Tuesday Reads: Will We Ever Be Rid Of Him?

Turn in the Road, Paul Cezanne

Turn in the Road, by Paul Cezanne

Good Morning!!

The election has been over for weeks, but Trump is determined to continue making our lives miserable until the bitter end. He plans to troll Biden’s inauguration, and begin running for president again as soon as he leaves the White House. We may not be rid of him until the day he dies.

I have been having trouble sleeping again, despite feeling exhausted. I’m tense much of the time, worried about what is going to happen next. I think it’s likely that millions of Americans are going to be suffering from PTSD for some time after the years of abuse we have suffered at Trump’s hands. Even formerly loyal Republicans are getting sick of his whining.

Talking Points Memo: AZ’s GOP Gov Appears To Get A Call From Trump As Biden’s Win Becomes Official In The State.

President Trump, who still refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden despite how his legal battles contesting the legitimacy of the election process have fallen flat, appeared to call up Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) as the governor certified the battleground state’s election results on Monday.

Arizona’s certification of its election results on Monday handed the state’s 11 electoral votes to Biden and cemented the swearing-in of Senator-elect Mark Kelly, a Democrat who defeated Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), this week.

Ducey, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel (all of whom are Republican) witnessed secretary of state Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, certify the state’s election results as required by state law….

Last July, Ducey told reporters that he changed his ringtone to “Hail to the Chief” to alert him when the White House is calling.

Resnik noted that specific ringtone was heard while Ducey was in the middle of certifying the state’s results. The Arizona governor appeared to silence the call.

Raw Story:‘It’s over’: Joe Biden’s win is certified in all key states — and Donald Trump can’t handle the truth.

Since Nov. 7, the result of the 2020 presidential race has been clear: Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump by a substantial enough margin that the outcome has never really been in doubt by serious observers. But on Monday, the results met a new official threshold as Arizona and Wisconsin became the final decisive swing states to certify their votes.

“All six key states have now certified their election results with Joe Biden as the winner,” said attorney Marc Elias, who has been involved in key election law cases for the Democratic Party. “Trump and his allies remain 1-39 in court.”

In addition to the newly certified swing states, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia have also certified Biden as the winner. Georgia is still undergoing a recount, but it is not expected to affect the result, especially since the state has already conducted an audit of the ballots, carried out by hand, that affirmed a margin for Biden of more than 12,000 votes. Trump also funded recounts of two counties in Wisconsin, which likewise reaffirmed Biden’s win. Certifications are also being carried out in swing states Trump won and states where the presidential election outcome was never really in doubt.

Road in a Forest, Claude Monet

Road in a Forest, by Claude Monet

Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post: Trump is an ego monster. Republicans, don’t let him consume you.

Maybe it’s not pure, unadulterated cynicism. Maybe soon-to-be-former President Trump is having a genuine existential crisis. I’d feel sorry for the friends and family who have to be around him right now, if they weren’t such sycophants and grifters. It must be a bumpy ride.

In his desperation to avoid being forever labeled a loser, Trump is pursuing a futile course of action that only causes him to lose to President-elect Joe Biden again and again. Trump was declared the loser slightly after Election Day; he loses repeatedly and decisively in court; he loses in recounts and then demands re-recounts, which he will also lose. So much losing!

With Trump, it’s generally wise to assume the basest motives. Maybe he is actually trying to bully Republicans into nullifying the election and helping him stage what would amount to an authoritarian coup d’etat. Maybe he is spitefully trying to make life as difficult as possible for the new administration by delegitimizing Biden’s victory in the eyes of many voters. Maybe he is reinforcing his cult-leader control over his followers in what amounts to a massive act of hostage-taking, hoping to use them as human shields against potential criminal investigations or prosecutions — or as sources of ongoing profit.

But perhaps, on some level, Trump simply cannot accept that in an election that saw Republicans do well overall — gaining seats in the House, retaining control of statehouses, winning Senate seats that polls indicated they would almost surely lose — the man at the top of the ticket got creamed by more than 6 million votes.

“So I led this great charge, and I’m the only one that lost?” Trump tweeted Sunday. “No, it doesn’t work that way. This was a massive fraud, a RIGGED ELECTION!”

But yes, it does work that way. And no, of course the election wasn’t rigged. What happened was that voters turned out in record numbers for the specific purpose of kicking Trump out of the White House. It was a massive act of rejection, a clear message sent by more than 80 million of Trump’s fellow citizens: Go away.

But it looks like he will never go away until he either dies or his dementia advances to the point where he can no longer tweet or call in to right wing TV and radio.

Road at St Paul (Var) 1922 by F?lix Vallotton 1865-1925

Road at St Paul (Var) 1922 Felix Vallotton

Trump may actually want to overturn the election, but he’s also using his ridiculous legal “strategy” to wring more money from his cult followers.

The New York Times: Trump Raises $170 Million as He Denies His Loss and Eyes the Future.

President Trump has raised about $170 million since Election Day as his campaign operation has continued to aggressively solicit donations with hyped-up appeals that have funded his fruitless attempts to overturn the election and that have seeded his post-presidential political ambitions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The money, much of which was raised in the first week after the election, according to the person, has arrived as Mr. Trump has made false claims about fraud and sought to undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

Instead of slowing down after the election, Mr. Trump’s campaign has ratcheted up its volume of email solicitations for cash, telling supporters that money was needed for an “Election Defense Fund.”

