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If Biden Makes a Gaffe, How Will Trump Know?

The Thrilla in Manila (Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated)

The thrilla in Manila is upon us. Or the Devil and Daniel Webster. Or Williams Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. Or Earth 1 versus Earth 2.

We are at point which tonight may determine the outcome of the American Presidential race. For all the talk about it being too early, it really is not since the campaign for the 2020 election never ended. For one contestant, it may be his last chance to show he belongs in the ring. For the other candidate whose home is the professional political wrestling arena, it may be another chance to show that the real world cannot touch him.

Let’s consider some of key points over the debate which may be obscured.

1. Joe Biden is not dead. That is a funny way to begin a description of the confrontation. It attests the success of his opponent and Foxhub in painting Biden as someone still at death’s door after five years. Nothing Biden does seems to shake this image so even if he is still standing after the metaphorical 15 rounds it will be explained away that he was drugged like a Russian athlete to over perform. It also attests the stark reality that Donald Trump controls the narrative and not the President of the United States

2. Donald Trump is an elite stander. I am still not sure what it means to be an elite stander but if Biden is standing too that will be explained away. On the other hand, this absurd comment provides an opening in the match should Biden want to take advantage of it.

Was Franklin Delano Roosevelt an elite stander?
Is Texas Governor Greg Abbott an elite stander?
Are the participants in the Special Olympics all elite standers?
What about the wounded veterans who may not be able to stand? Besides being losers and suckers do they also fail to measure up?
What about for people with disabilities in general?

Here we see the limits of the mental necessities of the seventh-grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck. It’s a funny line unless you stop to think about it. Then it is simple-minded at best and an example of someone and his staff who lack the mental necessities for the White House due to their inability to think things through.

3. Donald Trump is always the dumbest person in the room except at a MAGA rally. Suppose Biden discusses his foreign policy actions and mentions a slew of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Then suppose he commits a gaffe in naming the country or its leader. How would Trump know? The usual way is denied him. Foxhub will have the opportunity to take Biden to task after the debate but will be unable to do so during the debate. This means the people who watch Foxhub will be able to laugh and laugh at the gaffe after it is spun to them. Meanwhile the people who watch CNN or MSNBC or who read the real morning papers will not. By that time, the Biden side will have the opportunity to issue a corrective. It won’t matter to MAGAs but it will to others.

4. Singing in the Shower – As everyone knows, in the shower, you are the world’s greatest singer. It is only when you leave the shower for the real world that the truth catches up with you. So as long as Trump is on Foxhub or in his professional political wrestling arena he is on safe grounds. He can say anything with fear or even awareness if what he is saying is true in the real world. However, he will not have that luxury in the CNN debate. No doubt he will do his best to transform the stage into an arena on Earth 2. But there will be no live audience to provide him the energy he needs to sustain himself. He will be muted if rambles on for too long. In short, the conditions of the debate are configured as best as is possible to keep Trump in the real world, a place where he is not very comfortable.

Think of his recent comments about Milwaukee. First, given his limited mental necessities, he is only capable of judging something in a strictly binary manner. It is either the greatest ever or the worst ever. The worst Secretary of State ever. The worst treaty ever. As if he has studied the history of the United States and can intelligibly make such an argument. He speaks in binary, apocalyptic terms about what would happen if various legal actions were taken.  On the one hand the President should have immunity if he sends seal team 6 after his opponents. On the other hand, Biden is condemned for sending armed FBI agents to violate his home with orders to kill him. But there is no contradiction there because Biden is not the real president anyway.

Second, Milwaukee is a city, therefore it is carnage. What else do you need to know?

Facts are meaningless to Donald Trump and to MAGA, so if Biden decides to speak in facts, he should be aiming for the national audience and not waste his time trying to convince Trump to leave his alternate world for Earth 1.

The issue will be not only what happens in the debate but how it is spun afterwards. Think of January 6. People saw the insurrection live on TV as it was happening. People saw elected officials running for their lives. People heard Republicans condemn the actions and inactions of the President of the United States in fomenting the action.

Then what happened?

There were FBI plants?
There were Antifa agitators.
It was peaceful political protest.
They are hostages.
They will be pardoned.

See how the description changes. Have the number of people who think the election was stolen from Trump instead of him trying to steal the election changed in more than two years. Now Trump is a champion of freedom in the United States!

No matter how people have been convicted; no matter how people have lost their license; no matter how people are waiting for their day in court, nothing has had any impact on MAGAs. And nothing ever will.

So even if Biden holds his own and wins in the same way Nixon won the debate on radio while Kennedy won the same debate on television, what will change in the American electorate? We are a storytelling species and the fact is Earth 2 has a superior story told by a persistent and robust storyteller even if he does not have the facts on his side and his mental necessities are deteriorating.

The Lost Cause: A David Blight Perspective

Yale historian David Blight has been in the news lately. Even he is surprised about the frequency of his cable news appearances. His increased visibility derives from two related by difference sources: The Lost Cause and Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In general terms, his expertise as an historian in the Reconstruction is what draws attention. But he muses at times about the need to be a lawyer, too. Either way, his “15 minutes in the sun” attests various adages about history not being dead and not in the past. There is a battle raging to control the past so those who call for the cutbacks or dissolution of history departments at the college and/graduate school level may wish to reconsider. For that matter the same applies to history in k-12 as well.


This article from the New Yorker dated July 1, 2020, provides a snap shot into Blight’s thinking a little less than four years ago. The article begins with a vignette about his fallen Berlin Wall souvenir and the watching of Confederate monuments in the United States likewise being reduced to pieces. He calls those monuments “public vestiges of the Lost Cause tradition.” He raises the possibility that the summer of 2020 like autumn of 1989 “could mark the death of a specific vision on history.”

Blight advises caution: don’t celebrate too much. “The Lost Cause is one of the most deeply ingrained mythologies in American history.” He calls it a twisted version of history encouraging the revitalization of a vast system of oppression that can poison a civil society.

Some myths are benign as cultural markers. Others are rooted in lies so beguiling, so powerful as engines of resentment and political mobilization, that they can fill parade grounds in Nuremberg, or streets in Charlottesville, or rallies across the country.

The Lost Cause was bot about the preservation of slavery. The Confederacy was never truly defeated on the battlefields of glory. The Confederacy stood for civilization “in which both races thrived in their best ‘natural’ capacities.” Robert E. Lee was transformed into a godlike Christian leader and genius tactician who could only be defeated by overwhelming odds.

Blight goes to describe the ongoing development of the Lost Cause. There were:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Confederate Association
Ku Klux Klan
Jim Crow.

Monuments mushroomed across the Confederacy. Every town center and city square had one. The names of Confederate heroes adorned schools, streets, and parks. The Lost Cause had become a victory narrative where the South shall rise again.

Blight cites Jefferson Davis, the “ultimate sick soul.” Drawing on the 1279 memoir of Davis, Blight reports of some of the staples of the Lost Cause. Slavery was not the cause of the war. In fact slavery had been good for Africans where slavery already existed. Now they had been “’trained in the gentle arts of peace and order.’” They had “advanced from ‘unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers.’”

Blight chooses to end the article optimistically:

But if this is to be our 1989, we must make the most of it. The whole world may be watching.

