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The Corrupt Defense of Donald Trump

The thing that is most telling about the many reactions by Trump and other republicans: none of them are stating that Trump didn’t do what he is being charged with.

However, they are saying lots of other stuff.

Here is a blow-by-blow dismantling of the defenses used by Trump and other republicans against his indictment:

The first and foremost of the objections:

This is the weaponization of federal law enforcement and government.

If you are “weaponizing government,” it means that you are using government powers to attack your political enemies for things they did not do, or for things they would normally not be punished for.

An excellent example of the weaponization of federal law enforcement and government would be what happened to Hillary Clinton regarding both Benghazi and the email issue. There were six different republican House committee investigations (and four others in government as well) on Benghazi, one after another after another.

What’s more, Kevin McCarthy himself admitted that their goal was weaponization—that the purpose of the investigations were to erode public trust in Hillary Clinton so as to make her unelectable:

Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.

That’s weaponization.

The same can be said of Hillary Clinton’s emails; several officials in the Bush 43 and Trump administrations did the exact same things with email accounts as Clinton did, but it was Clinton who was endlessly investigated, not just by republicans in Congress, but the FBI, culminating in republican FBI head James Comey violating the Hatch Act and making a completely unnecessary but completely damning-sounding announcement 11 days before the election in a manner that clearly changed the election’s outcome.

That’s weaponization.

Hillary committed no crimes and was cleared of all accusations of criminal activity. And it was not just the FBI which said that, it was the republican investigations as well. But they never cared about that, as their true goal was to make Hillary unelectable, and they succeeded.

On the other hand, what has happened with Trump is completely different. The investigations did not spring from spurious political claims without evidence; all come from direct evidence of Trump committing a number of crimes. The Biden Department of Justice showed great reluctance to move forth with any investigations, and it was not until nearly two years after Trump left office that a special prosecutor was named, and it took him eight months to bring charges.

That’s not weaponization. It’s an overcautious slow-walk in reaction to blatant illegal actions resulting in an indictment based on manifestly blatant crimes with an unmistakably powerful foundation of facts and evidence proving the indictment just.


Donald Trump is being prosecuted for the same crimes committed by Joe Biden

No, he’s not. Had Trump done what Biden did—immediately hand over all documents upon realizing he had them—then  Trump would not have been prosecuted. In fact, Trump knew he had the documents all along, oversaw which documents he would take, and knew it was wrong to take them, but even then, had Trump responded to the request by the National Archives to return the records, he would still not have been in trouble. Even as late as the subpoena by the FBI, if Trump had complied, he still would not have been prosecuted.

Trump is not being charged for taking the documents. All of the charges are based upon the initial crime of “failing to deliver” once requested by the archives and the FBI subpoena. Biden never did that, and Trump is not being charged for simply taking the documents with him.

He is being prosecuted because he participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by hiding the documents and lying about them to law enforcement, as well as having disseminated some of the documents.

There is zero evidence that either Biden nor Pence willfully took documents. Neither of them withheld any documents. Both immediately reported the documents upon finding them and returned them. Neither of them schemed to hide them, nor did they defy any subpoenas, nor did they lie about them.

Had either of them done any of that, they would be in the same trouble Trump is in.

Furthermore, the emphasis is on the knowing mishandling of secret documents; there is no evidence whatsoever of Pence, Biden, or Clinton doing this; with Trump, there is copious evidence.


The Biden administration indicted Trump, and so that’s a biased, political attack

First, Biden did not order the indictment. Merrick Garland did not order the indictment. Even Jack Smith, an independent special counsel, did not order them. A Florida grand jury ordered the indictment. Biden and Garland both studiously maintained a great distance from the matter.

Second, Trump clearly committed crimes. Are republicans saying that if a republican commits crime, then a Democrat can never, ever prosecute them for that? Because I don’t think that anyone doubts that republicans would indict a Democrat in a New York minute. They tried like hell to do that to Bill Clinton, then to Hillary Clinton, and to Obama (remember Durham?), and even now they’re screaming for Biden to be investigated. So if Democrats are OK as targets for republicans, why is the reverse somehow suddenly unthinkable?

Not to mention, republicans have made it crystal clear that they will never prosecute one of their own. they have stated this out loud for years, just as they have demonstrated with their votes for just as long.

So if a Democratic administration is not allowed to investigate a republican and republicans refuse to investigate their own, we are back to republicans being a special elite class above the law and beyond its reach.

No, this is not a political attack, and as has been pointed out on many occasions, if anyone else had done what Trump has done, they would be in jail already.


This is election tampering

No, election tampering is the head of the FBI recklessly announcing that new Hillary emails had been found, giving a distinct assumption of guilt, just 11 days before an election, sending Hillary, then the front running, into a steep and sudden dive—the classic definition of “October Surprise.”

That’s election tampering.

This indictment comes more than a year before the next election, and the timing was due to Trump’s own actions.


