Media (436)

 

Death in the Capitol

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Officer Sicknick died a victim of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th but if it was up to Trump democracy would have died too. After months of lying that he had won the election and telling his followers that the official result could still be reversed, after dimwit Trump-mutt Don Jr. had threatened politicians who didn’t support his father that ‘we are coming for you’ and after Consigliere Rudy Giuliani, who has lost more than 60 court cases challenging the election results, had thrown ‘trial by combat’ into the mix, the president told his goons to march on the Capitol for the wild ending he had promised.  And so they marched, in their camouflage fatigues and ‘6 Million Jews Was Not Enough’ t-shirts, with oversized MAGA hats and red, white and blue face paint, some in body armor with hidden guns and others with confederate flags, united in the intention to ‘stop the steal’ and keep Congress from doing its constitutional duty.  Once at the Capitol they broke through the perimeter, forced themselves into the building and went looking for Mike Pence, who was supposed to be hanged at a gallows outside, and for Nancy Pelosi, who was supposed to be shot on site.

They didn’t find Pence and Pelosi, who had been whisked away by security personnel, but they broke into the Senate chamber and Pelosi’s office, where they stole a laptop and a podium and broke a mirror.  Some of them defecated on the floors and spread their feces through the building while others went looking for members of Congress, armed with zip ties to take them prisoner. On their journey through the corridors they ran into officer Sicknick, who stood his ground and was hit with the fire extinguisher that broke his skull, which made them all complicit to murder. Meanwhile at the White House Trump, who had told them he would be with them but of course was not, was cheering the mayhem on, surprised and later disappointed that except for initially Don Jr., his witchlike girlfriend and Mark Meadows nobody was happy about the spectacle.  When the scope of the disaster he had brought upon the country became clear his staff begged him to ask the perpetrators to go home, which he did after repeating his lie about the election being stolen and telling them he loved them.  The next day, medicated up the wazoo, he condemned their actions but only for a few hours.

It is still unclear if the president played a role in keeping the National Guard away from the Capitol until the late afternoon, but it’s obvious that he committed treason by inciting to insurrection in an attempt to hold on to the White House.  He has been complaining lately that unlike Obama he didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize but he is first in line for the Benedict Arnold Award, and punishment will be coming, both for him and for the white supremacist scum under his command. For Trump that will start with today’s impeachment and later continue in federal and state courts.

Following the closing of his Facebook account the president was also banned indefinitely by Twitter, and although he tried to keep messaging on the platform, first from his POTUS account and then from his campaign account, like a trapped rat in a sewer looking for an exit, every account he tried to use was summarily shut down, taking away his most important ‘instrument,’ as dirty trickster Steve Bannon, who is still waiting for a pardon for the financial fraud he has been indicted for, would call it.

Yesterday Trump was back at being his old lying, pompous self.  First he made a futile effort to convince Kevin McCarthy that the invaders of the Capitol were Antifa, not MAGA people, then he told the press that a second impeachment would be ‘very divisive and dangerous’ and that people who read his speech thought it was ‘totally appropriate’ before he flew to Texas to see if Mexico had already paid for ‘the Wall.’


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Dismay

 

International reaction: The rest of the world watched the once-unimaginable scene unfolding in Washington with dismay for what it said both about the U.S. and about other nations.

 

“This is not merely a U.S. national issue, but it shakes the world, at least all democracies,” said Peter Beyer, Germany’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic affairs. Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter: “This is what happens when you sow hatred.”

 
 

 

Another Perfect Call

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

When Trump called the Ukrainian president Zelensky on July 25th 2019 to blackmail him into starting an investigation of Hunter and Joe Biden, Alexander Vindman was listening in and blew the whistle on the president’s criminal behavior, and having learned a lesson, when last Saturday Trump called Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger he and his lawyer were prepared and recorded the call.  After the president tweeted some falsehoods about their ‘conversation’ the secretary released the recording to the press, and soon thereafter the whole world could listen to Trump threatening, lying, cajoling and blackmailing to have the result of the election reversed in his favor.  His reasons were that 18,000 fraudulent ballots were brought into a polling place, that there were no poll watchers, that close to 5,000 dead people and 4,925 out-of-state people voted, that some ballots were entered multiple times in voting machines and many ballots were burned in Fulton County.  Some of these ‘arguments’ came from the darkest corners of the web, where QAnon followers manufacture and spread their conspiracy theories for simpletons like the president to believe.

After Raffensperger and his lawyer calmly rebuked Trump’s preposterous claims and told him that his data were simply wrong and that Dominion voting machines had not been removed or altered there was nothing left for the president than to ask the secretary to find him 11,800 votes, one more than he needed to win the state.  The request is a federal crime, although the statute allows for its own version of an insanity defense if the perpetrator doesn’t know that his ‘facts’ are false, and it’s also a violation of Georgia state law, which doesn’t have a similar back door. Trump didn’t seem to be deterred by the prospect of another state lawsuit without protection from a pardon and repeated the same gibberish last night at a rally for the two GOP senators who were in a runoff in Georgia, where he really was supposed to talk about those senators, who both lost, but barely mentioned them.  Also not deterred by the phone call are 140 Republican House members and 12 senators who stand ready to challenge the outcome of the election in possibly six states when the Electoral College votes are presented to Congress today, potentially forcing an all-night debate.

