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May 29, 2020

Hal Brown's blog

This is a blog with my own opinion plus new stories that piqued my interest. A few of them are from websites you are unlikely to read. I hope they interest you too.... 

Read  My 1000+ Daily Kos stories

Earlier Posts May 27 and before

Scroll down for my recent Daily Kos stories or click here.

June 7, 2020
Click to enlarge

Between the protesters, the police and storm troopers, and the people like those next to the three not wearing their masks on the right in front of the Pussycat Tattoo Parlor in Milwaukie, Oregon I think we will see a national surge of Covid in the next 1-3 weeks.  It is next to my vet where I had to take my dog the other day — I don’t know if they named it this because it was next to the vet clinic. 

In a turnabout a RawStory, which often republishes Salon stories,
had one of their original articles republished on Salon

Colin Powell (another retired general) buries ‘birther and liar’ Trump in CNN interview — and vows to vote for Biden

This obviously didn't set well with Trump: 

Trump ridiculed for meltdown on Gen. Colin Powell after CNN appearance: ‘Cadet Bone Spurs says what?

This is what people in India are reading. The Indian Express is an English language paper founded in 1932. It went online in 1996 and currently has 700,000 hits daily. The story has gone viral and was covered on MSNBC.

Video Shows Law Enforcement Officers Slashing Tires at Minneapolis Protests (at least they weren't slashing protesters)

This Daily Kos story, not mine damnit, made it onto AlerNet. It is about my state.

Try as I might to become a minor online personage I remain an obscure blogger and Daily Kos community contributor. I did have one of my columns republished on AlterNet though. Renowned Economist Turns Psychologist on Donald Trump: ‘He’s a Delusional, Psychopathic Threat’ was published there on June 3, 2018. It was hardly an original piece of writing.

June 6, 2020

We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president

Trump’s abrupt troop announcement leaves German leaders stunned and angry

For our international readers, what can you possible make of this? 

The Police Are Targeting Protest Medics

From George Conway III: The president’s inhumanity is deeper than we knew

So much of Trump’s inaptness and ineptness in these and other matters stems from his exceptional narcissism, and the empathic deficit that attends it. Few who have considered it would today doubt, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) so perceptively put it in 2016, that Trump was “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen.”

But it’s more than just narcissism that drives this failing, flailing president. However difficult they can be, even extreme narcissists can have consciences. They don’t necessarily cast aside behavioral standards or laws, or lie ceaselessly with reckless abandon. Trump’s behavior is conscienceless, showing utter disregard for the safety of others, consistent irresponsibility, callousness, cynicism and disrespect of other human beings. Contempt for truth and honesty, and for norms, rules and laws. A complete inability to feel remorse, or guilt. As a New Yorker profile of Trump put it nearly a quarter-century ago, Trump lives “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.” That’s Donald Trump’s problem yesterday, today and tomorrow.

It’s our problem, too, for now: We remain governed by a soulless man with a broken mind. The damage will continue, and it won’t stop until voters end it. Come November, it will be up to the eligible human population of this country to look to their souls, their consciences, their humanity — and to cast their votes for one of their own.

June 5, 2020

Previous DonkeyHotey caricatures have been published to illustrate articles on numerous websites. I think the one above is the most recent. Click below to enlarge.

June 4, 2020

Except - conclusion

There had evidently been a debate within the president’s inner circle about the efficacy of attempting a national statement to create a sense of unity in this moment of crisis. Clearly, the argument in favor of such a statement did not carry the day. The president has failed to show sympathy, empathy, compassion, or understanding—some of the traits the nation now needs from its highest office. Perhaps sensing this moment as an opportunity for an easy victory after his appalling leadership failure in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the president came down hard: hard on the governors and mayors he’d labeled as weak, the same ones he’d left to fend for themselves during the pandemic, and hard on the Americans in the streets against whom he is preparing to dispatch “thousands upon thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement.” At the end of his speech, offhandedly saying something about going to pay homage to a national shrine, the president departed back into the White House.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is one of the most historic churches in the United States, in which every president since James Madison has worshipped. It had been damaged the night before, when a fire had been contained in the basement with little damage. But on the afternoon of June 1, it was surrounded by members of the U.S. Secret Service, other law enforcement personnel, and soldiers. Tear gas was hanging in the air, with vomit still on the street from demonstrators overcome by gas and pepper spray. The debris of peaceful protesters attacked in the clearing operation littered the street. As it became clear where the president was headed, and as the reality of what was unfolding set in, a horrified nation looked on.

