March 4, 2023

Another Trump legal jeopardy blockbuster, give me a break

 By Hal Brown


As recently as 1995 some prisons required inmates to break rocks. Not exactly blocks but close enough for my blog story. 
Click above to enlarge image
Donald Trump, if he ever does end up incarcerated won't be forced to break rocks. He'd be lucky to have time outside to play with his little putter.


Once upon a time in our memories of the 1980's we all had video players and because they dominated the market most of us frequented Blockbuster stores to rent our tapes or DVD's. Now 
there's only one left in the country and it happens to be in my state of Oregon in the town of Bend. 

The word "blockbuster" means a thing of great power or size, in particular a movie, book, or other product that is a great commercial success: for example: the latest Hollywood blockbuster. In the 1980's and 1990's we had true blockbusters like the Star Wars, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Terminator, and Die Hard movies and sequels. 

Apropos to Donald Trump, both the book and movie adaption of "All The President's Men" were blockbusters.


This morning I looked at the website Raw Story and this is what I saw:


Click to read article

Not only is this legal setback described as a blockbuster but it is referred to not merely as a big blow to his 2024 run, but a big, big blow.

What , then, is this gargantuan legal setback?

From the article:

A brief from the Department of Justice firmly stating that Donald Trump does not have "absolute immunity" is nothing less than a "blockbuster" and will open the door to a flood of lawsuits to be filed against the former president as he makes his third run for the Oval Office.

That is the opinion of former prosecutor Charles Colemen Jr. during an appearance on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show" early Saturday morning.

Coleman goes on (my emphasis added):

"A blockbuster," Coleman immediately shot back. "The decision cannot be more important or come at a worse time for Donald Trump. You are talking about someone who is looking forward to 2024 and trying to, as we were just talking about in your last segment, now, another challenge to Joe Biden to be president again, and he has to potentially deal with lawsuits from Capitol police officers as well as Congresspeople who feel like they've put them in danger with his rhetoric around January Six and what happened." " 
This is a big, big blow to Donald Trump and significant news," he added. "Because it opens the proverbial floodgates for lawsuits

Raw Story is my go-to website for breaking news and along with Salon and the OpEd sections of The Washington Post and New York Times, for original opinion. The title of the "blockbuster" article used the words of a legal expert so it was accurate, but reading their story was still a disappointment.

Charles Coleman is a legal analyst on MSNBC. He is a former federal prosecutor and civil rights attorney.  He spent 3 1/2 years as a senior assistant district attorney in the Kings County DA office. He has also served as a senior trial lawyer and civil litigation attorney for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Reference)


I have no problem with his credentials. What does bother me aside from the words he used being part of the Raw Story title getting my hopes up is that he was really engaging in wishful thinking hyperbole.

I was going to paraphrase the saying about going form one's lips or mouth to God's ears to say from Coleman's mouth to Lady Justice's ears and make an illustration. Then I discovered that both Lady Justice's eyes and ears are covered.

What would I describe as a blockbuster and a big, big legal blow to Trump? 

The first thing that comes to mind is something along the lines of the Nixon White House tapes. But that was then and this is now. Those were audio tapes. Today, considering the nothing burger the Access Hollywood recording was, I wonder if a series of more compelling videos of Trump exposing all of his lies and felonies would be his undoing.

Certainly this could be described as blockbuster news, and I'll accept that this would represent a legal setback. Unfortunately, I'd have to equivocate on making a judgment as to whether this would inevitably lead to Trump deciding to abandon his attempt to be reelected. I'd give it a 50/50 chance.

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Archives for previous blogs on bottom of page.

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March 3, 2023

I'm still considering joining Truth Social

  By Hal Brown

I was ready to open a Truth Social account and try to post an abridged version of my anti-Trump and anti-DeSantis blog making it into an over-the-top tribute to Trump. I was even going to open a new free blog in an attempt to get Trump to "re-Truth" it. 

I thought that I might get him to start using Ron DeSnoozer as a nickname and then I could take credit for it and direct people to my actual blog. I opened a new dedicated email and that worked for step one of the verification but then in order to complete registering I needed a phone number which they would verify as step two. I tried some fake phone numbers I found online but none of them worked. I wasn't about to give them one of my two real phone numbers. I could still buy a $20 burner phone and try t complete my Truth Social verification with that.

This is how the blog would look under the illustration above.

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I hope President Trump  picks up the nickname Ron DeSooozer for his desperate rival. I think it is the best one yet. 

