Lordy, There Are Tapes

The President of the United States continues to harass Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, because he did not cheat to produce a Trump win in November.Just hours ago, Raffensperger responded to the President’s taunts on Twitter by suggesting the truth would come out.

The truth came out, in a detailed account of the call in the WaPo.

What’s remarkable … well, let’s be honest, the whole damn thing is remarkable, but also the new normal … is how many times Trump made implicit legal threats. He said moving machinery out of Fulton County would be illegal. Trump accused, “You know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. … That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan.” He said “they” are shredding ballots and moving machinery, “both of which are criminal fines.” “Well under law, you’re not allowed to give faulty election results, okay? You’re not allowed to do that, and that’s what you’ve done.”

Trump suggested, repeatedly, that Raffensperger and his counsel, Ryan Germany, would face legal consequences for running a fair election.

And you know that Trump has repeated this conversation over and over with other people, including the seditionists in Congress. At least part of the time, these efforts have been working.

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320 replies
  1. What Constitution? says:

    And this was “a perfect call” how?

    Introduce new articles of impeachment on Monday. Vote in the House Monday afternoon, vote in the Senate on Tuesday, boot him Tuesday night.

    • Tom Marney says:

      Sadly, it’d probably be better politically not to do anything to rile up the Republican base in advance of the Georgia runoff. Biden’s margin in Georgia was painfully small, and we need as many of the bad guys and gals as possible to sit this one out.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Okay. Introduce the articles on Wednesday,

        (No, won’t happen – but would be a fitting coda to this so-called presidency)

        • What Constitution? says:

          That phone call reflects multiple indictable State and Federal crimes, to be sure. Yet like clockwork, there are people coming up with excuses why Trump “will likely escape prosecution” — things as helpful as suggesting he would be hard to convict because his special brand of delusionary narcissism prevents him from realizing that he is uttering criminal threats and making demands based on lies, which is certainly a reason to keep him in office, right?

          But what’s most important in this scenario is how to best salvage, and to reinforce, the governing principles of our constitution and the rule of law. And what this phone call reflects is malevolent corruption to its very core — the the remedy for malevolent corruption of the constitution and abuse of the rule of law is impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors” which, it is beyond rational dispute, includes “corruption” with or without indictment or conviction of a “criminal offense”. The criminal conduct underlying impeachment charges here makes Nixon’s recorded “you could get a million dollars” a joke by comparison, and Nixon was impeached and he resigned before the Senate voted to convict; the factual underpinnings for Trump’s first impeachment were but a warm-up for the nation-stealing strategy laid bare in Trump’s threats to the State of Georgia (not “you could get a million dollars”, more “nice state you got there, wouldn’t want anything to happen to it”). Nothing subtle, and the United States Legislators’ oaths of office don’t really allow the “Tucker Carlson Defense” that Fox News asserts when Carlson lies (“Tucker Carlson is not a real journalist and everybody knows he’s a liar, so it’s not our fault if somebody believes him”).

          Don’t continue to make excuses for malevolent narcissism — even if it is enhanced by abject stupidity, it is still grounded in unconscionable refusal to support fundamental principles of democracy. Get it out of control of the Government of the United States. Get started right now. Put a microphone in front of Susan Collins and ask her whether she still thinks Donald Trump learned anything (anything legal and positive, anyway) from the last time he was impeached. Put a camera in front of every Republican and ask whether they will vote now to institute impeachment proceedings and if not why not. Strip the Republicans of the ability to claim they’re innocent bystanders.

          If we don’t, then the only thing that we know for sure is that even if the scenario actually plays out as it should and Biden takes office on January 20, Trump will still be out there hectoring to his mob, who will believe him because, after all, nobody “had the guts” to impeach him so “it must mean he’s right”. Impeach him. America deserves to see him impeached and removed from office if he cannot bring his sorry ass to the conclusion that losing means losing. I really don’t care if he is removed from office on January 7 or January 19 by the Senate, if he resigns in disgrace before then, or if he rides to the Capitol in the limo with President Elect Biden on the 20th. But accomplishing that while also reinforcing the Constitution’s primacy seems like a worthy endeavor.

        • Dave Karson says:

          From Webster: Censure, a noun, the expression of formal disapproval. It’s time for Congress to Censure President Trump for undermining our election process and attacking our Democracy. That is worthy of “disapproval” IMHO. Dave

          • P J Evans says:

            Censure the congresscritters who are publicly backing his claims that there were problems with the election.

          • subtropolis says:

            I read somewhere today that the House is, indeed, preparing to censure him.

            As for impeaching him, I’d hope that they wait until after the 6th before giving any hint that it’s coming.

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        Check out Brian Beutler and whstancil on Twitter, they have persuasive arguments against shying away from loudly tackling corruption as political conventional wisdom.

  2. BobCon says:

    I’ll say it again — any analysis of what happens to Trump in the coming months and years that does not include the meaningful possibility of him committing new crimes is a bad analysis.

    He has wallowed down in the institutional immunity of the presidency for years now, and there is a meaningful chance that he cannot stop the inertia in a few weeks.

    There is a meaningful chance that he will actually accelerate on his criminal path.

    • thomaspaine says:

      According to Weissman in April 2021, he has to file his 2020 tax return. Even if can self-pardon, unless he comes completely clean on his 2020 Federal Tax Return, he can and should be indicted for tax fraud and whatever other false information he provides in his 2020 return. That is how, ultimately, they got Al Capone. This guy is not “to big to be proscecuted”.

      • Ed Walker says:

        He will certainly file an extension moving the date to Oct 15. Then he can file a special request for further delay.

        • Badger Robert says:

          Delay may not help him that much. When he dislocated from the WH and all that staff, his mental health is going to decline further. His record with respect to paying lawyers is not favorable. He is going to postpone the fight into a time when he his very rational capacities are even further reduced.

      • joel fisher says:

        If I were Trump, I’d get ‘er done before he pardons himself or has Pence do it; but, as was stated above, the whole question of validity of pardons might be rendered moot by the stream of crimes citizen Trump is almost certain to commit. Perjury, obstruction, bribery, and tax fraud leap to mind, but, no doubt, I’m not giving him enough credit for his amazing ability to be on the wrong side of the law on an almost constant basis.

    • Atomic Shadow says:

      I completely agree with BobCon above. However, this is a nature not inertia question. Trump will continue doing crime. It’s his way. He has always gotten away with it. If he got caught doing something he would settle out of court, or make a generous campaign contribution to someone (talkin’ ’bout you Cy Vance. your ears burnin’?).

      The chances are excellent that his overseas business dealings will come under increased scrutiny, as he has managed to insult every country on the planet, except Russia, Turkey, North Korea, and Hungary.

      Even when (not if) he works out a way to pardon himself and his crime family, they will simply continue on as if nothing can touch them.

      • Wajim says:

        Hey, man, maybe poor Cy’s just tryin’ to set the cosmic scales of justice right after taking Trump’s “campaign contribution.” So harsh

  3. harpie says:

    PATHETIC

    […] The Washington Post obtained a recording of the [Saturday, January 2] conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.” […]

    • harpie says:

      The President of the United States:

      So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election, and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly in many ways. And I think you have to say that you’re going to reexamine it, and you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people that want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers.

        • FL Resister says:

          Is it realistic to expect that Donald Trump will provide answers to those questions in front of a judge or at any kind of official hearing?

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            Good thing I didn’t have a mouthful of liquid when I read your comment, or it’d be all over my keyboard right now, from laughing so hard…

          • Stacey says:

            No, it’s not likely he’ll say all of that in front of a judge, but missed opportunity that the GA guys recording the call didn’t think to drop a few hooks in the water and ask for what Trump a) wanted them to do and how he wanted them to do it more specifically, and b) what exactly the consequences would be if they did not. I mean why not take the crime scene photos while the crime is in session, right?

            • timbo says:

              It’s getting likelier with the public record of criminal violations by the President. Looks like two GOP officers of the state of Georgia decided it was a good idea to record this call… and someone in their inner circle also decided it was a good idea to release this information to the Washington Post. That sez that there is indeed at least a handfull of folks in the GOP that aren’t going to go along with on-its-face attempts to illegally change the results of a Presidential election in 2021. And that also sez that the legal risk to Twitler is increasing, not decreasing.

      • dude says:

        Do you suppose there was anyone else in the room with Trump during the call?
        Who is this “us” he talks about? Rudy? Miller? Cippolone?

        • Rugger9 says:

          I cannot imagine this was anything other than the royal “we” being used, unless Jarvanka or DJTJ was the one in the room. No one else would be as stupid to think that spending an hour haranguing Raffensperger (who would be expected to tape this call after the earlier round) was going to get what DJT wants.

          The election was already certified in GA for POTUS, there were no other options in GA available. It also makes me wonder what went on in the other late-reporting states (NV, AZ, PA, WI, etc.). Did DJT call their respective Secretaries of State as well?

          FWIW, the idea that Pelosi should demand that all of the GOP’s reps from those states (and GA) declare formally that since their election was valid, the POTUS votes were equally valid is something that should (but of course will not) happen.

          • timbo says:

            My money is on Meadows and Patel at the very least. If any lawers were present on the President’s end of the line when this call went down then they may well face disbarment as well…if a Federal or state of Georgia grand jury begins looking into this matter.

            The fact that there is a recording here in the case of Georgia also makes one wonder precisely what other bullying calls like this went out to other state government officials around the country…

          • Eureka says:

            MI, PA, and AZ, at least, have dem SoSes — and kick-ass women, at that. So Trump tried to get in that door with their state legislators instead. EW wondered at the time(s) if any of them recorded Trump doing this stuff (PA is a two-party recording state, tho Trump did have some of them over to the WH after the Pettysburg Address at Gettysburg / sham “hearing” with Rudy, Ellis, Trump via phone). EW then-figured that those on the DeVos payroll might have intuited that recording Trump would be a good idea for their futures in MI politics (there’s been no acknowledgement or release of any such recordings, if they exist, AFAIK).

