FINALLY — Some Good News!

I lost count of how many “Breaking News” updates hit my phone yesterday, but most contained good news, so I’m not complaining.  Four things among the maelstrom of pings, dings and knocks from my phone stand out, all of them positive, at least from where I stand, though I’m sure there are those who would disagree with me.

  • The first was that Joe Biden announced several of his choices for key cabinet positions. I’ll have more about this in future posts, for I will need time to research these people, some of whom I’m not familiar with.  But the one that caught my eye first was Biden’s appointment of John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate.  This sends a message, loud and clear, that no longer will we shirk our duty toward climate change and the environment.  As Secretary of State under President Obama, John Kerry played a key role in negotiating the landmark Paris Climate Accord, which was adopted by nearly 200 nations in 2015 and was aimed at addressing the negative impacts of climate change. Trump withdrew the US from agreement, and Biden has pledged to rejoin it on his first day in office.

  • Next came the news that the election officials in Michigan certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. I let out a few YAHOOOOOOs over this one and found myself, inexplicably, with tears in my eyes.  Too much stress lately, I guess.  Pennsylvania and Arizona are close to certifying Biden’s victory, but despite having a BA and an MA in Political Science, I simply do not understand what the holdup is.  Yes, I know Donnie Darkness is protesting, continuing to claim that he actually won, and suing everybody and their brother, but his cases are consistently being thrown out of the courts because there is zero evidence of any widescale aberrations anywhere.  Trump’s legal eagles have failed to provide a shred of evidence.  It’s time for every state to certify the vote, to follow the law and the will of the people.  Trump lost by more than 6 million votes – he’d have to find a hell of a lot of “voter fraud” to overturn that!

  • Then there was this headline in the New York Times: G.M. Drops Its Support for Trump Climate Rollbacks and Aligns With Biden.  Trump is suing the state of California (isn’t that rather like suing one’s own family member?  Perhaps he forgot that California is one of the 50 ‘United’ States?) in an effort to strip California of its ability to set its own, strict fuel economy standards.  Initially, three U.S. automakers joined in the lawsuit:  General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler.  With G.M. dropping their support, it is likely only a matter of days before Toyota and Fiat Chrysler join their competitor in dropping out.  In fact, G.M.’s CEO, Mary Barra, urged the other two to follow G.M.’s lead.  Score one for the environment!

  • And last, but certainly not least, came the news just around supper time, that Emily Murphy at the General Services Administration (GSA) acknowledged Joe Biden as the ‘apparent’ winner of the election. This move will give the Biden transition team access to federal transition funds, and will also allow the team to establish contact and working relations with federal agencies.  A day late and a dollar short, as they say, but … better late than never.  Trump attempted to take credit for the decision, but made a point of saying that he is not conceding the election, and that … “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good … fight, and I believe we will prevail!”  I laughed at this … I really no longer care what he says, for he is quickly becoming irrelevant.  The sooner he, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Kayleigh McEnany figure that out, the sooner our lives will become more peaceful!

I still have concerns, still do not trust Donald Trump, nor the congressional republicans, nor the Supreme Court, nor the white supremacist gun freaks who say they are planning violence when Joe Biden is inaugurated, but overall I think yesterday was a red-letter day for positive news … something we were sorely in need of.  We still have many problems, and yesterday was not quite a ‘jump for joy’ moment, but more a ‘sigh of relief’ one.  Perhaps soon we’ll even be able to sleep for more than an hour at a time.

Open Letter To Republican Members Of Congress

Dear Senator/Representative,

I write today out of extreme frustration as a citizen of the United States, a person who has paid taxes since 1964 when I was but 13 years of age, and an independent voter who has voted since 1972 for both parties at various times.  I believe I have earned the right to speak my piece, and I shall do so now.

Since the U.S. Constitution was adapted in 1787, this nation has abided by certain standards, one of those being a fair and honest election whereby everyone has an equal voice, and once the results are tallied, they are accepted by all.  In the 2016 election, it was later proven that Russia aided and abetted the election campaign of Donald Trump, who actually lost the election by nearly 3 million votes, and yet due to the electoral system, was placed in office on January 20th, 2017.  His opponent, Hillary Clinton, graciously congratulated him on his ‘win’ the day after the election, as did then-President Barack Obama.

