When Good People Don’t Act …

Over the last couple of years, I have wondered how so many of my friends could seemingly ignore what was happening in this nation.  It is as if they are oblivious to anything that is outside their own little world, as if they were wearing blinders and could not see the atrocities happening in our nation, but instead focus exclusively on what’s for supper, what concert they will go to next weekend, the cute little things their kids or grandkids said yesterday.  As if … nothing has changed, life goes on, it isn’t their problem that kids are kept in cages, that more than a thousand people die every day from the coronavirus, fires are raging on the West Coast, climate change is taking a steep toll and we are doing less than nothing to stop it, and there is a madman at the helm who will soon drive this ship into an iceberg.  None of that seems to bother far too many of the people I know.  Where is the outrage?  Do they simply not care?

The following by Charles Blow in yesterday’s New York Times mirrors my own thoughts, only much more eloquently than I can state them.


When Good People Don’t Act, Evil Reigns

Stop thinking that the horrors of the world will simply work themselves out.

Charles BlowCharles M. Blow

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

I have often wondered how major world tragedies and horrors were allowed to unfold. Where were all the good people, those who objected or should have? How did life simply go on with a horror in their midst?

How did the trans-Atlantic slave trade play out over hundreds of years? How did slavery thrive in this country? How was the Holocaust allowed to happen? How did the genocides in Rwanda or Darfur come to be?

There is, of course, nearly always an explanation. Often it is official policy; often it is driven by propaganda. But I’m more concerned with how people in the society considered these events at the time, and how any semblance of normalcy could be maintained while events unfolded.

It turns out that our current era is providing the unsettling answer: It was easy.

As I write this, nearly two hundred thousand Americans have died — many of them needlessly — from Covid-19, in large part because the Trump administration has refused to sufficiently address the crisis, be honest with the American people and urge caution. Instead, Trump has lied about the virus, downplayed it, resisted scientists’ warnings and continues to hold rallies with no social distancing and no mask requirements.

Things are poised to get worse: Models now predict that the number of Americans killed by the virus could double between now and Jan. 1. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington:

“We expect the daily death rate in the U.S., because of seasonality and declining public vigilance, to reach nearly 3,000 a day in December. Cumulative deaths expected by Jan. 1 are 415,090; this is 222,522 deaths from now until the end of the year.”

And yet, Americans still flock to Trump rallies, Republicans continue to defend his pandemic response and it is not clear that he will be defeated in November. We are, in many states, back to restaurants and bars, schools and churches, gyms and spas. It’s not as if we don’t know that there is a deadly virus being transmitted through the air, but it seems as though many Americans, weary of restrictions, have simply made their peace with it.

We have a climate crisis that continues to worsen. Storms are getting stronger. Droughts are severe. Rivers are flooding. The sea level is rising. And yet, we don’t do nearly enough to stop it and may not do enough before it’s too late to do anything.

Right now much of the West Coast is ablaze with hellish scenes of orange skies, and yet too many of us entertain climate change deniers, or, perhaps worse, know well the gravity and precariousness of the situation and still haven’t changed our habits or voted for the candidates with the boldest visions to save the planet.

Right now, China has detained as many as one million mostly Muslim citizens, in indoctrination camps, hoping to remold many into what The New York Times called “loyal blue-collar workers to supply Chinese factories with cheap labor.”

And yet, the world does little. Many look away. Life goes on.

This is how these catastrophes happen — in full sight — and people with full knowledge don’t revolt. People sometimes think that the issue is far away, or if it’s not, that it’s too big and they are too powerless.

They think provincially, or even parochially, concerned with their own house, their own street, their own community.

“It’s too bad that those children are in cages, but I can’t worry about that now, the clothes in the dryer need folding.”

“It’s too bad that an unarmed Black man just got shot by the police, but I can’t worry about that now, the yard needs mowing.”

I guess in some ways this impulse is self-protecting, preventing the mind and spirit from becoming overwhelmed with angst and rage. But, the result is that evil — as a person or system — rampages, unchecked, taking your personal laissez-faire as public license.

If you don’t complain, you condone.

