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March 3, 2021

Hal Brown Blog

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Feb. 28, 2021
Click above

Below: Click image to enlarge.
Lower right: I hope the man doesn't sneeze.

When I was reviewing photos of the attendees at CPAC (also dubbed Trump-chella, see “Trump-chella: CPAC 2021 sees huge crowds, amid surge in coronavirus cases”). It isn’t “exactly” Coachella. It would be a cold day in Hell that Trump could get artists like Coachella headliners  Rage Against the MachineTravis Scott, and Frank Ocean who would have starred in 2020 had it not been for Covid.

I could only find two photos which showed obviously black people. In the photo above you can see a someone who from her legs appears to be black. She might not be an attendee. She could be a reporter. The other woman (insert lower right) is someone who I assume was hired by the venue to take temperatures. The man has his nose exposed and the woman is only wearing a surgical mask which protects him from her but not her from him.

This is what I posted on Twitter:

x

Mia Love is a speaker at CPAC 2021. She served as the a US representative from Utah from 2015 to 2019. She is a Haitian American who was the first black person elected to Conpress  from Utah and the first black woman elected as a Republican. Wikipedia

I don't see Sen. Tim Scott on the speaker list.

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Trump told his riled up crowd who were right in there in front of him to "peacefully" stop the steal of the election he said really won by going to the Capitol. Did he expect them to go down there and merely stand there shout their slogans outside the barricades and respecting the police?

Feb. 13, 2021


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February 14, 2021

Hal Brown blog

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Feb. 14, 2021




Trump told his riled up crowd who were right in there in front of him to "peacefully" stop the steal of the election he said really won by going to the Capitol. Did he expect them to go down there and merely stand there shout their slogans outside the barricades and respecting the police?

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Feb. 5, 2021\\

Above: New Story

---------My earlier story--------

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani previously were the most delusional prominent Republicans on the national stage. Now we have a third in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

I try to take healthy breaks from politics and turn to watching escapist television. I often watch movies, some outright dumb and others more serious. I am always on the lookout for bingeable TV series.

Having been hooked on Outlander for the first four seasons I subscribed to STARZ just so I could watch season five. Count me as one of the 90% of Rotten Tomato audience reviewers who loved it.

I was then in a quandary over what to binge watch next.  I usually shy away from series that run only one season. If I like a show I don’t want to be left hanging after one season.

Due to reviews like Babylon Berlin Is the Best Show You’re Not Watching and Why Babylon Berlin should be your next Netflix watch, I began to watch the popular series a few days ago. I am already on episode eight.

The last episode ended with a cliffhanger but then this announcement is something of a cliff hanger too. After what she said in her defense in the House what will happen in the next episode of the Marjorie Taylor Greene Show? You can click below to read the most recent replies.

Here’s a sample of the tweets in reply to her announcement (click to enlarge):

Screenshot2021-02-05at4.54.36AM.png

Somebody with far better photoshop skills than me replied with this GIF:

I’m curious as to whether MSNBC will carry the press conference. I expect that Fox News will so I may have to do something I never do by watching something there.

I can’t believe this is the third story in a row I have spent my time on by writing about this woman.

Best headline of the day: "The Greene-House gas effect is toxic. Republicans won’t crack a window"

In all modesty I am not used to having trouble getting a handle on the general mental status of a high profile political figure once I have lots of information about them. There’s a big difference between saying some demonstrates a certain kind of behavior and saying that this behavior is indicative of their having a psychiatric disorder. Stephen Miller demonstrated psychopathic behavior but it would take a real assessment to diagnose him. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed beliefs which suggest that were clearly delusional. This doesn’t mean she has an actual psychiatric disorder. True delusional disorders are considered rare.

Delusional disorder is a generally rare mental illness in which a person presents delusions, but with no accompanying prominent hallucinationsthought disordermood disorder, or significant flattening of affect. (Wikipedia).

There are a number of types:

.

  • Erotomanic type (erotomania): delusion that another person, often a prominent figure, is in love with the individual. The individual may breach the law as he/she tries to obsessively make contact with the desired person.
  • Grandiose type (megalomania): delusion of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity or believing oneself to be a famous person, claiming the actual person is an impostor or an impersonator.
  • Jealous type: delusion that the individual's sexual partner is unfaithful when it is untrue. The patient may follow the partner, check text messages, emails, phone calls etc. in an attempt to find "evidence" of the infidelity.
  • Persecutory type: This delusion is a common subtype. It includes the belief that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way. The patient may believe that he/she has been drugged, spied upon, harmed, harassed and so on and may seek "justice" by making reports, taking action or even acting violently.
  • Somatic type: delusions that the person has some physical defect or general medical condition
  • Mixed type: delusions with characteristics of more than one of the above types but with no one theme predominating.
  • Unspecified type: delusions that cannot be clearly determined or characterized in any of the categories in the specific types.[15]

Neither the QAnon members nor the delusions of Marjorie Taylor Greene fit neatly into any of these categories unless you want to say it is the unspecified type.

