Trump’s Tribute To Hatred & Divisiveness

What follows is a transcript of the 45-minute speech that Donald Trump gave yesterday evening at a very expensive ceremony at Mount Rushmore.  It is long, some 3,671 words, but I hope you will take the time to at least read the highlighted portions.  My commentary will follow later today, or more likely tomorrow. I have numbered the paragraphs for easy reference.


#1 – Well, thank you very much. Governor Noem, Secretary Bernhardt, we very much appreciate it. Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and a very special hello to South Dakota. As we begin this 4th of July weekend, the First Lady and I would wish each and every one of you a very, very happy Independence Day. Thank you.

#2 – Let us show our appreciation to the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard and the Air Force for inspiring us with that magnificent display of American air power, and of course our gratitude as always to the legendary and very talented Blue Angels. Thank you very much. Let us also send you our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders, and the doctors, nurses, and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus. They are working hard. I want to thank them very, very much. We’re grateful as well to your state’s congressional delegation. Senator John Thune. John, thank you very much. Senator Mike Rounds. Thank you, Mike. And Dusty Johnson, Congressman. Hi, Dusty. Thank you. And all others with us tonight from Congress, thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it.

#3 – There could be no better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived. Today we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defamed, their legacy will never ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.

#4 – We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations, July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride, every American family should cheer with delight, and every American patriot should be filled with joy because each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world and it will soon be greater than ever before.

#5 – Our founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America and no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation. It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence. They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said, “All men are created equal.” These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights, given us by our Creator in Heaven, and that which God has given us, we will allow no one ever to take away ever.

#6 – 1776 represented the culmination of thousands of years of Western civilization and the triumph of not only spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason. And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive, but no, the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.

#7 – One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

#8 – This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly. We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children from this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life. In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.

#9 – Make no mistake. This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress. To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

– Memory of our national heritage.

#10 – True. That’s very true actually. That is why I am deploying federal law enforcement to protect our monuments, arrest the rioters, and prosecutors offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you.

#11 – I am pleased to report that yesterday, federal agents arrested the suspected ringleader of the attack on the statue of the great Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C., and in addition, hundreds more have been arrested. Under the executive order I signed last week pertaining to the Veterans Memorial Preservation Memorial and Recognition Act and other laws, people who damage or deface federal statues or monuments will get a minimum of 10 years in prison and obviously that includes our beautiful Mount Rushmore.

#12 – Our people have a great memory. They will never forget the destruction of statues and monuments to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionists and many others. The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies, all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition. This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore. They defiled the memory of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Today we will set history and history’s record straight.

#13 – Before these figures were immortalized in stone, they were American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men, whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known. Tonight I will tell you and most importantly the youth of our nation the true stories of these great, great men. From head to toe George Washington represented the strength, grace, and dignity of the American people. From a small volunteer force of citizen farmers, he created the Continental Army out of nothing and rallied them to stand against the most powerful military on earth. Through eight long years, through the brutal winter at Valley Forge, through setback after setback on the field of battle, he led those patriots to ultimate triumph. When the army had dwindled to a few thousand men at Christmas of 1776, when defeat seemed absolutely certain, he took what remained of his forces on a daring nighttime crossing of the Delaware River. They marched through nine miles of frigid darkness, many without boots on their feet, leaving a trail of blood in the snow. In the morning, they seized victory at Trenton after forcing the surrender of the most powerful empire on the planet at Yorktown, General Washington did not claim power but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen.

#14 – When called upon again, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was unanimously elected our first president. When he stepped down after two terms, his former adversary, King George called him the greatest man of the age. He remains first in our hearts to this day, for as long as Americans love this land, we will honor and cherish the father of our country, George Washington. He will never be removed, abolished, and most of all, he will never be forgotten. Thomas Jefferson, the great Thomas Jefferson, was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia’s constitution and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment. After serving as the first Secretary of State, and then Vice President, he was elected to the presidency. He ordered American warriors to crush Barbary pirates. He doubled the size of our nation with the Louisiana Purchase and he sent the famous explorers Lewis and Clark into the west on a daring expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom, Thomas Jefferson, and he too will never, ever be abandoned by us.

