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December 20, 2018

Hal Brown Dec. 15-, 2018

Back: Early December

About me  Email:

Check out the other stories on Capitol Hill Blue

Dec. 31, 2018

Here's a story t keep a watch on.

Bernie alumni seek meeting to address ‘sexual violence’ on ’16 campaign

The signees are looking to change what they call a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity in the campaign world.

Dec. 30, 2018
Magic lovers, watch this woman magician fool Penn and Teller.

Read why retired 4-Star General Stanley McChrystal Says He Wouldn’t Work For ‘Shady’ Donald Trump

Dave Barry has a featured OpEd in online Washington Post here:
If you don't subscribe here are my favorite parts:

January: In an apparent effort to reassure everyone on his mental state, the president also issues a tweet in which he describes himself as “genius….and a very stable genius at that!” Which is EXACTLY HOW VERY STABLE GENIUSES TALK, OKAY??

May: In other international developments, hopes for a summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump soar when North Korea releases three American prisoners, only to be dashed when North Korea refuses to accept, in exchange, Stormy Daniels. 

Sept: In other political news, the New York Times publishes an anonymous op-ed allegedly written by a “senior administration official” who is harshly critical of President Trump. Despite intense pressure, the Times refuses to reveal the author’s identity, although linguistics experts see a possible clue in the fact that the column twice refers to Trump as “my husband.”

Oct:  The president also finds time in his schedule to initiate a Twitter beef with Stormy Daniels by referring to her in a tweet as “Horseface.” Daniels responds with a tweet mocking the “Tiny” size of the president’s legacy. This exchange dominates several news cycles but, incredibly, does not prove to be the low point of the month.

Nov: President Trump hits the campaign trail to warn voters that if Democrats are elected there will be nobody to protect the nation from a deadly caravan of alleged Hondurans moving relentlessly toward the U.S. border at approximately the speed of a senior golf foursome. This caravan, according to the president, contains gang members, diseases, diseased gang members, Middle Easterners, spies and diseased Middle Eastern spy gang members carrying what Trump claims — and Fox News confirms — is “a 200-foot-long atomic switchblade.”

My comment to Trump: You are taking the word of a man who just interviewed a witch who actually more than held his own against despite the host's smirking interuptions and threat to ban him lest he say the names of who he compared you to. See witch interview.

Dec. 29, 2018

Apprentice Producers Struggled to Make Trump—and His Decisions—Seem Coherent 


“He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.” Bill Pruitt, a producer on the show, said, “We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise.”

Although Trump immediately proved himself to be an ideal character for reality television, producers had to do a lot of editing work to make him seem coherent. “He wouldn’t read a script — he stumbled over the words and got the enunciation all wrong,” Katherine Walker, a producer on the show, said. “But off the cuff he delivered the kind of zesty banter that is the lifeblood of reality television.” Although editors “cleaned it up so that he was his best self,” Walker is convinced “Donald thinks that he was never edited.”
Dec. 28, 2018 The best medicine: This week's top political cartoons. Plus 50 moments this year that made us happy.

Gun in America: Two unarmed men tried to steal tools from a suburban Seattle store, six customers pulled guns and shot out their tires. “Anytime you’re firing a weapon in a public place, especially a few days before Christmas in a crowded parking lot, it is a grave concern,” police chief said.

Dec. 27, 2018

On Capitol Hill Blue today: Why has trump been silent about Putin's belligerent nuclear speech?

---------Just saying:

Appearing with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on Thursday, Tulane University historian Walter Isaacson said about Trump: “He’s the type of person who says, ‘In order for me to win, others have to lose. He can’t find the win-win situation. He doesn’t have the empathy — or sort of the feeling — for other people to say, ‘Let’s figure out how we can make it work.' That is not, it seems to me, in his DNA,” he said. “He’s a deeply unkind person who wants to make others feel like losers.” 