But this mustn’t be. Stop thinking of yourself as weak or helpless. Stop thinking that things will simply work themselves out. Stop thinking that evil will stop at the gate and not trample your own garden.

Gather the energy. Gather your neighbor. Fight, vote, email, post. Do all you can to stand up for the vulnerable, for the oppressed, for the planet itself. Don’t let history record this moment as it has recorded too many others: a time when good people did too little to confront wickedness and disaster.

As Edmund Burke wrote in his 1770 “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents”: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

But you may be more familiar with another quote often attributed to Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Roger Stone Strikes Again

I have long been against the death penalty, but I think I could make an exception in the case of Roger Stone. On July 10, Trump commuted a 40-month prison sentence that was handed down to Stone after he was convicted of lying to Congress and tampering with witnesses as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into 2016 election interference. Namely, Stone lied to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks, which released hacked emails with the aim of boosting Trump’s prospects. In the weeks leading up to the commutation, Stone made a number of media appearances where he asked Trump to grant him clemency and said that in exchange, he could be a more effective campaigner for the president’s 2020 reelection efforts.  Well, he is living up to that promise.roger-stoneLast Thursday, Stone made a video appearance on Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory program, InfoWars.  Stone declared that the only legitimate outcome to the 2020 election would be a Trump victory. He made this assertion on the basis of his entirely unfounded claim that early voting has been marred by widespread voter fraud.

Stone argued that “the ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshalls and taken from the state” because “they are completely corrupted” and falsely said that “we can prove voter fraud in the absentees right now.” He specifically called for Trump to have absentee ballots seized in Clark County, Nevada, an area that leans Democratic. Stone went on to claim that “the votes from Nevada should not be counted; they are already flooded with illegals” and baselessly suggested that former Senator Harry Reid (a democrat from Nevada) should be arrested and that Trump should consider nationalizing Nevada’s state police force.

Are you growling yet?  Just wait … it gets even better.

Stone recommended that Trump consider several actions to retain his power. Stone recommended that Trump appoint former Representative Bob Barr, a republican from Georgia, as a special counsel “with the specific task of forming an Election Day operation using the FBI, federal marshals, and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections and if necessary to physically stand in the way of criminal activity.”

Stone also urged Trump to consider declaring “martial law” or invoking the Insurrection Act and then using his powers to arrest Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, “the Clintons” and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity.”  Apparently, Stone defines “illegal activity” as anything that is not supportive of Donald Trump!  In essence, I am engaging in illegal activity by his definition simply by writing this post. roger-stone-3Now, it’s easy enough to write Stone off as the nutcase he is, but the danger here is that in the past he has been one of the people Trump listened to.  Is he still?  Are there saner heads in the Trump administration who would … or could … talk Trump out of following Roger Stone’s clearly unconstitutional advice?  Would the republicans in Congress finally grow a pair and understand that this behaviour is in essence burning the U.S. Constitution, breaking the highest law in the land?  Would the military refuse to do Trump’s bidding, should he decide to follow Stone’s advice?  Would William Barr finally decide to do his job instead of toadying up to Trump?

Yes, I hear you saying, “It’s not possible.  Even Trump wouldn’t act in such an irresponsible dictatorial manner.”  Think again.

The ‘norms’, the restraints on presidential power that are built into the Constitution, the checks and balances we once believed would ensure that we would not lose the democratic principles on which the nation was founded, have all been shattered in the past three years.  You also never imagined a president would turn on the people of this nation, calling them anarchists and criminals, simply because we don’t agree with him.  You also never dreamed a president would have so little regard for our lives that he would keep the secret of a deadly virus and encourage us to go out and be exposed, and if we die, well, “it is what it is”.  Think back … there are hundreds of things he has done that you never thought possible.