Neither that debate nor flipping Georgia will give Trump the presidency and there is speculation that he is just pissed off about having lost Georgia, traditionally a red state, but his effort is more nefarious.  He has called on the Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona to intervene, and put pressure on legislative leaders in Pennsylvania and Michigan to have the election results in their states reversed.  And those are only the actions we know about, but considering that he tried 18 times to get Raffensperger on the phone God knows how many other politicians he has called.

The president seems to realize that objections from a minority of House members and senators won’t keep him in the White House, but he is delusionally convinced that Mike Pence, who has an entirely ceremonial role prescribed by the Constitution in receiving the Electoral College votes, can still change those votes and declare him the winner of the election.  Apparently Pence told him that he cannot do that but Trump put out a statement that he and the VP agree he can.

For weeks Trump has urged his cult members to come to Washington, DC, today and the city has been filling with sizable contingents of QAnon crazies and white supremacist hoodlums like the Proud Boys. The latter had to leave their artillery at home and without it they won’t try to get into the Capitol but more serious rioting can be expected after Trump speaks to them at the Ellipse.


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No Power to Block

Vice President Mike Pence told President Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did, people briefed on the conversation said.

Mr. Pence’s message, delivered during his weekly lunch with the president, came hours after Mr. Trump further turned up the public pressure on the vice president to do his bidding when Congress convenes Wednesday in a joint session  to ratify Mr. Biden’s Electoral College win.      

   

 

Trump Scorches the Earth All Around

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

A scorched earth military strategy aims to destroy anything that might be useful to the enemy.  It can be applied to keep a losing enemy from regrouping, as William Tecumseh Sherman did in the southern states, or to keep a winning enemy from advancing too fast, as Nazi Germany did in Russia.  The bizarre thing about Trump’s ‘strategy’ is that it affects his own forces more negatively than the enemy’s.  His obstruction of the transition process frustrates the Biden team, but also threatens the security of the American people, of which 46.8% voted for him.  His vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act would hurt the military – where he has a lot of support – if there is no override in the Senate, and it puts Republicans in a bind because they have to choose between loyalty to the president and loyalty to the troops.  His initial refusal to sign the COVID relief bill and his demand to increase payments to $2,000 created a similar dilemma for members of his own party, who looked like sheep if they followed Trump and voted along with Nancy Pelosi and like assholes if they didn’t.  Delaying the 2021 omnibus spending bill would have hurt all Americans.

Trump is furious because he has convinced himself with the help of a couple of lunatics that the election was stolen from him, so he lashed out at the Democrats who are the culprits, at the ‘fake news’ media for not reporting the theft and at Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for not supporting his campaign for ‘electoral justice.’ Paradoxically he is also angry at the American people for not in majority voting for him.  In his convoluted attempts to hurt all of the above his raging brain came up with ridiculous arguments, like refusing to sign the budget bill because it contains items from his own budget proposal that were put in there by his Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin.  Meanwhile his delayed signing of the relief bill has already cost the neediest Americans $300 in unemployment benefits, and his bringing $2,000 relief checks into play put Georgia’s senators Perdue and Loeffler in a pickle, because they had to choose between being loyal to McConnell or to Trump and most of their electorate.   This coming weekend the president will campaign for them and if they still change their minds and go with McConnell he might as well go golfing.

With 1 in every 17 Americans infected with COVID and over 1 in every 1,000 Americans dead because of the virus neither Trump, who spends most of his days on the golf course, nor Pence, who is skiing in Colorado, have spoken out about the surge or tried to boost the vaccination campaign.  Mike Pence is the president’s last hope, because Trump seems to think that the Vice President can refuse to accept the result of the Electoral College vote on January 6th and declare him the winner, although for backup he has urged his hoodlums to come to DC for a ‘wild’ day.

It is fitting that in the current situation Representative Louie Gohmert, a former judge who would fall off the bottom of the scale if he ever took an IQ test, filed a lawsuit to compel a federal judge to tell Pence to violate the Constitution and commit an auto-coup in the middle of the Congress.  Even Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell have not come up with something so ludicrous, although Hizzoner would probably pull the hair out of his head because he didn’t think of it if he had hair.

More important than the pandemic was for Trump that Melania has not been on magazine covers as First Lady, which caused him to air an undoubtedly heartfelt complaint, and out of the blue Ivanka Trump, whose three children have one grandfather pardoned by the other grandfather, tweeted ‘Iowa,’ suggesting that maybe the president’s idiot daughter considers running in 2024.


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