            GA for the released-to-public win!

            • Wajim says:

              Love to say “Get the popcorn going ’cause whatever drops next will be juicy,” but I just can’t. Watching our 245 year old democratic republic repeatedly threatened by cheap reactionary fascist thugs (many in our own Congress, no less) is more than slightly enraging

          • Tom Marney says:

            From the initial WP article:

            It was clear from the call that Trump has surrounded himself with aides who have fed his false perceptions that the election was stolen. When he claimed that more than 5,000 ballots were cast in Georgia in the name of dead people, Raffensperger responded forcefully: “The actual number was two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted.”

            But later, Meadows said, “I can promise you there are more than that.”

            Another Trump lawyer on the call, Kurt Hilbert, accused Raffensperger’s office of refusing to turn over data to assess evidence of fraud, and he claimed awareness of at least 24,000 illegally cast ballots that would flip the result to Trump.

        • civil says:

          There were other people on the line.

          From the transcript:
          “Mr. President, everyone is on the line. This is Mark Meadows, the chief of staff. Just so we all are aware. On the line is secretary of state, and two other individuals, Jordan and Mr. Germany with him. You also have the attorneys that represent the president, Kurt and Alex and Cleta Mitchell — who is not the attorney of record but has been involved — myself and then the president. So Mr. President, I’ll turn it over to you. …”

        • subtropolis says:

          Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchell. The latter is a partner in a law firm which is currently backing away HARD from her involvement in this. I expect them to shortly part ways with her. She has a history of defending Tea Party types, and, in 2011, got a campaign finance case against Trump and Cohen dismissed.

          She’s also an anti-masker.

      • Desider says:

        I wonder whether (IANAL) this hour long call can be the Rosetta Stone for what Michael Cohen called “speaking in code”, so can be used to decipher intent from weasel words and incomplete verbal transcripts in prior law breaking (presuming Trump isn’t able to pardon himself, again, i don’t know)???

        • subtropolis says:

          Far from a Rosetta Stone, but it’s a clear example. One of thousands. He’s always talked like this.

    • harpie says:

      His talk about KEMP makes me wonder again about exactly HOW Kemp got elected:

      I can’t imagine he’s ever getting elected again, I’ll tell you that much right now

      …and then he incites anger against Kemp’s 2018 opponent, STACEY ABRAMS:

      Stacey Abrams is laughing about you. She’s going around saying, ‘These guys are dumber than a rock.’ What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you.

      • madwand says:

        Abrams lost by a whisker and then there was the controversy as Kemp who was Secretary of State at the time supervised his own election to governor. Further there was the allegation that 50 thousand voter registrations sat in his desk drawer. All this was gone when he took office but not forgotten by Abrams who has galvanized black voter registration in Ga. In fact there are many Republicans who have praised and now fear her obvious talents. She is out there knocking on doors as we speak, a real trooper.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Abrams never conceded because of the questions and events surrounding what Kemp did to get into the governor’s mansion. She then channeled that energy into the productive use of voter registrations and GOTV. She’s responsible for the runoffs more than any other person.

      • subtropolis says:

        Although I have always questioned Kemp’s alleged win, I think that statement was simply a threat to primary him to oblivion, which has become standard fare among Republicans who do not kiss the ring with enough alacrity.

        • Rugger9 says:

          A primary opponent is the likely option, and since Collins lost out to Loeffler (Collins was DJT’s choice for Senate) he’s available and no doubt willing to go after Kemp.

          • bmaz says:

            Heh, I think I would take Kemp over Collins, but that is kind of a Hobson’s choice. Abrams may run again though.

  4. tinao says:

    Serve instead of reap.
    Yes, I’m talking to you.
    Then nurture what you grow
    for a healthy world’s beginning.
    Here at this extraordinary place
    I feel safe to say this.
    Thanks all and Happy New Year!

  5. klynn says:

    In your Twitter feed I tend to disagree with those stating Trump was not specific enough for charges to stick. The vote count he rattled off that he needed in order to win the state was quite specific. And his slurring speech was concerning as well.

      • P J Evans says:

        Suggestion I saw is:
        52 USC 20511 (2)(B) (if I have it right)

        A person, including an election official, who in any election for Federal office –
        (1) knowingly and willfully intimidates, threatens, or coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any person for –
        (A) registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register or vote;
        (B) urging or aiding any person to register to vote, to vote, or to attempt to register or vote; or
        (C) exercising any right under this chapter; or
        (2) knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by –
        (A) the procurement or submission of voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held; or
        (B) the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held,
        shall be fined in accordance with title 18 (which fines shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury, miscellaneous receipts (pursuant to section 3302 of title 31), notwithstanding any other law), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

        • timbo says:

          Thanks. Yeah, it’s pretty clear that Twitler cajoling and threatening here so as to come up with a specifically mentioned number of votes, to somehow invalidate or cause to be validated ballots that have legally been determined already to be accurate. And he is asking the Secretary of State and AG of Georgia to do it.

      • BobCon says:

        Popehat’s quick take as of 10 minutes ago is that he suspects the feds could find a charge if they want to.

        I’m inclined to believe this incident would be a really hard call by a prosecutor to file charges — by itself.

        But I am far from certain this is the only case, and if Trump can’t stop himself, or if other incidents in the past can be documented, the calculation of a prosecutor may change. And by other incidents I don’t mean only calling people to gin up votes, but I suspect he is also trying to push violent reactions, round up money in illegal ways, and other elements of a criminal enterprise.

        • timbo says:

          Pretty sure that the two officials who were listening to Twitler, and to whom this call was directed, could ask for a grand jury investigation into Trump and other GOP operatives in the state of Georgia based on having received this call.

        • Desider says:

          As Marcy suggested, the reps from (Mich? PA?) who went to DC to talk to Trump may have made recordings too.

    • P J Evans says:

      Him citing laws also was unusually specific, for him. And there was an actual lawyer, from a respectable firm, present on his end, who should have been telling him “hell no” from the time he proposed the call.

      • FL Resister says:

        I remember when Trump attorney Jay Sekulow stated at the impeachment trial that it was best to not stir up public animosity over removing Trump less than a year before the election. That it should be up to the voters to decide whether he should stay in office.

        I wonder now how Mr. Sekulow views Trump’s efforts to steal votes in an election he lost so he can remain in office. Does anyone think either he or Pat Cippolone were on the phone call? Was Mike Pompeo on the call? Mark Meadows appears to be part of the effort to get the fraudulent outcome. What is their culpability?

        • FL Resister says:

          This is how Meadows introduced who was on the call:
          “Okay. Alright. Mr. President, everyone is on the line. This is Mark Meadows, the chief of staff. Just so we all are aware. On the line is secretary of state and two other individuals. Jordan and Mr. Germany with him.
          You also have the attorneys that represent the president, Kurt and Alex and Cleta Mitchell — who is not the attorney of record but has been involved — myself and then the president. So Mr. President, I’ll turn it over to you.”

    • timbo says:

      It’s more scary than sad. Twitler isn’t going to give up without a fight here it seems. There is now a letter signed by many former government officials of past administrations making the rounds to tell the military that they must not make any illegal acts based on the words of this unhinged lame-duck President. The fact that this letter has even happened means that there is uneasy within military circles about what might be about to come out of this White House.

    • dude says:

      I don’t think he is a hero. He is (as he has said) a Trump supporter. But he is also someone who operates under Georgia law. He is just doing what he is supposed to do like is counterparts in other states.

    • madwand says:

      Another way of looking at it is Raffensperger is being asked to commit a crime and is declining. Also Trump didn’t tell Raffensperger he’s sending a couple guys down to talk to him which on the face of it is good.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Trump didn’t tell Raffensperger he’s sending a couple guys down to talk to him, because Raffensberger and Germany indulged Trump and Crazy Cleta Mitchell’s request to “look at something in Fulton County” today via a phone meeting.

    • Chris.EL says:

      the always entertaining and on-point @popehat has added another crime relating to Trump’s golly-let’s-find-more-votes phone call: that of interrupting a prominent, professional, level-headed attorney’s personal out of the office time! ** No sarcasm, this is serious ** :

      …” 1/3/2021
      [email protected]
      “So we’re on a nice (actually brutal and hurry) hike and I get an email from @jbarro about some call to Georgia and I’m all “there’s Josh exaggerating” and then we get back and I see and I’m all “shit I’m going to have to go through like 30 federal criminal statutes on this” ” …
      ~~~~~~~~
      [ i rest my case ]

  6. harpie says:

    1] Ryan Goodman
    https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1345810434138529792
    2:13 PM · Jan 3, 2021

    This caught my attention:
    Trump says: “Under law, you’re not allowed to give faulty election results.”
    As Trump: tries to induce and procure Georgia election officials to give faulty election results.

    Induce and procure = crimes under 18 USC 2.

    2] Marcy [responding]
    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1345810759213834241
    2:14 PM · Jan 3, 2021

    Trump has (in 2011, his spawn in 2016) in the past gotten away with campaign finance crimes by claiming he’s too stupid to know this is a crime.

    But he was citing law while committing the crime here.
    And he had at least two lawyers in the room.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Trump’s tone of voice really gets me; he addresses a professional *lawyer* as if he’s “dressing down” a housekeeper for doing sloppy hospital corners at his hotel…

      SAD!

      • DGM says:

        The Georgia officials sounded like parents trying to deal with a whinny child. They listened without interrupting and then pushed back with the truth. I’m surprised one of them didn’t just say “Shut up you old fool.”

        • scribe says:

          Regardless of who he is or what he’s doing, he is still the President of the United States. As such, his office (and by extension he) gets more deference and courtesy than some random ranting old guy.
          “You salute the rank, not the man”.

          • paul lukasiak says:

            I don’t think it was respect for the office.

            I think it was fear of the power that Trump still wields, both officially and through his twitter account.

            If this ‘respect for the office’ Germany and Raffensperger would have pushed back HARD against the people who were giving Trump bad information. Its one thing to criticize the President — but you can go after Trump’s lawyers and advisors with abandon.

