Thursday, February 15, 2024

Trump Excels At Shooting Himself In The Foot . . .


. . . And Anyone Else’s Foot He Can Target.


Will Saletan, at THEBULWARK+,  began an outstanding essay with the title:  

Decision 2024:  A ‘Well-Meaning’ Old Man vs. a Corrupt Old Man

Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigations found that, “These two investigations have exposed two fundamental differences between the candidates. First, Biden is well-meaning, but Trump isn’t, and that’s why Trump, unlike Biden, committed crimes. And second, Biden’s cognitive flaws are small and benign, while Trump’s are enormous and dangerous.”,c_limit,f_webp,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Folks, be sure to click the above link and read the whole, short article! Vitally important and easily read.  



Judy Woodruff, Sarah C. Hartman, and Frank Carlson are the author’s of the America at a Crossroads series.  In January they published online their valuable article, “Conservative Trump critic discusses his impact on the GOP and a divided America. 


Judy Woodruff, a political conservative, is a well-regarded journalist and a known Trump critic. David Frum, Senior Editor of the Atlantic, asks the questions of Judy Woodruff.

DAVID FRUM asks: “Does Trump fit in with traditions of conservative thought in the U.S?”

JUDY WOODRUFF answers: Trump is “exactly the person and exactly the thing that conservative thought has always sought to exclude from power.”  And further, “The anger and rage, the desire to target, the willingness to use methods that are anti-constitutional, the fascination with violence, these are characteristics of a different kind of politics than the kinds of politics in the past we have called conservative.”

Then, JUDY WOODRUFF asks of FRUM: “How do you explain the loyalty that Donald Trump has today?

DAVID FRUM answers:  “[T]hey use hurts and grievances as permission to break rules, and because they have convinced people that the people who are enforcing the rules are your cultural enemies. . .[that] “even if I did break the rule, the fact is, you’re still—I’m on your side and they’re not.”  And further, “I don’t think we have ever seen this before with a federal—successful federal politician who said, I want to speak to hurts and grievances across the whole culture, across the whole country, and everyone who tries to enforce rules on me is an enemy of yours.”

FRUM goes on to assert that Trump will want to exploit the “demons” that exist in American society; Trump will provoke and amplify those tensions of his followers “in order to impose his lawless will upon the constitutional system.”

FRUM further predicts Trump's goals will be like:

  • getting away with something like Watergate
  • pardoning himself
  •      firing prosecutors
  •      telling people in advance what he’s going to do to them
  •       and “frightening the political system into letting me have my way.”

These are extremely useful questions and insights. Frum’s credible analysis of Trump’s political tactics is both a descriptively accurate and useful in predicting at any given time what his most likely reaction will be. Anyone closely following Trump’s political moves can recognize this endlessly repeated behavior.  




In the most simple terms, Trump has aptly been called a “wrecking ball.” And I will explain why this captures much of Trump’s effects on the political realities around him.

·         At the Republican Presidential Debates, Trump’s behavior and words were very unlike the other dozen candidates. He was the odd ball. He didn’t talk about politics. So what did he do? He made outlandish proposals like “I’ll build a wall and Mexico will pay for it.” He did not show respect for the other debaters. Once while Hilary Clinton was speaking he walked around the stage behind her (odd behavior useful for diverting attention from Clinton to him. When others called him out for being factually incorrect, it didn’t bother him at all. He had enormous self-confidence without a legitimate basis.

·         When he won the Presidency, he did not have an organized plan for beginning his term. When his very skilled cabinet sought to bring him up to speed with a schedule and agenda, he resisted. When his own cabinet secretaries (experts in their fields) made reasonable recommendations, Trump would often be uninterested; if his staff tried to reorient him to reasonable approaches, he would tell them they were wrong, or stupid, or mock them. After a mere couple months in office, his staff were beginning to realize Trump didn’t know much of anything about how politicians actually collaborate and get work done!  The interpersonal environment of the Trump White House was extremely poor. The wrecking ball had the effect of disrupting the staff’s professional routines.  Bright and capable men eventually began leaving when the saw their best efforts wasted.  

·         Trump lacked the normal interpersonal skills necessary for teamwork. When he had to act and make decisions, he often resorted to biased personal preferences because he didn’t understand how domestic or international politics worked—and he wasn’t interested in learning.


Detailed information on Trump’s inadequacies in the White House can be found in the following books.

