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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 07:45 PM
Number of posts: 51,549

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Award for Excellence in Police Reporting

Last month I was at a stop light in Blythe CA. When I heard a loud bang looked up and saw the rear end of someone wearing jeans on my windshield. I described this individual (referred to as Person -1 below) to police as someone who looked like he was from the gang that Walter White took out at the end of Breaking Bad (the policeman referred to him as a well known local "tweaker" ) . I noticed lots of tattoos all over him. He had jumped on my car in order to avoid being hit by the car next to me.

Next to me was a little Smart Car that collided at slow speed into my car. Two very large gentlemen who looked like they could have been from Best Buy's Geek Squad had somehow been miraculously wedged into what now looked like a child's battery operated toy car.

Smart Car (Vehicle -2) backs up and P-1 gets off my car reaches into his pants and pulls out a nonexistent gun and proceeds to fire it into the Smart Car yelling "bang, bang, bang, I am going to fucking kill you". I notice that the two geeky looking people in V - 2 looked like they had just encountered that monster from Stranger Things, have lost all of the color in their faces, and push the accelerator and the Smart Car slowly goes around P-1. P-1 picks up an imaginary rock and throws it at V-2. P -1 runs up to the Smart Car and kicks the rear bumper as it "speeds away", then jumps into Vehicle 1 and they pursue Vehicle 2.

I am sitting in Vehicle 3. I put on my blinkers, exit the vehicle and walk into the donut shop which is adjacent to the incident sit down and call the police. This donut shop, like virtually all of the donut shops in CA is owned by a Cambodian refugee who I had talked to the day before and discovered that he was one of the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians resettled under a program I managed in the 1980's. Free maple bar while I wait for the police.

Today I called my adjuster who I hadn't talked to in a month. I said "Dee, I am not sure if you remember me but I had a small claim in Blythe". He responded without hesitation, "Mr. Grant everyone in my group knows who you are.".

He advised that everyone in his group knew who I was, that the seven page police report had been memorized by several of the staff and was quoted at the daily zoom meeting.

The officer did a remarkably good job in writing down all of the details and reading the 7 pages made me laugh until tears streamed down my cheeks. I include two paragraphs. The mixture of methamphetamine culture crashing into two huge guys trying to make a get away in a little Smart Car while catching up on the crimes of Donald J Trump created a Mel Brooks type juxtaposition worthy of Mel Brooks. That the policeman captured every detail deserves an award for police reporting.

Party # 2: P-2 was driving V -2 (Smart Car). Pinchbeck was in the front passenger seat.
P-2 saw V-1 (Chevrolet) stopped at the stop sign of Willow and Hobsonway, V-2 turned southbound on the 100 block of south Willow. P-1 (Singer was in the driver seat of V-1, P – 2 heard the horn from V-1 honking and saw P-1 flipping off P-2. V-1 left the area. P-2 saw V-1 was stopped at the intersection of Hobsonway and Main. P-2 saw P-1 exit V-1’s front passenger seat, walked towards V-2, act as if he removed a firearm from his waist band and point it towards P-2 and W-1 yelling, “I am going to fucking kill you!”. P-2 fearing for his and W-1’s safety drove away. V-2’s front passenger side bumper collided with P-1. V-2 fled the scene. P-2 saw V-1 was following after him. P-2 telephoned the Blythe Police Department to report this incident.

Party #3 P-3, Grant P-3 was driving V-3. P-3 was stopped at the stoplight at Hobsonway and Main Street facing eastbound. P-3 was on his cellular phone checking the news about President Donald J. Trump being impeached. P-3 heard “bangs” the P-3 saw P-1 on top of V-3, P-3 saw P-2 and W-1 in V-2 (Smart Car). P-2 and W-1 appeared to be in fear of P-1. P-1 did not appear to be injured. V-2 left the scene. P-1 picked up an unknown item off the ground and threw it at V-2. P-1 entered V-1 and drove after V-2. P-3 telephoned the Blythe Police Department to report this incident.

Trump working effectively to destroy the Republican Party in Arizona

Here is the synopsis of the WP story in the Political Wire

Trump Threatens to Start ‘MAGA Party’

January 23, 2021 at 6:57 pm EST By Taegan Goddard —526 Comments

“Former president Donald Trump threw himself back into politics this weekend by publicly endorsing a devoted and divisive acolyte in Arizona who has embraced his false election conspiracy theories and entertained the creation of a new ‘MAGA Party,'” the Washington Post reports.

