Donald Trump as President Is the Real National Emergency

After weeks of battling over funding for a worthless border wall that won’t do shit, overseeing the longest government shutdown in US history, and finally signing on to a deal to fund the government, Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over a contrived crisis at the US Mexican Border. On Friday, February 15, 2019, Trump invoked this power in a unilateral effort to make progress on the stupid border wall Congress has previously denied him. Initially, he demanded $5 billion for constructing a 200-mile barrier at the border. Naturally, congressional Democrats have repeatedly refused to go anywhere near that number. In the final deal, he got about $1.3 billion for border fencing, far less than the desired amount. So unhappy with the money and not getting his way, Trump went to declare a national emergency to get more.

So where will all this money come from? Well, Donald Trump will try cobbling together from a number of areas and redirect them for border wall construction. According to White House officials, this money would comprise of $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund or money seized by the US government, $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s counter-drug activities, and $3.6 billion from other military construction accounts. Though Trump won’t try to take anything from disaster relief, yet.
Now the fact Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in addition to a spending deal isn’t surprising since he’s been wavering on the idea for weeks. So why declare a national emergency when he’s already got a spending deal? Because Trump doesn’t want to admit he lost. Since he’s already getting less for border fencing than he would’ve gotten in the bill he refused to sign in December and caused a 35-day shutdown over it. So he’s going for executive action instead despite that it’s debatable whether he can since no emergency at the border exists.

Since 1976, many presidents have declared national emergencies since there were 31 before Donald Trump’s declaration. However, the National Emergencies Act of 1976 only allows presidents to declare national emergencies in specific circumstances. So Trump can only use specific powers Congress has already codified in law. And he has to say which power he’s using. Besides, thanks to a little incident called Watergate, the 1976 law was meant to rein in presidential power and how presidents declared national emergencies. But it doesn’t define what counts or doesn’t.

Despite Donald Trump’s fearmongering about an influx of dangerous undocumented immigrants and terrorists at the US Mexican border, no such crisis exists. In fact, there’s no significant shift in the situation in recent days or weeks suddenly rendering such urgent action needed. However, we do have lingering crises with healthcare, opioids, climate change, aging infrastructure, family separations at the border, economic inequality, environmental devastation, right-wing and white supremacist terrorism, and more. But no. Besides, Trump has spent 2 years of an entirely-controlled Republican Congress to do something about immigration. While there’s been no significant shift in the situation that suddenly renders urgent actions unnecessary.

This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has invented an immigration crisis when it’s convenient. Ahead of the midterms, he warned about a dire threat from a migrant caravan, only to essentially drop the issue after the elections. Sure, asylum seekers in the US have been on the rise, but seeking asylum is legal. But Trump’s not focusing on that. Congress won’t pay for his stupid border wall. And Trump thinks he’ll lose his base if he abandons it. So he’s creating a panic and going to any length possible to get it done.
Essentially, given the context, Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration is illegal and sets a dangerous precedent if it succeeds. Under Article I of the US Constitution clearly states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” So only Congress can make such laws relating to public funds in non-emergency situations. Thus, no one person can seize control of our nation’s public funds. And even if Trump can declare a national emergency to get the money he wants, that’s not enough to build a wall. He also needs the authority of eminent domain from numerous unwilling owners, which must be expressed by the legislature. And there’s no clear authorization here.

This also puts a test on the Republican Party’s lack of willingness to stand up to Donald Trump. After spending years of complaining about Barack Obama’s overreach, they have so far deferred to Trump and encouraged Americans to do the same. But in this case, Republicans have expressed concern that Trump’s emergency declaration might lead to future Democratic presidents doing the same on issues like healthcare or climate change. Of course, their fears are well founded, since healthcare and climate change are actual national emergencies. The fact Trump basically declared a national emergency at the border before golfing at Mar-a-Lago for the weekend, it’s clear he’s abusing his power. Thus, Trump’s emergency declaration is an obvious fraud since in a real emergency, you act fast.

As usual, Donald Trump will likely face court challenges over this declaration and he’ll probably see it as some vast radical left-wing conspiracy that’s out to get him. While he deserves to lose, it’s possible he could prevail since courts often give presidents undue deference on immigration and national security issues. But should he win, it would set a very dangerous precedents. Again, he can also see pushback from Congress, which can pass a joint resolution to override it with 2/3 majority in both houses. But that’s not going to happen since the Republicans have control of the Senate and will do whatever Trump wants. Nonetheless, the fact Trump basically declared a national emergency at the border before golfing at Mar-a-Lago for the weekend, it’s clear he’s abusing his power. Thus, Trump’s emergency declaration is an obvious fraud since in a real emergency, you act fast. In fake national emergencies, you act when the political timing is right to cover your ass because you need to back down from an ill-advised congressional fight followed from an ill-advised campaign promise.

Of course, US-Mexico border security isn’t perfect. But the world is full of problems that aren’t “emergencies” in the sense of requiring some kind of urgent extralegal repurposing of funds. Nonetheless, by robbing the nation’s drug interdiction and military construction budgets for his stupid border wall, Donald Trump will more likely make the nation’s problems worse than better. Since fencing our southern border has been ongoing for decades and is subject to diminishing returns, with valuable sections already fenced in.

In the past couple of months, the real crisis on display is Donald Trump’s total incompetence you can see from miles away. For he doesn’t understand a policy agenda or get anything done. Without Paul Ryan around to drive a legislative agenda he could rubber stamp, he’s failing. First, it’s shutting down the government and throwing millions of people’s lives into chaos. Second, it’s reopening the government having gotten nothing he could’ve had in December while adopting a “Hail Mary” scheme that will only make things worse. Though it’s better than a real shutdown, we should all be worried that Trump can’t handle a real crisis if it’s staring at him in the face.

This whole stupid wall farce began back in 2015 when Donald Trump promised to build a wall across the entire US-Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. Even anyone with half a brain could see that this was an extremely stupid idea that was wasteful and unworkable in every way. But somehow thanks to racism and xenophobia, Trump transmogrified his opponents‘ mockery into a test of will. According to him, the political establishment didn’t want to secure the border, but Trump did. And the wall was proof. Now that Trump is in office much to our nightmares, he has been confronting the reality that his critics were right in every way. Since Mexico obviously won’t pay for his stupid border wall, he needs congressional appropriations and the cost-benefit analysis is valid. Trump has long ago conceded that he can’t build a wall across the entire border since there are places where It’s infeasible and useless. Not to mention, he’s also conceded that there won’t be a wall at all, but the previous steel bollard anti-pedestrian fencing he had previously mocked is a useful barrier and that Border Patrol prefers its see-through quality.

Thus, on a practical level, this whole dispute is simply about the spending levels and construction pace of a type of border hardening that’s been underway for years. While Republicans think it’s important, Democrats find this border hardening rightfully wasteful. Any halfway competent president would see this as the most banal political controversy imaginable. Since if you want to get money for a pet project, you have to offer something to your opponents in exchange. But Donald Trump’s problem here is that the wall is such a terrible idea that his allies and staff know it. The sort of illicit border crossings that these pedestrian fences are supposed to prevent have already fallen to very low levels and the immigration conversation has moved on to other things like the treatment of asylum-seeking families from Central America. But because the wall is bad, immigration hawks don’t want to make any meaningful concessions to get it. Anytime talks seem to take off about some swap of help for DREAMers in exchange for wall money, the hawks swoop in with a bunch of other demands having nothing to do with the wall. That conservatives don’t want to make concessions on an inherently bad idea is reasonable. But at the same time, if your allies aren’t willing to make concessions on a bad idea, it’s better to let the matter slide, not throw a tantrum. But Trump won’t do that.

First, the shutdown and now the “emergency” both stem from the basic fact that Donald Trump will neither admit the whole spiel was crock nor decide to act like someone who genuinely wants a wall and make a deal to get it. Instead, everyone’s time and money will be wasted on litigation while money will be taken away from duly authorized programs and sent to a useless construction project nobody really wants. This isn’t the worst thing anyone has done in American politics. Hell, it’s not even close to being the worst thing Trump has ever done. But it’s arguably the most absurd. Not to mention, it once again raises the fundamental question about Trump. When you have a president who can’t handle relatively banal problems like a $5 billion appropriation for a pet project, what will happen when a real crisis hits? Oh, wait, he is the crisis.

Top of the Morning with These Lucky Saint Patrick’s Day Craft Projects (Fourth Edition)

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Now that I have the treats out of the way, let’s make way for the crafts. While Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t nearly a big holiday compared to Valentine’s Day or Easter, there are still people who go all out. They may decorate their house with shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and rainbows. When March begins, you’re bound to see plenty of Saint Paddy’s Day decorations at any kind of store. Well, depending when Easter arrives, anyway. Though some may want to make their own. And that’s where I come in. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of lucky Saint Patrick’s Day craft projects. Enjoy.

  1. You’d have a lucky day with this button shamrock.
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The buttons are in different shades of green. While it’s amongst a rainbow zigzag background.

2. Perhaps you might want to hang one of these panels.

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One says “LUCK” in gold with a green zigzag background. One has a green shamrock. While one has a white shamrock among green.

3. Best to put a shamrock on this wreath.

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Well, the wreath consists of branches with green and white berries. While the large wooden shamrock has a bow with a button.

