March 18, 2023

Perp Previou Prez Trump to be arrested Tuesday (or so he says)

Perp Previous Prez Trump to be arrested Tuesday (or so he says) 

By Hal Brown

Late update based on all of today's progressive pessimistic punditry warning us not to get our hope up:



I can't believe I ate the whole thing...

.......

I woke this morning, turned on Morning Joe, and heard the breaking news that Trump expects to be arrested in Manhattan on Tuesday. 

Click above to enlarge

Neither The NY Times nor Washington Post featured this on their websites but my go-to website for Breaking News looked like this:

Click above to enlarge image

A few minutes later the page was updated:

While the NYC DA's office hasn't confirmed this it would seem that Trump wanted to preempt their announcing this and take the lead which, if it is true that information he said incorrectly in Truth Social came from leaks (a lawyer for Trump, Susan R. Necheles, said that his post had been based on news reports) turns out to come to pass. 

Trump uses the word "arrest" for the shock value. In fact, he won't be formally arrested, put in cuffs, and so on since he would surrender to the Court.

This is what he posted in Truth Social in all caps. 

Click above to enlarge, doses not link to Truth Social

"OUR NATION IS NOW THIRD WORLD & DYING. THE AMERICAN DREAM IS DEAD! THE RADICAL LEFT ANARCHISTS HAVE STOLLEN OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND WITH IT, THE HEART OF OUR OUR COUNTRY. AMERICAN PATRIOTS ARE BEING ARRESTED & HELD IN CAPTIVITY LIKE ANIMALS, WHILE CRIMINALS & LEFTIST THUGS ARE ALLOWED TO ROAM THE STREETS, KILLING & BURNING WITH NO RETRIBUTION. MILLIONS ARE FLOODING THROUGH OUR OPEN BOARDERS, MANY FROM PRISONS & MENTAL INSTITUTIONS. CRIME & INFLATION ARE DESTROYING OUR VERY WAY OF LIFE..."

He then added, "NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!"

MSNBC reported that the Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, is refusing to comment on the Truth Social post.

Again, it is noteworthy and possibly legally risky for him on so many levels, for him to end his post with a call for protests with the call to take the country back. This is how the Associated Press put it: Trump’s call for his supporters to protest that was especially jarring, evoking language that the then-president used shortly before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. This is from The Washington Post:

Trump’s post was reminiscent of his call in late 2020 for supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the election results, urging them to “Be there, will be wild.” On Saturday, Truth Social users posted comments such as “all hell will break loose” in response to the possibility of Trump’s indictment.

On MSNBC Rep. Maxine Watters just said that he seemed to be trying to organize domestic terrorists to protest his arrest, and that she thought he was doing this for a reason. Attorney Barbara McQuade suggested that Trump's usual tactic is the best defense is a good offense.

According to Glenn Kirschner on the Katie Phang Show the former president's all-caps post on Truth Social that seems to encourage violence will become evidence in future indictments.

I have little doubt that Trump is reveling in the prospect of an indictment followed by an arrest. Unconsciously be may be afraid but I don't think he lets anxiety percolate into conscious awareness.

The word one hears the most is "victimization" used in the context of Trump and MAGA raging against the Democrats have weaponized the government to destroy the country.

Whether of not Trump has, as claimed, heard from so-called "illegal leaks" coming from Alvin Bragg's office isn't particularly relevant. He may have made have made this up based on hearing reports that such an indictment may be forthcoming. Again, Trump's usual modus operandi is to go on the offense whenever he feels threatened.

If I were Alvin Bragg I would do anything but arrest him on Tuesday, although the necessary co-ordination between his team, Trump's lawyers, and the Secret Service might not give him much leeway in the timing. 

Trump of course will know for certain when the actual arrest is planned for and how it will occur, so Bragg will have to cede to him the ability to conduct a self-serving MAGA PR campaign around this. This gives him a decided advantage in how to plan his indictment day performance.

There are only a few things he can't control. One is whether or not cameras are allowed to film his perp walk and which entrance will be used for him to go into the building he is required to go to. I think hie wants to have this event to be shown all over the media.

