politicians, politics, Trump

If he told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

Happy MLK Day, y’all. Most years, Bill and I spend this weekend on a quick getaway somewhere. Last year, we went to Alsace, just as we did in 2017. The year before that, we went to The Netherlands. The year before that, Rothenburg ab Tauber. In 2016, we stayed local because I had dental implant surgery, but in 2015, we were in Hamburg. And in 2014, we were in Madrid. I miss traveling. I miss having a normal life.

I am not under any delusion that if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016, I’d be traveling somewhere nice. COVID-19 is a plague that is affecting almost everyone around the world. And I live in Germany, anyway, so Trump’s inept bullshit regarding the virus doesn’t really affect me personally. However, I am affected by watching the aftermath of the 2020 elections, which he lost. And I gotta say, I am absolutely gobsmacked by what some of his followers are saying and doing in the wake of the riots at the Capitol, which happened on January 6th, 2021.

I’ll start with the most vocal one. Texas real estate agent, Jenna Ryan, who proudly posed for photos and videoed herself before breaching the Capitol twelve days ago, is now having to face the consequences of her actions. The 50 year old businesswoman, who took a private plane to Washington, DC at the behest of her “president”, is clamoring for a pardon from Trump. Why? Because she says she was just following his orders.

“I listened to my president. He told me to go to the Capitol. I’m facing a prison sentence…”

Uh… so you thought you could go to Washington, DC, talk a bunch of shit as you videoed yourself breaching the Capitol, and not face ANY consequences? That just seems really dumb. Donald Trump is not God. He’s not above the law. You BROKE the law. You’re an adult, and I presume, completely sane. You sound perfectly sane in your interview. What the hell did you think was going to happen? And now you’re asking for a pardon? The mind boggles.

Was she under the influence of anything besides her own free will?

Well, Jenna, you lost a lot besides your mind when you decided this was a good idea. Looks like you’re going to lose your privacy, your business, your reputation, and probably your freedom. Ultimately, this stunt didn’t do anything for Trump, and he only rewards people who do something for him or give him money. All you did was make an enormous ass of yourself. Would you jump off a cliff if Trump told you to? Would you drink poisoned Kool-Aid? Give Trump a blow job and let him grab you by the pussy? It’s insane!

Should these people be pardoned for acting like thugs? I think not.

Next is our old friend, Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaiman, whose lawyer, Al Watkins, claims that Trump is at fault for his client’s arrest. Mr. Chansley, 33, is an unemployed actor who had been making a name for himself by attending Trump rallies in full facial makeup and costume, complete with horns. Chansley’s lawyer said, “[Chansley] loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president.”

And now that Chansley is behind bars, albeit enjoying the organic diet he requested, Mr. Watkins is saying that Donald Trump should pardon him. Because apparently, Chansley, who hasn’t been a minor in many years, was in Washington, DC at the invitation of Donald Trump, wasn’t violent, didn’t cross any police lines, and didn’t assault anyone. However, he did allegedly leave an ominous note for Mike Pence that read:

“it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

And that note was left as rioters screamed “Hang Mike Pence” and actually erected a gallows in view of the Capitol. How are we supposed to take that evidence? Are we to believe it was all just an act, meant to intimidate or serve as theater of the absurd? Does Jacob Chansley have the ability to dress himself and make basic decisions on his own behalf? Based on the excuses made by his lawyer, I can only conclude that Mr. Chansley is a simple-minded fool who has fallen under the the powers of a cult leader. And if Donald Trump is a cult leader, it’s definitely true that he’s a danger to the country. But Chansley got his mommy to complain about the food in jail and he’s getting his lawyer to blame Trump for his client’s ill-considered, irrational, and irresponsible actions.

This guy was addicted to crack. Now he’s acting like he’s been drinking Trump’s Kool-Aid.

And finally, there’s the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell, who went to see Trump over the weekend and was carrying notes that mentioned the words “martial law”. Lindell claims that he wasn’t suggesting martial law as a last ditch attempt to keep Trump in power. He says he was carrying notes from a lawyer. Lindell says he has “definitive proof” that the election was fraudulent. What utter bullshit. Why is his “proof” more valid than the opinions of others, many of whom would be more in the know than a pillow salesman?

Fuck this guy.

