This is a blog with my opinions on politics, psychology, and other subjects. My posts are sometimes serious and sometimes snarky. I'm a retired MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and mental health center director who was also a cranberry farmer. Scroll archives on bottom of page to see previous blog stories. There are new ones added almost every day, although if I don't have anything original to say I try not to say anything at all.
Trump managed to get a Trump loving judge to kiss his royal ass, but was it blind luck?
By Hal Brown
I changed the photo of Trump originally depicted in an image someone else made of him on a mocked-up Time cover (here and below) to make him look decidedly unpresidential. I put him in prison and added Lady Justice on the left and an X'ed out altered image I made of Judge Cannon on the right.
Another of my images: Judge Cannon's reputation among what appears to be the vast majority of legal scholars seems to be in ruins. Does she care? My impression is that she couldn't care less even though she is in dire need of the legal version of a visit to the emergency room.
You need a Daily Beast subscription to read this article on their website where you can see the illustration which shows a rendering of a well-worn paperback mystery titled "The Cannon Clue."
The Daily Beast story describes how Trump lawyers may have shopped for a judge they presumed would be not merely friendly but lovingly to kiss the ample Trump royal ass. The crucial would here is "may" since so far there's no proof they did this. Was the fix in? Or did they decide to increase the odds that they'd have Judge Cannon assigned the documents case. We just don't know the answer. This has not stopped speculation.
If you couldn't buy an item you needed in a nearby store in this era of online shopping you might get it from Amazon. But they did have the equivalent of an online store to file their case. They claimed the online mechanism was offline but it turns out it wasn't. This was a lie. So they they hit the streets and traveled some distance from the court where the case normally would have filed to Judge Cannon's courthouse. However, there are nine judges there so there would be no guarantee she'd get the case.
This is the gist of what the article reports:
When Donald Trump’s legal team filed their court paperwork protesting the Mar-a-Lago raid, a lawyer took the rare step of actually filing the paperwork in person. At a courthouse 44 miles from Mar-a-Lago. And they got a judge to oversee the case that was outside both West Palm Beach—where the raid took place—and the district where they filed," the Daily Beast reporter wrote. "Those incredible coincidences have led lawyers and legal experts to suggest that something may not be above board with how Trump’s team filed their lawsuit."
It turns out that filing such legal briefs are almost never done at a courthouse in person anymore. In almost all jurisdictions they are done electronically.
The RAWSTORY article concludes:
Lawyers in the area, who didn't want to give their names, also found the method of filing the lawsuit curious.
According to one, "I don’t know anybody who files in person. I didn’t even know you could do that anymore. It looks like this person was trying to select a particular judge,” while another suggested, "People don’t do this anymore. It’s extremely odd. I guess you could do this if you wanted to get a particular judge—or avoid getting a particular judge."
So far there's no irrefutable proof that the fix was in. It may be that the cards were stacked to favor Cannon's being assigned the case. It may be a coincidence.
This is from The Daily Beast:
“I think somebody pulled a fast one in the clerk’s office to rotate it to a friendly judge. It doesn’t sound like it was done by the blind filing system,” mused another.
...which consists of nine judges. Cannon is in a neighboring division, so she can occasionally get West Palm Beach cases.
Theoretically, that would give Trump a 1-in-9 chance of getting Cannon on the case.
However, The Daily Beast analyzed new case assignments in West Palm Beach in the week preceding Trump’s lawsuit and found that Cannon actually got a much higher share, nine of the 29 new complaints—roughly a third of all cases.
But the system still appears random.
On Monday, Aug. 22, in West Palm Beach, Cannon got the first case. Trump’s lawsuit was the second of the day in that division, and she got that too.
A head clerk of federal courts in another state told The Daily Beast that lawyers sometimes time filings as if they’re players at a casino. Sometimes it works.
“If you play cards and count the cards, I suppose they could say, ‘I’ll hold this here until I see if other judges got assignments.’ But it would be very risky because it’s random,” she said.