Joe Biden had 1,850 boxes of classified documents

No, that’s an outright fiction. The number may be the number of total documents given to the University of Delaware, which is perfectly legal for a Senator to do; Biden was a Senator when he gave the documents.

Why isn’t Biden under investigation?

He is. Special counsel Robert Hur (a Trump appointee) is handling the case. Keep in mind that Biden had maybe a few dozen classified documents at most, compared to Trump’s 300+ classified documents. Trump’s included vital information, including military plans and nuclear secrets. 

Aside from that, there is no requirement that Biden be prosecuted at the same time and in the same way as Trump.

Josh Hawley:

This is not about Donald Trump ultimately; this is about the United States of America. This is about whether the Constitution is still real in this country. This is about whether any American, any American can expect the due process of law.

Umm… what?

I guess that when you got nothing, then content-free babble might be an attractive alternative.

Mitch McConnell:



Trump had the power to declassify those documents. He declassified them.

No he didn’t. Declassification has a process, and there is no record at all of Trump going through that process. Nor is it an actual thing for a president to be able to declassify records just by taking them. Nor would it still be OK for Trump to have the kinds of records he had at Mar-A-Lago.

Nikki Haley:

The American people are exhausted by the prosecutorial overreach, double standards, and vendetta politics

Then republicans should stop doing it.

Trump again:

This is a witch hunt

No, a “witch hunt” is when any number of innocent people are falsely accused so as to intimidate them to accuse others, and then the process is repeated. This is what Joe McCarthy did in the 1950s.

It is not a “witch hunt” if a special prosecutor without political affiliations investigates mountains of evidence of a crime.

Trump is being prosecuted under the wrong law; instead of the Espionage Act, he should be prosecuted under the Presidential Records Act

That’s like prosecuting a bank robber for jaywalking; the Presidential Records Act is a red herring that republicans are using, pretending that everything Trump did falls under a civil crime, and not the far more powerful—and relevant—Espionage Act.

The charges are all lies.

Apparently, evidence is not a real thing. The facts speak for themselves, and often Trump is the one on record confessing out loud.

The standard reporting from right-wing outlets utilizes two techniques: outrage at anything and everything, and the firehose of lies. Mark Levin, in one small example, screamed in outrage that the indictment was made in Florida—as if that were an injustice instead of an advantage for Trump. And the talking heads’ litany of fury and disgust were packed full of false assumptions, gross exaggerations, and outright lies that not only were disgorged in vomitous volume, but each lie was itself based upon a mountain of other lies. Such rage-filled onslaughts are not a matter of fact or reason, they have the sole purpose of expressing an emotional wrath intended to create only the impression that there is anything to be outraged about.

In the end, it comes down to just a few things:

Did Trump commit crimes? The answer is clearly “Yes.” Trump has been committing crimes for years. The evidence is copious and indisputable.

Should Trump be prosecuted? Unless we want to establish a new legal standard wherein people who are in power are above the law and can commit crimes with impunity, then yes, Trump must be prosecuted.

Should we prosecute every last crime by politicians? No. If a crime is minor or irrelevant to national security or without harm to individuals, or can be excused as an accident or by lack of awareness, then such actions by presidents can and perhaps should be overlooked, for the reasons presented in the Nixon administration memo: if constantly pelted by prosecutions over minor things, a president would never be able to do their job.

The problem comes when these crimes are relevant, are a threat to national security, and are harmful to people. These cannot and must not be overlooked. And Trump has without question committed such crimes.

What Is Most Wrong with Tucker’s Text Message

Trump supporter
Trump supporter and white supremacist assaulting a liberal protester.

We all know it by now, and we have all been horrified by it. Horrified by his evident racism, and by the fact that Carlson, as a representative of modern conservatism, is as bloodthirsty as this. However, it is even more chilling if you think about a single word in his message that makes it even worse than you have likely imagined so far. Can you spot the word?

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?

This things that disturbs me most is one word that I believe has been mostly overlooked:


That’s the key word, after all. That’s what made the kid in the video worthy of being beaten and even killed, as far as Carlson was concerned.

But what does it actually mean? In order to correctly judge what Carlson meant, it is necessary to step back and understand the term as Carlson himself defines it.

“Antifa” simply means “Anti-Fascist.” But Antifa is not an organization. There are no members’ lists, no meetings, no headquarters, no budget, no donors.

It can mean anyone who claims to be “Antifa,” anyone who makes flags or dresses in black and invokes the name. At the most concrete, it might refer to people who take typically non-violent action in protest of fascism. While there was a single homicide committed by a self-identified anti-fascist in 2020, that’s the only such case in 25 years (as opposed to a few dozen murders by right-wingers nearly every single year).

But that’s not what Tucker Carlson was referring to, because conservatives like Carlson reject that definition of “Antifa,” as it is too limited. That’s of no use when you are trying to instill fear in millions.

More generally, “Antifa,” as I noted earlier, simply means anyone who opposes fascism. However, that is also not what Carlson refers to, as this would include a large number of moderates and conservatives, not to mention pretty much every WWII veteran.