4. This leprechaun hat can use a few shamrocks.

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The shamrocks have green stripes on them. While green foliage comes from the top.

5. Put some flowers in a shamrock jar.

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The flowers are fake. While the tag says, “Erin go bragh.”

6. With this rainbow, you can catch the wind.

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And you’ll have plenty of use with this since it’s very windy in March. Has shamrocks at the bottom.

7. A tulle green wreath will always cause a St. Patrick’s Day sensation.

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This one has a green shamrock on top and a white one on the bottom. All in all, it’s quite stunning.

8. Feel free to greet any leprechauns with this wreath.

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This one says, “Leprechauns Welcome!” Includes hat and feet as well.

9. A green wreath should always include shamrocks.

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The shamrocks are in a lighter green to show. And it’s hung and topped by a green bow.

10. Don’t forget to top your Saint Patrick’s Day home with a leprechaun hat.

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This one seems made out of felt with a belt on the top. Not sure if you can wear it. But it makes for a perfect centerpiece.

11. Perhaps you’d like to make your wreath with balls of yarn.

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These consist of small balls in green and white. Like the fancy shamrock on the bottom.

12. Show your Irish spirit with this shamrock wreath.

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The leaves and stem on this one are made out of wire hangers. Tied together with a brown lace bow.

13. Care for a leprechaun sitting on your ledge.

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Hey, at least he’s not Elf on the Shelf. Though he might have a little fun at your expense.

14. Nothing makes a fine Saint Patrick’s Day party than a shamrock bouquet.

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This one has shiny shamrocks in a vase filled with green Easter grass. Also touched by a bowl and green baubles.

15. Perhaps a simple white wreath will do.

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This one consists of a green, orange, and white flower. All to represent the flag of Ireland.

16. Enjoy the luck of the Irish with this shamrock charm bracelet.

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This one has vintage pictures in shamrock shapes. While they’re all linked by a golden chain.

17. Grace your table with some pots full of shamrocks.

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Well, there’s a shamrock on top of each of them. While the pot tops have a lace design.

18. Some might prefer a fancier wreath on their front door.

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This one has a green pot of gold in the center. Though I love the green bow the best.

19. A green yarn wreath should always have some shamrocks.

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The wreath is light green. The shamrocks are dark green with gold beads on them.

20. Best of luck to have a St. Patrick’s Day table runner.

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This one has a lot of shamrock patterns on it. Great for any table presentation.

21. A large wooden shamrock will give you lots of luck.

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This one his a green 4-leaf clover. Great for any Saint Patrick’s Day home.

22. Even small felt shamrocks can bring in the Irish spirit.

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These are felt 4-leaf clovers with pearl beads. You can put these on pretty much anything.

23. This owl has shamrocks on the mind.

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You have to love its button eyes and its shamrock plumage. So cute.

24. Greet visitors this Saint Patrick’s Day with this shamrock wreath.

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The shamrocks are quite shiny on this one. While the bottom ahs a white and green bow.

25. Make sure there are plenty of coins on the green.

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This is for a table setting. And there’s a whole row of candles, too.

26. A striped wreath can be all the rage.

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This one has stripes in green and white. While the bottom green section consists of white flowers and a bow.

27. This horseshoe shamrock is guaranteed to bring you luck.

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This is just made out of shamrocks and sprayed green. Perfect for any door.

28. Feel free to give your guests a golden time with this Saint Patrick’s Day wreath.

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It’s mostly green with a gold section. Includes shamrocks and gold coins. So pretty.

29. A rainbow wreath should always include a few shamrocks.

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Though the rainbow here doesn’t include yellow. Also has shamrocks for a lucky touch.

30. This wine bottle is covered in shamrocks.

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The shamrocks are black for emphasis. Put it wherever you like. Hell, you can even put lights in it.

31. You should always put in a few shamrocks with flowers.

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Well, they’re in a bottle with lights. One of the shamrocks even smiles.

32. Why don’t you let this leprechaun greet you at the door?

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this guy has a spotted outfit on with a shamrock. So adorable, don’t you think?

33. Welcome leprechauns with a St. Paddy’s Day wreath like this.

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Includes shamrocks and green berries. Festive for any St. Patrick’s Day party.

34. 3 shamrocks are always better than one.

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The shamrocks are so shiny on the stick. While each of them has a pattern and a bow.

35. A ribbon wreath should always have a shamrock in the center.

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Even the ribbons have shamrocks on them. While the shamrock in the center contains a bow.

36. Got to get plenty of leprechaun hats for the tree.

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Well, you have a few of them on here. The garlands are golden. Still, I can spot a shamrock or two.

37. A burlap wreath should include some green ribbon.

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Includes 3 shamrocks. Love the ribbon and net. So pretty.

38. A ruffled felt wreath will be just what you need.

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This one has a light green shamrock. Perfect for any Saint Patrick’s Day door.

39. Green flowers go well in a lucky potted bouquet.

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Includes 3 shiny shamrocks. Makes a perfect centerpiece.

40. You won’t trick this potted leprechaun for his pot of gold.

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The leprechaun has felt features and very long limbs. Still, he’s quite cute with his pot of gold.

41. A shamrock wreath belongs in a lucky house.

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The shamrocks are in different shades of green. Perfect for any front door on Saint Patrick’s Day.

42. Perhaps a white wreath will suit your Irish fancy.

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Has some green flowers on the bottom. Like the green ribbon wrapping around the white yarn.

43. Those who prefer a more naturalistic wreath might like this one.

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This one has leaves and berries. Like the green bow though.

44. Feel free to put this runner on your St. Patrick’s Day table.

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This is in a quilted stripe patterns. Includes patches of shamrocks and leprechaun hats.

45. A large shamrock should come with some green bows.

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This one has a shamrock painted which you can hang on a window. Love it.

46. Capture the Irish spirit in your home with this burlap wreath.

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This one has a shamrock bow on the top and a shamrock on the bottom. Great for any rustic cabin.

47. Saint Patrick’s Day won’t be lucky without a rainbow frame.

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Has “Lucky” in golden letters where the picture should be. While the rainbow is so shiny.

48. You can’t go wrong with this shamrock wreath at your door.

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I’m sure this is made from wire hangers. Though most of the greenery here is felt.

49. A ribbon shamrock might give you extra luck.

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This shamrock is woven with ribbons. And it has another shamrock in the center.

50. May the Irish welcome you to this house.

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This one has some leaves and berries. While a shamrock graces the middle.

51. You’ll have plenty of luck with this polka dot shamrock brooch.

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Well, it’s mostly green with white spots. Perfect to wear with a green shirt.

52. You can’t have too many shamrocks on a wreath.

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This one has shamrocks in different shades of green. Like the bow at the bottom.

53. You’ll find plenty of shamrocks on Irish gold.

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Well, at least on this wreath. And the shamrocks are in 4-leaf clovers.

54. Don’t leave for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade without this shamrock pin.

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This one is made out of a rag with green pipe cleaners. Like the fastening button though.

55. This bud vase will give you a very lucky day.

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The vase is an old wine bottle covered in light green yarn. Yet, I like the white flowers and green ribbon.

56. Hope this wreath can give you a warm welcome.

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Spells out “Welcome” in shamrocks. Also includes leprechauns and bows.

57. Greet your visitors this Saint Patrick’s Day with this wreath of shamrocks.

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This one has lots of leaves and boughs. Like the shamrocks and gold coins. So pretty.

58. A spotty shamrock can be quite whimsical.

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So if you don’t like wreaths, you can use this. Hung by a zebra ribbon.

59. Perhaps you might want to welcome your Irish guests with a flower basket.

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Consists of green flowers. Has a shamrock on the basket though.

60. A shamrock should be amongst a rainbow.

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Well, the rainbow is made from an old sock. But the shamrock is quite sparkly in this frame.

61. Feel free to put your drinks on this St. Paddy’s Day mug rug.

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Only one of these is the flag of Ireland. Yet, perfect for any party. As long as there isn’t any alcohol.

62. Check out the shamrocks on this table runner.

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The shamrocks are in patchwork patterns. While the green border is quite intricate.

63. Bet you didn’t imagine a St. Patrick’s Day table topper like this.

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This one has the shape of an 8 pointed star. And yes, most of the patterns are in shamrocks.

64. Curl up on your couch this Saint Patrick’s Day with this shamrock pillow.

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This one just has a shamrock on a white pillow. So feel free to rest your weary head.

65. Even an Irish cat should have a shamrock.

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Well shamrocks with yellow flowers. Still, this cat is so cute.

66. Now you can have your own pot of gold bouquet.

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These are rainbow roses in a vase with golden rocks. Rocks are spray-painted by the way.

67. Decorate your St. Patrick’s Day home with one of these shamrock panels.

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Two are green while one is wooden. And all made with the magic of saws and spray paint.

68. You’ll be rolling with this St. Patrick’s Day VW van.

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Though keep in mind that Volkswagen is a German company. Yet, this one is green with a leprechaun hat.

69. You might want to beware the overhanging leprechaun.

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He’s hanging with his pot of gold to greet you. Not sure if I’d like that.

70. Perhaps a bauble wreath will make Irish eyes smile.

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The baubles are all green as you see. Includes a lot of shiny shamrocks, too.

71. Shamrocks should be on sticks with spirals.

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They’re all green with different patterns. Each is even touched with a bow.