My curiosity about this will lead me to watch her press conference if I can find it. 

Definitely watch Babylon. 

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Agreed, there will be summaries and analysis of the “presser” everywhere. I expect her to be defiant and threaten retribution on those who voted against her.

O/U 2.5 whackadoo conspiracy theories? Who wants in on that action?

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I highly recommend Netflix’s The Crown.  It is a well-written, well-acted, historical drama.  It’s sort of like watching Game of Thrones, but without the dragons and based on actual events.  It is entertaining, educational, and compelling.

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There is a mental disorder called stupid.  This woman wears it as a badge.  

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Perhaps get it tattooed across her forehead so she can read it in the mirror properly?  Unlike that one GQP volunteer who wrote whatever it was on her face wrong when she claimed she had been attacked back in 2008 or 2012?

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I remember that genius.  If it weren’t for those meddling mirrors...

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Exactly. And one of the best comments today, for me:

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One of the climaxes in the Babylon Berlin series—an assassination attempt—is set during a gala performance of 3 Penny Opera.  Sadly, the producers of the series didn’t spring for the music rights, which would have catapulted an already engrossing scene into the stratosphere, but it got me to thinking about one of my favorites songs from that work, Barbara Song, in which the female singer essentially explains that when men came onto her all proper and above board, she would reject them out of hand, but when a scoundrel came along who had no manners and no morals, she could not ‘say, “No.”’  Babylon Berlin is a fine, upstanding TV show that does everything right.  It has an impressive range of situations, tapping into German Expressionism films one moment and Eyes Wide Shut the next, reaching deeply into the souls of its characters, effortlessly advancing with clever and tightly constructed plot turns, attractive characters and, for godssake, seriously exploring the roots of the greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century. I liked the show quite a bit, but doubt I will watch it over again.  When it comes to a television series about crime and criminals in Weimar Germany, I prefer a series that is far less elaborately staged, with less attractive characters, a more meandering narrative and considerably less gloss, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz.  I give way to it every time I see it.

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Thank you! I watched most of Berlin Alexanderplatz on Youtube and found it fascinating. I found myself yearning for Book Group to really discuss the cultural tropes, themes, character development and dialogue I was seeing, because we are somewhat removed from the “comedy of manners” or “tragedy of manners” of the late Victorian/Kaiseresque moral climate in conflict with the extremes of Predatory Capitalism for the Uppers and Socialist Support for the Lowers, simultaneously, I think. The effect of all this, plus the bloody tragedy and loss of the Great War made Europe somewhat more than schizophrenic for the next 100 years, and judging from the Germans I know today, defines why America was, and is, seen as so far outside the currents and straightjacket strictures of the Nazi and Commercialist movements in response to that time.

Deciding WHO they wanted to be, more than WHAT they wanted to be, seemed to be the question of the Berlin Alexanderplatz characters, caught in a loosely moral society and a strictly traditional personality bind. Berlin Alexanderplatz is somewhat difficult for Americans to watch, since the conflicts expressed internally inside each character were, and yet, maybe not now, expressed in all sorts of psychological delusions, shifts, excuses, inconsistencies, and a general lack of “integrity” in the sense of “being whole” in personality. 

What is interesting and perhaps instructive about our own time in America is that we see the seeds, or perhaps the echoes of these nearly opposite facing personality conflicts made public in political movements today, where the loosely libertarian, open and libertine public positions and attitudes of people conflict deeply with Conservative Deeply Held Traditions, WITHIN themselves, as personality conflicts, en masse, and cause phenomena like the Tea Party, The Q Delusions, and the White Supremacist Revanchists.

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Yes, there is more that is familiar in the tone of lawlessness and acquiescence than is unfamiliar in both programs—Babylon Berlin presenting a superficial structural depiction of the gradual infiltration of hardline forces in government institutions and Berlin Alexanderplatz exploring the despair and false hopes that such structures instill

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avatar
yet another liberal
Feb 05, 2021 at 06:22:20 AM

She is the Republican criminal type and her murderous ass belongs in jail

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I'm gonna watch Idiocracy.

