What Does Trump Do Now?

              So it took the liberal media exactly three weeks to figure out a narrative which they can use to maintain public interest, readership, viewership, click-bait – whatever you want to call it – in what has been their single most successful storyline of all time, namely the existence and behavior of a guy named Donald Trump.

              Usually when a President leaves office, he goes gracefully into some kind of measured oblivion, still available to give speeches at the national Rotary Club or some graduation at a college that can’t attract the sitting President to give a speech. Harvard always gets the sitting President if they want. A former President can go talk at some college branch of some state university somewhere in the Midwest.

              Trump, of course, won’t bother to concede. Why should he?  There’s no law that says he has to do anything except move out of the White House at noon on January 21. And if he wants to continue kvetching about how he’s really the President except the election was ‘stolen’ from him, he’s got a good precedent to which he can always refer.

              In that respect, I happen to be referring to none other than Hillary Clinton, who made the following comment last month about how the 2016 election turned out: “I was the candidate that they basically stole an election from,” she said on a podcast hosted by The (failing) New York Times. So here she is, four years later, still kvetching about how she got screwed.

              If you want a more thorough version of this nonsense, just read the first chapter of her book, What Happened, in which she explains that she assembled the best, most experienced campaign team of all time. Had it not been for Russian interference and leaked emails, she would have won going away.

              Did Hillary stop shooting her mouth off after she published her book? To the contrary, she appeared almost as frequently on media shows as she appeared during the campaign. She started a PAC in 2017 that to all intents and purposes, existed simply to keep herself in the game. In March of this year when Bernie and Joe were slugging it out in the primary campaign, she had the unbelievable arrogance to publicly state that she didn’t think Bernie was the party’s strongest candidate to go up against Trump.

              The only difference between the way Hillary has behaved over the last four years and how Trump will behave over the next four years is that while both of them lost a Presidential campaign, Trump also won an election, by the way. And this gives him a degree of presence and media targeting that Hillary simply can’t match.

              Trump’s only problem, and it’s a serious problem for someone with his degree of ego, is that he’s no longer the titular head of the GOP. Mark my words, by the time we get into the 2022 election cycle, he’ll be competing against other Republicans who will be talking about running for President in 2024.

              The moment you’re an outgoing rather than in incoming President, you have nothing to give away. There are no more jobs in your Administration, no more Ambassadorships, no more nothing except you and your Secret Service detail. You can be the most powerful politician of all time, but there’s always a long line of folks just itching to take your place. And the line used to be made up only of men. Now the line includes lots of women (think: Kamala Harris) too.

              Trump is facing one more problem as well. No matter how you say it or tweet it, no matter how crazy, or nasty you say what you say, it just doesn’t get people excited when you’re no longer the big dog. Think anyone will really pay attention if Trump tweets something about some ‘shithole country’ next year? And if the public doesn’t care, the media won’t care, that’s for sure.

              On the other hand, now that Trump will no longer be protected by the immunity granted to the person who sits behind the Resolute desk, maybe he’ll welcome being hauled into court.

MAGA Isn’t A Movement. It’s A Cult.

              By this time next week, most states will have certified their election results and Trump will continue to tweet about the voting ‘fraud.’  The following week, the electors will cast their votes at the Electoral College and Trump will still be tweeting about how he was ‘robbed.’

              Why does Trump keep letting Rudy Giuliani go out there, make an ass of himself by waving a sheaf of papers in the air which allegedly is comprised of ‘thousands’ of affidavits that are ‘evidence’ of ‘massive fraud?’

              I’ll tell you why. Because every time that Trump or one of his creatures stands up and says or tweets something about how the election was a farce, the media reports the pronouncement as if it is news. I’m not talking about alt-right media like Breitbart or Fox. I’m talking about my friends in the so-called ‘responsible,’ mainstream media, a.k.a., The Washington Post and/or The New York Times.

