Is Trump Going To Attempt A Coup?
Barkley Rosser, Econospeak Blog, “Is Trump Going To Attempt A Coup?“
I realize that Joe Biden just held a press conference where he basically dismissed the refusal of Trump and a lot of other Republicans to concede the presidential election to Biden as “embarrassing,” laughing at Secretary of State Pompeo who earlier today talked about a transition to a second Trump term, and said it will all be over and fine by Jan. 20. Maybe, but I am somebody who has taken seriously for a long time words from people like Michael Cohen and more recently Mary Trump who have said he simply will not go willingly and will continue to refuse to accept defeat. I have watched various commentators supporting him from time to time thinking, “Will they support him if he declares martial law?” Unfortunately, I think a lot of them will.
He certainly is laying the groundwork for making an attempt. The obvious such sign was yesterday’s firing of SecDef Esper, reportedly because Esper made it clear in June he would not order US troops to move on peaceful civilian demonstrators in Washington. Rumor has it he is about to replace the FBI and CIA directors also. And the Undersec of DOD is also out. It certainly looks like he is trying to stock the top levels of the military and intelligence establishment with total toadies who will do his bidding. If he makes the move and invokes the Insurrection Act or simply declares a National Emergency, which, frankly, is in his legal power. Will these newly installed flunkies stand up to him? Who will?
I am seriously worried about this, and the more I see people like Mitch McConnell and Sean Hannity just spouting rank lies about the election, my concern grows. I hope I am wrong, but I am now afraid we may be facing a very serious showdown over this, and I see the refusal of certain foreign authoritarian leaders friendly to Trump, such as Putin, not accepting the result, as a sign that they would support him if he made such a move, and we know he really likes and admires those guys. This is a very bad situation.
I am not without concern Barkley but as long as law enforcement keeps his rabid cult members in check—-and I actually think they are a small minority of the minority who support Trump which in turn is significant portion of the minority who voted for him—I do not see any coup attempt getting off the ground. There is simply no money in it. I think all of his posturing is like a third string high school quarterback being thrust into a championship NFL game and trying to draw the other team offsides with a hard count on 4th down. Biden may never have a phone conversation with Putin and I will lose no sleep over it. He has talked with the foreign leaders who matter most and I am guessing he or his senior staff have had off the record conversations with a majority of Senate Republicans concerning how far they will let Trump go. Again they all want money and power and they get less of both if Trump is permitted to stay on— they all know how Trump rewards his yes men—the figurative bullet in the back of the head—so far.
Terry ** 2 or maybe Terry ** 10 is more appropriate.
FYI, in many computer programming languages the syntax for the exponentiation arithmetic operator is “**”.
Secret Service Oath
“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
[The Secret Service including the security detail for POTUS actually works for the US, that is us, not some elected individual with a fat head. I think that you will find that most of the military services work the same way. Joe Biden knows this. However, I say make my day. Good riddance to bad trash.]
It is time to take the trash out. It is stinking up the place.
[Dedicated to POTUS Donald J. Trump]
You Don’t Have To Go Home (But You Can’t Stay Here)
Do you know how to do what I just did to make a link and title it? Hopefully with the planned updates, we can make it easier.
No sweat! the new Congressional infrastructure initiative has included a White House remodel Joby that will convert the White House into a duplex.
It’s about fundraising for himself. Once Rs figure out he has no intention of sharing the largesse or in the Georgia senate elections this idiocy will stop. I predict the GOP will have to contribute up front to his PAC to entice his appearance. He’ll be a no show anyway.
Biden will certainly call Putin, assuming he does not leave office in January because of Parkinson’s disease (a rumor I do not buy), and will meet him as well, probably G20 meetings, if nowhere else. They met when Biden was VP. This is not a big deal, although clearly Putin prefers Trump. But Biden and Putin will be better at negotiation START extension.
If it gets rough, Secret Service will be key. But what if Trump blocks certification of results and then declares Insurrection Act? Will they throw him out if bottom line legal recognition of Biden’s victory is blocked and he is kept from being sworn in properly on Jan. 20?
