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During a deposition into accusations of defamation brought by E. Jean Carroll, a woman who claimed she was raped by our former president in a New York department store in the 1990s, he defended himself by saying that, unlike porn performers, she “wasn’t his type.”

When shown a photograph, the self-appointed “genius” identified the woman in the picture as his ex-wife, Marla, until his lawyer told him that it actually was a photograph of Carroll.

It was a classic example of, “That’s no lady, that’s my wife.” And he wants to be president again.

Like our former chief executive, I’ll give the current crop of right wing extremists, election deniers, and QAnon fantasists a begrudging credit — they are good for a laugh every now and then. They have managed to inveigle positions on powerful committees in the House to satiate Kevin McCarthy’s ego, so the laughter is likely short-lived.

Recently reelected by a margin that makes an eggshell look thick, Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert recently stated that she would never attend the World Economic Forum.

Give me a break. That’s a little like Soupy Sales saying he would never accept an Oscar.

The World Economic Forum is an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland of world leaders and elite business executives. Trump used the opportunity to deliver a speech at the event to crow about his achievements as president, but then he could hardly use his business acumen as a subject in front of that crowd.

When he assured the public that he would run the country like he did his businesses, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg presciently said, “God help us.” I doubt if the Davos gathering would have been too impressed with his tenure on a cheapjack reality television program, the crown jewel of his business resume.

Boebert, who might find pizza deliveries complex, is a high school dropout. Working in Congress is probably the only high-level job she would be qualified for in America. Boebert is a shining example of how correct the Peter Principle always was.

She is kind of touchy when someone is unkind enough to bring her academic history up. She needn’t be. People are painfully aware of it 10 seconds after she opens her mouth. Along with Madison Cawthorne, who even embarrassed voters in North Carolina (no easy feat), and Don Jr., she thinks higher education is enormously overrated and expensive. That is especially true when you figure the cost of college as compared to a stay in the maternity ward.

A lack of education might also be a key component in the future viability of the Republican Party. If this woman stands for anything even remotely admirable beyond a laugh quotient, she is evidence that anyone can rise to a position of prominence in America.

A few of the others, hatched and emboldened by the ethical corruption and contempt for the truth unleashed by our former president, are not very funny at all.

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On Jan. 3, New Mexico State Sen. Linda Lopez’ 10-year-old daughter was awakened by what she thought was a spider on her face and found sand all over her bed. It turned out that the sand was actually dust from a bullet impacting into sheetrock on the wall a few feet from the little girl.

Police discovered a total of 12 bullet holes in the Lopez home in Albuquerque.

A few miles from the scene, a car was stopped for having an improperly displayed sticker on its license plate. The silver Nissan was being driven by an ex-con named Jose Trujillo, who had an outstanding felony warrant for trafficking in weapons and drugs. In the trunk they found a Glock handgun and an AR pistol. Casings from the Glock matched the ones fired into Linda Lopez’ house.

The car, however, belonged to Solomon Pena.

Pena was a candidate for State House District 14 in the November elections. He lost badly and took the loss even worse, going one step further than the man he admired so much. He not only claimed the election was fraudulent; he hired four men to get even.

Pena, too, had spent time in prison for a “smash and grab” robbery. (The Republicans sure can pick their candidates, can’t they!) Police believe it is likely that he met Trujillo, who was incarcerated at the same time. It is alleged that Pena supplied money and weapons to Jose Trujillo, his father, Demetrio, and two others to fire bullets into the homes of people who Pena believed had thwarted his political aspirations.

Authorities believe that Pena also participated in at least one of the four shootings. Fortunately, no one was injured but, at one point, Pena instructed his hit men to fire lower because the people inside the houses were likely taking refuge on the floor.

Pena had a great admiration for our past president and castigated anyone who callously suggested that Trump was a blundering incompetent.

His post on Jan. 9, “When we finally defeat the rigged NM elections, oh, the hero I will be! MAGA nation 4ever!” suggests that, not only being a dangerous criminal, Pena also shares a trait that the country had to tolerate in his mentor—baseless delusions of grandeur.

One last note: I would like to bid a sincere and fond farewell to Tom Weakley. He was a gentleman of the old school in the best sense of the term. I never met him when he didn’t offer words of encouragement to me. His life was devoted to making the world a better, kinder place, whether it was by humanitarianism, hospice, or humor. His passing is a great loss to all of us.

His request to vote Democratic in lieu of sending flowers is quintessential Tom.

Alden Graves writes a regular column for Vermont News & Media. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of Vermont News & Media.


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