One might add, we are a city on a hill and the eyes of the world are upon us as the last best hope of earth.


 Confederate Memorial Day, as the name suggests, is a holiday dedicated Confederates. In an article entitled “Engaging Toxic Nostalgia on Confederate Memorial Day” (History News Network, May 7, 2023), a somewhat shell shocked, Richard Brown PhD, senior executive editor for Religion at Rowman & Littlefield, described his close encounter of the third kind with Confederate Memorial Day.

Up ahead on the steps were clusters of Confederate Army reenactors, some wielding period rifles band nearby was blowing Dixie, and an unfurled battle flag of the Confederate States of America, roughly forty by sixty feet, was draped on the steps of the gold-domed Capitol building. We stopped at the traffic light on Gervais Street, next to a group of Black protesters. When the light changed, I turned to my daughter. She had witnessed Southern iconography during her college years in Richmond, living near Monument Avenue with its oversized statues of Confederate heroes, now vanquished. But even she was shell-shocked.

As Brown reports, Confederate Memorial Day continues to be a legal holiday in the state of South Carolina. Observed on May 10, it marks the anniversary of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s death in 1863. With the passage of Act 80 in 1896, South Carolina recognized two legal holidays: May 10 for Stonewall Jackson, and January 19 for the birthday of Robert E. Lee. Every April, state offices in Mississippi and Alabama also shut down for their Confederate Memorial Days. Legislators and advocates in all three states trumpet “Heritage, Not Hate.”

For those of us who have a visceral objection to Confederate Memorial Day—who are appalled at not only commemorating but celebrating an economic and social system that oppressed a race for over two centuries—how should we engage a worldview that doesn’t see the harm of such celebrations, or that embraces the mythology of the Lost Cause?


Blight returned to the Lost Cause this year, this time in reference to Trump’s failed attempt to steal the election. In his description of the failed insurrection of January 6, Blight writes about the event:

For the next four to five hours, in the most recorded event in American history, the world watched as a new “lost cause” was born in violence and spectacular lies.

Blight writes that there have been three lost causes in modern history,

1. The Lost Cause of the Confederacy
2. Following their bloody defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the French exhibited an intergenerational cultural need to avenge the loss. [Blight did not mention the Dreyfus Trial decades later.]
3. “Then, following Germany’s defeat in World War I, the Nazis gained traction by blaming Jews and leftists, who were depicted as ‘poisons’ in the blood of the body politic [a term Trump has now brought back when speaking of vermin immigrants.]

In a letter to The Atlantic (March 2023), Peter V Huisking writes:

Germans didn’t avoid their own “Lost Cause” movement by accident. At the end of World War II, the Allies set policies to ensure that there would be no tolerance for anything memorializing German military traditions or the Nazi Party. …

This established an environment that required the defeated Germany to face responsibility for what happened. The defeated American South never faced such a reckoning, and we still live with consequences.  

Neither Confederates nor MAGAs have had to face such a reckoning.

Blight compares our “lost cause” today to a gangster cult. It is still early in the process. For example, eventually a parade of Republican witnesses will testify against him in criminal cases for his actions in instigating this failed insurrection attempt. But will the latest lost cause survive Trump?

Blight writes:

Lost causes can turn lies into common coin and forge deep and lasting myths. We are a long way from knowing how much staying power the Trumpian “lost cause” will have, regardless of whether he survives his criminal charges and the election campaign. What we do know is that we have already witnessed its formative years.

There is a lot riding on the presidential election this year. If Trump loses again despite voter suppression and against someone who was practically at death’s bed last time, the repercussions could be violent. On the other hand, Biden controls the military and police forces in the Capital, he knows Nikki Haley from Nancy Pelosi, the MAGA forces may be willing to talk the talk but not so much to walk the walk this time. They have seen what has happened to the people who participated in the failed attempt last time. They will see the unleashing of civil and criminal cases which have been delayed until after the election. They will have seen that the world has not come to an end in brutal carnage despite Trump’s wishful thinking.

And perhaps, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, they will be ready to get on with their lives especially if MAGA candidates don’t do so well again.  Instead of a ongoing lost cause, we should also think about post-trumphatic stress disorder and how to treat scammed people who want to return to Earth 1. On the other hand, Trump could win and the Stolen Election will be enshrined in American history.

Presidents Are Not Above the Law: Our Lord and Savior Is

The Greatest American President (LordsArt Trump Rushmore by Jon McNaughton)

Besides slavery, another way the Civil War has become part of the current political discourse is with the figure of Abraham Lincoln. In the Union, he is a revered figure. His Memorial at the nation’s capital has been the site of political gatherings, most famously the “I Have a Dream” march with Martin Luther King. He is renowned throughout the Union with schools, streets, parks, and cities named in his honor.

By contrast, in the Confederacy, Lincoln remains a forbidden person. The statues, parks, streets, named after Civil War figures are not named after him. When it comes to Lincoln we are not a “house divided” but two separate houses barely tied together. The social fabric that binds these two peoples grows weaker every day. One wonders how much longer the mystic chords will join the two parts before they are rendered asunder and the two separate peoples can each go their own way. In the meantime at least until the 2024 presidential election, we trudge on as if we will still be a single country a year from now when the President takes the oath of office in 2025.


When describing the Civil War, Trump brings an odd perspective to the discussion. The conflict was “so horrible, but so fascinating… [S]o many mistakes were made….That was a tough one for our country,” Trump said.

But then he reveals what really is important to him. “See, there was something I think could have been negotiated, to be honest with you. I think you could have negotiated that.” He later added, “Abraham Lincoln, of course, if he negotiated it, you probably wouldn’t even know who Abraham Lincoln was.”

In response Liz Cheney wrote on X: “Which part of the Civil War ‘could have been negotiated’? The slavery part? The secession part? Whether Lincoln should have preserved the Union?” She continued: “Question for members of the GOP — the party of Lincoln — who have endorsed Donald Trump: How can you possibly defend this?”

What is being overlooked here is that everything he says always is about him. To understand these comments one must put aside his preference for the Confederate side and racism and instead ask, “What’s in it for him with these derogatory comments about Lincoln? Remember after 9/11 Trump bragged that he now had the tallest building in lower Manhattan. If Lincoln had negotiated the war, we wouldn’t even know who Lincoln was. He would not be considered America’s greatest president. He would not be on Mount Rushmore.

Now we are getting to the heart of the Lincoln disparagement.


According to South Dakota Republican Governor and non-Vice-Presidential candidate in 2020 Kristi Noem, she was told straight-faced in 2018 by the current President that his dream was to become the fifth face (“Mount Trumpmore? It’s the president’s ‘dream,’ Rep. Kristi Noem says,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, April 24, 2018).

“I shook his hand, and I said, ‘Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.’ And he goes, ‘Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?’ I started laughing. He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”

Apparently she even gave him a miniature Rushmore with a fifth face on it! There is a certainly irony in this dream or nightmare. He actually had the opportunity to be a Mount Rushmore caliber president (Mount Rushmore Opportunity for a Little Little Boy: Does He Know It? June 5 2020). When one considers the coronavirus, economic collapse, George Floyd, and China, he has had abundant chances to display leadership on a heroic scale. If he had the mental necessities, cognitive skills, courage, and strength of character to rise to the occasion, he would qualify as a Mount Rushmore quality president. But how can a child in the body of an adult with the emotional maturity of a three-year old (per Mary Trump) ever be worthy of a 60 foot carving? (The Five Faces of Mount Rushmore August 10, 2020)

Just two months earlier, I had written the following Mount Rushmore Opportunity for a Little Little Boy: Does He Know It? June 5, 2020.

