Showing posts with label Pence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pence. Show all posts

March 20, 2023

Trump should have interpreter to tell us that what he says isn't what he means

 By Hal Brown

When someone posts on social medias in all caps it is considered to be the same thing as shouting. Trump's call to his followers to protest if he's arrested made the news and not, for him, in a good way. This was interpreted as his instructing his followers to engage in violent protests. 

Anyone with any common sense wanting to help Trump weather the coming storm of legal entanglements knows that violent protests on his behalf will turn at least some sentiment among his less zealous supporters against him.

Considering what occurred after his January 6th speech there's no way he couldn't have known the power he has to incite violence with his words.

Not long after the media pointed this out the walk-back from others in the GOP and ardent Trump supporters began. Pence told Jonathan Karl that the American people know they should protest in a peaceful and lawful manner. 

McCarthy echoed this. So did Alex Jones:

Ali Alexander, who as an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” movement staged rallies to promote Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats stole the 2020 election from him, warned Trump supporters that they would be "jailed or worse” if they protested in New York City.

“You have no liberty or rights there,” he tweeted.

One of Alexander’s allies in the “Stop the Steal” campaign was conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who amplified the election fraud claims on his Infowars show. Alexander posted that he had spoken to Jones and said that neither of them would be protesting this time around. Reference

None of these interpretations of what a call to protest means comes from Trump, the one person who could have influenced the very people who could assure that protests, if any, were peaceful. 

Here's one reply posted to Trump's Truth Social post (clicking below will enlarge but not go to Trump Social):


The simple fact, as shown in the post above, is that there are people who may want to express their support of him in a violent manner. These are a group of people who don't look at Jan. 6th as a total failure. Rather they look at it as a success even though it was a failed coup that they think but for the traitor Mike Pence almost succeeded. 

Trump never apologizes, never reverses a position that may disadvantage him, never admits he was wrong about anything. It's been pointed out the he could have urged supporters to peacefully protest in his posts, but really, can you see him even considering that? There no way he'd go back and post "ops, I really meant to use the word peacefully".

On MSNBC Ali Vitali said they are trying to put Trump's comments through a filter that doesn't actually exist. She made my point. I see the filter as really being an interpretation device. What comes out of Trump's screaming mouth (shown in DonkeyHotey's often reposted caricature) for his own sake should be filtered. 

Trump's worst enemy is his unfiltered brain. That brain is our friend. It's also a friend to Ron DeSantis who would be a more difficult candidate to defeat if he wins the GOP primary.


On the other hand you have stories like this:

Please scroll down to the comments link and let readers know what you think. Sharing on social media, also through the links below, is appreciated. New to the blog, note that the archives are on the very bottom of the screen.

February 20, 2023

Quite a contrast: Biden visits Kyiv,, Trump used a Pence visit to blackmail Zelensky

 By Hal Brown

There was a commercial on MSNBC so when I sat down this morning with my cup of coffee I clicked on HUFFPOST to see what their lead story was.

I want to share the third thing I thought about when I read the following:

This was the main page of the BBC website:

I read these articles before I saw the news on MSNBC:

 The first things I thought were a mixture of "good on him" feelings about being proud that the United States had president like him. Next, I thought briefly about how stringent the secrecy and security had to have been. Then, third, I thought about this:


President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May — an event White House officials had pushed to put on the vice president’s calendar — when Ukraine’s new leader was seeking recognition and support from Washington, the officials said.

The last president to visit a war zone was George W. Bush who visited Iraq in 2003. This was probably a high point in his dismal presidency (see last paragraph here). Biden joins Bush, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, and LBJ on the list of presidents who have visited war zones.

The logistics of the trip are now being reported including the fact the Russia was notified about it in advance:


The trip that Biden made into Kyiv was “bold” and “risky,” and done after months of planning for a range of security concerns, according to several White House officials.

The logistics were coordinated with a range of different government agencies, which included threat assessments to determine if Biden could safely enter and exit the war-torn country. It was made more challenging, officials said, because there is no U.S. military presence in Ukraine.

“This was a historic visit unprecedented in modern times to have the president of the United States visit the capital of a country at war where the us military doesn’t control the critical infrastructure,” said Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser.

There's a video here of an air raid siren going off as Biden and Zelensky visit the historic St. Micahel's Cathedral. I don't think anything in presidential history compares with this.

Watch the video (below) here:


. .


Watching the President of the United States walk down the line of Ukrainian officials and shake hands with each of them was inspiring enough but then this happened with one of them:


Update: I wasn't the only one to think along these lines. This is from David Rothkopf.


In sending this message, Biden pointedly evoked without mentioning his name yet another American president in a visit to the Eastern edges of Europe: Donald Trump during his 2018 Helsinki meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Biden went to Europe to send Putin a message of American and allied strength. Trump went to grovel before Putin. Biden stood up for American values and our allies. Trump said he trusted Putin more than America’s own intelligence and law enforcement services. Biden embodied America’s strength. Trump illustrated and represented our greatest weakness.

A year after Trump embarrassed the country in Helsinki, he compounded the offense by withholding aid from Ukraine in an attempt to extort Zelensky into doing political dirty work against Biden to help Trump’s reelection efforts. It was an illegal act that ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. At the same time and throughout the following year according to reports from Trump’s own top advisors, he was actively advocating to withdraw American troops from Europe.

There is no doubt that had Trump been re-elected, today we would be witnessing an American president standing alongside his Russian counterpart not Zelensky, marking the weakening of the West, not its enduring strength. Perhaps that prospect, the sense that America was weak and divided and did not care about Ukraine, would not lead the fight to preserve democracy, encouraged Putin to undertake his ill-fated, hugely costly, profoundly ill-considered invasion last February. It seems likely it had an effect leading to that disastrous miscalculation.

Noon update:

From Fox Business:

'Bold move': Fox Business host gushes over Biden's 'game-changer' Ukraine visit

Fox Business host Stuart Varney praised President Joe Biden on Monday for a surprise visit to the war zone in Ukraine.

Varney reacted on his Fox Business program just hours after Biden visited Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. 

"This could be a game-changer," Varney announced. "President Biden makes a surprise visit to Ukraine. It was a very well-kept secret. He took a train from the Polish border to Kyiv. And even as air raid sirens were sounding, he was meeting with President Zelensky. And then, walking the streets in a war zone! Highly symbolic."


Unrelated to the visit per se I noted that story was headline news on major media websites like The New York Times ... 

... and even the partisan Fox News had it on the opening page so you didn't have to scroll down to see it...
... but the supposedly nonpartisan CNN website had it so far down the page you had to scroll down twice to see it:

Perhaps this is another sign that under new leadership CNN has moved closer to being like Fox News. Consider: 

The changes at CNN look politically motivated. That should concern us all. By Robert Reich.

This article is more than 5 months old

February 12, 2023

The Higher Power: Would Pence appeal to his higher angels and betray Trump?

By Hal Brown
Background, Angel of Light (1960) Salvadore Dali

Text only version here.


Pence testimony will hold key to proving Trump conspiracy charges: legal expert

Of all the people who were Trump sycophants none have the ability to reveal information which could lead to Trump being indicted, tried, and convicted of felonies which could result in him being incarcerated than his former vice president. 

The worst crime Trump committed was his treason involving the January 6th insurrection. It may be the most difficult to convict him of this, but it is far more serious than the Mar-a-Lago documents case or New York and Georgia state crimes.

Of all of the people who can testify under oath, swearing to God, to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, Mike Pence is probably the least likely to lie to protect Trump for religious reasons.

His religious beliefs may be mocked by cynics who say he put aside Christian values as he turned a blind eye to both Trump's history and his inhumane policies. We all seen photos like these (link) showing Pence gazing at Trump with a worshipful expression.

What mental gymnastics he engaged in to ponder what Christ would think about Trump may never be known. 

We know from survey data that a significant minority of Trump supporters believe he was anointed by God.

As a psychodynamically oriented therapist I can see how he would have related to Trump as a father figure because of some inner need. I know it seems impossible, unfathomable if you will, that anybody saw Trump this way but many people did and still do.

In retrospect he may have had a revelation, even a visitation from an angel who absolved him. It could have been Archangel Michael holding the Scales of Justice. He is known as the angel who will weigh souls on Judgment Day.

Painting by Rogier van der Weyden

Pence may be saying the Prayer to Saint Michael § In the Leonine Prayers

Blessed Michael, archangel,
defend us in the hour of conflict.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil
(may God restrain him, we humbly pray):
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell
and with him those other wicked spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

Pence may now believe he was under the influence of Satan. This would be consistent with believing that Trump himself was an agent of Satan who literally bedeviled him. 

All of this would accrue to the advantage of justice being served. 

As an atheist I respect people who live their religious beliefs and values and don't bend, twist, and distort the religious teachings, for example in the Bible and Koran, to justify intolerance and cruelty. No-one needs to believe in God to live by the simple saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" otherwise known as The Golden Rule. (Perhaps ironically the GOP's favorite amendment to the Constitution is the second and The "Golden Rule" was proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth during his Sermon on the Mount and described by him as the second great commandment. Wikipedia)

I think there are signs that Mike Pence already has, or is in the process, of redeeming himself. That I don't believe in God doesn't mean I won't honor him for returning to his personal God.

I may even say God bless Mike Pence....

February 1, 2023

The Documents cases: When taking your work home for good reasons can be a bad thing

 The main blog story today is here:

 ...While we wait for justice to catch up to Trump, let's see that Bill Barr gets his just rewards...

The Documents cases: When taking your work home for good reasons can be a bad thing
By Hal Brown

In learning about the FBI was searching yet another Biden residence (update: none were found) it occurred to me that another huge difference between the reasons Trump took confidential documents home and why Biden and Pence did hasn't been reported on, at least not that I've seen.

This is that both Biden and Pence, I am quite sure, took documents home to work on them. As public servants working overtime, whether from home or at the office, this is frequently considered part of the job. Except for Trump who probably never worked a 40 hour week unless you consider golfing and frittering his time away watching TV and tweeting as work, public servants often work in excess of the time they are getting paid for.

Most people, with the possible exception of the spouses of those who feel their husbands or wives are workaholics and are both taking time away from family activities and/or jeordailzing their mental or physical health, consider this to be an admirable example of dedication to their job.

Some people do this for money. I visited a high school friend in New York who was a top executive at a major investment company who not only worked from the office but was up in the wee hours of the night working from his home office following stock market exchanges around the world. This earned him a Park Avenue apartment but I don't know what it did to his personal life.

Others do it as a public service.

Biden and Pence took documents home as a public service. There was just not enough time spent physically in the office to do their job. There's no time clock for senators, vice presidents, and presidents to log in and out on.

Nobody know why Trump took documents home, secret or otherwise. What we can be sure of with a high degree of confidence is that the notoriously lazy, ill-informed, and reading adverse president didn't take documents to any of his residents to actually work on them.

I believe that the motivations for Biden and Pence taking secret documents home to work on were laudable, but to put it bluntly were worse than ill-considered. They were, to use a three letter word, bad. 

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...