              The manner by which these stalwart icons of respectable journalism have aided and abetted what will be Trump’s post-election stance is a disgrace. Not only did they all dutifully assemble in the parking lot across the street from a porno shop to watch Rudy produce his ‘proof’ of how the election was stolen away, they then re-assembled and engaged in the same self-indulgent, nonsensical reporting when Rudy repeated his act at the RNC.

              I don’t really know why my liberal media friends continue to respond like a dog on the leash every time that Trump or one of his minions jerks the chain which tethers them on the other end. And because they will continue to give the Trump noise machine every benefit of every doubt after Joe is sworn in, I can already predict what Trump is planning to do.

              What he’ll do is go after the new Administration in the same way that he believes the Democrats and their Deep State allies tried to de-legitimize his Administration from Day 1. Recall the Million Moms March that took place in DC the day after Trump was sworn in? I guarantee that on January 21, 2021 there will be a ‘spontaneous’ demonstration in D.C. by a ‘Stop the Steal’ bunch hired and organized by the spin-meister Roger Stone.

              For Trump, losing the election gives him an unparalleled opportunity to engage in payback for the Mueller investigation, the impeachment, and the continued drumbeat about how the Putin Gang would love to undercut Biden’s win. And then Trump’s son can run for President in 2024, assuming he recovers from Covid-19.

              Trump’s so-called ‘base’ isn’t just his diehard supporters. It’s a cult. And the reason I call MAGA a cult is because you can get up and say anything at all to a cult-like audience, no matter how crazy, how uninformed, how totally detached from reality, and they’ll believe it because the words came out of your mouth.

              The members of the Branch Davidian cult who followed David Koresh at the Waco Mount Carmel compound believed that Judgement Day was on the way. They believed that David Koresh was a true ‘Lamb of God’ from the Book of Revelation and that he would prepare his flock for the world-ending apocalypse that, was going to occur.

              How different is that nonsense from the nonsense being peddled by Trump, Rudy and the other leaders of the MAGA cult about ‘massive voter fraud.’ Now maybe Sidney Powell went a little too far beyond accepted cult devotionals when she announced that money being used to crate illegal ballots was coming in from ‘Communist states.’ But poor Sydney was probably just demonstrating that her verbal cup had runneth over out of sheer joy.

              I think what Trump needs to do is change the cult’s name from MAGA to MESHUGAH. It’s a Yiddish word which means ‘crazy,’ and that’s what we are dealing with here. The lunatics have clearly and completely taken over the asylum, wouldn’t you agree?

Did Trump Really Win The Small-Town Vote?

Now that the Michigan GOP delegation has returned home after telling Trump to stick his voting ‘fraud’ nonsense up his rear end where it belongs, just about the last legal challenge cooked up by the Trump team (Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, et. al.,) is another silly pleading before a Pennsylvania federal court that has already witnessed what is becoming an expected Giuliani melt-down in front of the press.

Want to get a real, no-holds-barred portrait of how Giuliani has become such a stooge? Read this op-ed memoir by his daughter Caroline Rose which somehow escaped my attention when it appeared last month in Vanity Fair. It turns out that the way Rudy reacts whenever someone asks him a question he doesn’t like, is exactly the way he used to respond to his daughter when she questioned anything he said.

Having lived through the childhood of my three kids and actually survived the ordeal, let me tell you this. The one thing you better learn as a parent is to assume that every word which comes out of your mouth will be challenged by your kids. You don’t figure that one out, you better forget parenting in any real sense. Obviously, Rudy hasn’t figure it out either as a parent or as a person who leads a very public life.

It turns out that when you compare county election results in Pennsylvania between 2016 and this year, you finally understand what the whole ‘election fraud’ narrative is all about. Back in 2016, Trump flipped Pennsylvania by less than 45,000 votes out of almost the 6 million votes that he split with Hillary. Like in Michigan, the Clinton campaign was managed so miserably that Jill Stein got more than 45,000 votes.

Of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, Hillary got a majority in 7 counties, Trump got all the rest. Where did Hillary score? In the counties representing Philly and Pittsburgh, as well as some of the smaller, industrial towns like Scranton and Allentown where the unions still have some say.

In Philadelphia and the surrounding burbs, Hillary piled up almost half her total, statewide vote. In some of the smaller rural counties, on the other hand, her numbers were so slight that it’s almost like she wasn’t on the ballot at all. She got less votes in Cameron County, which is up in the Allegheny State Forest, than she got in the little town where I live which is adjacent to Amherst, MA.

Trump, on the other hand, piled up more than 70% of the votes cast in 22 counties. Getting 7 out of every 10 votes in any jurisdiction is a remarkable example of a candidate’s appeal. Together, these 22 counties didn’t give Trump even half the votes that Hillary got from the city of Philadelphia alone, but again the comparison explains how and why Trump talks the way he does.

Now let’s turn the page and look at this year’s returns. For all the talk about how the Trump campaign pulled out more GOP voters than anyone had ever previously seen, what is remarkable about the Pennsylvania results was not only how many new votes Joe found in the usual ‘Democrat’ strongholds, but how his campaign made inroads into places where the GOP has always controlled the votes.

This time, Trump piled up more than 70% of the vote in 21 counties and his total popular vote increased by 13.6% over 2016. Impressive, right? Now dig this: Joe carried the 7 counties that Hillary carried and flipped 4 more counties as well. His popular vote increased by 18% over the statewide Hillary vote. More important, there were also 9 other small counties where Trump’s percentage of the 2020 total vote was less, and Joe’s percentage of the total vote in each county was greater than what Hillary received in 2016.

Let’s recall that Obama made his biggest verbal gaffe of the 2008 campaign when he talked about how residents of small, rural towns were ‘clinging’ to their religion and their guns. He happened to be talking about towns in places like Carlisle County, where Trump got almost 60% of the 2016 vote, Hillary got 38%. This year Trump got 54%, Joe got 44%. A 22-point gap between red and blue numbers has been reduced to 10 points.

No wonder the judge in Williamsport threw out Trump’s last challenge to the Pennsylvania vote last night.

Why Should Trump Concede?

After watching five minutes of Rudy Giuliani’s press conference yesterday at the RNC, I really hope that Trump will never concede. In fact, what would really be great would be if Trump could figure out how to continue pretending to be President after Joe is sworn in on January 20, 2021. And if you have the slightest doubt that Joe isn’t about to become the 46th President of the United States, take a look at the results out of Georgia after the votes were counted again.

The liberal media’s noise about how the lack of a transition from Trump to Biden will create great risks to the country is just so much bunk, that’s all it is. As I pointed out in a previous column (but repetition’s the key to good teaching), the whole point of a transition is to allow the new Administration to figure out how to reward their various supporters and donors with staff appointments in federal agencies; it has nothing to do with how these agencies are actually run.

This morning I listened to Carl Bernstein telling CNN that the roadblock created by Trump has made it impossible for the Biden team to get up to speed with a plan to deal with Covid-19. And what exactly would Biden’s virus task force learn from talking to the Trump virus task force whose main accomplishment seems to have been casting doubt on the expertise of the CDC? I can just hear Trump’s medical expert, Scott Atlas, explaining to the Biden team why herd immunity is the fastest and most successful strategy for bringing infection rates way down.

And if you think that Rudy’s out there all by his lonesome performing on behalf of the Trump campaign, take a quick listen to what another member of the Giuliani gang, attorney Sidney Powell had to say. You can hear her claims about money coming into the Biden campaign from Communist countries like China and Venezuela, except her bizarre statements were challenged by Tucker Carlson! When was the last time that Fox’s chief liberal basher criticized anything said by anyone connected in any way to Trump?

So, this is what the Trump Presidency is reduced to – using up its increasingly smaller amount of credibility, as if Trump ever had any real credibility, by using the same, totally discredited PR script again and again.

I also watched bits and pieces of Joe’s ZOOM meetings with the Covid-19 experts, the economic planners, and the gaggle of red and blue state Governors. The meetings were professional, the discussions serious and sustained, based on hard data and facts. But these presentations were boring as hell.

I want to be entertained, particularly because I am spending so much time at home. Which is why I only hope that Trump can figure out a way to extend his Presidency even though he won’t actually hold the title legally after January 20, 2021.

I got it. The way they do it in Europe is that the country is run by a Prime Minister, elected by the party in Parliament that controls the most seats. Then there’s also a President, who does all those ceremonial things. He or she cuts ribbons when a new supermarket opens up, meets foreign dignitaries at the airport, reads books to 3rd-graders and always visits the sick and the lame stuck in hospitals or at home.

Trump could do these tasks perfectly. Know why? Because he’s had plenty of practice over the last four years.

You think he’s actually gotten anything done? Oh yea, his wife spruced up the Rose Garden so they could hold a big event that spread Covid-19 all over the place.

Now the last thing we need is to figure out a title for this new position which Trump will use after Joe is sworn in.

I got it! We’ll call him MAGA-in-Chief and he can continue to sell his MAGA hats. After all, isn’t making a few bucks for himself and his friends what his Administration has been all about?

A New Reality-TV Show: The Boys From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Boys From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – Starring Rudy Giuliani

               The events of the last several days could only be a Reality-TV comedy script. They can’t be imagined except they actually took place.

              Let’s call the show The Boys From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And here’s the script for Segment #1.

Opening scene: The election ‘fraud’ legal scorecard stands at 25 to 1. This is the number of separate claims about election fraud that have been submitted to courts in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania; the last remaining issue in Pennsylvania will probably be bounced tomorrow or even later today.

              Second scene: The Georgia recount that will be completed by this evening and may, if anything, increase Joe’s lead. The 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Boys start talking about doing a partial recount in Wisconsin, but they need to scratch up the cash to pay for the recount to take place. Given the campaign’s current financial status (they owe somewhere above a million bucks), nobody’s about to give them a COD.

              Third scene: Not one, but two law firms have requested to be removed from the Pennsylvania court case. But that’s okay because the entire legal challenge to the Deep State’s attempt to steal the election is now being run by none other than the President’s attorney – Rudy Giuliani – who submitted a request to the Pennsylvania court that he be allowed to enter the case. Among other statements made in his request to appear, Giuliani said that he was currently in good standing in every bar to which he had ever been admitted.

              Scene Number Four: Giuliani was admitted to the D.C. Bar, but at some point, forgot to pay his dues. So, he’s not, in fact, a member in good standing in every jurisdiction in which he’s practiced law. The scene ends with the judge in Pennsylvania has overlooked the fact that Rudy made a statement about himself which happens not to be true.

              Fifth Scene:  The attorney replacing all the other lawyers who have withdrawn from the Pennsylvania case, Marc Scaringi, is also right-wing radio talk show host out of Harrisburg. This is what he said last week about the legal action he is now representing: “At the end of the day, in my view, the litigation will not work. It will not reverse this election.” So, the attorney trying to prove voter fraud in Pennsylvania is already on record as saying that he can’ win the case? End Scene Five.

              The last scene in our first segment of The Boys From 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the best of all. It turns out that our boy Rudy wants to charge the Trump campaign $20,000 a day for his legal expertise. Not twenty grand a week or a month. Twenty big ones every day. Of course, when the news leaks out, Rudy immediately claims it was nothing more than another lie from the Deep State.

              Every, single scene described above has really taken place. Yet I, for one, refuse to go along with the liberal media’s narrative that the country will somehow suffer because Trump continues to direct and produce this new reality-TV show instead of letting a transition to the Biden Administration take place.

If I were putting together a group to govern the country after January 20, 2021, the last thing I would want any member of that group to do would be to discuss anything with anyone who works for Trump. Trump’s entire post-election behavior is being orchestrated by a group of trusted advisors who believe they can enrich themselves by convincing a gullible President that they have a plan which will successfully keep him in office for a second term.

              Think I’m crazy? Ask yourself what has been happening to every, single member of Trump’s inner circle who voices the slightest degree of concern about how things are being done.

              Stay tuned for Segment 2 of The Boys From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Why Does Trump Keep Challenging The Results?

              If anyone thought I was using yesterday’s column to overstate the degree to which Trump is using this ‘rigged election’ nonsense to build his MAGA brand, I suggest you take a look at this article in yesterday’s WaPo [thanks Paula] which lays out in detail how the Trump campaign is shutting down.

              Want to know why Trump’s campaign is closing up shop? It’s not because he’s lost every, single legal challenge that he brought against the Biden campaign [Thanks again Paula.] It’s because the campaign is broke.

              The Federal Election Commission has just posted financial data that ruins through October 31st. We’ll have to wait another month to get the final numbers for the 2019-2020 campaign expenditures and receipts, but he current data goes far enough.

              How much money did the Biden campaign receive beginning in 2019? Try $952,259,368, of which $720 million and change came from individual contributions, the other $229 mill from various committees (i.e., all those PACS.)

              How much did Trump pull in during the same period of time? A whole, big $533,843,893, of which $317 million was individually donated, with another $214 million sent over by the PACS and other groups.

              Trump received 5.5 million individual contributions and many people donated to his campaign more than once. Know how many individual donations Joe and Kammie received? Try 8.6 million donations, okay?

              In other words, an incumbent President who ran around the country appearing at more than 75 large public rallies and events during the first three years of his Administration, pulled in half as much money as the challenger raised, and only 40% of the funds that accounted for individual donations to the Biden campaign.

              Now let’s look at one other number and compare the two campaigns. As of October 31st, the total debt of the Biden campaign was a big, fat zero. For all the talk about how Democrats like to spend money they don’t have, that certainly wasn’t how Joe ran his campaign. On the other hand, the Trump campaign owed $1.2 million as of October 31st, and if he wants to continue contesting the election results, the debt will only increase.

              Trump has demanded recounts in a number of battleground states but there’s only one little problem. Want to get the votes counted again? Pay for the privilege. To recount in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan would cost the Trump campaign millions of bucks. They don’t have millions of bucks. They have gurnisht, a Yiddish word which means zero as in zilch.

              It turns out the good news for Trump is that he can use money that is donated to his campaign to cover these and other legal costs any way he chooses to use the dough. Last week Trump and his minions began asking supporters to donate money to something called the ‘election defense fund.’ The purpose of this fund is to pay the costs of ‘defending the integrity’ of the election, so it is said.

              Except if you read the fine print of these solicitations, it turns out that half of any monies received will go to pay down the campaign’s debt. Do you know anyone who ever reads the fine print? I don’t, and that includes me.

              Want the really good news? The word is now out that Joe doesn’t want to see any post-election investigations of Trump. He doesn’t want the federal investigation of Trump’s tax returns to go forward, ditto any investigations of how or why Trump grants legal immunity to members of his staff. The official story is that Joe feels that such activity would further divide the country. Fine.

              Here’s the real reason that Joe’s thinking enough is enough.  Because if the government leaves Trump alone, then he can sit on his rear end in Mar-a-Lago, tweet to his heart’s content and nobody will pay attention to him at all. Can you imagine a world in which the liberal media has to actually go out, dig up and report real news?

Trump’s Not Resisting A Transition. He’s Building A Brand.

              For all the brilliant investigative reporting about Trump done by my friends in the mainstream (liberal) media, leave it to The Wall Street Journal, a media property owned by  Fox, to explain what the pronouncements about a ‘rigged’ election are really all about. You can download the article right here. [Thanks Paula.]

              What Trump’s Presidency has been from even before he started his 2016 campaign was and remains an effort to build yet another brand, in this case, the MAGA brand that he can now use to sell all kinds of crap as well as to license the trademarked MAGA brand to anyone else who wants to use it to make a quick buck.

              When did Trump copyright MAGA?  His application was filed with the Patent and Trademark office in – ready? – 2013 and was approved on July 14, 2015. Exactly one month earlier on June 16, Trump publicly announced his 2016 Presidential campaign. And you think he started giving away those hats with the disgusting MAGA lettering for free?

            What other Presidential candidate has ever created a logo that didn’t along with his or her name? Here’s the official Hillary campaign logo from 2016:

             Here’s the logo from Joe and Kammie’s current campaign. Wow! A logo like this will surely sell a lot of perfume, right?

              Remember the big, raucous, and energetic rallies that Bernie held in 2019? I recall a rally he held in New York City after he recovered from a heart attack. It was called the ‘Bernie is Back’ rally and the crowd was enormous – probably more than 25,000 showed up to help Bernie restart his campaign. Here’s Bernie’s campaign logo which would make a really great design for a line of clothing or maybe some gluten-free snacks:

              Notice the difference between these logos and the Trump MAGA brand:

              Notice whose name isn’t on the Trump logo. But Trump owns the logo so he owns the brand. And even when just of a few of his diehard supporters show up on a street corner waving their signs about the ‘rigged’ election, they’re wearing the MAGA hats, waving the MAGA banners, buying the brand.

              When all is said and done, what Trump really looks at every day isn’t the alt-right websites or the Fox talking heads. It’s his website where he sells the MAGA crap and I guarantee you that he will introduce other product lines as soon as his legal challenges to the 2020 election come to an end.

              One of the things that folks love to collect are posters, buttons, and other crap from political campaigns. Want to buy a JFK poster from his 1960 campaign? You can get an allegedly original poster for the measly price of $595 bucks. On the other hand, that same website is selling Trump campaign posters for $2.95. Obviously, there’s room for the Trump election memorabilia market to expand.

              But the whole point about MAGA is that it isn’t a slogan based on a specific political campaign. It’s a brand and a name that can stand on its own if it’s promoted for the kinds of products that can be linked in some way to Trump. One product he might roll out is a line of self-defense ammunition. After all, Trump could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue, gun someone down and he’d still be elected President. Or maybe what he should sell is a Nazi flag with an inscription that reads, “there are good people on both sides.”

              All hyperbole aside, the fact is that we have never had a President who was so blatant about using hi political authority to line the pockets of his pants. Download the WSJ article here and you’ll notice how so much of the revenue at various Trump locations came from GOP groups who held events at Trump hotels. When did this revenue increase? During the 2016 and 2020 campaigns.  Gee, what a surprise.

              Trump isn’t resisting a transition to Biden because he believes there’s any chance that he’ll be sworn in again as President on January 20, 2021. He’s challenging the inevitable because his behavior promotes his name and his brand. Which is what his entire Administration was all about.

              I only wish my friends in the liberal media would figure this one out.

Please Mister President. Don’t Concede.

              Can you imagine how boring it’s going to be after Joe and Kammie take their oaths on January 20, 2021? I won’t have anything to write about except the same old gun stuff again. At least, right now I can listen to the ever-shrinking circle of Trump diehards and pick up something which is so looney that I can post an immediate response.

             But what am I going to say when Joe gets up and announces that the Pandemic needs to be addressed? In case you haven’t noticed, Trump has already decided that the corona virus threat has come to an end.

              If you think I’m overstating the degree to which the Trump gang is just pushing out one nutty and desperate narrative after another, try this. On Friday, Rush Limbaugh said that Joe was a ‘placeholder’ for – ready? – an “international, elitist, globalist conspiracy” that wants to take over the world and in the process, “destroy our Constitutional rights.”

              Now I’m assuming that this international cabal probably includes George Soros, Mike Bloomberg, and Bill Gates. Rush didn’t give us any other names or identify the countries where this shadowy group of elitist globalists live. But he delivered this pronouncement with a straight face. He really did.

             Understand one thing about Rush. His show, which allegedly gets 14 million daily listeners, can only be heard between 9 A.M. and 3 P.M., no matter where you live. In other words, his audience consists basically of people who are sitting around at home, either retired folks who are always pissed off, or bored housewives or maybe some bored househusbands. And they’ll listen to anything, including the endless advertisements for home remedies to cure erectile dysfunction or various products to protect yourself from identity theft.

