Hi Greg,

I presume you mean bloated colostomy bag Mike Pence, but I'll gladly join you in using that epithet to describe Mike Pompeo as well, he looks like one.

I have been consumed, captivated, mesmerized, shell-shocked. Certainly in shock. Emotional as can be. I have had more bouts of emotion in 4 days than I usually have in several months. I can't even begin to describe my week, beginning with driving truck all night from L.A. to Sacramento Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, the Georgia election. I had convinced myself that at least one Republican incumbent would win re-election. Hey, it was one mathematical chance in 4 that both Democratics would win, plus they were both challengers, so the incumbents have the advantage, bringing the odds even lower. I thought Warnock might win because Loeffler is a terribly weak candidate, and she has never won an election, you can see why. I thought Ossoff would lose, in keeping with the results back in Nov., when despite all the hype by left-leaning media outlets and pollsters, most of the Republican Senators won re-election. Amy McGrath didn't even come close to beating Lindsay Graham, and most of the other races weren't close either, including Susan Collins.

My tractor had working satellite radio, that was a stroke of luck, so I put MSNBC and CNN on speed-dial and kept going back and forth nonstop. When Ossoff passed Perdue at 10:53 pm PT, I was absolutely stunned. I could not believe it. When he then went on to gain a lead of over 10,000 before I finished work and went to bed. I was in a trance on my way to sleep. Showing symptoms of being in shock.

When I awoke, I started to cry. I couldn't even read or write for awhile. All I wanted to do was cry. In awhile I was on HCR processing it all, and breaking out in tears periodically, reading and writing and posting, when a poster dropped a message in all caps directing us to go to the TV. Looking back on it now, Tя☭mp went out of his way to distract and divert and essentially ruin that experience. It's a Hitler tactic, and a Republican tactic: attack your opponent at the point of strength. Hitler attacked the judiciary, the figurehead president, the members of Congress, and of course the Congress building itself, the Reichstag. Hitler and Tя☭mp are so much alike it's ridiculous. I know Tя☭mp studied Hitler and copied and learned, but he also has the constitution for it. He's a natural.

[I fell in love with that Tя☭mp moniker on HCR, had to steal it and use it]

So I went from joy and disbelief to another variety of disbelief, a horrified disbelief. More shock and awe.

I spent the entire week mesmerized and captivated and consumed, and traumatized and shell-shocked. I have had to put aside my work on my science fiction story, it'll have to wait, because this moment feels like it is the most important historical event I will experience in this lifetime. Up there with JFK's assassination, but at the time I was too young to engage and understand that event.

This combination of come-from-behind win, an unexpected majority-blue Congress, with blue WH victory, is major.

Now you mix in the White House directing an attack on the U.S. Capitol, an unprecedented event in U.S. history.

It's intense, it's critical, it's gripping. It's shocking. Good thing I am a truck driver, that's something I can do on automatic, otherwise I would just be a vegetable.

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One more thing: everyone in the news keeps talking about the remedies available, which are (1) 25th and (2) impeachment. Come on, people, I can think of lots more possibilities. He plays Russian roulette with a revolver. He has a medical event. There are plenty of other ways to get him out of office before Jan. 20. Think creatively.

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Ok, that was rude. You want to shift gears, I'll shift gears. I will go to sleep, I'm overdue for that, and when I wake up, I will watch football to chill. I don't even like football that much, but it takes my mind off everything else.

Thanks for all you do, it's greatly appreciated.

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Roland, Greg is correct: Pompayola would be the fourth in line:

Present line of succession from Wikipedia:

1. Vice President Pence

2. Speaker of the House Pelosi

3. Pro Tempore of the Senate Grassley

4. Rotting, leaky, smelly Potato from the dregs of your crisper cum SecState Pompeo...

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Okay, just from those few paragraphs, I'm HOOKED. Ordering Ronlyn's book today, along with "Dirty Rubles," which I've wanted to read for a while. (I know I can get it on amazon, but is there a better way, by which I mean a way to buy it that puts more profit in your pocket than Bezos's? I want to get a few copies so I can share w/ my sisters.)

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Thank you for posting this, Greg. I think it has pushed me into picking up a pleasurable read for a change. Have drowned in political non-fiction in recent years!

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Like you, Greg I read quite a lot-every genre- so I’m not surprised by what you choose to feature on Sunday pages. I will suggest that you consider reading the Iron Druid Chronicles series by Kevin Hearne. It’s very funny with several mythic/native characters similar in some ways to Gaiman's American Gods. If you decide to read it, let me know what your thoughts are.