Woodward, Bob. FEAR: Trump in the White House, 2018. Woodward is probably the world’s expert on the American Presidency and I have read a half dozen of his books.

Bolton, John.  The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, 2020.

Esper, Mark T. A Sacred Oath: Memoirs Of A Secretary Of Defense During Extraordinary Times, 2022.

Cummings, Elijah. We’re Better Than This: My Fight For The Future Of Our Democracy, 2020.

Califano, Joseph A. Jr. Our Damage Democracy: We the People Must Act, 2018

All of these books are deeply interesting and reveal the inside story of Trump’s serious ignorance of government and gross lack of integrity.

Woodward, Bolton (Trump’s former National Security Advisor), and Esper (Trump’s Secretary of Defense) have all said in all seriousness that Donald Trump is a threat to democracy.



Many legitimate, honorable Republicans have described Trump as a wrecking ball because he tends to destroy normal political business, and this leads to chaos and confusion. You can google “who has called trump a wrecking ball,” and see all the politicians names that pop up.


Typically, Trump is all about filling up the room with his cynical, sarcastic, puffed up mocking of other people. Trump doesn’t have any well-laid out plans; instead he thrives on public attention and spouts off with non-stop dramatic policy threats. Trump is unusually unfiltered. If he thinks it and feels it he’s going to put it in someone’s face.

Bob Woodward’s book, listed above, gives stunning examples of Trump’s fundamental inability to function as part of a team. Here are some examples:

·     Woodward, pages 274-276 show Trump’s lack of understanding of the economy and international trade agreements.  

·     Woodward, pages 272-273 shows that when his advisers tried to guide him into effective strategies, Trump would prefer his personal (uninformed and biased) opinions. When his advisers challenged Trump he could not be persuaded by intelligent discussion. Instead, Trump said, “I know I’m right. If you disagree with me, you’re wrong.” From my reading the above books, Trump does not show a capacity to prioritize the important issues of the moment; he’s a very poor listener; he responds with his gut and does not display the use of critical thinking skills necessary for reasonable decision making.

·     Woodward, page 276 shows how Trump hated the World Trade Association, claiming we were being taken advantage of and calling it the “worst organization ever created!” Trump’s very knowledgeable staff pointed out that America has won 86% of its cases. Trump responded with, “This is bullshit. This is wrong.” The staff data was, of course, correct. Trump was not interested in the facts and on many occasions would not even read what his staff gave to him to be informed—even on national security intelligence matters.

·     Trump was often cruel to his staff. Sometimes he was cruel by outright personal attacks. Other times he would freeze someone out for months. Trump often talked behind the backs of his staff; and he would seek personal opinions from staff about other staff. These tactics were thought to be destructive.

·     Woodward, page 226: A senior White House official speaking about a White House meeting made two important observations:

Trump “proceeded to lecture and insult the entire group about how they didn’t know anything when it came to defense or national security.”

And, “It seems clear that many of the president’s senior advisers, especially those in the national security realm, are extremely concerned with his erratic nature, his relative ignorance, his inability to learn, as well as what they consider his dangerous views.”




The five high quality, authoritative books are “textbooks” of  the real Donald Trump as president. The authors are experts in how good government functions. Since 2016, about 50% of the voting public liked Trump as a person or as a politician enough to vote for him. Liked is a feeling. It’s not right or wrong.

However, the words and actions of politicians are public actions seen and documented facts.

Donald Trump did not have a criminal record before becoming president. That’s a good thing to know.

But now, in 2024, many of his 90 criminal indictments will one by one be tried in criminal courts. There is tons of evidence to convict him. Many of the lawyers, citizens, and even members of Congress) who performed illegal acts for him have been convicted; and, there are at least ten or twenty who will be testifying against him in court. The federal criminal justice system has already been very successful in getting guilty pleas and prison sentences for those who tried but failed to manipulate electoral votes to corrupt the election into a Trump win.

It would be great news for Trump if he were simply defeated in the next presidential election.


Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Trump Ended Abortion Rights And Stoked Culture Wars




Political discussion has always been full of aggressive, rude, and false accusations. But it’s gotten a lot worse! Here are facts, impressions, and my opinions. I highly recommend Sarah Posner's well-researched book detailing how Trump co-opted the Evangelicals for their votes.