          • oldoilfieldhand says:

            The reason the enlisted ranks and the officers don’t shower together…without the uniform, you can’t tell them apart.

        • Stacey says:

          Right!? I can’t wait to see how they direct the scene in the movie. GA guys standing around a desk recording a batshit crazy phone call from the F-n leader of the free world and the image of Archie Bunker with a fidget spinner in his head connected directly to his mouth comes prominently to mind.

          That had to be the most surreal experience for them, not that being in the R camp shouldn’t have been pretty good practice for surreal by now, but…

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’m stunned actual competent lawyers let DJT do this, knowing that the call would probably be recorded after the last round with GA’s SoS. Sidney, Larry, Kris, Rudy or Mr. and Mrs. DiGenova, sure, but I thought Sekulow was better than that.

    • dude says:

      The tape begins with Chief of Staff Meadows introducing himself and WH lawyers who were indeed on the line with Trump as he called Georgia.

      • timbo says:

        Then we’re into conspiracy if they start claiming this is a perfectly legal thing for them and the President to be doing. It is not. In what world is this somehow their job to do while they are on the Federal payroll?

  7. e.a.f. says:

    A friend called to advise me to turn on the t.v. and the whole thing was there. O.K. I couldn’t stop laughing. the idiot was taped. did he not think some one might. Of course he may think he is a law unto himself or no one would do that, but first order of business when you’re a crook, is never say anything where it can be taped. Its why most of those old Mafia movies have the “Don” going to a club to talk or an a non pre arranged spot. Trump just isn[t that smart. He isn’t even a good thug. He got taped, omg and just in time for the Sunday political shows.

    Now to the serious part. The current Pres. of the U.S.A. is attempting to subvert democracy. He is acting like one of those “tyrants” of a “shit hole country”. This level of desperation is more, in my opinion, than trying to hang on to the Presidency for the sake of hanging onto the Presidency. He might think as long as he is President he can’t be tried for the illegal things he has done. They must be something else. of course his source of income might dry up also if he is no longer President.

    too bad the “gang of 12” can’t be forced out of the Republican Party and made to sit as Independents, which can happen in other countries, being forced out of one’s party.

    Now we just wait and see what happens next and wonder how violent Trump’s supporters will get with their demos.

    For anyone who has ever wondered how countries went from being democracies to dictatorships, now you know. It is doubtful Trump will succeed, but it can be done, even in the U.S.A. So far the system is holding.

  8. tinao says:

    Hey I’m in the middle of signing up to give the vaccine! An hey scribe, I don’t see the dedication to innovation there. From one stiller fan to another…today is a new year, find your resilient.

  9. Thomaspaine says:

    I am not an Attorney and do not have GEICO insurance, but this sure sounds to me like extortion and election fraud. The fact that is so overt and so public really puts the onus on the Biden AG to bring multiple charges.

    WRT proof there are so many examples in the vaults of Trump making similar threats that making the case of his intent should be relatively straight forward.

    Finally if the jury is seated in DC AFTER Trump’s goons try to burn down the district on Jan. 6th, his cause won’t get a lot of sympathy.

    • e.a.f. says:

      In my opinion, it wasn’t that public. Just a telephone call between a few people from the same political party. Its only public because the tape was released or got out some how.
      As to is this a crime. I’m not a lawyer and don’t have that insurance either, but here in Canada, if some one asks you, “How’d you like your house burnt down?” Its not a crime. They have to say they’re actually going to do it for it to be a crime or if its extortion, it has to be phrased differently. Its reasonable doubt with some of these things so Crown doesn’t go forward and the cops know it. Its just like if you say to some one you’re going to beat the “shit” out of them, that could be a problem, but give them the hand signal for that, you could just be waving.

      It is doubtful the new administration, Biden/Harris, will spend a lot of time on this “little incident”. The U.S.A. like many other countries have a few other problems, like COVID, unemployment, lack of food for a lot of people, repairing international relations, dealing with, well you know all the things Trump did. In the end life takes care of people like Trump, why waste the energy. Yes he and his have committed crimes and some of those will be “taken care of by states”, but this, not worth it. Lots of other politicians have said things not that different, just didn’t get on the front page of the Sunday news programs. Trump likes to talk like a thug, but he’s a coward. If a 93 yr old war vet walked up to him with a raised fist, he’d be running for his life, he is a coward. Gangsters I knew were tough. they knew how to fight, they knew how to take a knife wound. Trump’s a garden flower, a delicate one at that. He was too scared to even join the military. His daddy made sure he didn’t have to. Don’t even think the guy played any real tough sports like ruby or football.

      • P J Evans says:

        Election laws matter. Elections are dang near sacred in the US. Trmp is trying to get certified-correct results tossed, and that can’t be ignored.

          • P J Evans says:

            Why we have things like Ballot Track. I dropped mine in the dropbox on Monday, they had it and had verified it by Wednesday the same week. (Faster than the mail, I think. Would have had to go through two distribution centers, at least.)

        • diggo says:

          If elections were actually sacred in the US, more of them would vote.
          The part that is “sacred” is the hopelessly outdated and misguided electoral college and the notion that American elections are democratic.

      • ChuckD says:

        As you say, hopefully Biden/Harris won’t get into it. But that’s what makes Biden’s AG pick all the more critical, and it better be a street-brawler.

  10. madwand says:

    And logically or not, Trump has to be making that same phone call to other states, like PA, Mich, Arizona, Wisconsin, only we will have to wait for it to come out if it ever does. Raffensperger was waiting on Trump with lawyer and tape, gave the tape to WAPO and Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter. But lets be clear, Trump was urging Raffensperger to break the law. Actually pretty stunning, and putting Loeffler and Perdue in a bind, do they break with Trump or support him. You can bet tomorrow in North Ga when Trump arrives he will arrive on the Grievance Train.

    • Valley girl says:

      The GA electoral college votes (if Trump had won GA) would not by themselves have given him a majority in the EC, as I’m sure you and everyone else here knows. So, as you say, he’s probably made/making similar calls to other states. Unless the point is to harass Raffensperger, and maybe gin up doubt about the outcome of the GA Senate races if one or both D candidate wins. On the second point, though, Trump only cares about Trump, so my guess is that if Purdue or Loeffler lose, it’ll be about how badly The President was treated in GA.

      OT, but in each day’s mail at least half of the pieces are Warnock/ Ossoff or Dem Party of GA. The record so far is 10/11- one piece of personal mail, 10 campaign-related. My mail carrier told me it’s the same across ATL. Dunno about the rest of the state.

      FWIW, I’m predicting that Warnock will win and Ossoff lose. Not my preferred outcome, just my gut feeling. FWIW

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        Warnock’s campaign was reaching out to me for donations early and consistently via text the day after a runoff was declared as likely. Took much longer for texts from Ossof’s campaign to start, and now they are spamming me with the same generic message.

        It seems Warnock was a lot better prepared to run a good campaign.

        • Valley girl says:

          Thanks for the info. Ossoff ran I pretty poor congressional campaign (GA05?). A blogger I know well endorsed him on his blog, early on for that run. We talked first, and I agreed. based on what I’d read in the AJC. And then he started getting angry emails from people who’d given at his site, b/c the were getting spammed with idiotic Ossoff emails several times a day. He “unendorsed” Ossoff, or at least apologized (can’t remember now). The “D consultants” told Ossoff what to do, and he did it. Looks like Ossoff hasn’t learned.

          • Valley girl says:

            correction- I agreed not only b/c of AJC-that was only part of what I knew at that time. Plus his opponent Karen Handel was awful.

            • madwand says:

              And then Handel met Lucy McBath, how fitting. I’m a couple hours east of Atlanta and have had the normal amount of political mail, from all candidates, noting only that it’s getting larger (physically) and taking up more of my box. Commercials are a pain, never have I seen so many and there are only a few noteworthy, the two star general bashing Perdue and the former Republican gal bashing Loeffler.

      • Dave Karson says:

        just curious, but if each side takes one in GA, could Biden appoint Susan Collins to a minor cabinet/administration post, and then Janet Mills appoints a Democratic Senator to replace Collins, giving the Dems control of the Senate? (yes, that assume Collins would accept the position).

        • ducktree says:

          Frankly, I can’t think of one cabinet position that Ms. Collins would be qualified for given her history as a moral and political windsock.

              • oldoilfieldhand says:

                As a former resident of the Principality of Andorra, (I lived in La Massana and Ordino for 2 years) I can say without reservation that the Andorrans are wonderful, freedom-loving people who deserve better than Susan Collins as an ambassador.

            • Valley girl says:

              Funny you should say that, PJ. I was gonna suggest an ambassadorship, but failed to find somewhere appropriate to suggest.

        • blueedredcounty says:

          The funniest suggestion I’ve seen for getting rid of Mitch McConnell was for Biden to publicly announce without warning that Mitch was being nominated for Ambassador to Taiwan. The argument went that he if he turned it down, he would be publicly insulting his wife, her family, and the Taiwanese government. Silly and not going to happen, but fun to think about.

  11. graham firchlis says:

    Congratulations to Nancy Pelosi on her election for a fourth term as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Something positive early in this new year.

    As to another impeachment of Trump, there are procedures and time is short. A censure vote, however, would be justified, quickly achievable and have as much effect.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, congratulations. The House will once again be ruled with an iron conservadem fist by an octogenarian. Funny how supposed Dems bitch about the geezerdom of Mitch McConnell and yet don’t flinch at a do nothing obstructionist like Pelosi. She is a problem and needs to retire, even more so than Feinstein.

      • subtropolis says:

        My impression has always been the the red-hot hatred for McConnell has less (much less) to do with his age than the fact that he is an evil prick.

        As for Pelosi, I’m quite happy that cooler heads have prevailed in favour of stability. (The entire Squad voted for her.) Pelosi is just the right Speaker to have, imho, while the Republicans tear themselves apart. “He will impeach himself.”