I keep seeing conservatives commenting about how Biden will enact “martial law”. And yet Mr. MyPillow has actually discussed that with Donald Trump. As for fraud, it should be pointed out that Trump is no stranger to it himself. Several months ago, I read a book written by Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, who related the story of how he was tasked to artificially inflate Trump’s votes in a poll run by CNBC. Cohen got John Gauger, who owns an information technology firm and is (or was) the chief information officer at Liberty University ahead of Trump’s election. Gauger was paid lots of money to manipulate the results of online polls in favor of Trump to boost his reputation and soothe his ego.

If Trump is capable of hiring someone to manipulate the results of polls run by news organizations, doesn’t it stand to reason that he’s capable of cheating in elections, too? Especially when the stakes are extremely high, as they are in his case? Because when Trump exits the White House on Wednesday, he will be vulnerable to charges brought against him by the state of New York. Trump can’t pardon himself from charges brought by states; his ability to pardon only extends to federal charges.

Trump says the other side “cheats”, but there’s a lot of evidence that Trump is the one who cheats… not just in online polls, but on his wives, and yes, in elections. He lost even though he cheated by screwing with the postal system and riling up the masses.

Unfortunately, trying to talk to Trump enthusiasts about these glaringly obvious discrepancies is like talking to the moon. They are absolutely certain that their leader is honest, forthright, and will save them from their own poor decisions. So much for the personal responsibility crowd, eh?

While I could be wrong and Trump will show compassion and mercy to folks like Jenna Ryan and Jacob Chansley, my guess is that they made these grand gestures that ultimately failed for naught. They will not get anything from Trump. He doesn’t care about them. If their actions had been successful, maybe he would have rewarded them… but most of the sane folk know that the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6th was unorganized, undisciplined, and unintelligent. And all they did was do a lot of vandalizing and virus spreading. I shudder to think how many people caught COVID-19 at that event.

I think Jenna and Jacob and others who have been arrested are simply going to have to face the music. They will probably spend time behind bars. They will probably pay big fines. They will lose businesses, jobs, family members and friends, and for what? A man who wouldn’t think twice about grabbing them or their female loved ones by the pussy because “he’s a star”. And that’s exactly why he won’t do shit for them. Sad.

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politics, Trump

Political potty parity story leaves me pissed…

The featured photo was taken at a bar in Nagold, BW, Germany. Maybe it would have been a good solution for the Secret Service to have a row of toilets in the woods.

Having to eliminate human waste is a universal experience. Everybody poops. Everybody pees. Sometimes, we need to vomit. It’s just a fact of life. I would think that even people like Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner would understand that when you gotta go, you gotta go. But according to a report shared by the Washington Post, Jared and Ivanka have been less than empathetic toward their Secret Service detail regarding their need for a place to rest.

Although much ado was made about how Donald Trump supposedly donated his presidential salary of $400,000, it’s no secret that he’s made a lot of money off of U.S. taxpayers. And, thanks to his daughter’s unwillingness to dedicate one of the 6.5 bathrooms in her rented Kalorama home for the use of the Secret Service, taxpayers also paid $3000 a month for a rented studio basement apartment across the street. When the lease on the apartment expires in September 2021, taxpayers will have paid $144,000 to a homeowner in Washington, DC. Why? So that members of the Secret Service could take a piss without inconveniencing the Kushners, the neighbors, or using the facilities in restaurants.

I read about this situation last night and, frankly, it really *pissed* me off. I shared the post with the comment that I hate the Trumps. That’s no lie. I do pretty much hate them, although I have tried not to say it out loud. For four years, I’ve watched that family treat other human beings with gross indignity and contempt as they’ve lied repeatedly and done all they can to stay in power against the will of the people. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I’ve repeatedly heard from Trump’s champions is that he is just “like them” and speaks like them. But really, he’s not like them at all. He is a tacky, vulgar, inhumane, jackass, who doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and it appears that his daughter and son-in-law are much like Trump is… with no regard for other people and their most basic of needs.

