He’s out but not forgotten

Donald Trump was warned the pardons he once hoped to bestow upon his family and even himself would place him in a legally perilous position, convey the appearance of guilt and potentially make him more vulnerable to reprisals.

As well, Trump was warned that pardons for Republican lawmakers who had sought them for their role in the Capitol insurrection would anger the very Senate Republicans who will determine his fate in an upcoming impeachment trial – unless he was prepared to list specific crimes. Not as chance.

In the end, no family pardons. However, there were at least 74 pardons and 70 commutes. Those pardoned include Steve Bannon [former chief strategist], Elliott Broidy [a former top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy], and rapper Lil Wayne [gun charges].

Dozens of influential Republicans around Washington — including former top Trump administration officials — have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Trump. “Mitch [Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell] said to me he wants Trump gone,” one Republican member of Congress said. Those who want to run for President in 2024 should want to impeach Trump.

Seems former allies are dumping Trump as fast as they can. Former Vice President Mike Pence didn’t attend Trump’s ridiculous departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. McConnell has said that Trump is at least part to blame for the insurrection. As other Republican senators look for him for guidance [or cue], this could push them to vote against Trump for the impeachment. It seems McConnell has lost his clout.

McConnell is proposing that the Senate give former Trump’s legal team two weeks to prepare for the upcoming impeachment trial once the Senate receives the article and delay its start until mid-February. Is he trying to get back into Trump’s good graces?

It was later announced that the second Senate impeachment trial of Trump is now scheduled to begin on February 9 after Senate leaders reached a deal to push it back, giving Trump’s legal team more time to prepare. While some Republicans are in favor of convicting Trump, getting 17 may be difficult. Even after what he did, many senators are standing with Trump [and the party].

“The [former] President wrote a very generous letter,” Biden told reporters. “Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous.” A senior Trump aide described the letter as a “personal note” that prays for the success of the country and the new administration to care for the country. So Trump at least kept up one tradition.

Trump repeated some of his favorite falsehoods in both his farewell video address, which was released on Tuesday, and in his final speech on Wednesday morning at Joint Base Andrews. But they are the usual lies and deceptive comments.

One of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States.

Biden has put further construction of the Trump Wall on hold while a decision on what to do with the remaining contracts. The contracts have penalties in case the contracts are canceled by the government. $16.45 billion has been spent on the wall already – mostly to replace older walls that were unacceptable.

Trump revoked a rule he signed early in his term that imposed a five-year lobbying ban for administration officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments. Trump is presumably allowing for those officials to begin lobbying when they leave government.

Bill Clinton had also nixed the five-year lobbying ban at the end of his tenure, which Trump had criticized during the 2016 campaign. “He rigged the system on his way out,” Trump said of Clinton as he ran against his wife, Hillary Clinton. So it’s OK for him to do it now.

The National Security Agency said it was installing Trump National Security Council staffer Michael Ellis as its general counsel, after acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller ordered NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone to place the Trump loyalist into the role. That will probably be a very short stay as general counsel.

Facebook and Twitter have lost a combined $51 billion in market cap following their bans of Trump recently as investors balked at the tech giants’ surprise censorship of Trump roughly two weeks before his term was set to end. Facebook part is about $47.6 billion alone.

Research released found that online discussions about election fraud plunged a whopping 73% since Twitter and other social media companies banned Trump and his key allies on January 8.

Five prominent anti-vaccine organizations that have been known to spread misleading information about the coronavirus received more than $850,000 in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, raising questions about why the Trump government is giving money to groups actively opposing its agenda and seeking to undermine public health during a critical period.

First lady Melania Trump did not write her own “thank you” notes to the White House residence staff who have cared for her and her family for the last four years.

The public overwhelmingly wants to see the Republican Party move on from Trump once he’s left office according to a SSRS poll. Overall, just 19% say the party ought to continue to treat Trump as its leader, while 77% say it should move on. Among Republicans, views are split, with 48% saying the party should move on and 47% saying the party should continue to treat Trump as the leader of the party.

Yet 75% of Republicans say they have little or no confidence that elections in America today reflect the will of the people, including a majority (57%) who say they are not at all confident that election results represent the will of the people.

The Republican Party’s popularity rating has taken a 9-point hit since before Election Day, with just 32% viewing it favorably. That shift rests mostly on a decline in positive views among Republicans themselves: 92% had a positive take in October, just 76% do now.

Views of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, have held about even, 49% have a favorable view now compared with 46% in October. And self-identified Democrats are more apt to have a favorable view of their own party (89%) than Republicans are to say they have a positive take on their chosen party.

Mitch McConnell, the current majority leader who will become minority leader after Biden is inaugurated and the results of the Georgia Senate runoffs are certified, is viewed more negatively than he has been at any point in CNN’s polling by a wide margin. About two-thirds (66%) have an unfavorable view of the Kentucky Republican, outpacing his previous high by 17 points. Democrats, Republicans and independents are about the same.

At 47%, more people have an unfavorable view of the first lady now than at any point since first asked about views of her in February 2016. The poll, conducted by SSRS, puts Trump’s favorable rating at 42%. Trump’s highest favorable rating was in May 2018 at 57%. She is the lower than the previous 3 first ladies.

As per Gallup, Trump had the lowest average poll at 41% of any president in the last 7 decades plus finished off at 34% approval. Not surprising, Trump’s average job approval rating among Democrats for his term was 7%.

One group of historians says he rates as the worst president and another survey said the third worst.

A two time loser

Donald Trump is now the first two time loser.

For the first time in US history, a president has been impeached twice – and in the same term. Ten Republicans in the House sided with the Democrats while 4 did not vote. A Senate vote, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will not happen until Joe Biden is sworn in as President.

Trump took no responsibility for the deadly mob invasion of the building but also said he wanted “no violence.” Trump defended his fiery rally remarks to a protest crowd last week as “totally appropriate,” and he showed no remorse for the following attack.

“To continue on this path [second impeachment], I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.

In a video after he was impeached, he delivered a call for calm as the threat of new riots. However he mentioned nothing about the impeachment. Nothing about the “greatest hoax”, “witch hunt” or anything else. He did decried what he called the “unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days.”

Vice president Mike Pence and Trump met for the first time since the Capitol attack, and had a “good conversation” pledging to continue working for the remainder of their terms.

Karl A. Racine, attorney general for the District of Columbia, said the speeches such as those given by Trump, GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr. are getting “full scrutiny” by his office. His office is carefully reviewing laws related to free speech.

Stroking his very huge ego, Trump will hold an unprecedented farewell event at Joint Base Andrews the morning of Biden’s inauguration and then leave town before his successor takes the oath of office. Officials are considering an elaborate event that would have the feel of a state visit, with a red carpet, color guard, military band and 21-gun salute all being discussed.

His flight prior to the inauguration will allow him to use Air Force One for the last time. He will be at Mar-A-Lago before Biden takes his oath. If Trump left after the inauguration, Trump would join all outgoing presidents to have make a request to use Air Force One, which is usually granted. With the cold relationship between Trump and Biden I’m sure Lost Wages would have had some odds for this.

