The Trump Presidency Is Over …

You have heard me say more than once that the United States has no president.  Turns out, I’m not alone in my thinking, but am in fact in very good company.  Nobody says it better than Robert Reich, so I shall turn the platform over to him …


Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over

Robert Reich-4 Robert Reich

You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J Trump is no longer president of the United States.

By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office. 

He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV and tweeting.

How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

On Saturday, he gloated about “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” awaiting protesters outside the White House, should they ever break through Secret Service lines. 

Trump’s response to the last three ghastly months of mounting disease and death has been just as heedless. Since claiming Covid-19 was a “Democratic hoax” and muzzling public health officials, he has punted management of the coronavirus to the states.

Governors have had to find ventilators to keep patients alive and protective equipment for hospital and other essential workers who lack it, often bidding against each other. They have had to decide how, when and where to reopen their economies.

Trump has claimed “no responsibility at all” for testing and contact-tracing – the keys to containing the virus. His new “plan” places responsibility on states to do their own testing and contact-tracing.

Trump is also awol in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

More than 41 million Americans are jobless. In the coming weeks temporary eviction moratoriums are set to end in half of the states. One-fifth of Americans missed rent payments this month. Extra unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of July.

What is Trump’s response? Like Herbert Hoover, who in 1930 said “the worst is behind us” as thousands starved, Trump says the economy will improve and does nothing about the growing hardship. The Democratic-led House passed a $3tn relief package on 15 May. Mitch McConnell has recessed the Senate without taking action and Trump calls the bill dead on arrival. 

What about other pressing issues a real president would be addressing? The House has passed nearly 400 bills this term, including measures to reduce climate change, enhance election security, require background checks on gun sales, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and reform campaign finance. All are languishing in McConnell’s inbox. Trump doesn’t seem to be aware of any of them.

There is nothing inherently wrong with golfing, watching television and tweeting. But if that’s pretty much all that a president does when the nation is engulfed in crises, he is not a president.

Trump’s tweets are no substitute for governing. They are mostly about getting even.

When he’s not fomenting violence against black protesters, he’s accusing a media personality of committing murder, retweeting slurs about a black female politician’s weight and the House speaker’s looks, conjuring up conspiracies against himself supposedly organized by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and encouraging his followers to “liberate” their states from lockdown restrictions.

He tweets bogus threats that he has no power to carry out – withholding funds from states that expand absentee voting, “overruling” governors who don’t allow places of worship to reopen “right away”, and punishing Twitter for factchecking him.

And he lies incessantly.

In reality, Donald Trump doesn’t run the government of the United States. He doesn’t manage anything. He doesn’t organize anyone. He doesn’t administer or oversee or supervise. He doesn’t read memos. He hates meetings. He has no patience for briefings. His White House is in perpetual chaos. 

His advisers aren’t truth-tellers. They’re toadies, lackeys, sycophants and relatives.

Since moving into the Oval Office in January 2017, Trump hasn’t shown an ounce of interest in governing. He obsesses only about himself.

But it has taken the present set of crises to reveal the depths of his self-absorbed abdication – his utter contempt for his job, his total repudiation of his office.

Trump’s nonfeasance goes far beyond an absence of leadership or inattention to traditional norms and roles. In a time of national trauma, he has relinquished the core duties and responsibilities of the presidency.

He is no longer president. The sooner we stop treating him as if he were, the better.

Abandoning The World …

On Friday, Donald Trump announced that he would be pulling the United States out of the World Health Organization (WHO), effective immediately.  The thing is, Donald Trump is not a member of WHO … the United States is a member of WHO.  The United States is comprised of some 330 million people.  As one of those 330 million people, I reject his decision, made solely in his own head with no consultation by knowledgeable experts or the people of this country.  It is not right and proper for one ‘man’, a ‘man’ with substandard knowledge and substandard intellect, to make such a decision entirely on his own.  It is dangerous … extremely dangerous.  It is unfair to the people of not only this nation, but of the world.

Let me tell you a little bit about WHO.  The United Nations body was founded in 1948 with a mission to promote health around the world. The organization took on a swath of responsibilities, including managing the response to major global health priorities such as tuberculosis and malaria, as well as helping with access to health care around the world.  In its more than 70-year history, the WHO has tackled some of the world’s most pressing health issues, including emergencies. It helped eliminate smallpox and all but eliminate polio. It supports the administration of measles vaccines worldwide. More recently it played a role in the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Granted, WHO has its difficulties and has been accused of not responding quickly enough to the current pandemic, as well as others in the past.  But, to simply walk away, to pull $400 million per year away from the organization, is a classic case of ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’.  It is like the couple with three children who are having some difficulties, and rather than work through the problems, one partner says, “I’m done, I’m divorcing you and I’m not paying child support!”  It is, in a word, unconscionable.  The problems within WHO could be worked through and resolved, but it takes effort, it takes cooperation among nations, and it takes willingness to compromise.