Here's the Manhattan Criminal Court (north and south entrances) where Trump will probably be arraigned after he surrenders. I don't know if there's a basement entrance.

I wonder if he will be wearing a Make American Great Again hat going into the courthouse. New York doesn't allow men to wear hats inside their courts unless they are religious, although Trump could try to say MAGA is a religion..

Update 1:

On MSNBC Michael Cohen said that he doesn't think there were any leaks coming from Alvin Bragg's office, but that Trump would know the details of his arrest if it was imminent since this would have to be coordinated with his lawyers and Secret Service. Cohen also said, as did others on MSNBC earlier, that Trump could have called for peaceful protest, not just protest, and he knows exactly what he is doing by calling for the most extreme forms of protest just like he did on January 6th.

Update 2:

Aside from more proof Marjorie Taylor Greene is addressing an audience of one in her quest to run for vice president, she lays out all the claims Trump will make about the here.

Update 3:

No comment needed on this Kevin McCarthy tweet except that while he's not running for vice president on the Trump ticket he's desperate to keep his job lest he offend Marjorie Taylor Greene and he MAGA army.

Jim Jordan retweeted McCarthy's tweet:

Update 4: 


Here's Rachel Maddow's opinion.

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Publishing the blog on these two platforms makes the links more likely to appear on Internet searches.

Also published on Booksie:

and on Medium:

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March 17, 2023

Trump has ants is his pants and so does this guy named Steve Cheung

Trump has ants is his pants and so does this guy named Steve Cheung

By Hal Brown


This is a logo, title-card, or title-screen owned by Treehouse TV for Ants in Your Pants. Fair use.

It would have been easy to put ants in the background of the image used in the HUFFPOST top of the webpage article:

Click above to read article
The word "antsy" is derived from the saying having ants in one's pants:

Imagining this literally happening to you evokes decidedly unpleasant feelings. Even tiny sugar ants, itchy ick, but imaging carpenter or red ants, ugh!

Rather than put a background of ants in my illustration (just for my fun and hopefully readers enjoyment) I changed the ad that appeared in the article:
Click above to enlarge image

Trump did nothing wrong? Hmmmm... 

I suppose just like his claiming he didn't have an affair with Stormy Daniels (as I wrote here, he didn't, he had a one-night-stand, the worst 90 seconds of Ms. Daniels' life) it depends on the meaning of the word "wrong" (below is how the dictionary defines it):

Click above to enlarge image

This is from the HUFFPOST article:

“President Donald J. Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most Radical Left Democrats are making that clear,” Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for his campaign, said in a statement. “From Russia, Russia, Russia, to the Mueller Hoax, to Impeachment Hoaxes 1 and 2, and even the Unlawful Mar-a-Lago Raid, Democrats have investigated and attacked President Trump since before he was elected — and they’ve failed every time.”
Steven Cheung

Steven Cheung, who is quoted above, is basically mouthing the words from his boss. Wikipedia tells us that he used to be a communications executive for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and attended, but not necessarily graduated from, California State University in Sacramento. In a Politico interview he said:

“My career began in the California governor’s office as a communications and speechwriting intern while in college. It was one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, because I learned the importance about what not to do just as much as what I should do. That experience has helped guide me throughout a variety of jobs in my career from working on political campaigns across the country to sports organizations like the UFC.”
Since Mr. Cheung was a speechwriting intern for Gov.

Arnold Schwarzenegger it is fair to assume he knows the meaning of the word "wrong" even if Donald Trump doesn't.


He must also know what side of the bread his butter has to go on. For example, he worked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship which it by some accounts is a scripted pseudo-sports competition, for example It's all fake, right? A professional wrestler explains everything. Whether these matches are scripted or not, you know anyone promoting them has to make sure fans believe the outcomes aren't pre-determined.

There are so many prevarication promoting people today working for right-wing politicians and media who must have in their job description that they have to be adept at saying the opposite of the truth. They could be working for Big Brother.


What the hell... I made the illustration anyway:


.Also published on Medium and on Booksie, because why not?


