Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Rule of Law…

BEWARE: POLITICS!!!!

Yesterday ex-President Donald Trump was found guilty of all 34 charges he was tried for.

He is now a convicted felon.

Not terribly surprisingly, Donald Trump claimed he was… well, what do you think? It was unfair. I did nothing wrong. If I did, it wasn’t worth this trial. I don’t know the lady. Etc. etc.

Depressingly -and not surprisingly- those on the far right, many in positions of power within the government, are also dubiously claiming this was a rigged trial and Trump shouldn’t have been pursued and…

…sigh…

The hypocrisy runs thick. These Republicans were right there pursuing Bill Clinton for a blowjob yet feel things are unfair when Trump is found guilty of sexual assault (E. Jean Carroll) and now for campaign finance illegalities.

You do know this was what the trail was about, right?

I mean, the “big” headline is that he forced himself upon Stormy Daniels, a porn star. In reality, the trial was about how he illegally paid her off to keep quiet about their tryst while campaigning for president against Hillary Clinton.

Worse, those claiming he was somehow railroaded seem to conveniently forget Trump effectively offered no defense in this trial. Trump’s lawyers never offered an explanation for the obvious payoffs made to the likes of ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

And when it was Trump’s turn to defend himself, he could have taken the stand -tough guy that he’s supposed to be- and set everyone right about what happened.

He didn’t.

Now, Trump -indeed any defendant- doesn’t have to testify. But Trump sure seems to be mouthy whenever he’s not under oath. He’s quick to talk about all the unfair things that happened and how this trail shouldn’t have happened and that he was being persecuted by the Biden administration…

…yet when he had a chance to swear to tell the truth and the whole truth and take the stand he declined.

Ah well.

Trumpian Monday…

POLITICS… Beware!!!

So I wrote a few days back about Monday and the bond Trump has to pay -which was supposed to be $464 million dollars and… it was reduced by the New York appeals court to $175 million and he was given ten days to secure this amount and…

…I don’t get it.

I suppose there are many who don’t either. I thought the whole point of posting the bond was to secure the judgment amount while the appeals process was playing out.

Assuming Trump can get this lower amount of money for the appeal and further assuming he has the rest squirreled away somewhere, what’s to stop him from trying to burn through it while the appeal process goes on?

Again: Wasn’t this amount supposed to essentially lock up the judgment amount so that if the appeal fails, the victim(s) of the fraud perpetrated by Trump would get their restitution?

I dunno.

I did see some pundits say the amount is very high and, to be clear, many of his properties are in the United States and, specifically, within New York and perhaps because of this -and the fact that there are people overseeing Trump’s finances now- they felt there was no way he would get around this judgment if and when the appeal process is exhausted. Prosecutors could then just take over the properties and -hopefully- that’s that.

And I suppose $175 million is still a pretty high amount.

So why do I feel like Trump has yet again gotten something no other defendant gets when facing the legal system?

I have to say… the moment we no longer have to deal with Trump and his… stuff… anymore can’t come soon enough.

The final countdown…?

Warning: Politics!!!!

If you’ve followed the news even a little nowadays you know that Donald Trump is facing a whirlwind of legal challenges even as he’s running for President yet again under the Republican ticket.

He’s so far been losing judgments yet at times “winning” by having trials be delayed.

On May 9, 2023, Trump was found liable for defamation and sexual abuse against author E. Jean Carroll and she was awarded $5 million in damages. Trump, never a shrinking violet, went on to talk and talk and talk about this verdict to the point where she sued him a second time for defamation. On January 26, 2024, Trump was found liable for defamation against Ms. Carroll and awarded a whopping $83.3 million in damages.

Trump appealed this verdict but, to do so, he had to produce a $91.6 million bond… which he did. In New York, you see, you can appeal verdicts but you have to put the money (plus some 10%) down in case you lose the appeal. It’s a way of ensuring the victims know the money is there for them the moment the appeal is exhausted and does not allow the guilty party to forever stall and appeal the verdict.

In other words: Pay up before you appeal or else you can’t appeal.