With America’s Third Civil War, the choice also was simple. The winning candidate (in 2016) made no attempt to be President of We the People. He made no attempt to be an e pluribus unum President. He saw that America was not a house divided but two houses. He did not divide America, he exploited the divisions which existed. The longtime pretend Democrat and Clinton supporter realized he had no future there just as he had none with the New York elitists whose approval he craved and never received. Instead he became a fake Republican, heard the call of Sarah Palin to take back the country from you know….those people, and answered the call. As long as Trumpicans think he is fighting for them against the terrorists, they will continue to accept him as their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name no matter what else happens. He is meeting expectations and still fighting as the battle is not yet over.

Obviously it is only because of Divine Providence, that at this moment of existential crisis, that our Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, is here as President of the United States. He saved the economy once, he will do it again. He saved the country from the coronavirus. He will take back the country for real Americans. Truly we are blessed that at this moment of existential crisis, we have a President equal to if not superior to Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. And if you don’t believe me, just ask him.

For all his talk about having the greatest first year of a President ever,

For all his talk about having the greatest first two years of a President ever,

For all his talk about having done more for black Americans than any President except Lincoln,

He had a legitimate opportunity in the real world to become one of America’s greatest Presidents if only he knew it and was capable of rising to the occasion.

These words from 2020 are still relevant today.

He shares the Confederate disdain for New York elitists who look down on him.

He shares the Confederate disdain for Abraham Lincoln since he is America’s greatest president.

He agrees with the MAGA belief in him as their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name.

Now he stands revealed as the true savior who will reap divine retribution on the vermin and the disloyal RINOs, those who oppose him once he is back in the White House where he belongs. He is America’s greatest President. He belongs on Mount Rushmore.


Mount Rushmore is no longer sufficient of contain the ego of the immature child indicted former president. In his “So God made Trump” video, we now see him revealed in all his divine glory. The more his mental necessities deteriorate, the grander the self-image of who he is becomes. Now he stands revealed as the pretribulationists premillennial Savior (Mike Johnson’s Bible and America: Which Bible?) not that he knows any of those terms. As he vanquishes all within his party who would rise up against him and even his would-be foes jump on his band-wagon, we see the truth of who he is: Donald Trump is the Christ, the Savior of America. The day of retribution is coming.


Rudy and the Donald: The Downward Spirals

Soul mates, cell mates (Rose Hartman/Getty Images)

We have the opportunity to witness live the deterioration of the former America’s Mayor and the former American President. These two senior citizens approaching the ninth decade of their lives are putting on a degeneration display that is astonishing to behold. It also shows no sign of ending either.


Many people have already commented on the decline of the former America’s Mayor. There is no point in rehashing what he was as a Federal attorney or as Mayor both before and after 9/11. There also is no point in rehashing his batting average of .000 as he scurried around the country trying one court after another to buy into the wishful thinking of the bogus evidence presented so the loser could steal the election and return to the White House. The images of hair dye dripping down his face or his press conference at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot will replace the images of him on 9/11 as the defining ones of his career.

What is important to note is that he is not capable of stopping his deterioration. The old adage about when you are in a hole stop digging does not seem to have registered in his brain. His conviction for the defamation Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss was no surprise. The amount of $148 million certainly was a shocker. While there is no chance of him paying that amount, the verdict can be parlayed into the criminal charges against him. His conviction there will mean time in prison. While there probably are 80-year-olds already in prison, there are probably even fewer who were first imprisoned as an 80-year old.

His language and mindset are what are important here. When he described the actions of Freeman and Moss on election night he was back in his glory days as Mayor waging a war against street crime. Only this time the stakes were much higher. Clearly he revels in the language he used to denounce them. He has no intention of apologizing to them or retracting his words. When he had the opportunity in court to present the supposed evidence against them, he chose at the last minute not to appear. That did not stop him outside of court from claiming he spoke the truth against Freeman and Moss and has no reason to apologize. In fact, he went on to malign them even after the case had concluded. That tirade simply means he can be subject to additional penalty.

So why is he acting this way? “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen is as good a place as any to start. Back on June 20, 2022, I wrote a blog Giuliani’s Indictment: Previewing the President’s, a sequence that is slowing becoming true. In that blog I cited Elaina Plott Calabro in her article from 2019 in The Atlantic:

Rudy Giuliani: ‘You Should Be Happy for Your Country That I Uncovered This’

President Trump’s personal attorney unleashes in a new phone call with The Atlantic while Trump allies turn on him.

Even among the president’s closest allies, Giuliani is now the subject of scorn. When I reached him by phone this morning, following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s release of the full whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Ukraine scandal, he was, put simply, very angry.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told me.

“I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he continued, sounding out of breath. “Anything I did should be praised.”

Here you see the dilemma Giuliani faces. In his mind, he could still be the hero who is going to save the country just as he had been on 9/11. The stolen election fraud provided him with an opportunity to salvage his life. A court ruling, perhaps the first of many, takes that belief away from him. His stark choices are to admit his life was a lie or to continue wallowing in that lie. So far he has chosen the latter. Hence the continued deterioration by someone who is no longer capable of living in the real world. The ultimate moment of truth would be his imprisonment as a result of his criminal actions on behalf of The Donald. One has to wonder then if it will be safe to leave him alone.


Never admit defeat or that you lost. Trump is a few years behind Rudy. This is due to his ability to DELAY DELAY DELAY the criminal and civil proceedings against him. His hope, of course, is to run out the clock so he can have the federal charges against him dropped. That will not work in Georgia or Michigan or whichever other state charges him and/or his allies in the fake elector scheme. So the odds are there will at least be state trials where there are a parade of Republican witnesses testify against him. These fake elector schemes were in battleground states. In those much contested states there will be a daily barrage of charges, testimony that he will not have the opportunity to refute if he is not charged at all or charged separately.

At this point, he needs an army of lawyers to put out the fires which seem to be increasing and not snuffed out. Soon we will be hearing about the penalty related to his criminal business operations in New York. As with 9/11 for Giuliani, the image of The Donald as a successful businessman has been integral to his political success and his self-identity. Now he will be exposed as a business failure even when he cheated. That decision will be a blow to him personally.

I confess, I can’t keep track of all the trials both criminal and civil in the works against him. Despite all the attention on March 4 for his Insurrection trial, January looms as a busy month. There will be civil trials on the Insurrection by the Capitol police, 14th Amendment rulings, and round 2 of the E. Jean Carroll civil case. The point is that there will always be something going on with some trial that demands his attention especially as he appeals every decision. He needs an army of lawyers to keep up.