#15 – Abraham Lincoln, the savior of our union, was a self-taught country lawyer who grew up in a log cabin on the American frontier. The first Republican president, he rose to high office from obscurity based on a force and clarity of his anti-slavery convictions. Very, very strong convictions. He signed the law that built the Trans-Continental Railroad. He signed the Homestead Act given to some incredible scholars as simply defined ordinary citizens free land to settle anywhere in the American West, and he led the country through the darkest hours of American history, giving every ounce of strength that he had to ensure that government of the people, by the people and for the people did not perish from this earth. He served as commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces during our bloodiest war, the struggle that saved our union and extinguished the evil of slavery. Over 600,000 died in that war, more than 20, 000 were killed or wounded in a single day in Antietam. At Gettysburg 157 years ago, the Union bravely withstood an assault of nearly 15,000 men and threw back Pickett’s Charge. Lincoln won the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He led the passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery for all-time and ultimately his determination to preserve our nation and our union cost him his life. For as long as we live, Americans will uphold and revere the immortal memory of President Abraham Lincoln.

#16 – Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. He saw the towering grandeur of America’s mission in the world and he pursued it with – in the world and he pursued it with overwhelming energy and zeal. As a Lieutenant Colonel during the Spanish-American War, he led the famous Rough Riders to defeat the enemy at San Juan Hill. He cleaned up corruption as police commissioner of New York City, then served as the Governor of New York, Vice President, and at 42 years old, became the youngest ever President of the United States.

#17 – He sent our great new naval fleet around the globe to announce America’s arrival as a world power. He gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon. He oversaw the construction of the awe-inspiring Panama Canal and he is the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was American freedom personified in full. The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.

#18 – No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart. Can’t happen. No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future. The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice, but in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of a repression, domination, and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

#19 – We will state the truth in full without apology. We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth. We are proud of the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we understand that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world. We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life. We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders and we are building the wall. We remember that governments exist to protect the safety and happiness of their own people. A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first. It’s time. We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion and creed. Every child of every color, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God.

#20 – We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture. We embrace tolerance, not prejudice. We support the courageous men and women of law enforcement. We will never abolish our police or our great Second Amendment which gives us the right to keep and bear arms. We believe that our children should be taught to love their country, honor their history, and respect our great American flag. We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God. This is who we are. This is what we believe and these are the values that will guide us as we strive to build an even better and greater future. Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America’s destiny. In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America, their goal is to end America.

#21 – In its place, they want power for themselves, but just as patriots did in centuries past, the American people will stand in their way and we will win and win quickly and with great dignity. We will never let them rip America’s heroes from our monuments or from our hearts. By tearing down Washington and Jefferson, these radicals would tear down the very heritage for which men gave their lives to win the Civil War, they would erase the memory that inspired those soldiers to go to their deaths, singing these words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, “As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.” They would tear down the principles that propelled the abolition of slavery and ultimately around the world ending an evil institution that had plagued humanity for thousands and thousands of years. Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights. They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity, that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the earth. My fellow Americans, it is time to speak up loudly and strongly and powerfully and defend the integrity of our country.

#22 – It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors. It is time. It is time to plant our flag and to protect the greatest of this nation for citizens of every race in every city in every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes. Here tonight before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago, that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.

#23 – We will proclaim the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and we will never surrender the spirit and the courage and the cause of July 4, 1776. Upon this ground, we will stand firm and unwavering. In the face of lies meant to divide us, demoralize us and diminish us, we will show that the story of America unites us and –

#24 – We will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free. We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King when he said that the founders had signed a promissory note to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. Those ideals are so important to us, the founding ideals.

#25 – He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage. Above all, our children from every community must be taught that to be American is to inherit the spirit of the most adventurous and confident people ever to walk the face of the Earth. Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies, and even into the stars.

#26 – We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglas. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright brothers, the Tuskegee airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton, General George Patton, the great Louis Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, and only America could have produced them all. No other place.

#27 – We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed the spectacular dream, it was called Las Vegas in the Nevada desert, who built up Miami from the Florida marsh, and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the moon.