For those of you who say it is all about money, maybe. But those closest to him, Michael Cohen and his neice, have long said he will super resist being removed. He may in the end have to accept and not attempt an outright coup, but he will never formally concede, at least accoeding to those folks.
My guess is that if he does try, it will not be the regular military, but those odd groups out of DOJ and DHS he called up for squashing demonstraters in DC and Portland: border patrol, prison guards, Park police, maybe some national guard from states run by pro-Trump GOP governors. With friendly SecDef, military may not be happy, but may be unable to move to undo it.
If the trump’s goon squads who were in Portland attempt to support him and endanger civilians, it is at that point, we will probably see Federal troops take action to protect civilians. Many of the retired generals are not favoring trump using any type of military against civilians. I suspect active duty military would follow suit.
This is not just abut Trump. This is also about the Republicans pushing the window. Seeing just how far they can go and learning what does or does not work toward their authoritarian unitary executive push. They learn quickly unlike the Democratic Party.
Consider this report: New Global Data on Political Parties: V-Party
This comes from this article by digby: The Anti-democrats
Masha Gessen The GOP Has Turned Into an Autocratic Party” | Amanpour and Company
Retired military command nobodies and cannot do a thing. They can talk, but they cannot walk. Active military obey orders, and with SecDef ordering them not to do anything, what will they do? I know current Joint Chiefs commander would not support it, but I bet if Trump does a coup, he’ll fire mMilley first. And even if he stays in, would he act on his own against orders from SecDef?
I think many are pollyannaish on this. Lots of Republicans would support it, way more than a lot think. He really could get away with it.
I think the ultimate block might be Ivanka. Reportedly Melania wants him to give up, but he pays no attention to her. Don Jr. and Eric seem to be all in with trying to remain in power. Maybe they can get him to withdraw without conceding and planning to run in 24, but I think this will be a much closer call than a lot think.
For Trump it is about $ as Dd indicated.
For Republican leaders it is about Maintaining Trumpist turnout in Georgia. They can keep riding the fence until Dec 14.
So many decisions. Pardon himself, run in 2024, or stage a coup. He certainly favors it. The stand by comment was an invitation for them to intervene in the election. The assertions of voter fraud was an attempt to get people to come forward with claims. He would like someone to prop him up but doesn’t know how to do it himself. Money is his primary motivation though so he will probably settle for grabbing whatever contracts and kickbacks he can and then build up his grift network to rail against the world as outsider. Reps will feed at the trough.
When Can a Soldier Disobey an Order?
July 24, 2017
In March 1968, a U.S. infantry platoon under the command of 2nd Lt. William “Rusty” Calley conducted a raid of a hamlet called My Lai in Quang Ngai Province of South Vietnam. After taking the hamlet, Calley ordered his men to round up the remaining civilians, herd them into a ditch, and gun them down. Somewhere between 350 and 500 civilians were killed on Calley’s instruction.
Calley was court-martialed for his actions and charged with 22 counts of murder. At his trial, he testified that his company commander, Capt. Ernest Medina, had ordered him to kill “every living thing” in My Lai, telling him there were no civilians there, only Viet Cong. When Calley radioed back to Medina that the platoon had rounded up a large number of unarmed civilians, he claimed Medina told him to “waste them.” Essentially, Calley defended gunning down hundreds of civilians by saying he was just following orders from his superiors (It should be noted that Medina denied giving these orders).
But Calley was unable to hide behind this defense. Every military officer swears an oath upon commissioning. That oath is not to obey all orders. It is to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It is simply wrong to say Calley had an obligation to follow any order no matter what. His first obligation was to obey the law, and the law prohibits the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians.
But it’s not enough to assert that soldiers must follow all lawful orders and disobey unlawful ones. Not every case is clear-cut. Soldiers taking orders in combat must act quickly and don’t always have time to calmly deliberate on every decision. Asking soldiers to make fine legal distinctions in combat or else face court-martial is akin to asking them to sail between Scylla and Charybdis.