Other world leaders have been quick to state that they have no plans to follow Trump’s example, but the reality is that the U.S. is the biggest financial contributor to WHO and without that funding, what they can accomplish will be severely limited. WHO fundingDonald Trump, in pulling out of WHO, is putting the entire world at risk, and for only one reason that I can see.  He failed miserably at being a leader when the pandemic hit the U.S., and his failures have significantly reduced his approval rating … just a few short months before the November election.  As is Trump’s way, he must find someone else to blame, and in this case it is WHO.  He has turned the health and well-being of every person on the planet into a political tool to save his own carcass. Senator Chris Murphy says it well …

“It was never about reforming the WHO. That was all lies. It was always about distraction and scapegoating. Leaving castrates our ability to stop future pandemics and elevates China as the world’s go-to power on global health. What a nightmare.”

I am deeply disturbed by the number of international agreements Trump has pulled out of.  First, the Paris Climate Accords that are attempting to find ways to save the environment from the ravages caused by the industrialized nations of the world, of which the U.S. is the largest per capita ravager.  Then he pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal … an agreement that, by all accounts, was working well in keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  He pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, an organization tasked with protecting human rights around the globe.  In all, he has pulled this nation out of more than a dozen international agreements, leaving not only the U.S. vulnerable, but the rest of the world as well.  There was a time that the U.S. was called the “leader of the free world”, but today, I’m not sure we are even a part of the free world, thanks to Donald Trump and his megalomania.   It seems as if Trump wishes us to be so isolated that we are not even a part of the larger world … this is a frightening scenario.  It is my hope that next January, we will quickly re-join these international groups that are trying to keep the world safe, that we will once again become part of the world.

I would urge Congress to stand up, do their job, and stop Trump’s utter madness, but … as we all know, the republicans in Congress are no longer our representatives, but rather Trump’s yes-men, thereby rendering Congress ineffective.  I would urge the people in this country, the ones who still care about people, to write letters to their representatives and senators protesting this unconscionable move by Trump, but again … our letters would be put through the shredders on Capitol Hill.  In short, we have lost our voices and will only have one last chance to exercise our will … on November 3rd.

Snarky Snippets … Back On Track

Whatever would I make of this blog if I didn’t have Trump and his band of thugs to write about?  Hmmmm … I might have to go back to reading whole books and writing book reviews, or perhaps shut the blog down and go back to knitting scarves and afghans for my friends (yes, I do know how to knit and used to spend many an evening so occupied.  A year or two ago, I gave my stash of yarn and supplies to my daughter, who is now knitting me a sweater with a wolf on it and wolf paw prints on the sleeves!)  Anyway, I do have Trump and the rest of the jerks to write about, so …


The Planet vs Trump … 

Since taking office on January 20th 2017, Donald Trump has had several goals, all of them intended to destroy the U.S. But one, the one he calls his “crowning achievement”, is to destroy the planet, making it uninhabitable for all life forms.  His deregulatory moves have had a terrible effect on all life forms, but they are moves that he has said will “save lives, lift the economy and help the auto industry.”  Frankly, if I cannot breathe, if the bees who pollinate our food are dying, if species are dying out … who gives a royal f*ck about the auto industry … or the economy, for that matter?  And save lives???  What a crock.

During the administration of President Obama, a fuel economy standard was put into place that would lower CO2 emissions, save us all money at the pump, and help with restoring cleaner air to every country in the world.  Given that these standards were put in place under Obama, naturally Trump had to destroy them, just as he destroyed his friends’ toys as a child.  Even the auto industry was not fully behind Mr. Trump’s deregulation and today, four of those automakers are standing firm in their commitment to the people and the environment.

On Wednesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a multistate coalition, filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s disastrous final rule rolling back the nation’s Clean Car Standards.  Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The battle is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, while not a part of the lawsuit, have split from the other automakers, declaring that they will continue to follow the lead of California and 13 other states that are upholding tougher standards than those set by the federal government.

By the Trump administration’s own calculations, changing the rule increases the emissions of greenhouse gases, the primary cause of global warming, by at least 867 million metric tons relative to the standards being rolled back. That is greater than the amount many midsize countries put out in a year.  It will also cost the average car owner an additional $500 over a three-year period in fuel costs.

Yet another test for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide whether they place more value on the planet and human life, or whether they are Trumpies above all else.


Pushing the boundaries … or are there any boundaries for Trump?