There were plenty of people wondering if Trump had the money to pay for this appeal but he did manage to get it… even as very quickly the company who provided the bond was exposed and, apparently, that caused enough consternation within the company, Chubb Insurance, the CEO was forced to defend the action…

Chubb CEO defends backing Trump appeal bond in E. Jean Carroll case

The fact is that Trump -whether you like or loath him- is increasingly being viewed as a financial risk and there are those who invest in Chubb that viewed this bond as a financial risk.

Welp, Trump had another case go against him, this one also from New York and involving civil fraud. Mr. Trump lost the case and was ordered to pay $454 million. This case involved years of questionable financial dealings and, once again, if Mr. Trump wants to appeal the case, he can certainly do so… provided he offer a $454 million bond.

This bond is due March 25… a whopping four days from today, and…

Trump’s lawyers say it is impossible for him to post bond covering $454 million civil fraud judgment

It would appear, according to the above article, that there is no bond company willing to cover this amount and Mr. Trump doesn’t have the liquid assets to cover it himself… this despite boasting under oath during one of these cases (I forget which) that he had some $450 million in such assets.

So the clock is ticking and, should Mr. Trump not be able to post this bond, by Monday New York Attorney General Letitia James, the woman who successfully prosecuted Trump, can start seizing his assets.

It’s a fascinating fall for Mr. Trump, whether he manages to post that bond or not, and one can’t help but note that the man brought this all on himself.

Like it or not, getting into politics shines a bright light on you. Running for, and being elected President shines an even brighter light on you and you really, really must make sure your past is clean because inquiring minds will start to look through your past…

I wonder if this is the start of the end for the Trump financial empire. It’s possible, certainly, he finds a way to wiggle out of this and gets someone -maybe someone close to him- to pay the bond.

But $454 million dollars is an awfully large amount of money and there are other cases -criminal cases- to come.

All while Mr. Trump runs for President.

There was a time even one of these scandals was enough to fell any potential candidate. Mr. Trump, to his credit, seems to know no shame and pushes on despite everything falling around him.

I’m damned curious to see what happens Monday.

Oh Donald…

Yesterday Special Counsel Jack Smith unveiled his case against Donald Trump for the events leading to, and following, the January 6th insurrection.

This is pretty big deal and it feels like all the major investigations into Trump and his various activities are coming to a head. He’s got cases in Florida, now in Washington, and it appears he’ll be facing indictments in Georgia as well.

…and yet there are still a vocal minority, perhaps some 30% of the country, that would still vote for this man and at least so far he’s leading the Republican field for the nomination to run for President.

As John Lennon sang… strange days indeed.

It’s all politics, all the time…

Truly I don’t like to write about politics. It feels to me its a subject that unfortunately devolves -often- into an “us versus them” mentality, with each side defending their turf while finding things to insult about the other.

But so much has happened in the last few days it’s hard not to mention politics.

First up, Donald Trump and the E. Jean Carroll case. From CNN.com:

Jury finds Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in E. Jean Carroll case

I obviously was not in the room with the jurors -who took a grand total of two hours- when they made their decision, but it seems to me what sunk Trump was that old Access Hollywood “grab them by the pussy” bit he was recorded saying… and the fact that Ms. Carroll’s situation sure did seem to follow those words from Trump himself.

Ms. Carroll was awarded some $5 million and, of course, Mr. Trump went quietly into the night…

Yeah right…

So CNN decides to have a “town hall” meeting with Trump and the timing couldn’t have been better/worse. It came yesterday very soon after the jury’s decision and, of course, Trump being Trump he goes off and says a bunch of crap, including again going after Ms. Carroll, who may well be in her rights, should she choose to, to sue Trump yet again.

But that’s not all. Trump again professes the election he clearly lost was somehow “rigged” (he knows better) and again showed himself to have loyalties toward Putin and against Ukraine and…

…sigh…

It really gets to be a little too much after a while, no?

The second big story involves George Santos, freshman in the House of Representative and serial fabricator who was arrested for a host of financial irregularities and fraud (who knew?). From APnews.com:

George Santos pleads not guilty to federal indictment and says he won’t resign

It doesn’t surprise me that he pleaded not guilty and less surprising he says he won’t resign. If nothing else, he has little to no shame at all.

