Saturday, June 5, 2021

Emperor News

Doña Juana "la Loca", the mad queen of Castile, 1479-1555, as depicted by Francisco Padilla (1877), via Wikipedia.

I may have a scoop here: The Antisocial Medium, sometimes dismissively referred to as "Trump's blog", which was permanently canceled a couple of days ago

Former President Donald Trump’s blog — a webpage where he shared statements after larger social media companies banned him from their platforms — has been permanently shut down, his spokesman said Wednesday.

The page “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” has been scrubbed from Trump’s website after going live less than a month earlier.

It “will not be returning,” his senior aide Jason Miller told CNBC.

has in fact returned, or been reconstituted, or cloned, apart from the scrubbed "From the Desk" page, in the spot where it existed four and a half months before it was officially announced and from which it never actually left, on the "News" page of his website, formerly known as (it was from the office before it was from the desk), where all the content of the short-lived "blog", along with all the earlier posts (25 January to 4 May), before the "blog" existed, and a good deal of new stuff from the last couple of days, the official closing of the "blog" was really just two days, 29 and 30 May, following which he just quietly resumed posting on the "News" page as if nothing had happened, with a Memorial Day message obviously 100% by Stephen Miller:

On this Memorial Day, we remember the fallen heroes who took their last breaths in defense of our Nation, our families, our citizens, and our sacred freedoms. The depth of their devotion, the steel of their resolve, and the purity of their patriotism has no equal in human history. On distant battlefields, in far-off oceans, and high in the skies above, they faced down our enemies and gave their lives so that America would prevail. They made the supreme sacrifice so that our people can live in safety and our Nation can thrive in peace. It is because of their gallantry that we can together, as one people, continue our pursuit of America’s glorious destiny.

"The depth of their devotion, the steel of their resolve, and the purity of their patriotism" is signature Miller, and so is the careful reminder that battlefields are distant, oceans far-off, and skies high, in case you were having trouble telling the three apart.

Followed by a post clearly by Donald

"BREAKING: Alarm Went Off at Secure Building in Fulton County Georgia Where Ballots Are Kept – Building Found Wide Open”

based on a Newsmax report that swiftly turned out to be entirely mistaken, of course.

Or putting it another way, the blog never did, strictly speaking, exist. There was a "From the Desk" page, starting 4 May, where they recycled the posts ("Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America"),  from the "News" page from 4 May through 28 May, with buttons allowing faithful readers to repost them to Twitter and Facebook. I think the "News" page had Twitter and Facebook buttons too, but it doesn't have them now.

It's not difficult to reconstruct what must have happened here: the Millers, Jason and Stephen, had promised Trump they were going to develop this fabulous Parler-equivalent platform for his use, and at the beginning of May Trump was howling through the halls at Mar-a-Lago like Doña Juana la Loca demanding to know where it was, and they just cooked up that stupid "From the Desk" page (Scavino, who might have had some idea how to make it look like a real thing, doesn't seem to have had a job since January, per his LinkedIn page, so I think he's out of the organization), getting content from the "News" page and making an announcement on video

"In a time of silence and lies," a video Trump posted to the platform Tuesday night says. The video then plays news reports describing his suspension from Twitter.

"A beacon of freedom arises. A place to speak freely and safely," the video continues, showing the new platform. "Straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump." 

The technology appears to be powered by Campaign Nucleus— the "digital ecosystem made for efficiently managing political campaigns and organizations," created by his former campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

and we were all supposed to believe that it was a "platform", though it lacked anything, from interaction to visuals, that you'd expect a platform to have. That wouldn't have necessarily bothered Trump initially, since it had everything Trump got from Twitter, namely his own words, but it didn't occur to him that nobody would be able to engage with it, even his most devoted fans, with no option but the Twitter and Facebook buttons with which they could express themselves.

But by late May, his feeling of failure had become unbearable: he had them take his initial Memorial Day message

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, tomorrow people start driving in the biggest automobile days of the year. I’m sorry to say the gasoline prices that you will be confronted with are far higher than they were just a short number of months ago where we had gasoline under $2 a gallon. Remember as you’re watching the meter tick, and your dollars pile up, how great of a job Donald Trump did as President. Soon Russia and the Middle East will be making a fortune on oil, and you will be saying how good it was to have me as your President. Wasn’t it great to be energy independent, but we are energy independent no more. Shame, shame, shame. Other than that, have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
formatted to look like a photo in a Trump tweet, and had a confederate post that to Instagram with the caption, "He's back!" Which Instagram quickly suppressed. And after he'd sulked for a couple of days, Jason Miller came up with the face-saving expedient of announcing that this had never been the "platform" they'd promised:
“It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on,” Miller said via email.


Sure, Jason. There's no broader effort. There's nothing going on, except, you know, the Republican party whistling, en masse, in the dark. And Trump, now encamped in New Jersey for the summer, visiting his near-empty Manhattan office once or twice a week, and telling the walls about how he expects to be "reinstated" in the presidency by August, with no details on what process will bring this about. Part of that is raising money, no doubt, keeping the flames alive, but this also sounds like one of his bad gambles, a bet on an implausible outcome because he's incapable of understanding how implausible it is.

Trump's incompetence and laziness, and those of his faithful retainers, are getting markedly worse, that's the fact of the matter. His legal problems are getting a lot worse too, between the progress of the New York prosecution and Don McGahn's testimony in the House yesterday on the obstruction of justice charges spelled out in the Mueller Report, and so are his financial problems, as the lease on the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel goes back on the market (in November he was asking $500 million and getting offers of less than half that, and I don't think the potential buyers have any reason to feel it's worth any more to them now than it was then). The 6 January coup attempt frightened off a lot of business, Mother Jones says,
The insurrection, which Trump openly egged on, changed the calculus for many of the businesses that deal with Trump. In the aftermath of the attack, nearly all of the financial institutions that Trump dealt with said they would no longer do business with him. In fact, a number of his financial partners, including a small bank in Florida that was his most recent lender, announced they would close his accounts and return his money. Even the PGA, pulled its 2022 championship from Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf course. Meanwhile, numerous tenants of Trump properties said they would be moving out, meaning his building would no longer look so appealing to investors who don’t care about associating with Trump.

When his Vornado partners refinanced their San Francisco skyscraper, he posted an attempt to suggest he'd done it himself and was getting all the money

loan of $1.2 billion has closed on the asset known as the Bank of America Building (555 California Street) in San Francisco, CA. The interest rate is approximately 2%. Thank you!

but his creditors aren't going to believe that, if any of them looked at the "blog" in the first place.

When you see him addressing the North Carolina Republicans in Greenville tonight, watch for signs of decompensation. I don't suppose Trumpism is dead, but I have a strong sense Donald himself is on his way out.

Why rub his name in the mud when you could be rubbing the mud into his name? Welcome mat, $50.

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