No, to Tucker Carlson, “Antifa” refers to nothing less than any particular liberal. Or, perhaps more accurately, any particular liberal who makes protest in public.

Remember, to conservatives, no such thing as a “peaceful liberal protester” exists. All liberal protesters, especially BLM, are terrorists thugs. Every single liberal protest is intended as an orgy of violence in which entire cities are burned to the ground.

It’s a handy way to vilify the opposition—if you’re a liberal and you protest, then you’re a terrorist.

Now, come back to Carlson’s writing:

A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him.

So, who were the “Trump guys” beating up?

Now that we have worked out what “Antifa” means to Carlson, the answer is a young liberal protester. That was his crime, that was his sin. He was a liberal, and he took to the streets in protest. That now warrants a beating, and possibly death.

Not that this is shocking. Right-wingers have been advocating violence against liberal protesters for some time. Remember when Trump told his angry crowd of supporters at a rally to “knock the crap out of” liberal protesters? He even promised to pay the legal fees of anyone who did his bidding.

After a liberal protester, Heather Heyer, was run over and killed by a white supremacist terrorist, republicans in Oklahoma and Iowa passed laws to legally protect people who run over protesters, with many other red states considering similar bills. This is unmistakably a direct threat to liberal protesters, an open encouragement to injure and kill liberals on the street. 

So to Tucker Carlson and like-minded republicans, the simple act of liberals protestering merits a death sentence.

Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it.

Why? Because the “kid” was a liberal and was exercising his freedom of speech. That was the totality of his crime. That drives conservatives to such heights of offense and outrage that they can literally taste their thirst for violence, to the extent of murder.

And that’s what really chills me about all of this. 

It is that Carlson and potentially tens of millions of others right-wingers are now at the point where they feel that liberals should be killed in the street for simply speaking their minds.

Right-Wing Love for Putin and Russia Pre-Dated Trump


Why do republicans love Putin?

Even now, as the world and the rest of America gets behind Zelenskyy and Ukraine, republicans steadfastly admire and support Putin, though often more quietly so after Putin’s recent atrocities.

But how did they come to love Putin and Russian in the first place? The Republican Party’s identity for decades was practically defined by their searing hatred for Russia. Even in 2012, Mitt Romney identified Russia as being America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”

Most people assume that Donald Trump brought Putin Love to the right wing, but that’s not accurate. Trump’s association with Putin developed at about the same time as the republican admiration of Putin, but Trump was not openly pro-Russian until after Putin was already a right-wing hero. 

So, how did it happen? Why did republicans go Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs over this aggressive dictator?

The answer is Obama. He was an effective, popular, charismatic president who was being a better Republican president than any of their own candidates could hope to be. This drove right-wingers crazy. They needed a foil for Obama, someone arguably better and more powerful than him, but no one in their own ranks measured up.

And then Syria happened. In August of 2012, Obama was asked what would provoke a U.S. military action in Syria, and Obama replied that Syria’s use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” that would bring America into the fray. However, a year later, Assad crossed that red line, using sarin gas to kill more than a thousand of his own people. Suddenly, Obama was boxed in: he had promised action, but almost any action he took would end badly, not to mention that the American people did not want to add a third land war in Asia to our plate.

Obama responded by passing the buck on to Congress, asking for their approval to use military force. Conservatives saw this as a sign of weakness and began to pile on.

It was then that Vladimir Putin came to the rescue, suggesting a plan to get Syria to surrender its chemical weapons stockpiles so as to avoid military action against them. Obama grabbed the opportunity as a best possible solution, and Damascus agreed to the terms.

That was when republicans suddenly took a liking to Putin: he had stolen Obama’s thunder, outplayed him in Syria, and took the limelight in center stage. The idea that Putin had shown up Obama and pulled the rug out from under him in the region became the story of the month. Matt Drudge, of the Drudge Report, hailed Putin’s involvement in Syria, tweeting that “Putin is leader of the free world.” He began to constantly run headlines praising Putin and trashing Obama, branding Putin as the strong, charismatic world leader, and Obama as a spineless coward who couldn’t begin to match his Russian counterpart. This was a drumbeat starting in 2013 onward, often echoed elsewhere in the conservative sphere. And then, in early 2014, just six months after the Syria deal, Putin just rolled into Crimea and annexed it, and Obama could not do much of anything about it. Putin again came out on top.

Republicans loved this. They discovered a newfound hero in Putin. He was rugged, masculine, in control. He was a right-wing, nationalistic, militaristic shirtless man riding a horse in the countryside. His policies were fiscally conservative, anti-tax, pro-Christian, and a near-perfect fit for the religious right. Most of all, Putin was aggressively, even virulently hostile to gay people. And he invaded and occupied nearby countries.

And Obama was more or less powerless to stop him.