It all may boil down to what you believe:
Perhaps it was just the luck of the draw:
I made my illustration after reading the RAWSTORY article and posted it as a comment there among similar illustrations, below, which other readers posted. I altered this Time Magazine image to make my own:
I changed the photo of Trump to make him look decidedly unpresidential. I put him in prison and added Lady Justice on the left and an X'ed out altered image of Judge Cannon on the right.
If it's really getting through to Donald Trump that the predictions coming from the likes of George Conway that he could actually end up in prison then the photo (below) used for the article in RAWSTORY about what Conway said on "Morning Joe" earlier today would be appropriate.
While I can't manage to muster any empathy for the malignant narcissist, sadist, and bully who has proved willing to do anything to maintain his dictatorial power, perhaps I can at least eke out a smidgen of sympathy for the poor man. Hmmm... is there anything smaller than a smidgen?
I want Trump to suffer the pangs of anxiety over the legal peril he is in, but if he had a fleeting moment of angst and if, an if as big as the planet Jupiter, I wanted to cheer him up I'd have to reenforce his delusion of being invulnerable. In that remote or remotest possibility I'd tell him to turn his frown upside-down.
Conway told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that although Trump's inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection was probably the most serious crime Trump has committed it would be a difficult case to prove. He said that the easiest case to prove was his likely violation of the Espionage Act. Conway said:
"That to me is the shortest distance between Donald Trump and an orange jumpsuit is that case. It's so simple. It's like the U.S. attorney trying to bring a big mob case against the Five Families and trying to connect it up to the boss and all of a sudden they get the call from the NYPD saying, hey, the big boss is loading jewelry on a truck at Kennedy Airport, and you know, that's what happened here."
"He's caught red-handed. Basically what he's done, refusing to give the documents back upon request is sufficient under the Espionage Act, and he's done that, and then you have the aggravating facts about how the volume of documents and the lying and how long it's dragged on. I don't know how they don't bring the case."
George Conway has been a thorn in Trump's side as his profile has increased as much as his girth since he became a Trump turncoat. He's penned OpEds and has been a frequent guest on MSNBC.
I can't find any recent articles about whether Trump still watches Morning Joe, however in 2017 it was clear that he did. This is from:
Brzezinski appeared to respond to the president’s tweets with an image of a Cheerios box that says “Made For Little Hands.”
My sense is that while Trump, the inveterate television watcher, luxuriates in being praised on Fox News shows even he may not be able to resist checking in with "Morning Joe" to see what his nemeses are saying about him.
He knows that if he blasts out a Truth Social post about anything said about him on "Morning Joe" or any other MSNBC show, he'll only give them publicity so I think he'll be able to restrain his impulses since there isn't a damn thing he can do to shut them up.suits as his
Trump may avoid the wardrobe change into an orange jumpsuit, but if he's paying attention to what's happening in New York he may have to think twice about buying expensive new suits when can't squeeze into a girdle anymore:
If Elon Muck buys Twitter, what with it's much larger audience than Truth Social has, I expect we'll see more impulsive tweets especially in the early morning when Trump may be groggy and not be able to sensibly resist engaging in a Twitter war with Joe and Mika. Assuming Trump come back to Twitter this will be fun to follow.
Here's a comment on this story from Ben Kalom:
Most of us would not wish him the Demolition Man one-liner I often quote to folks in jest, "Be Well, John Spartan!"
"I want Trump to suffer the pangs of anxiety over the legal peril he is in, ..."
Naw. a snarky "Naw!" I want his frown to become a perma-frown, like permafrost. I want his risorius muscles to atrophy to the point he cannot chew food properly, and a bolus migrates across the epiglottus into his cephalic tracheal opening and permanently obstructs it.
I want more than the pangs of anxiety.
I literally want the Big Mac attack to attack him.
I want his "Glorious, magnificent, stupendous, spektak-a-lur" bulls**t to end as a one liner obit, "Choked on a fried chicken bone..."
The only way this cult of personality ends is ...
The people need their human sacrifice. They need their blood lust sated.
Find him a bunker, let him join his "hero" Adolph in ending this sickness...
Then, maybe, just maybe, we can all recover... just a little bit... before we have to deal with the next anointed one...