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March 16, 2023

Lindsay Graham isn't a psychologist but his assessment of Trump is right on

 Lindsay Graham isn't a psychologist but his assessment of Trump is right on

By Hal Brown, MSW

Background by DonkeyHotey

This story is making the news today:

HUFFPOST article above

On the face of it this isn't surprising. The fact that Lindsay Graham,  testifying during a special grand jury investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn his defeat in Georgia, said that “if somebody had told Trump that aliens came down and stole Trump ballots, that Trump would’ve believed it," isn't really my point. Politically, Graham doesn't run for the Senate until his current term expires in 2027 so apparently he doesn't believe saying this about Trump will hurt his election chances.

Trump has turned curious critics into armchair psychologists. Until he came along the average American not familiar with psychological concepts who reads articles by and interviews with mental health professionals became familiar with several syndromes. They may have looked up malignant narcissism, dark triad, and Dunning-Kruger effect on Wikipedia when they decided that the best way to defeat one's enemy was to fully understand him. 


Do a Google image search for Trump in strait jacket and this is what comes up (click images to enlarge):

Trump was such a candidate for mockery because of his unhingedness, but the seriousness of his mental state tended to be overlooked or minimized by those who should have known better. 

When the book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" was published the editor, Yale University forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee, went to Washington, met with a dozen members of Congress, and made sure every Democrat in Congress had a copy. (See Yale psychiatrist briefed members of Congress on Trump’s mental fitness , CNN (Jan. 5, 2018)

The first mental health professional to publish an article explaining why Trump's malignant narcissism made him dangerous was the founder of Duty To Warn and who made the documentary #UNFIT clinical psychologist John Gartner in Donald Trump's malignant narcissism is toxic, USA Today, (May 4, 2017).

It wasn't merely mental health professionals who warned about Trump's dangerous psychopathy. George Conway is a prominent example: Donald Trump's Pathological Narcissism and Sociopathy Leave Him Unable to Function as a Proper President, Says George Conway, Newsweek, (10/3/19)


In 2022 it was revealed that John Kelly read "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" and came to believe he was "pathological liar whose inflated ego" was the sign of a "deeply insecure person,” according to upcoming book "The Divider." (LINK).
The first article about Trump being a narcissist by a mental health professional,  Northwestern University psychologist Dan P. McAdams, as far as I can tell, was in The Atlantic in June, 2016 I won't put a link because if you click you will use a free read unless you have a subscription. You can read a summary of the article for free here.


I wrote many articles about Trump's psychopatholgy first published on Capitol Hill Blue and then posted on Daily Kos. In Sept. 2022 I used this image of a Google search page for  Trump mentally ill in a Daily Kos posting:
Click above to enlarge


Bottom line: Trump has amply demonstrated that in addition to sharing the authoritarian and white supremacist beliefs of Ron DeSantos he is manifestly psychologically unstable. There is no way someone like him should be within 100 miles of the nuclear football.

.

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March 15, 2023

To beat the sadistic grandiose narcissist DeSantis needs to channel more of Trump's psychopathology

 By Hal Brown

Caricatures by DonkeyHotey, An artist's depiction of a torture chamber of the Inquisition, ca. 1736. . Public Domain, Wikipedia


Ron DeSantis is a selective sadist so he doesn't need any lesson in sadism from Trump.

Trump is incapable of empathy, DeSantis may have empathy for select people but certainly doesn't for anyone he can use to achieve a political advantage. Sadists enjoy making some people suffer. DeSantis did this when he sent migrants to Martha's Vineyard to "own the libs" who live there.


Trump has been described as both a sadistic malignant narcissist, which he is, and a poster child for The Dark Triad, a combination of being an extreme narcissist, a psychopath, and a Machiavellian (read my article here).

What will it take to shake the dour and dull DeSantis out of the doldrums? The latest news from Politico (read article) is that nothing is off the table when it comes Trump to attacking DeSantis. From bending the truth to making up bullshit with Trump it matters not as long as he thinks his attacks will resonate with his cult.

Now Trump is reportedly going to attack DeSantis for being soft on prosecuting child pornographers when he was a D.A. The fact that those in the know are saying that this wasn't true is irrelevant to Trump. The following is from Raw Story:

This line of attack on DeSantis also appears to be a dog whistle to Trump's QAnon-believing supporters who believe Trump is working to uncover a vast conspiracy involving blood-drinking Satanist pedophiles.