Since beginning his battle with Twitter a few days ago over his false tweets that Twitter put a fact-checking message on, Trump seems determined to show us just how utterly nasty he can be.  Folks, you can go to your local landfill, dig around all day, and I don’t think you will find anything as ugly, decayed, and downright nasty as the person who sits in the Oval Office today.

Until yesterday, I had never heard of “Cowboys for Trump”.  My supper would have settled better if I had never heard of them.  ‘Cowboys for Trump’ is a right-wing organization founded by a former street preacher named Couy Griffin.  Griffin is also a country commissioner for the county of Otero, New Mexico.  Apparently, the people of that county don’t much care about such things as education or qualifications.  Hmmmm … seems that 40% of the people in the U.S. don’t much care about those things, either.

Griffin has led a number of protests against the closing of the nation’s businesses and stay-at-home orders … no surprise there … he fits the prototype.  But, this week he overstepped his bounds.  In an interview with the Daily Beast on Tuesday, he called for the execution of at least two democratic governors, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia.  Why?  He claims they are ‘traitors’ for the restrictions they have imposed in their states, trying to keep their populace safe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You get to pick your poison: You either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope.”

What a bastard, yes?  But wait … it gets even worse.

Earlier this week, a video surfaced of Griffin at some event with his ‘cowboys’ giving a speech whereupon he said …

“The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

Okay, so the man is a bloody idiot … we can ignore that, right, although he frankly should be behind bars in Otero Country tonight for that is hate speech and incitement to violence in 8 short words.  But wait … that’s not all …

So pleased and inspired by that video was Donald Trump that he re-tweeted the video on Twitter, with a comment …

“Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!”

If I said on Twitter, “The only good Republican is a dead Republican”, do you know how fast my account would be closed … forever?  And do you know how long it would take for the cops to show up at my door?  And yet some jackass in Podunk New Mexico can say it in a public venue, tweet it on a public forum, and the fool who calls himself a ‘president’ (and I use the term loosely) can re-play it, again on a public forum, with impunity!  How utterly … unprofessional, demeaning, and downright NASTY is this sorry excuse for a ‘man’?  What’s next … what new low will I be writing about tomorrow?


On a brighter note …

There are many republicans in Congress who I’d like to see ousted, who should have been ousted long ago, but while the list is long, one man is always at the top of the list:  Mitch McConnell.  Mitch gave his all to ensure that President Barack Obama had to fight tooth and nail for what few proposals he got by during his eight-year tenure in office.  He ensured that our Supreme Court has the least integrity of any in the history of our nation.  And he rules the Senate with an iron hand, threatening and bullying just as Trump does.  Mitch long ago forgot to whom he owes his allegiance and is naught but a high-paid bootlicker for Donald Trump.

I was happy to see this new ad by The Lincoln Project, the political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans with the goal of preventing the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

America Needs an Election Intervention

Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, like most of us, has been giving a lot of thought to the upcoming election. He shares some of those thoughts and a possible solution to the dreaded scenarios that have played through our heads, in his post tonight. Please take a minute to read his thoughts, and let him know what you think. Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

Since the year 2000, we’ve had three presidential elections that we could easily question the final results. We know about the fiasco with George W. Bush against Al Gore and the hanging chads, not to mention the purging of African-American voters by his brother and then Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Oh, and of course, the Supreme Court weighing in by stopping the recount as well.

There was also the election of 2004 when John Kerry lost Ohio by roughly 118,000 votes. Still, there were questions at the time of voting irregularities and purges of Democratic voters by then Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. It didn’t matter in the long run because Kerry conceded the election and never demanded a recount.

And in 2016, with a little help from the Russians and voter suppression, the future worst president of the United States was elected. Here we are on the…

View original post 959 more words

The War Between Trump & Twitter

Twitter was a day late and a dollar short, but they have made a start.  Yesterday (or was it the day before?) I wrote about how Trump’s tweets falsely claiming that journalist Joe Scarborough was somehow responsible for the 2001 death of a young woman on his staff.  The young woman’s husband, deeply hurt by having such falsehoods aired in such a public venue, wrote a compelling letter to Twitter, asking them to remove the tweets.  They did not, and as of this writing say that they will not remove the tweets.  Frankly, I hope the widower, Timothy Klausutis, sues Twitter.  I’d also like to see him sue Trump, but of course since Attorney General William Barr has proclaimed Trump to be ‘above the law’, that is not likely to happen, at least until Trump is removed from office.