DeSantis makes the news by being an anti-woke warrior, like he can claim title to being a warrior of any kind, by promulgating one pissant policy after another. 

He stands before podiums with a plethora of cardboard signs and in his dull as dirt style announces his latest executive action.

DeSnoozer needs to stand behind his cardboard signs because he's nothing but a cardboard cutout of himself.

All Donald Trump has to do is be himself whether in a small group, for example showing his compassion in E. Palestine to residents abandoned to breathe in toxic fumes and drink poisoned water by the Biden administration, or he can address huge cheering rally crowds without a teleprompter for more than an hour. 

He never has to remind his audience what his message is with a sign on the podium. All he needs his the dignified presidential seal showing America who the greatest president in modern history is, and who will go down as one of the greatest presidents of all time.


I wrote this a few weeks ago:

Above: Truth Social is America's "Big Tent" social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating on the basis of political ideology.

Currently I depend on various websites to report on what Trump posts on his Truth Social platform. For example Raw Story has a story about a particularly unhinged and wack-a-toon post:

Trump obviously hoped to make money from Truth Social.


He also no doubt wanted bragging rights about how many millions of followers he had there compared to when he was on Twitter.

The failure to achieve these goals have turned out to be irrelevant because Trump now has his own megaphone. He totally controls it. While not everything he posts there is widely shared in the media he can throw random shit at the wall and see what sticks in the media.  

Trump isn't on Twitter. Elon Musk, no doubt wanting him to start tweeting again to boost Twitter's statistics, reinstated him. His most recent tweet is from January 8, 2021 when he was supposedly permanently banned.

I doubt Trump would go back to making Twitter tweets because he has an agreement with Truth Social to post there six hours before he posts anywhere else. Not only that, but he would have to admit that Truth Social failed and Elon Musk had more business acumen than he did.

Just as all major media outlets have staff assigned to watching Fox News and keeping up with other right-wing media, and finding tweets to add to articles which are relevant to the subject being covered, they have staff assigned to monitoring Truth Social. It's nice work if you can get it, and can stand watching Tucker Carlson if you're assigned to Fox News, since you can do it from home.  

I could get on Truth Social for free. I could watch Fox News. I could check out all the online right-wing websites. I probably would come up with ideas for what I hope would be an original and perhaps particularly snarky take on something for this blog.

This would mean devoting a lot of time suffering through watching and reading, to put it bluntly, a lot of crap. I am retired and nobody has decided offer to pay me to do this, plus if they did it would have to be lot of money for me to even agree to devote a few hours a day to doing this.

If I joined the platform, aside from writing about Trump's Truth Social posts, I might wile away some time screwing around with Trump by replying to his posts with over-the-top fawning replies dripping with thinly veiling sarcasm aimed at stroking his ego. I wouldn't be critical of him, what's the fun in that? He'd probably never see my posts. All that would accomplish is trying to see if I could get kicked off the platform and that would only get me a subject for one blog.

The fun of flippant fawning would be to try to get Trump to "re-Truth" (his version of a re-tweet) a reply he thinks is complementary to something he posts when in fact it comes from someone who thinks he might be gullible enough to believe I am a member of his cult.

Therefore, here's my decision: 

Sorry, MSNBC, Raw Story, HUFFPOST, Daily Beast, et. al, I'm not going to accept bundles of cash to be one of your work-from-home right-wing media monitors. Besides, I figure most of you are using interns to do this.

Tempted as I am, I won't join Truth Social, and "truth" be told, part of the reason is that I am a little afraid I might enjoy posting there so much I'd become addicted to this useless endeavor.

Mr. Blowhard vs. Mr. Boring

 By Hal Brown


I hope Trump doesn't pick up the nickname Ron DeSooozer. I think it is the best one yet. Fortunately I rather doubt he reads my blog.


How long will the Governor of The Sunshine State fight clean against the slinger of salacious suggestions?
Click above to enlarge

Yesterday my partner and I managed to make our way through The Banshees of Inisherin ( 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes):

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Pádraic and Colm, who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán and troubled young islander Dominic, endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic's repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.
To say the the movie is a downer is an understatement. The reason I am referring to it is because the story revolves about the reason Colm abruptly ends his friendship with 
Pádraic is that he's dull. Colm has concluded that he has better things to do with his life than waste time with Pádraic  Pádraic believes that boring or not there is virtue in being a nice guy. Colm isn't a blowhard like Trump, but he is a performer as he composes music which then entertains the villagers with playing on his violin at the pub to an appreciative audience. (I previously got the names reversed.)

