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.

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.

Just Two Tidbits

Just a couple of tidbits I wanted to weigh in on today sans snark … well, okay, maybe there’s just a tiny bit of snark …


Has Fox found a conscience?

I’m not sure what is going on over at Fox ‘News’, but it almost seems as if they are trying to become a legitimate news network!  First, they were the first of all the major networks to call Arizona in Joe Biden’s favour at 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday – election night.  Needless to say, Trump was not happy, and Jared Kushner actually called Rupert Murdoch to complain.

And yesterday evening, Fox actually cut away from a news conference with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany because she claimed without evidence that Democrats were inviting fraud and illegal voting.  WHOA!  This sounds like the work of an actual news station!  Has Fox fallen off the Trump bandwagon?

Fox’ anchor Neil Cavuto said, as the network cut away …

“Whoa, whoa, whoa … I just think we have to be very clear that she’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”

Cavuto is the same one who earlier this year found a backbone and said …

“Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you — just report on you.”

Another Fox anchor, Bret Baier, has also declined to fall in line with Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud, saying …

“Listen, we are not seeing any evidence of widespread fraud. We want to look into everything as well. But we just haven’t seen it. You know, it hasn’t been presented. There’s all kinds of stuff flying on the Internet. But when we look into it, it doesn’t pan out.”

Of course, Cavuto and Baier are on the news side of Fox.  The opinion people still play the game, with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, and Sean Hannity claiming, without a shred of evidence, that Trump is right about massive voter fraud, and continuing to fawn over him.  If Rupert Murdoch intends to improve the credibility of Fox, then he needs to shut down the opinion side, or at least hire people who are not witless pawns.

It disappoints and disturbs me that some of the Fox staff have been receiving threatening calls and emails from people because they aren’t falling in with the Trump line of false rhetoric.  I always thought that the people of this nation were better than that, but over the past decade I’ve come to realize that a significant portion are not.


ACA – on the chopping block?

Maybe not.  I am pleased and somewhat surprised today to read that both Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts might not be so eager to strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare.

As you will remember, the penalty for the individual mandate requiring every individual to have at least a basic healthcare insurance plan, was reduced to zero in December 2017, when Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which eliminated the individual mandate penalty, effective January 1, 2019.  The mandate itself has remained but is not enforceable without the penalty.  At issue is whether the mandate is constitutional or not, and if not, then does that render the entirety of the Act unconstitutional.  Some, such as the newbie Justice Amy Barrett, have been hyper-critical of the previous Court rulings that upheld the ACA, but today, as the Supreme Court is reviewing the case, it seems possible that ACA may weather yet another storm.

“It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the law in place.” –  Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh

“I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act.” – Chief Justice John Roberts

Along with the three-remaining liberal-leaning justices – Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor – it appears likely that ACA will remain, saving tens of thousands of people from suddenly finding themselves left without health insurance.

That there is such a deep partisan divide in the Court goes against what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution in 1787.  The goal was to have a non-partisan Court with moderate, fair justices who decided cases based on constitutional law, not their own ideologies.  Today, we are about as far from that as imaginable, and yet sometimes it still works properly.

The Lights are Going Out: The Orwellian Future if Trump Wins

Padre Steve begins this post with: “I go to bed tonight with a sense of foreboding for our country and the world and I cannot shake it.” I think many of us can relate — I know I certainly can. Please take a few minutes to read Padre’s words — words based on history. Thank you, Padre, for putting into words what so many of us are feeling.

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I go to bed tonight with a sense of foreboding for our country and the world and I cannot shake it. I feel darkness enveloping the United States as the President creates the dystopian world that he enunciated in his inaugural address. As I observe events on I am reminded of Barbara Tuchman’s description of Sir Edward Gray on the eve of the First World War, “Watching with his failing eyes, the lamps being lit in St. James Park, Grey was heard to remark that “the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them again in our lifetime.”

Today, Blacks, Jews and other minorities are being targeted and killed by Right Wing domestic terrorists including Police Officers. In Trump’s world a free press that reports the truth is the enemy of the people, bombs are being sent to political…

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A Low Bar — Negative Expectations

If you have two children of approximately the same age, one is of average intelligence with normal capabilities for her age, and the other is developmentally delayed, has difficulty with the fine motor skills, then you have a different set of expectations for each.  Alicia, the fist example, might be expected to not spill her food, chew with her mouth closed, place her napkin in her lap and use it as necessary, while Sammy is praised if he merely manages to get the food onto the spoon and into his mouth.  We set the expectations for our children, our friends and our family members based on their abilities.

