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.
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.
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
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:
“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 staying quiet because they fear Trump — this clown-car coup has nothing but upside for them
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?
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 $)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#peabrainedpresident (lots of synonyms for stupid but only one begins with P)
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 employee, medical 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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
Nov. 10, 2020
Nov. 9, 2020
“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
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.
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.
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’
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.
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.
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