Same thing but funny and has a (sorta) optimistic ending. 

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You’ll hear fewer lies in Babylon Berlin. All they’re doing is trying to install Hitler.

I don’t know what the heck the end game is for the Qanonics … 

But both are compelling television! 

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The choice seems to be watch Babylon Berlin or Babble-on Bizzaro. I’d choose Babylon Berlin 

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Someone in the press should ask her to show off her boobs. I still wouldn't watch it.

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It doesn’t take great effort to compare the characteristics of a psychopath with the majority of congresspeople and their cult-following in the Grotesque Q Party. The lists are easily found online and just as easily illuminate the destructive psychopathic nature not only of the orange abomination, the odious Miller and Jarvanka, but also every other snake-like creature who elevated and protected the abomination—in congress and the “administration—and who gleefully and with maximum cruelty attacked—and continue to attack—the body politic—us.

The GQP is undeniably the big tent for psychopaths who would do the maximum harm to the people of this country in every way possible. The evidence of the last four years is staggering in its comprehensive application of evil. Goebbels, Himmler, and the whole crew would be so proud. “Cruelty is the point!”

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I’m thinking watching MTG.  Her performance has got to be even more Dadaesque than any fictional creation trying to capture the zeitgeist of the period which created that milieu.

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Thank you for the rec on Babylon Berlin — I’m going to try it. 

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The first two or three episodes take some getting used to because the plot is complex and confusing, but once you get into it if you are like me and several of my friends you will like it.

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Watch it with subtitles! It’s better in the original language with subtitles. You lose something with over dubbed english.

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I watch it with subtitles. I didn’t even know there was a dubbed version. 

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Watch your show. Don't give the Greene thing any oxygen or your eyeballs. Like Trump, she's seeking attention. Nip it now by not giving it to her. IOW, deny her any power and save your peace of mind.

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POLL

Feb. 4, 2021






Feb. 3, 2021




Feb. 2, 2021






Feb. 1, 2021




By Hal Brown

In case you missed this story, here are excerpts from The Washington Post article:

One of Trump’s new lawyers declined to charge Bill Cosby. The other maintains Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. (Subscription)

Lawyer 1:

When Bruce L. Castor Jr. ran for district attorney in Montgomery County, Pa., in 2015, the campaign hinged on his decision years earlier not to charge comedian Bill Cosby with sexual assault. And after Castor lost the race, he sued the woman he blamed for the defeat: one of Cosby’s victims.

His suit, which was dismissed in 2018, made national headlines as the prosecutor who defeated him criminally charged Cosby, eventually sending him to prison.

Lawyer 2:

Following a sudden exodus of lawyers who had been working on Trump’s defense for his Feb. 9 impeachment trial, the former president on Sunday announced that he’ll be represented by Castor and David Schoen, another attorney with ties to several high-profile, controversial defendants, including Roger Stone and Jeffrey Epstein….

Days before Jeffrey Epstein’s death in 2019, Schoen also met with the financier, who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of girls. Schoen has publicly disputed official reports that Epstein killed himself inside the Manhattan jail, and maintains his belief that Epstein may have been murdered. Schoen denies subscribing to some of the implausible claims that have circulated online since Epstein’s death and conceded that there were no compelling suspects or alternate theories to the official account.

“He just didn’t strike me as a guy who would commit suicide, but who knows, it’s always possible,” Schoen told The Post on Sunday. “I don’t think they had a medical basis [for the cause of death] but they also don’t have a killer.”

Everyone deserves a good defense. Presumably Donald can have the best defense money can buy. One might presume this, but it would seem in this instance he’s had a lot of difficulty.

He has finally found two lawyers cut from the same cloth as he is as far as having a kinship with men who sexually abuse women. The primary exception to the comparison between him and them is that that they seem to be sane. This is unlike the unhinged Rudy Giuliani and and Lin Wood. The later assured the world that he is not insane after tweeting that Mike Pence should face execution by firing squad. When you have to go public to declare that you are not crazy it would seem to indicate that you may indeed are sorely in need of anti-psychotic medication. 