What is depressing, but surely predictable, is the fact that Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, has avoided saying anything about this situation or Trump’s.

McCarthy’s Speakership exists on the very thinnest of margins, and losing Santos would surely create problems for him in terms of trying to legislate.

But it again makes the entire Republican party look… sleazy.

Not that many of them seem to care at this point.

The indictment…

It was, I felt, bound to happen eventually.

Oh, and yeah, POLITICS FOLLOW… BEWARE…!

Donald Trump, former President of the United States, yesterday was indicted by a New York grand jury.

While we don’t know the exact details of the indictment, we do know it revolves around hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, whom Trump supposedly had an affair with and which needed to be covered up during his run up to the previous election. (You can read more details about what is known about the indictment in this article by Devon Kale and presented on CNN.com).

While there are those in Trump’s camp and the Republican party who are today bemoaning this indictment as an abuse of power or some dark attempt at revenge from the “vicious” liberal cabal out there, the reality is that this is the culmination of years of perhaps too careful investigation and deference to Donald Trump.

The roots of this case go back years and Trump’s one-time chief lawyer, Michael Cohen, was found guilty of aiding in this cover up/use of hush money and served time for this crime.

Mr. Cohen would eventually turn on Trump and the irony of this entire situation is that it appears that had Trump paid off Stormy Daniels from a personal account to keep her “quiet” during the presidential election of 2016, none of this would have unfolded as it did.

My understanding of the situation -and I will readily admit to not being a lawyer… or playing one on TV- is that Trump tried to hide the payoff by having Mr. Cohen pay Stormy Daniels then reimbursing said payoff through the presidential campaign funds, which is a no-no.

But I suspect this indictment has more teeth than just this one payoff, if we are to believe the early reports that there may be over 30 alleged crimes listed in the indictment.

Here’s the thing, though: This is very likely only the first of several possible indictments Trump will very likely face in the near future.

Others far more invested in this than I have noted the hush money/Stormy Daniels affair isn’t nearly as “serious” as Trump’s attempts to subvert the election of 2020 or his hand in the January 6th storming of the Capitol or the discovery of Top Secret files at his Mar a Largo residence.

All three of these issues are currently in the hands of various prosecutors and it would not shock me if we start to see more indictments pop up in the coming months… if not earlier.

Which leads us to the upcoming presidential election.

You have Joe Biden already announcing, for all intents and purposes, his desire to seek re-election and, on the Republican side, it appears that Donald Trump is the favorite to be the candidate there.

Which must be making Republicans really nervous.

If more indictments pop up, at what point will Trump’s candidacy be viewed as fatally damaged? So far, the only candidate that seems to get any press outside of Donald Trump is Florida’s current governor Ron DeSantis and, though it hurts to admit I’m a Floridian, I feel like his fan base is very shallow and limited.

He may do reasonably well in my home state (another painful admission) but I wonder if his appeal extends anywhere past the state’s borders. Recent polls seem to attest to that…

Fox poll shows Trump’s lead over DeSantis growing

According to the above article:

Trump was the top pick for 54 percent of respondents, who were asked to choose from a list of potential 2024 Republican presidential nominees. DeSantis — who has yet to declare his candidacy, though he is widely expected to — came in as a distant second pick, with 24 percent of the vote. It’s a slight drop in support for the Florida governor, who nabbed 28 percent to Trump’s 43 percent in a Fox poll conducted late last month.

We’re still very early in the whole process but I’m old enough to remember other Governors who seemed strong possibilities to represent either the Democratic or Republican parties and their campaigns fizzled when they moved outside the borders of their state.

So too it might be with DeSantis.

I will say this much: If Trump does once again become the Republican candidate, I envision Biden beating him and likely more handily than before. If DeSantis becomes the candidate, I suspect it will be the same.

Why?