Most people I know who work for a living and lead a “simple” lifestyle are basically decent and kind. If someone needed to go to the bathroom, they wouldn’t deny them. If someone was obviously hungry or thirsty or needed medical assistance, they’d do what they could to help. Trump doesn’t have that basic regard for others. He never has. The proof has been documented for many decades, and it appears that the shit has rolled downhill into Ivanka’s generation. To me, the Trumps have always had an elitist attitude, and yet they are extremely tacky people with no class. And this article in the Washington Post, while admittedly a bit biased, seemed to really highlight that attitude. And yes, even if the article was a bit salacious and I “fell for it”, God help me, I do think that forcing taxpayers to pay $3000 a month for an apartment so the Secret Service can do their business is totally tacky and not a good look.

I was pretty surprised when someone claimed that the article I shared was “click bait” and consisted of sloppy reporting. This person seemed to feel that the lack of restroom facilities for the Secret Service was much ado about nothing. According to the Post’s article, White House spokesperson Judd Deere claimed that the Kushners had nothing but the greatest respect for the Secret Service men and women who are tasked with protecting them. Supposedly, their home was wide open to the Secret Service if there was a need– or, at least that’s what Deere claims.

And yet, even though the Kushners supposedly have great respect for the Secret Service, U.S. taxpayers still had to pay $3000 a month for them to have access to a bathroom when the Kushners’ home already has over half a dozen bathrooms in it. This happened, even though Republicans often crow about how the government needs to control its spending and not pass unnecessary expenses to taxpayers. In other words, a lot of money was being pissed away so that the Secret Service members could take a piss in peace.

The Secret Service had attempted to remedy the lack of a potty situation by erecting a portable toilet near the Trump/Kushner abode. Naturally, the port-a-let was not well received in the tony neighborhood, so that solution was short lived. I can’t say I blame the neighbors for not liking the porta-potty in their neighborhood, although personally, I would prefer to see that over someone taking a piss in the woods. In Germany, that’s a pretty common sight, especially during traffic jams or at rest stops that charge 70 cents to use the facilities.

Next, the Secret Service used a toilet in a garage at former President Obama’s residence, which was nearby. The Obama family’s security detail had managed to set up a break area on site, since the Obamas had an out building they weren’t using. However, apparently, one of the Secret Service people from the Kushner family’s detail left a mess that they neglected to clean up. So that made them unwelcome to use the toilet at the Obama family’s house.

Then, they started using a toilet a mile away at Mike Pence’s residence at the Naval Observatory, where there was a guardhouse with a toilet in it. Or, they would visit restaurants and use the facilities there. The ultimate solution finally came when a homeowner in the Kushners’ neighborhood offered up the basement in a house near the Kushners’ home that she had already rented out. The tenant in that house agreed to let the basement be sectioned off for the Secret Service’s use if the rent was reduced. It was– and the homeowner, who says she’s “happy to have been able to have helped” pocketed another $3000 a month for the use of her 820 square foot apartment.

Now… don’t get me wrong. I can certainly understand why the Kushners wouldn’t want the Secret Service in their personal space. I wouldn’t like that, either. However, government positions are supposed to be about service to the American people. I do think it’s ridiculous that $144,000 of taxpayer money was spent simply so that the Secret Service could have a place to do their very necessary business, especially when the Kushners have more bathrooms than family members. Seems to me they could have either moved to a home that was better set up for the necessary Secret Service detail, or they could have made arrangements to accommodate them in a way that didn’t burden taxpayers. But, like everything else in the Trump administration, it seems that little thought was given to the American people or just plain being humane to people working for the Trump family.

I might not have been so *pissed* about this situation if the Trump family hadn’t, all along, been all about enriching themselves at taxpayer expense. I think about all of the trips to Trump owned properties that taxpayers have paid for, as well as the less than gracious way Trump has behaved regarding his election loss, and it just disgusts me. I’ve heard about how the Trumps would “make America great again”, but all I’ve seen from them is vulgarity and a complete disconnect from understanding people’s most basic needs. Using the bathroom is definitely a basic need, and I think Trump and Kushner should have done more to see that the people working for them were taken care of in a more dignified and humane and less expensive way.

Personally, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the way the story was written, although I suppose an argument could be made that the reporting was, perhaps, a bit biased. On the other hand, news stories are written by human beings, and almost all human beings have thoughts and emotions. I also think that a lot of us are just fed up with the Trump family, and exhausted by the COVID-19 life in general. I know I am. I’m just tired of it all right now, and I don’t even have it that bad. Maybe it’s my fault for putting my thoughts out there, though, since people are always going to chime in.

