August 19, 2023

Will Trump's Tucker Show be a Big Whoop or a Whopping Wowza?


By Hal Brown

Trump and Tucker hope that their planned competing event  (click left or here) will get people to watch  the One True And Only Best And Greatest Now And Forever President Donald J. Trump on the latest episode of The Tucker Twitter Show instead of the GOP debate. 

If they believed there was a God who answered prayers they'd be begging for a ginormous audience instead of a big whoop, or even worse, a philosphical thought experiment of the exploration of the question "if a fatso farts in the forest and noone's there does it make any noise?" 

Obviously both Trump and Tucker want their show to be a whopping wowza and not a big whoop. It's impossible to say who wants this more, but clearly Trump needs this more than Tucker does. If it stinks or sinks, or both, they'll both tout the fact that it got the biggest audience for anything ever posted on Twitter and for once this self-aggrandizement might not be a lie.

“This tube is the Gospel. The ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers!” Howard Beale in the 1976 Paddy Chayefsky film “Network.” Of course the character's best known line is "I'm mad as hell I'm not going to take it anymore (watch video clip) but his comment about the power of television still holds true. There is a difference today. The big boob tube now competes with the Internet for influence which for most people is either the size of a cell phone screen or the size of a laptop screen.

It takes a small amount of effort to use the Internet while turning on a television and switching channels is easy. In the early days of TV you had to get up to switch channels and then we had clickers that used to acutally click and now we can just say Fox News out loud, like I did to take the above photo, and viola, there's Fox and Friends.

To find Tucker Carlson's Twitter page where he'll be presenting the glorious Trump event which he hopes is the climax of his career, call it the Orgasm in Orange, you have to do a little work. 

The most recent episode is his interview with Ramaswamy lower right.

It won't be diffiuclt for regular users of Twitter to find. The real question is whether they'll want to see Trump so badly they'll decide to do it on the little screen instead of the big screen.

Trump knows how adicted people are to their big, often giant, screen televisions. 

Click to read article

They are just like him. They love their television shows. Most of them don't read for entertainment or information. They watch television or YouTubes. This is why Trump is so outraged over the Fox News no longer functioning as his personal soapbox and megaphone, and why the preening narcissist  (read my story) is making such a fuss over the unlfattering photos they are using for screenshots of him.

This is what Trump posted on Truth Social:

"Why doesn't Fox and Friends show all of the Polls where I am beating Biden, by a lot. Also, they purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big 'orange' one with my chin pulled way back. They think they are getting away with something, they're not."
I found it amusing that he called himself "big 'orange'' with the quotes around the word "big" when his critics sometimes call him "big orange" or mock him because of the orange tinted makeup he apparently applies to his face:

We'll have to see whether this plan works for Trump, or if he changes his mind at the last minute and decides to ditch Tucker and join the debate. The chance to prance on the big screen may be to hard to resist.

If he does the Twitter Twist and shakes his booty on Tucker's show no doubt many people will watch it instead of the TV debate on Fox News, and others may do what I did when I took the photo on the top of this blog. They may make their own version of the split screen and watch both at the same time.

I doubt I'll watch either on Wednesday. I don't know what streaming video show we'll be watching next week, but it's sure to be more entertaining than Trump and Tucker or the GOP debate. Chris Christi if the only candidate worth watching and he'll have to split his time with these yahoos:

I'll count on Morning Joe to show clips of the highlights and lowlights.

Addendum: One possiblity suggested by a former Trump advisory is that Trump will "suck all the oxygen out of the air" by turning himself in to to the authorities in Georgia during the debate and having Tucker Carlson interview him as he exits the jail.

While I think this is possible I think it is not likely because it will get more people to watch his arrest at the jail. I doubt he'll want addtional people to see him being led through the process like an ordinary criminal. This will be televised so it won't be up to courtroom artists to show how he looked. He's a good actor but pretending this doesn't bother him for the cameras may be beyond his ability.

More: For an indepth article read Inside Trump’s Decision to Skip the G.O.P. Debate in the NY Times, subscription required.


The former president has been quizzing confidants lately about whether he should debate. He has fixated on former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who is expected to be his harshest critic on the stage. And he has expressed a particularly intense disdain for the low-polling former governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, suggesting privately that it would be almost insulting to share a stage with him, according to a person who spoke to Mr. Trump.

Senior members of Mr. Trump’s team — Chris LaCivita, Jason Miller and Mr. Cheung — all plan to attend the debate. The Trump campaign has arranged for prominent surrogates, including members of Congress, to visit the “spin room” after the debate to make Mr. Trump’s case.

But as of Friday, Mr. Trump appeared to have lost interest in attending the debate, according to people with knowledge of his thinking. And he is now planning to attempt to upstage the event by participating in the interview with Mr. Carlson, though the exact timing and online platform remain unclear.

Here's a summary of the NYT article from Raw Story.

August 18, 2023

Fox News, if this is all you have on Biden you got bupkis

Click above to read the article

Click above to enlarge image

There were two articles about Maui. This was the first:

Biden angers social media users with refusal to offer details about his trip to Hawaii: 'Buffoon'

Biden previously offered 'no comment' when asked about the Maui wildfires

This article is basically nothing but tweets:

It seems like the Fox New website isn't even reporting on anything to do with Trump. They are, however, reporting on President Biden.

I doubt many of you will click to read the articles about Maui so here's an excerpt from the second one which is as I write this is featured near the top of the website main page.

The article begins:

A Maui resident grew visibly emotional during a CNN appearance Thursday, asking why President Joe Biden was taking so long to visit and asked if Hawaiians aren’t "Americans too." 

"It's really affecting me because where’s the President?" Maui resident Ella Sable Tacderan asked. "I mean, aren’t we Americans, too? We’re part of the United States. Why are we getting put in the back pocket? Why are we being ignored?"

Biden notably waited to announce that he was coming to visit Hawaii until Tuesday. When initially asked by a reporter if he had "any comment on the rising death toll in Maui" a few days earlier on Sunday, Biden said he had "no comment."

The featured video shows a tearful resident of Maui blaming President Biden for waiting two weeks until he announced his plan to come to Maui while the host solemnly looks on.

I suppose the powers that be at Fox News didn't have any Hunter Biden in league with the criminal mastermind president stories to report on so their fallback story was one woman blaming President Biden for not coming sooner to Maui and for the fact that "her parents recieved a check for $700 which was a slap in the face" which wasn't enough to buy groceries.

If Hunter Biden and this is all they got, they got bupkis.

August 17, 2023

"Teflon Gone" Trump may be sliding out of the frying pan into the fire


I added the speech bubbles

Above was the main page of HUFFPOST yesterday (article here). 

Click here to read on one page and scroll down to comment using Disquis the preferred comment feature.

By Hal Brown

Today this is a top story on Raw Story decribing what was discussed on Morning Joe in their first hour (and is still being talked about as I write this):

GOP 'quietly panicking' over 'devastating' poll numbers on Trump crimes

Above: Opnion on the decision to indict Trump o Jan 6 case

Up until recently Trump has been even more slippery than my bag of Teflon furniture sliders.

He has been able to slide out of trouble, whether legal entanglements or his crude misogynist Access Hollywood comment and having extra-marital sex with a porn star just after Melania gave birth, like an egg on a Teflon frying pan.

Trump's demise has been predicted before. The covers of The New York Daily News depciting him as a loser clown are a good example.

The Daily News featured this story on their front page on July 4, 2018. More than five years later it may finally be true.
Trump was considered a loser clown on these fromt pages duriing his first primary.
The only issues I have with the depictions of Trump as a clown in the illustrations above is that they merely show him as a sad or smiling clown.

In fact while Trump was clownish he was anything but benign. He was the clown of nightmares. He was like a classic scary clown in movies like Pennywise from "Stephen King's It" and all the other scary clown movies only in a suit and ridulously long red tie.

The clown who was the president/king and tried to overthow the "bedrock values" the United States were founded on during his presidency and ever since he lost this bid for reelection he has continued to do so. 

The Constitution was a joke book, more a book of cartoons for the man notorious for not reading anything more complex than simple words on notecards. He not only ignored the Constitution but took pleasure in doing so and getting away with it. Kings, emperors, and dictators write their own rulebooks.

Hopefully one or more  juries of citizens treat him like any other citizen who is not above the law, and will prove he has lost his Teflon protection. If he is found guilty he'll be cooked. He will slide out of the frying pan into the fire where Teflon won't do him any good. He'll need a fireproof suit.

Addendum 1:

Trump and the clown references and imagry, below about a clown car with Trump as the driver honking sadly on the oversized horn, keep coming up. This is from 

Trump’s Last Two Indictments Complement Each Other Perfectly by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate:

Addendum 2:

The title of this story in Salon is a prediction and speculation:

I thought it was ironic that when I read it ads for very expensive toasters appeared twice in the article:
I wrote about Trump sliding from the firepan into the fire. You could also say he's about to be toast.

Addendum 3:

My comment and drawing: One way to put it is that he's skating on thin ice in a heavy suit of armor. Another is that Trump thinks he can jump into shark infested waters wearing his super-suit of armor will it protect him without realizing it would assure that rather than being eaten alive he'd sink quickly to a watery grave.

August 16, 2023

Which Judge Will Trump Push Too Far?

Top: Georgia law, bottom, what Trump posted

You know who Judge Tanya Chutkan is. Judge Scott McAfee (left above) is a name you probably aren't familiar with. He's set to be the judge in the Georgia case. You will soon be hearing a lot about him. 

Here's an article from CNN who explains who he is.

Amanda Marcotte writes in Salon:

"Teflon Don" is a collective fiction — it's time to tell the story of Trump in jail

Trump still believes he's untouchable, and so do his dangerous followers. It's time for consequences that count

She writes that:

...the conventional wisdom is echoed in former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani's comments to Salon: "Is a judge actually going to jail Donald Trump in the middle of a presidential campaign? Probably not."

To which I say: Why not? Trump is a human being, approximately speaking, with a physical body that would fit quite nicely inside a jail cell. The only reason Trump is perceived as invincible is because he's managed to hex almost everyone into believing that he'll get away with everything, every single time. All we need to do to change that is to stop believing in the collective fiction of Trump's impunity. It's not a law of physics. Donald Trump can go to jail. The only thing that's required is the will to make it happen.

While many of us have been wondering what it will take for Judge Chutkan to decide that Trump has gone far enough for her to incarcerate him for polluting the jury pool or intimidating witnesses. Remember that she instructed Trump not to make “even arguably ambiguous statements” about the case “if they can be reasonably interpreted to intimidate witnesses or to prejudice potential jurors.”

To paraphrase  this old saying, there's a new judge in town.

Whether it will continue to be Judge McAfee or federal judge in Georgia, Trump is already breaking the Georgia law against witness intimidation (see above). 

I don't care which judge orders Trump to be incarcerated pending trial. Who knows, they both may do it thus leaving the question to be answered only whether he goes to jail in Washington, DC or in Georgia.

In some ways I'd like it to be in Washington because this is the city where he once played at being the emperor. There are federal prisons in the area but they are pretty far away (see map) so I assume that he could be held at the DC jail:

This is the jail where Trump and the other Georgia defendants will be booked.

This is the jail in Atlanta:

It appears likely that Trump's being booked at the Rice Street jail will be televised and be must see TV for many of us.

It is likely that Jack Smith's federal case will be tried before the Georgia case.  If he's in jail in Atlanta an arrangement will have to be made to house him in Washington. I am sure Georgia officials will be able to figure out how to do this.

We've all seen Trump boarding Air Force One or his Trump airplane. What I'd like to see is Trump having to boarding one of these to fly from Atlanta to Washington:

Recent blog posts:

August 15, 2023

Who are Harrison William Prescott Floyd and Trevian Tutti and why their indictments matter


By Hal Brown

This Newsweek article explains who Mr. Floyd is:

Who Is Harrison Floyd? Black Voices for Trump Leader Charged in Georgia, Newsweek

This explains who Trevian Tutti is:

Their particular backgrounds and histories aren't particulary relevant to the point I want to make. They are not all that unlike Peter Boykin, the founder of Gays for Trump or Michael Symontte, aka,Michael the Black Man, or any of the Black Trump supporters you see standing behind him at rallies holding Blacks for Trump signs.

Like it or not we do not live in a color-blind or sexual preference blind world. Members of any group, majority, minority, or something in between shouldn't be held to a litmus test to define their politics just because of their  color or sexuality. What galls me is when they support people and policies which, to put it bluntly, sell out the group to which they are members of, often for personal ambition, enrichment, or both. 

Clarence Thomas and Tim Scott (left, who just said that the criminal justice system had been weaponized against Trump) come to mind as people who might not have achieved what they have if they were white. While it may be poltically incorrect to say they were tokens there is a case to be made that this is what they were. Members of minority groups are a dime a dozen in the Democratic Party hierarchy. They are worth their weight in gold in the Republican Party.

Trump supporters represent a very small portion of the Black and LGBT population, but they have managed to successfully chase the spotlight and bask in the afterglow of Donald Trump. 

How many of them realize, or care, about the fact that Trump is using them and that his policies have marginalized or even disenfranchized them and the members of their Black or LGBT family, friends, aquaintances, and the entire minority community to which they belong is unknown. 

I rather doubt that if asked they'd never admit it. They would probably say that Trump has been the best thing to happen to members of their community ever.

If asked to cite examples of how Trump's policies benefited them were greater than those of Democratic Party presidents they would probably lapse into gibberish.

Now we have two people who very possibly parlayed their race into being in Trump's orbit and who are paying the price for their role in breaking the law in order to overturn the results of the election.  One is Harrison William Prescott Floyd. The following excerpts about him are from the Newsweek article:

(Floyd) is executive director for Black Voices for Trump, a group funded by the former president to increase Black voter turnout in 2020, Floyd was effectively a staff member of the 2020 Trump campaign.

The Atlanta grand jury charged him with violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupted Organizations) Act, conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings, and influencing witnesses, according to the indictment filed by the Fulton County Superior Court.

According to the indictment, Floyd tried to influence the testimony of Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County election worker, before the Georgia grand jury investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pastor Stephen Lee and publicist Trevian Kutti are also accused of trying to influence Freeman's testimony.

Specifically, the indictment paper accuses Floyd of recruiting Lee to organize a meeting with Freeman and Kutti.

The other Black person charged in the Georgia indictment is a woman named Trevian Kutti who previously worked as a publicist for Kanye West (aka Ye).

This is from the website Deadline:

While not as familiar to cable news junkies as Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman or Mark Meadows, Kutti is well known in other circles as Kanye West’s onetime publicist. She is also, notably, the woman recorded on video trying to convince Ruby Freeman, a frightened Georgia election worker whom Trump had publicly attacked, to implicate herself in election fraud regarding the 2020 presidential election.

Lest I leave out the minority which I actually belong to, of the 37 Jewish members of Congress only two, David Kustoff of Tennessee and Lee Zeldin of New York who are members of the House are Jewish. (Reference) I don't think that their being Jewish had much or anything to do with their being elected. I don't see the Republican Party pursuing Jews to run for office. Perhaps a Black Jewish member of the LGBTQ community would be sought after by the GOP.

Here are individual photos with short profiles of all the people who were indicted in Georgia.

Bonus: MAGA merch for liberals and never-Trump Republicans (on Amazon here)

Comment and my reply (From M.K. Stark from Booksie where I also posted this article)

Hi Hal! 

Please let me start by saying I'm not affiliated with either of the two major political parties. 

My opinion on this differs from yours a but very slightly. While you never said that you believe that only Republicans prop up their supporters that live within these minority communities, it reads as though you are implying that. I think that if you included that everyone in the political realm does something similar (if you believe that), it would come across less like you're pointing a finger at one side with a behavior both sides are guilty of. If you don't believe the Democratic party does this, then you came across exactly as you likely intended! 

As for the writing itself, even though I disagree with some of your opinions or feel that I would love a more nuanced discussion with you, your points are very clear and coherent. You deliver excellent background information and have no distracting grammar, spelling, or phrasing issues that pull my attention away from your content. It's weird that this is a compliment but it's sometimes a lost art these days. 

Thanks for sharing!

My reply:

Thank you for your comment.

I see the Democratic Party encouraging members of minority groups to run for office by being welcoming of diversity. I don't see the Democratic Party as offering an entrée into political office just because of being member of a minority group.

As I write this it occurs to me that I omitted another example of a Republican who may have had his candicacy helped by his being an openly gay man. George Santos's New York 3rd congressional district, one of the wealthiest in New York, was one of 18 districts that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. His being gay might have helped him score the upset against Democrat Robert Zimmerman who was also openly gay. He beat him by 8 points. This was considered an upset in this Democratic-leaning district's non-presidential year election.

From my reading I don't see indications that the local or national Republican Party supported him because he would be their first member of Congress was openly gay but it is possible. Perhaps he got some donations from Republicans who thought his being gay would help him win against another gay man.

There's an article in The Atlantic which I haven't read (I don't subscribe) "How a Perfectly Normal New York Suburb Elected George Santos" from Dec 28, 2022. I'm curious about this but not curious enough to use one of my few free articles to find out the answer.

August 14, 2023

Will RICO "Ratso" Trump have a midnight ride to Mar-a-Lago?


Joe Buck played by John Voight, Hoffman as Rico "Ratso" Rizo

By Hal Brown

By now everyone should now that RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.