72. This lucky wreath may please you.

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Includes plastic green hats. Says “Lucky” with shiny shamrocks.

73. Feel free to put anything in these shamrock jars.

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One is green with a gold shamrock. The other is spray painted gold with a green shamrock.

74. You can never have too many shamrocks in a bouquet.

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Nonetheless, it’s quite green. Makes a great centerpiece.

75. Wonder what’s sprouting from the leprechaun hat.

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This one is a fairly simple arrangement. Yet, it has gold coins on the brim. Gold plastic coins.

76. Care to put some flowers in old wine bottles?

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One of them has a sequin bowtie since it’s supposed to be a leprechaun outfit. But the flowers are green.

77. Hope you like the garland at the door.

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This is mostly decomesh. While you see “Irish” and “Lucky” inscribed.

78. Your little leprechauns will enjoy these little peg dolls.

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These are made out of wood and felt. The girl ones wear tall hats.

79. Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with these shamrock blocks.

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Two of these are green with white shamrocks. The other is white with a green shamrock.

80. You’ll find plenty of shamrocks sprouting from this shiny leprechaun hat.

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This one has a lot of stuff on it. And it’s topped with ribbons, shamrocks, and branches.

81. Got an old wine bottle? Decorate it with shamrocks.

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Has a green plaid ribbon. While the shamrock is covered in green glitter.

82. Grace your table this Saint Patrick’s Day with this shamrock table topper.

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Each shamrock uses a different pattern. While the border uses squares.

83. This lantern is covered with green flowers.

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It’s covered in ribbons and shamrocks. Like the shamrock on the top.

84. Please don’t let this leprechaun out of the cage.

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Has green rocks inside while the top has flowers. Let’s hope the leprechaun doesn’t escape.

85. You’ll find the luck of the Irish in this block.

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This one has green lights inside. Topped with a shamrock ribbon. So pretty.

86. Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with this vase of green baubles.

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Has green baubles with shamrocks. Makes a great centerpiece.

87. You’ll find a lot of gold in these candle holders.

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Well, these are mostly spray-painted rocks. But the candles are green.

88. Green ribbons go on top of this lantern.

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Includes green foliage and shamrocks as well. Great for rustic settings.

89. Don’t forget to put on the hats to the wine bottles.

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These are spray painted wine bottles. Also includes jingles and shamrocks.

90. Everyone will know you’re Irish with this decoration.

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This is a mailbox decoration. And yes, it lights up during the night.

91. You’ll find plenty of gold underneath this ribbon tree.

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The tree ribbons are green and white with shamrocks on them. Yet, the gold is in the pot and around it.

92. There are plenty of Irish blessings on this tree.

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This one has so many Irish stuff for Saint Patrick’s Day. Great for any Irish home.

93. Leprechaun houses always shine bright.

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Of course, these are painted in PennDOT green. While the path consists of gold coins.

94. For luck, feel free to hang this Saint Patrick’s Day wreath.

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Says “Lucky” across the top. While the bottom consists of green and white flowers.

95. These wire shamrocks are all covered in ribbons.

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Well, they’re made from rags. But you can hang them from a drawer.

96. May your luck be painted in green.

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The “U” is in a horseshoe as you can see. Great for rustic settings.

97. You’ll fall for these Irish pot figures.

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These have flowers coming from the pots. And yes, they’re really adorable. So cute.

98. Perhaps you might prefer a shamrock curtain.

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The shamrocks are in different shades of green. While they’re all connected with string.

99. The pot of gold is somewhere over the rainbow.

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This is a simple decoration on a wood panel. Kind of pretty as you can see.

100. Would you like a potted leprechaun on a ledge?

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This one even has a beard. So cute if you ask me.

Erin Go Bragh with These Lucky Treats on Saint Patrick’s Day (Fifth Edition)

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Once again, Valentine’s Day is over and stores are already making way for the green and shamrocks. Many may view Saint Patrick’s Day as a celebration of their Irish heritage or a religious holiday to venerate Saint Patrick. Others see it as an excuse to go on pub crawls and get drunk due to the negative Irish drinking stereotypes. Nonetheless, you can expect a lot of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold. So not surprisingly, many people throw St. Paddy’s Day parties with lots of goodies. And that’s where I come in. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of Saint Patrick’s Day treats. Enjoy.

  1. Nothing makes St. Patrick’s Day like some green cake bars.
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Well, these are more like cakes. Minty green goes on top, by the way.

2. Celebrate your Saint Paddy’s Day dinner with a side of green mashed potatoes.

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Each of these is within a savory pie crust. Not to mention, topped with a shamrock for good measure.

3. Treat your little leprechauns to this rainbow bento lunch.

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Well, the rainbow is a fruit tray. Though the other box has mostly green food with shamrocks.

4. Keep your St. Patrick’s Day colorful with a rainbow trifle.

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I guess this one has cake and pudding inside in 6 different colors. Topped with whipped cream.

5. Then again, you might want a St. Paddy’s Day trifle in Oreo mint.

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This one has chocolate pudding inside. Love the green mint ice cream on top. Or is it whipped cream?

6. Rainbow pancakes always make for a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

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Well, these pancakes are very small and stacked up together. Top has whipped cream and Lucky Charms marshmallows.

7. Hope you can get a load of this shamrock cupcake.

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Or is it an actual cake. Nonetheless, depicts a belt buckle on the bottom.

8. Treat your St. Pat’s party guests with this rainbow veggie tray.

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Of course, there’s no blue vegetable. While peppers make up of red, orange, and yellow.

9. Kids will be thrilled with some Lucky Leprechaun Lunch.

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Consists of green Chex mix with Lucky Charms marshmallows. Some of the Chex even have sprinkles.

10. Show your Irish spirit with these shamrock shortbread cookies.

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Well, these are pistachio key lime without much green. Yet, they’re at least in shamrock shapes with icing.

11. Grace your dessert platter with these Saint Paddy’s Day cookies.

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Includes pots of gold, leprechauns, hats, and shamrocks. And all in green icing.

12. Want some shamrocks on your brownie?

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Not sure if the shamrocks are edible. But the brownies seem tasty.

13. For healthier options, check out this rainbow fruit platter.

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Includes chocolate coins for the pot of gold. Though the coins won’t taste great once you unwrap them.

14. Perhaps you might want a shamrock nacho lunch.

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Well, these consist of shamrock tortilla chips. Salad includes cheese, sour cream, and avocado.

15. Impress your Irish guests with some shamrock pizza.

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Well, the shamrocks are basil leaves here. And all seem to have 4 leaves for extra luck.

16. Anyone would be delighted with these shamrock cupcakes.

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These seem like they’re made with holders in a special shape. So they can have 3 leaves.

17. Treat yourself on St. Patrick’s Day with these truffles.

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Well, these appear to resemble cake pops. Covered in green icing along with white drizzle and chocolate chips.

18. St. Paddy’s Day rice cakes make for a tasty treat.

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Actually, they’re salsa rice cakes. Contains cheese and a pepper shamrock on top.

19. Chocolate cupcakes must always have a shamrock on them.

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Each of these has shamrock made of gumdrops. Though you might want to peel them off before you eat them.

20. Feast your eyes on some shamrock cheesy bread.

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Then again, it can be a small pizza. Want to try? Certainly looks tasty.

21. Nobody could resist these St. Paddy’s Day cookies.

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Consists of coins, pot of gold, shamrocks, and rainbows. Professionally made but so pretty.

22. You’ll be lucky to have a shamrock cupcake or 2.

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Each of these has a shamrock made out of icing. Some have chocolate icing. Some don’t.

23. Any little leprechaun would be lucky to have a lunch like this.

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Consists of a leprechaun sandwich and a veggie hat. Nonetheless, it’s so cute.

24. Perhaps your little one might try this green bento lunch for size.

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Consists of 2 containers of veggies, one of cheese, and one of bread. Includes shamrocks and pot of gold decorations.

25. For breakfast, you might want a couple of shamrock eggs.

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Well, they’re eggs with peppers around it. Easy as that.

26. It’s never St. Patrick’s Day without some shamrock buns.

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Well, they’re more like biscuits. Yet, each has a shamrock on top.

27. Might want some Lucky Charms on some cupcakes.

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Each of these has a “Lucky You” sign on top. Though these seem quite easy to make.

28. Hope you find a pot of gold in these cupcakes.

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Not sure if the pots of gold are edible (probably). While the rest of the cupcakes are covered green icing and sprinkles.

29. Want a piece from this pot of gold cake?

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This one has coin and shamrock cookies inside. While the pot is covered with chocolate icing.

30. Would you like a slice of key lime pie?

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This one has a shamrock on top. Hope you enjoy it.

31. You’ll find some Lucky Charms in these cupcakes.

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Well, marshmallows anyway. You’ll also find some sprinkles as well.

32. A shamrock soft pretzel makes a great St. Patrick’s Day snack.

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Comes with green mustard sauce. And it’s in a 4-leaf clover shape.

33. There’s nothing that pleases more than some Irish cream push pops.

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I’m sure they come with a minty taste. Has green pudding and chocolate under the whipped cream.

34. Perhaps you’d like a shamrock on a stick.

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This one has a marshmallow shamrock on top of a yellow sandwich cookie. Perfect for any St. Paddy’s Day party.

