Saturday, January 16, 2021


Could Trump lose the impeachment vote in the Senate?
[NB: Here's the big problem for Senate Repubs -- it is OBVIOUS that Trump created the conditions for and encouraged the assault on the Capitol. He did it repeatedly, explicitly, and in public. He refused to send additional security, until VP Mike Pence had to do it. He was watching the riot on TV in real time and from all reports was "delighted." This is going to be even more undeniable after the evidence is presented at a Senate trial. I don't know what his defense will be -- if he can find any competent lawyers to defend him. GOP Senators may have trouble politically with a decision to vote to convict, but they are going to have a hell of a time finding an excuse not to. And the prospect of banning him from ever running again might be irresistible to them.]

Oh, so sad

President Donald Trump’s aides are putting together plans for him to enjoy the adoration of his supporters one last time before he leaves office on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration . . . Trump reportedly expects a big spectacle with a crowd of his fans when he finally exits the White House for good, which he plans to do on the morning of Biden’s swearing-in on January 20. The President wants the sendoff to be held military-style . . . Trump is unhappy with the idea of having to ask Biden for permission to use Air Force One for his departure. . .

[NB: It has been said here before, but there has never been a president whose aides spent so much time massaging his mood and ego. What a needy bastard he is.] 

The MyPillow guy, who is a theocratic nut case, has been elevated by Trump to a real position of influence. Here's his advice now
MyPillow CEO Spotted Bringing Notes To WH That Appear To Reference ‘Martial Law,’ Installing New CIA Director 
Trump is leaving office with his lowest approval numbers, ever

But the crosstabs reveal a much darker picture. Majorities of Republican voters do not hold Trump or GOP lawmakers responsible for the violence their election fraud lies helped incite, and in some cases are even inclined to be sympathetic to the rioters themselves. . . [read on]

Wrong headline
Online extremists are ignoring Trump’s call for calm
[NB: They aren't ignoring it -- they know he doesn't mean it. As long as he continues to refuse to acknowledge Biden's victory, and makes clear that he personally believes the election was stolen, he is pouring fuel on the flames. When the president in the midst of a riot says, "We love you. You are very special people," they know EXACTLY what he really thinks. None of his phony staged video statements changes anything.]
“The Capitol was breached by Trump supporters who had been declaring, at rally after rally, that they would go to violent lengths to keep the President in power. A chronicle of an attack foretold.” [read on]

Justice Department Filing Says “Strong Evidence” Capitol Rioters Intended to “Capture and Assassinate” Lawmakers
I say, good
Lawmakers who conspired with Capitol attackers in legal peril 
Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help
Some Colorado officials have sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting a probe into Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) actions leading up to and on the day of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol . . . 
Corporations are rethinking their political donations in the wake of GOP insurrectionism
Bannon, Stone, and Flynn all tied to Capitol Hill insurrection

How Trump has ruined the Republican party

“As Mr. Trump prepares to exit the White House and face a second impeachment trial in the Senate, his ideas continue to exert a gravitational pull in Republican circles across the country. The falsehoods, white nationalism and baseless conspiracy theories he peddled for four years have become ingrained at the grass-roots level of the party, embraced by activists, local leaders and elected officials even as a handful of Republicans in Congress break with the president in the final hour.” “Interviews with more than 40 Republican state and local leaders conducted after the siege at the Capitol show that a vocal wing of the party maintains an almost-religious devotion to the president, and that these supporters don’t hold him responsible for the mob violence last week. The opposition to him emerging among some Republicans has only bolstered their support of him.”
In COVID news . . .   
The Covid-19 Death Toll Is Even Worse Than It Looks

In Biden news . . .   

Biden is going to toss out the branding term "Operation Warp Speed" -- and will instead focus on REALLY getting serious about the vaccine rollout

He said it

'It's time to grow up': Biden blasts anti-mask GOP members of Congress

In other news . . .
Former Sect'y of State Rex Tillerson is talking. Boy, is he talking
Tillerson . . . articulates some of his “frustrations” with Trump. Those frustrations include Donald Trump being an ignoramus, acting like an ignoramus, listening to other ignoramuses, and being an inscrutable ignoramus. Tillerson explained that one of the fundamental hurdles he had to overcome in communicating his global policy ideas to Trump was the fact that Trump’s “understanding of global history, his understanding of U.S. history was really limited. It’s really hard to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t even understand the concept for why we’re talking about this.” . . . Tillerson went on to illustrate how he began his tenure trying to bring “four or five things I needed to talk to him about,” and very quickly comprehended that a victory was getting to talk to Trump about two or three things. This gave way to Tillerson realizing he needed to bring visual aids like charts or images. “If I could put a photo or a picture in front of him or a map or a piece of paper that had two big bullet points on it, he would focus on that, and I could build on that.” . . . Asked how Trump made informed decisions if it was so difficult to make him informed, Tillerson said he didn’t think Trump made many “informed decisions.” . . . Having a conversation with someone who believes things that aren’t real makes for a difficult discussion. Asked about Trump’s friendliness towards authoritarian leaders and antagonism towards allies, Tillerson said he couldn’t tell you what was going on in Trump’s mind. But, as Tillerson went on to explain, nothing ever panned out. We are in no better place with Russia or with North Korea, our issues with China have only become exacerbated, and our relationship with Turkey is even more messy.
The current Acting Sect'y of Defense is miserable, "cannot wait" to get out of the job