McConnell has indicated that he believes that impeaching Trump will make it easier to get rid of Trump and Trumpism from the Republican Party. He is furious about last week’s attack on the US Capitol by Trump’s supporters, even more so that Trump has shown no contrition. McConnell has made no commitments on voting to convict Trump, and wants to see the article itself before voting.

The Republican leadership seems to have given up on Trump. Aside from McConnell, Liz Chaney is voting to impeach trump. House Minority Leader McCarthy says Trump bears responsibility for the Capitol Hill attack.

Trump’s ire is also on McCarthy, who incensed Trump further by saying he bears responsibility for last week’s riot. Trump had already been upset with McCarthy after the McCarthy left the option of censuring Trump on the table in a letter to colleagues earlier.

Several of his Cabinet secretaries — the ones who haven’t resigned in protest — are avoiding him.

Trump is considering having Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz defend him when he faces another impeachment trial. But after the impeachment, Trump, irritated at being impeached for a second time, has told people to stop paying Giuliani’s legal fees.

Trump falsely said those who’d analyzed his remarks before the deadly insurrection attempt had found no fault in them. “They’ve analyzed my speech, my words,” he said. “Everybody to a T thought it was appropriate.” When Trump uses “Everybody” when it comes to something like this, it is a code word for either nobody or very few looked at it.

Oddly, he claimed the “real problem” is what other politicians said about protests over the summer in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Those were nothing compared to the insurrection. He’s out of touch…. Again.

“What Trump did today, blaming others for what he caused, is a pathological technique used by the worst of dictators,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “Trump causes the anger. He causes the divisiveness. He foments the violence and blames others for it. That is despicable.”

During insurrection day, he was convinced by advisers that a forceful denunciation of his own supporters was necessary, both because he was facing removal from office and because he faces potential legal questions about his role in inciting the riots. Later that day, Trump appeared to some aides to regret taping a video in which he denounced the violence and conceded he would not be serving a second term in office.

Trump has been told in the days following the siege at the Capitol that he could be charged with inciting violence by local and federal authorities and be sued by relatives of the victims who were harmed in the insurrection.

While in Texas, he said “The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration.” That sounds like a threat.

White Shack counsel Pat Cipollone and former Attorney General Bill Barr have warned Trump that they do not believe he should pardon himself. Barr believes a 1974 Justice Department legal memo finding that the president cannot pardon himself should stand, and that Cipollone has not asked the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel for a re-examination of the issue.

After Twitter took the major step of permanently banning Trump’s @realdonaldtrump Twitter account, Trump aimed to get the last word in through his government account @POTUS which has a fraction of the Twitter followers but still offered Trump a megaphone on the service to send out a few last tweets. The tweets were deleted within minutes by Twitter which does not allow banned individuals to circumvent a full ban by tweeting under alternate accounts.

He tweeted: “As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.”

Trump has since had accounts closed or limited usage across many platforms. Snapchat has added itself to the platforms bans Trump permanently.

White Shack officials pressured a top Georgia federal prosecutor, US Attorney Byung J. Pak, to resign ahead of the state’s high stakes Senate runoff elections because President Donald Trump was upset he wasn’t pursuing Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread election fraud strongly enough.

Trump urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to “find the fraud” in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a “national hero”. Trump placed the call to the investigations chief for the Georgia secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas — while the individual was leading an inquiry into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County, in the suburbs of Atlanta. Trump’s attempts to intervene in an ongoing investigation could amount to obstruction of justice or other criminal violations.

Even late in the term, Trump wanted to bring in more loyalists into the administration. Why? Who wants a job that will last maybe a month? They know that the Biden administration will probably clean out any Trump loyalists. Also would you want a short term job to potentially stain your career by having to work for Trump?

Case in point. Trump has been on the verge of firing CIA Director Gina Haspel several times only to be pulled back from the brink. In December, he and others concocted a plan to terminate Haspel and put Kash Patel [current chief of staff to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller] in charge of the CIA. Multiple options were discussed, including firing Haspel’s deputy and replacing him with Patel, which they believed would force Haspel to quit, and also firing both and making Patel acting director.

Where has trump been getting some advice including firing Haspel from? MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a Republican donor who has informally advised Trump. Exactly what Lindell has to offer in the spy business? Nothing – we assume.

A federal judge blocked a sweeping asylum rule that had been scheduled to take effect nationwide in a matter of days, issuing yet another legal blow to the Trump administration. The administration has released a series of rules restricting asylum over the last four years, making it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to have their claims granted. Friday’s injunction blocks the implementation of one of those regulations, which had been introduced last summer and finalized in December.

Deutsche Bank has decided not to conduct any further business with Trump and his company. Trump owes the Frankfurt-based lender more than US$300 million. Signature Bank, the New York lender that’s long catered to his family, is closing two personal accounts in which Trump held about $5.3 million. Both are in the awake of the insurrection.

Credit card processor, Stripe, is no longer processing credit card payments for the Trump campaign. Shopify stopped operating online stores for both the Trump Organization and the campaign. Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield said it “has made the decision to no longer do business with The Trump Organization.”

Officials in New York City announced plans to immediately end the Trump Organization’s contracts to operate the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, the Central Park Carousel and the Wollman and Lasker ice skating rinks.

The PGA as pulls 2022 championship from Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.

An average across polls since the insurrection (in which no pollster is counted more than once) shows that 50% of Americans want Trump to either be impeached, for the 25th Amendment to be invoked or for Trump to resign from office. The minority (43%) say that none of these should occur.

Joining the unemployment lines:

  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf [He should have had the “acting” job because of a technical issue.]
  • Jonathan Fahey is resigning as acting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement director just weeks after assuming the post. His replacement, Tony Pham, resigned last month.

I don’t think Trump had a week as bad as this week

After the Washington insurrection [or riot], Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called for Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office, either by his Cabinet or through impeachment, describing the violence at the Capitol as “an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” Vice President Mike Pence isn’t seem to be rushing to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Democrats are lining up to have one article of impeachment ready [“incitement of insurrection”] and will announce it as soon as Monday. The vote could me a few days later.

[It is a note that theoretically they could vote in the House to impeach Trump just prior to the inauguration. When the Senate convenes, the Democrats would have a majority – so there would at least be a debate. But getting the “supermajority” may be an issue.

Even if Pence tried to get the cabinet to approve the 25th Amendment, there are quite a few “acting” cabinet members and some missing positions. How do they play in any vote for the amendment?]

Schumer said the “quickest and most effective way” to remove Trump would be under the 25th Amendment. Under that process, the president can be removed from office by the vice president plus a majority of the Cabinet, or by the vice president and a body established by Congress, if they determine he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

The Attorney General for the District of Columbia Karl Racine called on Pence to organize the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Members of the House Judiciary Committee are urging Pence and members from Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution and remove Trump from office, according to a statement released by the committee members. Some Cabinet members are holding preliminary discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment.

By impeaching and removing Trump, even at this late stage of his term, the Senate could subsequently vote to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again. On the other hand, invoking the 25th Amendment would require Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office due to his inability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” — an unprecedented step.