35. Care to eat some shamrock quiche?

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This is a Spanish quiche in a 4-leaf clover. And they all have leaves of green.

36. Shamrock chocolates makes a great St. Paddy’s Day treat.

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The chocolates are green on a stick. Each has a rainbow decoration.

37. There’s no better St. Patrick’s Day dinner like a pie of corned beef and hash.

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This one has a shamrock on top. Though corned beef and hash isn’t my thing.

38. You’ll be lucky to have a pot of gold cookie sandwich.

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I’m sure each of these have a minty filling. Also, the chocolate part is covered in sprinkles.

39. Shamrock pretzels make an ideal St. Paddy’s Day snack.

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These are covered in green icing. Very simple to make. So pretty.

40. You sure can’t beat these Lucky Charms bars.

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These are made from Lucky Charms cereal. While the tops are covered in marshmallow shamrocks and green icing.

41. Mind if I take a chocolate shamrock?

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Indeed, these are professionally made with a mold. Perfect for a party on March 17.

42. There’s nothing more lucky to the Irish than these shamrock fudge bars.

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Each one has a yellow M&M on top. While the shamrocks are made from green icing.

43. These Irish owl cookies will always be a hoot.

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These owls are dressed as leprechauns. So they’re more like owlechauns.

44. Perhaps you’d like to see this little Irish house.

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These are graham cracker houses. But his one has candy décor on the roof and around it.

45. No St. Patrick’s Day dessert platter is complete without this leprechaun hat cake.

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This one has a flower near the brim. Perfect as a piece de resistance for any dessert platter on St. Paddy’s Day.

46. Perhaps you might prefer some shamrock avocado toast.

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You might see the avocado sauce is green. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or parties.

47. These mini ombre cakes may suit your fancy.

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These have layers of green cake and white icing. One has a shamrock on top.

48. No appetizer platter is complete on St. Paddy’s Day without some Emerald Isle dip.

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This one has a shamrock in the bread bowl. Perfect for veggies and crackers.

49. Any kid would be lucky to have a leprechaun cookie like this.

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This one has a red beard and green suit. So adorable you can eat him up.

50. Perhaps you’ll love these peanut butter leprechaun cookies.

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These have little red beards and green hats with shamrocks on them. So cute.

51. Care for some green shamrock cupcakes?

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Not only do these have green icing, but also green filling. And they’re all covered in green and white sprinkles.

52. A green petal cake is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

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This one consists of petals in shades of green. So feel free to take a slice.

53. Put some color in your St. Patrick’s Day party with a rainbow cake roll.

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You can see all the colors in one slice. There are even sprinkles in the icing.

54. Wake up this Saint Patrick’s Day to some shamrock breakfast pizza.

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It’s more of a calzone. Includes eggs, cheese, and sausage.

55. These shamrock cookie sandwiches are full of surprises.

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These are filled with rainbow sprinkles. But they won’t lead you to any pot of gold.

56. Hope you can kiss these Irish lips.

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These lip cookies have green shamrocks on them. Yet, please don’t kiss the Blarney Stone.

57. Perhaps these green owls will please you.

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These owls have little suits with shamrock buttons. So adorable they’re a hoot.

58. You’ll be lucky to see these Oreo pots of gold on St. Patrick’s Day dessert platter.

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Has a fruit roll up rainbow and an M&M shamrock. Said to taste like mint.

59. Hope you got what it takes to eat these shamrock pudding shots.

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These have edible shot glasses with shamrocks on them. Hope they’re chocolate.

60. Care to take a shamrock Oreo?

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These have shamrocks in candy and sprinkles. Take your pick.

61. Enjoy your Saint Patrick’s Day with some Pot of Gold corn casserole.

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A slice of this has some shamrocks on it. Then again, corn casserole isn’t something we eat at my house.

62. Any little Irish lass would love these leprechaun girl cookies.

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Each girl is wearing a little green dress with shamrocks and a green hat. So cute.

63. On Saint Patrick’s Day, you’ll be in luck to see these leprechaun cupcakes.

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These have little icing beards and green hats. Adorable if you ask me.

64. It’s your lucky day to have a St. Paddy’s marshmallow pop.

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This is a bear with shamrock ears and a nose. Even wears a shamrock hat.

65. Serve your guests this Saint Patrick’s Day with some green velvet cake.

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This one has 3 layers inside. And it’s topped with a green shamrock in the center.

66. Feel free to try one of these shamrock pops.

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These are candies on a stick. While each stick is decorated with a rainbow.

67. Shamrock cinnamon rolls can use some green drizzle.

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Well, each of these has 4 leaves and a stem. Wouldn’t mind having one of these.

68. Let your little leprechaun wake up to a lucky rainbow breakfast.

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The pot is made from eggs and pancakes. The rainbow and cloud are made of fruit.

69. These chocolate covered strawberries are a St. Paddy’s Day delight.

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Each of these is covered in chocolate with sprinkles and drizzle. Some even have shamrocks on them.

70. Get in the Irish spirit with a jello shamrock.

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Even has a creamy layer on top. Yet, I think it can use a little whipped cream for good measure.

71. Make your Saint Patrick’s Day special with these lucky cupcakes.

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Unlike some of these cupcakes, these have chocolate horseshoes. Yet, the top is sprinkled with green.

72. I’m sure these St. Patrick’s Day brownies can satisfy.

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These have little green icing bits on top. And the brownies are filled with chocolatey goodness.

73. Best you get a bite out of these rainbow Rice Krispie treats.

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These have layers of color. But they won’t lead to a pot of gold.

74. For Saint Patrick’s Day, you might want some green chocolate chip cookies.

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Yes, I know they kind of look disgusting. But on Saint Patrick’s Day, green food is practically in.

75. Hope you can find the pot of gold on these cupcakes.

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These have M&M decorations with mini marshmallow clouds. So cute.

76. Feast your eyes this Saint Patrick’s Day on these green cheesecake brownies.

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I guess the top layer can be quite minty. Love the swirls.

77. Perhaps you might enjoy a thin mint jello shot this Saint Patrick’s Day.

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These have chocolate on the bottom with green jello layers. Topped with whipped cream.

78. A Saint Patrick’s Day cake should always sparkle.

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This one has 3 tiers consisting of 2 green and one gold. Includes shamrocks and a white rose.

79. There’s always gold in this colorful rainbow cake.

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This one has a rainbow on top and on the sides. Love it.

80. Treat your little ones this Saint Patrick’s Day with a Rainbow Buddha bowl.

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It’s a salad dish with all kinds of veggies. But it’s great as a St. Patrick’s Day side.

The Mad Hatter Gets Cuffed

In the early daylight hours of Friday, January 25, 2019, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested at his Florida home in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He was indicted for obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering. These charges center on Stone’s lies to the House Intelligence Committee during a 2017 hearing about his statements and efforts to get in touch with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. The indictment conspicuously mentions that “a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone” about what WikiLeaks might have on Hillary Clinton. However, the indictment doesn’t attempt to explain why Stone would lie about this or tell a definitive story about what happened between him and Wikileaks at the time. Nor has he been charged with any criminal activity during the campaign. In fact, the actual charges against Roger Stone don’t allege that he committed any crimes during the 2016 campaign. Instead, they alleged him attempting to obstruct investigations into what happened afterward.

The hacking and leaking of the Democrats’ emails has long been the centerpiece of the Mueller investigation. Already, Robert Mueller has charged several Russian intelligence officers with this. Eventually, WikiLeaks publicly posted many of these emails with the Democratic National Committee’s in July 2016 and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s 4 months later.

Roger Stone’s various statements including public ones, raised questions on whether he had some sort of inside knowledge about WikiLeaks or its plans. He’s denied knowing anything about it, claiming that anything he knew about WikiLeaks came from an intermediary, radio host Randy Credico. Now Stone has been accused of lying to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 (on 5 counts) and trying to tamper with Credico as a witness so that he’d stick to that false story. Overall, while the indictment aptly establishes that Stone lied about WikiLeaks, it doesn’t tell the full story about what happened between Stone, WikiLeaks, and the various intermediaries in 2016.

Dressed like a super villain, Roger Stone has been a longtime GOP operative whose reputation for dirty tricks days all the way back to Richard Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign. During the mid-1980s, Stone has been an on-and-off adviser to Donald Trump and co-founded a famous lobbying firm with Paul Manafort during that same decade. When Trump began his presidential campaign in 2015, Stone was a part of his original team. But he lasted only a month, departing the operation in early August after clashing with staffers. Nevertheless, he remained in Trump’s orbit, communicating with the candidate himself afterward. In fact, he helped engineer Manafort’s hiring on the campaign. As the 2016 general election neared, Stone frequently spoke about the hacks and leaks of Democratic emails and other documents. In August, he praised a Russian intelligence run online persona said to be responsible for them, “Guccifer 2.0.” In addition, he claimed that he “communicated” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who posted the DNC emails. While he repeatedly hinted of more damaging Clinton material coming during the next 2 months. Only after the election did we learn about his private communication with both entities.

According to the new indictment, after July 22, 2016, “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Roger Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information” WikiLeaks “had regarding the Clinton Campaign.” This indicates that the Trump campaign wanted to stay updated on what WikiLeaks had about Hillary Clinton and that Stone was the guy who kept them in the know. But prosecutors don’t give away any more details about who directed that campaign official to reach out to Stone. For that reason, this tidbit implication isn’t totally clear. But prosecutors certainly included this tantalizing detail for a reason.