We should not have to lower our expectations for the president of the country based on his past behaviour.  The bar shouldn’t be moved up or down depending on who is speaking – Donald Trump is not a child, but a world leader, albeit a highly unqualified one.

I have read many opinions of Donald Trump’s debate performance this past Thursday night, and far too many gave him an A+, praising him simply for not constantly interrupting Joe Biden, and for toning down his bombast somewhat.  People … this is the ‘man’ who has spent four years as president of the United States, the ‘man’ who holds our very lives in his hands … and he is to be congratulated for toning down his vitriol, while still maintaining a steady stream of lies and partial truths?  He still continued to completely ignore the moderator who repeatedly had to say, “Okay, we’re moving on to the next question now”.  He repeatedly smirked and made other facial gestures reminiscent of a teenage boy.  And he lied … over and over and over again.

The first sentence out of the gate was a lie when he claimed more than two million Americans were “expected” to die from the coronavirus, therefore America’s current death toll of 220,000 isn’t so bad.  From there on, he lied consistently for the entire 90 minutes, about the Russia investigation, climate change, Hunter Biden, the pandemic, and much more.  But rather than call out his lies, the press, for the most part, has chosen to focus on his lower-than-usual level of bombast.  This, then, is how they would judge the president?  He can lie ‘til he’s blue in the face, as long as he is reasonably calm?low-bar-1One person gave him kudos, saying she was “very impressed” with his “self-control” … excuse me, but world leaders are expected to have self-control … all of the time, not just for 90 minutes once in a while.  If he finds self-control so difficult, why in hell are we entrusting him with the nuclear codes?  Why do we allow him to attend meetings and events with other world leaders?  Why do we allow him to sit in the Oval Office?

There is a standard to which we hold our elected officials accountable, and it is a bit higher than simply not bulldozing, bullying and threatening.  It is a standard that Joe Biden met when he said …

“I’m an American president. I represent all of you. Whether you voted for me or against me. And I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear.”

This, my friends, is — or at least should be — the way we expect a president to speak … giving us hope and encouragement, not differentiating between democrat or republican, but speaking to all of the people.  Donald Trump speaks only to his base, and makes it abundantly clear that he is not considering the rest of us, doesn’t care about the rest of us.  Being ‘presidential’ is a standard that Donald Trump is incapable of meeting, but we cannot simply say, “Oh, well, at least he didn’t use vulgar language or interrupt Joe Biden more than a few times, so he wins!”  No, no, no, and again no.  Trump was Trump and that is not good enough for this nation.  It is a sad state of affairs when we have gone so low that we hold our collective breath when he opens his mouth, and are relieved when he manages not to say something totally stupid.

I had no intention of writing more about the debate, but I couldn’t let the undeserved praise for Trump, as well as the media’s lack of conscience go unnoted, for it is simply wrong.  No, he wasn’t presidential, he was his usual oafish self, as dishonest as ever, just not quite as loud and obnoxious.  What a standard, eh?  Perhaps next time ‘round, the GOP will offer up Jeffrey Toobin as their candidate of choice.

Words Of Wisdom …

This morning, I came across an OpEd by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat that I found to be both extremely sensible and also encouraging.  In essence, he urges us to calm down, stop imagining the worst, that Trump will refuse to play by the rules and attempt to remain in office despite his election defeat, and focus instead on what needs to be done to help the Biden presidency succeed.  Easier said than done, but I think he’s right … see what you think.


There Will Be No Trump Coup

A final pre-election case for understanding the president as a noisy weakling, not a budding autocrat.

ross-douthat-thumbLargeBy Ross Douthat

Opinion Columnist

Oct. 10, 2020

Three weeks from now, we will reach an end to speculation about what Donald Trump will do if he faces political defeat, whether he will leave power like a normal president or attempt some wild resistance. Reality will intrude, substantially if not definitively, into the argument over whether the president is a corrupt incompetent who postures as a strongman on Twitter or a threat to the Republic to whom words like “authoritarian” and even “autocrat” can be reasonably applied.