In reality, the fine print shows that the first 75 percent of every contribution currently goes to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump set up in mid-November, Save America, which can be used to fund his political activities going forward, including staff and travel. The other 25 percent of each donation is directed to the Republican National Committee.

A donor has to give $5,000 to Mr. Trump’s new PAC before any funds go to his recount account.

Still, the Trump campaign continues to urgently ask for cash. On Monday, Mr. Trump signed a campaign email that breathlessly told supporters that the end of November — nearly four weeks after Election Day — represented “our most IMPORTANT deadline EVER.”

More details at the NYT link.

Meanwhile, Trump’s “legal team” and his media sycophants are becoming more and more unhinged.

Tim Miller at The Bulwark: Trump Lawyer: Former DHS Senior Official Should Be Executed.

On Monday President Trump’s campaign lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova said that fired Trump cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs should be executed for saying that the election was the “most secure in United States history.”

country-road-1890 Vincent van Gogh

Country Road, 1890, by Vincent van Gogh

DiGenova, appearing on the Howie Carr show, which simulcasts on Newsmax, took aim at Krebs as an aside during a wheels-off segment full of false claims about how the United States election had been rigged.

“Anybody who thinks that this election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity [for Trump]. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot,” diGenova said.

This is not just a random Parler troll trying to get attention. This is an attorney speaking on behalf of the President of the United States’ re-election campaign. And while it may read like a macabre joke, the direct nature of diGenova’s comments make it impossible to interpret as anything other than a real wish/threat against a public servant for offering truthful testimony.

Joe diGenova should get a visit from the FBI.

And then there’s Lou Dobbs, suggesting on live TV that Trump must take “drastic action.” Media Matters: Lou Dobbs calls on Trump to take “drastic action” over non-existent election fraud.

LOU DOBBS (HOST): And as I said at the outset of the broadcast, Sidney, this is no longer about just voter fraud or electoral fraud. This is something much bigger. And this president has to take, I believe, drastic action, dramatic action to make certain that the integrity of this election is understood or lack of it, the crimes that have been committed against him and the American people. And if the Justice Department doesn’t want to do it, if the FBI cannot do it, then we have to find other resources within the federal government. We’ve got to rise above this because the nation itself — this is an assault on the core of a democracy, any democracy. Our ability to cast a secret ballot. Your thoughts, Sidney, as we wrap up here.

SIDNEY POWELL: That’s exactly right, Lou. It affects the bedrock of our democratic republic. It can’t be allowed to stand and, frankly, I’m about to think the entire FBI and the entire Department of Justice need to be hosed out with Chlorox and fire hoses.

As Trump whines about losing the election, his trophy wife has been busy doing something she hates: choosing ugly “decorations” for the White House for Christmas.

NBC News: Melania Trump unveils Christmas decorations for final holiday season in White House.

First lady Melania Trump on Monday morning revealed this year’s White House Christmas decorations and theme: “America the Beautiful.” The unveiling comes less than two months after secret recordings from June 2018 were aired by CNN, in which she complained about preparing for the holidays at the White House.

The first lady announced the decorations on Twitter with a 1-minute video showcasing the festive halls and rooms of the White House. The White House also issued the video and a press release about the reveal on Monday.

“During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share ‘America the Beautiful’ and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation,” the first lady tweeted. “Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home.” [….]

This year’s decorations may just be the most anticipated of the Trump presidency, following the public release in October of the first lady’s expletive-filled 2018 complaints about planning for the holiday at the White House.

“I’m working … my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations?” She said in the leaked audio that was secretly recorded by Trump’s former senior adviser and friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. “But I need to do it, right?”

Monica Hesse at The Washington Post: Everything we needed to know about Melania Trump is in those bewildering Christmas decorations.

It’s our final Christmas with Melania Trump, and we shall celebrate in the usual way: by accompanying FLOTUS on an annual tour of her White House decor, a one-minute video that also appears to serve as a trailer for a movie about a woman who wakes up in a castle one holiday season and goes searching for the person who spiked her eggnog with mushrooms.

the-louveciennes-road, Camille Pissarro

The Louveciennes Road, by Camille Pissarro

And so here we are, following the first lady down colonnades and breezeways as she encounters rows of looming, florally festooned evergreens in the manner of someone who has never seen a tree.

The decor contains many roses, white lights and hanging ornaments — airplanes, speedboats — which Melania looks up at and beholds in wonder. There is a painting of a reindeer and another one of a fox; there is an ornament of an American flag and another one reading “Be Best,” referencing the first lady’s launch-failure of a signature initiative. There is a banner celebrating the 19th Amendment, which now comes across as fourth-dimensional trolling given that the majority of American women voters used their ballots to eject Melania’s husband from the White House.

Over the past four years Melania’s off-kilter Christmas decorations have become a reliable source of controversy. This began with her first holiday in 2017, when she unveiled a maze of icy, creepy branches that appeared to be a joint production created by the set decorator from “The Haunting of Hill House” and the Babadook. In 2018, she showcased giant blood-red trees onto which the Internet promptly Photoshopped white bonnets to turn them into extras from “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Last year’s decor, in a color palette of attractive creams, was considerably less terrifying, but it still contained the contradictory elements that have made each year perplexing.

Be sure to read the rest at the WaPo.

I can’t wait to get rid of this trailer trash family. They remind me of the Beverly Hillbillies.

That’s all I have for you today. I know I skipped the really serious stories, but I’m reaching the limit of how much horror I can handle first thing in the morning.

Take care Sky Dancers! We will get through this together some how some way.