Twitter did, however, take a step … a very tiny step … toward mitigating some of the damage Trump’s tweets do as regards the upcoming election.  They began using a fact-check label for his tweets.

fact-check

If you click on the link, you will be directed to this …

fact-check-2

It’s little enough, but a step in the right direction.  Trump, however, was enraged and claimed that …

“Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

How the Sam Hell is adding a fact-check disclaimer “stifling” his free speech???  If they took down his lying tweets, or if they banned him, then he might claim an abridgement of his free speech, though I would argue a justifiable one.  However, he is still tweeting lies and more lies, so there has been NO abridgement to his freedom of speech.  Nonetheless, Trump being Trump, he didn’t stop there.

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

The only act I see that needs to be cleaned up is the Trump Circus Act, the lies, threats, bullying, more lies, and the most unprofessional verbiage I’ve ever heard from ANY president, bar none.  The reality is that there is very little voter fraud in any voting venue, at the polls or via mail-in ballots.  The other reality is that Trump does not have the power to shut down or censor social media outlets.

But, the fun doesn’t stop there, folks.  After Twitter refused to take down Trump’s false tweets about Joe Scarborough and the death of Lori Klausutis, Trump was asked at a press conference yesterday afternoon, if he had seen Mr. Klausutis’ letter, he responded …

“Yeah, I have. I’m sure that ultimately they want to get to the bottom of it and it’s a very serious situation. It’s a very suspicious thing and I hope somebody gets to the bottom of it. It would be a very good thing. As you know there’s no statute of limitations.”

THERE IS NO BOTTOM TO GET TO, YOU MORON!!!  Never was a shred of doubt that Ms. Klausutis died of natural causes, and Joe Scarborough was out of the state at the time she collapsed and died.  The only explanation I can come up with for his lunacy in continuing to put forth this obviously false conspiracy theory is that Donald Trump likes to hurt people.  He enjoys causing pain.  He is, in addition to all his other rotten qualities, a sadist.  That Twitter and Facebook continue to give a voice to such a cruel and malignant ‘man’ is unconscionable, in my book.  Remember the story I related a week or so ago about how he used to trip his children and make them fall on the ski trails?  That is the sign of a sadist.  Remember that as a teenager in military academy he tried to shove a classmate out of a second-story window over a dispute about a game?  That is the sign of a sadist.  Fortunately, he never had pets!

I saw a quote earlier today by Rob Reiner that says it all: “Donald Trump is not just a failure as a President, he is a failure as a human being.”  This, my friends, is the truth.

Five Long Months Ahead …

The 2016 election was not a fair and honest election.  If it had been, we would be writing about President Hillary Clinton today.  The election was “rigged”, to use Trump’s own terminology, in ways almost too numerous to count.  Gerrymandering takes top billing, as evidenced by the fact that Hillary Clinton won the election by nearly 3 million votes, yet because of gerrymandered districts, Trump ‘won’ the electoral college.  Other means of disenfranchising poor and minority voters came into play, as did propaganda by Russian entities, as well as Trump’s own dirty campaign.

Our own intelligence agencies tell us that the Russians have been spreading disinformation and propaganda for over a year now, gerrymandered districts have only been re-districted in two states that I’m aware of.  Add to that the crisis of the year, the coronavirus pandemic and … well, how could we possibly have a fair and honest election?  Most states are looking to a mail-in voting system, partial or complete, in November, but Donald Trump is jumping up and down, shrieking at the top of his lungs that it would be unfair to him.  No evidence, just … well, Donnie knows that if states have mail-in voting, people cannot be stopped at the polls, will not have to travel long distances to vote, and in short … far more people are likely to vote if they can do so from the comfort and security of their own home.  Increasing voter turnout is not what Trump wants … can you guess why?  Because those people who are typically disenfranchised are poor and minority voters who would be most inclined to vote for a democrat, the party that believes in putting people first, ahead of profit.

In 2016, only 55.7% of eligible voters actually cast a vote.  Barely over half!  I’ve discussed before the reasons.  Since 1972, the highest voter turnout was in 2008 when people were excited to have an African-American running for office, but even then the percentage of eligible voters that voted was only 58.2%.

Last week, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from states that switched to mail-in voting, specifically Nevada and Michigan.  Presumably, he figured out that he cannot do that without congressional approval … perhaps one of his overpriced advisors or lawyers told him, so now he has taken a different approach.

“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history. People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and “force” people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”

Now, you and I know he’s so full of hot air he should be flying by now.  But … there is a very real danger in his spew.  According to former head of DOJ’s civil rights division, Vanita Gupta …

“He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses.  It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out.”