Fast forward to November 3rd, 2020, not quite three weeks ago.  The election was held, but results were not immediately available because of the surging pandemic that led many of us to vote by absentee ballot.  Within a couple of days, it became obvious that Joe Biden had won the election, had earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and had scored over 6 million votes more than Donald Trump.  And yet … without one shred of proof or evidence, that result is being hotly contested by Trump and his lawyers.  Not only that, but Trump continually claims, falsely, that he won the election, that there was massive voter fraud, and that “the democrats stole” the election from him.

You know, and I know that not a single shred of evidence exists to support Trump’s claims.  Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, said that the 2020 election was the most secure in the history of the nation.  He was fired for telling the truth and for doing his job.  Still, Donald Trump continues to create chaos by making false claims.

In the past week, four members of Congress have followed their conscience and condemned Trump’s attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the election:  Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Ben Sasse, outgoing Senator Lamar Alexander, and Senator Pat Toomey.  Each of the four have said it is time for Trump to face the fact that he lost and be gracious in conceding the election.  YOU, however, remain silent.  I ask you now … WHY?  You know that Joe Biden won the election honestly and fairly.  You know that Donald Trump is a temperamental, dishonest ‘man’, lacking in integrity, who has done more damage to this country than the last ten presidents combined.  So … why are you silent?  Your silence speaks volumes about your character.

Surely you must realize that Trump is casting doubt, not only on the integrity of the 2020 election, but on our democratic processes as he continues to rant and rave about things that simply do not exist.  You have achieved one of the highest-ranking positions in the nation, so surely you must be an intelligent and well-educated individual, and yet at this moment, it appears that you are without conscience.

I, and my fellow citizens, call on you today … yes, TODAY … to condemn Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions, to demand that he concede the election so that President-elect Biden’s transition team can get to work, planning for a smooth transition and the ongoing safety of the nation.  IF you do not, if you continue to enable Trump and his minions to undermine the democratic processes of this nation without so much as a whimper on your part, then you do not deserve the position you hold.  Know that, if you continue to allow this to go on without adding your voice to those of Senators Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Alexander, then I and others will work tirelessly the next time you are facing a re-election bid, to ensure that the American public knows just how disinterested in the future of this nation and its people you are, and I will work to support your opponent, whoever he or she may be.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – citizen, taxpayer, voter


Note to readers:  I have sent this letter to Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Representative Warren Davidson, and am planning to send it to the local newspaper, as well.  The silence in the GOP on this matter is deafening and we cannot wait forever for these members of Congress to find their consciences.  Feel free to adapt and use the letter if you wish.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 11/21

I thought a bit of humour might be in order this afternoon, so I’m sharing with you TokyoSand’s weekly assortment of the best political cartoons from the past week.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the political cartoonists surely prove that.  I do find, though, that I don’t find as much humour in them these days as I once did.  Hopefully, a year from now we will be shed of both the diseases that are crippling the nation … the pandemic and Donald Trump … and then we can once again look outward and see what’s happening in the rest of the world, can laugh over the little faux pas that make the news. 

Anyway … thank you TS for doing such a great job finding the best of the best!

pol-toon-1pol-toon-2pol-toon-3

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Our Lives, Or A Game Of Golf?

On Friday, the U.S. recorded 204,179 new cases of the coronavirus, and 1,998 deaths in a 24-hour period.  This is tragic, appalling, frightening.  Well, to most of us, it is, though to Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who calls himself ‘president’, it’s just another statistic … ho-hum … where are my golf clubs?

This weekend, the G20 summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 260,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world. Based on that, one might think that Donald Trump, the outgoing ‘president’, would be extremely interested in the proceedings, but yesterday morning, as the summit was starting at 8:00 a.m., Trump was too busy tweeting to be bothered logging on.  He did, at some point, appear via video link, but not to discuss the pandemic.  Instead, he tooted his own horn, boasting about the US economy and military, and repeated false claims that his government’s Operation Warp Speed was behind both the first two successful coronavirus vaccines, which was a blatant lie. Warp Speed provided funding for development of the vaccine produced by Moderna, but not the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed without US government help. And he also made a strange remark, given that his term of office will end in just 59 days …

“It’s been a great honour to work with you, and I look forward to working with you again for a long time.”