Of course neither Donald Trump nor Ron DeSantis are nice guys but the most commonly described political deficit DeSantis has to overcome is that he comes across as boring and dull.

DeSantis makes the news by being an anti-woke warrior by promulgating policy. He stands before podiums with a plethora of cardboard signs and in his dull as dirt style announces his latest executive action.


He has yet to go on an offensive offensive directly against Donald Trump. 

DeSantis is not only dull as dirt but his delivery is as dry as the desert. 

If Trump trounces DeSantis he will do it for two reasons. One is that enough members of his cult remain loyal to him, but the other is that his schtick still sticks. Trump, from what I can tell , comes up with his insults himself. He spitballs them, now on Truth Social, and sees what sticks. 

DeSantis so far has mostly ignored them. On the accusation from Trump that he was a groomer of teenaged girls when he spent a year teaching as a private school this is how he responded:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday hit back at former President Donald Trump, a day after Trump promoted a social media post accusing DeSantis of "grooming" teenage girls.

While speaking with reporters, DeSantis was asked about Trump's decision to amplify a Truth Social post that accused DeSantis of plying teen girls with alcohol while he was a high school teacher.

After filibustering for a bit, DeSantis directly addressed Trump's efforts to falsely smear him as a sexual predator.

"I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden," the Florida governor said. "That's how I spend my time. I don't spend my time trying to smear other Republicans." Raw Story

Click above to enlarge tweet reposted by Trump


This is an attack ripe for a riposte since if anyone can be credibly accused of being ephebophiliaesque (primarily sexually attracted to mid to late adolescents) it's Donald Trump. This is evidenced by how he behaved at the Moscow Miss. Universe Pageant and other pageants he owned where contestants complained he watched them undress and harassed them.
Click above for article

DeSantis has plenty of
ammunition to fire back at Trump. He has yet to utilize it. If he does so he will need help both an acting coach and a script writer because unlike Trump he is not a natural.

A knock-down drag-out slimy slugfest between these two will prove to be entertaining. The winner will go up against someone who doesn't need any coaching or script writers to help craft comebacks. Joe Biden can do this with his wry sense of humor.

Consider how he put down Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Wednesday, sarcastically asking a room full of House Democrats during their annual retreat in Baltimore “isn’t she amazing?”

“She was very specific — I shouldn’t digress, probably — I read, she was very specific recently saying that a mom, a poor mother who lost two kids to fentanyl, that I killed her sons. Well, the interesting thing is, that fentanyl they took came during the last administration,” Biden said, letting out a chuckle.

He stopped himself from continuing on the topic.

“Look folks. Anyway, I don’t want to get started,” he said.

No matter who ultimately wins the GOP primary I hope that whoever runs is so battered and bruised that the swing voters who leaned Republican consider them so damaged that they'll look at all that President Biden and the Democrats accomplished for them and the country, and to promote democracy, and vote D down the line.

Addendum:

I doubt Trump has the five point plan suggested here. He is well aware that few if any of the members of his cult care, or even understand, anything on the list. He knows that they will respond viscerally (not that he can define this word) to his hurling insults at DeSantis. He knows that even if DeSantis wanted to fight back in kind he'd be inept in doing this. In effect it would be a battle between Mr. Blowhard and Mr. Boring. DeSantis might try to get Trump to drink poison but Trump won't take a swallow.


‘They will bend the knee’: Lincoln project cofounder cautions against dismissing Trump

He (Rick Wilson) adds: “Right now they’re all talking so much shit: ‘I’m not going to get with Trump. I’m going to be with the hot new number, DeSantis.’ When DeSantis gets his ass handed to him, when he gets his clock cleaned in a debate or forum or just by Trump grinding away at him, eating him alive mentally for weeks on end, and suddenly Donald Trump’s numbers start posting up again, all the conservative thinkers who are right now like, ‘We will never vote for Trump again, we have integrity!’ will find themselves some excuse. ‘Well, you know, we don’t like Trump’s tweets, but otherwise it’s pure communism!’

Recommended reading:

The media is underestimating Donald Trump — again

How many expeditions into Trumplandia will the media have to take?

Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your ongoing fixation on Trump is quite sad. I hope you get help.

March 3, 2023 at 7:09 AM

 Delete
Anonymous Ben Kalom said...