This tension is resolved by rules contained in the Manual for Courts Martial. The manual is an executive order that augments the Uniform Code of Military Justice by setting forth procedural rules and providing guidance based on case law for interpreting the code. Rule 916(d) of the Manual for Courts Martial says:
It is a defense to any offense that the accused was acting pursuant to orders unless the accused knew the orders to be unlawful or a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the orders to be unlawful.
Calley was convicted under this rule. The court found that “whether Calley was the most ignorant person in the United States Army in Vietnam or the most intelligent,” he would have to have known that it was illegal to slaughter civilians who were “demonstrably unable to defend themselves” and that the order was “palpably illegal.” The court noted that, “For 100 years, it has been a settled rule of American law that even in war the summary killing of an enemy who has submitted … is murder.”…
“Retired military command nobody and cannot do a thing…”
[True of generals for the most part, but snipers not so much. Even the generals or the few that are actually respected by the troops have the power of suggestion with regards to illegal orders. For example – ]
James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution
In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.
James Mattis, the esteemed Marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s Syria policy, has, ever since, kept studiously silent about Trump’s performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”…
“Do you know how to… make a link and title it?”
Who knows? Fat Donnie’s avid support of 2nd amendment rights just could come back and bite him. Philosophers and idealogues have no power to affect political change comparable to that of a lone gunman with a Barrett M82.
I too live in terror of “The Four Seasons Total Landscaping Coup”
Of course if the election was close enough to steal these stooges would steal it. But its not so they won’t.
What this is about is the set-up for Trump’s post White House multi-level marketing scam. He has 71 Million rubes to milk and getting them worked up and believing that he was robbed is step one. Step two if monetizing his campaign donor lists. Some sort of media play. And when the rallies re-start the marks will be paying admission. Its a long con folks. He didn’t expect to win the first time. Now the plan he had back then is fueled with post covid steroids.
Melania’s Plastic Camelot
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s tell-all book about the first lady is as sordid as it is fascinating.
October 29, 2020
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is one of those patriotic Americans who went to work in the Trump White House, only to come soaring back over the gates, rejected by the host organism. Like many before her, she decided to write a book about her experiences, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, and she proffers it to us as an act of public service, although possibly also as a comprehensive case for the defense if this whole acid trip ends up at The Hague. She is another member of Plastic Camelot, the ever-changing group of personal friends, celebrities, and weirdos whom the Trumps bring close to them and then, in the manner of bored kings, dispatch to the tombs. Maybe they’re no more disturbing a collection of advisers and jesters than the men and women on whom other presidents have depended. Who’s to say that Omarosa is so much worse than Henry Kissinger? She certainly has a better record on human rights.
Collectively, Plastic Camelot represents a pillar of the Trump family’s success: their awareness that a substantial percentage of Americans who can’t handle anything more challenging than Supermarket Sweep can be manipulated into holding the fate of the world in their hands…
…One thing Melania did not want to do was go out on the campaign trail in 2016. She had other, more relaxing and enjoyable things to do with her time. “In Palm Beach. Wish to stay here. So gorgeous!” she would text Wolkoff, and “In the Caribbean—so gorgeous! Just want to stay here.” She made so few appearances during the campaign that many people assumed she had no plans to go to the White House, or possibly to stay in the marriage, if Trump won. But when she was needed, when there was a crucial job that no one else could do, Melania turned out to be a clutch player. The Access Hollywood tape came out just a few weeks before the election, and as with all sex-related scandals that emerge in the life of a politician, the country wanted to know: What does the wife think? How is she holding up? Is she humiliated? Is she staying? Anderson Cooper scored the big interview, and we imagined the familiar and ratings-goosing event: the downcast, middle-aged wife grimly forgiving her husband, talking about how all marriages have their painful moments and how the work ahead is what matters most to her. But this was nothing like that.