Dec. 26, 2018
Two columns today:

Just playing with photoshop:
To keep filed away for future use.
Dec. 25, 2018

The 35 2018 Tweets that defined Trump's personality 
Christmas Quotes:
From Donald Trump 

“Now there may be the case of an Olympic champion who can get over the wall, but for the most part you are not able to do it,” he said. “Very high. It’s gonna be 30 feet. Much of it is 30 feet high. Some if it’s low. But in some areas we have it as high as 30 feet. That’s like a three-story building.”
Trump said of the government shutdown, “It’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas.”

from Thomas Friedman, NYTimes, "Time for GOP to threaten to fire Donald Trump:" 
Indeed, Trump’s biggest disruption has been to undermine the norms and values we associate with a U.S. president and U.S. leadership. And now that Trump has freed himself of all restraints from within his White House staff, his cabinet and his party — so that “Trump can be Trump,” we are told — he is freer than ever to remake America in his image. 
And what is that image? According to The Washington Post’s latest tally, Trump has made 7,546 false or misleading claims, an average of five a day, through Dec. 20, the 700th day of his term in office. And all that was supposedly before “we let Trump be Trump.” 
If America starts to behave as a selfish, shameless, lying grifter like Trump, you simply cannot imagine how unstable — how disruptive —world markets and geopolitics may become. 
We cannot afford to find out. 
Dec. 24, 2018
"If Trump was in a real adult day care center we'd all be much better off," by Hal Brown

Mattis replacement Shanahan may have conflicts of interest, by Hal Brown Dec. 23, 2018 

Lots of funny comments on the first Daily Kos story I posted in the few months since I started as a Capitol Hill Blue columnist. I didn't think it was worth a column on CHB but ended up using the idea in a column for Monday yet to be published.

Trump vs. Caligula: No Contest
Capitol Hill Blue made this image. The image I sent in is below.
Christmas Gag Factor: 10

Below: I got the idea for this from Phillip Bump's OpEd in the Washington Post so I wrote a short piece on Daily Kos about it here. It wasn't worth a Capitol Hill Blue column but I am experimenting with my new photo editing program combining two images.

Dec. 22, 2018

Christmas photos of the 44th president which will make you sad and nostalgic. Below, today's CHB column: The not nearly normal president this week.
I used my new photo editing program, BeFunky to make a cartoon of the president.
I am learning to clone images (this goes with my column about replacing Mattis) on a $60 photo imaging program called Be Funky which I have been futzinging around with. Perhaps Trump should just appoint himself as Sec. of Defense. Why not? Maybe if I practice I can create images like those shown on the Daily News covers, like today with Trump as the Grinch.

Dec. 21, 2018

I had to look 'Bye, Felicia' up in the Urban Dictionary:

Two words sum up Michelle Obama’s thoughts after Trump’s inauguration: ‘Bye, Felicia.’

Obama uttered the phrase on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,’ earning raucous cheers from the studio audience

When someone says that they're leaving and you could really give two shits lessthat they are. Their name then becomes "felicia", a random bitch that nobody is sad to see go. They're real name becomes irrelevant because nobody cares what it really is. Instead, they now are "felicia".

Dec. 20, 2018

I woke up from a nap, turned on MSNBC and this is what happened while I was asleep.


Dec. 19,2018

Dec. 18, 2018

Recommended: Trump, the Quintessential American

We live in an age when the fake, the fraudulent, the fabricated and the theatrical supplant reality
If you watch much live TV you probably have seen the My Pillow ads and know that the claims the founder of the company makes are ludicrous. You may not know that he is a huge Trump supporter who, like the president, has had his own legal problems.

MSNBC babysits White House press briefing
MSNBC seems to be applying a great deal of consideration to how it handles the increasingly infrequent briefings conducted by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. As we noted here in November, the cable-news channel has distinguished itself from its two main competitors by covering a number of breaking stories instead of providing live coverage of Sanders saying things after receiving questions from reporters.

On Tuesday, the cable news channel experimented with another worthwhile approach: It started carrying Sanders' briefing live until it heard a statement from the podium worthy of dissection or refutation. It took three minutes and 25 seconds. Host Katy Tur watched as Sanders, at the start of her briefing, recommitted herself to an earlier statement that the FBI had “ambushed” then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in early 2017 when agents came to interview him about contacts with Russia. “What we do know . . . is that the FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn . . . and we know that because James Comey told us that,” said Sanders.