Trump tried to use the DOJ for his PERSONAL legal defense

A White House liaison to the Department of Justice reportedly solicited a department attorney for damaging information on writer E. Jean Carroll, who is suing President Donald Trump for defamation after he attacked her in response to her allegation that he had raped her in the 1990s. The Guardian reported that the liaison, Heidi Stirrup, asked the unnamed lawyer for dirt on Carroll that could be relayed to Trump’s private legal team . . .  The attorney told the Guardian that they had rejected Stirrup’s request “in the strongest possible terms.” The White House aide was banned from the Justice Department building in December after similarly trying to obtain information on supposed election fraud and other pet issues of Trump’s. . . 
Get ready for a slew of pardons based on loyalty to Trump
Remember that "schedule" announcement? Guess who wrote it?
“President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”
The NRA files for bankruptcy

Rudy had a pretty terrible week. Schadenfreude!
You look at the Capitol Hill attacks, or other hate-group events, and you see a lot of angry white dudes. But white women have played a big role in these movements too

Another sad ending. Regular readers know that a favorite source here is Kevin Drum, one of the smartest and most perceptive commentators we link to -- often contrarian and always interesting. Kevin is also calling it quits as a regular blogger, and that deserves a commemoration

In the den of the dead-enders
Lou Dobbs Fumes Over The GOP’s ‘Utter Disregard’ Of Trump’s ‘Right To Loyalty’
Bonus item: Outta here!

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Friday, January 15, 2021


Check. . . check . . . check . . . and . . . check (thanks to AG for the link)

Only the lonely

Trump kept out of sight in a nearly empty White House as impeachment proceedings played out  . . .

President Donald Trump had to be dissuaded from appearing in person as the House began its proceedings and ultimately voted to impeach him a second time . . . Trump had to be talked out of going to the House chamber to offer up excuses after he incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week. . . .

Trump can't find lawyers to defend him at his impeachment trial

“Lawyers who defended him in the previous impeachment trial, including Jay Sekulow and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, have said no this time. . . . Other lawyers who have defended Trump at times, including former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, Eric Herschmann, Pat Philbin and Marc Kasowitz aren’t interested in joining a team this time, the people said. Some of the lawyers who don’t want a role have privately said what Trump did was indefensible.”
[NB: Trump refusing to pay Rudy Giuliani probably doesn't help!]

What Lindsey F. Graham is telling Trump about impeachment

One of Trump’s few confidants these days is Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who broke with the president last week over attempts to overturn the election only to be welcomed back in the president’s good graces a couple of days later. Graham traveled to Texas on Tuesday in what was Trump’s last scheduled presidential trip, spending hours with Trump aboard Air Force One talking about impeachment and planning how Trump should spend his final days in office. “The president has come to grips with it’s over,” Graham said, referring to the election. “That’s tough. He thinks he was cheated, but nothing’s going to change that.”
Trump asked Graham to lobby fellow senators to acquit him in his eventual impeachment trial, which Graham did from Air Force One as he worked through a list of colleagues to phone. A few senators called Trump aboard the presidential aircraft on Tuesday to notify him of their intent to acquit. During the flight home, Graham said, he tried to calm Trump after Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the No. 3 House GOP leader, announced she would vote to impeach. “I just told him, ‘Listen, Mr. President, there are some people out there who were upset before and are upset now, but I assure you, most Republicans believe impeachment is bad for the country and not necessary and it would do damage to the institution of the presidency itself,” Graham recalled. He said he told Trump, “The people who are calling on impeachment are not representative of the [Republican] conferences.”

Trump's lame video disavowing Capitol Hill violence convinced no one
Chilling Supercut Exposes Violent Pre-Riot Rhetoric From Donald Trump And His Enablers

Trump won’t say the one thing that could really calm down his followers
I suppose you could ask which is a cause of which, but the ex-military is a major source of recruitment for white supremacist and right-wing extremist groups -- and they know how to handle weapons

The military has a hate group problem. But it doesn't know how bad it's gotten. 

Pentagon: White Supremacy Has Became More Popular With Troops in Past Year
Rioters Included Highly Trained Ex-Military and Cops

"American patriots," huh?

“Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington for pro-Trump events Jan. 6, a day that ended in a chaotic crime rampage when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol,” the Washington Post reports. “The majority of the watch-listed individuals in Washington that day are suspected white supremacists whose past conduct so alarmed investigators that their names had been previously entered into the national Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, a massive set of names flagged as potential security risks.”
More than a dozen Capitol Hill police are being investigated for their actions during the siege

Here's the truth: people across government are going to be glad to see Trump gone
“The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Trump,” Defense One reports.
“People are just over it. The 20th couldn’t come soon enough. Sometimes there’s a bunker mentality or us-versus-them or righteous indignation that the Democrats or the media are being unfair, but there’s none of that right now. People are just exhausted and disappointed and angry and ready for all this to be done.” 
Trump's failed immigration policy
Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' 
Trump wants to cut $27.4 billion in federal programs, in his final days in office
The 73 proposed rescissions largely align with the annual budget proposal Trump has set out, which proposed extreme cuts to domestic programs. Congress roundly rejected the cuts . . . 

Corporations are ending relationships with Trump companies -- Trump and his defenders are whining about "cancel culture." I call it good business sense

Is Trump a "fascist"?
In Biden news . . .  
Good. I was worried about this 
President-elect Joe Biden will no longer be taking an Amtrak trip from Wilmington, Del., to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration next week due to security concerns . . . 
Some are already complaining that Biden will be too moderate, but. . .
Biden to push economic agenda to the left of Obama, Clinton 

Biden's environmental "dream team"

A new head for the DNC
In COVID news . . .   
Biden to push for nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package

In other news . . .   
Apt bookends: Trump's presidency began and ended with "pussy" references
Trump has a few easily identifiable core values, and misogyny is unquestionably one of them. Indeed, it is a defining theme of his four years in the White House. But perhaps even stronger than his disdain for and disrespect toward women is the president’s obsession with projecting a toxic brand of “manliness.” . . . [read on]
Chicago, my home town, wants to take the 20 foot-tall TRUMP off the side of the Trump Tower
[NB: I remember when it was built, he wanted his name to be even bigger. The city said no.]
Noblesse oblige?
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have become the center of Internet fodder after the Washington Post reported on Thursday that the couple refused to let their Secret Service detail use any of the six bathrooms inside their ritzy D.C. home. . . . Eventually, the Trump/Kushner Secret Service detail rented a basement studio with a bathroom from a neighbor of the Kushner family — which came with the hefty price tag of more than $100,000 funded by taxpayers to date. According to the Post, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month since September 2017 for Secret Service detail to rent out the studio. [read on] 
Donald Junior under investigation -- hurry up with that pardon, Dad!

Melania is as big an asshole as her husband

“The outgoing first lady hasn’t done anything of significance as the weeks of her tenure come to a close. She hasn’t established an office for continuing her platform in the post-White House years, according to a source familiar with her activities. Nor has she helped with the onboarding of incoming first lady Jill Biden — with whom she has still not made contact…”
Crazy lady
Newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Newsmax she plans on filing articles of impeachment against President-elect Joe Biden on his first full day in office next week.  
Who ARE these people?
Twitter Locks Account Of Congresswoman Who Live-Tweeted Nancy Pelosi's Location During Riot
Arizona GOP wants to CENSURE Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain for supporting Joe Biden
Cindy McCain Celebrates Arizona GOP’s Proposed Censure of Her: ‘I’m Going to Make T-Shirts’

Trump's not even out of office yet, and we already have our first Republican officially running for 2024

The shift in Trump media: from pro-Trump to pro-Trump follower
Bonus item: You know those pet rescue ads? (thanks to JT for the link)

Hi. I’m Sarah McLachlan.
Every hour, a Republican loses an election.  
They are cold and afraid.  
O.K., maybe they’re not cold, but they are afraid. And alone.  
They are losing support, because their constituents finally caught on to how shitty their platforms are and to the stupidity of their refusal to accept the outcome of the election.
Will you help them today?
Some of them are going to have to move to Florida. The ones who already live in Florida will probably move to one of the islands, at least temporarily, while they come up with a new career strategy and move money into offshore bank accounts.
These politicians have never hurt a soul. O.K., they’ve hurt millions.
But, still, they owe people money and favors that they now cannot deliver.
Won’t you be the person to help one of these vulnerable Republicans today?
Please, call the number on your screen, sign up with the American Society for the Prevention of Consequences for Republicans, and you will be providing a suffering, frightened Republican politician with a monthly gift.
For just eighteen hundred dollars a month, you can supply a Republican with yacht fuel, Plan B for their mistress, legal aid for insider trading, and helicopters to the I.C.U. when they inevitably get the coronavirus that they don’t believe exists. And love. Just kidding. They aren’t capable of feeling love.
Call today, and we will send you a picture of Mitch McConnell cleaning graffiti off his front door. You will also receive this beautiful tote bag, in which you can store the fucks you have left to give after the Senate approved a six-hundred-dollar stimulus package—a hundred bucks per month that you’ve been in lockdown since the last payment.
This is your chance to stand up and say, “I won’t sit idly by while another rich animal is pushed into the private sector due to being an ineffectual, nefarious prick.”
Please call or go online right now, if your Internet is still hooked up.
Our young, white interns are standing by to take your call.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021