#28 – And one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars. We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra, the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F150, and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

#29 – Americans must never lose sight of this miraculous story. We should never lose sight of it. Nobody has ever done it like we have done it. So today, under the authority vested in me as President of the United States, I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past. I am signing an executive order to establish the National Guard of American heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.

#30 – From this night, and from this magnificent place, let us go forward united in our purpose and rededicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down. They will know that, in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

#31 – Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected. We will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for for so many years, and that our enemies fear, because we will never forget that the American freedom exists for American greatness. And that’s what we have, American greatness. Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good that we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all. My fellow citizens, America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come. This has been a great honor for the First Lady and myself to be with you. I love your state. I love this country. I’d like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July to all. God bless you. God bless your families. God bless our great military, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you.

The First Amendment …

The First Amendment covers a lot of ground and has been interpreted and re-interpreted ever since its writing.  In the news this week are three things pertaining to the 1st Amendment that worry me in one form or fashion.


Freedom of the Press …

I had heard the name ‘Samantha Bee’, but had no idea who or what she was, nor did I much care … until this morning.  According to Wikipedia, Ms. Bee is …

“… a Canadian-American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, and television host. Bee rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent.”

You guys probably already knew that, though, didn’t you?  So why, you ask, did Ms. Bee buzz across my radar?  On her show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, on Wednesday, she made some very astute statements about freedom of the press …

“Look, I know, it’s not exactly a revelation that the president is always trying to undermine the media, but that’s the problem: We’re all so used to it that we act like it’s normal. And the more that we ignore anti-press sentiment in America, the more it will spread.  When Trump became president, he was crushed to find that the job comes with criticism and that the glowing PR he got from the business media isn’t typical of the political press. Since the media refused to love him back, Trump has chosen to do the mature thing and use his presidential power to destroy them.  The scariest part about Trump’s war on the press is that he’s winning. No one’s been able to stop his attacks, so we just go about our lives while they run constantly in the background like white noise — which is, of course, Trump’s preferred color of noise. … When Trump undermines the free press, he’s not just attacking journalists’ rights to do their jobs, he’s attacking your right to know what’s going on in the world.”

She’s right.  If not for the free press, we would know only what Trump wanted us to know.  We would not know that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers and that Trump knew about this yet failed to act.  We would not have known that he attempted to blackmail the president of the Ukraine to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political rival, Joe Biden.  We would not have known any of the acts that Trump has committed against the people of this nation.  At all costs, we must … must support our free press!  We cannot become complacent and accept the denigration of the press as ‘normal’, for it is anything but normal … at least in this country.


Freedom of Speech …

The 1st Amendment includes many freedoms, including the aforementioned freedom of the press.  It also includes freedom of and from religion, and the one most-oft quoted, freedom of speech.  Over the past two centuries, that ‘freedom of speech has been interpreted by the courts to mean a wide variety of things.  Signs and symbols by hate groups such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been ruled acceptable because … freedom of speech.  KKK rallies have been deemed allowable under freedom of speech.  But, in my opinion, there simply must be limits.

This …nazi-flag-shooting… is highly offensive to all but the most ardent anti-Semitic white supremacists.  A woman was shot four times in the back in Garfield County, Oklahoma, for trying to remove one of the flags.

Now, I can tell you for a fact that if anybody in my neighborhood were to sport such a flag, I would not only remove it, but would douse it with lighter fluid then set fire to it.  The Nazi flag is a symbol of anti-Semitism, of hatred, around the globe.

The owner of the house and flags, one Alexander Feaster, was arrested and has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and shooting with intent to kill, and is due to appear in court later this month.  A neighbor said that he had been flying the flags for around a year, and they had been snatched from his home a few times in the past. They added that he would occasionally dress up in black uniform with a red swastika armband – an outfit reminiscent of Nazi SS uniforms.  No less than 15 guns were recovered from Feaster’s home upon his arrest.  Who the hell needs that much firepower?

The district attorney says he is considering possible charges against the woman, who is expected to recover from her gunshot wounds.  Why?  Trespassing?  Destruction of private property?  In this case, I don’t see it … it was justified.  However, I know at least two of my readers who will disagree with me, so it is only my opinion.