I told you this morning how the Trump administration is once again playing Russian roulette with our lives, altering and manipulating CDC data so as to not “make Trump look bad”.  The agencies we have always counted on to protect us are now agents of Donald Trump and are diligently seeking to undermine our freedoms, our Constitution, our alliances, and in fact our very lives.  So, is it really such a stretch to believe that Trump might impose martial law, or break the law to devalue our election?  Are we really so sure the safeguards are strong enough to hold against a corrupt president and his band of boot-licking sycophants?  Think about it.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/12

Every week, our friend TokyoSand searches high and low for the best political cartoons of the week.  This week was no exception.  TS has had some WordPress issues this week (we can all relate to that, I think!) and so I cannot re-blog her post in the usual way, but can only include a link.  I do hope you’ll pop over and check them out!  Thank you, TS, for all your amazing work!


A roundup of cartoons from the nation’s best editorial cartoonists reacting to this week’s top news stories.

Source: The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/12

“It Is What It Is” Says He

According to the latest reported numbers, the U.S. now has 6,676,601 total cases of the coronavirus, and 198,828 total deaths.  Both of those statistics are under-reported.  Let’s be clear, the daily “new cases” number has been significantly smaller of late, but NOT because we have fewer cases!  It is a result of a combination of things, including less testing being done, per Donald Trump’s orders.  Remember when he said that if we did less testing, we would have fewer cases?  Only an imbecile would make such a statement, but it is Trump we’re talking about here.  But there’s more … there seems to be some outright manipulation of the numbers.

From a Politico report yesterday …

The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals.

In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messages [emphasis added] about the outbreak, according to emails reviewed by POLITICO and three people familiar with the situation.

Now listen, folks.  I know all about political gaming and I know that with Donald Trump, everything is a game, is all about him, his image, his profit, and what benefits him.  BUT these are our lives he and his adoring sycophants are playing with and I’m sick and damn tired of it!  We are not simply Donald Trump’s chattel to play with as he wishes!

The story continues …

But since Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department’s new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump’s statements, including the president’s claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.

Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC’s findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected because of their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.

Caputo’s team also has tried to halt the release of some CDC reports, including delaying a report that addressed how doctors were prescribing hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug favored by Trump as a coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence. The report, which was held for about a month after Caputo’s team raised questions about its authors’ political leanings, was finally published last week. It said that “the potential benefits of these drugs do not outweigh their risks.”

As a CPA, I once worked for a company that asked me to make the monthly revenue numbers match the predictions the managers had sent to the corporate offices earlier in the month.  In other words, alter the facts to mirror the projection.  I refused and gave my notice the next morning.  It’s called ‘integrity’.  Facts and statistics cannot be tampered with to make a corporate manager or politician look good, for at that point they are no longer facts and statistics but are mere fantasy. Just as financial reports should have integrity, so should reports about how many people are sick and dying because of the greed and cruelty of the so-called president.

We the People cannot make wise decisions if we don’t have the facts.  Period.  If we had believed Trump back in the first quarter of this year, we would have gone on about our merry way, exposing ourselves on a daily basis … oh wait, that is what a lot of people, mainly Trump supporters, did, and that is why our death toll will surpass 300,000 by the end of this year!

And we now know, thanks to Bob Woodward’s book, Rage, coming out on Tuesday, that not only did Trump lie to us, but he did so fully knowing that lives would be lost as a result of his lies.  And now … he’s trying to fit a square peg into a round hole as he has his minions trying to manipulate the actual numbers.  Now, we have no credible source of information.  Now, we are entirely on our own to try to figure out what is safe and what isn’t.  And we will never know how many cases there actually were in the U.S., nor how many died as a result of the pandemic when they could have been saved if only Trump had put us ahead of his own financial & political gain.  Remember last month, when in an interview where he was being questioned about the death toll, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “It is what it is.”  That is how much he cares about you, me, or anybody else.

trump-coronavirus

America’s Wake-Up Call — Jeff & Jill Are Baaaaack!!!

The date for the re-start of mine and Jeff’s project, September 11th, came about quite by accident … to start with, that is.  We counted back eight weeks from election day, picked the first Friday in those 8 weeks, and … were stunned to see that with this logic, our first post would be on the 19th anniversary of 9/11.  Nineteen years … wow.  In some ways, it seems like only yesterday, doesn’t it?  The building I was working in, a publishing company here in Cincinnati, has since been demolished, but I remember the exact place I was standing when one of my staff called me over to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  The rest of that day is a blur, but that single moment in time remains frozen in my mind.