Cinema fans probably remember the character played by Dustin  Hofman in 1969's best picture Oscar winning Midnight Cowboy as Ratso Rizzo. I was going to write that Trump's new name should be Ratso RICO Trump, but then when I checked Wikipedia I saw that his real name was Rico Rizzo and Ratso was his nickname.

Of course in the book and movie Ratso was a complex character and a torutured soul. Trump is only complex from a psychiatric perspective but you can't say he's a tortured soul because he has no soul by any defintion of the word.

Perhaps ironically Joe Buck was played by John Voight who has been a vocal supporter of Donad Trump (link).

Hoffman is a staunch liberal who has offered his financial support to a long list of Democratic presidential hopefuls, from Joe Biden's run in 2020 all the way back to former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey's 1992 bid (Reference)

Those who read the book or saw the movie remember the powerful and tragic ending.  The pair are on a bus enroute to make a new life in Florida. Ratso tells Joe he doesn't want to be called Ratso anymore. He askes to be called Rico. Rico's heatlh had been deteriorating and he dies on the bus never making it to Florida.

This is the last nine minutes of the movie:

I don't need to spell what the midnight ride to Mar-a-Lago would symbolize for RICO "Ratso" Trump. Unlike Rico, he isn't literally terminally ill. However his days as the self-crowned king of the world may be numbered.

bviously if he is convicted of RICO crimes it is is very relevant to his future.

We were sitting next to a "Let's Go Brandon" Trumper at a small town parade


By Hal Brown

My partner and I went to one of our favorite towns, Aurora, Oregon to watch their summer festival parade and have lunch at our favorite pub. It happens to be  next to a small pot store:

Aurora is a town which is on the National Historic Register and is known for it's many antique shops all in old homes which are clustered together in the center of town. It's population is 1,133 in 336 households. Read more here.

Politically the Aurora leans conservative unlike where we live in a decidely liberal Portland suburb so we never bring up politics when we meet people there. (More about politics in Aurora.)

We managed to snag a perfect parking spot on the street along the parade route just before it was closed to traffic. 

Across the street from our car was a shady spot at the end of a driveway where a man and woman were already sitting. We had folding chairs in the car and asked if we could sit with them. They said we could and they moved their own chairs so we'd have more room.

The plastic hat was handed out by fire fighters in the parade.
I wore it just for the photo.

It turned out that this was the end of the driveway to their house. 

I sat next to the man and we chatted throughout the parade. 

He told me that he lived around the country but 10 years ago settled in Aurora. I learned that he was a Vietnam War veteran and grew up on a farm, and had a number of blue colar type jobs through his life. He asked what we did and I told him I'd been a therapist and my partner was a nurse. He said that one of his daughters was also a therapist. It occurred to me afterwards that I could have lied and told him we'd worked in jobs that didn't label us as being most probably liberal. I eventually did tell him I'd been a reserve police officer for 20 years since this usually gives me some conservative creds.

We engaged in friendly chit-chat throughout the parade. 

Sitting next to the man having already revealed I'd been a therapist I decided I'd throw into the conversation something that wouldn't lead him to think I was a flaming liberal. I told him that I'd watched many other local parades since I'd helped direct traffic at them when I was a reserve police officer before moving to Oregon.

I was much younger then. Mason, Michigan parade.

During the entire conversation I didn't know for sure what the man's political view was until we were leaving and I saw his "Let's Go Brandon" cap (top of page). If you don't know what this means click here. I consider this hat and flags and banners saying this to be far more objectionable than any of the MAGA hats and pro-Trump flags because people expressing this sentiment are saying f**k Joe Biden. 

Trump enabled the Jan. 6th attack on the Capital. He's been the poster boy for gutter politics hurling vulgar insults like a schoolyard bully. No wonder people feel comfortable with this slogan.

On the same Amazon search I found this:
It's a good thing wasn't wearing it. A more ambiguous message is on this cap if "let's go" is shorthand for the f-word rather than meant to cheer him on.
I could have worn one of these:
Update: Just found this...

This parade really did celebrate traditional small town values and old fashion pre-fascist patriotism from the days when displaying an American flag didn't suggest you might believe in the MAGA America First agenda. Click images below to enlarge them.

There's some new MAGA merch more to my liking:

You can find these items on Amazon.

Nixon and Kennedy were evenly matched intellectually in their first debate. Nixon lost because of how he looked on TV. Trump may lose because he "loses it" on TV. By Hal Brown, MSW

  Read: Team Biden bets an unfiltered Trump at the debate can shake up the race GOP pollster Frank Luntz said the June 27 faceoff will be &q...