While some legal experts believe that there is evidence to charge Trump with obstruction, conservative attorney George Conway predicted that the "shortest distance between Donald Trump and an orange jumpsuit" is a case showing that he violated the Espionage Act.
"He's caught red-handed," Conway told MSNBC. "Basically what he's done, refusing to give the documents back upon request is sufficient under the Espionage Act, and he's done that, and then you have the aggravating facts about how the volume of documents and the lying and how long it's dragged on. I don't know how they don't bring the case."
Viral video showed organizers cutting open the fish to reveal a total of 10 weights, each weighing either 8 or 12 ounces.
As Fisher yelled, "We got weights in fish!" the angry crowd booed the men, who were immediately disqualified.
On Tuesday, authorities seized a boat and trailer belonging to Comisnky that was used during the tournament.
If convicted, the pair could face a year in prison and a $2,500 fine on each of the felony counts.
The men are not expected to be arraigned until later this month, and it was not immediately clear whether they had retained an attorney.
and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry had no background in medicine or medical research.
I suppose in a world where on one extreme we have a former game show host and rule breaking real estate developer becoming a mentally imbalanced woefully uniformed president and on the other extreme we have a comedian becoming a heroic president of another country everyone's idea should be judged on their merits.
Other news of the day
This story is also related to Ukraine though in a very different way:
While on the subject of totally unqualified Senate candidates, how about the breaking news about Hershel Walker denying he ever paid for a girlfriend's about claiming this is a total lie? As you may have read in his book he revealed he suffered from multiple personality disorder:
He may be telling the truth as he knows it, or more specifically as he remembers it. In my 40 year career as a psychotherapist I treated five clients with this disorder, currently called dissociative identity disorder. A hallmark of this disorder is that among the various personalities, called alters, there are various kinds of amnesia. In many if not most cases certain personalities can take over with other personalities not having and awareness of what they are doing.
A true cure for this disorder come about when all the identities or alters are integrated into one and there are no amnesiac experiences when one personality is in control and the others aren't and in fact are totally unaware of what is happening.
Walker claims he's been cured but there's no way to prove this. It is an exceeding difficult disorder to treat let alone achieve cure. In my experience the best a therapist can do is try to keep the self-destructive or dangerous personalities from acting on their impulses or desires.
It is quite possible that the personality or personalities that arranged for and funded the abortion blocked the memory from the other personalities. Unless all the personalities are now integrated along with all of their memories, there is a chance Walker is telling the truth as he knows it about the abortion.
Trump, who plainly did not want to lose his top economic adviser, told Cohn he should feel free to publicly voice his disagreement, and encouraged him to go to the briefing-room podium and say whatever he needed to."
"You’ll do the right thing," Haberman writes that Vice President Mike Pence said, while putting an arm around Cohn like some kind of mafia movie.
"Cohn said he would complete his efforts to pass a tax bill, which had been his passion throughout the year, and not stay much longer," the book continues. "'But you should assume I’m done,' Cohn said. He still had his resignation letter in hand, undelivered and unaccepted. As Cohn left the Oval Office, Kelly whispered to him, 'If I were you I’d have shoved that paper up his f*cking ass.'"
"Increasingly core to a lot of people in the Christian faith, and particularly in the white evangelical world, is politics and culture," Wehner said, "and in a sense, faith is engrafted. It’s a secondary issue. A friend of mine uses the term 'hood ornament — that faith becomes a hood ornament: It validates these pre-existing attitudes and ideologies. But the way it’s being done is that people are unaware of it, because they’re going through and, in my experience and in my observations, is they’re proof-texting their preordained political, cultural, sociological beliefs, and then saying this is what the Bible says."
Totally out of left-field...
... because Portland is my adopted hometown I thought I'd share a lesson learned by some crooked strip club owners here. You may know that Portland is known for it's many strip clubs, some of which vie for the title of the quirkiest:
I suspect that these businesses take in a lot of cash, not only because patrons stuff greenbacks into the performers g-strings, but because men don't like to pay using credit cards for obvious reasons. Since I've never been to one I can't say I observed this in person.