That’s what truly made Putin a right-wing hero, besting Obama in the geopolitical arena, not just once, but twice. Showing power to Obama’s powerlessness. Comments like this started appearing in right-wing areas in 2014:

“Putin is a former KGB colonel. 0bama is a former community organizer. Of course Putin is going to have a far better grasp of international affairs. That is obvious to anyone outside of the liberal echo chamber.”

“Putin right? Why is anyone on earth surprised? President Putin is highly intelligent and by far the best leader in the world. The best leader I have seen in my life time. A man’s man who makes his own decisions and loves his country and its citizens.”

“He is a world leader. He sees the world, not the next party, photo op, selfie…. Putin=Leader Obama=Loser in every category for a leader as well as human being.”

“arguably, Putin would be a better Commander in Chief than our dear leader.”

“Putin at least isn’t a blind Marxism/Leninism fool, unlike Obama and his fellow New Bolshevik Criminals. Their pathetic attempts to focus solely on domestic control, while ignoring rest of world will end up destroying this country.”

All of this was more than a year before Trump showed any sign of being relevant at all. Trump did not bring Putin to the party, republicans were already very much on board. Right-wing talking heads started speaking reverently of Putin, gleeful to have someone who showed up their hated foremost enemy, their own president. More and more, they found elements of Russian culture and Putin’s political positions of which they approved, like Putin’s laws against “homosexual propaganda,” i.e. any favorable mention of LGBTQ people or issues.

While Trump spoke favorably of Putin once or twice after the Syria deal, even slightly before his fateful trip to Russia for the Miss Universe contest (the one where the “pee tape” was allegedly recorded), no possible argument could be made that Trump was in any way responsible for making Putin popular in right-wing circles. In fact, this early admiration for Putin likely helped republicans accept Trump better; he was already a Putin-lover, and fit right in with the crowd.

The problem for republicans is that Putin is, both to their discomfort and delight, a murderous power-crazed dictator willing to commit atrocities. The atrocities part may tamper down their enthusiasm temporarily, but they love the aggressive strongman part, and even as Russia becomes a pariah in most of the world, conservatives still prefer him to anything liberal. Thus we saw signs, t-shirts, and other conservative gear since maybe 2018 reading, “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat.”

But Trump didn’t bring that. It was there before he stopped being a joke.


No, They Don’t Want That

Neither Trump nor republicans want the affidavit released, just as they didn’t want the search warrant released.

This is a very common republican tactic: by demanding to have something released when they believe it is unlikely that will happen, they can raise doubt while at the same time pretending that they have nothing to hide.

Well, that backfired when it came to the search warrant: Garland got the warrant and receipts released, to the vast embarrassment of Trump and the GOP.

Now they’re screaming for the affidavit, as if somehow that will fully exonerate Trump. This time, they feel more confident that it will not be released, as releasing affidavits is very rare.

Of course, they might actually get their wish—and if they do, they will surely regret it. An affidavit would show the cause the FBI had in asking for the search warrant—and that could potentially be worse for Trump than the search warrant was.

Of course, republicans have another motive: the affidavit would reveal the FBI’s source(s) that they supposedly have within the Trump inner circle, or at least clues as to who it could be. This would help them because it would give them a target to endlessly smear and accuse—not to mention signal to their fringe crazies that open season is on for snitches.

If the affidavit is released, which it probably won’t be, it would hopefully be heavily redacted to hide all sensitive information.

It’s a Deal

Trump is at it again: in order to drastically lower his property tax payments, he says that his golf club, assessed by the county as being worth $14 million, is actually only worth 1/10th that: $1.4 million.

So now there’s going to be a huge investigation and brouhaha and an even greater waste of taxpayer money trying to untangle Trump’s lies.

I have a simple solution: the county should accept Trump’s value. And then purchase it from him at his own price, using eminent domain, and use the land to build housing for the homeless.

If Trump says the property is only worth $1.4 million, take him up on it. If he wants to keep it, he can claim it at being his actual price—and pay the damned taxes on it.

That should, in fact, be the standard law for all tax assessments: if anyone with a property assessed at over, say, $5 million, tries to claim it is worth less than that amount, any local or state government should be able to buy it at the stated value, and then either use it, or sell it on the market and recoup the profit.

Believe the Lie: A Look behind the Curtain

Mike Lindell, the “Pillow Guy,” has been saying for weeks that he has hard data to prove that China hacked the election, and would prove it at a “symposium” on the subject.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise at all that, after his complete fraud of a presentation, his own “cyber experts” admit that they have no proof whatsoever that the election was hacked.

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Lindell is not just your ordinary hack. He’s an extraordinarily stupid one. 

In the above video, the fraud is comically transparent. At 55 seconds, the reporter asks Lindell why he doesn’t just produce the evidence—or starts to, but Lindell overtalks, and loudly asks, “No! Wait, just forget about the evidence! If I’m right that China took our country, right now, do you care? Would that bother you?” The reporter persists that he would have to see the proof first, but Lindell pushes the “Would that bother you?” line.