Around this time, Roger Stone also had a set of communications with conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, regarding getting contact from Julian Assange. On July 25, Stone emailed Corsi telling him to “get to” Assange in the “Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending” WikiLeaks “emails.” Corsi forwarded the message to an “overseas individual.” On July 31, Stone wrote to Corsi that Trump campaign adviser Ted Malloch ”should see” Assange. On August 2, Corsi emailed Stone claiming knowledge of Assange’s plans. According to him, “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back [from a trip in Europe]. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging..” Corsi continued: “Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke — neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for [Clinton] Foundation debacle.”

Not long afterward on August 4, Roger Stone emailed fellow ex-Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, “I dined with Julian Assange last night.” Though Stone said it was a joke when the email became public long afterwards.The day after he emailed Sam Nunberg, Stone penned a Brietbart article taking Guccifer’s story about being the lone hacker who stole the DNC emails at face value and argued that Russia probably didn’t do it (despite that they certainly did and that Guccifer was a Russian intel official). He also tweeted, “Julian Assange is a hero.” On August 8, 2016, Stone began publicly claiming to have inside information, saying “I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”

A few days later, Roger Stone began tweeting and DMing with Guccifer 2.0 (who again, has been identified as a Russian intelligence officer). Some of these DMs later leaked, leading Stone to post what he claimed was the full exchange (it wasn’t). Not surprisingly, the posted messages were mainly friendly chitchat and not particularly substantive (which weren’t mentioned in the new indictment). On August 21, 2016, Stone tweeted an odd prediction, “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.” Months before the Podesta emails became public, many would point out to this and ask whether Stone had any advance knowledge of the Podesta email leak. But Stone later claimed that since this came in the midst of a scandal surrounding Paul Manafort’s Ukraine work, he merely predicted “Podesta’s business dealings would be exposed.”

In October 2016, Roger Stone took on a new role of WikiLeaks hype man. He again claimed inside knowledge saying a “friend” of his met with Julian Assange and learned “the mother lode is coming Wednesday.” He tweeted: “Wednesday @HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.” When nothing came that Wednesday, Stone tweeted: “Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming. #Lockthemup.” Assange posted the Podesta emails 2 days later. Immediately, there were questions about whether the garrulous operative have been involved. This spurred WikiLeaks to tweet that the group “has never communicated with Roger Stone.” The Atlantic reported that Stone DMed the WikiLeaks Twitter account afterward, complaining they were “attacking” him. WikiLeaks responded, “The false claims of association are being used by the democrats to undermine the impact of our publications. Don’t go there if you don’t want us to correct you.” Stone shot back, “Ha! The more you ‘correct’ me the more people think you’re lying. Your operation leaks like a sieve. You need to figure out who your friends are.”

By 2017, Roger Stone was putting forward an apparent cover story for whatever actually happened in 2016. He insisted that everything he heard about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks came from his “intermediary” talk radio host Randy Credico. When Stone went in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee during a closed session in September, he stuck to that story.

Roger Stone had also put an effort to get Randy Credico to stick to his false story, sometimes using Godfather references. When Credico repeatedly asked Stone to correct his testimony, Stone refused. When Credico was called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017, Stone tried to convince him to lie in support to Stone’s initial testimony. According to prosecutors, Stone did this quite colorfully, telling Credico he should claim that he was his only contact to Julian Assange, that he didn’t remember what he told Stone, or what Stone referred to as pulling a “Frank Pentangeli,” recanting testimony during a hearing. In December, according to prosecutors, Credico informed the House Intelligence Committee that he’d plead the Fifth if subpoenaed to testify in part to “avoid providing evidence that would show Stone’s previous testimony to Congress was false.”

But Roger Stone and Randy Credico continued to discuss the Russian investigation. While Stone repeatedly made it clear that Credico would pay if he talked to law enforcement and contradicted his statements. He texted the radio host at one point, “‘Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan’ … Richard Nixon.” Stone later said, “If you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Eventually, when Credico wouldn’t stick to his story, Stone got angrier, writing in April 2018, “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends.” He then threatened to steal Credico’s therapy dog before deciding he’d threaten the host’s life instead.

There’s ample documentary evidence that Roger Stone’s story about Randy Credico being his only contact with Assange is indeed, false. For the email exchanges with Jerome Corsi show that Stone talked to both men (with Stone and Credico’s correspondence telling a similar story). While there are allusions to what Stone had told top Trump campaign members about WikiLeaks’ plans. But it doesn’t read as any sort of final effort from prosecutors to sum up what happened back then. Or perhaps the Mueller crew don’t have sufficient evidence to show it.

In his book, Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s “Witch Hunt,” conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi goes into a lot of detail about what Robert Mueller’s prosecutors asked him and what evidence they had. Here, Corsi makes some surprising disclosures and admissions that really could shed light in the Mueller investigation. These parts of Corsi’s book are based on notes his lawyers took during the question sessions, according to him. In fact, he’s released a draft plea document Mueller put together, backing up some of them. According to his book, Corsi went in to talk with Mueller prosecutors in September 2018. At the time, he had little to offer, denying he helped Roger Stone get in touch with WikiLeaks. Instead, he claimed warning Stone that such activity that could expose him to surveillance and investigation. Mueller’s team broke off the interview with a prosecutor stating they have “demonstrable proof that what you said was false.” They suggested he review his old emails and come back for another session.

But before the next session, Jerome Corsi writes, Mueller prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky agreed to give his lawyer David Gray more details about what to expect next time. According to Corsi, Zelinsky told Gray:

  • They had evidence Corsi told multiple people that Julian Assange had John Podesta’s emails as early as August 2016, 2 months before that news became public.
  • That Corsi said that Assange had planned to release those emails in October, in a “drip-drip-drip” fashion, which proved spot on.
  • That they had evidence that Roger Stone had called Corsi shortly before the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released and urged him to get word to Assange to start dumping the Podesta emails to counteract the fallout. (This is a particular interesting claim because the first Podesta email batch was released a half an hour after the Access Hollywood tape was. There had long been speculation that the timing was connected, but there hasn’t been any evidence to support that).

In Jerome Corsi’s second round of questioning with Mueller’s team in September 2018, he admitted that all this is true. He also confessed to helping Roger Stone concoct a “cover story” to explain away the suspicious Podesta tweet. This seems to suggest that Trump associates had good advance information about the stolen (Russian-hacked) Podesta emails and that some sort of effort at coordinating their release to benefit Donald Trump’s campaign. Of course, Corsi walks back on the information he provides but what he does admit is a huge problem for Stone. Even worse, Corsi wrote that he explained on that during a conference call with the staff of the WorldNetDaily so there would be witnesses to back up this version of events, if it’s true. And perhaps those witnesses talked to Robert Mueller already.

Though most of Jerome Corsi’s book is untrustworthy conspiracy-fringe nonsense, he doesn’t appear to fabricate these emails and phone records. Since the Roger Stone indictment cited much of the email evidence Corsi cites in his book. Yet, the draft plea deal document alleges that Corsi deleted from before the Podesta release before the Mueller team found them. And he tried shifting his story in an attempt to hide what actually happened. Nonetheless, what this book seems to suggest is that Mueller had been intently interested in making some sort of case against Stone directly involving WikiLeaks and the Podesta emails. And he assembled a great deal of evidence toward that end even if investigators didn’t have enough to indict Stone on this. But the special counsel could still be pursuing that part of the probe so more charges against Stone and possibly Corsi.

The Final Season of Game of Thrones: Part 3 – Tossups

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Finally, considering the nature of Game of Thrones, are the tossups. Given this is a show where fantasy tropes are subverted and anything can happen, you can’t be sure whether these figures will live or die in the final season. Besides, since we’re getting close to the end, main character plot armor may not be as reliable as in earlier seasons. Hell, even the characters I’ve guessed could live or die may not face their predicted fate. Seriously, who knows what will happen. Though as they say in Hamilton, you have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.

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Tormund Giantsbane– as the last real leader of the free folk, Tormund needs to survive to bring them into a new time of peace and prosperity and romance Brienne of Tarth. As a savagely fierce warrior, Tormund has fought tooth and nail against the wights beyond the Wall. But it’s also thoroughly fitting for Tormund to die in battle alongside Jon Snow, the man he’s chosen to follow. Since fighting’s what he knows best and there’s little for him in a ruined world. Hell, we’re not sure if he survived the Night King’s break through the Wall. Since he was last seen standing atop of it. Either way, he’s come painfully close to death plenty of times before. So it can be either way.

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Bronn– as his world’s Han Solo with less moral scruples, he’s a survivor who’s got a knack for picking a winning side in a fight while managing to remain likeable, it would be nice to see him get his own dream castle. However, given how Season 8 will be the show’s most dangerous, it’s a bad time to be a mercenary since a lack of loyalty on one side for money will come back to bite him. One mistake and it can be his life. But since he genuinely cares about others, he’ll be back fighting for the right side no matter how much he’d complain about it or say otherwise. Above all else, Bronn is a man who loves to fight which he’s best at. He may not get his castle (since there won’t be many left by the end), but dying with a sword in his hand seems like a good consolation prize. Nonetheless, even if he fights the wrong side, we’d like to see him live.

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Sandor “The Hound” Clegane– from child-killing Lannister lackey to stalwart defender of the living, The Hound has changed more than almost any character on Game of Thrones. Given his figurative “death” in Season 4 and all the hardships he’s suffered, it would be nice to see him enjoy a peaceful retirement. Assuming if he survives the White Walkers and his undead brother the Mountain. But now he’s weary of the battles he’s had to fight and the people he’s had to fight them for. While there are few people he genuinely cares about, it would make more sense for him to die on the battlefield. Since he may not have a purpose once his brother dies. Though it would be nice for him to have some happiness in his life.

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Brienne of Tarth– as one of the most loyal and honorable characters who will be on the front battle lines against the White Walkers, defending her charges from harm with her fighting prowess and her Valyrian steel sword. Though she’s already filled her purpose in protecting the Stark sisters. On one hand, being noble and true can get you killed on Game of Thrones. On the other hand, since Brienne is so self-sacrificing, killing her off would be a low blow. Besides letting her live will give the opportunity for Jamie Lannister to die in the arms of the woman he platonically loves. Also, I’d like to see her marry Tormund Giantsbane.

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Daenerys Targaryen– as the only character with dragons, she will be an integral part of whatever plan of the living make to take down the army of the dead. Since this is Game of Thrones, the plan won’t go off without a hitch. People close to Daenerys will die and she will be in constant danger. But will the White Walkers take down the Mother of Dragons herself? Given that the show has a reputation of killing off characters who seem like heroes. After all, anyone can go away at any moment.

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Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen)– now that he’s been revealed as Aegon Targaryen, he’ll certainly be important in the endgame. But will he get to rule the Seven Kingdoms or will he nobly die to prevent the Night King from obliterating humanity? Now it’s probably a given that he’ll marry and have a child with Daenerys. Yet, Jon has no problem throwing himself into battle, no matter who the enemy is. From the moment he joined the Night’s Watch, he’s been in dangerous situations every other minute of his life. Since he’s a tested battle commander with more experience fighting White Walkers than anyone living and knows it’s the right thing to do, Jon will lead the army of the living against the army of the dead. Given his plot armor as one of the main characters, he may survive the wars as they come. But his importance to the plot hasn’t always saved him. After all, if it weren’t for Melisandre’s magic, Jon would’ve ended up 6 feet under in Castle Black’s cemetery. And as we get close to the end, Jon’s plot armor may not be as effective as it used to be. Even if he survives the battle, there’s no guarantee he’ll survive the scramble for leadership that will follow. Even more than his uncle, Jon has always tried doing things honorably. And we know how that worked out for Ned. Then again, maybe he’ll combine his claim with Daenerys and let her handle Cersei so he won’t have to die. Of course, given that it’s Game of Thrones, we know nothing.

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Drogon– since hatching from a dragon egg, Drogon has taken part in some of the most important moments of Daenerys’ journey. Since he’s shared a tender moment with Jon Snow after Viscerion’s death, he’s more than a one-dimensional death machine. Drogon and Rhaegal are Westeros’ best hopes for surviving the coming war with the White Walkers. Since things will have to get worse before they get better, one of them may have to go. And given that Drogon is Jon and Dany’s biggest weapon, odds don’t look good.

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Rhaegal– while Drogon got to do all the exciting stuff, Rhaegal usually played second fiddle with his brother Viscerion. If Drogon falls to the White Walkers, Rhaegal can step up to the plate and help Daenerys and Westeros in dire need. But even if he survives the war, his future in a post-Night King Westeros could be in doubt.

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Ghost– sure he hasn’t been seen since the start of Season 6, but he’s implied to be alive though not at his master Jon’s side. Yes, money could be a reason but CGI dragons cost a lot while we’ve seen Arya meet up with Nymeria and her family. Though if a character isn’t on the show, can he really be killed? Let’s hope not. Still, killed or not, expect him to have at least some heroic moments on-screen.

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Davos Seaworth– he’s been clear he’s not a fighter. He’s also an old man and doesn’t have all his digits (or at least finger ends), which makes him less likely to survive the carnage. But with the Night King and his army marching, the Onion Knight may not have a choice but to get the sword and go right at it. Sure he may enjoy Daenerys’ and Jon Snow’s protection as one of Jon’s closest advisors. But the army of the dead won’t care. Should Winterfell fall, Davos may sacrifice himself should things go south, noble soul he is. Since there will be heartbreaking deaths in the series, it’s likely his will tug at the viewers’ heartstrings. And there will be plenty of opportunities for him to bite the dust. Still, it’s possible Davos could survive since he’s lived through the deaths of the 2 men he’s chosen to follow. As the wizened adviser, if he lives, he can go on as Jon or Dany’s right-hand man.

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Arya Stark– a trailblazing in the high stakes world of reparation and murder, a connoisseur of vigilante justice, and a stone-cold, blood-lusting assassin with serious moves. But more importantly, she’s a young woman with a big heart who’s suffered through more loss and pain than most people will deal with in a lifetime. Such losses have left her lost, scared, and forced to carve her own way in the world with little or no guidance from anyone who could’ve served as a nurturing influence in her life. Losing her dad Ned, her mother Catelyn, and her brother Robb have affected Arya deeply and set her on a dark, dangerous path to no return. But when faced with the choice of vengeance or return home, she went back to Winterfell. Sure, she’ll take down a few more. But her arc is about a loss of identity and by prioritizing family, she gave herself a new beginning, not an end. It seems downright foolish to kill her off when she’s got a whole new world of potential. Besides, given that she’s led a life of violence, there are 2 outcomes: either she falls by the sword or settles down to a quiet life and starts a family. As of Season 7, she seems heading toward the latter, especially given that Nymeria’s leading her own pack and that Gendry’s back. On the other hand, given that she puts herself through the most dangerous situations, she also has the least purpose in a post-war Westeros world, aside from having a family with Gendry. So if another Stark child has to die, it will probably be her.

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Podrick Payne– squire to the rich and famous, he’s a magical instrument of pleasure. Podrick may not be overly clever, great with a sword, or even chatty, but he must be doing something right. Since he’s made it to the final season. Lately, he’s been following Brienne while she’s smacked the crap out of him. Besides, he’s so good-natured, affable, and kind-hearted, that we can’t think of who’d want to hurt this guy. Okay, everyone. Still, chances are he’ll survive and get his knighthood, but barely. But once Brienne returns to Winterfell, he’ll be facing the army of the dead and unlike her, he won’t have a Valyrian steel sword to protect himself. So killing him off might make more sense, especially given his ineptitude on the battlefield as well as tug at fans’ emotional heartstrings.

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Yara Greyjoy– since Season 7, she’s been her uncle Euron’s prisoner and is in a lot of danger. So we’ll have to hope that Theon rescues her soon (despite that he’s headed in the wrong direction and that he failed the first time he tried due to PTSD). Then again, she might be dead already since she’s a threat to Euron’s rule. Yet, seeing that seeing Euron emerge victorious is too nightmarish and that Theon seems destined for heroic sacrifice, Yara could be the one Greyjoy to make it out alive.

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Daario Naharis– now that he’s no longer in a relationship with Daenerys, I don’t see him appearing in the show anytime soon. He’ll live since he’ll be running Meereen with the Second Sons, anyway. On the other hand, since Cersei has enlisted the help of the Golden Company from the East and the Second Sons wouldn’t let them invade Westeros unchallenged. So Daario may join the fray with his own band of mercenaries and he may not survive it.

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Hot Pie– the only way he’ll die would be if the army of the dead ransacks the Crossroads Inn and kills everyone there. Still, he probably won’t appear in Season 8 at all. Then again, since the Crossroads Inn is along the Kingsroad in the Riverlands, he’s not really out of the woods. Besides, he doesn’t have any impact on the story anymore.

The Final Season of Game of Thrones: Part 2 – Who Dies

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As it’s said on Game of Thrones, all men must die. But during the show’s final season, some will bite the dust sooner than others. With the army of the dead marching towards Winterfell with an intention to wipe out humanity and Cersei trying to cement her power in the Seven Kingdoms, plenty of characters will not make it. Some will fall to the army of the dead. Minor characters will put on redshirts to show how much danger everyone’s in. Some will get killed in gruesome ways. While some will get what’s coming to them. Nonetheless, expect fans to shed tears on some of them. Because when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. And even if you win, you won’t be on top for long since you’ll end up dead.

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Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane– given that he’s a giant, intimidating, zombie killing machine who does Cersei’s bidding, he’ll have to swing his sword at someone who matters at some point. When he does, the show will milk it for all it’s worth, especially when he falls. The only question is who’ll take him down and whether he’ll take anyone down with him. Still, if he doesn’t fall to his brother the Hound at Cleganebowl (which will most likely happen since the showrunners have teased it for a couple of years), someone will get him. And it’ll be after Qyburn goes so there will be no way to resurrect him again.

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Ellaria Sand– given now that she was last seen headed for a Red Keep dungeon, she’s probably dead already. Sure Cersei said she wouldn’t let her die even if the guards have to force feed her. But that promise probably isn’t going to stick after she watches her daughter Tyene bite the dust to poison.