For a number of reasons, 9/11 is very personal to me, as it is to many of you but that isn’t my focus with this post.  This is the final leg of mine and Jeff’s project, started back in January of this year with the goal of helping our readers understand the importance of this election year, the issues, and why it is so crucial that each and every one of us do our part.  It just happens, though, that this anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, provides us with a good lead-in to jumpstart our project.  The title for this second half of our project is “America’s Wake Up Call”, and by the time you finish reading this post, I think you will understand why.

On September 11th, 2001, terrorists flew planes into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and one that we believe was headed for the White House that was brought down by heroes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  In under two hours, our lives were changed.  At that time, President George W. Bush was at the helm.  No matter what happened later, no matter what mistakes or poor decisions he made in the months and years that followed, I will always remember him for what he did in the hours and days that followed:  he united us.  He comforted, he understood, he grieved along with us.  His was the voice of caring, of compassion, of intellect, of … calm and reason.

This is the text of his address to We the People on the evening of 9/11 …

bush-2Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

Now, fast forward to 2020.  Can you envision the current occupant of the Oval Office, whom I refuse to refer to by the title of “president”, giving such a speech or acting in such a rational manner as G.W. did on that day?  Try to imagine, if we had a similar crisis in this nation today, how Donald Trump would react.  He would screech, he would point fingers, his face would be twisted into a hundred contortions.  He would blame … he would blame Democrats, he would blame Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer.  He would blame any and every one of us in one way or another.  Would we feel comforted as we did nineteen years ago?  Hell no!  We would be terrified! 

Bush-1George W. Bush united the people of this nation … he brought us together in our shared grief, and helped us to understand that we needed to reach out to each other, that we were all in this together and that together we would get through the days ahead, the loss of loved ones, the shattering of our lives.  Donald Trump is not anywhere near the man that George W. Bush is and was on that day.  Donald Trump would use the crisis as a means to drive the wedge that already exists between the people of this nation just a little bit deeper, to cause us to fear one another instead of reaching out and offering comfort, just as he has done with the current pandemic.

I can offer at least one hundred reasons that Donald Trump must be defeated on November 3rd, that Joe Biden must be elected, but this may well be the best reason … we need a leader who leads, who cares about us, who has the intelligence and demeanor to remain calm in the midst of a storm and unite rather than divide.  We do not have that leader today … let’s make sure that next January we do.

Discord & Dissent Table of Contents

No Longer The Country We Think We Are

Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times today speaks for itself …


‘We’re No. 28! And Dropping!’

A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

This should be a wake-up call: New data suggest that the United States is one of just a few countries worldwide that is slipping backward.

The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s.

“The data paint an alarming picture of the state of our nation, and we hope it will be a call to action,” Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the chair of the advisory panel for the Social Progress Index, told me. “It’s like we’re a developing country.”

The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.

The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.

“We are no longer the country we like to think we are,” said Porter.

The United States ranks No. 1 in the world in quality of universities, but No. 91 in access to quality basic education. The U.S. leads the world in medical technology, yet we are No. 97 in access to quality health care.

The Social Progress Index finds that Americans have health statistics similar to those of people in Chile, Jordan and Albania, while kids in the United States get an education roughly on par with what children get in Uzbekistan and Mongolia. A majority of countries have lower homicide rates, and most other advanced countries have lower traffic fatality rates and better sanitation and internet access.

The United States has high levels of early marriage — most states still allow child marriage in some circumstances — and lags in sharing political power equally among all citizens. America ranks a shameful No. 100 in discrimination against minorities.

The data for the latest index predates Covid-19, which has had a disproportionate impact on the United States and seems likely to exacerbate the slide in America’s standing. One new study suggests that in the United States, symptoms of depression have risen threefold since the pandemic began — and poor mental health is associated with other risk factors for well-being.

Michael Green, the C.E.O. of the group that puts out the Social Progress Index, notes that the coronavirus will affect health, longevity and education, with the impact particularly large in both the United States and Brazil. The equity and inclusiveness measured by the index seem to help protect societies from the virus, he said.