This is an amateurish and ham-handed attempt to employ a classic Newt Gingrich technique: It doesn’t matter what’s true, what matters is what I can frighten you into believing.”

Gingrich, usually far more subtle himself, tipped his hand in an interview with a CNN reporter in 2016, when he claimed that crime was on the rise, blaming Obama for making things worse. The reporter responded with fact: the FBI itself, an unassailable source in this regard, has reported that crime rates are falling, not rising.

Gingrich responded that the facts don’t matter, it’s what people believe that matters.

“The average American, I will bet you this morning, does not think that crime is down, does not think that we are safer…. People feel more threatened. As a political candidate, I’ll go with what people feel.”

What he admitted to was that he knew that what he was saying was a lie; he told the lie to make people believe it, to feel more threatened; then he said that because people believed it, to him it was more important than the truth. In short, forget evidence or proof; as a politician, I will lie and make people afraid.

Lindell handled the same technique far less adroitly. Just after 2:30 in the video above, you will see the reporter say that if Lindell’s data is legit, he should make it available to any and all experts. Lindell used another staple BS claim:

“You know what? I’ll give you the answer. Because I’ve been told that they can go out there and corrupt it, and make fake stuff and put fake news out. … We’re showing it right on screen right now, so you can’t sit here and do a hit piece when it’s on screen right now.”

So, to summarize: I have data that proves the election was hacked, I will show a few screens of meaningless data which proves nothing to create the impression that I have something, but I will not let anyone analyze or inspect the data because Fake News.”

It’s a flimsy facade that even street hucksters would look at and cringe.

But the real giveaway comes at about 3:30 in the video, when one of Lindell’s speakers summarizes the con concisely:

“[B]ut the CNN’s of the world, you guys need to start reporting this, and stop fact-checking it.”

Convicted felon Steve Bannon, from a luxury box on the mezzanine, applauds.

You got that? “Don’t fact check; just report our bullshit without evidence.”

That’s the fraud, in a nutshell.

How Trump Killed 400,000 Americans

Trump’s supporters claim that he did everything he could to fight COVID, but can only name two things: a travel ban from China, and Operation Warp Speed.

The problem is that any competent president should have done a hundred things right. Instead, Trump only did two things partially right (the travel ban was full of holes, and Warp Speed was an obvious move that Trump waited too long to institute), he failed to do the other 98 things at all, and he did another 50 things horribly wrong.

Here is a look at just the first few months of the pandemic and how miserably Trump failed, repeatedly and inexcusably, to respond correctly to the pandemic. It is estimated that as many as 400,000 Americans died needlessly because of Trump’s utter failure.

From before the virus was first noticed, Trump dismantled much of our ability to detect and study such viruses as part of his blind hostility to anything Obama did (Obama beefed up our pandemic prevention measures after the Ebola outbreak). Trump slashed CDC staff in China by 2/3rds and shuttered an international program to detect emerging pandemics just months before COVID was recognized.

When initial indicators of the Ebola outbreak started reaching Obama, he acted well before the WHO moved on the outbreak. In contrast, Trump received information on COVID in mid-January, but did nothing. At this point in time, he should have mobilized teams to begin investigating the virus, and appointed staff members to begin working on contingency plans on how to stem entry of the virus into the US and how to prepare businesses for a potential crisis. Trump, instead, ignored the warnings, and repeatedly told reporters that the virus was unimportant and was “totally under control.” On Jan. 21, the virus was identified in a U.S. patient who had traveled to China. Trump should have limited travel from anyone having visited Wuhan or even anyone traveling from China. He failed to do so for ten days.

In late January, when Trump should have had an emergency response team making extensive plans for dealing with the virus (like Obama did for Ebola, or like South Korea was doing at that time), Trump failed to act. At least three times from Jan. 27-30, Trump was warned of the extreme consequences of failing to act by his own people, and Trump did nothing. The WHO declared a global emergency. Trump fails to react, instead repeatedly praising China for doing such a great job.

Trump takes his only action for months that his supporters can claim as a victory: his travel ban from China. Except it came 10 days after we knew that the infection was spreading from there, and Trump’s ban was only partial, allowing more than 40,000 travelers from China to come to the U.S. after the “ban” was instituted. In January, before the partial ban, more than 4000 travelers were allowed to enter the U.S. directly from Wuhan as Trump dawdled on his response.

February was later called “the lost month” as Trump continued to deny there was a problem and failed utterly to act.

On February 7, in a call to Bob Woodward, Trump privately reveals that he understands perfectly how deadly the virus is and how easily it is spread. At the same time, he continues to claim to the public that the virus is no danger.

While countries like South Korea mobilized their industries to produce tests and other essential supplies, Trump instead worried that he might look bad and the economy might be hurt if he paid attention to the crisis. Trump waits until the end of February—a month to a month and a half after he should have acted—for a small amount of funding from Congress to respond to the pandemic. Had he done this in late January, it could have made a huge difference; Trump failed.