Trump finally pledged an “orderly transition” in a statement issued shortly after Pence announced Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election at the end of a joint session of Congress that was disrupted for hours by violent Trump supporters.

At one point Trump tweeted “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long… Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” He will definitely remember that day.

During Election Day in Georgia for the two runoff senate seats, Trump tweeted “Reports are coming out of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia that Dominion Machines are not working in certain Republican Strongholds for over an hour… Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them.” Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, said the issues had been “resolved hours ago,” adding that the secretary of state’s office was keeping the public informed in “real time.” So, Trump was whining about old news…. Again.

Trump slammed Pence, saying he “didn’t have the courage” to decertify and return the results of the presidential election back to the states. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify… USA demands the truth!”

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been a staunch supporter of Trump, vigorously defended to certify the electoral votes on the Senate floor. “We’ve got to end it. Vice President Pence, what they’re asking you to do you won’t do, because you can’t,” he said. Graham ended his remarks by fully backing the election results. “It is over… [Biden] won. He’s the legitimate President to the United States… Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the President and the Vice President of the United States on January 20,” he said.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney condemned the attack on the Capitol as an “insurrection” and pleaded with his Republican colleagues to drop their objections against the Electoral College votes and inform their constituents of Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. “What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States,” he said.

Twitter has permanently banned Trump’s account. It doesn’t stop Trump from using a government account but I would guess they will be closely monitored. If Trump creates another Twitter account, it will be shut down.

Trump could move over to the smaller social media platform, Parler, which is nothing but where the right, far right and the real crackpots like to chat [so they don’t have to follow any rules like Twitter]. However, Apple has told Parler to clean up or the Parler app will be banned. As Apple controls what apps can get installed, it would shut out iPhone/iPad users from Parler. Parler has been removed from Google Play store.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told colleagues in a letter that she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, about keeping an “unstable president” from accessing the nuclear codes.

Trump, who has proven over the past year to be eager to deploy the National Guard when violence breaks out, initially resisted doing so on Capitol Hill as a mob of his supporters breached the building.

Won’t even bother to mentioning some of the crap, but the right wing media are trying to change history of what happened at the insurrection.

Trump tweeted that he won’t attend the inauguration. The first time in decades that a “president” didn’t attend and only the fourth ever. Biden is happy that he isn’t showing up.

Three of the living Presidents will attend the inauguration. Former President Jimmy Carter — who, at 96, is America’s oldest living president — will not be there as he is unable to travel, and neither will former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Trump told people he banned Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short from the West Wing. Short was seen going into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is on the White House campus but is a separate building from the White House and where Pence has his Vice Presidential Office.

Even as the deadly riot raged at the US Capitol, the Trump tried to call senators to convince them to overturn the election.

Lehigh University, a private college in Pennsylvania, has revoked the honorary degree it awarded Trump more than 30 years ago. The decision was affirmed by the school’s Board of Trustee, the school said in a brief announcement.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that the social media giant was banning Trump indefinitely, a sign of escalated actions by tech giants in the face of growing social unrest at end of Trump’s term in office.

Trump demanded that Georgia’s Republican secretary of state “find” him enough votes to overturn the presidential election, and vaguely threatened him with “a criminal offense,” during an hour long telephone conversation with him, according to audio excerpts from the conversation. Trump, who has spent almost nine weeks making false conspiracy claims about his loss to Biden, told Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections official, that Raffensperger should recalculate the vote count so Trump would win the state’s 16 electoral votes. Raffensperger is the same man Trump has been bullying since the Election Day results. Why would he do anything for Trump [assuming he’s a “normal” human]. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Mr. Trump said on the call.

Legal experts claim a number of things that Trump wants could be considered illegally federally or from the state including blackmail, intimidation, [political] solicitation or procurement.

Even if Trump won Georgia, it is not enough to give him the victory. Georgia has 16 electoral votes.

Trump also tweeted that Raffensperger has a brother named Ron who works for a large Chinese company. No brother named Ron.

Nearly a dozen Republican senators and senators-elect announced they voted against counting electoral votes on January 6 when Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory — despite no credible evidence suggesting widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. This includes Ted Cruz who was nicknamed “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” by Trump in the 2016 primaries and claimed his father wasn’t an American.

And yet Cruz still sides with Trump. This shows how the Republican Party is full of unethical politicians who will look the other way if it could benefit them. In this case, Cruz is in a fairly safe seat and is expected to run for president again. For the senators-elect, it is to make a name of themselves early.

“Vice President (Mike) Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election. The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th,” said Marc Short, the chief of staff for the vice president. He’s out of a job 2 weeks later.

Again this is a formality since the Democrats control the House and both House and Senate must agree. But the Republicans have to remember that sometime in the future, the Democrats could also challenge especially if the Democrats control both while having a Republican president.

In the end, there were three objections and all were defeated.

Trump tweeted “The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. “When in doubt, call it Covid.” Fake News!” Still denying the number of deaths.

The Trump administration is continuing to award border wall contracts in the waning days of Trump’s presidency, including in areas where private land hasn’t yet been acquired, an unusual move that will complicate Biden’s pledge to halt construction. Payments will have to be made for what they’ve already done, as well as for materials produced. It is estimated the process could cost billions. A total of 47 miles of the Trump Wall was built where no wall previously existed since 2017.

So Trump wants to take credit for everything positive [but not negative] such as this tweet “Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work.”

Hospitals now have to disclose the rates they privately negotiate with insurers under a Trump administration rule. The administration argues that such price transparency will allow patients to shop for lower-priced medical services and help reduce health care costs overall. “Transparency in medical pricing will be one of the biggest and most important things done for the American citizen… Enjoy all the extra money you will have.”

The industry argues that the disclosure could actually confuse patients, rather than inform them. It does not tell consumers what out-of-pocket charges they may face since the posted rates don’t account for a patient’s personal deductible or copay requirements.

In the unemployment line news:

  • Cabinet member, Elaine Choi, the Transport Secretary has departed. She’s the wife of Mitch McConnell.
  • Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff, said he is resigning from his current post as a special envoy to Northern Ireland in the wake of the “international travesty” that took place at the Capitol.
  • Stephanie Grisham, the former White House communications director and press secretary and current chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, submitted her resignation, effective immediately, in the wake of the violent protests, a White House official says.
  • White House social secretary Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta also resigned effective immediately.
  • “Education” Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned as well. Quotes as she more like butchered education in the US.
    Matthew Pottinger, the White House deputy national security adviser, also resigned.
  • Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, resigned.
  • John Costello, deputy assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, announced his departure in a blistering tweet, writing, “yesterday’s events were an unprecedented attack on the very core of our democracy — incited by a sitting president.”
  • Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use in the Department of Health and Human Services, resigned.
  • Anthony Ruggiero, senior director for counter-proliferation and bio-defense at the National Security Council, resigned.

The rant

As you know by now, Donald Trump had an hour long rant with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, that had so many crazy fictional information from him. His Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, was on the call and did nothing to stop him.

Here’s a list of some of what Trump said [sit down and relax and don’t drink anything as you may spill the liquid over you]:

  • “I won the election by hundreds of thousands of votes” in Georgia. He repeated this 4 times in not even a couple of minutes.
  • “I can tell you by our rallies…” that he won Georgia?
  • “They don’t live in Georgia anymore” – supposedly people from outside Georgia voted in Georgia.
  • “There are 18,000 ballots but they used each 3 times” – as in the votes were counted 3 times for the Democrats. Coincidentally that’s just over the 11,780 he needs.
  • “We have many more votes already certified.” Yes, by whom?
  • “Have they [Dominion voting machines] removed parts and replaced them with other parts” after the election. Unsure what this does.
  • “They were stuffed [ballots] like they were never stuffed before.” Uh huh.
  • “We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly. We’d be getting 25-30,000 people a rally and the competition would get less than 100 people.”
  • “As you know, every single state … we won every state.”
  • “And we won the House, but we won every single state house and we won Congress, which was supposed to lose 15 seats, and they gained, I think 16 or 17 or something.”
  • “Late in the morning, they went early in the morning they went to the table with the black robe, the black shield and they pulled out the votes. Those votes were put there a number of hours before the table was put there.”
  • “They weren’t in an official voter box, but they were in what looked to be suitcases or trunks, suitcases but they weren’t in voter boxes…. if you can believe it, but slow motion and it was magnified many times over and the minimum it was 18,000 ballots, all for Biden.”
  • “So dead people voted and I think the number is close to 5,000 people.”
  • “We think that if you check the signatures — a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged.”
  • “Because, what’s the difference between winning the election by two votes and winning it by half a million votes. I think I probably did win it by half a million.” [I thought he lost by 11779 votes?]
  • “And the real truth is I won by 400,000 votes. At least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000. We need less than 2,000 votes.” [Wasn’t it half a million or was that 11779. Then 400,000 and now just 2,000?]
  • “We have at least 2 or 3 — anywhere from 250-300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked.”
  • “You had out-of-state voters. They voted in Georgia but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant, they were absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses.”
  • “But you also have a substantial numbers of people, thousands and thousands who went to the voting place on November 3, were told they couldn’t vote, were told they couldn’t vote because a ballot had been put on their name.”
  • “You’re not the only one, I mean, we have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly.”
  • “But in Detroit, we had, I think it was, 139% of the people voted. That’s not too good.”
  • “In Pennsylvania, they had well over 200,000 more votes than they had people voting.”
  • “But, uh, they had as an example, in Michigan, a tremendous number of dead people that voted.”

Trump’s bill average isn’t good

Donald Trump’s White Shack negotiated with the Democrats and the Republicans for that stimulus bill. Trump had claimed he was involved but wasn’t but when it came time for him to sign, he didn’t. Why? He wanted the amount for citizens hiked to $2,000. Interesting as one Republican said that the topic of increasing the amount to $2,000 never came up in the negotiations! Trump only complained after the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for the bill. Of course, it also adds to the country’s debt which Joe Biden will have to deal with.

After close to 6 days, Trump finally decided to sign the bill as is – with no changes. I guess Trump can finally claim that he did some work while in Florida – other than playing golf.

The House ended up voting overwhelmingly to increase COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000, meeting Trump’s demand for bigger payments and sending the bill to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the outcome is highly uncertain. Democrats led the passage 275-134. Trump may have had his last win.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the bill to increase direct payments to $2,000, likely closing the door on any pathway to passage before the end of the Congress. McConnell took to the Senate floor to attack the House-passed bill, specifically on the issue of higher-income individuals and couples that would be eligible to receive some of the payments due to how the income phase outs are structured.

“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell said. He’s forgetting that it’s his boss, Trump, who wanted the $2,000. I am guessing Trump will be fuming at McConnell – but somehow still blame the Democrats.

[A problem with the stimulus bill is that a family with kids that earns $300,000 per year could still get a tiny piece of the $2,000. It will be tiny.]

On top of that, a government funding bill, which was to die, forced him to change his mind. He signed a government spending bill to avert another government shutdown – which has been frequent of late. A ban of evictions are expected to die during the week.

Trump also vetoed a military bill that would give military personnel an increase in pay plus more money for military hardware and construction. But yes. Trump is hard at work during his Florida vacation, he golfed recently for 5 hours while there.

In a series of tweets, Trump simultaneously called on the Senate to uphold his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act while claiming that “Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ ” will allow the legislation to pass as-is. If it were to pass, Trump said it would be a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech,” a stinging criticism of his Republican allies.

Related to the stimulus checks, Trump attacked Republican leadership without naming names, saying, “Republican leadership only wants the path of least resistance. Our leaders (not me, of course!) are pathetic.”

More than 100 House Republicans, moments after approving the larger direct payments to Americans, voted for the first time to help Democrats override a Trump veto, passing the annual defense authorization over his objection and sending that, too, to the Senate.

The Senate then voted to override Trump’s veto of the sweeping defense bill, delivering a bipartisan rebuke to Trump in his final days in office. Trump’s veto forced Republicans to decide whether to defy Trump in support of legislation that sets defense policy for the country. The legislation, however, originally passed both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities and the House voted to override the veto. The final vote in the Senate was 81-13, far above the two-thirds majority needed.

There are speculation that at least 140 Republicans in the House to vote against counting the electoral votes on January 6 when Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. They have virtually zero chance of changing the result, only to delay by a few hours the inevitable affirmation of Biden as the Electoral College winner and the next president since the Democrats control the House and both House and Senate need to vote against counting.

Biden thanked the first responders for their work regarding the Nashville Christmas bombing. Trump? Too busy playing golf or tweeting, probably.

Meanwhile, Biden publicly sounded the alarm over what he referred to as “obstruction” coming from some parts of the Trump government during the transition process – particularly, the Department of Defense. Biden advisers are saying that it is critical for the transition team to have a full understanding of the department of defense’s operations, including on major issues including COVID-19, cyber security, and the budget.

One area where the Biden team and the Defense Department have clashed in recent days is on the issue of transition meetings. The Defense Department continues to “deny and delay” meetings, and that none have taken place since December 18.

More and more allies are telling Trump to give up his “undemocratic coup” as noted by Trump’s favorite newspaper, the New York Post. Even the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, has told Trump publicly to give it up.

No shocker: Trump doesn’t show up at Mar-A-Lago New Year’s party. People went mask-less. Almost as bad: Guests stuck with party animal Rudy Giuliani and washouts Vanilla Ice and Berlin [remember them with the song You Take My Breath Away from the Top Gun movie?]. Also at the party were Trump’s two [older] sons, Tiffany Trump and various conservative media personalities. Tickets solder for $1000 each. Somewhere around 500 people showed up, slightly less than last year. Some may have bought a ticker but didn’t attended after it was announced that Donald Trump wouldn’t attend.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has retained forensic accounting specialists to aid its criminal investigation of Trump and his business operations, as prosecutors ramp up their scrutiny of his company’s real estate transactions. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. opened the investigation in 2018 to examine alleged hush-money payments made to two women who, during Trump’s first presidential campaign, claimed to have had affairs with him years earlier.