In 2016, we heard Trump claim that if he lost, it would be because the election was ‘rigged’ (he seems to like that word a lot, doesn’t he?)  After he won the electoral college, he still claimed the election was ‘rigged’ because his ego couldn’t handle the fact that he had lost the election (popular vote).  If you’ll recall, there were threats of violence among the more radical of his supporters if he were to lose.  Nothing we’re seeing today should surprise us, but …

The danger is greater this year than in 2016 because there is more at stake.  First, it is highly unusual for an incumbent to lose his second term, and it would be as a slap in the face to Trump, who sees himself as the greatest president other than Abraham Lincoln.  Second, while Attorney General William Barr has declared Trump to be ‘above the law’ during his tenure in office … that protection goes away at noon on January 20th 2021 if Trump loses the election.  He is, at that point, an average citizen (albeit a wealthy one with Secret Service protection) and it is not at all unreasonable to think he will face a barrage of lawsuits, likely criminal charges, once he leaves office.

And, of course, there is Trump’s faithful following, mostly either wealthy businessmen who stand to gain under Trump, and evangelicals who will put up with just about anything as long as he promises them he will tear down the wall of separation between church and state, will nominate judges who will strike down the likes of Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges, further shredding civil rights in this nation.  One of his loyal evangelical lapdogs, Rick Wiles, claims that …

“If they take him out, there’s gonna be violence in America. That’s all there is to it….However he leaves, there’s going to be violence in America…There are people in this country — veterans, there are cowboys, mountain men — I mean guys that know how to fight. And they’re going to make a decision that the people who did this to Donald Trump are not going to get away with it. And they’re gonna hunt ’em down.”

Stupid?  Sure … you and I know that, but sadly there are some who think violence is the answer.  It never … NEVER is, but these people carry big guns because they know no other way to make a point, to carry on a civil discourse.

Five months left until election day, folks.  This promises to be the single most contentious election in our lifetimes, mainly because one of the candidates and his party is the most contentious candidate in our lifetimes.  Other factors, such as being in the midst of a pandemic the likes of which we’ve never experienced add to the drama.  I cannot even begin to imagine the atrocities and rhetoric that will be spewed by Trump and the GOP, but I do know it will escalate over the coming months.  Steel yourself, be prepared, don’t let Trump’s rhetoric and the garbage you hear on off-the-wall websites and Fox “News” deter you.  Keep your eye on the ball.  We cannot afford to completely ignore Trump’s hate speech, but we must not let it weaken our resolve to oust him in November.

Just Two Snippets Of Snark Today …

Trump seems to be occupying a heck of a lot of space on my radar screen these days, pushing out most everyone else.  I hoped to write about something else today, but fools, idiots and Trump were all I could see on my radar.  So …


Another temper tantrum …

Trump is threatening to change the venue for the Republican National Convention in August.  Initially planned for an Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump’s complaint now is that North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper cannot promise that a packed arena will be allowed under the state’s rules to protect people from the spread of the coronavirus.

“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the arena.  In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space. Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!”

Now, I fully understand Governor Cooper’s reticence to commit to allowing thousands of people into the arena to mingle and share their germs.  However, think about it.  If the republicans who would attend are so ignorant that they would risk not only their own lives, but also those of their families … let them. Trump’s alternative venue is Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is one of the first to throw the doors to the state wide open and throw caution to the winds.  DeSantis, like Trump, has no concern for the lives of people, but only the financial well-being of the wealthy, the tourism dollars that would be put into the state’s coffers.

The only thing that puzzles me is why Trump even cares if there is a convention, for all those who would oppose him have been shoved out of the race by the GOP, so the outcome is a given.  Why bother, why spend all that money and put so many people at risk, when the conclusion is already signed, sealed, delivered?


Lost meaning?

Memorial Day in the United States, celebrated on the last Monday in May, is intended to be a day set aside to remember and honour those who died in service to the nation, those who defended not only this nation, but allied nations as well.  Instead, it has become largely just another day to grill out, drink beer, and socialize.  While you might expect this year to be different, with protections in place to try to protect people from the coronavirus, people don’t have too many brains these days.

People flocked to beaches and other public venues, acting as if their pleasure was the most important thing on earth, and not giving a damn about the lives of others.  Surprised?  I wasn’t surprised, but I am disappointed.  But then, what’s new … I’ve been disappointed in the human race most of my adult life now.

When you have a fool at the helm of the ship, though, the rest will follow.  Trump, in the spirit of patriotism, took the opportunity to mock former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ weight, ridicule the looks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and call former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton a “skank.”  What a way to honour dead soldiers, eh?  But then … being a draft-dodger, he’s already proven to us that he has no respect for the military. What a stalwart example he sets for the masses, eh?  No wonder the U.S. is so hate-filled … it filters down from the top.