Perhaps a more fact based article from The Washington Post, devoid of any shades of the reporters’ personal opinions, would have been technically better. Given the events of the past couple of months, I guess I’m more prepared to give reporters a pass for not just strictly “reporting the facts, Ma’am”. I also think that even if the article hadn’t been written the way it was, I would have come to the same conclusion that I did. I don’t necessarily want or need to hear that something I’m legitimately upset about is “silly” or that I’ve fallen for “click bait”. No one likes to have their opinions discounted, particularly in a public forum, and especially on their own space.

Anyway, the person’s parting shot was, “personally, I’d rather read your blog.” Maybe I’m oversensitive. I’ll own that. But I do think it’s disrespectful to be snarky toward a so-called friend who is clearly upset about something, especially on their space. I didn’t take that comment as a compliment and would prefer that this person not do me any favors.

Things are tough all over and they don’t seem to be getting any better. I should probably just hang out with dogs.

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Police, politicians, politics, racism

Mike Pence is still sleeping, and others are not facing reality…

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post wondering if Mike Pence was finally “woke” (much as I hate that expression). He’s now made it clear that he’s still snoring. In a letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Pence wrote that he has no plans to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.

I’m not surprised that Pence won’t cooperate. I had faint hope that he’d grow a spine, and my opinion of him did go up last week when he addressed all of the right wing whackaloons who stormed the Capitol last Wednesday, condemning them for their violence. But given that Trump has just a week left in office, it doesn’t surprise me that Pence would rather not be part of an action that would kick his boss out of office. It doesn’t matter, though, since Trump is going to be impeached for a second time, and he will be the first president in U.S. history to have such a “distinction”. I would be satisfied to know that Trump can’t run for office again.

Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends are arguing amongst each other. I do still have some conservative friends on Facebook, and more than a couple of them have been engaging in a bit of “whataboutism” regarding last week’s riots versus the riots that occurred nationwide last summer, due to the Black Lives Matter movement.

I have not been getting involved in those arguments myself. I see them as different entities. BLM was supposed to be a movement bringing to light the injustices faced by people of color when they come into contact with law enforcement, as well as racially motivated violence. It’s a fact that many people of color have been injured or killed by police officers, and even if they aren’t arrested, people of color are more likely to be racially profiled. In 2013, many people were rightfully outraged that George Zimmerman, who was a private citizen, was acquitted of killing unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, thanks to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Since then, there have been other cases of Black people being injured or killed in racially motivated altercations. For instance, George Floyd, was absolutely helpless last May when he was arrested by Minneapolis cop, Derick Chauvin, who had rear handcuffed Floyd and knelt on the man’s neck, resulting in his death. People were and still are rightfully pissed.

It’s also true that last summer, a number of demonstrations became violent and resulted in destruction of property and looting. I condemn the violence and criminal activity that arose from the BLM riots of last year. However, I support the movement itself, because I think there’s ample evidence that, on the whole, people of color have not been treated fairly. I absolutely think they have a right to protest, even if I don’t condone violence, theft, or destruction of property.

Last week’s riots in Washington, DC were not about peace or promoting fairness. They were about a large group of white people– many of them men, armed with weapons, wearing body armor, and carrying zip ties– who felt emboldened to disrupt democratic proceedings. They were engaging in treason and, in the process, also destroyed property, looted, and killed and injured people. For some reason, these folks can’t accept that Donald Trump lost the election and will no longer be in charge as of next week. They can’t fathom that over half the country does not want him to be the president anymore, and they’re trying to disenfranchise people who made their wishes known with their votes. They allowed an unhinged orange dude to rile them up and incite violence. And they don’t seem to understand that the orange guy isn’t going to help them, now that they’re facing the consequences of their stupidity.

Yesterday, I shook my head as I read about some of the people who were involved in last week’s uprising being arrested. The widely photographed Shaiman guy, 33 year old Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli) is now sitting in an Arizona jail cell after turning himself in to federal authorities. I read a story about his mother complaining that her son hasn’t eaten anything since Friday, because he only eats organic food. You know, I’m not usually one to say things like, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”, but maybe ManBearPig should have thought about his aversions to gross jailhouse food before he decided to storm the Capitol. He says he didn’t commit a crime, since the doors to the Capitol were “open”. Yes, but I think he knew full well he wasn’t supposed to go barging in there, right? And he was in Washington, DC to stir up trouble. And he sure did find it, didn’t he? I wonder if it was worth it to him and his cronies, now that they’re being arrested and charged with crimes.

