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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Are You Prepared for the Death of America As We Know It? The Indicators Are There


   Perhaps you, like me, were under the illusion that all we needed to do to rescue America from the Trump disaster was to defeat his re-election bid and restore sanity and integrity to the White House.

That might well have been enough if we had seen a blue wave that severely reduced Republican influence in Congress, and if Trump had accepted the results of the election, but, sadly, we saw neither.

Now there’s talk that the Republican Party, dominated by Trump loyalists, could restore its control of Congress in the mid-term elections, which historically works against the party of the incumbent president.

Polling results which show the majority of Republicans believing that Donald Trump won the election and was only cheated of victory through voting fraud is nothing short of demoralizing for those of us looking to restore confidence in truth, justice and the American way. His followers, who are victims of Donald Trump as much as anyone, are armed and dangerous. They see the government as tyrannically punishing them for a thoroughly justified attempt to overthrow an illegitimate regime on January 6th, and are still plotting a more successful attack.

They will lose if they make another attempt, but the rest of us have already lost, simply because so many Americans think the way they do and would try again to overthrow their own government.

How did we get here and what are the other indicators that we may lose the battle to save America from complete chaos and destruction?

Historians take meaning from the rising wealth gap. Truly “the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer” at a frighteningly historic rate — long a predictor of grass roots rebellion, although Donald Trump has amazingly convinced large segments of the lower income population that he is their champion.

That speaks to another troubling indicator, namely the in-creased level of stupidity and gullibility of the American public. Personally, I can’t think of anything that would piss me off more than discovering I had been conned, lied to and cheated — and Trump has done all three to the white middle class who still support him.

    How did that happen?  The word “white” has a lot to do with it. Recently I read the book White Rage, and I recommend it to anyone trying to understand Trump’s accomplishment in seducing white America into believing his every lie. The subtitle of the book is “The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.” Here’s a paragraph about it from publisher Bloombury’s website:

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post, suggesting that this was, instead, “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she argued, “everyone had ignored the kindling.”

Only something as strong as deeply embedded racism can cause someone to go against their other held beliefs. That’s why I’ve always maintained that unexpressed racism (or white rage) is at the root of the undying loyalty of Trump’s base. Tucker Carlson and Ted Cruz are trying desperately and unashamedly to assume that mantel, but it’s hard to do so when their “first love,” Donald Trump, is still alive and threatening to run in 2024.

What might disenchant Trump’s base from their infatuation with him? We already know that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote — something I didn’t believe at first — and talking about his celebrity permission to grab women by their privates didn’t do it. Nor did the accusations by 20-plus women that he raped or molested them — far more allegations than are being faced by Gov. Cuomo or even Matt Gaetz. So what could do it?

If Trump is indicted for tax fraud and mortgage fraud, as seems likely, based on already published information, will that have any effect? Probably not.

The good news, of course, is that while Trump may enjoy majority support of registered Republicans, that number is only enough to win the day in deep Red counties and states. It’s hard to imagine him winning the presidency again, nor will allegiance to him by other candidates like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley win them needed votes in the battleground states which rejected Trump this year.

But that’s not comfort enough to feel good about the future of America. I remember one broadcast journalist opining that the worst scenario for 2024 would be that Donald Trump would run, lose and again declare that the election was stolen, thereby launching another attack on America by his militia supporters.

Here are some other indicators which discourage me regarding the future of this once great country.

First, there’s Fox News, which continues to provide a platform for Tucker Carlson and others to knowingly lie and mislead their audience about anything they want in an effort to create an angry anti-government population. The network is owned by the Murdochs, but it might as well be owned by the largest propagators of disinformation before Fox News took that title from them — the Russian intelligence community.

There is a manual for how to destroy a democratic nation, and it was written by the Russians. Near the beginning of the book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, author Jason Stanley makes the point that democracy contains the key to its own destruction under the right circumstances because of its core freedom — the freedom of speech.

The growth of social media has put freedom of speech on steroids, and the Russians and others have wisely taken advantage of social media and the ability to impersonate ordinary Americans to amplify right wing, white supremacist and other anti-government and anti-freedom themes. The central strategy of disinformation is to identify issues of conflict in our society, then impersonate extremists on both sides of the issue. Success is measured by the street violence that occurs when those false voices inspire real persons to go to the streets, hopefully armed, to attack each other.