Trump has already promoted posts on his Truth Social site accusing DeSantis of being a "groomer," so this new line of attack would tie in with previous Trump smears against the Florida governor. From "Trump prepares to lob 'grenade' at DeSantis and 'nothing is off the table'"

How long can DeSantis ignore these attacks without counter punching? About as close to grandiosity as DeSantis ever gets is standing a podiums with signs announcing his latest anti-woke positions and policies. As close as he gets to being narcissistic is using the word "courage" in his book title:


To beat Trump, who is like a great white shark who smells blood in the water, DeSantis will have to learn to bite back and bite back hard.  It's not as if Trump isn't bleeding. He is dealing with what would be the death from a thousand cuts in a normal person. What DeSantis has to do is see which wounds are most dangerous for Trump's survival and shake him unmercifully and rip them open. Like a shark he will then have a chance to devour him.

Just to counter the bogus soft on pornography accusation Trump can truthfully be described as cheater on his pregnant wife and worse, a serial sexual abuser and an, dare DeSantis go there, someone credibly accused of being a rapist. 

Most people have trouble changing their essential natural inclinations. DeSantis doesn't have to do this. All he has to do is what actors do all the time. He has to learn his lines and recite them in a convincing way.

I really don't want him to succeed in this endeavor because I think he is a more difficult candidate for Joe Biden to beat. This isn't to say that he'll be able to convince enough voters that "wokeness" actually is something that personally threatens them. By the time the election roles around whichever Republican runs will have to convince voters that Joe Biden was the demon they depicted him as. 


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March 14, 2023

Not being boring is the Trump and DeSantis challenge, but are they about to jump the shark?

 By Hal Brown

Read my related Mar. 15 blog here.

My version

I read this in Salon...

The real image


Double duds: Jim Jordan's and Tucker Carlson's lazy conspiracy theories bore MAGA

GOP propagandists believe MAGA buys whatever they're selling, so why put any effort into spinning lies?

... and I thought that the article could just as easily be referring to both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. You can see how I changed the illustration.

Just about everything that Amanda Marcotte writes in her article about Jim Jordan and Tucker Carlson, with some modification, could describe what might happen with Trump and DeSantis. 

Jumping the shark (see Wikipedia) of course originated with an episode of the popular TV show "Happy Days" where Fonzie was on water skis and jumped over a shark. After that the popularity of the series gradually declined but the term has expanded to mean a stunt meant to be a wowza which turns out to have been be a dud.

Consider how Trump is now hysterically warning that only he is capable of preventing World War III. DeSantis wants you to wet yourself in terror at the woke warriors who want to turn your children into "perverts".

Marcotte calls Jordan and Tucker's conspiracy theories lazy. I'd call them desperate. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for Trump and DeSantis. 

Jordan and Tucker are actors. This is from Marcotte's article (emphasis added):

Both Carlson and Jordan have become famous and powerful by dint of their effectiveness at spreading conspiracy theories. Carlson gets paid $6 million a year, strictly due to his acting chops, whether he's pretending to care about the sexiness of M&Ms or to believe in the intelligence of Donald Trump. Similarly, Jordan rose high in the ranks of House Republicans because he's talented at faking outrage. Yet both these men are showing less passion for conspiracy theories these days than your average unpaid and anonymous QAnon troll. It must be tiring, looking forward to the rest of their lives spent trying to feign zeal over fake culture war fights or made-up controversies. Not that they deserve your pity, of course. Being professional liars is the path they chose for themselves, and they're clearly stuck following it to the end. 
Not that I have to point out the obvious, but Trump and DeSantis are professional liars.

Their political fortunes depend on keeping their lying fresh and entertaining. Here's the 30 Second World War III possible shark jumper from Trump tweeted by Junior.





I don't have a comparable example from Ron DeSantis. The one thing he has in his advantage is that he always comes across as dull. 

This is from The Washington Post opinion piece How much does charisma matter? DeSantis is putting it to the test. by Paul Waldman published today: 
He is “reserved and dry” and has a challenge “forging connections with people.” He’s “pinched and humorless.” He “just doesn’t have the charisma to command a national political stage.” He “has the charisma of a pair of cargo shorts.”