Here's the local story about how trying to avoid paying taxes on cash can come with serious consequences:
New readers, there are some dandy photo stories from December here, and from November (here) when I turned this blog into a personal diary about my adventures in and around Portland. Don't forget, you can click the images to enlarge them.
Jan. 23, 2022
Portland's Multnomah Village and lunch at Fat City Cafe.
In the car picnic at Meldrum Bar Park in Gladstone. It was too cold to eat outside at one of the numerous picnic tables. So what could be better than a tuna and swiss cheese sandwich and potato chips sitting in the warmth of a car watching the fast moving current of the Willamette River and the fishermen trying to catch a steelhead? See steelhead fishing website.
Most of the visitors to the park were men fishing except for six young men running their remote control cars on the impressive dirt track constructed there. They could get their little cars to go airborne for 10 or 15 feet and land and keep going. Watch YouTube video below:
This is a large park run by the city of Gladstone (admissions by credit card machine is $3) with several areas where people can park and fish.
It is on the fast moving Willamette River. One of the fisherman said that this season they try to catch steelhead.
Muddy outside, you think? Mac and Duff were going stir crazy being house-bound with all the rain we've been having so I t0ok them for a walk. Mac likes to forage in the dirt as you can see here. (Click to enlarge)
Both he and Duff came home with muddy paws:
I hosed the mud off them on my patio. They don't seem to mind the cold water all that much though Duff wasn't thrilled about my trying to get his muzzle clean.
Neither of them like it when I aim the hose at their nether regions. They are hardy little critters.
I got them pretty clean. Fortunately I left my gas fireplace on by mistake so it was 90 inside and they didn't get chilled and they dried off very quickly.
My what you see is what you get photography
I have one rule about taking photos of "things" and this is that I must not rearrange the various items. The photos must be "as seen" without my moving even one item a half inch to improve the composition. You can see this down the page in my photos of the resident gardens. I can try to get the best angle and crop the photo but I won't move anything.
On another subject, to show my lack of having any indictions of obsessive compulsive disorder here are a few "candid" photos of my living environment. Here's an out-of-sight out of mind closet in my kitchen.
The tool drawers in my kitchen aren't exactly well organized but I can almost always find what I am looking for.
I keep all of my kitchen counters organized and neat with the exception of this one.
It's not that I am messy. It is just that I find it handy to have one counter where I can prepare meals for the dogs (one is so finicky I have to mix human food with his canned dogs food or he won't eat) and keep their medications handy. I also throw papers on this counter before I get around to organizing them every month or two, or three.
On occasions I will use my photo program to change the exposure to lighten up the shadows, for example this photo...
is changed to look like this:
However I try not to do this with photos of nature like these sunset pictures where enhancing the colors, contrast, and brightness might make them look better or more dramatic but wouldn't be what the eye sees.
Jan. 18, 2022
Nothing much going on the past few days except my having company over for filet mignon, stir fry, and baked potatoes.
Start the russet potatoes an hour and a half in the oven before you start the stir fry and steaks, and then keep potatoes warm in a microwave. You can tell when they're done by touching them. They should be soft.
Leave the steaks out until they reach room temperature. Lightly season to taste. Don't over-season, these are the best tasting and most flavorful steaks you can buy.
You can start the stir fry about 10 minutes before starting to cook the steaks, but be sure not to overcook them or they will be too mushy.
Heat a cast iron skillet fairly hot. Use tongs to place the steaks in the skillet and turn them. You don't want to pierce the steaks and let the juices out.
Sear in a cast iron skillet on each side. Coat with butter and bake the skillet in a 425 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until done as desired.
You can listen to her greatest hit songs here including "Til I Waltz Again With You", "A Sweet Old Fashioned Girl" and "Ricochet".
Jan. 15, 2022
Today's post is a departure since in order to take these photos I only had to walk 50 yards from my house to the resident gardens where I live. To quote Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers) from "Being There".....
President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President "Bobby": In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President "Bobby": Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
President "Bobby": Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
President "Bobby": Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.