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Cersei Lannister– now that she’s sitting pretty on the Iron Throne, she’s been setting herself for a huge fall from the jump, making nothing but enemies and the wrong kind of friends. Daenerys wants her throne and has dragons. Arya’s vowed to kill her for years. The Night King wants to kill everyone. While her brother, lover, and confidante Jamie has abandoned her. Even her allies are dangerous, like Euron who wants to marry her. Furthermore, she’s pregnant, which won’t go well with Euron. For all the evil’s she’s done, Cersei needs to go. Thus, the only question is how many more enemies she’ll have to take down before she bites the dust.

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Melisandre– at 400 years old, she’s got a lot of blood on her hands. Melissandre’s blind devotion to the Lord of Light and belief that she’s saving the world has inspired her to commit terrible atrocities. But in recent seasons, she’s been wrestling with her guilt and it’s difficult to imagine a situation she’d try hard to avoid meeting her maker. Hell, she’s admitted that she’s been ready to die for many years while she’s scared the hell out of Varys by proclaiming they’d both die in Westeros. Though Melisandre is so powerful that it’s hard to picture a mere mortal taking her down, she’s made an enemy of Arya Stark for taking Gendry to Dragonstone. And while we know that Gendry is alive and well after a multi-season absence, Arya thinks Mel killed him and his death must be avenged. While the red witch has assured the two will meet again. If not, then she could sacrifice herself to the White Walkers.

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Theon Greyjoy– now that Ramsay neutered him after he’s made just about every wrong decision he could possibly make, Theon’s only purpose in life is rescuing his sister Yara from his evil uncle Euron. Yet, whether he may succeed is another matter since he failed the first time due to his PTSD and he’s headed in the wrong direction. Sure his betrayal of the Starks have paved way for the Boltons taking over Winterfell, which he’s paid for dearly. Yet, he ultimately helped Sansa escape from her monstrous husband Ramsay. Nonetheless, his story may end in 2 ways. He could die saving Yara and atoning for his sins. Or he could live after Euron and Yara as the last Greyjoy leader of the Ironborn. But more likely, he seems to be on the path to a redemptive death, which will be a fitting end to the unluckiest guy in Westeros.

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Jorah Mormont– despite initially serving Daenerys in order to secure a pardon and return to Westeros, Jorah fell in love with his queen and spent the next 6 seasons by her side. Though considering he’s much older than his Dany, he knew that any romance with her wasn’t going to happen. So he stuck around as her adviser instead. Due to his grayscale things looked bleak for Jorah in Season 7, but a trip to the Citadel and Sam Tarly cured his illness. Only for him to head to the North for a suicide mission before returning to Dany’s side. As a secondary character, his place in the narrative puts him in the crossfire. Since Jorah won’t sit on the sidelines when his queen’s under threat from her many enemies, expect him to become his world’s version of Sidney Carton.

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Edmure Tully– otherwise known as the Groom from the Red Wedding, we’re not 100% if he’d make an appearance. Though with Walder Frey and his heirs dead and being the last Tully to change himself, someone has to fill the leadership vacuum in the Riverlands. Though he might be rotting in Riverrun’s prison dungeon at this point. Still, if he does show up, the show probably wouldn’t gain much from killing him since we don’t know the guy very well. On the other hand, this makes him expendable which isn’t a great thing to be when an army of zombies bears down on you. Nonetheless, the show will need someone to rule the Riverlands after the main conflict is over and Edmure is the prime candidate. Though he has a son who could fill the role. Either way, he’s not much of a fighter and doesn’t have a knack for strategy. But he’s honor-bound to fight with his Stark in-laws against the White Walkers. But unless being stuck in prison has knocked some sense into him, he’s going down.

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Jamie Lannister– though he started the series pushing a kid out the window, he’s slowly morphed into a character we could cheer for. After he’s spent some time with Brienne and got his hand chopped off. At the end of Season 7, Jamie’s headed north to join the fight against the army of the dead, which will be very, very dangerous for a man with one hand. If he survives, he has to deal with his sister. Jamie and Cersei both said they would leave together as they were born. Perhaps he could spend his days with Brienne or alone. But since Jamie has crimes to answer for, he probably can’t escape his fate.

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Varys-he’s an enigma who’s intent on placing a Targaryen on the Iron Throne. But we don’t know whether if he truly cares about the realm or if it’s just a self-serving desire. If he’s an all-seeing altruistic manipulator seeking a peace that will last beyond his own life, he might have a chance at a comfy retirement. But he could just as easily die in the service of it as well. Yet, if Varys is serving his own nefarious purposes, he’s sure to meet an untimely end. After all, he did very little to advance Daenerys’ cause in Seasons 2-4. And in Season 7, Dany threatened to burn the eunuch if he betrayed her. On top of that, Melisandre prophesized his death. “I have to die in this strange country, just like you.”

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Grey Worm– we’ve probably seen his death coming for awhile since he’s on the front lines in every engagement. But fighting the undead in the wintry North is different than what he’s used to in combat. Besides, one can only escape death so many times. But don’t feel bad since dying fighting is what he’s prepared his whole life anyway. Also, he has a beautiful love story with Missandei so you’ll be shedding tears on this one.

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The Night King– well, he has to die, doesn’t he? But we don’t really know much about him or his motivations. Perhaps deep down he’s a man who the Children of the Forest turned him into an ice monster against his will and he’s only knocking down the Wall to escape a prison he didn’t deserve. Then again, he could just have no feelings whatsoever. Though most likely Jon will drive Longclaw into his chest. Though it’s possible that he could be driven back or even win.

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Eddison “Dolorous Edd” Tollet– a fan favorite for his dour wit, friendship with Jon Snow, and a knack for staying alive in a show known for redshirting (killing off minor characters). As of Season 7, new Lord Commander Edd and the remnants of the Night’s Watch are holed up in Castle Black. While the White Walkers have broken through Eastwatch and are heading south. Should the Night King brings his forces to bear on the castle’s unprotected side, the acting Lord Commander and his men might as well be the redshirt army. Sure, Edd has fought wights before, but when the army of dead comes knocking at their door, it’s over. The only way he can avoid death is if anyone summons him before the White Walkers descend on Castle Black or if the army of the dead skips the place entirely.

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Beric Dondarrion– now that Red Priest Thoros died in Season 7, the next time the Brotherhood Without Banners leader dies will be his last. In fact, he’s already dead in the books. A champion of the Lord of Light, Beric has been fighting the Great War against darkness since the series began. Given he’s a walking dead man who’s got nothing left but to live and die for the cause, he doesn’t stand a chance of surviving past victory. Since he’s not a big part of things.

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Euron Greyjoy– with Jamie’s departure and Cersei’s promise of sharing her bed and kingdom, things might be looking up for this Ironborn king. When he returns from Essos with the Golden Company, he’d want to cash in those IOUs. But with the army of the dead along with Daenerys and Jon’s forces, and Yara and Theon still around, Euron’s number coming up. Besides, Cersei doesn’t make the best ally, given what happened to the Tyrells. So it’s only a matter of when Euron will bite the dust and by whom. Since it’s difficult to see such an irredeemable villain being left alive in the end.

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Qyburn– he’s one of those supporting characters who’s been slipping directly under the radar for years since he’s been on the show since the beginning. In the show, he’s saved Jamie from losing his arm, brought the Mountain back to life, and helped Cersei to blow up the Great Sept of Baelor. He may be a quiet man, but he’s got tricks. Given the projected high body count in Season 8, he’s sure to have a great opportunity to examine fallen White Walkers. Still, once he’s hitched a ride to Cersei’s star, he’s destined to fall. Chances are, he’ll stand with her to the last. Maybe the Mountain can hulk out and lash out some poetic justice to his Dr. Frankenstein.

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“Bronze” Yohn Royce– a sturdy secondary character since Season 4, Royce is steely and no-nonsense. But we haven’t really delved into his inner thoughts and feelings. Nor has he ever been the head of his own storyline. Since a clash at Winterfell is inevitable, not every character will survive. Sure a couple major characters will die but not right away. So we must kill off some from the supporting cast and Royce is the ideal candidate. He’s a military commander so it’s all too easy for him to meet the end of a White Walker’s ice spear. Or the writers could surprise us. Since there won’t be much fallout on whether he lives or dies. But chances are good that he dies.

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Visceryon– now that he’s an undead ice dragon who’s broke down the Wall, his destruction has become a top priority for the good of humanity in Westeros and the known world. Chances are, either one his brothers or that giant dragon killing contraption will.

The Final Season of Game of Thrones: Part 1 – Who Lives

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Of course, one of the more important questions of HBO’s Game of Thrones is who’s going to die next? Given that this show has been notorious for killing off major characters we’ve come to know and love as well despise. For God’s sake, the show began with Ned Stark as the main character. Only for King Joffrey to chop off his head just before the first season finale. The list goes on from there. Now some characters did get resurrected like Jon Snow and the Hound. While others got saved in the nick of time like Jorah Mormont. However, given that the show’s approaching the end, the stakes have been substantially raised. So it’s only fair that I make my own list on who will survive the series or who will die in the final season.

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Note: Most of these will be guesses based on what I know about each surviving character in the show and what may happen in Season 8. So take each with a grain of salt. Also, if you haven’t made it to Season 7, there will be spoilers.

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Given that Game of Thrones is infamous for killing off characters, we should expect some to make it through the series alive. After all, even as everything goes to hell, some will have to stand. The ending may not what we want, but after the White Walkers and Cersei is gone, people will have to roles to play in the Seven Kingdoms. Some have reasons to survive. While with others, there’s no way they’ll be in the thick of the action, especially against the army of the dead.