A coalition of environmental groups sued the Energy Department in an effort to block a new federal rule that would allow for faster dishwashers, arguing it could possibly lead to “higher household utility bills and more pollution.” The rule finalized by the department in October would create a product class of dishwashers “with a cycle time for the normal cycle of one hour or less from washing through drying.”

Trump railed against dishwasher efficiency while on the campaign trail, including when he referenced suburban women’s alleged dissatisfaction with dishwashers. Last year, for instance, Trump claimed that while dishwashers used to generate an “explosion” at the push of a button, “now you press it 12 times, women tell me.”

Trump received information earlier this month that China sought to pay non-state actors to attack American forces in Afghanistan. The intelligence, which will be declassified by the Trump administration, was provided to Trump in his daily brief on December 17, the official said. His national security adviser Robert O’Brien discussed the information with Trump that same day. Information of this alleged intelligence is thus far uncorroborated.

There has been some changes to his private quarters, many of which were overseen by his wife, Melania Trump, were not to Trump’s liking, and he was mad about it. It didn’t appeal to Trump’s aesthetics, according to his reaction. Trump was also displeased with other renovations at the property, not just in the living space. There were some loud one-sided conversations with club management almost immediately ensued.

Trump was so displeased this week with the way some of the renovations looked he asked that pieces of the décor, which consisted of white marble and an abundance of dark wood, be removed. They promptly were. Trump was also not thrilled with some of the decorative updates to Camp David, another project of Melania, when he saw them during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert and a few others have sued Vice President Mike Pence in federal court in a wacky attempt to transform the vice president’s purely ceremonial role in presiding over the announcement of the Electoral College results in Congress into a power broker position in which the VP could effectively hand the election to Trump. A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from several Republicans trying to force Pence to interfere in the Electoral College count.

Trump is still whining about the elections two months later. What does he think he’ll accomplish?
Trump tweeted: “Barack Obama was toppled from the top spot and President Trump claimed the title of the year’s Most Admired Man. Trump number one, Obama number two, and Joe Biden a very distant number three. …” He didn’t say who announced this…. If anyone.

Trump in hiding but still causes problems

Donald Trump convened a heated meeting in the Oval Office recently, including lawyer Sidney Powell and her client, former national security adviser Michael Flynn but it devolved and eventually broke out into screaming matches at certain points as some of Trump’s aides pushed back on Powell and Flynn’s more outrageous suggestions about overturning the election.

Flynn had suggested recently that Trump could invoke martial law as part of his efforts to overturn the election that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden. It wasn’t clear whether Trump endorsed the idea, but others in the room forcefully pushed back and shot it down. White House aides who participated in the meeting also pushed back intensely on the suggestion of naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud allegations Trump’s own administration has dismissed.

Another idea floated in the meeting was an executive order that would permit the government to access voting machines to inspect them. Shortly after that meeting, Trump’s campaign staff received a memo from the campaign legal team instructing them to preserve all documents related to Dominion Voting Systems and Powell in anticipation of potential litigation by the company against the pro-Trump attorney. Dominion sent a letter to Powell this week demanding she publicly retract her accusations.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, says he deserves early release from home confinement but federal authorities refuse to credit him for good behavior and hundreds of hours of work and prison courses completed behind bars. Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. His convictions included orchestrating payments to two women to keep them from talking publicly about alleged affairs with Trump.

[Seems Trump knows how to pick the “best” (criminals). Flynn, Cohen, Manafort, ….]

Hours before Trump retweeted a message for his vice president to “act” in stopping the ratification of the Electoral College, he met for more than an hour in the Oval Office with Mike Pence, whom he has complained recently isn’t doing enough to support his bid to overturn the election.

Pence and White Shack aides have tried to explain to him that his role is more of a formality and he cannot unilaterally reject the Electoral College votes. Again, Trump knows nothing about how the government works. He thinks it is his country and he can do what he wants. The current [or outgoing] vice-president doesn’t even has to preside for it [his backup can do it].

Trump, in his first comments about a widespread data breach across the US government, downplayed the cyber espionage campaign and questioned whether Russia was to blame as alleged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality,” Trump said on Twitter. “Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!).”

We will see on January 20th how many of those Republicans who were siding with Trump will suddenly change their tune. Or maybe be like Trump and say they never said Biden was not the real elected President and those conspiracy theories weren’t valid.

Trump’s master, Russian President for Life, Vladimir Poutine, must be happy. Meanwhile, Trump again ignores his intelligence community. Not surprised [again] as he very rarely looks at intelligence briefings – maybe because he thinks he know it all. He has no intelligence.

Trump may have second thoughts on signing a COVID relief bill where he thinks Americans should get more than the $600 each in the bill but $2,000 instead. His intervention is an act of political destruction since it threatens to upend a fragile deal brokered in tortuous negotiations and could result in millions of Americans and small businesses losing access to desperately needed help.

Interesting. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has indicated that the Democrats would give the OK if it was a $2,000 stimulus check. I’m suspecting Senate Majority Leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell will say no. The House failed to pass the $2,000 option. “If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi said.

While he slammed millions of dollars stuffed in the bill for the arts, foreign aid and other issues [BTW, many of them were already in the budget that Trump actually wanted!], Trump failed to mention that his White Shack had loaded it with a tax break for business lunches at a time when many Americans are going hungry.

Trump vetoed the annual defense policy bill, following through on threats to veto a measure that has broad bipartisan support in Congress and potentially setting up the first override vote of his presidency. Trump called to strip out language that allows for the renaming of military bases such as Fort Benning and Fort Hood that honor Confederate leaders. Without going into detail, he has claimed the biggest winner from the defense bill would be China.

Trump also has called for lawmakers to include limits on social media companies he claimed are biased against him. Wow! This is part of a defense bill? Have Congress fight his battles! The bill is for $740 billion. The House and Senate would return next week to override the veto.

Trump hit the links at his private golf course in Florida despite pledging to “work tirelessly” through the holiday season amid a looming economic crisis.

In an example where he couldn’t really care less about his job, when notified – while playing golf – that there was an explosion in Nashville that could have been a terrorist act, he continued to play golf.

Outgoing Attorney General William P. Barr said he saw no basis for the federal government seizing voting machines and that he did not intend to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of voter fraud. Barr also said he would not name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, President-election Joe Biden’s son who revealed earlier this month he was under investigation for possible tax crimes.

Eric Coomer, director of product strategy and security for Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine company that has been the target of conspiracy theories in the aftermath of Trump’s 2020 election loss and been baselessly accused of swinging the results against Trump, is suing his campaign and conservative media figures for defamation. Trump has called the company “a disaster,” and his supporters have pushed the conspiracy theory that the company deleted votes for Trump on its voting equipment and that Coomer helped subvert the election.