We should not overlook the impact of stress on his life despite his “witch-hunt” bravado. While Biden may stumble now and then, Trump is the one whose mental necessities show signs of deterioration. His repeating of errors are not the signs of a “senior moment” or slip of the tongue. They are the signs of a loss of mental acuity, of a person who keeps thinking a deceased spouse is still alive or he still lives at home and not in a facility. Regardless of any normal deterioration in his mind, the constant stress of the legal cases even before a parade of Republicans start testifying against him will make Giuliani seem normal by comparison.

He is on a one-way track downhill. He can’t admit he was a failure in business. He can’t admit he was a crooked failure in business. He can’t admit he lost the election. He can’t admit he was the one who tried to steal the election. It is easier for some of his codefendants to reach plea deals. They still have a life to lead free of Trump. He has no such luxury. He is in this until the end because the alternative of facing and living the truth is a threat to entire life and self-identity. It’s no wonder the prospect of prison frightens him. One has to wonder then if it will be safe to leave him alone.

For months now, Anthony Scaramucci has predicted that the “stressed” out Trump over the indictments will drop out of race. Lately he has tempered his prediction about a pre-Iowa caucus withdrawal. The change was due to the slow pace of the cases. While it is possible he might go to jail for contempt of court in 2024, there is little likelihood that he will go to prison in 2024. Still one should not discount the impact of the constant stress due to the various cases. Think of how much he has to lose if he loses to Joe Biden again this coming November. Care to take bets on when he will start claiming rigged election this time around too?

Pity Poor Richard’s Pennsylvania Gazette

Pity the Pennsylvania Gazette. It has been one step forward and two steps back. Normally an alumni publication such as this one serves as a proud showcase for what is going on at the University. There will be an editor’s page pumping up the contents to the publication. The President will have a column about whatever the President wants to write about. There will be news blurbs about what professors and sometimes students have accomplished along with notices of changes due to constructions and comings and goings in the administration and departments. Naturally, there will be sports coverage. Finally the accomplishments of alumns will be recognized in some way along with those who have passed away.


Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize this year for the research they have done that lead to the development of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. They have been the subject of previous blogs (If Journals Were Online, There Would be No Vaccine, January 3, 2022). It still strikes me as extraordinary that the collaboration grew out of a chance meeting at a copy machine many years ago. Now with all the advances which have occurred to say nothing of remote work, who is to say how many chance meetings at the office water cooler no longer happen. We are indeed fortunate that it did.

Obviously this development is one that the Pennsylvania Gazette can take pride in. Look at us. Look at what a great university we are. Look at how two of our own saved the lives of millions.


One would think at first glance that having a graduate become President of the United States also would be something to brag about. However such is not the case. To the best of my knowledge, he has not returned to his old stomping ground. Nor has he been invited to deliver the commencement address. In fact, one would be hard pressed to document his matriculation at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It is more interesting to know how much did Fred Trump donate to the school if not openly or through one of his companies so his son would be admitted. And who wrote the papers and took the exams for the very stable genius who is the smartest person in the room? We will probably never know the answer to those questions.

So instead of shouting to the rafters about how one of ours became President that connection is scarcely acknowledged. There have been no analytical pieces on his economic or financial actions from the relevant Wharton professors and nothing from political science or the law school about his actions either. It is as if he doesn’t exist. The alumni magazine is supposed to be about the positive achievements of graduates and not about how many times one has been impeached or indicted or otherwise wreaked havoc with social fabric of the country. The history department takes a leadership role in study of early American history but has not taken one in how Trump threatens to destroy what has been achieved.

It is hard to imagine a school not taking pride in one of its own becoming President but that is exactly what has happened.


When a college president makes the front page of The New York Times either the news is very good or horrendous. On Sunday, December 10, 2023, the college president made the news right next to the article about Shohei Otani signing for $700 million dollars to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Which article would you read first?

The article reports the resignation of the recently arrived college president. It follows four days after an appearance before Congress on the topic of antisemitism on college campuses, specifically, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Regardless of what you think of the USNWR rankings, these institutions represent the elitist schools.

The performance of the three female presidents new to the job went viral. Especially powerful was the questioning of Republican MAGA Elise Stefanik (NY), a once promising real Republican who went over to the dark side on behalf of Orange Jesus. Even Democrats, even liberal Democrats openly acknowledged the withering question posed by Stefanik about calling genocide of Jews as an example of bullying and harassment. Even she was not prepared for the tightly-wound lawyerly answers of the three once shining lights of their colleges. Those exchanges will take on a life of their own to be repeated and mocked endlessly for the rest of their lives and afterwards.

Since that time there have been behind-the scenes exposes on what was happening at the University of Pennsylvania. Apparently she was on somewhat shaky ground even prior to the showdown at the Capital.


Unlike The New York Times, The Pennsylvania Gazette has no such obligation to print all the news that’s fit to print about the college. The virtual absence of Donald Trump from its pages evidences that policy. However it is much easier to avoid dealing with the President of the United States then it is with the President of the University. It is difficult to see how the Gazette can ignore this story in its next issue but also hard to see how it will cover it. Investigative reporting is not its strong suit.

My guess is that the Gazette will outsource the reporting to professors. Fortunately by the time of the publication of the next issue, the resignation will already be yesterday’s news. Instead the focus will be on a search for a replacement. One may anticipate that each applicant will get the Stefanik question as a test of their ability to handle a crisis under fire. We will have to wait and see both as to how the next college president is chosen and how the official magazine chooses to report the news.

The State of the Republican Party

Defining historical images for our era (NBC News)

One of the critical developments in the Republican debate was the admission by the longtime Democrat, Clinton supporter, and Cuomo bro was that he was not a Republican either … nor does he need to become one to get the nomination of the Republican Party.

One can understand why for tactical reasons, the front-runner chose not to participate in the Republican debate. There he would be simply one of nine. Instead he should be the center of attention. Therefore he chose to record an interview with former Fox opinion host Tucker Carlson and present it simultaneously on another media outlet in direct completion with the Republican debate. It is that extra in-your-face step that signifies that it is all about him and not the Republican Party. He does not need it anymore. He is not really a Republican anyway.


Who can forget way back in 2016, the rhythmic chant of “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” about someone who had not even been indicted for anything … despite many, many, many hours of trying to so? Flash forward to 2023. Compare to the response by the candidates and the audience about supporting an indicted and convicted candidate. Now the mantra was hands raised (or almost raised), that of, of course, and impeached, indicted and convicted candidate would have their support.

What does this transformation mean for the Republic Party? Now it has been unleashed to defund the special counsel, remove the Fulton County district attorney, weaponize the Department of Justice to seek retribution after victory in 2024. In the meantime it will use all the power of the legislative bodies in the state and House on behalf of the longtime Democrat, Clinton supporter, and Cuomo bro.


According to The New York Times, the Republican Party can be divided into six groups. One is the Moderate Establishment consisting of 14% of a party (that represents about 25% of the voting population). This group is home to the anti-Trumpers, Republicans who would not vote for Trump.

Think back to Georgia in 2020. Over 30,000 people voted for Republican candidates but left the presidential line blank So if one is looking for 11,780 votes, all one has to do is reach out to Republicans who will never vote for Trump. They would not necessarily vote for Joe Biden either. They are more likely to stay home or not vote for a presidential candidate if the nominee is an impeached, indicted, convicted, criminal dedicated on retribution (shades of Putin!) for 2020 and the subsequent criminal cases. It is unlikely that anything that happened in the debate or the recording is likely to cause them to reverse course and become MAGA.