The president stood in front of St. John’s, holding a Bible aloft, and expropriated the image of the church, the Holy Bible, and the Christian faith as the backdrop and basis for his words and deeds in dealing with this crisis. It wasn’t enough that peaceful protesters had just been deprived of their first-amendment rights—this photo-op sought to legitimize that abuse with a layer of religion. To make matters worse, he was joined in the church photo-op by the other members of his staff and cabinet, including the press secretary, the chief of staff, and the national security advisor. Much worse still, he was joined in the picture by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr.

Except, Mattis wasn't Fred by Trump, he quit...

June 3, 2020

Ivanka was spotted transporting the Bible her dad hoisted like a WWE championship belt in a $1,540 MaxMara handbag (click image to enlarge)

Slate: Trump Cannot Deescalate

“The spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God,” Donald Trump breathily intoned on Monday in that sing-songy tone he sometimes affects when he’s groping for statesmanship. He said this immediately after law enforcement had—on White House orders, and on television—tear-gassed, clubbed, and thrown flash bangs at innocent protesters peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. The contrast between the action and the speech was Trump in a nutshell. “I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” he crowed, minutes after Americans had watched the show Trump and his puppet, Attorney General William Barr, had prepared for them as a sample of the violence he has planned for the nation. There was an ecstatic quality to Trump’s threat to “deploy the national guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.” Trump—who praised China’s “power of strength” for its handling of Tiananmen Square, and who wanted tanks on the Mall for his Fourth of July celebration last year—might finally get his wish: an occupied America that crushes anyone who’s mean to him or his supporters (which include the police) under his heel.

Trump’s ‘inspection’ excuse for bunker visit sets off howls of laughter

Only in Amerika: Police Detain Los Angeles Protesters At Jackie Robinson Stadium

From George Will in the Washington Post:

A political party’s primary function is to bestow its imprimatur on candidates, thereby proclaiming: This is who we are. In 2016, the Republican Party gave its principal nomination to a vulgarian and then toiled to elect him. And to stock Congress with invertebrates whose unswerving abjectness has enabled his institutional vandalism, who have voiced no serious objections to his Niagara of lies, and whom T.S. Eliot anticipated:

We are the hollow men . . .
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats’ feet over broken glass . . .

Those who think our unhinged president’s recent mania about a murder two decades ago that never happened represents his moral nadir have missed the lesson of his life: There is no such thing as rock bottom. So, assume that the worst is yet to come. Which implicates national security: Abroad, anti-Americanism sleeps lightly when it sleeps at all, and it is wide-awake as decent people judge our nation’s health by the character of those to whom power is entrusted. Watching, too, are indecent people in Beijing and Moscow.

June 2, 2020

My hunch is that the black woman in the photo is a Secret Service agent. Ivanka is shown
wearing a mask. Barr is just behind Trump.

Why Trump Can’t Just Refuse to Leave Office if he loses

June 1, 2020

This is for those who watched in disgust as Trump held the Bible as if it meant something to him in front of a church that was vandalized. The church was outraged he used it as a prop. Below is my version of one of the photos.
Click to read story
My tweet:
click above to enlarge

Coronavirus is a blood vessel disease, study says — and its mysteries finally make sense

‘You have to dominate’: Trump tells mayors and governors ‘most of you are weak’ during teleconference ‘rant’ about unrest


Updated 1 hour ago

MY COMMENT: I hate that so many people have and will continue to die because he's lost his fight with Mother Nature (aka science) and continues to fight her. I wonder if he even knows that this year the hurricane season is predicted to be worse than usual. Magical thinking won't lead to a Covid-19 vaccine or foolproof treatment. Likewise even in the delusional mind of the president, wishing won't turn a category four tornado-spawning hurricane away from Mar a Lago even if Trump takes his Sharpie to a weather map.