Throughout the short time he spent online with the summit, he was intermittently busily tweeting about the election.  And then, after opening remarks, when it was time to begin the session on pandemic preparedness and response, Trump left and went to play golf.  When questioned about the impropriety of his behaviour and obvious lack of concern, Press Secretary and resident bimbo Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement …

“During his remarks, President Trump highlighted how the United States marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis, as well as the unprecedented economic recovery of the United States on a foundation of tax and regulatory cuts, energy independence, and fair trade deals. He spoke about the aggressive actions and safety measures the United States took to protect the vulnerable, pioneer groundbreaking treatments, and develop vaccines and therapies at record-setting speed, which will save millions of lives. President Trump also reaffirmed the importance of the G20 working together for future economic growth and prosperity.”

He may have said all that, but it’s a pack of lies … not one bit of it is true!  Had he actually done any of that, perhaps the U.S. wouldn’t have the highest number of infections and the highest death toll of any nation on the planet.

Worse yet … Trump said that he wants U.S. citizens to be the first to receive vaccinations against coronavirus — a position that is in keeping with his crappy ‘America First’ ideology but contradicts the position of public health experts and other world leaders, who have urged giving priority to front-line health workers and vulnerable populations such as the elderly.  Trump’s is an unconscionably selfish viewpoint and one that I, as a citizen, voter and taxpayer do not support!  I’m sure his rabid base, however, will love him for being willing to allow people to die in other countries.

A lot of good can come from international summits such as this … it is an opportunity to work cooperatively to solve problems such as the pandemic and climate change.  The U.S. needs to be a part of these groups, we need to participate in the international community!  Yet, Donald Trump would sooner isolate us, make us the pariah.  The other nations will move forward with or without us, and the other nations will be more prepared, more organized, and better able to deal with what comes next.  The U.S. will continue to have the highest number of infections and the highest death rate.  It is my hope that once Joe Biden assumes office in 59 days, he will be able to mend some of the fences that Donald Trump has destroyed.

It speaks volumes, my friends, when as our friends and family members are becoming ill, some even dying, the ‘man’ who could help is out on the golf course playing a game.  This is how much our lives mean to him … less than a game of golf.

He Lost-Get over it!

Jeff has perfectly stated my own thoughts with this post. I’ve been pondering a similar post for two days, but my temper gets in the way of coherence, so … thank you, Jeff, for putting my feelings into words.

On The Fence Voters

Around 2:30 in the morning on November 9, 2016, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump to congratulate him and concede the election.

Later that same day, with her husband Bill behind her, and a crowd of her campaign staff and supporters in the audience, she publicly did the same thing. Eyes welling up with tears, she stood there and showed the nation what it’s like to be a patriot. This is how we do it in the United States of America:

“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.”

You battle and fight hard…

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WHY???

Today, Donald Trump is in the process of attempting to bribe two election officials from Michigan to override the voice of We the People in that state.  This is treason, it is illegal, and if these two election officials take the bait and rescind their certification of Joe Biden as winner in the State of Michigan, they should be arrested, charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.  And if he succeeds in bribing these two to lie, cheat and steal, who will be next?  The election officials in Georgia?  Pennsylvania?  Wisconsin?  If he can convince election officials in any three of those states to lie, to override the will of the people, he might just manage to stay in office, against the will of the people and to the detriment of the entire world.  And WHY???   He has never been fit for the office of the president, has never cared one whit about the people of this country, so why the hell is he so damn determined to lie, cheat and steal to stay in office?  The following column by Bill Press may answer that question.


Get the orange jumpsuit ready: Extra-large!

bill-pressBy Bill Press

Everybody knows it’s crazy. But nobody can figure out why he’s doing it. Even Donald Trump knows Joe Biden won. But nobody can figure out why Trump, more than two weeks after the election, still insists he won, refuses to concede, and is doing everything he can to overturn the election results.

Speculation abounds. His ego can’t accept defeat. He thinks Rudy Giuliani can actually pull this off. He’s trying to rev up his base for the January 5 Senate run-off in Georgia. Or he’s laying the groundwork to run for president in 2024.

Interesting theories, but they’re all wrong. There’s only one reason Donald Trump’s so desperate to stay in the White House: because he knows it’s the only way he can stay out of prison. Once Joe Biden takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2021, Trump’s open to prosecution for all the crimes he’s committed, both before and after becoming president. And it’s a long list.

Roll the tape. In a telephone call, Trump tried to bribe Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into opening an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. The fact that Trump’s Republican friends in the Senate chose not to convict him doesn’t change anything. It’s still a federal crime.

Read the report. The Mueller Report details multiple occasions in which Trump tried to obstruct justice by undermining an ongoing Justice Department investigation. The fact that Trump’s bootlicker attorney general chose not to indict him doesn’t change a thing. It’s still a federal crime for which he can and should still be held responsible.

Check the record. Every day, Trump’s profiteering from the presidency at his golf courses, office buildings, condos and hotels. By accepting money from foreign governments, he’s in direct violation of the Emoluments Clause. Trump’s lease on his Washington hotel is illegal under rules of the General Services Administration. Again, the fact that Attorney General Barr chose not to prosecute doesn’t change anything. They’re still against the law.

And, speaking of federal crimes, what about standing on the sidelines and doing nothing while 11 million Americans are infected with COVID-19 and 250,000 have died from it? Indeed, he’s making matters worse by deliberately downplaying the disease, telling people not to wear a mask, and holding his own super-spreader events. Trump lied, and thousands of people died. If that’s not a crime, I don’t know what is.

Some argue that Trump will never face federal charges because he could resign the presidency and be pardoned by Mike Pence. That’s true. Like Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon, Pence could give a blanket pardon to Donald Trump – but for federal crimes only. That would not absolve Trump from prosecution for criminal activity at the state level.

Starting with sexual harassment. Since the ’70s, 26 women have accused Donald Trump of “unwanted sexual contact.” Two lawsuits by women against Donald Trump are actively making their way in New York state courts: one by E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Trump of raping her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman; a second by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, suing Trump for defamation for accusing her of lying about his sexual abuse.

Even more serious is the investigation underway by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into Trump’s financial dealings, including illegal campaign payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and tax and bank fraud, as revealed by Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, where Trump inflated his net worth in seeking loans from banks, yet deflated it when paying taxes. Most ominously, courts recently gave Vance access to Trump’s tax returns.

Both at the federal and state level, in other words, Trump’s in deep criminal doo-doo. He’s headed for the slammer. The only real question is whether President-elect Biden will allow his Justice Department to go there. It’s eerily reminiscent of 2009, when Barack Obama decided not to pursue George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes – because, he said, it was important to move forward and not focus on the past.

And what happened? Donald Trump concluded you could do whatever you wanted as president, no matter how illegal, and still get away with it. We can’t make that mistake again. As Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) noted this week, failure to prosecute Trump would “embolden criminality by our national leaders.”

Trump doesn’t deserve to walk out of the White House a free man. He deserves to be behind bars. And not just him, the whole Trump gang: Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, Jared, and Rudy Giuliani.

The World Turns a mite strangely

I often find that friends ‘across the pond’ see our situation so much more clearly than many in this country see it. Perhaps it’s that old adage “… can’t see the forest for the trees”. Right now, we are in the most politically stressful time in most of our lives, and our friend David astutely sums it all up in a view from ‘cross the pond. Thank you, David!

The BUTHIDARS

A little over two weeks ago the US had elections for President as well as some Senators and representatives. I’m quite sure most of you remember it since TV’s and newspapers the world over covered it along with the usual conspiracy theorists from Facebook. Under normal circumstances the election would have been done and dusted by now. But that doesn’t allow for the capriciousness of the current President Donald J Trump .

Once the count had been done which took a few days because of votes by mail which are counted last the results appeared Joe Biden. Democrat 290 seats and over 79m votes Donald Trump Republican 232 seats and over 73m votes. This appears to be a decisive victory for Joe Biden. Under normal circumstances, and I repeat this because it’s anything but normal, the President would concede (as gracefully as possible), the President elect, his Vice President Kamala…

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A Dangerous Psychopath … In Congress!

gohmertU.S. Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas first came onto my radar in May of 2016 for his insane proposal that in the event of an asteroid colliding with earth, we would need to establish a space colony and he patently said that LGBT would not be welcome on the new colony.  Gohmert proposed a …

“… space ship that can go, as Matt Damon did in the movie [The Martian], plant a colony somewhere, we can have humans survive this terrible disaster about to befall, if you could decide what 40 people you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples? You’re wanting to save humankind for posterity, basically a modern-day Noah, you have that ability to be a modern-day Noah, you can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on a spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?”