To some degree, this group also represents the independent voters, especially the famous female suburban voter that the Republican Party has lost in recent elections. Again, what if anything that was said on Wednesday is likely to cause them to vote Republican. The Ohio voters rejected amending the Constitution which would have made it harder to end the abortion restrictions in the upcoming November election. That vote suggests that reddish states may go Democratic on this issue. Here is where abortion bans issue could be pivotal in 2024.

The second group identified in the analysis is traditional conservatives (26%) meaning pre-Trump Republicans. This group got their Supreme Court judges who now are wreaking havoc at the grassroots level over abortion. They got their tax cut to help rich people get richer. They support Ukraine and not Putin, immigration reform and not demonization, and morning in America over carnage. So while they were not MAGAs in the past, they are even less likely to be so in the future.

Again this is a group which might leave the presidential line blank in 2024 or stay at home. Here is where Bidenomics and a positive message about America’s future by the Democrats could produce positive results. After all, these people survived four years with Joe Biden and all the House Republicans have to show for their relentless war is Hunter Biden. Plus Trump could be knee deep in trials and convictions due to the testimony of actual Republicans by then. This group is even less likely to support Trump than in the past.

The third group powers the Party. The rightwing represents 26% of the Republicans. It consists of Fox, Newsmax, rightwing radio, the Freedom Caucus. With winner-take-all primaries, this group guarantees a Trump victory. They are loyal to him. They believe all his lies. They cough up money for all his scams. The election was stolen. The trials are just a witch hunt. They are happy to tithe so the billionaire does not have to spend his own money on elitist lawyers.

But there are limits. There are limits as to how much money they will actually fork over. And as is abundantly clear, there is a limit as to how many will man the barricades on behalf of their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his name. They have seen what happened and is happening to the January 6 insurrectionists. They did not turn out at all at any of the four arrests in response to the calls for them to do exactly that in cataclysmic terms. They will, however, still  vote for Trump.

There is no way to get through to this group. They believe in apocalypse now. It is a religious belief. In the Scopes Trial, they prefer William Jennings Bryan. The challenge for the country will be what will these people do if Joe Biden wins again despite being practically dead? Even though they have worked themselves into such a lather, the call for rigged elections in 2024 will ring hollow given all voter suppression laws which have been enacted since 2020.

Still, this group is the base that nominates the candidate and which produces the lone wolfs, mentally ill or not, who make the threatening phone calls and occasionally do act violently.

The fourth group, the Blue Collar Populists (12%) is the one that paid the price for the hollowing out of the American manufacturing base. These were the overlooked flyover people the coastal elites disdained even as their communities disintegrated. On paper, this group could come back from the dark side provided the solid blue collar communities returned. If  those industrial jobs with their strong sense of community, of belonging, of benefits, and security could be brought back the votes could follow, but that will take time. Here one would really need to hammer home the message that it is still morning in America and not carnage with our best days behind us. That would probably require a more dynamic and forceful leadership than the Democrats can provide.

The fifth group is the libertarian group (14%). Mainly what they want is to be left alone. They are not prime candidates to enlist in the MAGA insurrectionist army unless they feel threatened. As long as right wing media can cast any action by the Democrats as socialist, they are unreachable. Here is where it is important to provide them a choice instead of making something compulsory like masks. Ask them what compulsory program they would like to see ended, at least for them. Start with social security.

The sixth and final group is the newcomers (8%). One characteristic is their youth. They may have loans and feel overwhelmed by their prospects of living the American Dream. They are anti-woke.

How reflective of the Republican Party was the Fox audience for the debate? Of these six groups, which ones are the most likely to attend such an event? Gone are the days of three national networks dominating the news. Instead we have slice and dice audiences reaching a smaller and smaller percentage of the voting population. But it is one where one segment of the Republican Party makes the choice for the whole party while Team Normal remains trapped in Trumpland unable to return to the real world.

Donald Trump: The Law and Order Movie

Will MAGAs move on when they face the truth?

Everyone is familiar with Law and Order. It is difficult to channel surf without coming across at least one Law and Order episode. Its two note theme is iconic. Its distinctive format divides a show into a police and courtroom sections. In Donald Trump: The Law and Order movie, we have now entered the courtroom portion of the show. It easily could run for years. It will still be going when we prepare to celebrate the 250th birthday of the country.

What have we learned so far?


Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the money problems for the defendant in financing his defense in the multiple cases. Financial analyses show that the money coming in is insufficient to meet the expenses of the money going out to the lawyers. One presumes the lawyers know to get paid in advance and are paid on a timely basis. That is easy because the money is not the defendant’s. So the problem is not the shortage of money but that the ability of the defendant to scam MAGAs sufficient to match the ever increasing legal costs.

This condition raises a number of issues.

1. Now that all the courthouses have been identified, the legal expenses will increase substantially especially for the discovery process.
2. Will the defendant pay the legal bills of his co-defendants?
3. Will the defendant pay the travel expenses of his co-defendants?
4. How will his co-defendants react to the prospect of having to pay their own way just so the defendant can get away with his criminal activities?

The answer to these questions are not known at present. But, to venture a guess, some indicted co-defendants or people who will soon be indicted may disagree with the policy of DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. They do not have the money to support dragging the case out for as long as possible


As stated many times, the defendant is an immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year old. Based on his brain scans he should be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult.

However, he is being tried as an adult. That means there now are figures of authority telling him where to go, when to be there, and what he can and cannot see. We are dealing with a situation where multiple chiefs of staff and counsel in the past have been unable to control him. Of course, they all worked for him. Still there is no reason think the defendant will act any differently based on the guidelines of the DC and Fulton County judges and possibly even the Trump judge.

The consequences of defying their instructions are likely to lead to charges of contempt. No ne knows when he will cross the line but it I virtually inevitable that he will. This means long before he faces the issue of prison time, he will be confronted with jail time. It probably will not take many days in jail to get the message across. A short time in jail may even have the effect of putting the fear of prison in him more than he has already. It is a place where he could be spending the rest of his earthly life based on the sentencing guidelines for the crimes he has committed. That fear and only that fear may be sufficient to get him to behave. However, once out on the campaign trial, it is hard to see how he can resist going one step too far.


The sentencing of people in their 80s is rare. There are people in their 80s in prison, but they had been sentenced at much earlier age. By coincidence, there was a huge article this Sunday in The New York Times on “Inside a Dementia Unit in a Federal Prison.” The article recounts how people in prison may not even know why they are in prison or even who they are. They, certainly may have lost the ability to groom and take care of themselves. Prisons in effect have become old age nursing homes.

Putting side the general social question of what should be done with older prisoners, let’s focus on the defendant and co-conspirator #1. These two men in the late 70s now. By the time the prison door clangs shut on them they will be in their 80s. I do not know the ages of the other defendants but age may apply to them as well.

Consider what prison would mean. Imagine what prison life will be like for some so fastidious about his appearance. His hair color will become normal. His hair style may be more unkempt. His bald spot may become more obvious. His attire will be standard issue and not custom order. He will be the center of attention only to the Secret Service agents assigned to watch over and ensure he will not commit suicide.