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Jaqen H’gar– since he hasn’t been on the show since Arya left the House of Black and White to Westeros, he’ll probably live since she didn’t kill him in Braavos. Yet, remember those who live by the sword die by the sword. But he’s not likely to get it since we won’t be seeing him again.

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Sansa Stark– past the Long Night and into the future of Westeros, she’s one of the only major characters with the political savvy to lead what will be left of the Seven Kingdoms after the Great War has ripped them to shreds. Throughout Season 7, Sansa grew as a ruler demonstrating empathy, humility, and dedication to her role and her family. Along the way, she gained the respect of the Northern lords and bannermen, and the lord of the Vale. Sansa’s title as Lady of Winterfell isn’t just her birthright, but one she’s earned. This season, she was the only person in power to tackle the mundane, everyday tasks that are essential to a functioning household and kingdom. When she wasn’t busy spurning Littlefinger’s advances, Sansa was seldom seen without a ledger or other such documents in hand, showing that leadership isn’t just about battles, but also organization and community. She asked questions to the lords in order to improve her own knowledge, and made suggestions for how to better their circumstances as she prepared Winterfell for the Northerner influx she expects to host before war hits. Essentially, Sansa knows the threats surrounding all sides and she prepares accordingly. Once the Long Night is over, this is exactly the sort of leadership Westeros will need.

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Samwell Tarly– since he doesn’t get his hands dirty, abhors violence of any kind, and would rather run from a fight if he can avoid it, he’ll certainly survive. Besides, he has a family now and will be happy to assist in the evacuation efforts before the armies clash. But more importantly, Sam needs to survive so he can tell the story of A Song of Ice and Fire. While he’s the most unlikely and perfect survivor as the intelligent, loyal, and often overlooked character who comes great in the end. Still, there’s no telling what will happen at the Citadel when the Maesters find out he stole all those books, which will be more than revoking a library card. Also, he’ll unquestionably sacrifice his life to save Gilly and Sam if need be.

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Gilly– all Gilly has done in this show is try to get away from her abusive family and support Sam. Yes, I know Game of Thrones may be tempted to kill her or her son off since they’re totally innocent people in a danger zone, but seeing them die would just seem callous. Besides, being Little Sam’s mother and in a relationship with Sam, she’s the link to make the show’s most functional family. One family has to endure.

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Bran Stark– considering that he got flung from a tower in the first episode, it’s such a feat that he’s made it to Season 8 at all (though Meera Reed should get a lot of credit for that). For the first time in years, Bran is formally ensconced in Winterfell as well as surrounded by friends and family. But given that an undead army led by a dragon-riding ice demon’s heading south, he’s not out of the woods yet. However, Bran’s foresight power could give him and the army of the living an advantage in the wars to come. He’s incredibly focused in the fight to the point where he’s tuned out all human emotion. For now, that’s a good thing. The last Three-Eyed Raven lived for an incredibly long time, Bran will likely follow suit. And at least he’ll know that it doesn’t end in the hands of the Night King.

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Tyrion Lannister– he’s unlikely to be in the line of fire since he’s more of a battle strategist than a fighter since he won the major battle for the Lannisters during the War of the Five Kings. Furthermore, unlike in Season 2, he’s likely to be planning and organizing behind the scenes. So he’ll be safer than most. Besides, he needs to be around to advise the new regime once the Night King and Cersei are gone. And as the series wraps up, Tyrion is perfect to give the narrative weight and the God-given eloquence to give a believable speech summing everything up. Besides, he’s such a fan favorite that fans have sworn they’d stop watching the show if he’s killed off. So he needs to live.

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Robin Arryn– given that he’s a sickly child who usually spends most of his time in a castle up on the mountains, he’ll be fine. Though with White Walkers on the prowl, we can’t be sure of anything.

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Archmaester Ebrose– unless the army of the dead directly threatens the Citadel or he succumbs to natural causes, Ebrose will be fine. Besides, he’ll most likely not appear in the final season at all.

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Gendry– now that he’s back fighting the White Walkers, there’s no point of killing him off. He’s the last true Baratheon (biologically speaking since he’s a bastard), it’s possible that Daenerys could legitimize him and give him a big promotion so he could marry one of the Stark girls (though more likely Arya unless she dies). It would be cruel to kill him off after returning to the show so soon. Seeing him still standing will be a nice sign of how history repeats itself and things come full circle, which are recurring themes in the show. Seriously, after all the misery we’ve seen, there needs to balance some happiness.

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Nymeria– after years in the wilderness, we finally see her meet with Arya in Season 7. But now she’s the leader of her own pack and we hope she’s too busy raising a new litter of pups to get involved in human affairs. Though it’s possible she could die saving Arya from a mortal blow.

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Little Sam– all little Sam has done was be a baby while we’ve seen at least one baby fall to the White Walkers already. Killing him or his mom of off would just be exploitative though killing innocents might be a way to drive home the life-or-death stakes in a war against the dead.

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Missandei– though she’s been in the show for years, we don’t know her very well and she hasn’t been vitally important to the ongoing plotlines. So she’s more expendable than most, which isn’t a great thing to be. Redshirting one of Daenerys’ oldest friends would emphasize out heroes’ dire circumstances. But Daenerys can still do everything she wants with or without Missandei’s help. On the other hand, the show would have to go out of its way to put Missandei into any life-threatening danger. While she’s following her queen into a war, she’s not on the front lines. So her death may come off as a shock and it would be better off not happening. She’s more likely to survive. Hell, she might be democratically elected ruler of Meereen after the war is over since she’s proven to be an intelligent, insightful, and capable leader in her own right.

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Lyanna Mormont– she may only be ten, but this lady of Bear Island is the only character everyone’s afraid to cross since she possess the same might as men twice her age and her size. Nor is she afraid of being on the front lines and call everyone for battle training. But a battlefield is no place for a child and Lady Mormont might put herself in serious danger unless her Bear Islanders can protect their endearing grizzly. Nonetheless, killing this pint-sized spitfire and fan favorite would be cruel and won’t advance the plot. Besides, fans were not happy when Stannis let Melissandre burn Shireen at the stake as a sacrificial offering that went nowhere. Not to mention, there’s something quite delightful in seeing so many hardened warriors die but a plucky little girl survive.

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Meera Reed– the daughter of Ned Stark’s most trusted bannerman, Howland Reed, Meera has stuck through the gravest dangers with Bran, which left her brother Jojen, Hodor, Summer, Leaf, and the Three-Eyed Raven dead. She fought off White Walkers and brought Bran to the outer reaches of Beyond the Wall, doing what no one else could all in the memory to her dead brother. Hell, Bran would’ve been dead if it weren’t for her. Fortunately, she’ll be safe at Greywater Watch which isn’t worth the trouble to try and conquer it since it’s in a swamp. So the only threat facing it are the White Walkers. Thus, Meera’s most likely fate would be staying gone without further mention. Still, she could get the Blackfish treatment of being reintroduced to be unceremoniously killed off by White Walkers, possibly offscreen. Since the series has a habit of killing off characters who’ve outlived their usefulness to the plot. Though she may have a role to play should Howland Reed show up to save the day. But that’s unlikely.

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Aeron Greyjoy– a Drowned Man who’s also Euron’s brother as well as Theon and Yara’s other uncle, Aeron doesn’t really involve himself much in dynastic squabbles on the Iron Islands. And since he’ll have to preside over at least 2 funerals in the final season, I’m betting he’ll most likely survive. Yet, the question is whether he’ll be the only Greyjoy standing.

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Roslin Tully– she may be the infamous Walder Frey’s daughter and the bride at the Red Wedding. But given that her niece Arya Stark murdered the men in her family and has a son to raise, she’ll probably be fine. Though she might need to find a hiding place since a lot of battles take place in the Riverlands. Besides, we’ll probably never see her again anyway.

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Kitty Frey– as Walder Frey’s last wife and a teenager, Arya Stark spared her life so she could tell others that the North remembers. Nonetheless, given that she was forced into a marriage to an old treacherous man, Kitty will most likely not seek revenge against her husband’s assassin and will certainly live. Since we’re unlikely to see her again. Besides, Arya did her a favor.

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Melessa Tarly– as Sam’s mother, she’ll probably be in mourning for her husband and son who Daenerys had burnt to a crisp in Goldroad. Still, as long as she doesn’t leave her home at Horn Hill or the White Walkers don’t come knocking at the door, she’ll be fine.

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Talla Tarly– given that her brother and father are dragon ashes and her brother is a Maester in the Night’s Watch, she’ll be the Lady of Horn Hill and head of her family. So as long as she doesn’t leave home with an army or have any White Walkers show up, she’ll be fine.

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Tycho Nestoris– working for the Iron Bank of Braavos, he’ll probably not visit Westeros very often except when someone owes him money, he’ll be fine. Unless Cersei goes batshit crazy and has him put to death. Though that’s unlikely given the bank is in Braavos. What’s questionable is whether he’ll get paid.

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Orell– okay, he’s got killed off before as a Wildling. But he still lives on as warg in an eagle. So he can expect to spend the rest of his life in the forest settling down with an eagle family of his own. Thus, he’s unlikely to appear in his new form.