Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, December 4, 2020

Look Who's Still Wrong and Mad As Hell


Why, he's just as wrong now as he was back in March. For that matter, he's just as wrong now as he was about moral hazard a dozen years ago. Rick Santelli has no concept that people are worth more than existing as work units and value producers. And he also labors under the delusion that if one YELLS REAL LOUD, somehow it will improve upon BEING WRONG AS ALL HELL.

And he's still employed. His POV is actively sociopathic, and he's still on the fucking tv.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Simple Grifts


It wasn't until I saw Lin Wood's mic skills that what he was doing fully made sense to me. I mean, sure, you can't go wrong flattering pathetic vain elderly people who are already obviously vulnerable to conspiracy theories by telling them they are good enough, they are smart enough, and god damnit, they probably won California. But that's only good for what? For Trump's PAC grift it's good for a few hundred million, and for folks in Giuliani's (former) circle it might help with potential legal liability to squeeze out some pardons along the way--this guy right here wants something more. He's taking high-value hostages. 

That it's a grift is clear--the lawyering here is designed to get things thrown out early and create pointlessly stupid delays while the grift keeps rolling on--it's a lot of superficial business without a lot of solid work. They don't want to bring actual cases in front of a judge because it's weaksauce. But then you see that mic-handling: Soros! China! Vote stealing! The Deep State! 

Hugo f'g Chavez. There's like, well over a decade or so of Pavlovian/operant conditioning to work with in that.

And all they want the folks they are terrorizing (Raffensperger, Kemp, Sterling, the employees of Dominion, the Republican Party) to do is, you know, what he said. "FIX it." Like, the words are right there. Leaving aside that I and about 80 million other people think that Wood and Powell leaning on their salivating hounds to fail to vote for two entire GOP US Senate candidates is super hilarious, you don't need to assume the Wood is a Democrat plant (as the folks at Breitbart are alleging) to get what they're looking for:

Stop the steal means "Start the Stealing". 

It's art. It's just a hand-full of grifters on the outside, begging a handful of potential grifters on the inside, via a ginormous PA system, to pull off an inside-job. Because patriotism, the Bible, the purity of our precious bodily fluids, defense against Communism and jazz cigarettes, mom's blessed stain-free knickers and pecan pie.

It's a lot more subtle in its tent-revival flavor than than virtually the same thing being put on in mock hearings in hotel ballrooms and apparently, the Michigan state legislature by Giuliani and Ellis, except that the Wood/Powell version uplifts its participants in a righteous rage instead of subjecting them to being a number in a slackjaw parade of folks who believe votes came in on (or went out on--it's a bit unclear) food trucks, that they were intimidated by BLM activists wearing rhinestones, that all Chinese people look alike, etc. (Trumpism has given a lot of attention to the wild slackjaw population, but it has lost something of its dignity.)  

It's stupid-dangerous and threatens to lead to actual violence. But as grift-as-performance, it has a certain robustness in its aesthetic. Very much "fascism holding a cross and wrapped in the flag", if you will. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

TWGB: The Pardoner's Tale


I have a funny feeling that there is a good bit of distance between what Trump considers "illegal" and what, say, the law, considers "illegal", so maybe the feeling of being "embattled" that the president has is actually a consideration that people might have the gall to side with the law in the event of his leaving office. He's aware laws might have been broken; he's of a different mind about whom they should apply to.

The idea that he can just issue pre-emptive pardons to his family members that are really broad and not at all about something specific sounds great, and why haven't more presidents done things like that? (After all, close adviser Sean Hannity says Trump should definitely do this, and throw himself in for good measure.) It seems like it might not actually be what the Chief Executive has pardon power for, in other words, but what do I know? 