    • bmaz says:

      And, keep in mind, it was not a progressive like AOC that presided over a historic loss of power in the House during a Democratic wave, it was the old fossil Pelosi.

      • scribe says:

        Two things inquiring minds want to know:

        Who were the idiots who tagged McConnell’s door? If you want to be taken seriously and find out where your $2k dole payment is, you really have to spell “Where’s” correctly.

        Was it a real pig’s head, a Mexican pig’s head, or a Sears pig’s head?

          • scribe says:

            A couple weeks ago, before Christmas, the classical radio station of Bavarian Radio, out of Munich, had a nice retrospective on his music in celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday. When they do such a retrospective, they dig deep and come up with some excellent stuff.

            It was a real pleasure to listen to.

            • Sambucus says:

              My wife tells me that when I cam out from anesthesia in the hospital after I was burned in an industrial accident many years ago, that I asked her if she was wearing a Mexican poncho or a Sears poncho. Fun Fact: I actually lived about a mile from the site of Studio Z in Cucamonga for many years.

            • dpa says:

              Scribe, haven’t had a chance to hear it myself but have heard it is excellent. I had the good fortune to go to college with a couple of Frank’s players; the Fowler brothers and bassist Arthur Barrow, with whom I collaborated on our senior project. Art took us backstage at a concert in Dallas and we met Zappa and got to speak with him briefly, which was a highlight. I don’t post here much, mostly just absorb, but have been following since the FDL days. And always appreciate that I’m among Zappa fans.

            • it's complicated says:

              Oh, wow, cool! I tried to find that program through Bayern 4 Klassik, but failed. Maybe already “depublished”?
              Funny to read about my hometown’s broadcaster here of all places.
              Many years ago (late 70s/early 80s), we went to a pizzeria and asked if we could have a cassette that we had brought along played.
              A few minutes later, we were unceremoniously shown the way to the door. Thankfully we got the cassette back.
              “Uncle Meat” it was, iirc.

      • joel fisher says:

        Wave? After Biden–a wave all by himself–down ballot disasters everywhere, especially bad in a redistricting year. Biden’s support was basically the democrats and Trump hating independents and Republicans. This did not translate into state legislatures, the Senate, or as you point out, the House. Still, I’ll take it, whatever you call it.

      • e.a.f. says:

        agree, both should retire, but I’m putting F. first. Pelosi, well, as I understand it, if they dont’ figure out who is Pres. by inaguaration day, she gets the gig on an acting basis. I’d just love to see that one. Of course I’d rather see Biden/Harris sworn in on the date, but seeing Pelosi sworn in would sure make me laugh and then I’d say to the Republicans you got what you deserved

        Pelosi might want to consider resigning once Biden/Harris are sworn and the Cabinet appointed, etc. Let some younger woman take over. there are some younger women who I really like, such as Katie Porter. Dont’ know if she is up for the job, but having seen her on t.v., in action, boy it would be entertaining. that woman knows how to ask questions. OAC, would be fun also. Its not about fun, I know, but it would shake a lot of them up.

        • subtropolis says:

          I like AOC but she is nowhere near up to the challenge. Such a fantasy pick would be a disaster for the Democrats.

  12. tinao says:

    They have lost the majority folks! Truly, The tide on their day is going out, and the tide for your good action is on the way in…

  13. Kenster says:

    Fun fact – Had Trump stayed in Florida and made the call from there, it would have been illegal for the Georgia team to record the call without letting Trump and his team know they were recording, as Florida is a two-party consent state. However, since he went back to DC the Georgia team was good to go to record the call without Trump’s consent.

    • ducktree says:

      There were so many mooks on that party line call, according to all reports, that anyone participating from NY could have released it and would be in the clear.

      Carry on.

    • timbo says:

      They may be good to go if there’s already an ongoing investigation into what’s going on with the President and his thugs. The Secretary of State in Georgia may have already filed a sealed criminal complaint. There’s no way to know if that’s true or not but it certainly could have happened.

    • Raven Eye says:

      IANAL, but what about conflict of laws? If it was recorded in Georgia, doesn’t Georgia law apply?

      • subtropolis says:

        Yes, the important thing is in which state the call was recorded. If he’d been in Florida it wouldn’t have mattered.

  14. H Candace Gorman says:

    bmaz was looking for a word in yesterdays post. I just learned the word yesterday … or a good substitute until we find a better.
    From the urban dictionary….
    Caucacity
    Caucacity is the audacity of white people. Meaning, the willingness to take bold risks only white people feel safe doing.
    “But it’s more than that: it’s about behaving in a manner that disregards or refuses to acknowledge one’s white privilege.”
    That about sums it up as we enter this latest version of the twilight zone.
    Hang onto your hats this is going to get rough.

  15. tinao says:

    Itchykanna whaa.. .They have lost the majority folks! Truly, The tide on their day is going out, and the tide for your good action is on the way in…

  16. PeterS says:

    I listened to the tape and what I heard was a typically boorish Trump pressuring Raffensperger to investigate the various examples of voter fraud (sic) that his lawyers have told him about and that he has found on the internet (!).

    I didn’t hear Trump asking Raffensperger to fabricate votes and I didn’t hear him offer a bribe or issue a clear threat. Raffensperger seemed well able to handle the pressure, he’s had to deal with this crap for weeks.

    I’m happy to be shown to be wrong.

    • P J Evans says:

      He uses the form of “do me a favor” – it’s never openly a bribe. So it’s “Find me X number of votes” – never mind that the votes aren’t there and it’s way too late to help him.

    • joel fisher says:

      I read the transcript and had the same thought. That being said, there were a couple of things that might get a prosecutors blood going: 1) taken as a whole there seems to be an overall threat of bad stuff in the offing if the needed votes aren’t found; and 2) it may violate the state law of GA to falsely report criminal behavior.

  17. scribe says:

    Missed the trash today, but no biggie. Didn’t watch the game. Watched the G-Men outplay the Owboys in some crap weather. It was a foregone conclusion my Stillers would wind up facing the Browns both today and next week (barring the unlikely event of both the Bills losing and the second-team Stillers winning to move the Stillers into #2 seed, which may have been undesirable anyway). So sending in the second team made perfect sense. The Brownies had no chance to expose their true nature by trying to hurt our first-stringers, nor the chance to game the corona rules and expose our players to not-quite-healed Brahns players. Moreover, we didn’t show them any new wrinkles on offense or defense assuming, of course, our predictable, unimaginative, idiot OC and his equally predictable, unimaginative, idiot QB coach came up with any wrinkles. We didn’t need this win today. We will need the win next week.

    Impressive score-a-thon by the Bills today.

    Daniel Jones acted like a real QB today, instead of a guy who learned it while sleeping in a Holiday Inn Express.

    Now, on to the real, fun trash.

    In addition to the federal election law charges (language cited above), you’ve got 31 flavors of solicitation, using interstate wire communications to communicate a threat (though a good lawyer could – in the [unlikely] absence of prior bad acts/pattern and practice evidence – probably mollify any threat down to emphatic speaking or something), and who knows what other federal charges might be lying out there. There are at least 350,000 different federal crimes out there (the law professors who started the project of counting them gave up after 350k), so I’m sure there’s something. I don’t do federal (or state) criminal law, so I’ll defer and take the ball after halftime.

    But, the other thing no one is discussing is the possibility of Georgia state charges. I’m sure someone is going to raise the issue of “it was improper for the Georgia people to tape the call”. Maybe not. Probably not. The taping may even have been required by law.

    You’ll have to look at Georgia public records/freedom of information law to know. (I am not a Georgia attorney so I don’t know.) In the state where I live, all communications to government officials are presumptively public records and available (subject to certain exceptions/ redactions of PII) to anyone who files a public records request. Send a constituent email to your state senator – it’s a public record. Write a letter to the Governor – it’s a public record. Testify to a legislative committee, it’s a public record. And the government has to save them. I would not be surprised if some states’ (maybe Georgia’s) public records laws would require recording phone calls to/from state officials (or at least high-ranking ones) and preserving same.

    Two. Given the way Trump has been haranguing Georgia’s Secretary of State for weeks now, there are a couple more things I would not be surprised by. Like, the Secretary of State sat down with his counsel and got advice about exactly what he could and what he could not do, in the first place. And, more importantly, what the red lines (for lack of a better term) would be where Trump (or his minions) would transgress the law and where the Secretary of State (and his subordinates) would have to get out of the way/say “no”/hang up the damned phone to avoid personal liability and, at least as important, conspiracy/accomplice liability, both under federal and state law.

    I would also suspect that, at some point, the Secretary of State, his counsel and/or subordinates may have been sufficiently concerned about the exposures being created by Trump’s behavior that they would have contacted law enforcement, state and federal (i.e. “criminal referral”). This, because in the federal system you have the misprision statute (18 USC 4), and doubtless there’s an analog in the Georgia state system. And, frankly, it’s a heck of a lot better to be reporting dubious conduct that you [maybe mistakenly] think might be criminal only to have the po-po wave it off, than to have them kicking in your door shortly before daybreak.

    Was this a consensual interception (i.e., the Secretary of State wore a wire/had his phone tapped by Georgia or federal law enforcement)? I tend to doubt it because it hit the press within less than 24 hours. That leak, in and of itself, would constitute obstruction of justice (under any name) in just about any American jurisdiction I can think of.

    On the other hand, I definitely could see this tape leaking as the Secretary of State sending up a flare (hell, lighting off all the fireworks at South of The Border* all at once) to responsible office-holders near and far to send in the cavalry. And to tell the President to knock it the fuck off because There Are Tapes.

    And we don’t know how many other tapes there are out there, just waiting to drop.

    Frankly, I have to admire the Secretary of State. He took an hour-long call, soliciting, begging and browbeating and all the rest and didn’t: (a) cave, (b) agree to anything, (c) hang up, (d) lose his cool and (e) tell the President to fuck off. He just let Trump spin his own noose. He’s a bigger man than most of us.