MSNBC again pulled away, chewing over another moment of Sanders absurdity. “Let’s just be clear here: Sarah Huckabee Sanders was just asked a very simple question,” said Tur, recapping the moment. One of her panel members called this response “mind-blowing.”
The next time MSNBC went back to the briefing, it got there just in time to hear Sanders talk about appropriations, and then this: “I’d encourage you guys to tune into the president’s event. We’ll talk to you soon.” Someone in the room blurted out, “That was a 10-minute briefing, Sarah!" It was not a compliment, considering that the last press secretary during the Obama administration, Josh Earnest, averaged nearly 70 minutes per podium appearance.
What Tur & Co. did here was to babysit the White House press briefing. Trump aides simply cannot be left to their own devices, requiring adult intervention again and again.

'He's acting like a nut': Trump aides are reportedly alarmed at his actions as the president plans a purge of White House staff

Ed note: Hopefully it is sinking in that when observers describe Trump using slang like "he's acting like a nut" they are really decribing someone who is on the verge of a serious acute psychiatric breakdown where his reality testing is impaired and he is liable to do something impuslive and dangerous on the world stage out of anger.

Dec. 17, 2018
I have nothing original to write about today (at least not yet) although I did change the logo on the website to be more informative so those searching my name on the Internet will know what the site is about and who I am. I am still hoping old friends from New York and Michigan will look me up and get in touch with me. 

This is wonderful: 

Painting Of Donald Trump Chilling With Other GOP Presidents Gets Scathing Reworking

Michael D’Antuono depicted Trump as a cards-cheat in his biting reimagining of Andy Thomas’ “The Republican Club.”
Click above to enlarge

Alito cut the legs out of the latest attack on Obamacare — and didn’t even know he did it

Dec. 16, 2018 Trumpology. It's a puzzlement. How can Trump be both a masochist and a sadistic narcissist?

‘SNL’ Imagines World Without President Trump In ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Spoof and Trump reacts:
Back: Early December

December 8, 2018


Dec. 15, 2018
Elements of victory 2020, Part 1: Get the best celebrities, by Hal Brown

Dec. 14, 2018

A story to keep an eye on: 
Secret grand jury hearing — reportedly tied to Mueller — forces officials to clear an entire floor of a DC court building

Dec. 13, 2018

Dec. 12, 2018

I did a double take when Mika Brezezinski said this on Morning Joe. I had to memorialize it in my own Tweet.

Dec. 11, 2018

New column on the differences between Presidents Obama and Trump as shown in their Tweets.

Nancy Pelosi gets the quotes of the day:

Moments after returning to Capitol Hill after an Oval Office standoff with President Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi questioned Trump’s manhood and said the border wall was a matter of masculine pride.
“It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing,” said the California congresswoman.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) made the remarks in a Democratic caucus committee meeting, which were recounted by an aide present who was not authorized to comment publicly. She told colleagues that she was “trying to be the mom” in the room while Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) bickered about the coming funding showdown.

But she described Trump’s admission during the 17-minute on-camera tete-a-tete that he would be “proud” to shut the government as a political triumph.

Dec. 9 & 10, 2018 

An Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress: Wake Up! by Hal Brown

Dec. 8, 2018

 UPDATED CHB story: Tumpology: Trump's compartmentalization works against him

Dec. 7, 2018

 CHB story: Tumpology: Trump's compartmentalization may work against him

In response to Tillerson explaining that basically Trump is dumb as a post here, this is what Trump oour classy president Tweeted.
Dec. 6, 2018

Related to the Rudy story below, he did it again omitting a space between collusion and So, thus creating a link to a domain available from Somolia,, which Lawfare bought, and redirects in a split second to The Russian Connection page of their excellent website. Even in this Tweet Rudy isn't making sure there are spaces between all his sentences.

Dec. 5, 2015

This isn't a big enough story to put on Capitol Hill Blue, but it is interesting:

Rudy Giuliani made a small mistake with unanticipated consequences when he left the space out in a sentence in a Tweet. He created a link to a then non-existent website G-20.In. A man named Jason Velazquez, a digital marketing director from Atlanta, noticed it and realized it was a domain in India which he could buy for $6.00. He did this, originally putting up the simple message "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country," but now he is adding links to articles.

