Two somewhat unique takes on Trump


You have all heard an uncountable number of takes about the assassination attempt on Donald Trump’s life. But I think I can contribute two different takes you might not have heard before.

My friend, whom I call Good Boss, used the power of her female empathy to observe that Trump was a changed person when he showed up at the RNC. His brush with death had changed him emotionally. She even teared up a bit and she isn’t prone to hysterics.



My personal odometer clicked over this afternoon, and I’m sharing it more out of a sense of wonder than anything else. I must be coming out of a lot of car radio speakers.

My first audiobook was released on Audible in August 2011, so next month it’ll be 13 years. I’m recording my 86th book at the moment. I have been very lucky to establish a working relationship with some fine publishers, most especially University Press Audiobooks, an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks. They contract with colleges and universities to get their various publications narrated, and since I love to do histories and biographies, the fit is a good one.

I’ll be retiring from my day job as a tech writer soon, and narrating audiobooks will no longer be a side gig. It’s good to be able to have a craft that isn’t physically demanding and keeps me mentally active. With a life full of books, kids and cats, I am truly blessed.

Quote of the Day: The Blood of Patriots


The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. –Thomas Jefferson
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. –Thomas Jefferson

Among history buffs, Jefferson’s reputation for being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and contributing to the Constitution is well known. But his comments about revolution and rebellion have been, on reflection, puzzling.



I never thought it would be in the news again. Weren’t we over that three years ago? I planned a small dinner party for this Friday night to share a moment of thankfulness and celebration for Hungarian friends who have lived here since 1986 and have decided to move back to Budapest. After making this decision, they wisely chose to maintain a small home here and move back and forth depending on a variety of personal factors related to their family in Hungary and here in the US. So this will not be the last time we see them.

The one couple we most wanted to share this celebration with called today to say that they could not attend because they had tested positive for Covid after going to a wedding in NYC last weekend. I believe they had cold symptoms and fatigue and taken every dose of the original vaccine and each booster since Covid started. Just like Joe Biden. This was their third bout.

Hang in There, Joe!


The implosion of the lies concerning Biden’s fitness for office has been a treat. The longer the struggle to oust him continues, the better.  The convention is in 32 days.  A divided party with a damaged Biden as the nominee would be a gift to America, but that is no certainty.  He is supposed to resign this weekend, according to some lefty outlets, but Dr. Jill will likely not permit calls or meetings until he recovers from COVID.

Go down swinging, Joe! Drag it out.  The family finances and those of many hangers-ons are at stake!

The Magician’s Twin, with David Berlinski, Stephen Meyer, and James Orr


In his 1943 book The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis wrote: “The serious magical endeavor and the serious scientific endeavor are twins: One was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse.” In this Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski, intelligent design advocate Stephen Meyer, and Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge University, James Orr explore the parallels between scientific and magical endeavors, referencing C. S. Lewis’s notion that both were born from the same impulse, with one thriving and the other fading. They also explore the historical relationship between science and religion, noting how early scientists such as Newton and Galileo saw their work as uncovering divine order, in contrast with the more secular views of modern scientists such as Steven Weinberg and Stephen Hawking. The discussion also reveals deep philosophical and historical insights into the evolution of scientific thought and its complex relationship with materialism and religion.

There is but one story on the docket: The attempted assassination of Donald Trump just as he prepared to leave for Milwaukee to accept his party’s nomination for the third time.

The media melted down, Joe Biden got (at least) a temporary respite from the debate debacle, and X lit up with all sorts of conspiracy theories. We cover those three bases and then Dennis brings them home with the Parting Shot on rhetoric and the power of Elon.

It’s been a wicked googly of a week in American politics! To start, Henry appraises how the polls might be affected by both the attempt on Trump’s life and the announcement of an all-outsider ticket, with J.D. Vance in the VP slot. Next, he and Michael Dimock (president of the Pew Research Center) delve into the process of crafting public opinion polls that pin down the perplexing array of citizen sentiments. Lastly, he takes a look at another ad of the week — this time from a problem-solving newcomer running in Wisconsin’s 8th.

Was it Vladimir or Jill?


Always assume incompetence before looking for conspiracy –Niccolo Machiavelli

Sorry, Niccolo.  I have a Twitter account so I know the Trump assassination attempt was a conspiracy.  It could not be more obvious.  The shooting was a setup.  But by whom?

July 13 and Violence


On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima appeared for a third time to Lucia dos Santos and Francisco and Jacinta de Jesus Marto at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal. The children were shown a vision of Hell and were instructed to pray the Rosary daily for the conversion of sinners and an end to the war.

It was on May 13, 1981, at 5:13 pm that Pope John Paul II was shot and had his life spared. It was the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima – the first time Our Lady appeared to the children at Fatima. Pope John Paul II claimed that Mary’s hand guided the bullet and that her action saved his life.

What About Melania?


After all the vitriol this woman has endured for four years and more, it is a wonder that Melania Trump can speak positively of her adopted country. When she was the First Lady, she was insulted, ridiculed and discounted in her role.

Melania at a campaign event with Donald and Barron in November 2015, via Wikimedia Commons.

Joe Selvaggi talks with MIT Professor Charles Stewart III about the political party’s presidential candidate nomination process and what or who ultimately decides who is chosen.

Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy


Since JD Vance is now Trump’s VP candidate, I decided to get my book review posted.

The book was rather celebrated by some quarters on the left as a way for people on the left to understand the shock of Trump’s 2016 election. The book’s subtitle is “A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” I’m guessing it is due to be heavily torn apart by the media now that Vance is Trump’s VP candidate.

Was there time enough to shoot the shooter?