“In a recorded phone call, he offered his ‘complete and total endorsement’ for another term for Arizona state party chairwoman Kelli Ward, a lightning rod who has sparred with the state’s Republican governor, been condemned by the business community and overseen a recent flight in party registrations. She narrowly won reelection, by a margin of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, marking Trump’s first victory in a promised battle to maintain political relevance and influence after losing the 2020 election.”

To understand the very unusual dynamics of what is happening you have to understand what a nut job Kelli Ward is.

She lost to Martha McSally in the primary to run against Sinema. It was a brutal primary and McSally's accounts were depleted and she narrowly lost to Sinema. One of the issues that came up was Kelli Ward's previous support of conferences to discuss how the government is using chemtrails to poison the population.

One of the reasons that McSally was appointed to the Senate was the belief that if they appointed anyone else then Ward would do another primary challenge and likely win.

How off the rails is Ward? During the primary she booked a ticket to Mara Largo and paid a hefty fee to have a one on one picture with Trump. They made her promise not to use it in campaign literature because they knew she would lose and they were endorsing McSally.

So now that Ward's antics have helped turn two AZ Senate seats blue which provided the coat tails to help AZ go Biden business/institutional/Mormon/regular Republicans banded together to defeat Ward as State Chair of the Party and Trump intervenes and barely, barely drags Ward over the finish line with 51.5%.

He also commits to the idea of a MAGA Party.

McConnell will be discussing this in depth with the Republican Caucus and they will face the realization that the Impeachment trial provides them a one time possibility to remove the man that is out to destroy them.

If Trump is convicted it will be because instead of just shutting up and sitting in silence he had to try and drag the AZ Republican Party into his corner.

How quaint, they are trying to bait the Master, the Master-bait-or.

The carefully orchestrated drip drip drip of key Republicans indicating that they intend to support impeachment and or removal of Trump reveals that Republicans with a long game are trying to grab the golden ring of today's Presidential GOP Merry Go Round; eliminate Trump permanently from future political office.

If they don't they will have to tolerate and participate in an increasingly delusional game of double down that has already pushed the Republican Party into a high wire act of chicken on a wire that is fully electrified, there is definitely fun in the set up but the finale is not going to end well.

The Democrats are providing a lifeline, one with costs. It will cost the Republican Party a lot in the short run as the Trumpsters will go wild and they will lose some elections but if they do nothing the Trumpsters are going to go wild and lose some elections so this allows a bounce back towards the end of the decade.

So what is it with the leaks, the constant "Donald there is more" drip drip drip "bad news"?

Axios is now reporting that there is a "better than 50% chance that McConnell will vote to convict". So the first thought I had was that they were trying to box in Trump and get him to resign to avoid embarrassment. Under normal circumstances with a normal person that would be a sound strategy but to paraphrase the great Bill Russell "they knew how stubborn Trump is and Trump knew that they knew how stubborn Trump is and they knew that Trump knew that they knew how stubborn Trump is" so they knew that he isn't going to resign (unless he could monetize it somehow).

So Cheney and McConnell, et al, are not trying to box him in, they are close to having the votes but need Trump to add more kerosene to the gasoline and so they appear to be trying to provoke Trump into making a spectacle of himself in such a way that it could push another 6-8 Senators to either vote for conviction or stay home (all that is needed is two thirds of those Present)

They are trying to bait him into a cry baby fit where he complains that none of the Republicans lifted a finger, that he did all of the work and now he was going to give them real pay back, you know the same tired crapola.

Trump has mastered one skill: baiting the media. When there is one outlandish lie discovered or one outstanding failure of competence Trump baits the media with another outrage so that the last one is forgotten. (Who, except the political addicts remember Trump's seditious call to the Georgia Secretary of State?

The thing is that the easiest person to bait is some one who is a "bait-or". Its like the easiest person to close is a salesman, they already buy into the structure of the conversation, you just need to land a hook.

And so it is with Trump. In order to give them just enough critical mass to pass a conviction they just need a little push of stupidity, aggression and narcissistic self delusion to get a couple of Senators to vote for conviction or even "self quarantine" during the conviction vote.

It is likely to work because if it is easy to bait a regular ole bait-or it is that much easier to bait a Master and as everyone knows Trump is a Master-bait-or

The Senate Solution

I went to bed last night with a confidence that the red mirage would fade but my stomach in knots because it was clear that our hopes in the Senate were not going to be achieved.

Mitch McConnell is going to do everything he can to prevent anything worthwhile getting passed. It would mean at least two years of no solution for legislation that is widely desired by the American public: DACA, TPS, Climate Change and on and on.