The photos aren't the typical garden pictures you generally see of flowers in bloom. Instead it is has mosty dormant plants with a few exceptions of flowers hidden away with a large variety of statues, and some real boots, standing guard. The garden paraphernalia patiently waits, sometimes unceremoniously strewn here and there, for the owners to begin to till the rich soil and plant seeds and seedlings.
Note the boot behind the rooster
Jan. 12, 2022
What Scottish Pub has an owner who goes to Scotland every year to buy "stuff" to decorate his restaurant which features over 1000 kinds of whiskey and haggis balls?
I've passed this nearby Oregon City pub too many times to count on the way into the countryside to find unique restaurants. Today was a beautiful day, in the sixties, and I hoped to eat on the patio which overlooks Willamette Falls where the viewing parking lot is just across the street. Unfortunately there was only one server so they couldn't open the patio. When she saw me taking photos she asked if I wanted to see the upstairs dining area which of course I did. Photos (click to enlarge) of both the downstairs and upstairs are below.
I had fish and chips made with Pacific rockfish for the first time. It was excellent. The batter was crisp and the fish was very tasty and with a melt-in-your mouth texture.
Below: I am sure I'm not the first nor will I be the last to have my photo taken in this phone-less Scottish phone booth outside the pub.
As you can see from the photos there is ample patio seating where you have an excellent view of Willamette Falls.
The pub is next to The Oregon History Museum and across the street from The Falls View Tavern.
Jan. 10, 2022
I Saw it on McLoughlin Street
I was driving down the busy main street that goes from where I live to downtown Portland in one direction and Oregon City in the other direction and was stopped at a traffic light when I saw this car:
I took the photo because I thought "how very Portland this is." What I didn't notice until I got home and looked at the picture was the decals in the windows of a Star Wars stormtrooper and a droid. Go figure.
Today's not very big trip was to Fred Meyer to buy some baking potatoes.
I forgot to buy potatoes when I bought steak for a Sunday at home meal so I had to go out again today. I mean, what is a good steak dinner without a baked potato you might inquire.
While I was there I also bought some red bell peppers. These are fully ripened bells peppers and have the most nutritive of all the colored bell peppers. You don't have to take my word for it. Check out the Tufts University article.
I've been looking to buy some Braunschweiger (how's that for a spelling bee contest word?) which Fred Meyers usually stocks for about a month but they were always out. Even the high end grocery store New Seasons didn't have it. Today they did so I bought two. I checked online: you can freeze it. I also bought a Hebrew National salami for good measure.
This would have been an all food and nothing but food blog diary for today and would have ended here had I not looked out the window this evening and saw the pink sky:
I thought "that's nothing special" but then I looked down the path to our River Walk (overlooking the Willamette River) and saw a more impressive sunset so put on my slippers and a jacket and walked to the end of the path and I took these (unretouched) photos:
As of today I changed the header photo to reflect what this blog has become. This was the old header based on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the malevolent computer Hal-20oo.
Click to enlarge new masthead:
The Scream'n Chicken and The One Horse Tavern are in the small town of Gaston (pop.736) in beautiful Oregon wine country. The Wild Hare Tavern is just outside of Canby on the way to Aurora and Hubbard which are towns where I found good places to eat (The Old Colony in Aurora and The
Burger Hut Cafe in Hubbard).
Jan. 6, 2022
Mac in the background, Duff in the foreground
Mac in the foreground and Duff in the background, with their Christmas toys
My big outing today was to go in-person to the Willamette Valley Veterinary Hospital in Gladstone to discuss switching primary care vets from another clinic which I have been dissatisfied with since the vet I had for 10 years left and sold the practice to a management. corporation.
I took Duff there last month when he had a lump on his side and they couldn't see him at the regular vet clinic for over two weeks. I got him in the same day at the new vet and was pleased with the treatment they gave him.
One of the dogs, Mac, badly needs his teeth cleaned. He's become so finicky about eating I have to tempt him by adding human food to his Hill's special diet canned food. The other day I made sure I made enough mahi mahi so there would be enough left to lure him to his dog bowl. Once he starts eating he cleans his plate like a good dog.