A new Fox News poll finds that 42% of voters say history will remember Trump as one of the worst presidents ever. An additional 8% say he will be remembered as below average, while 22% say one of the greatest, 16% say above average and 10% say below average. Wow! This is Fox News! The only president who came even close to getting as many low ratings [in a five-category question] was George W. Bush in a Gallup poll at the end of his presidency; 36% said he would go down as a “poor” president.

In comparison, only 17% told Marist College pollsters that Barack Obama would be remembered as one of the worst ever presidents. There was far less vitriol toward the previous presidents who were defeated for a second term in office [Ford, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992]. Just 7% said history would remember Ford as a poor president. It was 15% for Carter and 4% for Bush.

Rosemary Vrablic and Dominic Scalzi, the private bankers responsible for lending to Trump and Jared Kushner, have tendered their resignations to Deutsche Bank effective as of year-end, which was accepted by the bank. Vrablic was a trusted contact to the Trump Organization and Kushner and assumed the bank’s lending relationship with Trump in the private side of the bank after the commercial lending division stopped doing business with Trump. Deutsche Bank has loaned the Trump Organization more than $300 million.

Trump started with the pardoning of people – quite a few Republicans that were in his administration – as well a few who did have some odd sentences [a man sentenced to 55 years for selling marijuana and carrying a handgun.

Trump pardoned longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, White Shack senior adviser Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, former California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and former US congressman Chris Collins.

Not surprisingly the Democrats and some Republicans are not happy with some of the choices. Basically it was a slap on the face to the judicial system as well as a slap to any victims from these criminals.

Now you know Trump has gone nuts: Trump signed an executive order looking to ensure that federal buildings feature “beautiful” architecture, expressing a preference for classical architecture over modernist designs. The order did not explicitly define what standards buildings must meet to be considered beautiful, saying that new federal buildings should be of classical design but not mandating that style. It applies to all federal courthouses, agency headquarters, DC public buildings and all other public buildings costing more than $50 million.

Conservative student group Turning Point USA held two large events in Florida this weekend, including one at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club, allegedly violating local coronavirus restrictions and disregarding authorities’ pleas to avoid such massive gatherings. Turning Point on one night held its annual winter gala at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. The party was attended by hundreds of students, organizers and GOP notables such as Donald Trump Jr., South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), and White Shack press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Belated Happy Xmas!

Some statistics about the Trump term

[I’m still not saying “Presidency”.]

  • Donald Trump has tweeted more than 25,000 times — an average of 18 times per day — since taking office in January 2017, including retweets. His longest break from Twitter was just 1.9 days without tweeting in June 2017.
  • Trump’s number of tweets per month jumped quite a bit in mid-2019 to 700 and went over 1400 in October 2020.
  • As of December 15, the turnover rate among “senior-ranking advisers in the executive office of the president” was 91%. Thirty-nine percent of these departures have been in jobs that have turned over twice or more since Trump took office. Going back to Ronald Reagan, none had a turnover rate higher than 80% in his first term in office.
  • There have been 13 Cabinet departures since Trump took office, the most recent to exit being Attorney General William Barr.
  • There has been seven people have served as communications director.
  • As of December 11, 520 presidential documents signed by Trump — including executive orders, presidential memorandums, determinations and notices — had been published in the Federal Register. Of those, 288 were executive orders and presidential memorandums, not including memos that are clerical in nature. Obama had only 226 in his first 4 years.
  • The US has 4% of the world’s population, but as of mid-December it has 23% of the world’s coronavirus cases and 19% of the deaths.
  • Trump has made 418 visits to Trump-branded properties — which include 307 days spent at golf clubs as of December 17. That means Trump has visited golf courses on about 21% of the days of his term, or roughly 1 in 5 days.
  • He has visited Trump properties on about 29% of the days of his presidency — nearly one-third of his days in office.
  • Nine of Trump’s friends and associates have been charged or found guilty of crimes. That’s more than the past four presidents combined, but less than a third the number of those indicted in Ronald Reagan’s or Richard Nixon’s inner circles.

The information above came from various sources.

His chances are getting quite slim

There were no surprises as the Electoral College voted the exact same way as in the November election – 306 for President-elect Joe Biden and 232 for Donald Trump. This reaffirms Biden as the next president and Kamala Harris as the next Vice-President. Outgoing Vice-President Mike Pence will make it official in January in a joint session of Congress.

Trump signaled that he will continue to challenge the results of the 2020 election, even after the electoral college meets in most state capitols to cast its votes. “No, it’s not over,” Trump said. “We keep going, and we’re going to continue to go forward. We have numerous local cases. We’re, you know, in some of the states that got rigged and robbed from us. We won every one of them. We won Pennsylvania. We won Michigan. We won Georgia by a lot.”

Within 15 hours of the beginning of the electoral college voting Trump tweeted: “Swing States that have found massive VOTER FRAUD, which is all of them, CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime. Everybody knows that dead people, below age people, illegal immigrants, fake signatures, prisoners and many others voted illegally. Also, machine “glitches” (another word for FRAUD), ballot harvesting, non-resident voters, fake ballots, “stuffing the ballot box”, votes for pay, roughed up Republican Poll Watchers, and sometimes even more votes than people voting…. Therefore, VOTES CANNOT BE CERTIFIED. THIS ELECTION IS UNDER PROTEST!” Hasn’t he done this already? Yes, same old comments.

Hours after the Electoral College certified the vote, it didn’t stop Trump – as if the vote never happened. “Many Trump votes were routed to Biden,” Trump baselessly claimed in one tweet hours after. “This Fake Election can no longer stand. Get moving Republicans.”

Trump then retweeted multiple posts highlighting a Michigan judge’s decision to release a report written by Russell Ramsland, a cybersecurity analyst and former Republican congressional candidate, that alleges Dominion Voting Systems machines “flipped” ballots from Trump to Biden in Antrim County, Mich. Ramsland has previously signed inaccurate affidavits in other Trump legal challenges, including one that grossly misstated voting turnout in Michigan.

After Mitch McConnell had the guts to tell Trump that he has lost the battle, the [farther] right wing media went after McConnell. One accused him of “supporting election fraud” and questioned his wife’s dealings with China and another said he will “regret revealing his own corruption in less than 30 days” and a third said he had “cave[d] to the mob” and finally “a traitor to American Patriots.”

Then finally Trump added “Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up… Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!”

Biden declared, hours after the Electoral College made his victory over Trump official, that “the rule of law, our Constitution and the will of the people prevailed” over Trump’s efforts to undo the results of the election.

White Shack press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not say whether Trump recognizes Biden as President-elect following the Electoral College vote, only saying, “The President is still involved in ongoing litigation related to the election… Yesterday’s vote was one step in the Constitutional process so I will leave that to him and refer you to the campaign for more on that litigation.”

Now, Trump is going to aim at the joint session of Congress when Pence will try to make the election vote official. But there is no way Trump could actually kill the election results. Think of how much money has been wasted in Trump’s 60+ lawsuits [of which he lost just about all of them].

Trump has been almost completely absent in the past week or so, failing to comment about that major Russian hack or the fact that the coronavirus is spreading even faster. The two FDA approved vaccines couldn’t come at a better time. However, many Trump supporters may not even take the vaccine. Pence has taken the vaccine. Biden is scheduled to. Trump? Nothing announced.