“Societies that are inclusive, tolerant and better educated are better able to manage the pandemic,” Green said.

The decline of the United States over the last decade in this index — more than any country in the world — is a reminder that we Americans face structural problems that predate President Trump and that festered under leaders of both parties. Trump is a symptom of this larger malaise, and also a cause of its acceleration.

David G. Blanchflower, a Dartmouth economist, has new research showing that the share of Americans reporting in effect that every day is a bad mental health day has doubled over 25 years. “Rising distress and despair are largely American phenomenon not observed in other advanced countries,” Blanchflower told me.

This decline is deeply personal for me: As I’ve written, a quarter of the kids on my old No. 6 school bus in rural Oregon are now dead from drugs, alcohol and suicide — what are called “deaths of despair.” I lost one friend to a heroin overdose this spring and have had more friends incarcerated than I could possibly count; the problems are now self-replicating in the next generation because of the dysfunction in some homes.

You as taxpayers paid huge sums to imprison my old friends; the money would have been far better invested educating them, honing their job skills or treating their addictions.

That’s why this is an election like that of 1932. That was the year American voters decisively rejected Herbert Hoover’s passivity and gave Franklin Roosevelt an electoral mandate — including a flipped Senate — that laid the groundwork for the New Deal and the modern middle class. But first we need to acknowledge the reality that we are on the wrong track.

We Americans like to say “We’re No. 1.” But the new data suggest that we should be chanting, “We’re No. 28! And dropping!”

Let’s wake up, for we are no longer the country we think we are.

Da Queen of Snark Strikes Again!

There are so many things that have crossed my radar in the past 24 hours that my head is reeling and I don’t know where to begin.  I’ll try to be brief in my snippetry today …


Nobel PEACE Prize???  Surely NOT!

I guess every country has its share of nutcases in government.  I really thought Norway was better than this, but apparently I was wrong.  For the second time, Donald Trump, the person who stirs conflict wherever he goes and pits people against each other, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.  His very nomination disgusts and sickens me, rather reminiscent of Trump awarding the Medal of Freedom to the very dishonourable Rush Limbaugh.

The person who nominated Trump this year is the same one who nominated him in 2018, far right, xenophobic member of Norway’s parliament, Christian Tybring-Gjedde.  He claims he is not a big fan of Trump, but that …

“The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes.”

The facts are, Mr. Tybring-Gjedde, that Donald Trump is the most hateful, cruel person ever to lead this nation!  Donald Trump is the least peace-promoting person on this planet!  He has done more to divide the people of this nation than any other president in our history, and he is continuing to do so every day.  Peace???  HAH!  If he is awarded this prize, then every past recipient should return their awards, for they will have lost all meaning.

Hopefully, the Nobel Prize Committee will have good sense as they did in 2018, and ignore Trump.  His odds are at about 20/1, and the most likely projected winners are among the World Health Organization, Greta Thunberg, and Jacinda Ardern … all three are excellent choices … far more worthy than a cruel tyrant.  He does have the support of QAnon, however, and gun-totin’ member Marjorie Taylor Greene, possibly the next U.S. representative from Georgia tweeted her gushing support.  DISGUSTING!


We the People pay for Trump’s sexual harassment???  WHY???

Author E. Jean Carroll accused Donald Trump of rape, in a Bergdorf’s dressing room in the mid-1990s. After Trump denied ever meeting her and dismissed her story as a Democratic plot, she sued him for defamation.  There is much I could say here … I fully believe Ms. Carroll’s story, as well as those of the many other women who have accused Trump of everything from grabbing them inappropriately to out and out rape. Trump called Ms. Carroll a liar and said he did not know her, even though the two had been photographed together at a party in 1987 with Ms. Carroll’s former husband. However, none of that is my point today.

Ms. Carroll’s defamation suit is still pending, but this week, the corrupt Attorney General of the United States made a decision that means if Ms. Carroll wins her suit, it will be We the Taxpayers who pay the penalty, while Trump skates free.

