November 19, 2022

Can the media ignore the nude nuttiness of the House GOP and Trump?

 Can the media ignore the nude nuttiness of the House GOP and Trump?

By Hal Brown

I was prompted to make the image above after reading this featured article on the MSNBC website by Noah Rothman:

It may be asking too much of the American media ecosystem that it approach this abnormal candidacy with dispassion. Trump himself makes that task all but impossible. But answering Trump’s heat with more heat has so far had the opposite of its intended effect. Perhaps it’s time to give coldness a try.

While Rothman writes about media coverage of Trump his points also apply to how much the media is going to cover the antics of the House MAGA Republicans who all aspire to be demigods devoted to Trump. They are slavering to  mount investigations into Beelzebub Biden.

Ancient artists weren't shy about depicting demons and their victims in the nude.
I wrote about the House slavering like rabid dogs to investigate Hunter Biden yesterday...

It will be interesting to see if the GOP decides to use nude photos of Hunter Biden to make their case that he was a dupe of Russian spies trying to steal his laptops, or something equally nonsensical.
We know they have a list of Democrat Demons.

We can expect that Trump will present an irresistible media coverage car wreck, you don't want to look but somehow it is difficult not to when you drive by.

 If Trump is a single car wreck between the Jim Jordans and Marjorie Taylor Greenes it will be the political pile-up to end all political pile-ups.

I think it is not a question of whether or not the media will cover these things. They will. It is how they will frame their reports. Even Fox News may have trouble making Trump, Jordan, Taylor Greene, and the clown crew look rationale and reasonable, let alone likable. 

Below: Best viewed on a high definition large screen TV:

Click above to enlarge.

November 18, 2022

How the Hunter Biden probe can backside fire on the GOP

In this clip from Fox and Friend's Joe Concha in an Aug. 2021 show asks what if this story involved Donald Trump, Jr. without noting that the junior Trump was very active in the Trump campaign and an official of The Trump Organization.

While the they say they won't show images of a nude Hunter Biden they do include them online:

The Republicans are downright drooling over their plan to investigate Hunter Biden and try to tie him to then vice president Joe Biden and make the case that the vice president somehow colluded with his son in what amounted to treason against the United States.

The fly in this ointment is that all this all comes down to is that like with Benghazi there's no there there.

The more one looks at Hunter Biden's past behavior the more an objective observer with a modicum of empathy who is not blinded by a zealous quest to hurt President Biden the more they will feel sorry for the president.

The saying I am not my brothers keeper, shades of Billy Carter, can be reworded to say I am not my son's keeper.

Joe Biden lost his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015 when he was only 45. Most people don't know that Biden had a daughter with his first wife Neila. Their daughter Naomi passed away in 1972 after being involved in a car crash with their sons Beau and Hunter critically injured. 

To say Hunter had a troubled past fraught with bad decisions and a cavalier disregard for how they might hurt his father personally and politically is an understatement.

Currently there are no plans to call President Biden to testify but I think Hunter will be called. If I had a say in the matter I would make sure he testified without an attorney and answered all the questions candidly. The committee has no power to indict him if he admits to breaking the law, only the Department of Justice can do that. As the New York Times notes, "the Justice Department inquiry into the business dealings of the president’s son has remained active, with a grand jury seeking information about payments from around the world."

Hopefully he will come across as a sympathetic figure, especially compared to his GOP interrogators some of whom are likely to try to intimidate and badger him in their attempts to score points with their MAGA base.

I'd say to the rabid GOP MAGA representatives slavering to get to President Biden through his son "bring it on" because when it comes to a there being there all they have is a president unlucky enough to have a very troubled son. 

And then there this news:

It is a well timed shot across the bow of MAGA House zealots thinking they will have clear sailing as they go full-speed in trying to blow up President Biden though their investigations. This comes as the GOP is orgiastic over their being able to shot down the January 6th Committee.

November 17, 2022

House GOP's eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Hunter, Alejandro, or Joe?