I don’t see BLM and what happened last week as similar situations at all. The only thing that they have in common is that they attracted criminal behaviors among spun up, outraged people. It’s never okay to destroy property, steal things, or hurt or kill people in the name of a “movement”. But I think BLM is very different from “Stop The Steal”. It’s been repeatedly proven that our election was fair and there is no evidence that votes were tampered with. I think what we have right now is a bunch of white people who are pent up and legitimately fed up over COVID-19 restrictions, mixed with their own distrust and dislike of people who aren’t like them. They’re afraid their way of life is going to be disrupted. Well… it sure will be disrupted if they land in a jail cell, right? Violence is not the answer and won’t lead to positive resolutions or change. And while Mike Pence won’t acknowledge that Trump incited the riots, a whole lot of us know what he won’t admit. Donald Trump is directly responsible for the catastrophe that occurred last week. He egged on the most radicalized of his followers to try to overthrow the government, and that is not acceptable. Trump needs to face serious consequences for his actions. It’s too bad Mike Pence is too cowardly to do the right thing. But again, I am not surprised.

I have never in my life seen so much polarization caused by a political leader. I’ve seen many people breaking up friendships and even family relations over Trump. Last night, I was talking to my mom, who dislikes Trump as much as I do, telling her about how people on my dad’s side of the family are ardent Trump supporters. There are only a few of us on that side of the family who don’t support Trump. When we speak out, a few of the Trumpers on that side of the family can’t stop themselves from arguing. Just last week, one of my cousins, who is not a Trump fan, posted a rare status update on Facebook, denouncing the riots. Another cousin immediately took her to task about it. Then, when I commented in support of her statement, the same cousin tried to argue with me. I politely told him to fuck off. I mean, I didn’t actually say, “fuck off”, but I did politely ask him to leave me alone. There was a time when I really liked him a lot. He used to be one of my favorite relatives. Now, I can barely stand talking to him, because he won’t let people express themselves without overbearing commentary on why their opinions are “wrong”. He’s especially overbearing toward women. I’ve found that getting into arguments with people, rather than having a respectful conversation, rarely leads to anyone changing their views. It’s just annoying and aggravating, and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to look at him in the same way I used to, before Trump was a thing.

It’s depressing and sad to watch the news and worry about what kinds of violence and mayhem will occur next week. I hope the DC cops and military are prepared for what’s coming. I’ve read that it won’t just be DC that gets targeted. There are also “storms” planned for state capitals, which may be besieged by batshit crazy people who feel emboldened by Trump and want to disrupt peace in an especially difficult time for people around the world. I can only hope and pray that some of them wake up and get with the program.

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lessons learned, politics, poor judgment

Proverbs 17:28– Melania Trump really ought to zip it.

I remember back in the early heydays of America’s Next Top Model, when original “supermodel” Janice Dickinson was a judge. She was famously rude to a lot of the contestants. But every once in awhile, she had some pearls of wisdom. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard her give– and it was either on ANTM or The Surreal Life— was to tell some mouthy chick to “zip it”. Actually, I believe her exact words were, “Zip it, bitch,” and the incident that prompted that comment was pretty toxic.

Janice told Gina to “zip it”. I’m telling Melania to “zip it”. Suddenly, I miss ANTM.

Those words sound rude and belittling, particularly when they are followed by the word, “bitch”, but in some cases, they are entirely warranted. And, rude or not, they are often excellent advice, particularly when someone can’t help but repeatedly insert their foot in their mouth. Simply “zip it, bitch”. It might be the best thing you do for yourself all day. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” Or maybe, given how cozy the Trumps have tried to get with evangelical Christians, it would be better to use the Biblical version of this notion, which comes from Proverbs 17:28.