Oh, and you know how demanding Trump was that the churches all re-open this weekend?  Well, that was a ploy to please his evangelical base, for Trump himself was out on the golf course again on Sunday morning. Not that I mind … I’m hoping that with all his layers of … er … blubber, the exertion will be too much for him someday, else he’ll get swallowed by a sand trap.


I came across these two cartoons yesterday while on my search for Jolly Monday ‘toons, and thought that, while not appropriate for the non-political Jolly Monday, they would be perfect for a snarky snippets post.

dim-reaperTitanic

Keep The Bloomin’ Churches Closed!

Libraries aren’t open, schools aren’t open, and for good reason.  We are still in the midst of a raging pandemic that is taking more than one thousand lives each day, there is more that is not known about the ways in which the coronavirus is transmitted than is known, there has been no slowdown of new cases, there is no cure as yet … so why should we rush to re-open non-essential services?  However, in light of the fact that polls show Trump is losing favourability among religious groups, he has decided to appease them by demanding that all churches open immediately … today!

Now, a wise man might have looked inward to determine just why his support is waning and try to make some adjustments in his actions, but nobody ever accused Trump of being a wise man, and his ego is such that he can never admit anything might actually be his own fault.  So, his statement on the churches opening was …

“Today I am identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogue and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right.  I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call. The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they do not do it, I will override the governors.”

Well good luck with that, Donnie.  You cannot force the governors to call for opening the churches, and you cannot force the churches to open, nor can you force people to attend.  The sensible in this nation are not yet ready to get back to “business as usual”, and I think that while some evangelical churches may be packed to the rafters, most more moderate churches will either remain closed or have a small turnout.  Either way … churches are not essential.  If churches are essential, then so are libraries and book stores, music stores and shoe stores.

According to the latest polls, Trump has lost 11% favourability among white evangelicals, 12% among white Catholics, and 18% among white protestants. Let’s be brave and ask the question Trump refuses to ask:  Why?  Could it be because these people have lost loved ones due to Trump’s mishandling and bungling response to the initial cases of the coronavirus?  Could it be that these families have suffered losses of loved ones, as well as financial losses that could have been avoided if we had a president in charge?  Could it be that perhaps they have finally tired of hearing Trump point fingers, lay blame, and concoct crazy conspiracy theories when they are looking to him for leadership, and finding none?

So, Trump thinks to throw the religious factions a bone by loudly “demanding” that all churches open immediately.  It would be laughable, if it didn’t pose such a danger to so many.  And then, there’s his hired mouthpiece, Kayleigh McEnany, by any definition a piece of work.  Low on IQ, but high on the things Trump values, such as an anorexic physique, an empty head, and blind loyalty.  It wasn’t bad enough that Trump is so stupid he ‘demanded’ that all churches open this weekend, declaring them “essential”.  But then, McEnany comes along and accuses the media of having some ‘hidden agenda’ in ‘desperately wanting’ churches to remain closed.

“The president will strongly encourage every governor to allow their churches to reopen, and boy, it is interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed.”

McEnany-4No mystery there, Ms. McEnany … those of us who want to see churches remain closed do so because we want to see people remain alive.  No hidden agenda, no attempt to steal people’s right to freedom of religion … just a desire to protect them from themselves.  Churches are a perfect breeding ground for germs to spread like wildfire.  People sitting practically atop one another, singing, clasping hands, giving hugs.  For example, one person in California who, not knowing he had the virus, attended a Mother’s Day church service and exposed 180 other people in that short one-hour service.

I must admit that my jaw dropped to the floor when I read that, coming under fire for her support of Trump in this issue, McEnany said …

“I know the person I am. I know what I stand for. And I stand as a Christian woman, someone who believes in equality and truth and loyalty and honesty. It’s the values I’ve lived by my whole life. It’s the values I’ll continue to live by.”

Seriously???  She’s working for the wrong person if that were the truth, but in my book, she is a bit confused about what constitutes “truth and honesty”.

We are living through a pandemic, a disaster on a large scale where some people don’t even have food to eat, some people are losing their homes for they cannot pay their mortgage, and some people are near suicidal because they are old and no longer recognize the world as the one they once knew.  By the end of this holiday weekend, the total deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus will number over 100,000.  Think about that one … it’s not just a statistic, not just a number … those were real people, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, spouses … they died alone, and now their families are left with an empty place at the dinner table and an empty hole in their hearts.  We are living in a country where the number of human lives lost each day to the coronavirus number over a thousand.  Every day!  Yet, Donald Trump and Kayleigh McEnany are so worried about Trump’s polls that they are willing to double or even triple the number of people who have died.