    * I know it’s on the SC side of the NC line. Let me roll with it. It’s been 50 years since I went there, passenger in the back seat on a family vacation trip to Florida. I bought a brick of Black Cats and some skyrockets. Their history page tells us that as with all good things, it started with beer. https://www.sobpedro.com/our-history Besides, IDK of any fireworks stores in GA for the SoS to light on fire.

    • Peterr says:

      Josh Marshall makes a good point about Trump on this call:

      We know President Trump acts like a thug. This is almost a literal replay of the Zelensky phone call which got Trump impeached. But there’s something more. This is a private call. It’s not for public consumption. This isn’t about stoking grievances for 2024 or maintaining control over the post-presidency GOP. President Trump is clearly very intent on remaining in office past January 20th and desperate to do so. He doesn’t think this is a closed question. He’s willing to do anything to remain in office and he believes enough threats can get him there.

      Note, please: desperate people do desperate things. Like make this phone call.

    • BobCon says:

      The other piece I am guessing is that like Ukraine, this isn’t an isolated action just by Trump, and there is a nontrivial chance other people in Trump’s orbit have been threatening Raffensperger and other Georgia officials.

      If so, I’d be curious whether this call has the potential to trigger conspiracy charges.

  18. tinao says:

    Oh yeah, try to break me for being a skinny white gal through all of this…I’m still here MFer. I would still like to say Happy New Year All.. Not a statement toward yinz, but a plea….

  19. cavenewt says:

    I know this wasn’t meant to be a public call, but the Georgia side was unfortunately deferential to the president in not pushing back hard enough about the crazy, so any Trump supporters listening to this will accept it as gasoline on a fire. His accusations are inarticulate and incomprehensible (Huh? Black robes?) and even his own lawyer admitted the doctored video did not prove the ballots were scanned three times, but people will hear what they want to hear. Admittedly I’m only halfway through the hour, so maybe it will improve. But, geez, more crazy.

  20. Chetnolian says:

    Two thoughts having listened right through. First, Trump believes this. He really thinks he won, because his acolytes have told him. Second, this tape might play quite well with the base. How does it feel to live in South America? One good outcome is the USA will not be able to lecture other counties on how to run elections any more.

    • P J Evans says:

      People who listen to it should be able to tell that Trmp doesn’t have a clue, even now, how elections work. (He still seems to think the actual ballots are signed.)

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        I’m listening to the tape right now and I’d say not only does he not understand how elections work, he doesn’t really care.

        He’s only interested in ‘winning!’, whatever that means, and whatever that takes (winning!) is okay w/ him.

        Astonishing call… simply amazing…

    • scribe says:

      You still don’t get it: Trump only listens to those who tell him what he wants to hear, when he wants to hear it. If someone tells him something he doesn’t want to hear, that person is “out” unless and until Trump decides that person is back “in” because he is now telling Trump what he wants to hear.

    • jdmckay says:

      Trump believes this. He really thinks he won

      I don’t assume that. I don’t know that Trump “believes” most of the consquential lies he burps up. Looks to me, over and over long before he was POTUS, he says anything he thinks will give him advantage whether by intimidation, lies, coercion… AFAIC he is just a 2 bit thug.

      As I’ve watched all this just since the election, especially all the Repub lawmakers legal actions, false claims of voting/election fraud, absurd lawsuits and now 14 (?) Senators announcing they will contest accepting electors: If these guys are capable of such forceful action absent any factual basis/evidence whatsoever, how the hell can they be trusted/believed makiing decisions about anything of import? Even the vaccine rollout has been amateruish at best, probably negiligent. And I have not heard a word about this from any of them.

      Scary stuff, worst I’ve seen in my lifetime.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        And therein lies the problem for pathological liars…

        They get so good at lying, it becomes so automatic, that after a while even they no longer know when they’re lying, or not…

        As George Costanza once said so well, “Remember, Jerry… it’s not a lie if YOU believe it.”

      • P J Evans says:

        After their charade in the Senate, after the House handed them more than enough evidence to convict – they don’t care about anything but their own power.

    • Stacey says:

      Yes, 1) Trump seems to be internally convinced that what he’s been told/shown by his peeps is accurate and in genuine disbelief that he could have lost or that this business should stand as he understands it. And, in fairness, IF I believed what he clearly seems to believe I would agree. This would be truly scandalous! (NOTE: I’m not defending him, I’m just noticing that he’s not LYING about his belief that he won–and I hitherto for believed that he was lying about it. I no longer do. He is genuinely convinced that a conspiracy he’s been told/shown is true. Which is a whole different problem!)

      2) He literally has the understanding of the voting process equivalent to a small child. He does seem to think that ballots themselves are signed and could therefore be checked for signature matches, NOW. He does not understand that doing a hand-recount of ALL of the paper ballots coming out to match the Dominion machines PROVES that no software or sending ballots through 3 times could be supported in any universe. That the overall systems of how elections are conducted is about as sophisticated as that of your Prom Queen in high school–spoiler, that would be a ‘no’.

      3) He doesn’t understand “Certified” vote counts. He kept saying ‘their numbers were certified’ then later in the call he mentions that ‘they’ve had experts and CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS look at these numbers’. And I realized, I think, he thinks that a CERTIFIED accountant looking at NUMBERS of votes CERTIFIES the votes the way the state has certified their vote counts. Stunning to see that this child is the leader of the free world, and I’m honestly not sure how the ship of state is still sailing AT ALL at this point, given than this has transpired in multiple ways every day for 4 years!

      4) I loved his ‘We have a version of that that you haven’t seen’ regarding some video his minions put together that Raffensperger said the local investigative news folks (I guess) had seen the full footage it was cut and pasted together with and reality is hardly well represented by ‘his version’. I can’t wait for them to show that and then the reality-based community shows the long one next to it, and the balloon deflates, maybe? He said at one point regarding this election worker in the video, “she’s known all over the internet” like, well, ok then. That changes everything. I guess Perry Mason will have to up date his arguments to the court, then. I mean, ‘all over the internet’, you say?

      5) He’s like a child holding a pile of dog poop he picked up from his yard, telling his teacher his dog ate his homework and still trying to talk up his grade! I love how he spins out of one argument and into another when either the GA guys just give him enough silence to start feeling insecure or push back at all. Then he just drops that line of argument and moves over to something else, that he dropped 20 minutes ago 3 times. And we put the bar down securely over our laps and we go clanking up the roller coaster hill one more time! WEEEE!

      6) Hey, Buddy? Those little multicolored elf-machines that you see dribbling jeweled basketballs on the ceiling and walls? Those aren’t voters, Sweety. And those weren’t the right kind of mushrooms you put liberally into that pasta sauce at dinner. You might want to lay down for a while ;-) Note to self: Suppliers shouldn’t be smokers of their own stash!

    • Eureka says:

      Trump needs to maintain the posture that he “believes” these things* because it’s part of diminishing his (criminal) culpability. He sounds convincing (to some) (only) because he is a practiced narcissist and psychopath.

      * “these things” referring to decades of “things” as they have mattered to his various jams / pickles / behavior

      It’s his MO. He makes his unlawful/shady commands by declaring some state of being that he wants or needs to be true as true. It’s just that when he was implicitly bossing lieutenants like Michael Cohen with declared falsehoods that represented states of being that he wanted to be true, the tasks were far less complex and the orders were understood and executed far earlier in the process. This election situation is further down the pike, has too many people/institutions involved, and represents a type of resistance to which he is generally unaccustomed — besides that it’s the only way now for him to escape direct criminal exposure (usually he’s got fall guys for that. Recalling now some shady lobbying he did in the 1990s against Indian casinos for which Roger Stone and others took the front-fall. See also Cohen’s testimony, etc. Also contrast what he’s seemed to have believed and claimed about things like COVID with what he says in the Bernstein tapes, etc.).

      Adding: call it an enforced folie a deux —> inner circle, but the delusions are socially created rather than lapses of an aware mind.

      i.e. they are “delusions” in name and instrumentality only

      • Eureka says:

        ^ and sometimes he sticks a question mark lilt at the end of these BS statements, another PR trick as to liability for claims made and such

        Narcissists do what Trump does all the time — make declarative statements that you know that they know to be false — as a test to see if you will go along

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yes, Eureka, I noticed that too. Like a child: “Let’s run this up the flagpole and see if Mom salutes. No? What about this?” His ‘ideas’ sound garbled, probably because fed to him from enablers and internet, and he sounds deflated, even medicated. But we shouldn’t forget that he is still raising money off this quest. The more his followers see him tilting at windmills, the more they continue to support this effort. He literally can’t afford to let it go.

      • Tom Marney says:

        Add to that the great likelihood that Trump and his lawyers were aware that this phone call could’ve made it into the public domain, possibly quite rapidly…

        • Earthworm says:

          Have read that the leaked version of tape must have been taped in the WH, not GA, due to better audio quality of Meadows & DJT remarks vs audio quality of GA officials.
          Who would’ve been the WH leaker?

    • subtropolis says:

      I saw through this shitbag decades ago and, for the past five years, I’ve been cautioning people about making assertions about what he “believes”. Whether he is rousing his dim-witted, credulous base at a rally, or attempting to shake down state officials, nothing — not a single statement or claim — ought to be accepted at face value.

  21. tinao says:

    All right now, you all have good sense so, here it comes… our preznit is quite the the fuck up…we still have to be here, damn it! So let us begin on the new better road.

  22. scribe says:

    Something missed in all the hurry-scurry of dissecting an idiot’s taped phone call.

    Aldo Andretti, RIP. 80 y/o, complications of corona.

    Aldo was Mario’s identical twin brother. They were born in Istria, a part of Italy transferred to Yugoslavia after WWII. Their family made it to Italy then spent the better part of a decade in DP camps until a relative in Pennsylvania sponsored them to come to America. Aldo and Mario (and a friend who later gave up racing to be a successful plumber) raced basically anything with wheels and a motor and got to be good at it. Aldo had a couple accidents, bad enough that his face required reconstructive surgery. He got out of racing, moving over to business, first a Firestone store and later owning a machine shop in Indianapolis. Wikipedia will tell you Mario talked Aldo out of racing, but Mama Andretti had a hand in that. Word around town was she wanted at least one living son. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldo_Andretti

    The inevitable is nonetheless sad.