The GOP is done with Trump -- and one reason they may vote to convict him in the Senate is to block him from ever running again

The fight over Trump is tearing the GOP apart -- and Tom Friedman says, Good

“I want Trump out — and I don’t mind him being silenced at such a tense time — I’m not sure I want him permanently off Twitter and Facebook. There’s important work that I need Trump to perform in his post-presidency, and I need him to have proper megaphones to do it. It’s to blow apart this Republican Party.”

[NB: The irony is delicious. It was obvious in 2016 (and people like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz said so at the time) that making a deal with the devil and putting Trump in power would damage the Republican party . . . and the nation. They went along anyway, and they have been complicit in supporting him for four years. Now they are looking at the wreckage of the party and its dependence on a fringe group of cultists who answer only to Trump, and they are wondering how to untangle themselves from the mess.] 
Trump released this tweet-like statement just before the impeachment vote. Wonder why?
The statement was published by Fox News . . . “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.” 
Then he follows it up with another soulless, pro forma video, read from a text written for him, denying that he or any of his followers would EVER endorse violence

The House passes impeachment with ten GOP votes

Impeachment is a disaster for Republicans

Republicans in disarray as GOP leadership fractures over Trump's impeachment, removal
Graham: Republicans supporting Trump impeachment damaging GOP
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is calling on House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) to be removed from leadership for announcing her plans to vote to impeach President Trump for inciting last week’s riot at the Capitol, The Hill reports. 
[T]he WH is putting huge pressure on members, and that members are saying "they want to vote to impeach but they legitimately fear for their lives and their families’ lives." 

[NB: This vote is becoming a test for what the GOP thinks their future is. Will they continue to be the party that makes excuses for Trump, because they are afraid of him and his followers? Or are they ready to draw a line and say that Trump is part of a failed past they want to put behind them?]
This may be the dumbest defense of Trump
Fox News Host Pete Hegseth’s Weak Trump Defense: He Never Said the Word ‘Insurrection’
VP Mike Pence looked like the natural heir to the MAGA movement if Trump didn't run again himself. Now he's lost it both ways: his loyalty to Trump and close association with Trump policies makes him toxic to those who want a fresh start and a new leader of the party; his refusal to go along with the election theft and Trump's personal animosity toward him as a result have ruined his chances with the MAGA crowd. Blocking the use of the 25th Amendment won't help him with either group
It isn't just the loss of social media: Trump has become reclusive and invisible in the closing days of his administration
Trump Is Defiant and Sullen . . . “Trump continues to cling to his false assertion that he won the election . . .” 
"I’ll ‘Never’ Say Biden Won"
Ha ha ha ha ha
‘Isolated And Angry’ Trump Refuses To Pay Rudy Giuliani For Legal Work 
20 thousand National Guard troops? What kinds of threats are they hearing about?
What will happen if Trump tries to pardon himself?
Trump's census ploy failed

Another unkept promise

Trump's promised $200 drug-discount cards won't happen
The momentous realignment in the Middle East
In Biden news . . . 
Biden's inauguration will include a celebrity-studded TV special
The prime-time event will air on broadcast channels ABC, CBS and NBC but not Fox. Cable news networks CNN and MSNBC will carry it live. Fox News will not. . . . 
What Biden can do -- without GOP support
Biden will re-appoint national security people Trump forced out
In COVID news . . .   
4300 deaths in one day -- a new record
In other news . . .    
A devastating charge
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) made a shocking accusation against some of her GOP colleagues . . . Sherrill gave a speech alleging that besides merely helping President Donald Trump incite the siege through rhetoric or objecting to certification, several Republican lawmakers had provided direct assistance to the insurrectionists prior to the attack. “Those members of Congress who had groups coming though the Capitol that I saw on January 5, a reconnaissance for the next day,” the Democrat said. “Those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our President undermine our democracy - I’m going to see that they’re held accountable and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”
A QAnon Trumpian gives a speech on national TV . . . wearing a "Censored" mask

Republican gun nuts in Congress


Yep, Godwin's Law

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro calls Parler backlash 'akin to a Kristallnacht' days after the deadly attempted coup on Capitol Hill

Glenn Beck Slammed For Comparing Trump Tech Platforms Ban To Holocaust

Fox World needs more Doocy's!

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!  
I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***