The gun issue is particularly intractable. The Second Amendment could have used the words “National Guard” instead of “militia” or, conversely, our states could have used the term “militia” instead of “National Guard” and saved America a lot of unnecessary misinterpretation of what the founders intended. The Bill of Rights was written at a time of distrust of central government by the states. The Second Amendment was designed to protect the right of individual states to create armed militias to protect against tyranny by the central government. Hence the term “well regulated.”  With that understanding, now read the text: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

We can take some comfort from the defection of certain mainstream Republicans following the Jan. 6th insurrection, including Mitch McConnell, Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney. Trump’s insults and the death threats from his followers are unlikely to draw them back into the fold.

Another book I strongly recommend is Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.  It recounts the tobacco industry’s effort to discredit the “settled science” that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer. By finding a few scientists who claimed that it wasn’t settled science, they gave ammunition to the tobacco lobby and the politicians they had bought. The same approach is being used today to cast doubt on human-caused climate change. 


Watch This Great Video from The Washington Post About Statehood for Washington, DC

 Here's the link:

Monday, April 19, 2021

Former Australian Prime Minister Lambasts Rupert Murdoch in CNN Interview

 From CNN's "Reliable Sources" Newsletter tonight:

"Market for crazy"


Most moments on cable news are ephemeral – that's the nature of the 24/7 beast – but this recent interview with Malcolm Turnbull is an exception to the rule. Ever since it aired on Sunday morning, I've been getting emails and texts and DMs about what he said and how he said it. Turnbull, the former Australian prime minister, delivered a brutal evaluation of Rupert Murdoch's effects on the world.


He spoke with the poise of a world leader who knows that many other public figures fear the repercussions of criticizing the Murdoch media empire. "People in public life are terrified," he told me, terrified that "a vendetta will be launched against them," whether through News Corp papers or Fox Corp TV shows or other forums. But that just makes this subject all the more important. His view, shared by many, is that Murdochworld has created a "market for crazy," resulting in "enormous damage to the United States."


We decided to publish the entire 24-minute interview with Turnbull on our podcast feed so that folks can hear the portions that didn't make air. Turnbull went into more detail about the impact of Murdoch media's climate denialism; the family divide between brothers Lachlan and James; and Fox's "imitators in the right wing media ecosystem." Turnbull's main point: Rupert "has to take responsibility for what he has done."



Three key quotes


 -- "What Murdoch has delivered, largely through Fox News in the US, is exactly what Vladimir Putin wanted to achieve with his disinformation campaigns."


 -- "One of the biggest obstacles to effective global action on global warming has been the influence of right wing populist politics, climate change denial, massively amplified by Murdoch."


 -- "It breaks my heart as an Australian to see the damage that has been done to American society and American democracy by this right wing populist agenda... which is in large part all about denying the facts."


Hear the rest of Turnbull's remarks via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or your favorite app...

Subscribe to the Reliable Sources nightly newsletter at, and set your DVR to record it every Sunday at 9 a.m. Mountain Time. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Gov. Kemp Signed Georgia's Voter Suppression Law in Front of a Painting of a Georgia Slave Plantation

 Here's the opening paragraph of Will Bunch's column in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday, Mar. 26th:

"Sometimes America’s legacy of white supremacy is hiding in plain sight, literally. When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a hastily passed voter suppression law that many are calling the new, new Jim Crow on Thursday night, surrounded by a half-dozen white men, he did so in front of a painting of a plantation where more than 100 Black people had been enslaved."

Click here for a link to the full column.   

Friday, February 12, 2021

If the Senate Were to Use a Secret Ballot, It Would Likely Convict Trump Unanimously

   If I were a Republican Senator hearing the House Impeachment Managers describe the death threats suffered by Republicans (and their families) when they “turned against” President Trump, I would realize that I must acquit him so that my family and I don’t suffer the same fate. This is no small matter.

Consider Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State who received death threats. Or Mike Pence — Trump’s most loyal lapdog — who was targeted for execution within minutes of his refusal to violate his constitutional duty to certify the Electoral College votes making Joe Biden our 46th president.

Also, consider the executive at Dominion Voting Systems responsible for programming, who went into hiding because of death threats based on lies that he had programed the company’s machines to change Trump votes to Biden votes.