The White House asked the Justice Department to replace Trump’s private lawyers in this suit.  The Justice Department’s intervention in the lawsuit means that taxpayer money will be used to defend Trump, and it threatens the continued viability of the case of the plaintiff, Ms. Carroll.

Mr. Barr defended the decision to intervene, arguing that it was routine for the department to take over lawsuits against federal officials — substituting the government as the defendant.  Ms. Carroll’s lawsuit has been reassigned from a New York State court to a Federal District Court judge in New York, Lewis A. Kaplan. If he signs off on the department’s certification that it meets the standards to substitute the government as the defendant, he could dismiss the lawsuit because the government has sovereign immunity and cannot be sued for defamation.

Ms. Carroll has requested a DNA sample from Trump to determine a match.  An innocent man would give up the sample and be done with it … case closed.  But, this is akin to his withholding of his tax returns … a man with nothing to hide would release the returns!

So, Trump rapes a woman and we pay the price.  Frankly, she should have done a Lorena Bobbitt on him when she had the chance!


Destroy the nation, but don’t make “Trump look bad”

Brian Murphy, who had previously served as undersecretary for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis within the Department of Homeland Security, filed a 24-page complaint on September 8th, alleging that he was instructed to halt the reports on Russian influence activities in the United States because they were making “the president look bad.” The report was delivered by Murphy’s attorney, Mark Zaid, to the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

The report alleges that acting Secretary Chad Wolf, his predecessor Kirstjen Nielsen, and other senior DHS brass engaged in “a repeated pattern of abuse of authority, attempted censorship of intelligence analysis and improper administration of an intelligence program related to Russian efforts to influence and undermine United States interests.”

In his complaint, Murphy claimed he was instructed by Wolf to stop reporting on Russian activities altogether and “instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran.” Wolf told him that the instructions came from Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, and Murphy pushed back and said he would not comply “as doing so would put the country in substantial and specific danger.”homeland-securityTaken in conjunction with last week’s announcement by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that he was suspending in-person briefings to Congress about foreign threats to the 2020 election, I think we all have ample reason to be concerned … very concerned.  Our government, led by a cruel tyrant, is withholding vital information from us, and from Congress.  THIS, my friends, is an abomination!  It’s as if … as if we are naught but cardboard cutouts with no ears, no eyes, no brains.  Funny, though, how the government that doesn’t even pretend to represent us still takes our taxes every week, isn’t it?


I’m not even halfway through my list, so you can count on more later!  On a brighter note, even though George Conway is no longer an active participant in The Lincoln Project, they are still turning out some great, hard-hitting ads!  Here is one of their latest …

Jaw-Dropping

“The virus has nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault. It’s — China let the damn virus out.”

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

The above are direct quotations from Donald J. Trump, as told to two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward in one of the 18 interviews the two had as Woodward prepared for his latest book, RAGE, which will be released next Tuesday.

As of this writing, 194,414 human beings in the United States have died … and yet, it has “nothing to do with …” Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who 330 million people expect to act in their best interests, the best interests of the nation.

CNN has obtained a preview copy of Woodward’s book, and also some of the tapes from his interviews with Trump, and I urge you to read the full article, but meanwhile here are a few excerpts …

By March 19, when Trump told Woodward he was purposely downplaying the dangers to avoid creating a panic, he also acknowledged the threat to young people. “Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too, plenty of young people,” Trump said.

Publicly, however, Trump has continued to insist just the opposite, saying as recently as August 5 that children were “almost immune.”

Even into April, when the US became the country with the most confirmed cases in the world, Trump’s public statements contradicted his acknowledgements to Woodward. At an April 3 coronavirus task force briefing, Trump was still downplaying the virus and stating that it would go away. “I said it’s going away and it is going away,” he said. Yet two days later on April 5, Trump again told Woodward, “It’s a horrible thing. It’s unbelievable,” and on April 13, he said, “It’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it.”