The Trump administration and the Biden team were at odds after the acting defense secretary, Christopher Miller, abruptly postponed transition meetings and Biden’s representatives expressed concern about the decision and described pockets of resistance to cooperation within the Pentagon.

Miller said in a statement that the Defense Department “will continue to provide all required support” to the transition team, and that defense officials were working to reschedule “approximately 20 interviews with 40 officials until after January 1.” Those meetings were postponed after legal officials in the Pentagon raised concern that they could not keep up with the work. I wonder why when Trump wouldn’t allow the Biden team to start the transition.

Attorney General William Barr said he would resign on December 23rd, ending a tenure in which the Trump loyalist carried the administration’s “law and order” message but ultimately dealt the most credible blow to Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was littered with fraud. “Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General,” Trump [of course] tweeted.

Russian President for life Vladimir Poutine finally congratulates Biden on US election victory. Maybe Trump will listen to his master and concede.

Russian hackers working for the Kremlin are believed to be behind breaches of US government computer systems at the departments of Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security [which includes the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)] that may have lasted months before they were discovered. The hackers reportedly broke into the email systems at the government departments.

There are concerns that hackers may have penetrated other government departments and perhaps many private companies as well. The three department all acknowledged the intrusion in brief statements but provided no details. Russia, of course, denied any involvement in the latest reported breach. Trump? He has said nothing days since the discovery.

The Homeland Security Department and Justice Department released a 419-page document, which in dense legal language redefines the criteria asylum seekers must meet.

One aspect relates to people who claim to have a “credible fear of persecution or torture” should they return to their home country. The definition for what amounts to “persecution” has been changed.

The new rule states that “every instance of harm that arises generally out of civil, criminal, or military strife in a country” does not necessarily count as persecution. Nor does “intermittent harassment, including brief detentions,” “threats with no actions taken to carry out the threats” or “non-severe economic harm or property damage.”

White Shack aides intervened to prevent Trump from issuing a statement calling for substantially larger stimulus payments for millions of Americans, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the private exchange. Trump told allies that he believes stimulus payments in the next relief package should be “at least” $1,200 per person and possibly as big as $2,000 per person.

Trump has not conceded the presidential election, but it appears a fundraising appeal from his campaign may have finally done so. “Should President Trump run in 2024?” a fundraising email from the campaign sent to supporters. “Let’s make something clear: the Radical Left STOLE this Election from President Trump,” the email said. The campaign sent that Email and six others in just one day. Ummm. You think they will say no?

After a federal judge condemned Georgia’s antique voting machines as unreliable before the election, Republican officials there scrambled to roll out and test more than 30,000 new voting machines—at a cost of more than $100 million—before the state’s presidential primary earlier this year. Yet it was Georgia’s and other swing states that voted against Trump that Trump has bullied since the election. Yet many very Republican states are using antiquated and unsecured voting systems that have no paper ballot following their voting.

PolitiFact, a nonpartisan fact-checking operation, declared that “Coronavirus downplay and denial” was the “lie of the year” saying “President Donald J. Trump fueled confusion and conspiracies from the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic. He embraced theories that COVID-19 accounted for only a small fraction of the thousands upon thousands of deaths. He undermined public health guidance for wearing masks and cast Dr. Anthony Fauci as an unreliable flip-flopper….”

Because Trump has shown little interest in using the Justice Department’s Pardon Attorney system for assessing requests for executive clemency, petitioners are approaching the White Shack directly, calling or emailing senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows or White House counsel Pat Cipollone when they can’t get a hold of Trump himself. Already the White Shack has a spreadsheet with whom has inquired about one.

A state judge ruled that the Trump Organization must turn over documents related to a property whose tax abatements were being investigated by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office. The Trump Organization previously claimed the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege. The investigation is related to Trump’s former attorney claiming the organization inflated the organizations worth for certain things and deflated for others [like taxes].

Those living near Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort are pushing for him not to live their once his term is up in January. As per previous agreements, the resort wasn’t made to be used as a permanent residence [although they people in the area allowed a bit of leeway while he is “president”. However, they are tired of the extra traffic, extra noise and other issues associated with him staying at the resort.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, would recommend that both Trump and Pence receive the Covid-19 vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use authorization and is being rolled out nationwide. “You still want to protect people who are, you know, very important to our country right now,” he said.

Trump has asked White Shack staffers to receive the coronavirus vaccine “somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary,” he tweeted after it surfaced that high-ranking administration officials were set to receive some of the first doses in the US.

Many cities recently experience pro-Trump protests. Not surprisingly all the far right crackpot groups such as the Proud Boys showed up for the events. Also not surprisingly, there was violence in at least once city. At least 4 people were stabbed, multiple people charged with misdemeanor assaults, assaulting police officers, and rioting.

America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work. Despite their success, at least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers. And those same companies received federal funding?

Smartmatic, a voting technology company swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, said that it had sent legal notices to Fox News and two other right-wing media companies for participating in a “disinformation campaign” aimed at damaging it. Trump continues to attack the integrity of the voting system, some of his allies have homed in on Smartmatic because of the services it provided Los Angeles County for the 2020 election.

V-Safe, a smartphone application designed to provide real-time warnings of side effects in the first Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus may be vulnerable to manipulation. It is part of an ongoing partnership between Oracle and the Department of Health and Human Services and included in the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. [Note: I think it was pulled from Google’s Play Store already.]

Congressman Paul Mitchel from Michigan, cites Trump’s efforts to overturn election in announcing decision to quit GOP.

The Washington Post recently ask GOP lawmakers whether or not Biden won the election. 26 said yes, 221 undecided [or no answer] and 2 no. Asked if they oppose Trump’s efforts, 9 said oppose, 8 said they support and 233 are undecided or didn’t answer. Asked if they will support the decision if the electoral college vote for Biden, 9 said yes, 2 said no and 216 are undecided [or no answer].

Wonder if this will change much after January 20th when Biden is sworn in. If so, then it shows that those who changed their tune are scare of Trump’s wrath or just plain cowards or idiots.

What a day (or hour)!

Within about an hour, you had Joe Biden officially elected as President of the United States from the electoral college vote [and Kamala Harris voted in as Vice-President]. There were no surprises.

Then you had Attorney General William Barr resigning. He wasn’t fired. He leaves on December 23rd. I would guess Donald Trump will appoint an acting attorney general until January 20th.

Question is why didn’t Barr leave in January instead of 9 days from now?

Legal loses pile up for Trump

The Supreme Court on denied a last-minute attempt by Donald Trump’s allies to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, a blow to Trump’s continuing efforts to protest his lost to Democrat Joe Biden. The court’s brief order provided no reasoning, nor did it note any dissenting votes. It was the first request to delay or overturn the results of the presidential election to reach the court.

It is notable that three of the justices were picked by Trump. The lawsuit was part of a blizzard of litigation and personal interventions Trump and his lawyers have waged to overturn victories by Biden in a handful of key states.