As I was researching Mr. Gohmert for that post, I found that in 2010, he put forth the theory that there was an insidious plot afoot involving so called “terror babies.” He claimed he had uncovered a plot involving terrorists sending pregnant women into the US to birth their ‘America-hating children’. The mothers and their kids then return home where, the congressman says, the children “could be raised and coddled as future terrorists”— and later, “twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life.”  It seems to me that it is the likes of Mr. Gohmert who are attempting to destroy our lives.

Then earlier this year (July), he came onto my radar again when he contracted the coronavirus and claimed to have gotten the virus from … wait for it … wearing a mask!  He eschewed the mask-wearing for several months, and claimed it was only once he gave in to the pressure and started wearing a mask that he contracted the virus.  Worse yet, after receiving his diagnosis, he went in person to his office, called his staff together in a room, and shared not only the news, but also his germs with them.

The very next day, I found out that the week before, he had introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling on the House to bar all Democrats from the chamber because of the party’s historical ties to slavery and racism unless the party is renamed.  Shouldn’t somebody point out to this fool that it is the republicans who are fighting to maintain their racist, homophobic, xenophobic way of life?

And today, ol’ Louie is once again blipping across my radar, causing me to grit my teeth and scratch my head.  According to the Dallas Morning News, Gohmert spoke to the Trump supporters gathered outside the White House on Saturday, parroting Trump’s claims that the election was “stolen”.  Nothing new here, for at least half the republicans in Congress are paying lip service to that false claim.  But Louie Gohmert took it a bit further, and in my view his speech was incitement to violence.

First, he claimed that Trump won the popular vote in 48 of the 50 states … so patently false as to be laughable.  Then he went on to say that only about 30% of the colonists supported the revolution in 1776, but then he moved on to the Egyptian revolution of 2011 when Egyptians demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  17 days later, it was announced that Mubarak resigned as president, turning power over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).  Gohmert said …

“They rose up though all over Egypt … if they can do that there, think of what we can do here.”

Take a look for yourself at the conspiracy theorist/lunatic in action …

In my 2016 post, I ended  by begging the people of Texas not to re-elect this nutcase … but they didn’t listen to me and they re-elected him in 2016, again in 2018, and again this month, thus he has served thus far for fifteen years, and short of the unforeseeable, will serve for at least another two years.  Perhaps it is time that we make a mental health assessment requisite for all members of Congress?  I have to ask … how can anybody think it is a good idea to have this lunacy running our government?  Oh wait … it’s the same people who thought electing a television clown to the presidency was a good idea.  Our nation is beginning to feel more like a freakshow than a democratic republic.  R.I.P. United States?

What A President Sounds Like

What follows is an interview with President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United Sates.  Listen to his words, watch him … and then compare him to the clown who is currently, as our friend Jeff says, “batshit crazy”.  Need I say more?

This, my friends, is statesmanship, this is how a president who cares about the people in his country speaks, thinks, and acts.

 “So the Old World Slipped Away Never to Return Again…”: A Look Back at my Prediction for 2020

The usual Wednesday ‘good people’ post is delayed this week, but worry not … it will be here. Meanwhile, I would like to share with you Padre Steve’s latest post, a look back at his predictions from a year ago and some truths we need to ponder about the lessons of history. Thank you, Padre — excellent analysis, as always. I, too, wish you had been wrong way back in December 2019. Sigh.

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World


Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I wrote this article on 13 December 2019. It was pretty pessimistic even then without the Coronavirus 19 Pandemic which has killed over a quarter of a million Americans and infected over 11 million more, over a million in the past week. Over course that was not included in this article. The title then was  “So the Old World Slipped Away Never to Return Again…”: the Coming Disorder of 2020. Damn I hate being right, and we still have 49 days left in the year and President Trump seems intent on destroying the country using a scorched earth policy and attempting to provoke violence as the Proud Boys and other White Supremacist and self-proclaimed “militias” which are nothing more than heavily armed right wing vigilante and terrorist groups unrecognized by any law and operating outside of the Constitutional understanding of militias. Now we are…

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