Freedom of/from Religion …

The 1st Amendment says this about the freedom of religion …

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

That’s all … just 16 words.  However, lengthy tomes have been written in order to interpret how this clause should be applied.  There are those who argue this is a Christian nation … it is not!  It is a secular nation, the foundation of which calls for a distinct separation between church and state.  This includes education.

A portion of our tax dollars is used to fund public schools.  PUBLIC schools, not parochial or religious schools.  If you want to send your children to a religious school, you do have that right … just not at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Montana could not use a provision in its Constitution to exclude religious schools from its private school scholarship program.  Although the ruling was narrow, applying only to the case before them, it is likely that religious groups in other states will be heartened by the decision and file their own cases against states.  By the end of next year, we could easily see a broader ruling stating that any state that issues vouchers or similar programs to help with tuition at private schools must also include religious schools in the process.

In fact, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested just that …

“I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America.”

I’m betting that those who championed and cheered this decision will be horrified when some day a family uses their vouchers to send their child to an Islamic school, won’t they?  Meanwhile, though, I am offended and angered by this decision.  As a citizen, as a taxpayer, and as a non-religionist, I absolutely do NOT want my tax dollars supporting a religious school where children are taught every form of bigotry imaginable.  It is a gross miscarriage of justice that people of differing religions and of no religion must pay to send another person’s child to a school that teaches only one religion and teaches that it is the one and only right religion and the rest of us are wrong in our beliefs or non-beliefs.  This is, in part, why there is so much hatred in this country today.

You want to send your child to a religious school, fine, but not on my dime!

A Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned a few times that I wonder, as Trump sees his poll numbers sliding and as we move closer and closer to election day, what new tricks Trump will try to ensure his re-election.  It seems he has pulled a number of tricks out of his sleazy bag, but are there more?  Robert Reich’s column in The Guardian today shows us what has been done, and what is left that could happen.  We all need to be aware, to stay on our toes, to be ready to fight back.  And most of all … on November 3rd … VOTE!


Donald Trump’s re-election playbook: 25 ways he’ll lie, cheat and abuse his power

From now until November, opponents of the most lawless president in history face a fight for democracy itself

Robert Reich-4By Robert Reich

Donald Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1) Declare yourself above the law.

2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

6) Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

7) Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.

8) Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

9) Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

10) Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.

11) Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobbyists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

12) Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

13) Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum seekers at the border, even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

14) Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

15) Conjure up conspiracies supposedly led by your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.

16) Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemicLie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

17) Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

18) Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

19) Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

20) Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against youIntimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

21) Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.

22) Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machinesas he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Let him even place a bounty on killing US troops in Afghanistan.

23) If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

24) If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

25) Declare victory.

Memo to America: beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

Deflect And Deny — The Republican Way!

I’ve recently challenged myself to make a foray into ‘enemy territory’ … conservative news venues.  I’ve only begun, so I don’t have much yet, but you will be seeing a post or two this week about my findings.  But this morning, as I was meandering about on Fox News’ site, I came across a short interview between Fox News host Chris Wallace and Trump spokeswoman, Mercedes Schlapp.

Now, we all know that if you are asked a tough question that you really don’t want to answer, your best bet is to either, a) change the subject, or b) look at your watch and say, “Oh my!  Look at the time … I’m sorry, but I’m late for an appointment with my … chiropractor!”  Essentially, Ms. Schlapp chose option ‘a’ when Chris Wallace asked her to explain why the Saturday night rally in Tulsa logged a ‘crowd’ of just under 6,200 people versus the one million who reportedly requested tickets.

Wallace: “We all saw the pictures last night. The arena was no more than two-thirds full. And the outdoor rally was canceled because there was no overflow crowd. What happened?”

Schlapp: “The key here is to understand there were factors involved, they were concerned about the protesters who were coming in.”

Wallace: “He talks about how he can fill an arena. And he didn’t fill an arena last night. You guys were so far off that you had planned an outdoor rally and there wasn’t an overflow crowd.  Protesters did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people did not show up.”

Then Schlapp went of on a tangent, talking over Chris Wallace, bringing Joe Biden up repeatedly.

Schlapp: “Joe Biden has been a failed politician that has done nothing but support failed institutions. This is in contrast with President Trump who has a strong record and is rebuilding this economy.”