I’ve been on the first side of that argument since early in his presidency, and since we’re nearing either an ending or some poll-defying reset, let me make the case just one more time.

Across the last four years, the Trump administration has indeed displayed hallmarks of authoritarianism. It features egregious internal sycophancy and hacks in high positions, abusive presidential rhetoric and mendacity on an unusual scale. The president’s attempts to delegitimize the 2020 vote aren’t novel; they’re an extension of the way he’s talked since his birther days, paranoid and demagogic.

These are all very bad things, and good reasons to favor his defeat. But it’s also important to recognize all the elements of authoritarianism he lacks. He lacks popularity and political skill, unlike most of the global strongmen who are supposed to be his peers. He lacks power over the media: Outside of Fox’s prime time, he faces an unremittingly hostile press whose major outlets have thrived throughout his presidency. He is plainly despised by his own military leadership, and notwithstanding his courtship of Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley is more likely to censor him than to support him in a constitutional crisis.

His own Supreme Court appointees have already ruled against him; his attempts to turn his voter-fraud hype into litigation have been repeatedly defeated in the courts; he has been constantly at war with his own C.I.A. and F.B.I. And there is no mass movement behind him: The threat of far-right violence is certainly real, but America’s streets belong to the anti-Trump left.

So if you judge an authoritarian by institutional influence, Trump falls absurdly short. And the same goes for judging his power grabs. Yes, he has successfully violated post-Watergate norms in the service of self-protection and his pocketbook. But pre-Watergate presidents were not autocrats, and in terms of seizing power over policy he has been less imperial than either George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

There is still no Trumpian equivalent of Bush’s antiterror and enhanced-interrogation innovations or Obama’s immigration gambit and unconstitutional Libyan war. Trump’s worst human-rights violation, the separation of migrants from their children, was withdrawn under public outcry. His biggest defiance of Congress involved some money for a still-unfinished border wall. And when the coronavirus handed him a once-in-a-century excuse to seize new powers, he retreated to a cranky libertarianism instead.

All this context means that one can oppose Trump, even hate him, and still feel very confident that he will leave office if he is defeated, and that any attempt to cling to power illegitimately will be a theater of the absurd.

Yes, Trump could theoretically retain power if the final outcome is genuinely too close to call.

But the same would be true of any president if their re-election came down to a few hundred votes, and Trump is less equipped than a normal Republican to steer through a Florida-in-2000 controversy — and less likely, given his excesses, to have jurists like John Roberts on his side at the end.

Meanwhile, the scenarios that have been spun out in reputable publications — where Trump induces Republican state legislatures to overrule the clear outcome in their states or militia violence intimidates the Supreme Court into vacating a Biden victory — bear no relationship to the Trump presidency we’ve actually experienced. Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.

OK, the reader might say, but since you concede that the Orange Man is, in fact, bad, what’s the harm of a little paranoia, a little extra vigilance?

There are many answers, but I’ll just offer one: With American liberalism poised to retake presidential power, it needs clarity about its own position. Liberalism lost in 2016 out of a mix of accident and hubris, and many liberals have spent the last four years persuading themselves that their position might soon be as beleaguered as the opposition under Putin, or German liberals late in Weimar.

But in reality liberalism under Trump has become a more dominant force in our society, with a zealous progressive vanguard and a monopoly in the commanding heights of culture. Its return to power in Washington won’t be the salvation of American pluralism; it will be the unification of cultural and political power under a single banner.

Wielding that power in a way that doesn’t just seed another backlash requires both vision and restraint. And seeing its current enemy clearly, as a feckless tribune for the discontented rather than an autocratic menace, is essential to the wisdom that a Biden presidency needs.