I know AG Barr during his confirmation hearing indicated that he believed it would be wrong for a president to dangle a pardon in exchange for not ratting him out. Would that apply to something like Trump's willingness to pardon Flynn after it became evident that he was not cooperating with the Mueller investigation? Maybe, maybe not--but if it was a clear as all that (like, he had every right to pardon someone even if it was a matter that traced back to himself), why not just go right to the pardoning regarding Roger Stone instead of all the DOJ business with requesting a reduced sentence before commuting his sentence

In TrumpWorld, it has seemed a bit like reality is whatever Trump gets away with. Take the possibility that Giuliani has been looking for a pre-emptive pardon (he says no, and I certainly have no reason not to disbelieve him) regarding the federal investigation into his association with illicit campaign finance schemes and international shenanigans in Ukraine. I've always thought there was a mutual, but fraudulent benefit to Giuliani's relationship as Trump's free personal lawyer, and there's nothing like pardoning Giuliani to basically admit--yeah, it was just like that. (And wouldn't that blast client/attorney privilege to heck?) That sounds to me like something that could pose a difficulty for both of them in the post-Trump presidency.

Eh. As I always say, if something looks bad with this lot, it probably is. Whatever could I make, then, of the news that the DOJ is investigating a White House "bribery for pardon" scheme? I mean, this president, solicit a bribe and abuse power--impossible! (Heh!) You know, unless it was something really good like dirt on a political rival or maybe, at this point, cash money (those notes are coming due, and sadly, the grift only pays for so much).

All I know of is, it's a sad thing that when the names of the lobbyists for this scheme, and the potential recipient of this ill-gotten grace are redacted, there are so many, many possible names of people in the Trump orbit that the mind can go to of genuinely dishonest, unethical, and legally compromised people who might be involved.

There should be a moral to this tale, but it's TrumpWorld, kid. You should know by now morals have little to do with it.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

What's Kraken-Lackin'?


The "Kraken" is lacking a lot of things, including proof and a spell-check. This is about par for the Trump legal team (and random associates who are, per Rudy Giuliani, not part of the Elite Stricken Force), as their recent request for an appeal to the Third District Court was rejected for not really having a case. It's a whole read

In the meanwhile, the Trump campaign's bid to find votes in Milwaukee Co., WI has done the trick--$3 million has turned up 132 Biden votes that had gone uncounted--way to go, guys! I'm really not sure what the play had been here by picking on blue-voting areas for voting....pretty much in a way that was not anomalous for them, but ok. 

But in case this whole suing for the election to be overturned thing doesn't go their way, the Trump folks have come up with a novel remedy--state legislators. They will get them together in a hotel banquet/ballroom (as they did in Gettysburg) in the sort of pitch you might find at a job fair for a fly-by-night boiler room operation or a seminar recommending sending old mom and dad to a retirement village built on reclaimed Florida swamp land.... 

And suggest to GOP stalwarts that if they certainly remember swearing an oath to the Constitution to protect it from all enemies foreign and domestic, then certainly they could....not do that, for a while, yes? 

It feels like bad theater. But the stage has been set for bad actors for awhile.

Friday, November 27, 2020

He Seems a Little Testy


But on Thanksgiving, after talking to troops serving overseas, Trump held forth, venturing into the weeds of the allegations that the election was rigged — baseless claims of widespread spread that courts have repeatedly rejected. 
"There's no way that Biden got 80 million votes," he said, repeatedly. When a reporter pushed back against his claims, Trump got angry. 
"Don't talk to me that way," he said. "You're just a lightweight ... I'm the president of the United States. Don't ever talk to the president that way."
--From NPR. 

 He may have needed a nap judging by his outburst, but he definitely needs to sleep on whether we could find 80 million actual people who wanted a person who was not a great big pissybritches toddler for president anymore, because that was the deal. Vote for Biden, big ole pissybritches leaves office. It was a good deal, and not hard for people who simply "can not" with this man anymore. 

With every passing day he looks smaller, and somehow, it's not because he's vanishing in our rearview mirror. 

Or at least, not yet. Maybe it's because his lawyers are still treating him to a wild, rollicking "storytime", where he gets to hear about a delightful fantasy land where he won, and no one gets to tell him bad things. But those stories are bad, and they aren't helping.  Sadder still, he isn't the only one who seems to believe them, or at least, who likes to hear them.

But stories end, and so do presidencies. How he does it is a question of character, but then again, his character has been questionable all this while.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Things That Are Definitely Connected

And this has been Strangely Blogged's first and latest edition of "Things That Are Definitely Connected."  And a reminder: just because a bunch of people listening to Trump believe a thing is true, does not make a thing true. Just ask Barack Obama's birth certificate.