I would offer in response to the first comment: 
We have an obligation to remain vigilant, to continue to offer up ridicule, to be hyperaware of both Mr. Trump and Mr. DeSantis. Predators need to be paid attention to. The pair of them have only one goal - hunting down their next victim.

This is a continuation of a traumatic stretch of years in our lives.

Interesting interview with Steven Spielberg on Colbert last night.

They got into the topic of antisemitism, and Spielberg offered up that he hadn't seen the rise in antisemitism in the last 50 years or so, not until now, when marginalization made possible the returned spread of general hatred, and its bedfellow, antisemitism.

Spielberg said he was given hope through the words of Anne Frank, who offered, in her diary, people are basically good.

When you watch the interview, you will see the imaginarium of Spielberg's genius, being stretched to find that hope.

If these creepos get their way, minorities will be marched off to some as-yet undisclosed location, to be eliminated, to re-enact the horror of 1938-1945 Germany.

The ONLY thing that stops the insanity of our current foment and discord is when good people get pissed off, stand resolute, agree to defend their herds and find community with those doing the same.

Please keep bashing the shit outta these two assclowns. They have earned our contempt.

March 3, 2023 at 7:27 AM

 Delete
I was ready to open a Truth Social account and try to post an abridged version on this which was complementary to Trump on a new free blog in an attempt to get Trump to "re-Truth" it. I thought that I might get him to start using Ron DeSnoozer and then I could take credit for it and direct people to my actual blog. I opened a new dedicated email and that worked for step one of verification but then in order to complete registering I needed a phone number which they would verify as step two. I tried some fake phone numbers I found online but none of them worked. I wasn't about to give them one of my two real phone numbers. 
If I really want to bother going through with this I can buy a $20 burner phone and see if I can register with that number.

March 2, 2023

Chauncey DeVega's quote should be terrifying and mind-boggling

 By Hal Brown

Click above to enlarge image
Pictured above, would be Queen of the New Confederacy Marjorie Taylor Greene holding a $2400 Honey Badger firearm, because inquiring minds probably don't want to know. I am not an expert on firearms. I used Google Image search (here) to find out about the weapon.

The following paragraph is from Chauncey DeVega's article in Salon. 

Stop mocking Marjorie Taylor Greene

It's not just trolling. Republican threats of civil war should be taken seriously

We have just experienced a nightmare here in America (and the world) where what many "centrists" and "mainstream" political thinkers and voices said was impossible came true. If someone in 2015 or 2016 had told you that a professional wrestling heel, fake billionaire, willful ignoramus, white supremacist cult leader and TV host, a man credibly accused of rape many times, a failed casino owner and real estate developer, con artist would become president of the United States, make choices in response to a pandemic that would kill at least a million Americans, bring the country and its democracy to a breaking point, attempt a coup, surrender America's interests to its enemies such as Russia, commit an endless number of serious crimes while in office, be impeached twice and almost win reelection, and then announce a second presidential candidacy all the while not being held responsible for his crimes many people would – and did — mock any person willing to say such a thing. They labeled it "Trump derangement" syndrome. We all know what happened next.

Fo those who mercifully have forgotten:

Click above to enlarge

It should be as terrifying as it is mind-boggling that the things described above actually occurred. That there is a significant minority of the entire population of the United States who are happy about this is is beyond the pale, that is, outside the bounds of morality, good behavior or judgement in civilized society.

The reasons how and why the things DeVega describes in chilling words happened have been addressed by political and social scientists and by mental health experts. I don't feel like delving into these when others have done a thorough job.* I really am devoting this blog about it to share DeVega's description.

The portion of the DeVega article that Salon highlighted, the concluding sentence, follows:


Marjorie Taylor Greene and the other Republican fascists and the larger white right and their allies are very dangerous. Your laughter does not change that fact. Your laughter will not save you from them or the new American nightmare they are forcing into being. He who laughs last laughs loudest. The laughter of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the other American fascists will be very deafening indeed.
About DeSantis from: 

Introducing the first-ever, sort-of-annual Bulls**t Awards: Not just for Republicans! by Brian Karem in Salon


Mini-Me Bullshit award goes to Ron DeSantis, who while proving to be smarter than Trump (at least in some ways) has the charisma of roadkill and the smell of a dead skunk in the middle of the road. (That's a reference to an obscure song lyric — actually, DeSantis is so far to the right he's off the road). He mimics Trump's fascism in every move he makes, but takes it even further as he tries to turn the state of Florida into a Disney version of Germany in 1937. 

Here's Loudon Wainwright III singing Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road:

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* Footnote:

 DeVega regularly addresses these topics. For example just in the past week:

The science behind why conservatives are so easily triggered


Addendum:

I wanted to use the sign I made to use to illustrate yesterday's blog, DeSantis's great Florida fascist experiment, with a new background. I changed the background and also added five new elements.

\
Thanks to Chauncey DeVega for his retweet:


March 1, 2023

DeSantis's great Florida fascist experiment

 By Hal Brown

Click above to enlarge

Ron DeSantis, with his Harvard undergraduate degree and his Yale Law School degree, is now conducting an experiment worthy of a PhD dissertation in political science or a related field. He is conducting an experiment and the entire voting age population of the country are the subjects. He will attempt to determine whether the fascist leader of one state with a fairly unique population mix can attract a significant number of voters in a wide variety of other states. 

He is obviously going to run for the GOP nomination for president and has already taken his campaign on the road to test the waters in various states. He may be working on honing his performative skills so he comes across as more likable realizing, if he has any insight into himself, that he'll never have the odd charisma of Donald Trump.

There's no way DeSantis can beat Trump at the game of street, or rally, theater. One thing he has to do to beat Trump is wipe out as many early primary candidates as possible probably through raising far more money that they do.

However, the main thing DeSantis has to do is make the Florida fascist experiment a rousing success that sells to the likely voters in states with a large group who agrees with his anti-woke and pro-white agenda. 

If he can do this it wouldn't matter that he's duller than dirt or that there will always be a contingent of hard-core Trump cultists for whom nobody can substitute for the original.

If he can peel away enough Republican Trump voters from the far-right bigoted base he has a chance of winning the primary.

Should DeSantis be the candidate the rest of the country has to decide whether they want the entire country to look like Florida.

Update about DeSantis from: 

Introducing the first-ever, sort-of-annual Bulls**t Awards: Not just for Republicans! by Brian Karem in Salon


Mini-Me Bullshit award goes to Ron DeSantis, who while proving to be smarter than Trump (at least in some ways) has the charisma of roadkill and the smell of a dead skunk in the middle of the road. (That's a reference to an obscure song lyric — actually, DeSantis is so far to the right he's off the road). He mimics Trump's fascism in every move he makes, but takes it even further as he tries to turn the state of Florida into a Disney version of Germany in 1937. 

Disney? I would say it would be a show from horror icons John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and George Romero. 

February 28, 2023

Why hasn't Trump nicknamed his rival Ron DeAnus?

 By Hal Brown

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

I've been waiting for Trump to start using Ron DeAnus as his primary nickname for Ron DeSantis. It was so obviously I was surprised that he hadn't started using it. I find it hard to believe Trump hadn't thought of it.

No matter what the actual meaning of "de" is in French most Americans would take it as meaning "the", thus they would read the nickname as Ron The Anus. They would get it, understanding that Trump is saying DeSantis is an asshole.

I can't imagine that Trump would think his cult would be offended by his use of the word "anus".  Therefore what is there about the anus that keeps him from introducing this nickname, at least from testing it out.

All I can think of are two possibilities. One is derived from depth psychology, from Freudian theory, and involves Trump being stuck in the anal developmental phase which children pass through between the ages of one and three.

During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training—the child has to learn to control their bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence.

According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents ​approach toilet training. Parents who utilize praise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and productive.

Freud believed that positive experiences during the toilet training stage serve as the basis for people to become competent, productive, and creative adults.

However, not all parents provide the support and encouragement that children need during this stage. Some parents punish, ridicule, or shame a child for accidents.

According to Freud, inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes. If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual has a messy, wasteful, or destructive personality.

If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is stringent, orderly, rigid, and obsessive. From VeryWell Mind

If Trump had conflicts during these years any reminder of bowel movements might be anxiety provoking for him.

The other possibility for not using this nickname is much more mundane. Considering how his diet habits, lack of exercise, and his obesity it is simply that he now is struggling with hemorrhoids. It may be merely that using the word "anus" reminds him of his itchy bleeding butt.

Another blog from today:

Click above to read


Two decades before John Gartner, writing about Trump, made us aware of what a malignant narcissist was the term was used on the TV show Luther

 By Hal Brown Above: Episode One I was a psychotherapist for 40 years but hadn't learned what a malignant narcissist was until John D. G...