Going alone is too scary for Republican senators. The only hope, I believe, is for Mitch McConnell to caucus with his Republican colleagues and convince them as a group to vote to convict the president and preserve their own honor. Better yet, agree to a secret ballot if possible, which I believe would assure conviction.

I remember thinking before Trump’s 2016 election that his candidacy would likely destroy the Republican Party. It took four years, but I think that time has come — unless the party can bring itself to repudiate Trump en masse. God knows, they have the justification to do so.

How will the ex-president’s incompetent lawyers respond to the presentation they have seen by the House Impeachment Managers? I see two possibilities. One, they will say, “We haven’t seen anything we didn’t already know,” and rest their defense immediately, hoping for a quick vote to acquit. The second possibility is my favorite: Trump will fire his lawyers and insist on representing himself. That would, of course, be stupid, but he has never exhibited great smarts, as the incitement of insurrection itself demonstrates. So maybe he’ll do that. One can only hope.

Surely, Mitch McConnell does not relish the idea of Trump being his president and leader four years from now. How could he?

What aggravates me the most is when I hear Ted Cruz and other defenders of Trump say that convicting him would be an affront to the 74 million people who voted for Trump. Not all of those voters wanted the Donald Trump who incited the insurrection.  But it is surprising that the majority of Republicans, according to polls, still believe Trump’s claim that he won the election despite the lack of any evidence to support it.

My hope is that Trump’s support will diminish over time, not just because of the insurrection but because of how refreshing it will be to have competence returning to the White House and the cabinet. It’s notable that Biden’s approval rating has been above 50% from day one, whereas Trump never reached that mark in his four years.

Of course, multiple indictments in New York and elsewhere, plus more bankruptcies, will tarnish his phony reputation as a business genius. Conviction and jail time can’t help him either, and both are certainly possibilities.

There was a great column by Colbert I. King in the Washington Post on Feb. 5th. The title is “D.C.’s police came to the rescue. Its taxpayers still aren’t allowed a vote in Congress.” According to King, the District didn’t get so much as a thank-you, much less reimbursement, for coming to the rescue of the Capitol Police and — it’s fair to say — saving lawmakers’ lives.

At its height, 850 Metropolitan Police Department officers came to the Capitol building, and 65 of them suffered injuries. “Some went home with bruised and sprained limbs, broken noses, Taser injuries, concussions, and damaged lungs caused by chemical irritants and bear spray,” according to the article.

The point King makes has been made for decades on the District’s license plates — “Taxation Without Representation.”  I remember when the District released this design, the president was a Republican — Reagan, I believe — and the response was that White House vehicles which had always had DC license plates were suddenly switched to having federal license plates!

You see, Republicans would never support statehood for the District, because it would guarantee two more Democratic Senators and one or two Democratic representatives. After all, what is more important to a politician, advancing democracy or staying in power?

Democrats, of course, promote statehood because it advances their political position, but also, I like to think, because it advances democracy. I have long promoted a compromise which would still provide District residents with representation in Congress, and that is to reduce the District of Columbia to those parcels that are owned by the federal government and to have all residential areas returned to Maryland, just as the western part of the 10-mile-square district was returned to Virginia 45 years after the District’s creation in 1801. This would not grant residents their own representation in the Senate, but it would provide one or two more representatives for the state of Maryland. The city would change from being Washington DC to Washington MD. The city would have home rule, but it would no long have its own license plates. The White House would still be in the District of Columbia and keep its federal license plates.

Getting back to the insurrection, the Washington Post reported in a Feb. 10th article by Todd C. Frankel that, “Nearly 60 percent of the people facing charges related to the Capitol riot showed signs of prior money troubles, including bankruptcies, notices of eviction or foreclosure, bad debts, or unpaid taxes over the past two decades, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records for 125 defendants with sufficient information to detail their financial histories.”

The article continues: “While no single factor explains why someone decided to join in, experts say, Donald Trump and his brand of grievance politics tapped into something that resonated with the hundreds of people who descended on the Capitol in a historic burst of violence.

“ ‘I think what you’re finding is more than just economic insecurity but a deep-seated feeling of precarity about their personal situation,’ said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a political science professor who helps run the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab at American University, reacting to The Post’s findings. ‘And that precarity — combined with a sense of betrayal or anger that someone is taking something away — mobilized a lot of people that day.’ ”

We have a lot more to learn in the coming months about the insurrection, including why the Capitol Police were so ill prepared for it despite ample intelligence.


Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Wife of Our 9th Vice President Was One of His Enslaved Women -- Who He Never Freed

There is a facinating story published in the Washington Post today recounting the story of Julia Chinn, who bore two children to our 9th Vice President, Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky, but died of cholera four years before Johnson took office.  He put her in charge of the plantation when he was away, yet he never granted her freedom.  He couldn't marry her legally, but they were married in a family ceremony in a black church.  His two daughters married white men and their descendants denied their heritage for over a century. It's a fascinating story.  Here's a link to the Washington Post story

He's also the only Vice President who didn't received the necessary electoral votes, unlike President Martin Van Buren, and was voted into office by the Senate.  Although Southern newspapers decried Johnson as "the great Amalgamationist," he succeeded politically in large part as a hero of the War of 1812, in which he was shot five times in a Canadian battle where he killed Chief Tecumseh.

Here's a link to a short video about Julia Chinn from KET. org.

Friday, February 5, 2021

From Slate: Trump Didn’t Believe His Election Lies; Pollster Autopsies Explained Loss

I wouldn’t do justice by merely quoting from the two articles I just read on I urge you to subscribe to Slate Plus, as I do. The first article by William Saletan, published on on Feb. 4th is entitled Trump Didn't Believe His Election Lies: His trial can prove it. The 2nd article, also by Saletan, published on Feb. 2nd, is entitled Trump Destroyed Himself: Two reports by his own pollsters show why he should have won but didn't. The blue type in the PDF linked below are hyperlinks, so look for the articles on if you want to click on them.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy

Many of us not under Trump’s spell have wondered what Putin has on Donald Trump, given the former President’s reluctance to criticize the Russian leader, even when it was reported that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers. A new book by journalist Craig Unger appears to answer that question. Here’s a review of it from The Guardian. The writer is David Smith, and this review was published on on Friday, Jan. 29, at 1:00 a.m.  

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.

Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.

Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia.

Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship. He works as a corporate security investigator and was a partner of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006.

Unger describes how Trump first appeared on the Russians’ radar in 1977 when he married his first wife, Ivana Zelnickova, a Czech model. Trump became the target of a spying operation overseen by Czechoslovakia’s intelligence service in cooperation with the KGB.

Three years later Trump opened his first big property development, the Grand Hyatt New York hotel near Grand Central station. Trump bought 200 television sets for the hotel from Semyon Kislin, a Soviet √©migr√© who co-owned Joy-Lud electronics on Fifth Avenue.

According to Shvets, Joy-Lud was controlled by the KGB and Kislin worked as a so-called “spotter agent” who identified Trump, a young businessman on the rise, as a potential asset. Kislin denies that he had a relationship with the KGB.

Then, in 1987, Trump and Ivana visited Moscow and St Petersburg for the first time. Shvets said he was fed KGB talking points and flattered by KGB operatives who floated the idea that he should go into politics.

The ex-major recalled: “For the KGB, it was a charm offensive. They had collected a lot of information on his personality so they knew who he was personally. The feeling was that he was extremely vulnerable intellectually, and psychologically, and he was prone to flattery.

“This is what they exploited. They played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality and believed this is the guy who should be the president of the United States one day: it is people like him who could change the world. They fed him these so-called active measures soundbites and it happened. So it was a big achievement for the KGB active measures at the time.”

Soon after he returned to the US, Trump began exploring a run for the Republican nomination for president and even held a campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. On 1 September, he took out a full-page advert in the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe headlined: “There’s nothing wrong with America’s Foreign Defense Policy that a little backbone can’t cure.”

The ad offered some highly unorthodox opinions in Ronald Reagan’s cold war America, accusing ally Japan of exploiting the US and expressing scepticism about US participation in Nato. It took the form of an open letter to the American people “on why America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves”.

The bizarre intervention was cause for astonishment and jubilation in Russia. A few days later Shvets, who had returned home by now, was at the headquarters of the KGB’s first chief directorate in Yasenevo when he received a cable celebrating the ad as a successful “active measure” executed by a new KGB asset.

“It was unprecedented. I am pretty well familiar with KGB active measures starting in the early 70s and 80s, and then afterwards with Russia active measures, and I haven’t heard anything like that or anything similar – until Trump became the president of this country – because it was just silly. It was hard to believe that somebody would publish it under his name and that it will impress real serious people in the west but it did and, finally, this guy became the president.”