I believe that this is the most likely scenario:

Mitt Romney (who voted for impeachment) will pioneer a group of 8, 10 or 12 with equal number of Republican and Democratic Senators (Tim Kaine is the most likely leader on our side). This group will undertake to negotiate compromises with Speaker Pelosi. This "Gang of 10" will function like other gangs to break up intransigent back log by the Republican Leader.

The most likely members are Republican and Democratic Senators from purple states or states dominated by the other party. The disgusting Collins is an example on their side. Mark Kelly (who faces a re election in two years is an example on our side).

The members of this group will have immense power and their stature will be enhanced and their re election made easier.

It will allow Republican Senators who dislike McConnell to go around him.

It will also be good for President Biden because he will be able to bring home concrete legislation that Americans want.

I do not believe that the filibuster will be an issue because the compromises will be universally popular, they will start on issues that are widely supported and only sabotaged by McConnell. They will be resisted at great peril.

The overall impact would be to lower the partisan temperature and a wide majority of the people would welcome a more practical approach. I believe that this is a big win for the Democrats because if we can get to a rational discussion of the issues with less anger a large majority of the people will agree with Democratic proposals.

We won't get everything we want but we will be able to craft solutions, like accepting the ACA that will improve the quality of life for Americans and improve the quality of discourse.

Senator Romney clearly is looking for two things: a defining moment in history and exorcising Trumpism from the Republican Party. There is already a strong media constituency to promote this with the Lincoln Project folks.

Don't know if this is what is going to happen, it just seems the most sensible. President Biden is also finely tuned, with his experience and relationships to make this work.

If Trump sees the 1st time/youth vote moves of GA,TX, FL, and Iowa

and realized that he could lose those three along with more heavily reported swing states and realized he is looking at a humiliating defeat I predict he will fake a relapse so he can blame it on Covid.

The numbers in those states are staggering.

The Trump supporters are showing up but it is looking a lot more like Biden supporters are being under reported by 2-3%.

Trump has a hard ceiling and the higher the early vote the more disastrous for him

He has no capacity to take it like a grown up man and will manufacture any fiction to shift blame.

They are already putting together a media platform that will,among other things,fill in the void of the ailing Limbaugh.

They are all trending in the right direction. This one and FL are daggers into Trump campsign

Bloomberg really came through in FL. Not just $ 100 million but spent it smart.

Cook just moved 11 house seats towards Dems.

It's going to be a landslide

It simply isn't fair to say that the Republican Party has betrayed its principles.

For the last 4 years the Republican Party has adopted and been faithful to one single guiding principle

The Führerprinzip or the Fuhrer Principle


The Führerprinzip (German: [ˈfyːʀɐpʀɪnˌtsiːp] (About this soundlisten); German for 'leader principle') prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law" and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end.[1] In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.

St. Thomas Aquinas on Tyrannicide: "one who liberates his country by . . ."

Since Harmodius and Aristogeiton killed Hipparchus of Athens in 514, a minister of the last Peisistratid tyrant Hippias, there has been a long and deep philosophical and theological tradition of supporting the death of a tyrant to advance democracy. In fact it was the killing of Hipparchus that led to a golden age of Athenian Democracy.

St. Thomas Aquinas gave a vibrant defense of Tyrannicide in his commentary on "Sentences" and praises the Christian who "liberates his country by killing a tyrant".

As you can imagine the Theological calculus of Tyrannicide is both complicated and very simple. German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is widely accepted in Christendom as a saintly martyr for actively organizing an dying in an assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler.

It gets complicated when you move from mass murdering Tyrants to consider who in the leadership circle should be considered a target. It is also complicated by the record that Tyrannicide often doesn't deliver the result that was intended. Instead of delivering a country from tyranny it frequently intensifies it.

Fascinating to watch Democrats suffer with the calculus of Donald Trump's suffering. Is it right to cheer the suffering from a man who has been a non stop generator of suffering from his campaign for President that was based on such gems as organizing a modern lynch mob to execute 5 innocent teenagers known as the "Central Park 5"?

Republicans would not face the dilemma that Democrats at DU and else where face in this moral crossroads. Donald Trump would be doing cartwheels on the White House lawn if Vice President had Covid 19. If Senator Harris had it they would be quoting scripture evoking evidence of a providential action.

For Democrats compassion is our central organizing value. We can and do have conflicting spheres of interest but at the core of our complex Venn diagram is compassion. It is informs our principle on true equality, climate change, health care, regardless of what policies each Democratic faction advocates for a particular policy.

Democrats have compassion. Republicans give lip service to "thoughts and prayers".