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What does it take to break the spell he has on Republicans in Congress, Republicans working in the White House, Republicans all around the country? Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, George Conway, Justin Amash, and a few other converts like Nicole Wallace and Jennifer Rubin and as-always-very-late-to-the-party George Will notwithstanding (George Will !!), Republicans as a whole are so lost in their old-social-order reality that they can seemingly never be deprogrammed. They are like a cult. Brainwashed. No idea how far removed from reality they are. 74 million people voted for their cult leader. Now, at long last, it takes a President sending a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol to wake some of them up. And still most of them are asleep, lost in the Kool-Aid fantasy.

Every Republican who was alive at the time remembers Charles Manson. But the Republican Party is still oblivious to seeing that their adored leader is just another Charles Manson. What does it take to wake them up. What does it take to bring an entire population out of darkness and into the light, into reality. They live in a dream world. They are lost in that dream world.

From New York magazine:


Senior official: He’s a “fascist”

New York’s Olivia Nuzzi reports on the aftermath of the insurrection in the White House, where a senior administration official confesses the critics were right all along.

“This is confirmation of so much that everyone has said for years now — things that a lot of us thought were hyperbolic. We’d say, ‘Trump’s not a fascist,’ or ‘He’s not a wannabe dictator.’ Now, it’s like, ‘Well, what do you even say in response to that now?’”

For four years, people like this official — lifelong Republican operatives — have convinced themselves that Trump’s obvious faults were worth tolerating if it meant implementing a conservative policy agenda. These officials believed the benefits of remaking the courts with conservative justices, or passing tax reform, outweighed the risks that a Trump presidency posed to democracy and to the reputation of the country in the world. Now, at the eleventh hour, with twelve days left before Joe Biden is sworn into office, it’s clear to some that it was always a delusion.

Read the rest of the story here. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/01/capitol-riot-senior-trump-official-calls-him-a-fascist.html

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Over on HCR (Heather Cox Richardson's Substack site), I am so pleased that people are giving thought to Nazi Germany, which is my parents (and my) heritage. So often Americans act allergic to the subjects of Hitler and Nazi Germany, but truly they are useful history lessons for us now.

The parallels between Hitler and Trump, as I have been saying, are many. I find it curious and intriguing that Trump was even given a 1941 English edition of one of Hitler's books, and he studied it in the late 1980s. This little nugget has been completely overlooked by the press, because mention of Hitler is usually taboo in this society. People turn away. Hitler used much crueler and more savage means for getting into power than Trump, but in a different time, in a different place, perhaps in a country with a weaker society right now in 2021, Tя☭mp gets his chance to imitate his prime benefactor, his #1 Sugar Daddy, the biggest criminal on the planet, Putin. Controlling the vote system to stay in power indefinitely. Coercing and influencing judges, officials, the military, the state police, to control an entire society.

And so it was with Hitler. Hitler did not even have Putin's head start, because Putin used the KGB as a stepping stone to wealthiest and most corrupt head-of-state in the world. Putin also had the example of Stalin, the founder of the KGB (developed from earlier institutions of oppression), as a model for controlling the vote and crushing dissent. Hitler had zero, zip, nothing. He went on to lead a nation, and then start a world war. What an outstanding example, what a perfect historical model, for how a power-hungry individual can corrupt a nation and then a continent. Trump has been our ultimate test of the system, because he has left no stone unturned in his efforts to find cracks and weaknesses which would allow him to be a dictator. Welcome to a modern version of Adolf Hitler.

I am grateful for the mentions (on HCR) of the horrors of concentration camps, but what gets little mention is Hitler's rhetoric, his adoption (and misuse) of Bavarian nationalist sentiment and Germany's Great Depression after WWI, etc., to rise to fame and then power. No one ever points out that Arbeit Macht Frei, the famous words over the entrance to Auschwitz, was a presidential slogan not too dissimilar from Make America Great Again. It means "work makes you free, work brings joy," which Hitler used as FDR used the New Deal. Hitler brought the Germans out of severe depression, massive unemployment, poverty, hunger. Hitler was Germany's FDR, and this is not an exaggeration. Hitler is Germany's FDR gone bad. He built the autobahn, which Eisenhower copied later as President to build America's interstate highway system. Hitler conceived the Volkswagen, the Wagon of the Folks, the People's Car, which is the VW Beetle. So watching Trump act like Hitler gives you an appreciation for how a poser, a clown, a selfish money-hungry and power-hungry loser, a person who doesn't care one whit for the plight of the common people and couldn't spell the words "public service" even with a crib sheet, can use popular sentiment to take over a nation and corrupt it.

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I've been reading Fredrik Backman recently. Started with "A Man Called Ove""Anxious People", and just finished the "Bear Town" Duo, and . His writing just makes me what to be a better human. Maybe some would find it boring but he makes me laugh and he makes me cry. Every detail is present.

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