Melania was more like the triumphant girlfriend, not the heartsick old bag. She was serene, beautiful, and unflappable. She was unshakable from her talking points: The tape was unacceptable and Trump had apologized for it, but it was no big deal. It was just boys’ talk. “He was 59,” Cooper interjected—and she laughed prettily. “Sometimes I said, ‘I have two boys at home,’” she replied. “‘I have my young son and I have my husband.’” The real problem was the dishonest left-wing press that was organized against her husband. No matter what Cooper asked her, her hands remained calmly folded in her lap, and she had an answer for him: her husband was good and kind; her husband was a gentleman; it was the liberal left-wing media that were dishonest. Melania, it turned out, had the heart of an assassin and sound political instincts.
Wolkoff affirms what so many others have told us: that many in Trump World had no expectation of victory. On Election Night, they were as shocked and unprepared for the possibility of a President Trump as the rest of the country. They had no concrete plans for the inauguration, and a few days after the election, Melania asked Wolkoff to work on it. Flattered and excited, she agreed. The team she joined was disorganized, largely inexperienced in the ways of Washington, and lacking clear leadership. And it had a great big pile of money sitting there, at its disposal…
My hunch is that Trump will address the nation within the next month and summarize whatever evidence of fraud is available. He will take his case to the nation that Joe Biden is the leader of a party that took “X” actions, whose explanation is simple enough: steal the election. The quality of this hypothetical address is debatable, but it won’t take finding enough votes in enough states to create a crisis for the country if the case is substantial. The country will detonate if it was established that Democrats intended to steal the election, but we are expected to accept Biden anyway because to this point it can’t be proven perfectly which votes exactly were involved. All allegations are potentially lethal to Biden regardless of the state and impact on margin. Consider that there already are affidavits sworn under penalty of perjury in Pennsylvania, that, if true, fundamentally establish intent. How would Biden respond to the nation if Trump made a convincing case? We’ve read reports of rivers changing courses after earthquakes, well are there earthquakes out there?
You really need to change your news sources.
“well are there earthquakes out there?”
What you hear is sound trucks driving around broadcasting the sound of earthquakes. No actual earthquakes.
Spent 5 days in hospital, My immune system attacked my body again and wiped out the platelets. Fun few days building my platelets back up to 40,000 from 4000.
I heard Moderna is 95% effective now and after further testing. Hey, think you could write on Pfizer’s Covid and explain the difference?
If this is a coup it’s one that has no precedent in the minimal amount of trumped up evidence. It really looks like the white house just expected their summer long innuendo to set the stage for the state and local GOPers to actually carry it out.
Which didn’t happen, at least not on a large enough scale to make the outcome questionable. As John Bolton (!!!) observed on NPR yesterday “If this is a conspiracy it’s one so vast and capable that it eliminated all evidence of itself…” Once you’ve lost Bolton…
if you read the stories on right wing websites and listen to talk radio you’ll find that a good part the country still thinks that Trump won and that a conspiracy by the media and the other liberal elites is faking the vote count in several states in order to steal the election and install Biden as president…
Photo taken by the Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on March 16, 1968, during the My Lai massacre, showing mostly women and children dead on a road
The events in My Lai were initially covered up by the U.S. Army. In April 1969, nearly 13 months after the massacre, Ron Ridenhour, a GI who had been with the 11th Brigade, wrote letters to the President, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and 30 members of Congress. In these letters Ridenhour described some of the atrocities by the soldiers at My Lai that he had been told about.
Calley was charged on September 5, 1969, with six specifications of premeditated murder for the deaths of 109 South Vietnamese civilians near the village of Sơn Mỹ, at a hamlet called Mỹ Lai, called simply “My Lai” in the U.S. press. As many as 500 villagers — mostly women, children, infants, and the elderly — had been systematically killed by U.S. soldiers during a bloody rampage on March 16, 1968. Upon conviction, Calley could have faced the death penalty. On November 12, 1969, investigative reporters Seymour Hersh and Wayne Greenhaw broke the story and revealed that Calley had been charged with murdering 109 South Vietnamese.
Calley’s trial started on November 17, 1970…
[…which was just a few days after I checked in at Sand Hill, Fort Benning, GA, for my last six months of service ]