 House GOP's eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Hunter,  Alejandro, or Joe?

By Hal Brown

Archives on right >>

Comments on bottom of page

The speculation about what the Republican's will do now that they control the House of Representatives is rampant. See, for example "What will a Republican House look like? A lot of investigations and maybe impeachment" in USA Today.

There are lots of analogies to describe the job Kevin McCarthy now has from herding cats to being the chief of the Keystone Kops (sans female cops), a circular firing squad, clown car of revenge, and pit of ouroboros snakes 

The loudest clamor for an investigation is into Hunter Biden. The problem from McCarthy's point of view is that while he will 
probably have to go along with this to satisfy his fringe members, the general public doesn't really care about this just they way they didn't care about Benghazi

According to USA Today "Republicans have questioned whether Hunter Biden has compromised the presidency and national security through his business dealings in China and Ukraine." Obviously this is an indirect way to get at the president both politically and personally.

There's also been talk about impeachments. Merrick Garland has been mentioned but there's been some serious consideration being reported to holding impeachment hearings for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas because of how he handled the border crisis.

This would be a way to blame President Biden and score political points with their anti-immigrant base.

The problem with this in getting the public to pay attention is that most people never heard of him and couldn't identify him in a lineup. 

Trying to impeach Garland would open them to having Democrats present their defense of him and bring their own witnesses to highlight and make their case for the culpability of Donald Trump in both the J6 coup attempt and the documents theft case.

It is possible that McCarthy will decide for various reasons to succumb to Marjorie Taylor Greene's exhortations to impeach President Biden. She's repeatedly called for his impeachment and said making the case would be easy.

McCarthy could put Greene on the committee handing the impeachment and even make sure she's chairman. Even though the impeachment would never lead to a Senate conviction it would be a way to attack President Biden and his policies and of all the hearings be most likely to gain a television audience. 

I think McCarthy will do anything he possibly can to avoid an impeachment of President Biden because 
more than the other specious investigations and hearings, it could easily backfire and demonstrate to potential swing voters in the 2024 election that the Republican Party has been taken over by a bunch of revengeful clowns and unhinged conspiracy theorists.

If the House GOP does go after President Biden I can see the result being that he becomes more and more popular and this will be reflected in the polls. It will coincide with voters seeing the fruits of his policies. By then it will be too late for the Republicans. The House GOP will have committed itself to his being impeached.

The trial in the Senate not only would be a foregone conclusion, but the Republicans trying to make their case would have flimsy evidence to present that whatever he supposedly did was grounds for conviction.

All the Democrats would vote against conviction but the ultimate humiliation would come if a few daring Republicans with an ounce of integrity, or with nothing to lose, also voted against it. 


November 16, 2022

New York Post shows how to get under an attention seeking narcissist's skin

New York Post shows how to get under an attention seeking narcissist's skin

By Hal Brown
Archives of previous stories on right >>

Here's the cover page of the late edition of The New York Post which is on the stands and online today:

Not only was Trump's announcement relegated to the bottom of the page but he was referred to as a "Florida man"and the stories were on page 26 of the print edition.

The crew on "Morning Joe" was laughing about this this morning as they showed the cover of the New York tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch. 

The paper was shown on MSNBC all day. Below: All In With Chris Hayes.
Inside the paper:

As someone who in a former life lived in Manhattan and took the subway I can attest to the fact that numerous riders read either the New York Post or the other tabloid, The New York Daily News. If I recall the history of these papers, both were planned to be easy to read on subways and buses.

Vintage photo by Stanley Kubrick.

When one of them comes out with a compelling cover picture these are seen all over the city Trump always thought he was king of. The papers are also displayed prominently on the few remaining  newsstands (only 330 left) and newspaper boxes all over the city.

It's been reported that the TV addicted Trump sometimes watches the Morning Joe. In fact Joe Scarborough today said that people have told him Trump sometimes "hate watches" the show. (See 

Trump lashes out at media again with personal attacks on ‘Morning Joe’ anchors, from 2017.)

I hope he watched this one. I can see him deriving some pleasure from being depicted in any way on the NY Post cover, even if it mocks him as a cartoon egg about to fall off a wall, but here they don't even use his name. 

Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words and sometimes an image is so compelling that only two words are needed. This was the case in the notorious New York Post Trumpty Dumpty cover which the media referred to or republished  countless times after it came out. For example a see Google image search below:

Today the NY Post's main website page features Ivanka with this article today on the top of their page.

You can read the articles depicted in my images below from The New York Post. I didn't want to waste time putting links to individual articles here since the titles convey the message that NY Post editors want to convey.

Online, the story, as befits any print edition page 26 stories, is way down the page where, below, you can see the stories editors wanted to declare were more important:

It is noteworthy that the story about Ivanka announcing she won't have anything to do with the campaign is the prominent one related to Trump's announcement.

A few minutes after I took the screen shot shown above this section was changed as below:

Final Update (I have other things I have to do today)

This is how the website orders its stories as of 6:45 AM Pacific Time. (Click image to enlarge)

Of course this is a "salon" article so there's little chance Trump will read it, but he is certainly aware of the coverage being given to Ivanka not only refusing to go to his speech but then announcing she would have nothing to do with his campaign for the tired reason that she wants to devote more time to her family. In truth she probably wants to be able to defend herself in court cases having to do with her involvement in Trump businesses and to continue her grift.

"Ivanka Trump also gave an exclusive interview to Fox News, which has had a notable turn against Trump after his candidates lost competitive races last week and cut away from his rambling speech on Tuesday."
This was also on "salon" today. Heather "Digby" Parton actually watched Fox News while Trump gave his speech and reports on how their still all-in-for-Trump commentators gushed over how great his speech was.

Recent stories 

November 15, 2022

Quick with a quip Stephanie Rhule ad libed the best Kari Lake put-down

Quick with a quip Stephanie Rhule ad libed the best Kari Lake put-down

and has a delightful exchange with Gov-elect Wes Moore from Maryland 

by Hal Brown
One of the benefits of living in Oregon is that I don't have to stay up until 11:00PM to watch Late Night with Stephanie Ruhle which airs at 11:00 PM on the east coast. It is on at 8:00 here.

I was watching in bed last night and I was dozing off so I missed a great ad lib about Kari Lake. It wasn't until I saw the story about it on RAWSTORY this morning that I played the video (here).

The quip comes just before three minutes on the video.

Here's the ad lib in context:

Ruhle wondered if Lake would be flying to Mar-a-Lago to appear at the event with Trump. (guest Tim) Miller recalled that many of the Lake supporters were saying that she was on the VP train and would likely end up in consideration for Trump's running mate. 

"She can be the VP of catering services at Mar-a-Lago," quipped Ruhle.

This begs the question as to whether Lake even would have the chops to be VP of catering at Mar-a-Lago. It may be a job beyond her capabilities.

Now let me praise Stephanie Ruhle who I consider to be the best regular evening MSNBC host since Rachel Maddow left.

Ruhle breaks the stereotype of a financial expert nerd.  She was a drastic personality change from Brian Williams who she replaced at The 11th Hour. 

She is an incisive interviewer who rarely goes through a show without interjecting a witticism. She is not shy about expressing her own opinions.

I've seen her confront an evasive interview subject with one or another version of an eyebrow raised version of "oh come on, you don't really believe what you're saying" which conveys "you've got to be shitting me" quite clearly.

Click above to watch video

Last night she delighted in watching Wes Moore, the amiable governor-elect of Maryland who won an overwhelming victory, masterfully handle her when she wouldn't relent in pressing him on aspirations for higher office when he gave stock answers about only thinking about what he wanted to do for Maryland as governor. I can see her thinking "I'm going to have some fun with this man" who she clearly was impressed with

She knew what he was doing and that he could easily have demurred and said that he was only human and sometimes had thoughts about how his political life would develop long term. Truth is that he would make a great candidate for the Senate, president or vice president as he proves himself as a highly effective governor even a decade from now.

About Stephanie Ruhle from Wikipedia:

  •  She is a graduate of Lehigh University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international business.  
  • Prior starting her journalism career at joining Bloomberg News, Ruhle spent 14 years working in the finance industry.  
  • She's Senior Business Analyst for NBC News and was one of three Bloomberg reporters who broke the story of the London Whale, identifying the trader behind the 2012 JPMorgan Chase trading loss.
  • She founded the Corporate Investment Bank (CIB) Women's Network and co-chaired the Women on Wall Street (WOWS) steering committee 
  • In 2003, Ruhle joined Deutsche Bank as a credit salesperson covering hedge funds. She ended her eight-year career there as a managing director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management.  
  • While at Deutsche Bank, Ruhle founded the Global Market Women's Network to help women move into leadership roles at the company.

November 14, 2022

I suggested Trump took documents so he could have the ultimate trophy room back in August

Above: Elvis earned all of these trophies.

Now the talk is all about this report about why Trump may have taken the documents. 

Basically the Post reports the following:

Federal agents and prosecutors have come to believe former president Donald Trump’s motive for allegedly taking and keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos, according to people familiar with the matter.

I thought of this and posted about it in August when I was still allowed to write on Daily Kos. This is what I wrote:

A psychological reason Trump might have stolen the top secret documents

By Hal Brown

There’s plenty of speculation as to why Trump wanted to bring top secret documents home to Mar-a- Lago. I have yet to hear one that isn’t nefarious.  These include his wanting to sell them to foreign adversaries or curry favor with them, but I am posing a different reason just as consistent with his personality. If he wanted to use them to benefit himself in the former way it speaks to his being a traitorous sociopath. I suggest another possiblity. It is based on another aspect of his psychology. This is that he may have wanted to use them as trophies, either to enjoy by himself or to show off to select mucky-mucks who he wanted to impress. This speaks to his over-the-top pathological grandiose narcissism.

If he didn’t take them for evil reasons I lean towards his wanting to show them off because I don’t see Trump as the kind of wealthy person who is like the collector of illegally obtained fine art which he keeps in a vault where he enjoys just sitting by himself enjoying the work of the masters only he is able to look at.

I can see Trump trying to impress a guest, perhaps a foreign leader, a business magnate, sports star, or celebrity and taking them into his trophy room as saying “do you want to see some nuclear documents? I could have started World War III with these.”  Alternatively he could have said “I could have lost World War III with these.”

Trump most likely knew he wasn’t allowed to take home gifts from foreign leaders to show off to his pals but figured that showing these off was no big deal (see From chess sets to model jets, foreign leaders lavish gifts on Trump White House) compared to flashing a document labeled Top Secret with the locations of our nuclear submarines on it. For example Chinese President Xi Jinping gave Trump a paper panel with five columns of calligraphy, valued at $14,400, that’s a big ho-hum.

Of course I may be totally wrong here, but then again sometimes a simple explanation is the right one. Both reasons are consistent with who we know Trump is.

My possible, emphasis on the word possible, reason is not as newsworthy as those being suggested. It doesn’t paint him as an evil traitor. In fact while it might be embarrassing to him to offer this as a defense should the case end up in court, it might be offered to exculpate him. It would be a kind of “not guilty by reason of pathological narcissism.”

On a personal note, I was friends with Biggie Munn’s daughter Jane when he was the athletic director of Michigan State University. She showed me the trophy room he had in his beautifully furnished basement. The walls of the room were lined with shelves and displays of fancy trophies which he or his teams had won dating back to when he was an All-American at the University of Minnesota through his coaching career, to when he eventually became athletic director at MSU. In one way or another he earned each and every one of them. None of them were stolen.

Georgia gave us REM and The B-52s, delicious peaches, yummy Vidalia onions, and now may give us a historic Senate

By Hal Brown

Archives are on the right

This story is dedicated to my dear friend who lives in a town of 200 which is about 20 miles south of, and 200 years back in time, from Athens, Georgia.