Perhaps I’m very off but it feels like the Republican “brand” has become very bruised -if not outright poisoned- by the events of the last near decade. We’ve lived through Trump’s candidacy and presidency, the events of January 6th, the conservative Supreme Court and its striking of Roe v Wade, the lack of any serious policy that people seem to stand by (notice how the term “woke” has become a catch all phrase to signify… what exactly?!), and figures -especially in the House of Representatives- that are either silly or scary or inept in equal measures.

We see in the Republicans a party that seems to not offer much except near constant hate and division. There are those that feed off those emotions but for others, it becomes nothing less than a drag.

So here we stand, with Trump perhaps finally facing what he’s avoided all his life: Responsibility for his words and actions.

What will come of it?

Stay tuned.

How the mighty have fallen…

There was a time lawyer Michael Avenatti was a regular fixture on certain news shows.

He was brash, charismatic, and represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump and payments he made to her to keep quiet about an affair he had with her and the non-disclosure agreement (you can read about what happened here).

Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels

During this time, Mr. Avenatti wasn’t afraid to call out the Donald Trump on a very public forum and, on the left side of the political aisle, he became something of a celebrity for doing just that.

Welp, if you’ve read the article linked to above, things came crashing down on Avenatti and hard.

Brash talk, charismatic presence… it didn’t matter. Mr. Avenatti was, it turned out, was taking money from his clients even as he presented an avenging angel image. How he could keep such a high profile and appear on news programs as he did and then, behind the scenes, think he could get away with stealing from his clients…

…it’s just unbelievable.

Anyway, he has now been sentenced for his criminal acts to 14 years in prison.

Incredible downfall for someone who looked like he literally had everything going for him!

This ‘N That…

Regarding yesterday’s Super Bowl LV. between Tampa Bay and Kansas City…

…that’s why I don’t make any sports bets. Here are my original predictions regarding the game (this is the original post from the Friday before Sunday’s game)…

While its very tough to bet against Tom Brady, a man who may well be viewed -unless Mahomes or someone else proves better in time- the best Quarterback ever, the fact is that the Bucs are a more flawed team, IMHO, than Mahomes and the Chiefs. It just seems like the Chiefs have more playmakers versus the Bucs.

So my prediction is that the Chiefs will again win (they won last year’s SuperBowl), barring some kind of weirdness.

That’s not to say that I’m rock steady in my prediction.

Whew… thank goodness I was so wishy washy there at the end about my prediction! 😉

Seriously though, I feel I was right about one thing: I said Kansas City would win… barring some kind of weirdness.

I know I’m going to sound like some kind of sore loser (to be very clear: I have no preference to either team) I think there was some really squirrely stuff going on in the first half of the game.

The refs (I know, I know… blame it on the refs!) seemed to be really tough on Kansas City’s defense, like extraordinarily tough. There were some really -again IMHO!- weird/borderline calls and they helped Tampa Bay score and, eventually, run away with the thing. Also, its my understanding one of their better offensive linemen was out due to Covid-19 protocol.

Mind you and having said all that, Tampa Bay’s defense was ferocious and that, perhaps even more than Tom Brady’s usual great quarterbacking, was the key to their win. It’s hard to win a football game -even if you’re a Tom Brady or a Patrick Mahomes- if each play you run has you running for your life. I’ve personally witnessed several times the mighty Tom Brady have some really bad games against my Dolphins (a weird stat is that as great as Tom Brady is against the league in general and as terrible as my Dolphins have been for most of his time while in New England, during his run with the Patriots Brady had a losing record against the Dolphins when playing against them in Miami…7-10!) because they were able to get to him to the point where he was too hurried. At that point, his effectiveness, like Mahomes in yesterday’s game, dropped.

Anyway, congrats and until next year.

******

The second impeachment trial of one Donald J. Trump begins this week. It’s also the start of Joe Biden’s third week in office.

It’s fascinating to see the trajectory of either man.

I feel like opinions regarding Trump continue to deteriorate, at least among the general population versus those who feel themselves to be strong Republicans. That doesn’t mean the impeachment trail with somehow succeed in convicting Trump of the offenses he so clearly was impeached for -the base is strong and it seems Republican politicians are loath to go against them, witness the way they have censured the very few of their representatives for daring to agree with the idea that Donald Trump is indeed guilty.