There Is NO Smoking Gun …

It seems there’s a new conspiracy theory making the rounds, and while I typically try to ignore them, this one seems to have a few of my own readers despairing over Joe Biden’s chances to beat the face of evil in November, so I felt I must address it.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach released edited fragments of recordings of phone conversations between Joe Biden and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that took place in 2015.  In the calls, Biden can be heard saying that the United States will withhold $1 billion in promised aid until Ukraine replaces its then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. True enough, and Biden himself revealed that conversation during a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018.  The rumour, however, is that the threat to withhold aid was somehow tied to Burisma Holdings, where Biden’s son Hunter was employed.  Not true.  In the calls, Burisma is never once even mentioned, nor is Hunter Biden.  The aid was being held contingent on the replacement of the Prosecutor General because at the time, both the U.S. and Western European governments were trying to push the Ukraine to combat malfeasance (including the firing of corrupt officials).  At the time Biden and Poroshenko spoke, Ukrainian activists were taking to the streets to accuse the prosecutor general of neglecting his duty to prosecute corrupt officials and business figures.  Once again, these conversations had nothing to do with Hunter Biden or Burisma.  Nothing.

Now, it should be noted that Andriy Derkach is the son of a Soviet-era KGB officer, is a graduate of the KGB academy in Moscow and has ties to the Russian intelligence services.  I would remind you that our own intelligence services have warned that they have evidence that Russia is meddling in our November election and has been since at least sometime last year.  Evidence.  Facts.  Is this yet another attempt on the part of Putin and his band of thugs to keep Trump, his puppet, in office?  I believe so, especially in light of the fact that Russian state-controlled media outlet RT has actively promoted the rumour.

The rumours of wrongdoing on the part of Hunter and/or Joe Biden have been thoroughly investigated and no evidence of any wrongdoing was found.  PUT IT TO BED, people!  There is no smoking gun.  The only conspiracy here is that of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump who, fully realizing that Trump stands little or no chance at winning the November election honestly, have set out to defraud the American people, to convince them that they are seeing shadows where there are none, and to steal the election from a man who might restore the democratic principles that have been shredded over the past three-and-a-half years.

Joe Biden may not be the most exciting candidate you’ve ever seen, but he is a solid candidate with no skeletons that I’m aware of in his closet.  He’s not a showman, like Trump is.  He doesn’t screech and yell, doesn’t demand denigrating chants from his audience, doesn’t threaten his naysayers, doesn’t contort his face to look like the phantom of the opera.  He is soft-spoken, yet intelligent and if you take the time to listen to him … really listen with an open mind … you will find he has good ideas, moderate ideas that may actually lead to compromise between Democrats and Republicans.  But, if voters sit on their fannies in November, saying that it doesn’t matter, then we’ll never know what Joe Biden might have accomplished for the people of this nation.

Now let me tell you what I think will happen if Trump is awarded another four-year term.  Some will say that if we can vote a Democratic majority into both the House and the Senate, he will be unable to continue on his present path of destruction, for just as the Republicans rendered Obama largely a lame duck for the last term of his presidency, the democrats would do the same for Trump.  But no, there’s a difference, a monumental difference … two of them, actually.  First, President Obama played (mostly) by the rules and though no doubt he was often highly frustrated at his ability to accomplish certain things, he respected the U.S. Constitution.  Donald Trump does not.  Second, during President Obama’s tenure in office, the Supreme Court leaned toward the left, especially after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, and the appointments of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the court, as we have seen in recent months, now leans largely toward … Trump.

I think that, emboldened by being handed a second term, though I fully expect him to lose the popular vote again, he will override Congress and impose his will via such machinations as executive orders, declaring a state of emergency, and along with his cadre of lawyers, taking anything he cannot accomplish otherwise, to the Supreme Court.  I believe he will further shred the principles laid forth in the Constitution and that by the next scheduled election in 2024, we will live under a full-fledged autocracy.

We are on a fast track to becoming a banana republic, some would say we already are.  The foundations of democracy that have held up well for 233 years are crumbling under the weight of Trump and his band of thugs.  He has fired Inspectors General who were tasked with keeping the administration honest.  He has filled his cabinet with people whose only qualification for the job is their oath of fealty to Donald Trump, not We the People.  Who will take a stand against him for the next four years?  I believe that chaos would reign, but that at the end of the day, he would be nearer a king than a president.

I cannot stress just how important it is that we remove Trump from office.  Already he has done damage to this nation, to our alliances, and to our reputation, some of which will take many decades to repair, and some of which will forevermore be a dark cloud over this nation and its people.  Please, my friends, do not let the rumours spread by Republican groups and Russian trolls cause you to lose your faith in Joe Biden.  This is just what Trump and the Republican Party are hoping … that we will become discouraged and let our guard down.  Joe Biden will be a solid leader, he will abide by the U.S. Constitution, and he will make a start at restoring the principles set forth in 1787 by the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and the rest of the Founding Fathers.