He wisely doesn't try to out-Trump Trump in feigning outrage. He depends on using a dry presentation of the dire consequences of woke policies. I don't know what latest policy announcement could, in retrospect, be seen as him having jumped the shark. I expect it could just the a straw the breaks the camels back executive order.

Both of the top contenders for the GOP nomination depend on not being boring. They are very different in this respect from Mike Pence and Joe Biden. Both of them are naturally low-key. You could call them boring in how they present their ideas and policies. When Biden is particularly animated, or expresses anger, more than usual people take notice, for example:

Click above to read article

Neither Pence nor Biden have to worry about boring MAGA-world since residents of this land of won't vote for them anyway. It's Trump and DeSantis who have to worry about boring the denizens of MAGA.

Addendum
I was curious about this...


so I looked it up:
Click above to read article

Trump can try to gin up hysteria about a nuclear attack but does he really care about the rest of Americans when his house has three bomb shelters? None can withstand a direct hit but why would Putin want to take out Mar-a-Lago when Trump is his pal?


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March 13, 2023

Perhaps Fox New actually does have "proprietary journalistic processes"

 By Hal Brown

Public domain images combined by author

In his Washington Post Opinion piece, "Fox News fears competitors will steal its ‘journalistic processes’" (subscription) Erik Wemple writes about the Dominion lawsuit. He notes that Fox News filed a brief arguing that "the Delaware court presiding over the case should maintain the confidentiality of discovery material already redacted by the network, shielding it from the public’s curious eyes."

(Emphasis added) For its part, Fox News says it’s seeking to protect “documents that discuss concrete details of how editorial decisions are made, how reporters source their stories, and how Fox’s ‘brainroom’ conducts fact-checks” — and not the more generic categories cited by the media outlets seeking the redactions’ unsealing. “Proprietary newsgathering processes,” says the Fox News brief, “are the kind of competitive business information that justifies maintaining the seal.”

This sounds patently absurd since, as Wemple notes, news gathering practices are taught in every journalism school and often discussed at journalism conferences. 

This misses one major point. 

Perhaps Fox News employs a psychic, or a team of mystics and paranormal investigators. Maybe they have a group of tea and tarot card readers giving them their scoops. After all there's the Minnesota artist named Marlene Bourne who is now called the "Ghost Woman" who Maria Bartiromo relied on for claims that the Dominion voting machines were rigged. 

If they do they have infallible prognosticators they have no worries about losing the Dominion lawsuit since they should be able to make all the money the have to pay out by betting on long shot  horses at the racetrack destine to win the trifecta at the racetrack.

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March 12, 2023

Clinton: It depends on the meaning of 'is", while Trump's basic defense re. Stormy depends on the meaning of the word "affair"

 By Hal Brown

The Stolen Kiss by Jean-HonorĂ© Fragonard, Public domain Image use to illustrate Wiki article about sexual affairs

Remember this?

Now Trump is saying that he never had an affair with Stormy Daniels.

It is worth noting that she never claimed he had an affair with her. At least I can't find any quotes of her saying this. As far as I can tell their sexual relationship was a one time thing. 

Even thought what was what could factually be called "a one night stand" or what Stormy called the worst 90 seconds of her life. Read article here.


 The media generally called this an affair. For example just the other day:

Click above to read article

... and goes back to 2018:
Click above to read article


Even though NPR called Trump's relationship with Daniels an affair the article says the sexual encounter was a one time event.

Click above to read article

 The last line in bold below is the crucial part - from NPR:

Daniels said she had sex with Trump, despite not wanting to or being physically attracted to him, because she felt trapped once she went back to his hotel room alone. Daniels was 27 years old at the time, and Trump was 60. Still, Daniels made it clear she didn't consider herself "a victim" and that the sex was "consensual." 

Trump did not wear a condom, she said.  

The two stayed in touch after that, but did not have sex again, Daniels said.

If it is true that Trump and Daniels (Clifford) only had sexual relations one time I think that Trump may not consider this to have been an affair as the term is usually defined. This may be one of the few times he has actually told the truth. 

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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...