This is just a snippet from the interview.  I found the video clip in several places, but when I tried to play it, I got this message:

video-unavailable

I finally found one that works … at least it works for now, and hopefully you will be able to watch it.  Note how often Schlapp deflects or goes off topic, and watch her faux smile slip every now and then …

While I don’t want to waste time focusing on how many people did or didn’t show up at Trump’s rally, the bigger point here is that, as usual, Trump and his spokespeople are deflecting and lying.  People didn’t show up at the rally for a number of reasons … protestors were not one of those reasons.  According to Tulsa police, only one protestor was arrested, though I question that, for I read of one, and blogging friend Suze tells me that her granddaughter was also arrested.  Suze’s granddaughter was doing nothing wrong, actually had a ticket for the rally, but apparently somebody took offense at her Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

I was pleased to see Chris Wallace pursue the matter … he is, after all, on the Fox payroll!  As for Mercedes Schlapp … the answer she should have given is that Trump and his campaign made a mistake in starting to hold rallies while the coronavirus is still raging throughout the nation.  That was the answer … the only right answer.

I shall continue my foray into conservative sites and report my findings later!  This project may require a jumbo bottle of ibuprofen and a case of wine!

Freedom of Speech??? Give Me The BOOK!!!

Oh no no no no no no no no no!!!!  Just NO! The headline reads …

Trump Administration Sues to Try to Delay Publication of Bolton’s Book

Has the United States Department of Justice ever heard of the First Amendment?  Have they heard of the Right to Free Speech?  Have they heard the term “Freedom of the Press”???  William Barr is a @#$% son of a bitch, and Donald Trump is unspeakably worse!

The story, according to the New York Times

The Trump administration sued the former national security adviser John R. Bolton on Tuesday to try to delay publication of his highly anticipated memoir about his time in the White House, saying the book contained classified information that would compromise national security if it became public.

The book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is set for release on June 23. Administration officials have repeatedly warned Mr. Bolton against publishing it.

Mr. Bolton made clear in a statement this week that his book contained explosive details about his time at the White House. He and Mr. Trump clashed on significant policy issues like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan, and in his book, Mr. Bolton also confirmed accusations at the heart of the Democratic impeachment case over the president’s dealings with Ukraine, according to details from his manuscript previously reported by The New York Times.

First, it is highly doubtful that John Bolton is stupid enough to include any “classified information that would compromise national security” in his book.  And even if he did … remember that Donald Trump himself did that exact thing on numerous occasions:

  • Trump discussed classified information provided by a U.S. ally regarding a planned Islamic State operation during an Oval Office meeting on May 10, 2017 with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, providing sufficient details that could be used by the Russians to deduce the identity of the ally and the manner in which it was collected.

  • In an April 29, 2017, phone call, Trump told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that the U.S. had positioned two nuclear submarines off the coast of North Korea. This was during a time when Trump was warning of a possible “major, major conflict” with North Korea. The locations of nuclear submarines are a closely guarded secret, even from the Navy command itself.

  • On May 24, 2017, Britain strongly objected to the United States leaking to the press information about the Manchester Arena bombing, including the identity of the attacker and a picture of the bomb, before it had been publicly disclosed, jeopardizing the investigation. British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a public rebuke, and British police said they would stop passing information to U.S. counterparts.

  • In July 2017, after a private meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit, Trump took the unusual step of confiscating and keeping his interpreter’s notes. This led U.S. intelligence officials to express concern that Trump “may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia.”

  • On August 30, 2019, Trump tweeted a reportedly classified image of recent damage to an Iranian missile site that supposedly occurred as a result of an explosion during testing. Multiple concerns were raised regarding the public release of what appeared to be a surveillance photo with exceptionally high resolution, revealing highly classified U.S. surveillance capabilities.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I’m aware of.  And frankly, the only thing that is likely to be ‘compromised’ by the release of this book is Donald Trump’s reputation, and that is already in the sewer.  Every person in this nation is paying for this government … we have the right to know what the ‘leaders’ are doing!

John Bolton has written a book about his time in the Trump administration.  According to the synopsis on Amazon …

cover of John Bolton's bookWhat Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government.