Screenshot2021-02-01at7.54.31AM.png
L to R: Lin Wood, Rudy, Jenna Ellis

Lest I omit another Trump lawyer there’s Jenna Ellis who appears in photos standing with Rudy and Lin Wood (right). I don’t know if she has mental health issues or not. I do know that in 2016 she had some decidedly harsh things to say about Donald Trump:

Trump's legal adviser Jenna Ellis in 2016 called him an 'idiot' and said his supporters didn't care about 'facts or logic' CNN

Ellis, an attorney and former law professor from Colorado, repeatedly slammed then-candidate Trump as an "idiot," who was "boorish and arrogant," and a "bully" whose words could not be trusted as factually accurate. She called comments he made about women "disgusting," and suggested he was not a "real Christian."
In one March 2016 Facebook post, Ellis said Trump's values were "not American," linking to a post that called Trump an "American fascist." She praised Mitt Romney for speaking out against Trump, referring to him as "Drumpf," -- a nickname coined by comedian John Oliver after a biographer revealed Trump's ancestor changed the family's surname from Drumpf to Trump.
"Why should we rest our highest office in America, on a man who fundamentally goes back and forth and really cannot be trusted to be consistent or accurate in anything," Ellis said in one April 2016 radio appearance.
Whether publicity hounds, the prime example being Alan Dershowitz, shameless opportunists try to hitch their wagons to a winner, batshit crazy Trump cultists, true believers in the principle that even the guilty deserve the best possible legal defense remains to be seen for each of these lawyers. 

Jan. 31, 2021






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Jan. 28, 2021
Jan. 27, 2021
This replaced this story

Opinion by Hal Brown

This story has nothing specific to do with the New York Times science article which inspired my title: 

If You Squeeze the Coronavirus, Does It Shatter? Scientists are exploring the physics of viruses, to understand how these pathogens assemble themselves — and might be rent apart.

You should be able to read this article without a subscription.

I just thought the title and subtitle applied to the current state of affairs with Senate Republicans.

Democrats will put together a prosecution which we know will be compelling. If this was an actual case in court the outcome would be a foregone conclusion: guilty as hell.

I think the chances that the Senate will vote to convict Trump are slim to none. On the slim side there is only one thing which I see that can muster the 17 Senate Republicans to vote for conviction. 

The answer to the question posed in my title depends on whether Senators, call them pathogens, who know full well that Trump is guilty will actually vote yes on conviction. 

Most of you are following the pundits and understand that these Senators will vote against conviction either because they fear being challenged in primaries by hardcore Trumpers when they run again or to a lesser extent because they want to avoid being marginalized by Mitch McConnell and lose whatever positions of power they have in their caucus.

Now to how my title, which asks if you squeeze the GOP does it shatter, applies to the current situation.

The only way I see to do this is to make the case in the most extraordinarily powerful way that the trial becomes must-see TV and that the actual voters some of these Republicans are so afraid of begin to respond to polls showing voters in their states might hold their Republican senators accountable for voting against conviction.

The only thing the majority of Republican senators care about is maintaining their positions and the only ways they can determine whether their vote will effect this is the polls in their states and to a lesser extent newspaper editorials.

I don’t know enough about the politics in the states these senators are from and whether there are enough  Republicans there who want Trump convicted and it makes impossible for him to run again to want to their senators to vote for conviction.

The most likely senators who will pay attention to this are those who have to run in the next election. This are the following:

Blunt, Roy (R-MO), Boozman, John (R-AR), Burr, Richard (R-NC), Crapo, Mike (R-ID), Grassley, Chuck (R-IA), Hoeven, John (R-ND), Johnson, Ron (R-WI), Kennedy, John (R-LA), Lankford, James (R-OK), Lee, Mike (R-UT), Moran, Jerry (R-KS), Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK),Paul, Rand (R-KY), Portman, Rob (R-OH), Rubio, Marco (R-FL), Scott, Tim (R-SC), Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL), Thune, John (R-SD),Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA), and Young, Todd (R-IN)

It is possible that some or all of the five senators, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey, who voted against Rand Paul’s attempt to stop the trial would also vote for conviction. If all of them did it would bring the total required to 12 additional GOP senators.

Here’s a list with photos of all the Republican senators (note some have announced they are retiring). Some will be familiar to you and unless you are a total political junky many won’t. Do you see anyone there besides (hopefully) Mitt Romney, who you think might vote for conviction?” 

Note that Rob Portman is retiring, and as this Politico article notes, if more GOP senators decide to retire this could change things for the Republicans.

Senate GOP braces for more retirements after Portman stunner

Republicans' efforts to win back the majority could be hampered if swing-state incumbents decide not to run again next year.

Republicans need to flip just one seat next year to win back the Senate majority. But retirements are already complicating their path back to power.