May 31, 2020

May 30, 2020

From Jennifer Rubin in WaPo: Anything to get reelected: Trump once more stokes violence

Trump is intentionally fomenting racial violence as a means of whipping up his base, a segment of which has always been motivated by white grievance. Whenever Trump is in trouble, he has resorted to xenophobia (e.g., hollering about the caravans ahead of the midterms) and racism (e.g., responding to a question about covid-19 from an Asian American reporter with “Go ask China”).

Trump’s narcissism and callousness are beyond simple personality defects. He is entirely indifferent to the racial animus he stirs. Likewise, he is unconcerned with the potential dangers of packing a convention center with tens of thousands of unmasked supporters during a pandemic. Whether this meets the definition of a personality disorder is a matter for medical professionals, but for average Americans the evidence is indisputable: He is willing to let deaths increase to serve his own interests.

The Republican Party as a whole is entirely responsible for his conduct and the harm that ensues. Republicans’ failure to convict him at his Senate impeachment trial and willingness to line up behind him as their nominee make them morally culpable for his conduct.

Pentagon Puts Military Police On Alert To Go To Minneapolis

The person said the military units would be deployed under the Insurrection Act of 1807, which was last used in 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the Rodney King trial.
“If this is where the president is headed response-wise, it would represent a significant escalation and a determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest,” Brad Moss, a Washington D.C.-based attorney, who specializes in national security.
Active-duty forces are normally prohibited from acting as a domestic law enforcement agency. But the Insurrection Act offers an exception.
The Insurrection Act would allow the military to take up a policing authority it otherwise would not be allowed to do, enforcing state and federal laws,”said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specializes in constitutional and national security law.
The statute “is deliberately vague” when it comes to the instances in which the Insurrection Act could be used, he said. The state’s governor could ask President Donald Trump to take action or Trump could act on his own authority if he’s determined that the local authorities are so overwhelmed that they can’t adequately enforce the law, Vladeck said.
“It is a very, very broad grant of authority for the president,” he added.

A Minneapolis cop, Central Park dog walked and Trump — joined in their display of malice, Colbert King  finds avatars for American racism. (WaPo Subscription)


 A white cop in Minneapolis, a white woman in Central Park, a president in the nation’s capital: joined together in their display of malice.

Each case is different. But this week’s events, captured in video recordings and on a social media platform, have a similar, sickening reality. Likewise, the physical, social and political conflagrations they caused.


But the brutal cop, devilish dog-walker and despicable president share one condition: They carried out brutish acts apparently unencumbered by the morals that restrain decent, civilized people. To remind: Minneapolis’s paroxysms of rage were induced by the sight of an unarmed black man dying while a white cop kneeled on his neck.

I cannot say how Derek Chauvin and Amy Cooper reached the posts they held before getting fired this week.

But H.L. Mencken presciently saw this day coming when he wrote in Baltimore’s Evening Sun on July 26, 1920, “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”

America, we reap what we sow.

But H.L. Mencken presciently saw this day coming when he wrote in Baltimore’s Evening Sun on July 26, 1920, “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”

Add to list

Not a link. Tweet from Reporter/Anchor WCCO-TV
This is the presidency George Wallace never had, Max Boot (also in the WaPo)


Wallace was not subtle about his threats of violence. At Madison Square Garden in New York on Oct. 24, 1968, he expressed disgust at demonstrators trying to block President Lyndon B. Johnson’s limousine: “I tell you when November comes, the first time they lie down in front of my limousine, it’ll be the last one they ever lay down in front of; their day is over!”

A few minutes later, shedding his jacket and clenching his fist, Wallace shouted: “We don’t have riots in Alabama. They start a riot down there, first one of ‘em to pick up a brick gets a bullet in the brain, that’s all. And then you walk over to the next one and say, ‘All right, pick up a brick. We just want to see you pick up one of them bricks, now!’ ”

But now, in Donald Trump, we have the closest thing we have ever had to having George Wallace in the White House — and Republicans are nearly unanimous in their approbation. The president is pouring gasoline on the flames of racial division, and the Republican Party is holding the jerrycan for him. This is where the Southern Strategy has led after half a century.