“The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

The reality is that it’s doubtful Trump & Co can stop the book’s release on Tuesday, and even if they did … the cat is already out of the bag.  On Sunday, ABC News will air an interview between Bolton and Martha Radditz that will provide wide insight into the book.  And, enough has been leaked already, such as these key points listed in The Guardian:

  • Trump pleaded with China to help win the 2020 election
  • Trump suggested he was open to serving more than two terms
  • Trump offered favors to dictators
  • Trump praised Xi for China’s internment camps
  • Trump defended Saudi Arabia to distract from a story about Ivanka
  • Trump’s top staff mocked him behind his back
  • Trump thought Finland was part of Russia
  • Trump thought it would be ‘cool’ to invade Venezuela

None of these should surprise us, given all that we’ve seen and heard over the past 3+ years, but nonetheless, these are not things we expect, or should have to tolerate, of the ‘leader’ of our nation.

Make no mistake … I don’t like John Bolton … he is a warmonger, which was precisely why Trump hired him.  But, he worked within the Trump administration for a year-and-a-half, and I’m very interested in what he has to say.  More importantly, we don’t ban books in this country … We the People have a right to read Mr. Bolton’s book, and read it we shall, one way or another.

“But Your Friends are Fewer Now” Milton Meyer’s “They Thought They Were Free” and 2020 America

More than a few times I have wondered how the Germans in 1933 did not see what was coming. Surely the signs were all there, surely at least some were intellectuals who should have been able to foresee and act to stop the madness. Padre Steve’s post from a few days quotes a chapter from Milton Mayer’s book, “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945” that sheds a bit of light on how the Germans failed to see what was coming in the early days. It is a bit lengthy, but well worth the time to read. Thank you, Padre!

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

This article is basically a rerun because I thought it was pertinent and instead of doing much online I was catching up on correspondence with a number of people including friends in Germany and and trying my best to write in the best German that I could. Today was a remarkable day at our shipyard as our commander dealt directly with the dual disasters, COVID19 and the murder of George Floyd. It was inspiring. I had a part to play, but it was behind the scenes, and that is totally okay with me.

The article tonight is a chapter from Milton Mayer’s “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945.” Mayer was a visiting professor at the University of Frankfurt in the 1950s and lived in a small Hessian town near the city. The book is about the relationships that he built with…

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Snarky-Inducing Things On My Radar

You would be surprised if I said I didn’t have any snarkiness built up and just waiting for an outlet, wouldn’t you?  Just when we think it’s gotten as bad as it can get here in the U.S., fate (or Donald Trump) steps in to prove to us that no, it can get much worse.  Which has me lying awake nights wondering … what’s next?  But, for today, here are a few of the things on my radar …


The press must do better!

I am fully supportive of our free press, I realize that they are the only thing standing between us and a dictatorship, but sometimes I get frustrated with them.  One example … the headline reads:

The president’s convention speech will be moved from Charlotte, N.C., after Republicans clashed with Democrats over virus concerns.

Makes it sound as if it were just more political fighting … democrats vs republicans, round 2,114.  But that was not the case at all!  North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper refused to allow a full-fledged, packed stadium style convention to take place in light of the precautions the state is taking due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Yes, Governor Cooper is a democrat, but his decision was not an attempt to stifle the Republican National Convention on political grounds, but rather to protect the people of his state.  That is, after all, his job!

Now, the republican leadership and Donald Trump may choose to view it as a political move, but the free press should be neutral, should be above the petty grievances of political parties.  I am disgusted and disappointed that the New York Times stoops to such cheap tactics.  Governor Cooper did offer a compromise, a smaller convention with safety measures in place, but Trump and the GOP said, “All or nothing at all.”  So fine, let them have it elsewhere — it looks like Florida’s Governor DeSantis is eager to invite more coronavirus cases to his state.  North Carolina may lose a bit of bar and restaurant revenue, but they may also save a heck of a lot of lives.  Thumbs up to Governor Cooper!


One bit of good news …

Representative Steve King of Iowa has been on my radar for several years.  He is a blatant racist and doesn’t care who knows it.  He even earned the Idiot of the Week award back in 2017.