Instead, as community spread of the virus was confirmed in the U.S. and the first deaths were reported, Trump lied and said there was no problem: “[W]hen you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” As the virus spreads nationwide mostly undetected because of lack of testing (in contrast, South Korea had been testing and contact tracing since mid-February, and was conducting 15,000 tests a day by the time Trump said the pandemic would end magically on its own).

At the end of February, amongst consistent denials that there was any problem, Trump called COVID the Democrats’ “new hoax.” He probably was not saying that the virus was a hoax, but that the insistence by Democratic leaders that it was a great threat was the hoax. Either way, Trump was disastrously wrong.

In March, the virus truly begins to spread, mostly because Trump has failed to do a single thing correctly in response. Even as Trump begins to take credit for the China travel “ban,” tens of thousands of people are still entering America directly from China. At the same time, although the virus has now been known to be killing people in Europe, Trump fails to react with any travel restrictions from anywhere else.

As Trump falsely claims in early March that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” (a virtual clone of Obama’s statement about keeping your doctor, which prompted months of furious outrage by republicans), he actually tried to keep Americans on a cruise ship in Japan from being released, even though they were in increasing danger from the spread of COVID on the vessel—purely because if they returned to America under quarantine, the infected among them would be counted amongst the United States’ numbers, and Trump wanted to keep those numbers down. He literally endangered and probably killed Americans purely for his own political image.

It is not until mid-March—a month and a half after the WHO announced a state of emergency—that Trump, just two days after delivering an awkward speech packed with errors and lies, finally announces a state of emergency in the United States. He announces a travel ban from most of Europe, but already the flood gates caused massive spread of the virus into places like New York.

It is far too little and far too late. People begin dying in larger and larger numbers. Trump by this time has missed many dozens of opportunities to take actions that would have stemmed the spread of the virus in the U.S., and continues to resist taking many critical actions even after calling the state of emergency.

It was at this time when Jared Kushner—totally unqualified for the job—led a “task force” to decide how to handle the virus. We later learned that his decision was to abandon any meaningful plan because the virus was mostly hitting blue states, and the Trump administration could lay blame on the governors. Essentially, Kushner decided to let the virus spread and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans because it was politically convenient to do so.

This signaled the beginning of a long-running campaign by Trump to avoid taking action, and instead claim everything was up to the states to take action, blaming them for all the failures of the Trump White House. At around the same time, Trump starts pushing hydroxychloroquine and other hack treatments, and continues to act like the virus is no big deal.

It was not until late March—long after Korea was doing massive testing—that the Trump administration received a large number of COVID tests from China… which were found to be useless. Trump starts blaming everything on the “China virus” at about this time.

Lockdowns had begun with no central coordinating leadership from Trump, but because the stock market is faltering, Trump already begins demanding that lockdowns be lifted—in APRIL 2020!

But it’s still March, and Trump is now saying that if “only” 100,000 to 200,000 people die of the virus, then he can be credited with doing a “good job.” Ironically, he is correct.

It goes on from there in very much the same way: Trump does little or nothing of substance to react, and when he does, it is far too little and far too late. Trump instead spends most of his time lying and denying, while at the same time constantly claiming that he’s done the best job possible.

Instead, by mid-Aril, Trump begins the tragically costly move of politicizing the virus. After already having called the spread a Democratic “hoax” and started blaming China for its spread, Trump now seizes on state lockdowns as oppressive tyranny by Democrats, and issues a command to his followers to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia from their Democratic governors (one militia takes Trump very seriously and prepares for a terror attack in which they planned to kidnap and probably execute the governor of Michigan).

Although an emergency vaccine development plan should have been started in February, Trump does not institute Operation Warp Speed until mid-May. While largely credited for making the right move, this action (a) would have been taken by any president, and (b) almost certainly would have been taken much earlier. So yes, Trump did the right thing… but once again, too little and too late.

In the meantime, Trump continued to politicize the pandemic, demanding states end their lockdowns—a political move that inspires a movement which, to this day, continues to kill countless Americans.

So many other mistakes follow—Trump refusing to use the Defense Authorization Act to its fullest extent, refusing to supply states with PPE and other vital supplies, and even infamously stealing these supplies from states who were desperately and expensively able to order precious few from overseas. When finally, with little help from “Operation Warp Speed,” vaccines are finally created, Trump fails miserably to distribute them properly, again blaming the states for everything.

Reviewing so much of what Trump failed at brings home the very real terror: as president, Trump—in a very real and literal way—killed as many as 400,000 Americans under his watch. And worse, his influence continues to create greater and greater disasters, as vaccine denial continues to rage because of Trump’s actions.

So to any Trump supporters who claim Trump did a fantastic job, all you can do is say the truth—and fully expect them to completely deny it.

Trump’s Real Enemy, Trump’s Real Target

Trump seems to be almost intentionally throwing the Georgia run-off elections. He has to know that he’s hurting their chances, and that could help Democrats. So, why is he doing it? I do not believe that he is blind to what he is doing.