Georgia has pleased the pallet of the nation with delicious peaches and Vidalia onions, and rocked out with Athens based bands REM and the B-52s

 Less known nationally is that way back in 1987 a group of Athens residents who attended a forum on AIDS at the University of Georgia in February 1987. The group initiated AIDS Athens which is still active today (website here). The year is significant. Consider this from the CDC Museum website:

 The first year of the AIDS epidemic seemed isolated to a few individuals in a few cities, so it received little media attention. When cases were reported in infants and people with hemophilia, widespread panic struck Americans. Those with AIDS were often stigmatized. In 1985, Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac living in Indiana, contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion. Parents in his community feared he would expose their children to AIDS, resulting in Ryan being barred from attending school.

In 1986, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued the Surgeon General’s Report on AIDS. In it, he called for a comprehensive program of sex and AIDS education, urged the widespread use of condoms, and dispelled myths that HIV could be spread by mosquitoes. In 1987, CDC launched an unprecedented national campaign, America Responds to AIDS (ARTA). The goal of ARTA was to increase awareness and understanding of AIDS, to prevent HIV infection, and to encourage people to seek more information and counseling. CDC also began a program to support HIV prevention efforts with national minority organizations that provided HIV prevention expertise to community-based organizations, developed HIV prevention programs targeting minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, and supported groups that used culturally sensitive AIDS prevention programs to address their communities’ needs.

I don't know if it was the first such organization in the nation but it certainly was among the first.

Of course Georgia also gave us Martin Luther King and Jimmy Carter.

Now we have something else that Georgia may give us thanks to the decisions by the state's Republican leadership to back Herschel Walker for Senate. They can read a pie chart:

Had they managed to find someone they thought could be a great male white to run against Senator Warnock they surely would have lost decisively 

As it happened thanks to a deviously disruptive independent running as a Libertarian by Oliver Chase there will now be a runoff election.

Now the Republicans are saddled by one of the worst Senate candidates in recent history. Not only is Walker woefully ignorant and beset with trying to deal with what one could call his women problem,  he is unstable and unpredictable. The GOP is saddled with a candidate prone to putting his hoof in his mouth, an impossible contortion for a horse but something Walker manages to do on a regular basis.

One obvious result of a Warnock win is that it will diminish the power Sen. Manchin has. It also has major ramifications for the appointment of judges, including Justices to the Supreme Court should a vacancy occur. This is from Reuters:

If Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock were to win the Dec. 6 Georgia runoff election against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, that would expand Democrats' majority to 51-49. That would give Democrats an additional edge in passing the few bills that are able to advance with a simple majority of votes, instead of the 60 needed for most legislation.

It would also dilute the influence of Democratic Senators Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, "swing" votes who have blocked or delayed some of Biden's major initiatives, including expansions of some social programs.

I will leave it to the pundits to elaborate on what else a one seat advantage in the Senate will mean for legislation. One additional thing is that the power sharing agreement of a 50/50 split would no longer apply (read more). 

Suffice say it is so significant that the Republicans have no choice but to go all in on supporting Walker and holding their collective breath that he doesn't say something totally cray-cray or have an accusation leveled against him that he can't lie his way out of.

Update: News like this can't thrill Republicans:


"Now let me tell you this here: If we was ready for the green agenda, I'd raise my hand right now," he said. "But we're not ready right now! So don't let them fool you like this is a new agenda, this is not a new agenda! We're not prepared, we're not ready right now! What we need to do is keep having these gas-guzzling cars, because we got the good emissions under those cars. We're doing the best thing that we can!"

This is not the first time that Walker has spoken confusingly about energy and environmental policy.

Earlier this year, for example, Walker seemed to suggest that China was taking America's "good air" and replacing it with "bad air."

"Since we don't control the air, our good air decided to float over to China's bad air, so when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move," Walker said. "So it moves over to our good air space. Then, now, we got we to clean that back up."

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