Amazingly, as of this writing the Tweet along with the mocking comments has not been deleted. You can read them here.

Note that Giuliani didn't put spaces between two other sentences but this just was sloppy Tweeting with no untoward consquences.

Click above to see the new website.
The link about Michael Flynn above goes to a Reddit page. I hope Mr. Velaquez uses his newly polular domain for something more interesting than merely links to Reddit.

Rudy's Tweeted saying Twitter is run by "card carrying anti-Trumpers" in response and blamed Twitter rather than admit it was his error. He threw in a blast against Time Magazine for good measure. 

"Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE"
This is from the Washington Post article about the Tweet: "Carrying out the prank only took 15 minutes, said Velazquez, who bought the domain for an entire year. He shared what he had done on Twitter, writing, 'Rudy didn’t separate g-20 from .in so ya boy bought the domain.' 'I wanted something . . . bold,” he said. 'Certainly, something that [Giuliani] would not want to be linked from his tweet.' At most, Velazquez thought his stunt would get a 'few hundred retweets' and then be absorbed into the Twittersphere, but by early Wednesday morning, Giuliani’s tweet containing the link had about 45,000 likes and nearly 17,000 retweets." The Washington Post also points out in another article that Giuliani is Trump's cybersecutiry advisor, and suggests he take a refresher course. Excerpt: "Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are making fun of Giuliani on Twitter. His error is an elementary one for someone who is charged with advising the president on cybersecurity issues, and who presumably charges private clients large amounts of money for his cybersecurity expertise. Republicans are gearing up to renew their claims that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other services are biased against conservatives. Their political opponents very likely will use Giuliani’s mistake to try to undermine these accusations on the Hill. Still, it isn’t all that surprising that Giuliani fumbled the claim. The higher levels of U.S. politics notoriously have plenty of aging men who do not understand technology very well, even while they have enormous power to shape it."
It remains to be seen whether Velazquez will maintain the website himself or sell it. I assume that it is worth more than $6:00 at present.

Dec. 4, 2018

 Check these out:

Uh Oh, watch out Trump:
D.C., Maryland begin seeking Trump financial documents in case related to his D.C. hotel

This is a good article by Amanda Marcotte from Salon (with the link to the Alternet republication to avoid Salon's intrusive unavoidable ad for a credit card)

Bush Sr.'s brand of conservatism paved the way for Trump — here's the real reason right-wingers hates hearing it

From the UK, Trump abandons world leaders: 

DONALD Trump was caught saying “get me out of here” as he strolled off stage at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, leaving the Argentinian President Mauricio Macri stood on his own. The Republican firebrand was supposed to pose for a picture with Mr Macri and other world leaders but walked off the stage. Hilarious footage shows Mr Trump shaking hands with the Argentinian President before he wandered off. Mr Macri looked sheepish and perplexed after President Trump deserted him.

Why Did the FBI Raid the Home of the Biggest Alien Truther?

Dec. 3, 2018

Dec. 2, 2018

Somebody should put the main points from this on a few 3x5 cards for Trump to read:

Putin’s Media Roasts Trump: ‘Should Spit‘ on him and the United States

Dec. 1, 2018

On a heavy news day what with Bush 41's death and Trump returning from the G20 to face the news that Mueller's hounds are howling at his doorstep, this is a below the fold Capitol Hill Blue column.

The heavyweight 2020 fight could be Tester vs. Christie.

Check out this video: 

Trump Greets Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Promptly Walks Off Stage

In video captured during this weekend’s summit in Argentina, Trump is seen strolling up to Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, shaking his hand briefly, then wandering away.
Macri can be seen gesturing for Trump to return before an aide chased after the U.S. president to get his attention. Both presidents were scheduled to take photos together with other world leaders, according to The Guardian.
As Splinter News points out, this is not Trump’s first time walking away aimlessly; nor is it his second, nor his third.

Back: Nov. 2018