Plus the change will be abrupt. One moment he will be living the life of luxury in one of his own homes. Then PUFF, in an instant, he will give all that up for federal prison life. The change will be swift and traumatic. A short stint in jail may sober him up to the stark reality of the rest of his life in prison but you never know. On the other hand, it is easy to imagine even babbling “the election was stolen” and the most corrupt in American history.

Keep in mind that 2022 became an election about whether the election of 2020 was stolen. Sometime next year, we will start hearing about how the election of 2024 is rigged despite all the efforts at voter suppression. So it is only natural to expect him to keep reciting these mantras for the rest of his life.


The concurrence of two federal-level cases involving the same defendant will allow for a case study on judicial behavior. One judge appears to be a no-nonsense judge dedicated to moving the case along. The other seems to be a Trump judge.

In each case there will be motions and counter motions with the defendant seeking to DELAY, DELAY, DELAY the case until after the presidential election in 2024. The reason he does not want a speedy trial that concludes prior to the convention presumably is because he knows he is guilty. Otherwise he would want to enter the Republican arena as the victorious warrior who vanquished the vaunted deranged witch hunter. Obviously that possibility has never crossed his mind.

Instead the judges will perpetually be in his crosshairs as he files motion after motion to delay the trial. The judges already know this is his modus operandi so it will be interesting to see how they respond. Will they take the bait? Apparently one judge gets legal advice from watching Foxhub.


Who will be thrown under the bus?

For the Georgia co-defendants, they may be quite willing to throw the defendant under the bus. These people led comparatively normal lives and would like to return to them. Some of their colleagues already have by cooperating. There is life after Trump in Georgia as multiple state officials have shown. The Georgia defendants have nothing to gain by being loyal to the defendant who is not loyal to them.

One might say the same for 79 year-old Giuliani. What is he waiting for?

For others, they may be waiting for the 2024 presidential election. Hope springs eternal. If Putin can hang on until then so can they. Only when all hope of a pardon is gone will they begin to think about abandoning their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed be his name. And if he is not paying their legal bills, they may even choose to abandon ship even earlier.


Right now the MAGAs can say it is all the cases are political and dismiss them from their minds. But there may be a breaking point.

As they watch co-defendant after co-defendant flip to the dark side, how long before MAGA’s see the light?

As they watch one Republican witness after another for the prosecution, how long before MAGA’s see the light?

For even the most devoted of Law and Order fans, there are limits as to how many one can watch. Binging has its limits. At some point relitigating 2020 as the basis for a political platform may not be enough especially if it is not working. At the end the movie Truman, when people who had watched that show for years, saw the truth being revealed, they changed the channel and moved on. It will take a while, but eventually Donald Trump: The Law and Order movie will no longer be enough for people who want to move beyond 2020.Then and only then will they denounce Trump. Otherwise we may have to wait for the election in 2028.

Trump versus Lincoln: The Battle Is Engaged

The Mount Rushmore President and the Mount Rushmore Wannabee (

Finally. Finally. Finally. After years of talk about the civil war in the United States, it has now officially arrived. The events about to unfold in the trials of Trump and the 2024 election will determine what kind of America will exist when we celebrate the 250th birthday of the country on July 4, 2026.

Right now there is no way to know which side will prevail in the war. The details of what it means to “win” in this remain also will be a point of contention. Given how often pundits use the term “unprecedented” for the actions of or related to Donald Trump, one may reasonably anticipate the same term will apply to the outcome of the war. But make no mistake about it, we are engaged in a conflict to determine if the United States can long endure of if we have reached our expiration date.


Where is the military in this war? When I first started writing about political action thrillers on January 3, 2021, I had the military in mind. Generally, such thrillers involved the military in some way. Coups or attempted coups automatically bring to mind the military. Think of the current events in Niger or Sudan as examples.

The attempted coup here did consider bringing in the military. One way was the long-known proposal to seize the voting machines in areas (meaning Democratic cities in battleground ground states). That initiative never went anywhere in practice. But the very fact that it could be reasonably considered by the Commander in Chief demonstrates how seriously this unconstitutional action was taken.

The second way is more recently exposed. This would be the application of the Insurrection Act whereby the President of the United States would be authorized to deploy military forces against Americans, specifically Americans who would rioted against the seizure of power by the Loser Incumbent. Again it never happened. And again, people very very close to the Commander in Chief were casually recommending it as a course of action to be taken.

One notices that both recommendations were coming from civilians. Contrary to the traditional political action thriller, the real military was nowhere to be seen in such deliberations. The loyalty of the military was to the Constitution and not to a coup plotter. Presumably the same would be true in 2024 should a similar circumstance would arise which is unlikely given the current President.


One of the fixtures of the attempted insurrection was the infamous war room. How many times have you seen the clip of Bannon admonishing us to strap in because the next day is going to be like nothing anyone expected. We need to keep in mind that the original plan was for the President of the United States to crash the Capitol meeting with his possibly armed followers. It was only because the Secret Service declined to draw him there that the intrusion did not occur. Remember the President grabbing the steering wheel and agent in the attempt to make this drive.

The war room planning for this event included among others Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Mark Meadows by phone, and possibly some Congressmen. So far, no of them appear to have been included in the indictment.

My recommendation, which counts for nothing has been that the indictments be divided into parts:

Interference with the state legislators
The fake electors
January 6.

The indictment so far covers the first two but not the third. We know that the unnamed co-defendants will be indicted at some future date. It is still possible that the sedition indictment is an ace up the sleeve waiting for the dust to settle on the existing indictments before being revealed.


The attempted coup was perpetuated by lawyers of all people. It was not to occur due to tanks rolling the streets but to supposedly legal actions through the courts and legislatures. At this point we know that all the legal machinations failed. Instead the lawyers who participated in such court proceedings look like legal fools.

Some lawyers decided to take it to next level. In these instances they sought to influence the legislatures in battleground states with direct appearances that crossed the line on what is legal. They sought to weaponize the Department of Justice in clearly illegal ways to intimidate the battleground state legislatures to do what needed to be done to reverse the vote in their states. These efforts failed and these people are now co-defendants. That means they will be charged in the future once the main case against the Boss is underway.

The lawyer coup as opposed to a military coup does show it a strange way that we are a nation of law. Think back to the Brooks Brother brigade in the 2000 presidential election. Now we have lawyers who are the prime actors in the coup whereas once upon a time priests may have been the ones involved in the battle for power at the capitol.

The presence of lawyers at the center of the attempted coup (plus one political consultant) attests the place of lawyers in American culture. Think of the Devil and Daniel Webster where an individual is more than a match against Satan versus the more traditional match between priest and Satan in the The Exorcist. Clarence Darrow in history and fiction in Inherit the Wind looms large in American culture as does Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird. Of course these are all lawyers for the defense like Perry Mason and Ben Matlock, not lawyers who sought to perpetrate a crime. Even the Dream Team lawyers who helped O.J. get away with murder did not actually participate in the murder itself.

In this case the lawyers were the prime movers in the assault on America. They had to be restrained by Team Normal in some very contentious meetings. Still the presence of these lawyers at the pinnacle of extra-judicial power telling the moron child what he wanted to hear shows how perilously close we came to there being a successful coup.