In the past year or so, his rhetoric has become even more offensive, so much so that last year his own party stripped him of all his committee assignments.  But on Tuesday, Steve King got what he deserved!  He lost the Iowa primary by ten points to his contender, Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra.

King claims that his loss came from an effort to “push out the strongest voice for Christian conservatism”.  He then went on to claim that the “spirit of America is being fractured by anarchists in this country.”  Yep, he’s still as much an idiot as he was in 2017!

Thumbs up to the people of Iowa for finally removing this ugly racist wart from our Congress!


Another good bit of news …

Donald Trump has been throwing his weight around (and there surely is a lot of it to throw around!) these past few days, and one of his threats has been to send the military into our cities to quell the protests, most of which are peaceful, that are a response to the continual racism in this nation.  Turns out that his Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, doesn’t agree with him.  Esper actually found his cojones and said in no uncertain terms that he opposes sending active-duty troops into U.S. cities to deal with violent protesters.

“The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations right now.  I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”

Is it possible that even some of Trump’s sycophants are beginning to see what sort of tyrant they’ve aligned with?  We can only hope.


About damn time …

Finally, more than a week after the brutal murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota, the other three officers involved who stood watching while Derek Chauvin choked Mr. Floyd to death, have been charged with “aiding and abetting murder.”  The three former officers are Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34.  Thus far, Thao is the only one who has been arrested, though there are warrants out for Kueng and Lane.

Tou Thao has faced six prior misconduct complaints in his career with the Minneapolis Police Department. He also was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed he and another officer punched, kicked and kneed an African-American man, leaving the man with broken teeth and bruises.

In addition to the charges against the three, charges against Chauvin were upgraded to 2nd degree murder on Wednesday, charges that carry a potential maximum sentence of 40 years.  I really hope he serves every single day of those 40 years.  And, since these are not federal charges, Trump won’t be able to pardon him!


And speaking of pardons …

On Tuesday, Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA, wrote on Twitter (do any politicians actually communicate in more than 280 characters anymore?):

“Roger Stone will serve more time in prison than 99% of these rioters destroying America All because he supports Donald Trump. This isn’t justice. RT for a full pardon of Roger Stone!”

Trump went on to share the tweet Thursday morning, writing in his own accompanying message:

“No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”

roger-stoneRoger Stone … a lifelong criminal with a list of crimes longer than my arm, can sleep well at night as Trump will pardon him, ensuring he doesn’t pay for his crimes. Meanwhile the rest of us lie awake worrying about the state of our nation with a madman at the helm.  See the irony here?


TrumpThe answer is “EVERYTHING!”

Voice Of Wisdom — Barack Obama

The people living in the United States have no leader, the country is a rudderless ship adrift in a very stormy sea.  But one man stands out, his words are wise and offer real solutions, and today I would like to share with you those words, the words of a true leader, President Barack Obama …


How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change

Barack Obama

Barack-Obama

As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change.

Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times. But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering.

First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States. The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation — something that police in cities like Camden and Flint have commendably understood.

On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause. I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

Second, I’ve heard some suggest that the recurrent problem of racial bias in our criminal justice system proves that only protests and direct action can bring about change, and that voting and participation in electoral politics is a waste of time. I couldn’t disagree more. The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.

Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices. When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it. But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.

It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions. In some places, police review boards with the power to monitor police conduct are elected as well. Unfortunately, voter turnout in these local races is usually pitifully low, especially among young people — which makes no sense given the direct impact these offices have on social justice issues, not to mention the fact that who wins and who loses those seats is often determined by just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, votes.

So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.

Finally, the more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away. The content of that reform agenda will be different for various communities. A big city may need one set of reforms; a rural community may need another. Some agencies will require wholesale rehabilitation; others should make minor improvements. Every law enforcement agency should have clear policies, including an independent body that conducts investigations of alleged misconduct. Tailoring reforms for each community will require local activists and organizations to do their research and educate fellow citizens in their community on what strategies work best.

But as a starting point, here’s a report and toolkit developed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and based on the work of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing that I formed when I was in the White House. And if you’re interested in taking concrete action, we’ve also created a dedicated site at the Obama Foundation to aggregate and direct you to useful resources and organizations who’ve been fighting the good fight at the local and national levels for years.