I think you have to consider the timing and the motives. If Georgia goes to the Democrats, then Mitch McConnell is screwed. And I’m beginning to think that this is exactly what Trump wants, as part of a larger plan to gain complete control over republican politics.

You may be reading more and more stories about republicans attacking republicans. Actually, that’s been going on at a steady frequency for the past four years with Trump attacking anyone his fails to toe his line. He demands utter loyalty, and punishes anyone who steps out of line.

As for the current state of affairs, consider an indicator that is being a bit disregarded: the conspiracy theory rumor mill. This has always been Trump’s tool of choice to motivate the masses—look at what Q-Anon alone has done. Trump does not ignore this or stand back from it; instead, he instigates and guides it. He chooses the messaging he wants to thrive, and he retweets it and repeats it. If you’re paying attention to it, you’ll see that a lot of the newer theories seem to be more about attacking conservatives. In part, this mirrors Trump’s recent messaging, but it might seem a bit extreme or misplaced. People are talking about “circular firing squads” amongst republicans.

The thing is, this all makes sense—and demonstrates that Trump knows full well that he’s going to be out of power soon.

This is not Trump resenting those who did not support his attempted coup. I don’t think Trump is simply mad at people who won’t help him overthrow the government. I think Trump knows the coup cannot possibly work. His aim is not to punish those who faled to make his plan work. This is more specific. This is political in-fighting.

This is a purity purge. 

Which means that Trump’s actions are pointed in a different direction than you might think: Trump is working hard to consolidate his control over the republican party. He’s not aiming at Biden or liberals. He is using the “Overturn the Election” campaign to draw a line, and is blasting any conservative stepping on the wrong side of it.

And McConnell is on the wrong side of that line.

McConnell, in fact, is Trump’s chief enemy. Trump knows that while McConnell has worked in Trump’s favor most of the time, he deeply resents Trump, and would like little more than have Trump wither and vanish so that McConnell can get things back on track the way he wants to. McConnell and Trump will not work together. It must be one or the other.

So Trump is trying damned hard to kick McConnell in the balls. Hard.

If Georgia goes to the Democrats, it actually helps Trump. First, it will eviscerate McConnell, making him far less relevant, far less powerful. But it will also enable Democrats, and allow them to have a lot of victories they would not otherwise have.

You might wonder, how does this help Trump?

Simple: it will outrage Trump’s base, and that will empower Trump. He will claim that Democratic victories are destroying America, and it only happened because he was robbed of the election.

If McConnell retains control of the Senate, this will hurt Trump, as it will return most of the focus on McConnell as the driving force behind republican politics, and Trump will be less relevant and will be considered less necessary. His base might begin returning to the traditional republican fold.

Trump doesn’t want this. And that actually might be good news. He is splitting the party down lines that could rob it of much of its power. Trump doesn’t mind that. He could give a rat’s ass about republican politics and power. He is only interested in his own.

In the aftermath of the election, we have internecine warfare within the republican community.

Get out your popcorn and enjoy it.


I Wish That Trump Would Wither and Fade, but That’s Not Happening

Farewell to Trump? Sadly, no.

Trump will have to leave the White House, but he won’t leave the public eye, not by a long shot. Reporters and comedians are premature in their sighs of relief that they won’t have to cover him anymore.

Trump will, regrettably, remain a constant public force, commanding headlines and steering the republican party just as forcefully out of power as he did within. I actually find it hard to believe that people assume that Trump will fade away and become a has-been.

If you want evidence, just look at recent headlines: Trump got 126 republican House members and 18 state AGs to back him in a total loser of a case which tried to overturn the results of a legal and secure election. Trump did this with a case that had zero chance of winning. Trump did this as a lame duck.

Lame ducks who are fading into obscurity don’t wield that kind of power within a party.

And Trump, as a malignant narcissist who is endlessly addicted to influence and recognition, will never give that up. Believe me, I wish that he would fade away. I hope that I am wrong here. But I am pretty sure that I am not.

There is a fair amount of talk that on Inauguration Day, Trump will not only fail to attend the ceremony, he will hold a competing event at the same time to announce his 2024 campaign—thus allowing him to continue to raise money and fleece his base. He just discovered that he can get hundreds of millions of dollars from them on his way out, no way he’s giving up on that revenue stream.

You have to remember, Trump’s power was never fully based in his office; for the most part, especially within the republican party, his power was with the party base. That’s how he got the 126 House members to violate the constitution: they were deathly afraid of being primaried out.

Trump commands the base. President or not, they adore him, love him, idolize him, and there is no one else in the republican party or elsewhere who can win that away from him.

Trump will continue to command the base as long as he is in the spotlight. And we all know how adept Trump is at maintaining public attention, even when the public clearly doesn’t want to pay attention to him.

So, what is he going to do?