Your Right To Vote — Going, Going …

I am fuming, so let the reader beware that this is likely to be a rant of Filosophic proportions.


Let’s get one thing straight here, people … WE ARE ALL IN THIS BLOODY MESS TOGETHER!  Democrats, Independents, Republicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, White, Black, Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Young, Old … WE ARE ALL SUFFERING THE SAME DAMN FATE!  What the Sam Hell is so hard about just stepping up to the plate, accepting that we have one hell of a mess on our hands, and working together to find the best way to keep people safe and at the same time, attempt to restore the democratic republic that has been seriously eroded over the past three months … er, years???

Whew … that said …

Why am I angry tonight?  Because, we have an election coming up in exactly 165 days, just over 5 months, and not only Trump, but the majority of the damn Republicans in Congress are doing every single thing they can think of to ensure that the election is dishonest, unfair, and that as many poor, elderly, and minority voters as possible will not be able to vote.  I’m sick of this, people!

Given that the coronavirus will almost certainly still be at pandemic levels, given that there will be no cure, no vaccine that is sufficiently tested to be widely available, and given that there is no reason to believe the number of new cases or the death toll will be dramatically decreased by November, it only makes sense that we go to a system of mail-in voting.  Now, it’s no surprise that the damn fool sitting on his fat arse in the Oval Office is trying his level best to put a stop to the mail-in voting efforts … that’s a given, but some of the people on the far right side of the aisle on Capitol Hill are playing games with not only our taxpayer dollars, but with our very lives and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

Former Representative Darrell Issa, who served in the House of Representatives from 2001 – 2019, declining to run in the 2018 election, as he was outclassed and knew it, has filed a lawsuit to attempt to stop California from going to an all-mail voting system in November.  WHY???  Because he, and the conservative group backing him, Judicial Watch, claim that switching to an all-mail voting system is a democratic attempt to “interfere with the election”!  Say WHAT???  Interfering in what way, exactly?  Is it interfering to ensure that ALL eligible voters have the right to vote in a safe manner?

The lawsuit claims that Governor Newsom’s order to allow all-mail voting violates elections provisions of the Constitution and represents an “unlawful attempt to supersede and replace California election law” by creating “an entirely new system” that does not conform with an existing state law, the Voter’s Choice Act, which lays out requirements for counties that wish to mail ballots to all voters.  Make sense of that if you can!

Newsome is running again this year, hoping to win the seat vacated by Duncan Hunter who resigned in January after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations (remember the rabbit?) The lawsuit also charges that Newsom’s order has scrambled Issa’s campaign by compelling him to “reevaluate his electoral strategy” and increasing the cost of running a campaign.  So WHAT???  Get over it, Darrell!  Our lives are more important than your damn campaign costs!

And on top of that, of course, Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from states that implement mail-in voting, calling it ‘voter fraud’.  Without a shred of evidence, Trump claims …

“I think just common sense would tell you that massive manipulation can take place. And you do have cases of fraudulent ballots where they actually print them and they give them to people to sign, maybe the same person signs them with different writing, different pens. I don’t know. It’s a lot of things can happen.”

voter fraudNever mind that many states, including my own, have had the option for mail-in voting for years and never mind that voter fraud is virtually non-existent in the U.S.  Trump cannot make that decision … well, he can, but it won’t hold water if Congress challenges him.  Will Congress step up to the plate and protect our voting rights?  I don’t know about you, but my level of trust in Congress to protect us against Trump right now is around nil.

Voting in the U.S. is a right, not a privilege, not as Trump claims, an ‘honour’ … it is a right set forth in the U.S. Constitution and one that is not to be infringed on, although in truth the republicans have infringed on it numerous times in past years, with restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering and other games intended to disenfranchise those of us likely to vote democratic.  People like Darrell Issa and Donald Trump are attempting to interfere with that constitutional right.  We must stop them!  If you live in the district Issa is running in, California’s 50th district, San Diego County, make sure he knows that you will not vote for him unless he withdraws his lawsuit and shuts the f— up!  The rest of us need to make sure our representatives and senators know this is NOT going to fly!

There are many crucial issues facing the people of the United States today, but I can think of none that are more important than protecting our right to vote … EVERYONE’S right to vote!  If nothing else, all of this should make you more determined than ever before to vote in this year’s election and vote these asses out of Washington!

And to conclude … Seth Meyers takes a more even-toned approach addressing the same topic …