Jan. 5 Nothing to report unless you count making burgers at home for dinner.
Jan. 4, 2022
Below: This is for readers of my Marjorie Taylor Greene Daily Kos diary:
Another Kos image:
The Hive Social, Oregon City
Today, a rainy day with temperatures in the mid-forties, wasn't a day to travel far. Instead I went to nearby Oregon City to try out a restaurant someone told me about. It is called The Hive Social. It is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Unlike most of the Oregon City restaurants which are on Main Street it is on 7th Street, a side street in a part of town I'd never been in.
It is next to the fire station. I can't say it has much of a view from the window as you can see from the photos.
The food is very good and the waitresses are friendly. Because there was a sign saying they be closed for renovations as of next week I asked what they were doing and was told that they are making a function room upstairs and a speakeasy in the basement. That will be open in the evening.
The more than 100 year old building once was home to a hardware store, hence the speakeasy will be called "The Hardware Store."
Here are some photos (click to enlarge):
Below, in a side room, people were putting together shelving.
In addition to the large dining room there is also a bar.
The coffee shop is connected inside the restaurant
There's a hospital up the street. Several ambulances went by when I was eating.
Above: Me. Below: One of the more unsual fire stations I've ever seen. The fire engine was gone but below you can see the foot wear the fire fighters left behind.
This is the stairway to the upstairs where the function room will be.
There are numerous churches in the neighborhood. The pink Universalist Unitarian Church stands out.
I have a growing concern about eating out and how contagious the Omicron Covid is even for those who have had their booster shots like I have. Consider:
As the omicron variant spreads, Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist, offers advice on indoor dining.
Excerpt: If a person has been fully vaccinated and they are free of some of the risk factors for severe COVID and they're not immunosuppressed, I think indoor dining would be kind of a reasonable option."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not currently issued specific guidance about indoor dining and omicron, but continue to recommend that people "follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission." So far, there have been no restrictions put in place on indoor dining due to the omicron variant.
One option for comparatively safe dining out is the Happy Valley Station collection of numerous food carts. In my photos the side doors are open but now they are closed so it is warm inside. It is almost always easy for find a table far away from other diners.
The following were from a few days ago. You can see that the large garage type doors are closed.
If I do venture out for lunch today it will be in the rain with temperatures forecast to be in the forties. One thing for certain is that I won't be driving into the higher elevations. Even not far from home they have had eight inches of snow. Further away into the Cascades up to two feet of snow has fallen in the past couple of days. These photos are from the Oregon DOT:
I said I'd keep this blog non-political so made the exception with this since my stories on Kos rarely get this kind of readership. Over 3,400 people took the poll so far. A poll is the only way I can determine the numbers of readers on a story I post there.
Jan. 3, 2022
I did some errands today but nothing worth documenting here. I did post something about the media hogging wingnut Marjorie Taylor Greene on Daily Kos which made it to number one on their Trending Stories list. It had more than 2900 readers and since it is still posted may hit 3000, possibly a near record for my stories there. It was recommended over 180 times and there were also over 180 comments. You can read it here. Hopefully tomorrow I'll take off somewhere and get back to posting photos and stories about my culinary adventures and trips around the Portland, Oregon area.
Jan. 2,2023... Ops, it's only 2022
A friend texted me a Happy 2022 message and I texted back that she must be confused because it's really 2023. Then I realized that I was the one who was confused.
Nothing to report on yet - stay tuned...
Jan. 1, 2022
HAPPYNEWYEAR FROM MAC AND DUFF
Below: New Years Day dinner at home:
The Fred Meyer filet mignon pictured here cost a grand total of $42. It was enough to serves four. The recommended way to make it here. I sear the steaks on both sides in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop and then bake them in the skillet at 450 for about eight minutes. For those who live in the Portland, Oregon area, these steaks are as good or better than those sold in the upscale Zupans and are half the price.
Below: From Zupans, the beef is choice cut while
the beef from Fred Meyer is prime.
For the first time ever, and I mean ever in my entire life, I made baked potatoes in the oven. The veggies were stir fried zucchini, onions, and mushrooms.