Two of the three toughest GOP defensive states on the 2022 Senate map, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are already open seats, with GOP Sens. Pat Toomey and Richard Burr not planning to run again. That leaves Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson as the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection, but Johnson hasn’t even decided to run for a third term after previously pledging to serve just two. And he said Tuesday he’s in no hurry to decide.

Another relevant article:

GOP senators at Trump's impeachment trial are dooming the party. They need to repudiate him. NBC News

 

And Republicans have a very serious problem.

As they know better than anyone else, the kinds of politicians who populate the Senate don't have a place in the party they've helped create. No matter how much they court Trump's base or dog-whistle to the conspiracy theorists, foreign policy hawks like Marco Rubio of Florida, anti-poverty innovators like Tim Scott of South Carolina, old-school appropriators like Roy Blunt of Missouri, chameleons like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and erstwhile constitutional libertarians like Mike Lee of Utah don't have a place in a party whose future belongs to Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, two freshman Republicans who have expressed sympathy for the QAnon cult.

The article concludes:

Yet 45 Republican senators voted against taking up the impeachment trial Tuesday. Some want to spend as little time thinking and talking about Trump as possible, but many are still in thrall to his base. TwentyRepublican-held Senate seats will be contested in two years, and the current occupants no doubt fear primary challengers from the MAGA right if they show any sign of breaking with Trump. What's less clear is why, given their rhetoric and behavior over the last four years, they think the country would be any worse off with Trump sycophants in their seats.

Thanks to the impeachment process they've been gifted by the Democrats, Senate Republicans have one last chance to break with Trump and the conspiracist authoritarianism he represents. Their opening move Tuesday was a weak one, but they still have time for a course correction when the vote on conviction takes place next month. If they won't do it for the country, they should at least do it to save their place in the party.

Can Democrats squeeze the GOP enough with their prosecution case so it shatters? One would hope that lust for power would take second place to doing what’s just and right for Democracy for a few Republican senators and they would vote for conviction, but that wish and a dime won’t even buy you a cup of coffee.



It’ll drip an ooze of distilled evil and logical fallacy that will assume to title of “Republican” and “Conservative”.

The 10% of Republicans that are sickened might break 1/3 each of 3 ways:

  • Become Independents
  • Become Democrats
  • Just go with the flow

So the squeezing will just remove the few remaining sane people.

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95% will be option C. Express their “concern” and then vote the party line. They’re spineless sycophants in the end.

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I think the list you have has four states that are really risky for the GOP:

Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania — tall three retiring and all these states going purple

Alaska (Murkowski already is reading the writing on the wall) and Florida (trending away from GOP and Ivanka would be a great help) are also shaky for GOP. I don’t see the rest as real options as they may just be going even further off the rails.

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There are no hard core Trumpers.  Trump was a fluke, a parasite who looked like something else.  

People vote for their own reasons. Rex publican voters had many grievances and when they showed up at the Capitol, they were in the right place at the wrong time.  Poor Donald had only one interest, revenge on everyone who had dissed him.  It is a self-destructive attitude and likely accounts for his persistent failures.

The problem is that much of the U.S. is committed to failure by design.  Failure provides certitude.  Failure supports habitual behavior.

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There are a LOT of hardcore Trumpers. This billboard exemplifies this, essentially calling Trump God.

wbf.jpg

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If you squeeze the GOP a mixture of Trump and McConnell will pop out.

Be careful! It’s highly infectious, not to mention foul smelling. Best leave that to physicians — they can lance those things under sterile conditions. 



Jan. 26, 2021

New version: The image is meant to illustrate how Trump had his Twitter bird as a forum to tweet his lies from and Air Force One to use as a personal taxi to go play golf and how now the dejected looking president has been ejected from both… I decide the surface of the moon was a good place for him to land.


Image from Daily Kos story


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My story:






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Jan. 20, 2021 B Day

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Jan. 13, 2021


My thought: If Trump was rational it would appear to be in his best interest not to risk impeachment, Senate conviction and a subsequent vote so he can never run again. McConnell can make this possible. McConnell's silence speaks volumes. If Trump wants to run again he make sure he can do this only if he resigns. He'd do this after pardoning everyone of his sycophants but not risk pardoning himself. If he did this not only might it not stand up in court, but it might prevent Pence from pardoning him. How could Pence pardon someone who already received a presidential pardon? Damned if I know.
Jan. 12, 2021


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New poll:


old poll...


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