Having said that, I feel the general public is very much against the more fanatical elements who are so protective of Trump. I further feel like more people have no desire to continue in the QAnon path that some of the Republicans seem to feel is the way to go.

This will play out in time.

Here’s a prediction, though: if indeed the Covid-19 virus is under control by Summer via vaccinations and general governmental competence under Joe Biden, and if people do realize the difference between how Trump handled things and Biden has, and if they realize how incompetent the previous administration was…

Could they somehow come to realize that perhaps -maybe!- the current crop of Republicans are simply not up to the task of taking care of business like the Democrats.

Further, if the economy roars back because of successful Covid-19 treatment, what could the Republican party possibly have to show to voters to get them to vote for them outside of QAnon nonsense?

It could be the start of a very cold winter for the party.

******

Anyway, its Monday, the start of another week,

Let’s make it a good one!

Deep Insecurity…

So the other day, “President” Donald Trump was briefed about the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. Here’s a photograph of that projection and our illustrious leader looking at the graphic. This was the original graphic by the way…

Trump Dorian briefing 2

Here’s a close up of the actual graphic:

Hurricane Dorian

Pretty clear, no?

Welp, “President” Donald Trump goes on to state that, among other states in potential danger is… Alabama. Very promptly, NOAA issues a statement saying Alabama is NOT in danger from this storm. And later on “President” Trump shows up with this chart to PROVE that Alabama was indeed in danger…

U.S. President Donald Trump looks at a tracking forecast map on Hurricane Dorian as he receives a status report on the storm in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Can’t make it out? Here’s a close up:

Image result for trump weather map

See that black line at the end of the projected path, the one that bulges out and has Alabama now in its…

…sigh…

I just don’t know anymore. Look, Donald, you made a freaking mistake. Nothing big. Hell, if one were to take the original not-childishly-altered chart and project the movement of the storm forward, you could argue that Alabama might be in danger and, hell, a true adult would say so and say its good that Alabama isn’t in the path after all and, hey, no biggie.

Subsequent projections showed the storm didn’t take the path illustrated here after all, and that is what these things are: Projections which can be proven wrong in time (this is why, by the way, the final few projections in these charts are presented without the solid white background. They are far more theoretical at that point).

But no, childish Donald just had to prove when he said Alabama was in danger he was right, dammit, and the evidence he submits to prove it is this outrageously and obviously altered projection map with a (control your laughter) marker line added in to show/justify Donald’s statement that Alabama was in some kind of danger after all.

This is the United States today, folks.

I repeat: Sigh.

Wow… just… wow.

Yesterday it was revealed that President Trump, while delivering a speech for Turning Point USA, a college Republican group, a doctored Presidential Seal appeared behind him…

For those who can’t see the Seal very well and are unfamiliar as to how the real one, here ya go. The fake seal is on the left:

Image result for presidential seal altered

A closer look at the fake:

President seal fake.jpg

Among the things to note: The two-headed bird at the center of the fake seal is a Russian Imperial symbol. The bird holds golf clubs (!) in its left claw while grasping money in the other. “45 es un titere” is Spanish and, translated, states “45 is a puppet”.

You can read more in this article by Hayley Miller and published at Huffingtonpost.com…

Trump stood in front of Presidential Seal doctored with Russian symbol, golf clubs

At first Turning Point USA tried to brush this off by saying that someone simply made an error and took a picture off the internet and didn’t realize it was a fake and slapped it on the screen behind Trump.

Yeah, right.

Later on it was stated the one responsible for this “error” was fired.

This was no error. No how no way. You have to search quite a bit online to stumble upon this image and, along the way, you’ll find plenty of high quality graphics showing the actual Presidential Seal.

No, this was someone sticking it to Trump in front of a welcoming crowd. It also shows why Trump, IMHO, is in trouble as a candidate: Now people who supposedly are with him are mocking him.

It’s one thing to be feared. It’s quite another to be ridiculed.