I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.

Let’s get to work.

Just Two Bits of Snark …

My hero for this week is the police chief of Atlanta, Georgia, one Erika Shields.  While other police chiefs and mayors in the 20+ cities that saw protests of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, were behind closed doors, calling out National Guard troops to try to quell the violence, and while Donald Trump cowered behind the White House doors, tweeting ridiculous lies and not so much as mentioning trying to bring the country together, Erika Shields was calming the protests in her city.

Chief Shields waded right into the crowd of protesters, and here’s what she said to them …

Erika-Shields“Let me tell you something, I am standing here because what I saw was my people face to face with this crowd and everybody’s thinking ‘how can we use force and diffuse this’ and I’m not having it. I’m not having that. You have a right to be upset, to be scared, and to want to yell. And we’re going to have everybody doing what they need to do and we’re going to do it safely. That’s my first commitment. And I hear you. I have heard from so many people that cannot sleep, they’re terrified, they’re crying, they’re worried for their children – there’s a problem.”   

She gently touched the arms of the protesters, and one by one they came and thanked her, with tears in their eyes telling her of their fears.

Now, granted, in and of itself, a few kind words won’t fix the problem, won’t stop the violence, but it’s a damn sight better start than Trump threatening to have them shot!  I give Chief Shields two thumbs up for showing empathy, for understanding that threats are not the answer, for remembering that the protestors are there for a reason and that their voices have been ignored for a very long time now.  They are saying … “No longer will we be ignored and treated as second-class citizens!”

KaepernickThe solutions to these problems will not happen overnight, and they will not happen at all as long as we have people in the upper echelons of our government who simply do not care.  Until the very real concerns are taken seriously, until there are steps made toward real solutions, not band-aid fixes, the protests, riots, and violence will continue.  In September 2016, San Francisco 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick chose to take a knee rather than stand for the national anthem.  He was protesting the exact same thing the protesters today are protesting:  police brutality and murder of black people.  Yet, his very peaceful protest was met with derision, insults, and eventually loss of his job.  Since then, police killings of blacks have continued and now people are tired, they are sick of protesting peacefully and nothing changes.  Until this nation makes changes, there will be protests, some will be violent, some people will die.  It’s a fact, not a speculation.  I don’t condone the violence, but I do understand it and I fully support their cause.


I have long said that Trump’s constant battle with the press would have a disastrous outcome.  When he declared the press the “enemy of the people”, my jaw dropped.  Every president has had his difficulties with the press, but none in the history of this country has ever used the venomous rhetoric that Trump does, and in the last 48 hours, we have seen the results.

On Friday morning, the day began with the chilling arrest of a CNN crew in Minneapolis — two of whom were people of color — even as their cameras rolled. Omar Jimenez, Bill Kirkos and Leonel Mendez were simply doing their jobs, covering the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.  They identified themselves to police, but to no avail.  Then later in the day, CNN headquarters in Atlanta were attacked and vandalized by protestors. CNN-headquartersIn between, all around the country, journalists were harassed.  In Louisville, a police officer shot pepper balls at a local TV reporter, Kaitlin Rust while in Denver, police fired paintballs and tear gas, hitting a news photographer and his camera.  The seeds for these incidents were planted long ago, when Donald Trump declared the press the “enemy of the people”, but this is only the beginning, my friends.  According to Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America, the nonprofit organization devoted to free expression …

“By denigrating journalists so often, he has degraded respect for what journalists do and the crucial role they play in a democracy. He’s been remarkably effective in contributing to this topsy-turvy sense that journalists are the opposition.”

During the 2016 campaign, Trump was interviewed by CBS reporter Lesley Stahl, who asked him why he was constantly denigrating members of the press.  His reply?

“You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.”

Well, folks, just like it’s time for the black people to stand up and say, “Hell no, we won’t sit down and take it any longer”,  perhaps it’s time for this entire nation, at least those of us who value democratic principles, to say the same about Trump’s abusive denigration of our press.  Please remember that the free press is the only thing standing between a full-fledged dictatorship and a relatively democratic nation.  THE. ONLY. THING.Obama-free-press-quote

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.