“Now, let’s see whether or not somebody has the courage, whether it’s a legislator or legislatures, or whether it’s a justice of the Supreme Court, or a number of justices of the Supreme Court — let’s see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right,” Trump said prior to the decision. Sounds like he’s calling them all cowards. Unsure why he was trying to get legislator or legislatures to act when it was too late.

This past Tuesday is the “safe harbor” deadline under federal law. What that means is that when Congress tallies the electoral votes in January, it must accept electoral results that were certified before the deadline. There can be no legal disputes after Tuesday.

Trump then asked the Supreme Court to block millions of votes from four battleground states that voted for Biden. Trump’s request came in a filing with the court asking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to invalidate millions of votes cast in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Trump is being represented by a new attorney, John Eastman, who is known for recently pushing a racist conspiracy theory questioning whether Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was eligible for the role because her parents were immigrants. Has he ever heard of safe harbor?

Paxton himself is under investigation. Some wonder if he is doing this just to get “brownie points” from Trump and maybe a pardon from him.

Later, the Supreme Court rejected Paxton’s bid to block the ballots of millions of voters in battleground states that went in favor of Biden. There were no public dissents. The court said that Texas had not demonstrated that it had the legal right to bring the suit because it had not demonstrated a “judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”

Will this stop Trump’s foolish and useless efforts to satisfy his huge ego? Nah…

Trump continues to whine like a little girl. He recently compared the US elections to a “third world country”. Well, look at the way he behaved! No wonder!

This is not really surprising. The Trump administration claimed 300 million doses will be available as part of Operation Warp Speed before 2021. Instead somewhere between 35 and 40 million doses will be available by the end of the month. The Trump administration claims it is because of constraints on supply.

In the meantime, no vaccine has been approved in the US until now, yet the vaccine has been approved and in use in the UK and approved in Canada. Seems other countries are at quantum speed – not warp speed.

The Trump administration told FDA Commissioner Dr. Steve Hahn that he needs to approve the Pfizer vaccine right away or resign. For once Trump is right as a president can’t fire the FDA Commissioner. In any case, the vaccine’s approval is imminent. Why threaten Dr. Hahn when it should be approved within 72 hours? Is trump upset that at least 2 countries approved the vaccine before the US – thereby affecting his already huge ego?

Not even 6 hours later, the vaccine was approved.

This is an emergency use authorization and means what its name suggests: a medical product gets special authorization by the FDA to be used during an emergency but not fully approved. Pfizer would have to file a separate application for its vaccine to be fully licensed by the FDA.

Trump is expected to sign an executive order to ensure US citizens are first in line for vaccine doses manufactured in the United States, but it’s unclear how much impact it will have. Trump is under political pressure following reports the White House passed up a chance to secure 500 million extra doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, the first to be used outside a clinical trial. Manufacturers are under contract to supply the vaccine to other countries.

Trump and his allies faced a crush of defeats in post-election litigation recently with legal losses in six battleground states, a further sign of their ongoing failure to overturn Biden’s victory through the courts and to gain traction through baseless claims of widespread fraud. Judges ruled decisively that Trump’s side has not proved the election was fraudulent, with some offering painstaking analyses of why such claims lack merit and pointed opinions about the risks the legal claims pose to American democracy.

Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, will not call a special session of the state’s legislature to overturn the election results in Trump’s favor, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said.

Trump is demanding that Kemp persuade the state legislature to appoint electors who would override the popular vote and nullify Biden’s victory in the state and the governor to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures.

In a rally in Georgia, Trump briefly lashed out at Kemp for not embracing the allegations of fraud. “Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing,” Trump said. He added: “So far we haven’t been able to find the people in Georgia willing to do the right thing.” One Georgia official said that Trump’s comments was leading to threats of violence against election workers.

Trump himself has to walk a fine line between now and the runoff as if he goes too hard on Georgia officials and the way they do things, it could cause a backlash among GOP voters. Already there was the usual comments of a fraud voting in November [with no proof] which would have voters wonder why they should vote. Others suggested boycott. The Republican party can’t lose both Senate seats and Trump constant whining could cause it.

At that same rally in Georgia, Trump whined about the election loss, hoaxes, conspiracy theories, etc. It reminds me of going to a concert expecting to hear the songs you like from your favorite band.

Trump called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives twice during the past week to make an extraordinary request for help reversing his loss in the state, reflecting a broadening pressure campaign by the president and his allies to try to subvert the 2020 election result.

The calls, confirmed by House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s office, make Pennsylvania the third state where Trump has directly attempted to overturn a result since he lost the election to Biden. He previously reached out to Republicans in Michigan, and on Saturday he pressured Georgia’s governor in a call to try to replace that state’s electors.

Investigators with the Manhattan district attorney’s office have interviewed several employees at Trump’s lender [Deutsche Bank] and insurer [Aon] in recent weeks as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the Trump Organization.

[A reminder that Trumps former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress in February 2019 that the Trump Organization allegedly manipulated its financial statements to suit its desired outcomes. Cohen said Trump “deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.” And he alleged company officials would play with the financial numbers when dealing with insurance companies and Deutsche Bank.]

The former head of US cybersecurity, Christopher Krebs, filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign lawyer who suggested that he should be “shot.” The suit accuses attorney Joe diGenova and the Trump campaign of defamation and inflicting emotional distress. He alleges that he received death threats in tweets and emails, which forced him and his family to leave their home. DiGenova has since claimed the comment was “in jest,” and that he meant it as a joke.

The Trump administration rejected setting tougher standards on soot, the nation’s most widespread deadly air pollutant, saying the existing regulations remain sufficient even though some public health experts and environmental justice communities had pleaded for stricter limits. The agency retained the current thresholds for fine particle pollution for another five years, despite mounting evidence linking air pollution with illness and death. In its decision, the EPA maintained that the Obama-era levels, set in 2012, are adequately protective of human health. [Try again in 2 months….]

The House easily approved the annual defense policy bill, defying Trump’s repeated veto threats. The bill was approved in a 335-78 vote. That’s above the two-thirds vote needed to override a veto, but some Republicans could switch their vote if it comes to overriding Trump. It is a bipartisan approval of the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA over two separate issues. First, the bill would require the Pentagon to rename within three years Confederate-named military bases and other property and set up a commission to plan how to carry out those changes.

Trump also threatening to veto the bill because it does not include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that gives online platforms liability protection for content posted by third parties while allowing them to make good faith content moderation efforts. This has what to do with the military?

The Trump administration proposed an economic relief package that would offer far skimpier federal unemployment benefits than what has been proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, adding an element of uncertainty into the fragile stimulus negotiations. Instead, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has proposed that lawmakers approve another stimulus check worth $600 per person and $600 per child. The Democrats rejected the package as not enough.

White Shack staffers are resigning or are out the door, and members of Trump’s Cabinet have also begun meeting with their Biden administration counterparts.

Melania Trump, meanwhile, has begun overseeing shipments of family furniture and art to Mar-a-Lago [someone should verify they own it!] and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are in the final stages of purchasing a plot of land within a Miami enclave known for its privacy and high net worth residents.