Filosofa Is A Bit Rant-y

I am rather rant-y tonight, for I am tired of so many things … tired of the divisiveness in this country, tired of the lies that regularly emit from our government, tired of the sheer ignorance of some people and the cruelty of others, and just tired in general, I suppose.  So, bear with me while I let off a bit of steam …

I expect conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones to say ignorant things like he thinks a White House staffer poisoned Trump’s Diet Coke and then told him he had the coronavirus.  Ol’ Alex thinks we aren’t smart enough to see the lunacy in his theory.  But I mistakenly credited the people of this nation, even Trump’s loyal base, with having a bit more intelligence, being a bit more discerning.  Some of Trump’s base who were interviewed had some lovely things to say …

  • “It’s a hoax. There’s no pandemic. As Trump said, how many millions die of flu?”
  • “If he’s sick, then they planted it when they tested him. It’s what they did to me when I went to hospital for my heart beating too fast. Two weeks later I got a cold. It’s political. I don’t trust the US government at all. Who are they to mandate personal safety? I listen to Trump.”
  • “Yes, it’s highly contagious. So are the measles. But I’m a firm believer that if you get it, it’s not a death sentence.” Oh really, ma’am?  Try telling that to the friends and families of the 214,000+ people who have died in this country alone and the more than 2.5 million who are still suffering from the disease!

ClaytoonzOf course, it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of Trump’s case at Walter Reed hospital, Dr. Sean Conley, can’t give a straight answer to a simple question during a press conference, and is apparently yet another bootlicker telling the public what Trump has told him to tell us, so we cannot believe anything we are told.  It doesn’t give people free license to start stupid rumours that are likely to further divide the people of this nation.

Just to put the conspiracies to bed:  Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus because he thought he knew more than the experts, and so shunned the precautions that most of the rest of us are taking, such as wearing a mask when in public, avoiding crowded venues, and keeping a 6-foot distance from other people when in public.  He broke those rules time and time again, and now he’s paying the price.  There was no poison, no chemical plant, no nothing beyond Trump’s own stupidity.

And, in addition to stupidity, there is the big lie … the one where he claimed to have tested positive late Thursday night or early Friday morning, but in truth had tested positive and displayed symptoms a full day before!  On Wednesday, he attended a rally in Minnesota, and on Thursday, knowing that he had the virus, he attended various public events on a fund-raising trip to New Jersey.  Potentially, he could have infected thousands of people, yet his only concern was his re-election bid.

Due to his inept and intentional bungling of the pandemic, more than 214,000 people in this country have died, and that number is likely to double by early next year.  And now, he willfully exposed others, both within and outside his administration.  So no, I have no empathy for him. No, I don’t wish death on him, however whether he recovers or not is unimportant to me beyond the effect it will have on the upcoming election.  If you think that makes me hard-hearted, think again … I have a great deal of empathy for those who lost a loved one this year due to the pandemic, for Black people who must fear for their lives, for migrant children separated from their parents at the southern border, for the homeless and those barely making ends meet … yes, I have empathy, but not for a narcissistic megalomaniac who is paying the price of his own perfidy.

I also have no empathy for his wife, who on Tuesday night sauntered into the debate venue wearing a mask, then immediately took it off for the rest of the evening in violation of rules that both candidates had agreed to in advance.  The rest of his family also sat maskless throughout the debacle.  As for his trophy wife, I say to her what she said to the world …Melania-jacketAnd I have no compassion for those who are so blindly enamoured of Trump that they will literally follow him off this cliff he has taken us to the brink of.  Those who shun wearing a mask because Trump mocked mask-wearers, who go into crowded venues such as bars, clubs, arenas, and churches, deserve no compassion.  They risk not only their own lives, but the lives of their families, friends, co-workers … every one of us.

Save your sympathy for those who deserve it … the Trump family does not.

From Funk to Fight

Our friend Jeff has produced one heck of a good rant … he’s fighting mad and with good reason! It’s time for us all to jump into the fray and do what needs to be done to salvage what’s left of our country! Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. It could be that the constant chaos surrounding the upcoming election is getting me down. Or, I’m suffering from political fatigue. I’m not quite sure. But over the weekend, as I was out and about in my small town here in Southwest Oregon, my ‘funk’ was instantly replaced with fight. As in, I promise to fight like hell to make sure that on November 3, 2020, our democracy survives its biggest domestic threat in generations.

So what was it that woke me from my slumbered state? A few weeks ago, I noticed a few signs around town announcing that there would be a ‘Freedom Rally’ on September 26. And sure enough, I witnessed what this so-called freedom rally was all about as soon as I got in the car and headed out to the main road.

Pickup trucks, cars, jeeps, and…

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