Trump has come under fire in recent days for reportedly making disparaging remarks about US military personnel and veterans. Woodward’s book includes an anecdote where an aide to Mattis heard Trump say in a meeting, “my f—ing generals are a bunch of pussies” because they cared more about alliances than trade deals. Mattis asked the aide to document the comment in an email to him. And Trump himself criticized military officials to Woodward over their view that alliances with NATO and South Korea are the best bargain the US makes. “I wouldn’t say they were stupid, because I would never say that about our military people,” Trump said. “But if they said that, they — whoever said that was stupid. It’s a horrible bargain … they make so much money. Costs us $10 billion. We’re suckers.”

Trump boasted to Woodward about a new secret weapons system. “I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before,” Trump said. Woodward says other sources confirmed the information, without providing further details, but expressed surprise that Trump disclosed it.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner also weighs in with some unusual literary insights about his father-in-law. Kushner is quoted as saying that four texts are key to understanding Trump, including “Alice in Wonderland.” Kushner paraphrased the Cheshire Cat: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.”

Woodward discussed the Black Lives Matter protests and suggested to the President that people like the two of them — “White, privileged” — need to work to understand the anger and pain that Black people feel in the US. “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you,” Trump responded, repeating his outrageous talking point that he’s done more for the Black community than any president besides Abraham Lincoln.

These are but a few of the jaw-dropping, and yet I suppose not surprising, highlights of the article, which has now been picked up by other news outlets, even Fox.  Fox host Howard Kurtz said three days prior that …

“As a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has been writing books about presidents since Richard Nixon, he can’t simply be dismissed as a third-rate hack or someone with an ax to grind. Woodward has hundreds of hours of taped interviews with White House and other sources for “Fear,” along with internal documents.

Senior officials have rushed out denials of disparaging comments attributed to them. And Trump tweeted:

“The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General [Secretary of Defense] James Mattis and General [Chief of Staff] John Kelly,” he wrote on Twitter. “Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?”

Sorry, dismissing Bob Woodward as a possible Democratic operative simply doesn’t wash. He did a tough book on the Clinton White House and a revealing look at the Obama White House handling of military conflicts.

Another tweet – “Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?” — reflects the president’s larger frustration with the press. Under Supreme Court precedent, a public figure must prove that a journalist’s work is not only false but that he acted with malice or reckless disregard for whether or not it was true. How exactly would the president change that?”

We the People of this nation have given far too much power to one ‘man’ whose only concern is money and his own welfare.  When I first read the CNN article, then a few others, my jaw dropped to the floor, but after I thought about it all for a few minutes, I realized we shouldn’t really be surprised … everything Trump has done has given us proof that he cares for nobody and nothing but himself.  No other president in the history of this nation has done as much harm to the people he was supposed to represent, the people who gave him the power of the office of presidency.  Let us remember in eight short weeks, that he has horribly abused that power and that he is undeserving of the title and the office.  PLEASE, my friends, let us remember that … our lives depend on it.

Former Republican Chair is committed to seeing Trump lose

Another influential Republican signs on for Joe Biden! Keith writes about Michael Steele, a long-time Republican and former Chair of the Republican Party, who is urging Republicans to wake up and see the damage Trump is doing/has done to racial relations in the U.S. Please be sure to check out the link to the article in The Guardian, as well. Thank you for this encouraging information, Keith!

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Michael Steele, a long-time Republican and former Chair of the Republican Party, has had enough. Steele is actively working to assure the current president loses in November. Wny? David Smith writes in The Guardian about his interview with Steele, an African-American, in the following piece entitled “‘They capitulated to Trump’: Michael Steele on the fight for the Republican party’s soul.”

Here a few paragraphs from the article, which can be linked to in full below.

“’I asked myself, what are the things that matter to you? It mattered that this president has openly said to us, I’m not going to accept the outcome of this election if I don’t win. It matters to me what he’s done with the Postal Service to prevent Americans from accessing the ballot box. I see this is the time for choosing, and the choice that unfortunately many in my party, particularly in the party…

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The First 100 Days …

If a president serves his entire four-year term, he will have been president for 1,459 days.  The first 100 days are some sort of a marker, though they are less than 15% of his expected tenure, because there is always an analysis of what a president accomplished in his first 100 days.  Additionally, a part of a candidate’s campaign platform also includes “What I plan to accomplish in my first 100 days”, which is later used as a benchmark for the aforementioned analysis.