From a lettter to the editor of The Japan Times Trump puts spin above facts:

Along with Trump’s perpetual eschewing of reality — mandatory on Team Trump — three interconnected factors frame his loathing of truth and directives: narcissism, insecurity and hubris.
First, narcissism: So unfathomable are the depths of Trump’s self-worship that he could never imagine having his “perfect” face covered on camera with anything but buckets of self-tanning lotion and anti-wrinkle cream.
Second, insecurity: So demoniacally focused is Trump with projecting a Kim Jong Un-like image of what he considers “strength” that he thinks accepting expert scientific opinions about COVID-19 would be like Superman promoting Kryptonite.
Third, hubris: So illiterate is Trump about constitutional and other legal limits to his power that, blissfully afloat in the Trumpiverse, he thinks he’s immune to all laws — even scientifically indisputable ones like the nature of viruses.

As always, it’s impossible to conceal the immense irony of Trump’s infantile impertinence: He won’t cover his face on film, but a figurative covering is tattooed across his entire being — one of diabolical deceit; fantastical fabrications; counterfeit condolences; and cretinous contempt for critics on a corpuscular level.

May 29, 2020


Watch amazing video on police arresting CDN crew: More Amerikan justice 

Police Arrest CNN Reporter, Crew Covering Minneapolis Protests Live On Air

Promising medical news NOT about Covid 

May 28, 2020

Weekend sci-fi movie to watch on Amazon Prime

Trump holding today's NY Post.
He also singled out Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity for Twitter, holding up his picture on the cover of the New York Post. Roth has drawn attacks from conservatives in recent days after people unearthed old tweets in which he appeared to disparage Trump and his supporters. From an article in Politico

Yes, Trump's Twitter threats against Democrats are a "distraction" — but we can't ignore them

Trump is desperate, and encouraging violence from his superfans. That's dangerous, and we can't look the other way - Amanda Marcotte

Donald Trump, by design, is a chaos monster who shovels crap out faster than people can process it. Unencumbered by normal human qualities like empathy or conscience, Trump can bounce from one awful behavior from another — grifting, sexual assault and harassment, racism, lying, conspiracy-mongering, criminal schemes — with astonishing speed, doing more wicked deeds in a day that what most aspiring villains can accomplish in a year or even a lifetime. 

In an effort to get a handle on the endless deluge of awfulness pouring out of Trump, it's become common to describe some of the godawful things he does as "distractions" from other awful things he does. It's an effort to triage our response, apparently on the theory that figuring out which Trump evils rank higher than others can somehow sharpen our efforts to process and resist them. It's an honorable desire based in empirical evidence: Indeed, Trump sometimes does or says nasty things to divert public and media attention from other nasty things he does or says. Unfortunately, this often fails to understand that the nasty stuff Trump does to distract us from other nasty stuff is incredibly dangerous on its own terms, and can't just be shrugged off as a pure or content-free distraction. 

Today's case in point: Trump, who has frequently indulged in late-night binges of Twitter vitriol while most Americans are asleep, was at it again late on Wednesday night when he decided to promote a video by a cowboy cosplayer and Trump superfan named Couy Griffin declaring, "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat."

"Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!" Trump said of the video, which echoed a 19th-century slogan — "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" — used to justify genocide against Native Americans. 

He does look like he's whistling.

Eric Trump Tweets ‘GREAT DAY for the DOW’ As Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 100,000


‘This is What I Want’: Why Trump Needs a Packed Convention

A flurry of confetti, 150,000 balloons and nonstop applause stoked the New York developer’s need to be the man on stage.

For all his norm-breaking, Trump adores old-fashioned pageantry. He has waxed enthusiastic about military parades and reveled in royal red-carpet treatment overseas. And little has captivated him as much as the lively quadrennial jamborees when a political party chooses its presidential candidate. Indeed, according to GOP operatives I spoke to who were with him 32 years ago at their party’s convention in New Orleans, the four-day crescendo of public affirmation is what piqued his interest in the presidency in the first place.

Activist turned scientist Gregg Gonsalves on Trump's "genocide" and Deborah Birx's "horrific" game

Longtime AIDS activist, now an epidemiologist, on Trump's "monumental error" and Deborah Birx's deadly compromise