           On Saturday, somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 of these folks showed up in D.C. for what was billed as a ‘Million MAGA March’ to support the continued refusal of Trump to admit electoral defeat. The White House claimed that more than one million demonstrators attended the event, the D.C. police set the number at somewhere under ten thou.

             Remember when the then-news guy Sean Spicer got up after the 2017 inauguration and claimed that the event drew the largest inaugural crowd of all time?  That was the first time the White House promoted a bald faced lie to promote the Oval Office’s occupant but it certainly wasn’t the last. Who was behind the so-called ‘spontaneous’ outpouring of MAGA support this past weekend for Trump? None other than Steve Bannon and Roger Stone.

             Once the word got out that Facebook was being used to promote the fake news about all the election fraud, Zuckerberg’s company took the group down. Which of course is just another example of how the internet is controlled by the same group of international globalists that are going to destroy our Constitutional ‘rights.’

             In response to this egregious assault on your freedoms, the Breitbart website not only pointed out that Zuckerberg donated over $100 million to an anti-Trump political group, but “ordinary Republican voters are not allowed to use his platform to organize in defense of election integrity.” Since when have Roger Stone and Steve Bannon become ‘ordinary Republican’ voters?

           Actually, Stone and Bannon are two scammers who have used the internet to illegally enrich themselves over the years – one was convicted, the other one only indicted so far.

            I can’t imagine having as much fun writing about Joe and Kammie as I have had writing about Trump and his cavalcade of noisemakers over the last several months. Of course once Joe takes the Oath of Office, the pro-Trump gang will continue to promote their nonsense and sell their banners, flags, bumper stickers, and other crap online, but it just won’t be the same.

            Maybe I should start selling a ‘Gun Nuts for Trump’ decal on my website. At least it will give me something to do while Joe and Kammie conduct government business by actually getting something done.

How Big Is MAGA-USA?

              Ever since Donald Trump began running around the country selling his MAGA hats and other junk at big rallies, I have been hearing and reading about something called the Trump ‘base.’ This is an alleged national upsurge of neo-populist sentiment which has supposedly remade the national electoral map.

              It’s no longer Republicans versus Democrats, conservatives versus liberals, red states versus blue states. The country is now supposedly divided between people who adore Donald Trump and people who don’t.  And no matter what happens between now and January 20, 2021 – you can already buy tickets for the inauguration event online – it is assumed that Trump will find some way to continue leading this merry band of supporters into and beyond the Promised Land.

              Will Trump run again in 2024? Will he start a new media empire to compete with Fox? These are just two of the possible options available to a guy who can count on a seemingly endless tidal wave of support from millions, if not gazillions of adoring fans.

              So in the interests of full disclosure and at least a bit of honesty from the so-called mainstream, ‘fake news’ media, I’m going to try and figure out exactly how large the Trump ‘base’ really happens to be. Because the truth is that the liberal, mainstream media has been just as complicit in promoting the idea of a Trumpian political movement as what we have been hearing from the so-called media on the alt-right.

              Let’s start with the rallies that Trump continued to hold after his inauguration in 2017. He held 10 big rallies between February 18 and December 8, 2017. Four of these events were held in states that are more or less owned by the GOP: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Alabama. Two rallies were held in Florida, the remaining four rallies were held in other swing states: Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. Trump lost Pennsylvania and Arizona last week.

              In 2018 Trump did 46 rallies, most connected to various state-level campaigns, an election where the Democrats flipped the House. He went to Montana 4 times to showcase the GOP Congressman Matt Rosendale who lost his campaign to unseat Senator John Tester. He also went into Indiana 4 times and helped the GOP flip a Senate seat. He also did 3 rallies in Missouri and helped another GOP candidate, Josh Hawley, flip a Senate seat. Other than 2 rallies each in Nevada, Minnesota, Florida, and Pennsylvania, all the other events were held in reliably, red states.