It’s now much worse since Trump began his presidential campaign in 2016. His deviant, outlandish, and disgusting styles were well displayed in the GOP presidential debates. His actual incompetence as a president quickly showed up in the first months of his presidency and steadily went downhill (Woodward, 2018: Titled, FEAR: Trump in the White House). 

Who voted for him? 

About 85% of voting Evangelical Christians voted for Trump. Writer Sarah Posner’s 2021 book UNHOLY is subtitled, HOW WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONALISTS POWERED THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY, AND THE DEVASTATING LEGACY THEY LEFT BEHIND.  Spawned by conspiracy theorists from churches and pulpits, the Evangelicals believed that:

“To Trump’s religious devotees, God specially prepared him for this role [of a really strong leader, like King Cyrus, who reigned  from 539-530 BC!]. Rose Troyer, who traveled to the Values Voter Summit [my emphasis] with her husband, Mark, from Lititz, Pennsylvania, tells me she began to see that Trump was a leader prophesied in the Bible during the 2016 Republican primaries, after listening to evangelist Lane Wallnau and author Fox News personality Jonathan Cahn, both of whom claim to have received divine prophecies about Trump’s victory” (Posner, 30).

Wallnau told the excited crowd at the Values Voter Summit that, “God can anoint a wrecking ball.” And, “Foretelling that Trump would be a wrecking ball president is one of eleven prophecies Wallnau claims to have made about Trump that have come true, all proving his victory in a spiritual battle between satanic and godly forces” (Posner, 31).

I finished reading Poser’s excellent book a full two years ago. But I did not pay enough serious attention to how Christian activists were vilifying “LGBTQ rights as a dark movement forcing anti-LGBTQ Christians to accept a radical, fringe set of norms about gender and sexuality, in violation of their religious freedom” (Posner, 30).

So when I tried to comprehend the political animus against LGBTQ, I didn’t see the importance of the Christian Nationalist views that their rights were being abused because LGBTQ people were becoming more noticeable and protected by policies. 

Conservative Christians were complaining like they were the actual victims. But in fact, many governors were enacting many laws (1) removing protections for LGBTQ school children,  (2)  censoring LGBTQ books, and (3) intimidating such children from expressing their LGBTQ  tendencies.




In 2023, after Elon Musk bought Twitter; and, he sought to allow more so called freedom of speech on the platform. Musk ran a poll which he said showed 70% of the voters wanted to allow the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back on X(Twitter). Musk wrote that, “The people have spoken and so it shall be.”  Previously, Twitter employed content moderators which attempted to filter out offensive content. News reports suggest there are fewer moderators now.


From The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes, 11/16/2021, Alex Jones has lost four separate defamation lawsuits against Sandy Hook familiesHe now owes over a billion dollars to the victims of his awful lies.

Jones has repeatedly broadcast from Infowars that the Sandy Hook massacre was a “hoax.” Jones said it was fake, something made up. And in a sneaky, clever, insincere manner (i.e. disingenuously) Jones was quoted as saying: “I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors. I mean they even ended up using photos of kids killed in mass shootings here in a fake mass shooting in Turkey—so yeah, or Pakistan. The sky is now the limit.”

Alex Jones has pushed out much dramatic falsehood hurtful to grieving parents. Further examples are:

Jones labeled as 100% “false  flags,” the mass murders in Aurora, Colorado; the Columbine school shootings, and the nightclub attacks in Orlando, Florida and San Bernadino, California.

Just imagine how any parent would feel when their child’s death was called a falsehood and monetized by an unsavory businessman like Alex Jones and his Infowars.



There is a lot of voting data that can only be explained by voter ignorance. Trump is an anomaly. Lots of people hate him but vote for him anyway. Debriefed voters often justify their vote by misinformation. For example, republican voters asked why they plan on voting for Trump say Biden has ruined the economy so we need Trump; however, Biden and his administration have been very active and participated with Congress in passing laws and bringing the economy back from high interest rates and inflation; and at present, our economy is in pretty good shape.

The threatened recession has not happened. Biden has been flying around the world and interacting with many heads of state. Biden may be old, but he has a competent cabinet who gets things done. On the other hand, from the early days of Trump’s presidency, there was chaos due to his ignorance of federal government, his supreme arrogance, his distractability and that he was unable to benefit from the staff that had been given to him.