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

Melania Trump, whose turn as First Lady has been notably feeble and lackluster, had nothing to say as the riots were going on last week. But yesterday, she did issue a statement. And her statement mainly seemed to portray her as a self-identified victim of meanies and bullies. She also expressed sadness about the people whose violent and seditious actions led to their own deaths, specifically mentioning unhinged rioter Ashli Babbitt, who died as she was breaking into the Capitol, ahead of Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick, who was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher, and his colleague, Howard Liebengood, who committed suicide. I suppose it is sad that people died… especially for a cause championing Melania’s husband, a man who has no regard for other people, especially when they can’t do anything for him. But for God’s sake, if you’re going to express condolences, at least mention the people who were on the right side of the law first. Ashli Babbitt, noble as she may have thought her actions were, was committing a crime when she was killed.

“I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda,”  (really Melania? I really don’t care. Do U?)

As the riots were going on, and Trump and his kids were partying and listening to Laura Branigan’s hit song, “Gloria”, Melania was reportedly taking part in a photo shoot featuring rugs. I doubt she has been paying much attention to what’s going on in the place she calls her country. In fact, her statement seems to be something she put up because she felt like she had to, and it was very tone deaf, considering that a lot of Americans are really hurting right now. But, as I pointed out, it’s not the first time Melania hasn’t given a fuck and shown it with her words, spoken or written, or her behavior.

You know, I think Melania is more than ready to leave Washington, DC, and by God, I’m ready to see her go. But as the old saying goes, she shouldn’t go away mad. She should just go away. And zip it, while she’s at it. She has nothing helpful or profound to say, and by now, no one expects much of her. She had a golden opportunity to rise to the occasion of being the First Lady and show us that, even if her husband is a scumbag, she’s got redeeming qualities. Instead, she’s playing “victim” and focusing on herself. It’s precisely why she’s not fit for the role she landed in back in 2017.

Mrs. Trump also had this to say in her parting words…

“I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness… We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us.”

Right. Well, I think Melania ought to take her own advice. But I also think she needs to zip it, focus on packing up her shit, and getting the hell out of Washington, DC. It’s time for her to leave, and let a real First Lady take over– someone who cares about other people and doing a good job for America. I’m beyond tired of the Trumps, and what little empathy I had for Melania and the position she clearly never wanted to be in has evaporated, along with my patience. I’m not impressed by Mrs. Trump’s half assed “Be Best” bullshit, and I’m more than ready for her to be a distant memory in a faraway land, even if I do think her homeland (Slovenia) is a beautiful place.

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Biden, politics, Trump

Is Mike Pence finally “woke”?

Today’s featured photo is a screen grab of a video about the attempted faux coup last week.

Please forgive me for using that term. I kind of hate the expression “woke”. And please forgive me for yet another political post, although I have a feeling I’ll be writing them for some time to come… at least until the dust settles on Trump’s exit from the White House.

I didn’t write anything yesterday, nor did I practice guitar. Instead, I watched a lot of old episodes of Glee and hung out with Bill. We did a lot of talking about the events of last Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence is probably feeling the heat right now, as pissed off MAGA cultists descended on the Capitol and erected a gallows as they screamed “Hang Mike Pence!”.

Trump stoked the fires of public resentment against Pence for refusing to “undo the will of the People”.

Why were they screaming? Because Donald Trump had expected the vice president to “overturn” the results of the election. Trump repeatedly made the false claim that Pence had the power to nullify the will of the people. He also repeatedly made baseless claims that the election was “stolen” from him. And he encouraged a mob of people to take action against legislators tasked with certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Mike Pence, who has been totally loyal to Trump for the past several years, did not do Trump’s bidding. And now, he is discovering what happens when you cross a malignant narcissist. Although he’s probably never been formally diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, it’s pretty obvious to me that Trump is a narcissist. A lot of people might claim that most politicians are narcissistic. And they would be right in making that claim. But there’s a big difference between being “narcissistic” and having full blown NPD. And even within the realm of NPD, there are varying degrees of it. I think Trump is pretty far on the NPD scale, which means he’s extremely entitled, very immature, and completely focused on himself and his own needs. Couple that with his charisma and innate ability to say what people want to hear, and you have a very dangerous individual.

I don’t agree with Mike Pence’s politics at all, but here he sounds much more presidential than Donald Trump EVER has. But I suspect that Mr. Pence thought Trump would burn out quickly and he would wind up being the 46th president.