Trump’s election win in 2016 was again welcomed by Moscow. Special counsel Robert Mueller did not establish a conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. But the Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, found the Trump campaign and transition team had at least 272 known contacts and at least 38 known meetings with Russia-linked operatives.

Shvets, who has carried out his own investigation, said: “For me, the Mueller report was a big disappointment because people expected that it will be a thorough investigation of all ties between Trump and Moscow, when in fact what we got was an investigation of just crime-related issues. There were no counterintelligence aspects of the relationship between Trump and Moscow.”

He added: “This is what basically we decided to correct. So I did my investigation and then got together with Craig. So we believe that his book will pick up where Mueller left off.”

Unger, the author of seven books and a former contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine, said of Trump: “He was an asset. It was not this grand, ingenious plan that we’re going to develop this guy and 40 years later he’ll be president. At the time it started, which was around 1980, the Russians were trying to recruit like crazy and going after dozens and dozens of people.”

“Trump was the perfect target in a lot of ways: his vanity, narcissism made him a natural target to recruit. He was cultivated over a 40-year period, right up through his election.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

What I'd Like Joe Biden to Say in His Inaugural Address

Clearly, job #1 for Joe Biden's inaugural address is to speak to the followers of Donald Trump -- 86% of whom, according to polls, don't trust the 2020 election.

I would like President Biden to acknowledge the patriotism of those followers. Who among us would put their lives on the line if they truly believed what Donald Trump told his followers -- that the election was stolen.  "I stand here today asking you patriots to challenge that belief. Even the leader of your party in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, will tell you that the election was honest and that you can believe Donald Trump lost the election. I don't want one more of you to lose your life or go to jail fighting for your country under false pretenses.  I respect your patriotism, and I share your patriotism."

That's the tone I would like to hear from Joe Biden tomorrow after he takes the oath of office. 

Bonus points if our new President says, "I'm not a communist and I'm not a socialist," and gives a definition to those terms which these people will recognize is not what he and his Vice President and cabinet stand for.  "Those lies, on top of the lies about the election, have been used to manipulate you, and that needs to come to an end here and now.  Watch me in the coming weeks and months and you'll see that I'm a president who not only puts America first, but puts it first before himself.  That's the kind of president this country deserves and who 80 million Americans voted for."

Great Mini-Documentary (12 minutes) About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - For Kids of All Ages!

 I wish every American would take the time to watch this video.

Friday, January 15, 2021

'Slate' Article: Sheriffs Helped Lead This Insurrection

Subtitle: "Sheriffs play a key role in right-wing white supremacist movements."  Here's an excerpt (link below for the full article):

Ninety percent of American sheriffs are white men, and in recent years they’ve become strongly affiliated with white supremacist groups. Across the country, sheriffs have declared that they will not enforce laws they deem “unconstitutional,” like COVID-19 public health orders or gun laws limiting weapons possession and permits. Their influence has only grown since the pandemic began, as mask wearing became affiliated with progressive liberals and a bare face was a sign of Trump support. Trump has always had an affinity with sheriffs. He met with more sheriffs at the White House than any other president and pardoned ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court for failing to abide by a nondiscrimination order, calling him an “American patriot.”

Here's the link to the full Slate article dated 1/15/21 at 2:40 p.m.:

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Insurrectionists Are Themselves Victims — Of Donald Trump’s Big Lies

  I have no doubt that the men and women who stormed the Capitol on January 6th — which is Epiphany on the Christian calendar — consider themselves patriots who would die for their country.

What would you do, dear reader, if you truly believed what they believe — namely, that your candidate actually won in a landslide election but was defrauded of his victory by a vast conspiracy to destroy America, democracy, freedom and everything you hold dear? 

Whether or not Donald Trump himself is delusional, he has succeeded, with great help from right-wing radio hosts and Fox News television hosts — not to mention Q-Anon, New America News, Newsmax and the rest of Trump World — in deluding 75 million Americans as well. I don’t doubt the intentions of the insurrectionists, given what they believe to be true. It’s just sad and disturbing that so many have clung to those lies, and the bravest of them have gone to war “for their country,” only to have died, been injured, lost their jobs, and may be going to prison, when their real crime was that they believed what the worst president in American history was telling them.