UPDATE: Wow, why not?

Monday, November 23, 2020

PSA: Saving Your Blessings


I know a lot of people have already left to get to their family holiday get-togethers, and some others might be very certain that warning about the spread of COVID-19 is a liberal plot to destroy the family by attacking our sacred holidays, but I think it should be said that if our service-members and veterans do and have spent holidays away from their loved ones for the protection of this nation, isn't that really something any of us should be patriotic enough to do? 

COVID-19 has killed over 250K Americans (given the excess death figures, probably tens of thousands more). That's an enemy you shouldn't want to bring home with you for the holidays. And while it isn't fatal for everyone who comes into contact with it (although it is dangerous enough for older people and immune-compromised people), it can certainly send someone to the hospital. Those beds are already filling up. Hospitals and health care workers are stressed to the maximum

No one is saying not to celebrate Thanksgiving--in a small group within your household and maybe making some nice long phone calls to folks who are distant. Be thankful! But sometimes the best way to show thankfulness for your blessings is to save them. Social distancing saves lives. Too many people have learned this lesson the hard way.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Kraken, Out


You can say what you like about the Trump campaign legal strategy (oh boy, can you!) but I would have to say nothing likely ended Powell's membership in the Elite Strike Force like "going rogue" and accusing GA Gov. Kemp of being paid by the Chi-Coms to throw the election to Biden, as well as suggesting that Rep. Doug Collins (endorsed by Powell client Mike Flynn), not Sen. Kelly Loeffler, should actually be in the run-off. 

That was drawing too many Republican bodies into her web of crazy, and while people will tolerate some goofy-ass conspiracy theorizing, this was getting to be a whole Disney parade of cartoon-ass conspiracy theorizing. And that's a little too close to two entire senate run-offs. The "kraken" that was about to be unleashed was just an amalgam of "crack" and Karen". She had to go. 

I do have to say that she is not weirder nor more obviously inept than Rudy Giuliani, who Tweeted today about the population of Wayne County:

Ok, that's his story, and there is no proof of any large scale fraud that has actually been discovered by anybody, but this Tweet seems to be referring to a fairly specific claim brought forward in a case by Lin Wood (who very probably is even more, uh, controversial, than Powell or Giuliani) based on confusing Michigan with Minnesota.  It's something that's not just laughable, but was widely debunked (and laughed at) days before. Did he somehow not know this is demonstrable bullshit before pointing it out or is he too far gone to care? (Or more to the point, is he just bringing it up for the benefit of an audience that never checks links and is also too far gone to care?)

Old sentimentalist that Trump is, I guess he has his reasons for hanging onto Giuliani, and competence in front of a court is not as important as loyalty. (Would it even help when these are the cases he's got?)

You know who I like for all kinds of reasons: NJ Rep. Bill Pascrell. He's filing legal complaints to the bar regarding 22 of these election-hoaxing horseflies trying to change the results of the election. And more power to him.

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Elite Strike Force


It's been ten hours and I guess the GOP Twitter account isn't going to delete their apparent approval of Trump's "elite strike force" and the mad claims of voter fraud which include a devious alliance between Hugo Chavez and George Soros with the help of Cuban and Venezuelan dirty money to create software that inserted votes after the fact to make it look like Trump didn't win in a landslide when they know he did--but what the hell? I'll just screencap that SOB anyway because who knows? Maybe they aren't all batshit.

But it really looks like they want to go all in for batshit. 

(Just as a side note, the most interesting thing about the press conference today wasn't Rudy Giuliani slowly melting in front of the cameras, blowing his nose in a hanky, and then using it to smear the sweat and hair dye off his face, or listening to Mike Flynn's lawyer Sydney Powell (who really loves that leopard print!) get increasingly weirder in her description of how Dominion election software was born while Jenna Ellis's face almost lost composure, but noting that Dmitry Firtash's lawyers, Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing were also there in case we were liable to forget all the Ukraine shenanigans to smear Joe Biden and son. 

Time is a flat circle or something. Anyway, Trump is inviting Michigan GOP lawmakers to the White House for some reason that--OMG you don't think he's going to do something inappropriate to interfere in the election DO YOU?

That would be terrible.)