So the cheering of Trump's suffering and the dark humor of morbidity possibilities appear to run counter to our core values. It is not, it is a cathartic response, an emotional release that in 4 weeks the country and the world is likely to step away from a despotic ass who embraces nihilism to advance shameless self promotion even it it were to draw the country into war, even nuclear war. It is only natural to look forward to that transition with glee.

So turning to the question of Tyrannicide based on Theological or Moral grounds I embrace it and wish that I had been with Bonhoeffer or had taken out Pol Pot.

In our circumstance we should understand that Trump is not the Tyrant.

Trumpism is the tyrant and is what must be killed.

Here is where Tyrannicide gets tough. While there are hardcore racist evil doers that are beyond the pale among the 40 million in his base there are also tens of millions who are just low information people who have been trapped in a con.

Here is how we kill Trumpism. When you have a relative or friend or a work colleague that may now question their allegiance in Trump, embrace them. Don't gloat and refrain from reminding them that you told them so.

Target one or two people and don't fact check every thing they are saying but find an "off ramp" where they can depart from the highway of hate. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s great gift to the country was creating an off ramp for millions of people on the edges of bigotry so that they could take the burden off.

So to kill Trumpism, the terrible Tyrant of our time, we need a 20 point landslide. We need to build off ramps for those that we know that might be weakening.

Ironically history often gives us an icon at an iconic moment. Joe Biden may not be the greatest example of Democratic Political Leadership of our generation but he is the Iconic symbol of Democratic compassion.

Yesterday I had the chance to do an act of Tyrannicide. I was meeting an elderly client who voted for Trump and was a Republican all of her life. Politics hadn't come out but as I was leaving she thanked me for visiting her and wearing a mask and said, "be safe".

I said I am very careful and she said I wish the President was careful and she was rather disappointed that he was careless. I asked her if I could play a 2 minute video and I showed her the video of Brayden Harrington, Biden's friend who stutters.

She teared up and thanked me for showing her such an uplifting message during such a dark time and a little act of Tyrannicide diminished a little bit of Trumpism.

All we have to do is to talk to people the way Joe Biden does and we will vanquish Trumpism as a viable political national strategy, like the "Know Nothing Party" that pre shadowed it forever. It is the Tyrannicide we can all participate in.

Trump was 100% successful in meeting his strategic goals yesterday. Again the media falls for it.

To be sure Trump has a losing hand and made it worse.

He probably will lose 3% in the polls and it is looking like a 57% to 43% popular loss in 5 weeks.

And yet, at this point Trump would be happy with that.

So now the media is talking about how rude, chaotic and racist Trump is.

Everyone already knew that.

This wasn't the "beginning of the end of the Trump campaign" it is very near the end of the Trump campaign.

Trump knows that and that isn't his main concern at this time.

On Sunday the New York Times outlined specific facts that outlined

1) An elaborate criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud
2) The greatest national security danger in the history of the United States
3) Trump's overwhelming failure as a business leader
4) A complete con perpetuating a series of flimsy PR images that are no longer credible
5) Paying lower taxes than the lowest salaried members of his base.

Paying taxes is the most personal interaction most Americans have with the federal government. There is a widespread perception that it is basically unfair that people that work the hardest pay an unfair share.

It is the one and only thing that can split his base. It is likely that if the charges were widely documented and proved that Trump wouldn't lose 3% but 15 to 20%.

But more importantly, much more importantly is that it would become the dominate theme in the close out of the election and a call for a Special Prosecutor would become a major theme in the last weeks of the campaign and would be confirmed with a landslide loss.

So Trump is going to do everything to get the criminal tax story off the front pages.

He did that yesterday. The media is outraged and distracted.

And guess what, all of the Republican Senators running for re election are not being asked about their opinion of $ 70,000 hair cut deductions, and the clearly illegal $ 70 million refund on a debt where he retained value (which is clearly not allowed).

There are no published stories today about Trump's former campaign manager who appears to be a central figure in a $ 140 million scheme to skim money from the campaign. Oh and by the way this same individual was threatening to commit suicide and is under custody.

So yes it was a revolting shit show.

But it wasn't criminal, it distracted from a much more devastating story.

Yes the NYT will reheat the story but the momentum will not be the same. There is something about the life of an expose that has an organic heat when it starts that can reach a boiling point but if it is interrupted and reissued seems contrived and less powerful.

Yes Trump lost politically, yes he is going to lose by a landslide.

But what he was able to do was to take the clearly criminal charges off the front burner and right now that is his over riding concern.

In the meantime Trump still thinks he has a chance to win the election because there could be some terrible Biden gaffe or some outlandish rumor that takes off. But even if he loses his main concern is too try and minimize his criminal exposure.