  23. tinao says:

    Hey Jen, My kid is graduating, Dr. is finally in the famdamilily The kid is quite the adversery. I have raised quite the kitty. And I’m hopeful for us.

  24. tinao says:

    My fathers grand father was written up in the ny medical journals a long time ago…when docs didn’t know, they check in with him. He was a good diagnostition, Me Da told me the stories of it. Hell Ya!

  25. paul lukasiak says:

    IMHO, the most significant part of the call was Trump’s claim that “tens of thousands” of his voters went to the polls TO VOTE and were shocked and angry when told they has already voted — and got provisional ballots instead.

    A couple of points
    1) this was clearly a lie — its a “dog that didn’t bark.” There was no such claim in any of the various lawsuits filed in Georgia — and had there actually been any significant number of Trump supporters who were victims of absentee ballot fraud, that would have been headline news.
    2) Trump himself actively encouraged his supporters to vote absentee — THEN try to vote at the polls. In other words, Trump told his supporters to commit fraud.
    3) Any voter who did vote absentee, then show up at the polls and then tried to vote by provisional ballot after being told that their ballot had been received, committed voter fraud.
    4) any voter who has sworn an affidavit claiming that they had not voted absentee, when they had done so, is committing voter fraud AND perjury/false swearing.

    In 17 days the DoJ needs to start investigating Trump’s claims…. and prosecute everyone involved in any fraud that did occur.

  26. tinao says:

    Hey I’m a judge of elections at my precinct, and confronted with an already tabulated count I would have made them do the same. Each county is unto themselves…can we not come together on what officially counts for the federal, and then state elections?

  27. Zinsky says:

    Trump sounds like an abusive husband on this recording. Seriously. Belittling and shaming, he tries to make Raffensperger feel guilty and accuses him of breaking the law because he didn’t give Trump what he wanted – re-election. So, someone with pure intentions is actually the “evil one”. This recording needs to be studied by social scientists for the utter soulless depravity of Trump’s narcissism and the rhetorical devices he uses to force his blackhearted followers to do his bidding.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      I’m listening to it in its entirety right now…

      Just so I can say, yes, I listened to the WHOLE thing…

      And this is gonna be an hour of my life I’mma gonna wish I had back…

      Oooooooo…

      Trump just said ‘Stacey’ out loud…

      Does this ever get slanderous?

      And the call is AMAZING…

      This has to be one of the most fucked up things I’ve heard in my entire life.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, abusive behavior. He is abuser/bully in chief. This is exactly what bullies do to make themselves feel superior.

  28. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    And somewhere quiet, most likely an extremely cold corner of hell, the ghost of Richard Nixon, listening to the tape, does an absolutely epic facepalm and starts muttering…

    “Donald, Donald, Donald… what did I tell you?”

    “What did I tell you about having a tape recorder running?”

    “What. Did. I. Tell. You???”

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Well, yeah…

        I was thinking more along the lines of one POTUS brought down by recordings talking to another on the verge of the same fall…

        Didn’t Nixon wander thru the WH late night, talking to the paintings of previous inhabitants?

  29. harpie says:

    I wondered what Col. Alexander Vindman might have to say about this call:

    https://twitter.com/AVindman/status/1345817489981247488
    2:41 PM · Jan 3, 2021

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. @realDonaldTrump is corrupt and this call fits a pattern of corruption. In time investigators will uncover a series of “perfect” calls. Priority 1 will be uncovering corruption and protecting democracy.

  30. harpie says:

    About the call, the recording and the release of it:

    Trump, in Taped Call, Pressured Georgia Official to ‘Find’ Votes to Overturn Election
    The president vaguely warned of a “criminal offense” as he pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the call, according to an audio recording.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/03/us/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-georgia.html
    Jan. 3, 2021 Updated 10:06 p.m. ET

    […] The call from the White House to Mr. Raffensperger’s office came on Saturday afternoon at 2:41, after 18 other calls by the White House switchboard to the office during the past two months, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Saturday’s call was the first time Mr. Raffensperger had talked with Mr. Trump directly despite the president’s repeated tweets disparaging him.

    Officials in the secretary of state’s office recorded Saturday’s call, and Mr. Raffensperger told his advisers that he did not want to release a transcript or a recording unless the president attacked state officials or misrepresented what had been discussed, according to a person familiar with his direction.

    As expected, that attack came in a tweet on Sunday morning, in which Mr. Trump claimed that Mr. Raffensperger “was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”

    In a response on Twitter, Mr. Raffensperger wrote: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.” The recording of the call was made public several hours later. […]

  31. harpie says:

    Last time I read about Cleta Mitchell was in August:

    Inside Steve Bannon’s Alleged Scheme To Fleece Trump Voters Who Wanted A Border Wall
    The president’s family denies knowing anything about the scheme, but a HuffPost investigation reveals close ties.
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-arrested-trump-supporters-build-the-wall-investigation_n_5f3ee771c5b697824f9644a1
    08/20/2020 08:17 pm ET

    […] Groups designated as 501(c)(4)s, often referred to as dark money, are not required to disclose their donors or very much else about their funding sources. Bannon wanted to keep it that way. In mid-2019, CNBC reported that Bannon hired a GOP “super lawyer” named Cleta Mitchell as COAR’s legal counsel. At the time, CNBC noted Bannon was trying to “protect the identity of his contributors and works to stay in the good graces of President Donald Trump.” […]

  32. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Question for bmaz here, if he sees this…

    At approximately 52 min and 30 sec, someone named Kurt Hilburt starts talking.

    (I think it’s Kurt Hilburt… I googled the name Hilburt and found a lawyer in Georgia that sounds like this might be him)

    And he says something about sitting down for the purposes of ‘compromise and settlement’, in regards to trump’s nonsense… does this even make any sense in this situation?

    Is there an actual, meaningful point of contention in this situation that could be settled this way?

    There’s no actual lawsuit going on here, at this point, is there?

    I’m not going to pretend I’m a lawyer but I’m not stupid, either… and what I’m hearing in this call is astonishing…

    Is Hilburt (if that’s who this is) serious?

    Or is he getting nervous about what he’s hearing Trump say and is trying to put a fig leaf on Trump’s commentary?

    • subtropolis says:

      Perhaps he was becoming squeamish, knowing that the President of the United States was being recorded committing felonies; hoped to cut the call short.

  33. Geoguy says:

    DCReport.org posted an interesting article on 12/31/20 by Alison Greene titled “Republicans Have A Friend In the Company That Counts Their Votes.” Georgia switched voting machines from ES&S when Kemp was elected governor to Dominion when Trump lost Georgia. We know that Kemp otherwise cheated but he had a thing for those ES&S machines. It was Raffensperger who announced that Dominion would replace ES&S as Georgia’s voting machine vendor. This quote from the article: “The most recent Georgia election seems to be the first election in recent Georgian history not marred by voting-machine controversy other than Trump’s nakedly false claims of vote stealing and corruption aimed at Republican Raffensperger.”

      • Geoguy says:

        An article linked in the above cited: “Judge Says Georgia Must Scrap Outdated Electronic Voting Machines After 2019”

        August 15, 201911:46 AM ET
        STEPHEN FOWLER
        FROM
        Georgia Public Broadcasting

          • AndTheSlithyToves says:

            There is none–he wiped the memory immediately after being declared the winner. That way, no one could prove his cheating (IMHO Trump knows about it and that’s why he made that “sour grapes” comment about Kemp–he expected Kemp to do it again–and Stacey Abrams)..

          • Geoguy says:

            Maybe see this article at cnn.com for a summary of Kemp’s activities as Secretary of State overseeing his own election:
            “Don’t let Brian Kemp steal Georgia’s gubernatorial election”
            By Van Jones
            Updated 8:45 PM EST, Fri November 9, 2018

            • Chris.EL says:

              **Kemp overseeing his own election** how is that LEGAL?

              Could that be ground for nullifying the election for Georgia governor — do it over? Sounds like a good idea.

              This is the best explanation of tomorrow’s Electoral College event; it’s from Australia!

              https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-04/why-congress-wont-change-the-election-for-donald-trump/13017326
              ~~~~~~~~
              Maybe Pence will arrive in the building and develop a tummy ache … so Pence can avoid Trump having something to “bite his head off.”

              Trump’s terror tantrums must be something to see.

              I can’t believe Trump harassed Raffensperger 18 times before they finally recorded the call!

              • timbo says:

                It’s legal because there’s no law against it. Making something retroactively illegal is not legal in the United States. Perhaps you prefer the kind of society that retroactively will make up laws to throw you in jail?

  34. Diogenes says:

    Lot of comments here re what specific laws Trump has broken, and some of those comments are even celebrating it as a gotcha! what-a-dumbass-Trump-is moment. But laws only matter if they’re enforced. Coups go forward breaking laws beneath them.

    And there is zero time left to course-correct — impact aka Wednesday is almost on us.

    ‘He’s just not worth it.’ — Nancy P.

    • timbo says:

      Pelosi’s back in power legally and Trump is about to be not. We’ll see what happens on that exact day.

  35. philisa j webber says:

    Trump is not worth it.
    Continuing to be a nation of laws and not men is well worth it.

    If corruption and illegalities are allowed to get a pass this time, what happens next time?

  36. Observiter says:

    Two actions need to happen, imho.

    To the extremists in power behind the curtain, and their legislators, they need to be called out and weakened for ever. “Have you no sense of decency?” seems lightweight to me. I would like to believe somewhere in America there are the smarts to know effectively and efficiently how to disable them in a PR/legal/financial manner, regardless the complexities. OK, maybe I’m dreaming?