When the indictments were first announced, I saw and heard Chris Hayes, MSNBC, passionately speak out on behalf of Lincoln. He recited parts of the Gettysburg Address, one of the most sacred texts in American history. He reminded us today that Lincoln knew of the fragility of the American experiment, of how the current generation in his time was being tested to determine if it could long endure just as we are now being tested. In so doing, Hayes raised the stakes (or rather recognized that they had been raised) to the level of an existential threat to the continued existence of the United States.

While Hayes was right in what he said, what he omitted also is important. Hayes was acting if all Americans recognized and accepted the validity of the message Lincoln delivered at Gettysburg. Even in his own time, Lincoln did not represent the views of all Americans. Even in his own time, Lincoln did not represent the view of all northerners. To this very day Lincoln is not a hero in the Confederacy. The Lincoln Memorial is a union memorial where Union people hold great events. Mount Rushmore Lincoln is in the north, Stonewall Jackson is in the Confederacy.

What Hayes omitted was something else Lincoln said about a house divided not being able to stand. We are that house divided. True the multiple trials may cumulatively undermine the passion to put one’s life on the line for Trump, but it does not change the fact that we are a divided country.


All the fuss over the votes the Loser implored the Georgia state officials to find obscures the truth of the voting in the state. Republican candidates did win sufficient votes in the down-ballot elections. What happen was over 30,000 people voted for Republican candidates except for the one at the top. These people may be prepared to do the same again in 2024 provided the down-ballot candidates are not also stolen election denying MAGAs. The same polls that show the size of the MAGA base in the Republican Party also show the number of Never Trumpers and pursuables in the Party.

Here are some questions to ask Republicans who are open to moving on.

If Trump is such a fighter, how come he never takes the stand to defend himself?
If the Department of Justice has been weaponized, how come all the people testifying against him are Republicans?
Who would testify on his behalf? Jim Jordan? Scott Perry? Roger Stone? Steve Bannon?

If the civil war is to end peacefully in 2024, it is essential that these Republicans make their voice heard. Back in 1861, people had plenty of time to prepare for what they would if Lincoln became president. Similarly, in 2025, the same would be true if Biden won again.

When the Confederate states seceded upon Lincoln’s inauguration, not every adult in the state had the right to vote. Any state, even Alabama, which rejects a Biden victory if he should win, will discovered a strong Union minority that does accept the result and wants to remain part of the United States. All the bluster “not my President” and secede may come to naught not simply because of the number of Democrats who do not want to secede, but because of the Republicans in the Confederacy for whom secession is a line too far to cross.

August 13, 2021 to August 14, 2023: Mike Lindell to Jack Smith

Pillowhead's Cyber Symposium just before Trump's return to office

AUGUST 13, 2021

It seems like only yesterday when Pillowhead was championing August 13, 2021, as the day when the real President of the United States would return to the White House and resume his position as the rightful POTUS. He never got around to explaining exactly how this restoration would occur. Séance Sidney was of little use here either. But somehow it was going to happen.

These modern day Millerites were doomed to unrequited dreams just as happened back in 1843/1844 when the world did not come to an end as predicted. If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try, again. Eventually, those who prayed/thought their savior would be restored to power, faced the hard reality that no such moment of truth would occur on August 13, 2021 or even afterwards during Joe Biden’s term. In fact, nothing would occur except Pillowhead making a spectacle of himself at his own symposium. His evidence instead showed that there was no there there.

On April 19, 2023. Mike Lindell was ordered to pay $5 million to a software expert who proved that Pillowhead’s data was bogus. A real computer forensic expert had shown the data Pillowhead presented was gibberish and nonsense. Naturally, in the true Trumpian tradition, Pillowhead refused to pay the winner of the “Prove Mike Wrong” contest. The case is now being litigated. Of course, what is $5 million compared to the $1.3 billion lawsuit filed by Dominion. The true mystery is how Pillowhead came to believe that he had real data that would blow the stolen election case wide open and return Trump to the White House. Is it possible for someone’s product to be smarter than its marketer?

AUGUST 14, 2023

Now flash forward two years and one day to August 14, 2023. In a surprise move, the so-called Trump Judge set an early date for the commencement of the Mar-a-Largogate trial. Given the standard tactic of “delay, delay, delay,” one would have expected a date off into the future. A date less than eight weeks away was truly a speedy trial date. Of course, August 14, 2023, is merely a target date. It is not the date when the trial actually will begin. Still, the setting of this early date, suggests that the Judge will not be the path to acquittal or at least post-election trial that many people once feared. It is still too early to tell, but as of now, the prospects are full speed ahead.

The obstacles to a speedy trial are well known. There is the need for the defendant to decide on his legal team. There is a need to obtain various security clearances once all the players are identified. There are various legal claims and challenges the defense may offer, many of which already have been discussed endlessly on cable TV and elsewhere. Undoubtedly, such actions will push the trial date back considerably. Once the trial does get underway, it should be the slam dunk many commentators have been predicting. So far there are no witnesses for the defense. The defendant acts like a witness for the prosecution every time he opens his mouth. In this action, he is joined by many other people from his home who will be testifying against him. At this point, the best thing the defendant has going for him is a MAGA juror.


To highlight the speed at which the trial is unfolding, Jack Smith presented the Trump defense team with much of the testimony and evidence from the grand jury which will be used in the actual trial. This information includes the names of the people who will testify against the defendant, videos including the defendant’s own performances on cable TV, and other videos. As one might expect, the defendant’s own words will form a powerful part of the testimony against him without him even taking the stand. This evidence, with more to come, delivers the message that it is really is a slam dunk case with the outcome of prison time for his convictions on multiple counts.

Here is where the human element becomes a factor. So far the analysis has tended to view the defendant as person immune to the reality in which he is now living. He is treated as if he is THE DONALD who can triumph over anything the corrupt Department of Justice in the real world throws against him.

As a result, we have been hearing more about Eugene Debs running for President from jail then what it would mean on a human level for THE DONALD to be declared a loser in the court and sentenced to prison time even if house arrest.

Similarly, we have been hearing about his base of support which cannot be moved under any circumstances.

The human factor is being overlooked. Some commentators have expressed their faith in the jury system. Once people take an oath and sit in the courtroom, the gravity of the situation takes over. And if a juror fashions himself to be Henry Fonda in Twelve Angry Men, the situation is quite different here. The defendant already has admitted his guilt as will be shown to the jurors. All the witnesses against him will be his own people. No one will take stand on his behalf. As most recently exhibited in his interview on Fox with Bret Baier and in his deposition in the successful civil case against him, he should never be allowed to speak under oath. His natural venue is the professional political wrestling arena. There he can feed off the energy of the MAGA crowd while he spews his nonsense. He will not have that opportunity in the Mar-a-Largogate trial. Instead he will be a tired shrunken old man cringing at what is unfolding before him.

For a person who demands loyalty, the first batch of evidence must have been a shock. Forget about the abstract notions of move and countermove with motions to delay the trial. What the defendant now sees is that he cannot trust anyone. This is far beyond the Michael Cohen case. At this point we do not know how many of his own people will be arrayed against him. We can only imagine shock he already has experienced. While he is not capable of reading the prosecution evidence in the discovery, his lawyers can and have. They already knew their client was guilty. Now the magnitude of the evidence against their client has been dumped on them. Surely they know if this case goes to trial, they will lose. Surely they knew the penalty for losing will be prison time. Surely they have communicated this to their client.