All of his shit stirring is simply repeating what he did with his bankruptcies: He created such chaos that he could force the banks to accept his terms because to fight him would see him burn down the assets (figuratively) and cause further losses. Trump is trying to generate widespread violence and civil unrest so that he can negotiate a peaceful transition with a global "no prosecution" agreement.

People think that Trump is stupid. He is not. He understands numbers. His projections on the morbidity of Covid 19 to Woodward (about 5 times a flu season) is pretty much on the mark. He knows he is almost certainly going to lose but he wants to be able to lose without having any criminal prosecution for the crimes he knows he has committed.

A chaotic racist debate performance is much better than a detailed discussion of his criminal tax history and a listing of ridiculous payments on haircuts (and the rest) that even much of his base will start to question.

Sorry George Takei but you are wrong on one key point

Mr. Takei is one of the great prophets of our age, he really is and his writings are thought provoking, humorous and kind.

Today Nevilledog posted this excellent thread which recounts his family's internment and the need for solidarity in opposing this administration. If you missed it please read and rec it.


But he is dead wrong on one point:

Today, I have no doubt that if something similar happened to one group of people, there would be massive protests and an upswell of support. From this I understand thatwWe have learned much as a country. But it’s also very easy for us to forget, to be misled, to diminish. /6

Today something very similar to the internment of 112,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residents of three states (WA OR and CA) has happened.

Nearly 600,000 legal residents of the United States holding social security cards, living legally in the US for over 20 years will have their legal status taken away and can be forced out of the US without any further legal recourse.


A federal appeals court has upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to take away legal protections for 400,000 immigrants, who could be deported next year if he wins reelection — despite having put down roots in the US over years or even decades.

Citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan have been able to stay in the US through Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a protection typically offered to citizens of countries experiencing natural disasters or armed conflict that allows them to legally live and work in the US. Against the advice of senior State Department officials, Trump tried to end TPS for those countries starting in November 2017, arguing that conditions have improved enough that their citizens can now safely return.

The TPS system was initiated under the Bush Administration and continued and extended under the Obama Administration. The legislation was repeatedly passed by near unanimous bi partisan support. The reasoning was clear, if a country was destroyed by an earthquake, hurricane or civil war it was fruitless to try and send undocumented workers back where an economy didn't exist.

In the first case we need these workers. I know one TPS worker whose boss told me that if he were to leave he would have to hire 3 workers to replace him because he had over the years (he was hired when he was 16) gained a combination of skills no other worker has.

Beyond that it was good for rebuilding the broken economies because these workers send money back to their families.

They enrolled in the program under draconian, but fair, restrictions. You can't break any rule or you go home. I knew one fellow who went with friends to visit relatives in Toronto. He could not return to the US and was returned to El Salvador where he hadn't been in 15 years and had no connections.

I was walking with one TPS fellow near midnight in an urban area and with no cars within miles crossed the street. Reaching the other side I turned to see him waiting patiently for the "do not walk" sign to turn. Another fellow went to play soccer with some Mexican friends. When he saw that after the game they all had a single beer he refused the ride and walked 8 miles home because he didn't want to be in a car that might be pulled over for a DUI.

They have married American citizens and they are parents of American citizens.

They lived here legally for decades. Only one politician targeted them.

One of the elements that they agreed to was that they agreed that they would have no legal standing to sue if the TPS was revolked so today's ruling was not a surprise.

Over the years I have arranged to be added to the speakers list for the demonstrations for DACA or immigration reform. I got myself added to an AFL CIO state round table discussion of immigration issues (at least they knew about it at the AFL CIO). I have badgered a few TV appearances but there is no traction. These folks from Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal and elsewhere have no profile.

So today, George, a group of people 5 times larger than the odious internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese Residents just lost all of their legal standing. If one of them is involved in a traffic accident (like the SD Attorney General) they will be taken to jail and handled to ICE even though they never committed a crime and returned to a country they have not seen for decades, many leaving when they were children.

They will never appear before an Immigration Court.

Fascism doesn't require mass murder and ovens. It can be done with cages for children or by simply moving one group of people from the legal side of the ledger to the illegal side. Their lives can be destroyed in the same way that Dredd Scott's was with just a movement of a pen on paper.

So, I love you to death George and my daughter's initiative in getting your autograph consists of my entire collection of autographs but today 600,000 legal residents lives were put into jeopardy and there will be no demonstrations. It will not rise to be noticed even on MSNBC and even caring communities like DU will hardly notice.

This is how great countries are made into mean trivial pathetic embarrassments, one petty but devastating injustice at a time.

And no unfortunately the massive protests will not result in bodies in the streets but there might be some very eloquent tweets and facebook postings.

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