    To Trump, his properties need to go away via RICO, including Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s facing a different victim. Seems to me he gets it and he’s scared shitless. What is Trump without publicity and money, and his loving properties. Trump and his family need to be made the laughing stock of America, which would also help disable his confused troop. Ivanka for President?

    • harpie says:

      Marcy retweeted the following article, and commented the fact that Trump would be breaking a level 5 lock down:

      Trump could be planning Turnberry trip as Scots airport told to expect a high-flyer the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration
      https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/donald-trump-could-be-planning-turnberry-trip-as-scots-airport-told-to-expect-a-high-flyer-the-day-before-joe-bidens-inauguration/
      January 3, 2021, 2:03 pm

      What caught my attention was the military surveillance/preparation on NOVEMBER 12 … only NINE days after the election.

      […] Airport sources said surveillance planes appeared to lay the groundwork for Trump’s arrival in November. An MC-12W Liberty – a US Air Force version of the King Air 350ER, which is modified for the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) role – landed at Prestwick on November 12. It made a number of flights over Trump Turnberry.

      Another US Army aircraft that visited the airport on November 12 also carried out surveillance flights over Trump Turnberry.

      A source said: “The survey aircraft was based at Prestwick for about a week. [until about 11/19] It is usually a sign Trump is going to be somewhere for an extended period.”

      Some media outlets in the US have speculated that Trump would announce a 2024 re-election bid during a flight on one of the President’s official Air Force One planes on inauguration day. […]

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I find it interesting that Trump would flee to Scotland, where he is most likely under investigation for laundering money thru his Scottish golf courses. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sturgeon-insists-trump-will-face-accountability-if-evidence-backs-claims-over-golf-course-finances-jd0z6x0fw That is one of dozens of articles about the subject.

      Also, in spite of the decision regarding Assange, the US–UK Extradition Treaty 2003, ratified by the US in 2006, makes it highly unlikely that Trump can wall himself up at Turnberry and avoid facing the music back in the USA.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      Looks like Trump is getting ready to flee.

      Knowing that NY State might well file suit before Biden’s oath stops reverberating in the DC air, he’s clearly decided to play it safe and be out of the country. A Scottish extradition hearing will be just enough of a speed bump to keep him a step ahead of anyone in pursuit. It’s under 10 minutes to Prestwick, then on to Москва (about 1,600 miles) or St Petersburg (about 1,200 miles): add 400 miles to stay in international airspace the entire trip. That’s 3-4 hours in a decent corporate jet.

      He’ll be gone like a cool breeze.

      Will he actually do it?

      His base clearly doesn’t think Russia is problematic; he can tell them that the Comet Ping Pong crowd nearly got him, but he’s still fighting for them, and when he’s re-elected in 2024 it’ll be payback time. If he’s convicted in absentia, it’ll just be more fake news: if not, he’ll return vindicated.

      Russia will be happy to give him a media platform, which might be a challenge in the US once the lawsuits start (if he gets anything going here at all). So he can retain his influence over his base (and, he hopes, the GOP).

      He hates NYC because they’ve mocked him his entire life, and Palm Beach isn’t going to let him live at Mar-a-Lago (did he move to Florida to test PB’s reaction to his permanent residence as part of his exit strategy planning?). If he’s welcomed in Russia as another oligarch he can have pretty much anything he wants, including a dacha on the Caspian; he’ll pay the rent by saying anything Putin needs.

      Psychologically, as long as he can twist it into something he feels is a win, he’ll be fine with it; it’s what’s in his head that counts to him, not real life.

      I’d hope our law enforcement is smart enough to consider a plan for this eventuality–especially for the first steps when the Secret Service is around.

      But I think he’s as good as gone.

      • PeterS says:

        And if he’s still in the US come March, what will you think? What I think is that these stories of Trump fleeing to Scotland/Russia or wherever are drifting too close to conspiracy theory land.

        • Rayne says:

          They’re not conspiracy theories when they’re grounded in fact; it’s reasonable speculation when the Prestwick airport has been told to expect an aircraft used by the White House arriving the day before the inauguration. It’s reasonable speculation when the U.S. military begins surveillance of an area in Scotland the week following the election, matching its practice for security screening ahead of presidential visits abroad.

          Or do you think U.S. voters simply want to piss away more money on defense spending near one particular Trump golf course for no particular reason?

          That may be the alternate reason besides Trump’s possible arrival in Scotland, though — a last minute opportunity to bilk taxpayers for military expenses, not unlike the $17 million-plus the USDOD has already spent at Trump’s Turnberry course during his administration. It’d be revenue which could be divided across at least ten different Scottish business entities Trump uses to operate at that course.

          And there’s the fuel deal between Prestwick airport and the USDOD which had been put on the back burner when Congress got wind of the military spending at Turnberry. With the change in USDOD leadership, did the deal get closed after the election to the possible benefit of Trump org? Or is that too much like a conspiracy theory for you, too?

          • Chris.EL says:

            If you’re Trump and you are aware of your *illegal* activities, you want to avoid all that — just a short submarine ride to Russia (from Turnberry).

            No wonder Trump has been such a bootlicker to Putin, lo these many years!!!!

            Time to watch Hunt for Red October again — sing along with the sailors/submariners…

          • PeterS says:

            Fleeing implies permanently relocating. Of course he will take foreign holidays.

            (And IF he was to flee, my guess would be a ME country).

            • Rayne says:

              Verb
              flee (third-person singular simple present flees, present participle fleeing, simple past and past participle fled)

              (intransitive) To run away; to escape.

              The prisoner tried to flee, but was caught by the guards.

              (transitive) To escape from.

              Many people fled the country as war loomed.

              Thousands of people moved northward trying to flee the drought.

              (intransitive) To disappear quickly; to vanish.

              Ethereal products flee once freely exposed to air.

              I don’t see anything about timing of removal from Point A to some Point B, only that the Scottish airport closest to Trump-Turnberry is expecting a White House aircraft the day before inauguration. As for where he’ll eventually end up: what a coincidence that agreement between KSA and Qatar about airspace this week. But Turkey is home to an existing Trump Tower site and the Trump-branded golf course in KSA isn’t owned by Trump org. Or perhaps someone will finally occupy that godawful Trump Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan.

              • PeterS says:

                Well, talk of extradition hearings (and Russia!) implied to me a pretty lengthy timescale for the removal from Point A to some Point B. But I don’t think we are disagreeing about much here.

      • P J Evans says:

        Florida, I think, for year-round golf, a currently-friendly state government, and income via Mar-al-Ego members, who he probably thinks will continue to pay inflated prices after he’s out of power. (Also Russians.)

      • Chetnolian says:

        Your story falls apart at leg 1. Whatever geographically challenged US publications might suggest I still struggle with a journey from Turnberry to PIK taking much less than 45 minutes. I know every inch of that road.

        • Raven Eye says:

          The “Principal” (as long as he is the Principal) never moves by surface transportation unless absolutely necessary. Public events — perhaps. But the Secret Service hates having him on roadways, even in The Beast.

  37. harpie says:

    Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling is holding a
    Debunk Election Disinformation briefing right now:
    https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1346190241271406592
    3:22 PM · Jan 4, 2021

    Sterling: The President’s legal team had the entire tape, they watched the entire tape, and from our point of view intentionally misled the state senate, voters, and the people of the United States about this.

      • skua says:

        What Georgia official Gabriel Sterling does here needs to be done by NPR and mainstream media for all significant lies and misinformation.

        Set up the claims vs the facts and get electors’ brains working in critical analysis mode.

      • skua says:

        Sterling’s approach was effective and what people do when they want to accurately inform people.

        How often have you seen this approach being used against Trump’s disinformation over the last 4 and a half years by mainstream media or Democrat politicians?

        • P J Evans says:

          Today Sterling is telling people to vote for Perdue and Loeffler, because “protecting the vote”.

          • P J Evans says:

            Actual text of his tweet (I got it wrong, but not a lot wrong):
            I encourage any of you that haven’t voted yet here in Georgia, you have between 7am-7pm at your polling location. And as much as this may disappoint some, please join me in voting for Senators Perdue and Loeffler. A divided government will serve Americans best right now. #gapol

          • skua says:

            Yes, Stirling is trying to boost the Repub turnout by using this method to bust Trump’s BS.

            Whereas very often over the last 4.5 years others have been repeatedly ineffectual in busting the BS.

    • harpie says:

      https://twitter.com/BrendanKeefe/status/1346181358092222467
      2:47 PM · Jan 4, 2021

      The secret Trump/Raffensperger recording was released because of the president’s false tweet about the Secretary of State. Listen to @GaSecofState tell us that there was no confidentiality stipulation & why any expectation of privacy on the call was shattered by @realDonaldTrump. [VIDEO]

      [Raffensperger: President broke privacy and tweet was false]

  38. dude says:

    Per Common Dreams
    “On Monday, Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) sent a letter urging FBI Director Christopher Wray to “open an immediate criminal investigation into the president,” noting that “the evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight.”

    I don’t suppose Chris Wray is going to be Director much longer.

    • PeterS says:

      On Twitter Mr Lieu says he believes Trump “committed multiple crimes during the phone call” with Raffensperger. I would like to see a detailed explanation about which statements rose to the level of a crime, otherwise this might seem like political point scoring.

      (I am not for a moment defending Trump, I just hesitate at these new “lock him/them up” refrains.)

      • P J Evans says:

        Trying to change the results of an election after the votes have been certified would be a crime. Cited up toward the top of the thread.

      • Chris.EL says:

        When news of the tape release first broke, @popehat was on it, immediately going over his memory of relevant statutes.

        I wonder if there is some RICO to be done here?

        MY VOTE IS TO IMPEACH TRUMP — EVEN AFTER JANUARY 20, 2021 — SO HE CANNOT HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE!!!

        Trump’s donation funds all need to be audited.