The issue now is not whether the defendant will spill the names of the people who will testify against him. He might just as well read the employment roster from Mar-a-Lago. What this mountain of evidence means is that the 78 year-old defendant can see prison time for the rest of his life looming before him. Something transformative is happening. He is transforming from the alternate reality in which he and his MAGA followers have been living to the real world. As he hears about people who did his bidding on January 6 being sentenced for 12 years, the stark reality of leaving the alternate reality for the real world sinks in. Forget about the actual dates for the start of the trial, the discovery process is the ghost of Christmas future where his world will be a horrible one for him. This time when his lawyers suggest a plea deal, THE DONALD may be much more willing to accept one if it keeps him out of prison. Jack Smith has poured a bucket of water on the wicked witch of the White House leaving the defendant a timid, incoherent, babbling mess desperate for a way out. And there is still Georgia and other federal cases to come.

The impact of THE DONALD accepting a plea deal will be momentous. It will change the dynamic in the House. It will change the dynamic in the Presidential election. It will change the dynamic among the MAGA. Their Lord and Savior, Blessed Be His Name, only he can save them and deliver divine retribution will shrink in size to being an old defeated loser. And if he does not enter in a plea agreement then the alternate path will be prison which will derail him even more. Now THE DONALD has discovered the truth in real world and it scares and frightens him.

Beautiful Mind Classified Boxes, Linus Blanket, and Stuffed Animals

A beautiful mind can connect dots that do not even exist (

One might think that the arraignment of an ex-President of the United States for the first time in American history would be a day of metaphorical fireworks if not actual violence. Instead the day was routine, not wild. If one did not know that something historically momentous was occurring one would not know it from the events at the Courthouse. Maybe it was just another O.J. or some other Hollywood figure arriving to plead his case.

The real fireworks began after the arraignment. In one short day, the defendant travelled from being on his home turf where he is in-charge to a courthouse where the judge makes the rules to being back home-sweet-home in New Jersey. Quite a whirlwind experience.

What are the lessons to be learned from this day and its aftermath?

1. The media-hyped threat of violence has been overblown. So far there have been two cases in New York and now one in Florida with no violence in sight. Certainly there has been social media chatter about violence and there always is the possibility of a lone wolf, mentally ill or not, of exploding in violence. But so far there is no sign of any repeat of January 6. My prediction still is that this pattern will continue with subsequent arraignments. By this point in time, people are used to the idea of him being arraigned. It has become no big deal. It isn’t as if he is being hauled off to prison or even to jail. He is still free to roam around the country and without an ankle bracelet or having to surrender his passport.

2. The loudest voices have come from Congress … or at least these are the people the media interviews or whose tweets they read.  These people can be subdivided in different groups:

The people who are going to be indicted themselves or at least subpoenaed as attention shifts to January 6 and the fake electors
The people who genuinely lack the mental necessities to understand the magnitude of the criminal actions undertaken by the Loser
The people who are political cowards who know that he is guilty through and through but lack the courage of their convictions
The people who seek to exploit the crime for their own gain by being front and center in the media to vouch for the criminal.

These people thrive on making a spectacle of themselves secure in the knowledge that supporting the Loser is no crime but an obligation.

3. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the prosecution wins the battle of public display hands down. The bathroom image resonates with everyone. When the Unpresidential Library (Fox & Friends and the Unpresidential Library April 30, 2018; The Unpresidential Library: The Adolescent Room July 30, 2019; Presidential Shrine versus Unpresidential Library for the Former Guy March 2, 2021) is built dedicated to the criminal activities of the Loser President, this image will hold a prominent place. During his career, the Loser has been the master media manipulator. With the bathroom boxes, he may have met his match.

4. It would appear that the document boxes are his stuffed animals, Linus blanket, and night light all wrapped into one. His staff called them his “beautiful mind boxes.” In the past I have used the phrase “beautiful mind” to refer to MAGAs and Sean Hannity (MAGA’s Have “A Beautiful Mind:” There Is No Cure, February 20, 2023; What Do Seth Rich and the Ukraine Have in Common? Answer: Sean Hannity October 6, 2019; Hannity versus Mueller: Who Is the Better Dot Connector? January 29, 2018). By that, I was referring to Hannity’s skill in connecting the dots to see conspiracies that did not exist, for example, Seth Rich. The immature child who could only connect two dots therefore outsourced this higher level of thinking to Hannity who could connect multiple dots.

5. The most damaging and scary words come once again from the Loser himself. The axiom of when you are in a hole stop digging, does not apply to the immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year-old who is being told play time is over and it is time to face the music. He now is facing the most dangerous time in his life. He knows that he is guilty on all counts. He knows that his own words will be used against him once again. And he knows that there can be real consequences, yet he cannot stop nor can his lawyers stop him.

As one listens to the Loser fulminate, one has legitimate cause to be concerned for the fate of the country. His platform for 2024 is quite clear:

Lock her up
The stolen election

Whether or not these items align with either the Republican Party or the country, does not matter. They are what he wants. He will campaign on these slogans and given the plurality-primaries of the Republican Party, they well may carry him to the nomination.

6. Chris Christie is exactly right when he calls Donald Trump a child loser… even prior to the arraignment. Considering how the Loser handled the news of his loss of the election, one should really expect he would go ballistic as soon as he recovered from the trial ordeal. Christie needs to carry that description forward whenever he talks about his opponent. The loser is a child who is behaving exactly like a child when the parent (the law) tell him playtime is over.

Unfortunately Christie remains a lone voice in the wilderness. Almost all the other candidates are hanging back, letting the process unfold. If enough of them took to social media and campaign appearances to similarly denounce the three-time child loser who is leading the party over a cliff, then perhaps the dynamic would change.

7. All the witnesses against him will be Republicans and/or people who worked or who still work for him. The constant drumbeat of one witness after another exposing the criminal activity of the Loser will deliver a powerful message of guilt. We already had one trial where his own words provided some of the most compelling evidence against. The same will be true this time. Whether it is his own public words about classified documents from the 2016 campaign, his own public words about owning the documents and declassifying them in his mind, to the actual testimony of a wide array of people, it is easy to see why this is a slam dunk case that will only take a few weeks.

Exactly who will the Loser call as a witness? He certainly won’t testify himself on his own behalf. His lawyers will tie him up and gag him before they would allow that. It will be challenging enough coping with his social media messages and campaign appearances. It is no wonder his some of his lawyers have abandoned ship and other lawyers have refused to even board. Each and every day bears the risk that their will further incriminate himself and dig himself even deeper into the hole he dug for himself.

His rhetoric is likely to become ever more vehement, vicious, and vituperous as the steady drumbeat of arraignments, court appearances, and cases continues. There will be a cumulative effect on him, his apologists, and even MAGA as the legal saga continues. One should keep in mind that he never will be able to defend himself in court and there will be more and more restrictions on what he can say out of court. At some point, it may even sink in that yes, it is a witch hunt and Jack Smith is his Dorothy.