              Now let’s look at this last campaign, beginning with rallies in 2019. From February 11, 2019 until last week, Trump held 73 rallies, including 25 rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin, and PA – fat lot of good those rallies did for him, right? He also made 8 appearances in Florida before adoring fans. In other words, half his campaign appearances were held in 4 states that he needed to get re-elected and only one of those states remained red. Still wondering how come Trump’s not going to be making  speech on January 20, 2021 unless he holds a private inaugural event for himself?

              According to one of the media venues that has never (repeat: never) published a single article about Trump which isn’t first blessed by the White House staff, these events have typically drawn somewhere between 10,000 and 14,000 hardy souls. So let’s say that the total number that have shown up over the last four years to see the Great Man has been somewhere around a million and a half supporters of the MAGA creed.

              Incidentally, a research team at Stanford estimates that more than 30,000 people contracted the corona virus at 18 of Trump’s events between June 20 and September 22 of this year. That’s an infection rate of roughly 14%, which is three times the national infection rate, but anything out of an elitist academic institution like Stanford must be fake news.

              Next week I’m going to continue my analysis of the size of MAGA-USA by looking at the number of people who watch or listen to media venues which promote Trump’s new brand.

The President Battles On.

 Remember Michael Moore’s great movie – Where’s Roger? – about the collapse of Flint? The 1989 movie, which made Michael Moore famous, covered what happened to the city of Flint, MI after GM closed a big assembly plant and their CEO, Roger Smith, refused to discuss the company’s decision with Moore or anyone else.

Now we seem to be entering a similar phase in the goings-on within the White House and the virtual disappearance of Donald Trump.  With the exception of a silent walk past the Tomb and the Eternal Flame in Arlington, Trump hasn’t made a single, public appearance in the last – ready? – nine days!

So Trump continues to tweet. So what? There happens to be a team in his office that works his Twitter feed, including posting videos and writing text. I notice that the header photo is from a rally that was held ten days ago, and the tweets are largely retweets from the latest nonsense from Sean Hannity, as if anyone’s watching him.

Here is a President who has gone from being the most powerful media presence in the history of American politics to a media presence who all of a sudden doesn’t exist. But what does exist is the corona virus, and at least three people who were at the shindig had subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

But don’t worry. Trump isn’t done planning super-spreader events. He’s got one coming up this weekend which is being billed as the ‘Million MAGA March,’ which will fill the capitol with an army of supporters who still believe in Trump. And which groups are going to bring what Kayleigh McEnany said yesterday would be a ‘big crowd?

Among other patriotic groups assembling in front of the White House will be the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys, all of whom have been promoting Trump’s alt-right bullshit and racism even before there was a Donald Trump.

The best announcement came from the Oath Keepers, who claim they will send some ‘battle-hardened’ veterans to the demonstration to protect the crowd from left-wing terrorists and thugs. The picture above is what these battle-hardened veterans look like today. All I can say is that if the schmucks who are allegedly planning this event want anyone to show up, they better have plenty of pizza around for the patriots to eat.

Going forward, Trump has two big problems, neither of which is there really any way to solve. Problem number one is that his campaign is broke, ditto the RNC. This may be the reason why not one, but two law firms have decided to not go forward representing Trump in his battle over the election results. Who’s now representing the President in Pennsylvania? A divorce attorney [thanks Paula] with absolutely no experience in election or public law.

Oh I forgot. Trump’s new lawyer has been working on a PhD in Public Administration at West Chester State University since 2018. She ‘anticipates’ completing her dissertation in 2022.

Problem number two, and this is the bigger problem, is that every day, drip, drip, drip, another Republican announces that he’s sick and tired of all Trump’s post-election nonsense and wants this crap to end. The latest pronouncement came from a GOP Congressman in Illinois, Adam Kinzinger, who referred to Trump’s recent tweets about election fraud as ‘insane.’

I continue to hope that Trump refuses to concede, because I really want his rock-ribbed supporters to end up as nothing more than the guys who show up at Oath Keeper meetings, eat their pizza, drink their beer, and go home. I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate Trump’s four years in office than asking him to inspire the patriotism and love of country that the Oath Keepers represent.

And let’s not forget the Proud Boys, whose chief acolyte happens to be Roger Stone.