    • harpie says:

      More details here:
      https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1346110567677882368
      10:05 AM · Jan 4, 2021

      NEW: As Raffensperger suggests Trump’s call may be the subject of a local DA inquiry, two Dem lawmakers — Reps. Lieu and Rice — write to FBI Director Wray and urge him to launch a criminal inquiry based on prima facie call evidence. w/ @QuintForgey [POLITICO link]

      The full letter from Lieu and Rice: [screenshot]

    • PeterS says:

      My client was simply saying “if you investigate the hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes I discussed at length in the first half hour of this phone call, I’m hopeful you’ll find at least 11,780 votes for me”. And my client has a loose grasp on reality…

      Not the most difficult defence to advance?

  39. joel fisher says:

    And another thing: Trump lost 2 states with GOP governors; he called GA. Does anyone doubt he was contemporaneously trying to get a hold of somebody in AZ to pull the same shit? If he didn’t, it’s because of the GA blowback (mmm….excellent name for a cocktail; I want one right now).

    • bmaz says:

      LOL, nobody in AZ is taking that call. Save for the nutbag GOP chair here affectionately known as “Chemtrail Kelli”.

      • timbo says:

        Or maybe they’re just not recording it? Seriously, he’s no doubt tried to bully every GOP party chair and congressional delegation in the four highly contested states. There’s already plenty of evidence of that from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia… so Arizona is special-er then…

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      There is a bar (Round Robin) in Washington, D.C., that has a drink named for each president. I’m thinking with 45 all they will need is bitters and sour grapes.

      • P J Evans says:

        Bitters and verjuice, garnished with a couple of sour grapes? (Verjuice is grape juice, not from Concords, and it can be used in place of vinegar.)

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          How about just piss, vinegar and bitters? Drop a scorpion into the bottle for the lucky last swig.

      • Raven Eye says:

        When you make high-proof alcohol at winery, you take anything that has at least 0.5% sugar, pump it into a tank to ferment, and then run that stuff the a few stages of distillation. You just keep adding and then pumping into the still. At the end of the season, you pop open the manhole at the bottom of the tank and the smell that rolls out across the plant will turn your stomach.

        Some of that glop would be a good place to start with a drink named after Trump.

    • subtropolis says:

      I really hope that’s not true. I’d like to think that she’s not that stupid; that this is just the fantasy of people who don’t quite understand what it means to lead a party in the Senate.

      Remember when some people were excitedly calling for Michael Avenatti to run for President? This feels like that, only somewhat less unseemly.

      • timbo says:

        Where did you get the idea that AOC would somehow suddenly become Majority Leader in the Senate if she were to beat Schumer? (Also, frankly, I think that AOC can bide her time in the House and just jump ahead to running in the Presidential primary in three years… why waste all that time trying to beat Schumer when the Presidency awaits?)

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      The next big issue is going to be redistricting. You know the Repugs are going to attempt to screw her district and gerrymander some kind of nonsense due to the population loss.

  40. greengiant says:

    Trump could be impeached as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday?
    Trump said go wild in DC to his “militia” which in parlor alternate reality is millions armed with semi automatic weapons.
    Tarrio was arrested Monday as he entered DC was found in possession of two magazine cartridges
    which is against DC law.
    The proud boys are used to being able to surround and enter state capitals with their rifles.
    As I commented the other day DC has stricter weapon controls.
    Congress does not have to take this shit and roll over.
    The US Congress is the one holding the hammer here.

    The Trump cult is saying who is going to arrest all these law breakers?
    The mayor has called up the national guard.
    One on Monday should be enough to impeach and convict.

    • harpie says:

      Follow JJ MacNab for more:
      https://twitter.com/jjmacnab

      https://twitter.com/jjmacnab/status/1346421025421090816
      6:39 AM · Jan 5, 2021

      Proud Boys leader arrested for allegedly burning Black Lives Matter banner at DC church […]
      In the past, Proud Boys have been enthusiastically supportive of the police in cities where they rallied and engaged in street violence.
      In recent weeks, that has changed.
      This was entirely predictable, and it’s been frustrating that police have been so slow to realize that these extremists are not their friends. [MORE]

  41. Rugger9 says:

    The idea to “find” the votes made me think of the recall election in 2012 for Scott Walker in WI which Walker survived in office because of the wingnut Waukesha County Registrar finding some voter bags (already opened) in her office. Note at the time she had been already warned off of election duties because of her demonstrated bias in performing her duties.

  42. Duke says:

    The part of America that wants the Liar and Queef to remain as Commander and Chief will remain like a horrible pimple on the backside of this land. The issue before the voters in Georgia, whether realized or not, is do Americans get to leave the days of bad acne behind or do we need to live with the pangs of democracy’s puberty into the future. Seriously, America needs years of dermatological interventions just to compensate for an imbalanced diet of filled with greed and rage.

    The people who enjoy the current events are probably enjoying all the pimple popping videos available 24 hours a day for public enlightenment.

    The mass hysteria may subside at some point but, I suspect there has not been enough self-harm done to those afflicted in this cult of personality. All cults are a danger to the members and some are a danger to the nonparticipating. This cult represents a real and present danger to life, liberty, and happiness.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Despite the disgusting imagery, I will agree.

      Besides, Trump is out of his mind; plus he’s crazy.

      A leader??? Give me a break. LOSER LOSER LOSER

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      The cult has been agglomerating far longer than Trump’s tenure as “leader.” It will survive his deplatforming in two weeks. To wit: Scientology after L. Ron Hubbard shed his physical constraints; cultists crave direction, and will find it. And predatory sociopaths with the talent and ambition to seize power? Look around. They’re already jostling for primacy even as they disguise themselves as mere servants.

    • PeterS says:

      How problematic was that call, legally? I don’t buy that Trump knew exactly what he was doing, and thus is more criminally exposed. Firstly, if he had a handle on election law and practice he would know that what he was asking for was legally and practically impossible. Secondly, if he had a handle on reality he’d know that the man who had withstood pressure for two months was not going to cave at (in fact, after) the last minute. 

      It sounded to me that various handlers were humouring a delusional president in the same way as tired parents sometimes humour a difficult toddler. And in fact for me the most surprising thing about the phone call was the pleading tone used by Trump at several points.

      • timbo says:

        Humoring, enabling, or conspiring? Hopefully the issue will come before a grand jury and indictments will come down. Short of that, at least some disbarrements. You don’t badger an election official just to humor someone who allegedly might have mental problems.

  43. OldTulsaDude says:

    Oklahoma Senator Inhofe has publicly announced he will not be part of the soft coup of Donald Trump.

    • P J Evans says:

      I have to think that some of them are getting calls from constituents who are Big Donors and want stability for the next several years.

      • Raven Eye says:

        If you are a real business person (and Trump certainly is not) you don’t like chaos and uncertainty. It needlessly creates risk.

        • P J Evans says:

          The US Chamber of cCommerce has come out against the seditionists. That’s Big Business, and Congress usually listens to them.

          • Raven Eye says:

            Good. It would help if some of the big players in the business world would do some heavy leaning on individual “members”.

            This really is bad for business…And yet provides further confirmation that the MAGA crowd has no clue when it comes to making that happen. America is less great than it was four years ago.

  44. Jenny says:

    GOP senators remove Lt. Gov. Fetterman from running first day of new session
    https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/spl/john-fetterman-pennsylvania-senate-removed-republicans-jim-brewster-20210105.html

    Abraham Gutman twitter1:11 PM · Jan 5, 2021
    https://twitter.com/abgutman/status/1346519659005284353
    Welp.
    Republican majority of the Pennsylvania State Senate just removed
    @JohnFetterman from the chamber. President Pro Temp Corman is presiding instead. Fetterman refused to recognize a motion that would have prevented a duly elected Democratic senator from being sworn in.

    • P J Evans says:

      One of the losing Rs refused to concede, and they’re not allowing the winning D to be sworn in, even though he has the decision of the state supreme court behind him.

  45. Molly Pitcher says:

    Trump Scotland update according to Daily Beast/Fox:

    “However, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned Trump to not come as the country is in lockdown over surging coronavirus numbers and not allowing visitors to enter without an essential purpose. “And that would apply to him just as applies to anybody else, and coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose,” she said, noting that the only travel she hoped the president would be taking was to “exit the White House.” “

  46. Earthworm says:

    Have read that the leaked version of tape must have been taped in the WH, not GA, due to better audio quality of Meadows & DJT remarks vs audio quality of GA officials.
    Who would’ve been the WH leaker?

    • harpie says:

      The tape was released, not leaked, by Raffensperger:

      https://twitter.com/BrendanKeefe/status/1346181358092222467
      2:47 PM · Jan 4, 2021

      The secret Trump/Raffensperger recording was released because of the president’s false tweet about the Secretary of State. Listen to @GaSecofState tell us that there was no confidentiality stipulation & why any expectation of privacy on the call was shattered by @realDonaldTrump. [VIDEO]
      [[…] If President Trump wouldn’t have tweeted anything, and would have stayed silent, we would have stayed silent as well. […]]

  47. harpie says:

    Also happening today:

    JOINT STATEMENT BY THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI), THE CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY (CISA), THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (ODNI), AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (NSA)
    https://www.cisa.gov/news/2021/01/05/joint-statement-federal-bureau-investigation-fbi-cybersecurity-and-infrastructure
    Original release date: January 05, 2021

    – – serious compromise;
    – – likely Russian in origin

  48. Molly Pitcher says:

    Regarding the action in the streets of DC tomorrow, Milo Yiannopoulos has just posted a picture of a business card from the FBI that they gave him as they were leaving their interview with him. He expressed a warning that they were not messing around and to be very careful tomorrow. He will not be attending any of the…activities in DC.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      I have mostly seen positive reaction and it seems like good news, but is there any way this is actually leadership sandbagging them in some sneaky manner? That is the only worm in my apple here.

      Brian Beutler:

      “It’s just not a concession from Pelosi. If anything it’s a kind of dis. Her lack of interest in oversight having been well established, she’ll put her most outspoken members on that committee, knowing their ambition will be stifled.”

      Idk

    • Raven Eye says:

      With Katie Porter, there will be at least one adult in the room. She is freakin’ impressive!!

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