First, he’s going to start his run for 2024. He will perhaps even try to use this as a further shield against prosecution (“Political witch hunt! They want to stop me from winning! They can’t sue or indict an active candidate for president!”). He will continue raising a war chest.

Second, he will persist in his insistence that he won the race and is the legitimate president, and that Biden is ruling illegally. He may set up Mar-A-Lago as a “White House in Exile,” issuing edicts and using the podium to declare credit for everything good that happens, and blaming Biden for everything bad. He will even attack his own party from within.

This will lead to the third element, one which he will use to maintain momentum which will create a cycle of power: make publicity, which riles up the base, which he uses to pressure republicans to act or respond, which he uses to make publicity, and so on.

All the while he will be campaigning, holding rallies, and polls will place him as the front-runner for the 2024 race, and news outllets, even mainstream ones, will not be able to ignore him. More publicity.

Remember, self-promotion is Trump’s ONLY true talent.

Why do people think that this will just turn off like a switch?

Armed 17-Year-Old Trump-Supporter Militia Member Kills Two in Kenosha

As far as I am aware, no BLM member or associated protester has killed anyone in the protests since George Floyd’s murder—but right-wingers have killed several. Steven Carrillo, a member of the far-right extremist group Boogaloo Boys, shot and killed two law enforcement officers (which conservatives like Ted Cruz have tried to pin on Antifa). And now, Kyle Rittenhouse, a far-right teenage kid in a militia movement—and apparently a big enough Trump fan to have been in the front row of one of his rallies—has killed two more people and injured one, this time protesters.

Rittenhouse, very simply, should not have been there. In fact, it appears that he was in violation of both Illinois and Wisconsin law to have his gun in the first place. Right-wing media is already framing him as the innocent victim of a violent mob just trying to defend himself, but there is nothing to support that. In fact, witnesses at the scene report that Rittenhouse, with others, was randomly shouting and taunting people on the street, pointing their guns at people, and threatening to shoot.


After shooting one man in the head (and caught on video saying “I just killed someone” to a person he is speaking to on the phone), protesters ran after Rittenhouse, who was no doubt in a panic by this time. One cannot fault the protesters; they were under deadly assault at this point, very much like the time back in early June when another right-winger, Brandon McCormick, drove into a protest in Salt Lake City and tried to shoot protesters with a bow and arrow—before being quickly taken down by protesters. (McCormick, a felon, has been charged with three felonies and could face up to 15 years in jail.) However, after Rittenhouse fell while fleeing his first murder, committed the second when he shot a man trying to subdue him. It is a weak defense to say you were just protecting yourself by shooting someone who was chasing you because you just killed someone else.

There are many disturbing elements to this story, and one of them is the Kenosha police. Apparently, police are okay with vigilantes; they were seen not just speaking amiably to Rittenhouse and other right-wing militia members earlier on, giving them bottled water and telling them how much they were appreciated.

Also, far from taking a stance against untrained vigilantes added to the mix, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis actually blamed the protesters for getting shot and killed, saying they should not have been out after curfew.

Then, in the ultimate act of sheer favoritism, when Rittenhouse, still bearing his rifle, approached the police with hands up, having just murdered two people, and as protesters shouted at police to apprehend him… and had the police totally ignore him and pass right by. Rittenhouse then left the scene and fled to Illinois.

You can see Rittenhouse kill one man and wound another in the video below, then, just seconds later, walk right through police as they charge on towards the protesters.

Aside from the obvious clues, Rittenhouse was an avid Trump supporter, seen in photographs in the front row of a Trump rally in late January. His Facebook page was adorned with right-wing “Back the Blue” images.


Kyle Rittenhouse, in the white cap, at a Trump rally on Jan. 30.

The right-wing media and echo chamber are in full-bore smear and blame-the-victims mode, posting that all of the people injured or killed by Rittenhouse were felons and pedophiles, showing only selected screen caps which show Rittenhouse appearing only under siege. They have cobbled together videos which claim to show that protesters fired first, as well as other dubious claims, and repeat almost in mantra fashion the words “self-defense.”

There are a few cultural elements to this event which require mentioning. The first is related to the encouragement that Rittenhouse and his fellow vigilantes received from police, who should have cleared him out of the area, not supplied them with bottled water and kind words. The Kenosha police were not the only ones to do this: Trump himself fanned the flames. The now-famous criminal couple from St. Louis, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, went outside as protesters peacefully passed their home and shouted at them while aiming loaded weapons at members of the crowd. Sound familiar? Exactly what Rittenhouse was doing shortly before killing two people.

To say that one has nothing to do with the other strains credulity.

The other cultural element is related to gun ownership. Too many people who own guns appear to have little or no sense of responsibility regarding them, believing that anyone who they injure or kill will be the ones at fault. This flies in the face of the actual case: if you bring a loaded firearm out in public, the onus is on you—not the people you kill with it.

Finally, in what universe is anyone okay with a 17-year-old kid bearing a semi-automatic weapon at night in the middle of protests?

Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and faces a possible life sentence.

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