Right now, I think Mr. Pence is understanding what it means to go against a malignant narcissist, even when it’s the right thing to do legally, ethically, and morally. Unfortunately, hitching your wagon to a narcissist in hopes of getting ahead often ends in disappointment. Always remember that narcissists ultimately don’t care about anyone but themselves, and it doesn’t matter how loyal you are to them or were in the past. The minute you cross them, you’re in their crosshairs of revenge. They see other people strictly as tools to be used and they have no compassion or understanding when someone disappoints them, even when it’s because they have been put in an impossible situation, as Mike Pence was.

Donald Trump now faces a second impeachment, and Pence is under pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment. If you ask me, he should have done that a long time ago. But I can see why Pence would not have wanted to invoke the 25th Amendment, even though Trump is clearly unstable and dangerous. For one thing, there’s that old boy network of mutual back scratching and political favors. Pence wouldn’t want to piss off his buddies in the Republican party. But there’s also the fact that Trump could go off the deep end and do something much worse than what he’s already done, simply out of spite. And there are thousands of people who want to hang Mike Pence for not being totally obedient to Trump rather than following the Constitution.

This morning, a friend of mine shared a Twitter feed showing people who were mobbing the Capitol being refused return flights as they were being arrested. Some of them are crying pitifully as they are correctly being kicked off of flight, labeled terrorists, and escorted away in handcuffs. Indeed, people who breached the Capitol are being identified, and those who managed to leave the nation’s capital are being arrested at home. Somehow, these folks, in an era of iPhones and surveillance videos, thought they could get away with their felonious behavior without being held accountable. I guess it’s a good thing Trumpers are not known for wearing face masks. It makes identifying the perpetrators of these crimes much easier than it otherwise might have been. And these folks are going to find that Trump will likely do NOTHING for them as they properly face charges, fines, and possible jail time for what they did.

Powerful words from a true leader.

Yesterday, I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech about the events of last week. I was actually pretty moved by what he had to say. Arnold Schwarzenegger is certainly no paragon of virtue himself, but he would have been 1000 times better in the White House than Trump has been. Unfortunately, Arnold, who obviously loves America, can’t run for President, because he’s a naturalized citizen. But even though I have sworn off voting for Republicans, I might make an exception for Arnold Schwarzenegger, because he’s clearly a much fitter leader. And what he says about the effects of Hitler on his home country of Austria, are very astute. He’s not the only one who has seen the parallels of Trump’s leadership and the rise of Naziism in Europe back in the 1930s and 1940s.

One more thing. I don’t think this is over by a long shot. The MAGA crowd is super pumped and emboldened right now, and while Trump might be riding off into the sunset soon, there’s sure to be someone else waiting in the wings. I suspect it’s someone younger, smarter, more likable, and actually knowledgable of and dedicated to the cause. I don’t think Trump actually cares that much about the MAGA movement. He just wants to stay in power and avoid the extreme narcissistic injury of losing. But I feel certain that there are other people out there who really do believe in forcing America to turn into their warped white supremacist Christian vision of what they think it should be. You can bet that even if Trump’s era ends, someone else will try to do what he failed to do.

We must all stay vigilant and aware of those who want to turn our country into real life Gilead. That’s why I hope Mr. Pence will do the right thing and help the Democrats get Trump out of power as soon as possible. There’s a lot he can do in the next nine days. I’ll be surprised if Pence actually does invoke the 25th Amendment, but I think it’s the right thing to do. I believe our country is in serious danger. I already have more respect for Pence today than I did a week ago. I think doing the right thing by the American people and helping to restrain Trump would go a long way in redeeming Pence’s lapdog image, at least as far as I am, personally, concerned. I do think Pence has more concern for others than Trump ever will. He’s certainly saner and more competent.

Bill has empathy for Mike Pence. He once worked for a man who is a lot like Trump is. Being second banana to a raging narcissist is a thankless and punishing endeavor. Bill was fortunate in that there were a lot of people who supported him and realized the terrible position he was in, and he came out of that experience relatively unscathed. However, when he was working for that man, it was hell on Earth. I’m sure Pence can relate, because I don’t think he has the same extreme ego Trump has. People like Trump never choose people like themselves to work with them. They look for people who are malleable and trustworthy. So now that Pence could be “woke”, like so many of the rest of us have been for years now, maybe he will earn the trust of the majority of Americans who would like to see Trump removed from power. Even if it means he never again has another peaceful moment.

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