For deluding millions of his fellow citizens, Donald Trump is the one who should be punished, and should certainly not be allowed to run for president in 2024, which is why we should hope that he will be convicted by the Senate after he is impeached by the House of Representatives.

Hopefully, January 6th was an epiphany of another sort for many Trump supporters, but they have shown themselves to have that essential characteristic of cult members — that is, the inability to be swayed by facts, reason and logic, or to have the experience of an epiphany.

When capitalized, Epiphany refers to the date when the three wisemen (or Magi) arrived to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  When not capitalized, epiphany is defined by Webster as “an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple or striking; an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure; a revealing scene or moment.”

From what we hear on the news, the insurrectionists think they lost the battle but not the war on January 6th, and are ready to do battle again in the coming days and weeks and actually believe that with enough bloodshed they can rescue America from Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the radical leftists who fraudulently tried to steal the presidency from the best president America has ever had — Donald J. Trump.

We should not underestimate the willingness of these “true believers” to go to war for Donald Trump again and again until they achieve victory. Indeed, one of the hand-made signs seen on January 6th said, “I’ll Die for Trump.”

How does one contain such a movement?  The de-platforming of Trump by Twitter, Facebook, et. al,, and the silencing of Parler by Amazon Web Services, only plays into the narrative that Big Tech is biased against conservatives. That could serve simply to reinforce the need for military-style action against the government. This could get really bad.

It has been reported that Walmart and other big donors have announced they will no longer contribute to the Congressmen and Senators who challenged the Electoral College votes on January 6th. That may influence politicians, but we need to balance that against the death threats which Mike Pence, Lindsay Graham and other long-time sycophants of Trump got when they turned against him or failed to do his bidding. I’m sure there are many Republicans who no longer fear being “primaried” by Donald Trump as much as they fear being killed (along with their wives and children) by Trump supporters.

We can be comforted but only a little by the fact that President Trump’s job approval sank this week to its historic low of 33%, but we should be more concerned that after recent events one-third of Americans still believe he’s doing a fine job.

In other words, January 6th was an epiphany to some, but not to enough, Americans.

There are going to be many more revelations in the coming months. For starters, there will be hundreds of arrests, trials, convictions and prison sentences for the insurrectionists, including those who organized and incited them. (I find it amusing that Trump would choose Rudy Giuliani to represent him in a Senate trial, given that Giuliani himself incited violence at the same rally on January 6th. Consider it further evidence of how Trump believes his own delusion about his innocence.)

I’m glad that Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.3 billion defamation suit against former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, because the legal process will give the lie to the claim that the ballot-counting machines were rigged to change Trump votes to Biden votes.  (Remember again, however, that cult members are not swayed by facts or logic. To them it will be “fake news.”)

In February or March we can expect indictments of Donald Trump and the Trump Organization by the Manhattan D.A. and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Also, Trump’s biggest creditor, Deutsche Bank, well known for laundering Russian money, has closed Trump’s banking accounts in response to the January 6th insurrection, suggesting that they will not be particularly agreeable with Trump when his millions of dollars of loans come due in the coming months and years. Done right, these developments will do a lot to disprove Trump’s original deception—that he is a successful and brilliant businessman. Of course, Trump’s remaining sycophants will spin a conspiracy theory to explain how he is being wrongly portrayed and victimized by whoever, and most of Trump supporters will believe it, because they’ll believe anything that he and his sycophants say.

In other words, we can’t expect the spell cast by Donald Trump over a third of Americans to unravel anytime soon. Wish the Republic well, and let’s hope that the intelligence services and law enforcement agencies work together better in the future than they did leading up to January 6th’s rally and insurrection.

That’s the macro problem. There’s also a micro problem — how do you and I reconcile with our friends and family who, to put it honestly, lost their minds under the spell of a self-obsessed, psychopathic president who probably sucked them in by his shared racist mentality?  I don’t have an easy answer for that, but I wish I did, because Rita and I have a few of them.

Although it makes perfect sense that Trump does not want to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration and that Biden is happy with that, it does raise a concern for me — and likely for the Secret Service — that this makes the inaugural setting a possible target for those Trump supporters who remain intent on completing their mission to kill off Trump’s enemies, including his newest enemy, Mike Pence, who will be on that stage.

One scenario I painted now seems less likely — that Trump would resign early enough for president Pence to pardon him.