I would like to clear some things up regarding Joe Biden’s “First 100 Days To Do List”.  Donald Trump seems to think he has a copy of Joe’s list, but it’s obvious that he doesn’t.  Donald Trump has falsely declared that in his first 100 days, Biden plans to …

  • Implement a $4 trillion tax hike
  • Demolish the U.S. energy industry
  • Shut down the entire U.S. economy to combat the coronavirus pandemic
  • Remove windows from homes and offices (Say WHAT???)

Now, obviously Trump has made all of this and more up in that demented mind of his, but … remove windows???  Where does he get this shit?  Anyway, I thought it prudent to take a look at what Joe Biden actually plans to accomplish in the early days of his presidency.

  • Rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) and restore our leadership on the world stage
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords
  • Contact NATO allies, saying “we’re back and you can count on us again.”
  • Work with Congress to pass hate crime legislation
  • Send a bill to Congress repealing liability protections for gun manufacturers, and closing background-check loopholes
  • Send an immigration bill to Congress creating a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and retaining rights for “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
  • Move to eliminate tax cuts passed under Trump in 2017
  • Direct his secretary of housing and urban development to form a task force and provide a road map for ending homelessness
  • Restore federal worker’s right to unionize
  • Reinstate federal guidance, issued by Obama and revoked by Trump, that would restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
  • Issue new sweeping ethics standards that would apply to members of his administration
  • Give the inspectors general full power to investigate any allegation of improper influence

And there is more, but I think you get the picture … none of his goals and plans are ‘evil’, none are power grabs, none favour only the wealthy, and all are things that will benefit the people … We the People.

Joe Biden’s plans for his first 100 days and beyond are necessarily ambitious, for Donald Trump has broken much that needs to be fixed … PRONTO!  And, whether Biden is able to accomplish his initial goals largely depends on whether Mitch McConnell and his band of republican thugs continue to hold a majority in the Senate, for if they do, Biden and the rest of the Democrats in Congress will have to fight tooth and nail for every inch of progress.

Now, let’s think for a minute about what Donald Trump actually did during his first 100 days in 2017.  I can sum it all up in three words:  He Broke Stuff.  In April 2017, Trump touted that …

“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.”

I guess it all depends on how one defines an accomplishment.  If I kill my neighbor, did I accomplish something, or am I a murderer?  In his first 90 days, it is true that Trump signed bills and issued executive orders … but not a single one did anything to help the people of this nation, or to make us a better nation.  Many of his orders were overturned within that same 90-day period, such as his ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries.  His executive orders overturned and reversed environmental regulations that were put into effect to protect and preserve the air we breathe, the water we rely on, and the ecosystems that are essential to life on this planet.

He attempted to reverse the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) that enabled millions of citizens to have affordable health care.  He did manage to place Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, after bribing Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire, thus ensuring that the Supreme Court would lean to the right in most decisions – not a good thing for We the People if we are women or people of colour or non-Christians.

But to my original point.  Donald Trump has no idea what Joe Biden has pledged to do, and he is making up ridiculous lies, rants, to attempt to slur Joe Biden.  I saw a post by a (former) friend on Facebook tonight accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile, and most every comment pertained to Roe v Wade, accusing Biden of wanting to “rip poor unborn children …”.  I could not help myself … I rebutted a number of the comments before finally asking myself why I was wasting my time with these low-life misogynists.  My point here being that, while Trump’s accusations are obviously uneducated, inaccurate, and blatant lies … some of his less intelligent followers will believe every word.  Therefore, I think it is important that we tell the public … over and over and over again … what Joe Biden really stands for and what he truly hopes to accomplish in his first 100 days.  Joe Biden is a good man with integrity and good values … something that has been sorely lacking in the Oval Office for the past 1,327 days since Trump’s inauguration.  Joe Biden cares about people, he cares about our planet.  Donald Trump cares only about … Donald Trump.  Your choice, my friends.