a fundamental reset in how US policymakers think about pandemic preparedness. This means restructuring health systems, empowering public-health leaders and ensuring that all components function in unison in the event of a crisis.

    Towards the end of the Event 201 exercise in New York City last year, participants watched a mock news report forecasting that financial turmoil would last for years, or even a decade. But societal impacts — including loss of faith in government and the media — could last even longer. The TV reporter signed off with a question: “Are we as a global community now finally ready to do the hard work needed to prepare for the next pandemic?”

    The pandemic in that simulation failed to convince policymakers to act. It remains to be seen whether this one will.