The candidate most Americans believe is going to be the next president, the “wrecking ball” president Trump, is said by historian raters to be one of the worst ever, getting the lowest grades for leadership.  This from USA Today.  When Trump mentions Obama, Trump badmouths him. But the routinely cordial Obama ranks in the top ten of presidents!


Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2024

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry's Cell Phone Seized

828 Words



We will find State of Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry to be a capable and honorable man who surely knew the boundaries between right and wrong--but of course, especially in politics, there is no bright yellow line between right and wrong. 

If you read about Scott Perry on Wikipedia, you will be impressed. He doesn't stand out as a flamboyant right wing radical. But he is a conservative republican who in 2021 was elected Chairman of the seriously conservative Freedom Caucus. And he is said to be quite loyal to Trump. 

It seems very clear to me that he worked hard to overturn the 2020 election.

Was he committing criminal acts? Or, was he just being a typical professional politician comfortably distorting reality and misstating facts to win at almost any cost?




In May of 2022 Mr. Perry was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the January 6th Capitol attack. He refused to cooperate with that committee, which later in 2022 referred Perry's case to the House Ethics Panel for of his having refused to comply with the subpoena.

Immediately after after Trump's 2020 election loss there were signs of election fraud or irregularities. The vote counts were very accurate, and the few inaccuracies were so small they could not alter the Trump loss to Biden. 

Many lawsuits were filed claiming election fraud; all of them failed, including the one reaching the Supreme Court.

Trump had announced before the election that if he lost it would be due to election fraud. Moreover, Trump intensely disliked the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI because both were extremely objective (hard facts count, opinions and personal feelings irrelevant). Some time prior to January 3, 2020, Representative Perry (very conservative and loyal to Trump), Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (Trump loyalist), and like-minded colleagues were brainstorming conspiracy theories for making a case to overthrow the election results.

DOJ environmental attorney Jeffrey Clark had found several conspiracy theories from QAnon and other sources; and he planned for these conspiracy theories to be brought into the DOJ, accepted on some official basis, and somehow used to ultimately overturn the election results. 

Representative Scott Perry provided support and influence to Jeffrey Clark. Mr. Clark passed these conspiracy theories to AGs Rosen and Donoghue, who sent these theories to be investigated by the FBI, which found them bizarre and without any merit. So, at this point in time (January 3rd), the DOJ wasn't buying Trump's ideas for overturning the election results.

On January 3rd, Jeffrey Clark and President Trump met with AGs Rosen and Donoghue to convince them to use the conspiracy theories to [somehow] start the process of overturning the election. This meeting and final result is fully described in my blog, "Dept of Justice Stands Up To Trump & He Backs Down Jan 3rd 2021."  GO DIRECTLY TO THAT BLOG BY CLICKING THE FOLLOWING LINK, BUT DO RETURN BACK HERE AFTERWARDS.


By 2023 Special Counsel Jack Smith had listed Jeffrey Clark as an unindicted co-conspirator under Trump's federal indictment. And at the state level, in Georgia, Clark turned himself in at the Fulton County jail--booked on felony racketeering charges.

But as of today, Representative Scott Perry has not been charged with any crime. 

According to the Washington Post, 

"Of all the fantastical false claims of fraud and vote manipulation in the 2020 presidential election, “Italygate” was one of the most extreme. And Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) was at the heart of bringing it to Donald Trump’s attention."

According to Wikipedia, the Italygate conspiracy was QAnon related and alleged that:

  • the 2020 election was rigged for Biden to win
  • using satellites and
  • military technology
  • to remotely switch votes to Biden
  • and managed out of the U.S. Embassy in Rome (with Vatican involved).


Scott Perry sued to prevent the criminal justice system from reading thousands of messages on his phone. 

But the finding of the D.C. District Court of Appeals is that 1659 of 2055 messages can be viewed by investigators to determine if Scott Perry committed any election crimes.

My prediction is that Perry's messages will be found to "smell bad" but to fall within the acceptable range for devious political talk and attempted influence. Scott Perry is an impressive man who has played by the rules and been consistently found honorable and capable at many very responsible life positions. He's been successful in business, in politics, and served in active war zones. He achieved the rank of Brigadier General! 

Let's hope it will be found that he might have been supporting a devious political tactic but, while other strayed over the line, he did not.

Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

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America's 2024 Republican Party Disaster

2235 Words   I GET IT that Republican Congressmen and women want to get re-elected--and that the Republican Party wants to control Co...