It’s unclear exactly how much time elapsed between the time Trump’s would-be assassin was spotted and pointed out by rally attendees and when he fired his rifle at the former president, but it may have been enough time to alert the counter snipers to point and fire at him before he was able to fire his first shot.

“We Are in God’s Hands Now”


My proposed speech for President Trump’s nomination acceptance this week:

Good evening, and thank you for that amazing welcome. In light of the events last Saturday I am very glad to be here with my wife, Melania, and my family. I am saddened that a great man, Republican, and supporter –Corey Caperatore– is not. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. I am also mindful of two other supporters who were wounded but fortunately were not killed — David Dutch and James Copenhaver. It saddens and angers me that wonderful men and women all across this country who have supported our great movement have been publicly vilified and in some cases imprisoned and killed. It is a sign that as in all ages there is good and evil, there is right and there is wrong. These are contending forces that shape the history of mankind. That everyone is capable of good and evil, that no one has a monopoly on good, is the beginning of humility and our journey to God.

Threats to the Rule of Law


Anyone watching the slugfest within the Democratic Party knows about its deep divisions over whether Joe Biden should run for re-election, or indeed stay in office for the duration of his term. But for all these divisions, Democrats are strongly united on two unassailable propositions. The first is that Joe Biden has been a great president on both domestic and foreign affairs. And second, the transcendent threat to democracy is embodied in Donald J. Trump, even if, as Frank Bruni wrote in the bellwether New York Times last week (before the assassination attempt deeply discredited harsh political denunciations on all sides), that Trump slyly remained on good behavior as Democrats duked it out among themselves. To make matters worse, Trump was going to—according to yet another Times stalwart, Jesse Wegman—strengthen a Supreme Court that goes about gaslighting the public by pretending to be moderate. This is the court, of course, that has handed down decisions like United States v. Rahimi, which held sensibly that nothing in the text or history of the Second Amendment required striking down a federal law that forbade a person guilty of domestic violence to possess a firearm.

One reason the Democrats are so panicky is that they fear they cannot count on Trump to defeat himself in the upcoming election—even more so now that images of a bloodied, defiant Republican candidate have been dominating news pages this week. But there is another narrative even more dangerous to the Democrats’ re-election story that needs airing. Biden and his administration have been far from blameless on key issues of public affairs. Indeed, their deeds are a far greater threat to democracy than Trump’s ill-chosen words. (Despite Trump’s improbable denial that he ever led chants of “lock her up” against Hillary Clinton, for instance, while in office Trump never sought to indict her or any other Democratic insider.)

Why Vance?


The vice president normally matters little, but the pick is heralded with great interest because it is one of the few actions that a candidate takes which is highly visible to the media and the public. So there is good reason to ask why Trump picked Vance and what it shows about Trump’s understanding of the race.

Vance is intended to appeal to the Rust Belt swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Trump believes this is where the race will be won or lost. Vance is a MAGA populist rather than strictly an economic or values conservative. His story of pulling himself up with hard work from poverty and a messy upbringing to riches and power appeals to many in the states Trump is trying to win. Vance is also young and dynamic, and he’s been a loyal supporter since sometime in Trump’s first term. He said that Mike Pence was wrong in refusing to throw out electoral votes on J6, which Trump appreciated.

Sweet Things


Recently, something transpired in our household that reminded me of the old days, when our daughters were smaller.

Our washer broke–started leaking water onto the floor–but that’s not the “sweet thing” referenced in the title.

The events of the past weekend dominate the discussion. Our five things for today:

  • Ann tackles the latest Trump legal news from Florida as Judge Aileen Cannon dismisses the documents case on the Appointments Clause
  • MSNBC puts their Nazi talkfest, Morning Joe, on the sidelines
  • The ladies of the United States Secret Service
  • The motives of the would-be assassin
  • How long will the attempt to “lower the political temperature” last?

Note: This episode was recorded right before Trump’s announcement of Sen. JD Vance (R – OH) as his 2024 running mate.

For Vice President of the United States


Donald Trump has chosen the junior Senator from Ohio, JD Vance. Vance, who will turn 40 on August 2nd, is the youngest candidate on a major party ticket since Dwight Eisenhower chose the 39-year old Richard Nixon in 1952.

Vance was elected to the Senate just two years ago. He was critical of Trump during his 2016 run but Trump endorsed him in his Senate race against Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan, which he won 53-47%. He was a public relations specialist with the Marine Corps during the Iraq War. He has a BA from The Ohio State University and his law degree from Yale.

He came to prominence in 2016 with his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.

Judge Cannon Dismisses the Documents Case Because Jack Smith Was Unlawfully Appointed by AG Garland.


Here is the actual order in the case. This esteemed judge made sure there could be no doubt that she was dismissing this disgraceful persecution totally, absolutely, completely. Period. A very bright moment shining forth in the gloom surrounding so much of the Federal Judiciary in our time.

*** For the reasons set forth above, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows: 1. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Superseding Indictment Based on Unlawful Appointment and Funding of Special Counsel Jack Smith is GRANTED in accordance with this Order [ECF No. 326]. 2. The Superseding Indictment [ECF No. 85] is DISMISSED. 3. This Order is confined to this proceeding. The Court decides no other legal rights or claims. 4. This Order shall not affect or weaken any of the protections for classified information imposed in this case or any protective orders pertaining to classified information. 5. The Clerk is directed to CLOSE this case. Any scheduled hearings are CANCELLED. Any pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT, and any pending deadlines are TERMINATED. DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Fort Pierce, Florida, this 15th day of July 2024. _________________________________ AILEEN M. CANNON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE