Who You Gonna Trust?

If you call a plumber to repair a leaky pipe, and he diagnoses the problem, hands you an estimate for a new piece of pipe and attachments plus his labour, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you don’t need a new pipe, only a piece of duct tape.  If you have pain in your side, you go to the doctor, and he tells you that you have appendicitis and need an operation, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you only need an antacid.  When things go wrong, we rely on experts to diagnose and fix the problem.  Experts have specialized education, training and skills that we lack, so we trust them to take care of the problems that occur, whether with our homes, our cars, or our bodies.

Within the administration of our federal government, we have experts in all fields from the environment to housing to public health and more.  Two of those public health experts are Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.  Let me tell you just a little bit about them …

fauciDr. Fauci graduated first in his class from Cornell University Medical College with a Doctor of Medicine in 1966. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, now known as New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine. In 1968, Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI, and in 1980 was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 1984, he became director of NIAID, a position he still holds as of 2020. In that role he is responsible for an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research on infectious and immune-mediated illnesses. He has turned down several offers to lead his agency’s parent, the NIH, and has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the 2009 swine flu pandemic, MERS, Ebola and COVID-19.

He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and in driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dr. Fauci has been a visiting professor at many medical centers and has received 30 honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Birx received a BS in chemistry from Houghton College in 1976, completing her undergraduate studies in just two years. In 1980, Birx earned an MD from the Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University.  From 1980 to 1994, Birx served as an active duty reserve officer in the United States Army. From 1994 to 2008, Birx was active duty regular Army, achieving the rank of Colonel.

birxFrom 1980 to 1989, Birx worked as a physician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 1981, Birx completed a one-year internship and did a two-year residency in internal medicine. From 1983 to 1986, she completed two fellowships in clinical immunology in the areas of allergies and diagnostics, where she worked in Anthony Fauci’s lab. From 1985 to 1989, Birx was the assistant chief of the Walter Reed Allergy/Immunology Service. Birx started her career as a clinician in immunology, eventually focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research.  From 1986 to 1989, Birx worked at the National Institutes of Health as an investigator specializing in cellular immunology.  From 2005 to 2014, Birx served as the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), part of the agency’s Center for Global Health.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Birx to be the Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.

I think there can be no doubt that Drs. Fauci and Birx are experts in the field of immunology, infectious diseases, and public health.  In the past week, Donald Trump has dissed both of these experts and their opinions.

Last week, Dr. Fauci testified before a House subcommittee that the U.S. has seen more cases than European countries because it only shut down a fraction of its economy amid the pandemic.  On Saturday, Trump tweeted …

“Wrong!  We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.”

This is akin to saying that if I just don’t go down to the basement where that pipe is leaking, it won’t be leaking.

And then came Dr. Birx’ turn.  On Sunday Birx said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and that the deadly virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the US earlier this year.  She also did not rule out the possibility that the nation’s coronavirus death toll could double by the end of the year to 300,000 and that most schools should offer only online learning this year.  Trump fired back on Monday …

“So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”

And then …

“With the exception of New York & a few other locations, we’ve done MUCH better than most other Countries in dealing with the China Virus. Many of these countries are now having a major second wave. The Fake News is working overtime to make the USA (& me) look as bad as possible!  Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!”

Nancy Pelosi had criticized Dr. Birx last week, saying she had lost confidence in her for she was helping Trump spread disinformation about the progress … or lack thereof … being made in the U.S. in combatting the virus.  Historically, Dr. Birx has tended to paint a rosier picture than Dr. Fauci, less inclined to risk disagreeing with Trump, but she now seems to agree that the virus is spinning out of control here.

In contrast to Trump, Joe Biden took to Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet attacking Birx:

“It’s hard to believe this has to be said, but if I’m elected president, I’ll spend my Monday mornings working with our nation’s top experts to control this virus — not insulting them on Twitter.”

Now, I began with a brief overview of the credentials of both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.  Donald Trump has now denigrated both of these highly respected experts.  Take a look at the credentials of Donald Trump in the field of medicine and public health …

blank-pageYep, that’s it, folks … he has none.  Who you gonna believe, two highly qualified experts who have dedicated their lives to the study of medicine, or a television clown who has dedicated his life to screwing people?  To date, the U.S. has 4,862,174 reported cases, or 26% of the world’s 18,443,484 total.  We also have, as of this writing, 158,929 reported deaths, or 23% of the world’s 697,189 total.  And, most experts agree that the U.S. data is under-reported by at least 30%.  So no, my friends, we are not “doing very well”.  Donald Trump is wrong and the experts are right.  What a surprise, eh?  I strongly advise we believe the experts … our very lives depend on it.

What Could Happen …???

The race is on and with just over 100 days until election day, most of us know who we will be voting for.  Most every legitimate poll shows Biden leading Trump by somewhere between 8 to 15 points, and that’s comforting for those of us who genuinely believe that the nation cannot tolerate another term with Trump holding the reins.  But we cannot become complacent, for to do so would be a serious mistake.  Trump still has about a 40% following … people largely with a single agenda who will not abandon Trump no matter what he does.  His goal, and that of the Republican Party as a whole, right now is to increase that following, or short of that, to dilute the vote of the majority.  A lot can happen in 100 days!  The Washington Post published an article by a few of the pundits, opinion writers from both sides of the aisle, who have given their views on what, exactly, Trump could do in the next 100+ days to change the tide and actually win the election.  I thought they were worth sharing … some are worth some thought.  Take a look …


Here’s what could happen to put Trump in the lead

Post-PunditOpinion by The Ranking Committee

July 24, 2020 at 9:41 a.m. EDT

Rankings wrangler Drew Goins here for Round 67, which finds President Trump behind in a trailing-by-13-points-in-Florida sort of way. But it is yet July, which leaves time for not only an October surprise but an August and September one, too. Trump might be praying all those aliens pay a visit and reverse his fortunes, but short of that, here’s what the members of the Ranking Committee think could turn the race around for Mr. President.

— Drew Goins


Better pandemic management

He starts wearing a mask regularly and takes covid-19 seriously. Unless he does that well, he doesn’t have the credibility with swing voters to make any Biden gaffe matter.

— Henry Olsen


Pandemic credit-stealing

Trump would gain a huge amount of ground if he (a) set low expectations for his performance during the pandemic and (b) skated by on the achievements of health officials. Trump isn’t about to start handling the coronavirus competently or effectively, but voters often don’t judge presidents on pure managerial ability. They ask themselves, “Are things getting better or getting worse?” and if things are getting better, they tend to give the president credit. So Trump needs to set as low of a bar as possible and cross his fingers that people who work for him — scientists, public health officials, et al. — do their job well and unintentionally push him over the top.

— David Byler


Non-distancing Democrats

The race will close as they always do, but the momentum behind President Trump’s comeback will be significantly fueled by what Democrats and, by extension, Joe Biden don’t do: condemn violence in the streets of Portland, Ore., and elsewhere and repudiate utterly and without equivocation “defunding the police” or “redirecting funding for the police,” which are effectively the same thing in the ears of a majority of voters. As the Democratic Party collapses into apology for the protesters in Portland, Trump will regain ground lost to voters professing “Trump fatigue.” Better that than fear for personal safety.

— Hugh Hewitt


Large-scale retaliation from leftists

It seems obvious Trump is sending federal law enforcement into cities to confront protesters not just because the TV imagery it creates tickles his authoritarian fancies but also as deliberate incitement, to stoke violent civil conflict. But why? One possibility: to provoke a dramatic, large-scale retaliation from a self-described leftist. That might shift the suburbs against the protests and in Trump’s direction. Is that overheated? Perhaps. But ask yourself: Why is Trump actively trying to push the nation to the brink of civil war? Do you have a better explanation?

— Greg Sargent


A Supreme Court vacancy

A spot opening up on the Supreme Court could remind reluctant conservatives of the same deal they made with the devil in 2016 — and help them ignore even the most devilish deeds Trump has carried out in office. This could win back some of the suburban voters the president has lost over his tenure, and maybe energize others who otherwise would have sat this mid-pandemic election out.

— Molly Roberts


A time machine

Trump is so far behind and so personally discredited, I find it impossible to think of something he might realistically do to rehabilitate himself. Even if we developed an effective vaccine (very difficult given the timeline), it almost certainly would not be distributed in time. As for Biden, I do not believe a single gaffe out there could sink him. What I think would pose a real problem is massive voter suppression. Literally preventing people from voting or their votes from being counted is the greatest threat to Biden, and to our democracy. Aside from that, Trump would need a time machine — to go several months back, acknowledge the pandemic and put in place a mammoth federal response. While there, he could react to the killing of George Floyd like a normal, empathetic human and even champion a list of agreed-upon police reforms.

— Jennifer Rubin


Nothing

I genuinely don’t have a plausible scenario. At this point, I don’t think there’s any way Trump can become competitive with Biden in the polls. And I think the only way Trump could even conceivably eke out a win on Election Day would be through voter suppression on an improbably (perhaps impossibly) massive scale.

— Eugene Robinson


So Trump saying, “If elected, I will immediately resign and hand power to my new vice president, Mitt Romney,” doesn’t count? I mean, beyond that, we’re into “Joe Biden is identified as the perpetrator in a gruesome double homicide.” I’m struggling to think of anything else that will save Trump.

— Megan McArdle


My own personal favourite it Eugene Robinson’s, naturally.  However, the others all make valid points and we need to keep our eyes on the ball, my friends.

Tell me why (an underused question)

Our friend Keith has a question … well, quite a few of them actually, and they all begin with “Why?” These are not easy questions, not ones that any of us can answer, but they are the questions we should ALL be asking. Check out his questions and see if you can add a few of your own. Thanks Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The Beatles sang, “Tell me why…., you cry and why you lie to me.”Why? A question we do not ask enough, especially of those who need it asked again and again. I witness politicians, business leaders, experts and regular people like us say things as if they are fact, but the comments are merely opinion or conjecture. And, in the case of one person in particular, any comment is likely untrue.

So, here are a few why questions.

– Why does a person who claims things that run contrary to his narrative are a hoax, actually made money off hoax strategies? We have heard words like Climate change hoax, Russian hoax, Ukrainian hoax, Coronavirus hoax, etc. from this person, but he made a lot of money off selling his name to developers for projects he had nothing to do with. The name was supposed to bring in more customers…

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David Brooks pens an editorial – President Biden’s first day

Last week, I posted a column by Michael Gerson, a conservative and Republican, who pointed out the failures of Trump and posited that 2020 will NOT be a repeat of 2016. Today, our friend Keith posted a column by another conservative Republican writer, David Brooks, who paints a comforting picture of what a Biden presidency will look like and why both parties will benefit from such a presidency. Take a look for yourself … thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

David Brooks has long been my favorite conservative pundit. I first became aware of him as he teamed with more liberal Mark Shields to do a recap of the week on the Friday show of PBS Newshour. They epitomized the PBS doctrine of civil discourse. I have read two of Brooks’ books – “The Social Animal” and “The Road to Character” – which are excellent reads, and have had the good fortune of hearing him speak.

Like other conservative pundits, George Will, Michael Gerson, Erick Erickson, et al, Brooks is deeply disappointed in the actions, verbiage and temperament of the current US president. So, when he penned the editorial, “President Biden’s first day,” I was intrigued and not surprised. Here are a few quotes that shape the article.

“The first thing you’ll notice is the quiet. If Joe Biden wins this thing, there will be no disgraceful tweets and no…

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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!

DAMN YOU, Donald Trump

The news of the day is that the U.S. unemployment rate fell in May to 13.3%.  Ho hum … yawn.  First … don’t be fooled.  Yes, with the re-opening of businesses, employees were called back to work and thus the unemployment rate was destined to fall, though I would question the 13.3% rate, as the figure comes from the federal government, and thus is not to be believed.  Plus … just last week, new unemployment claims totaled over 1.9 million.  Plus … with the re-opening of businesses and people out and about more, there will be a resurgence of the coronavirus.  Will businesses shut down again?  Quite possibly.jobs-graph

Even the Department of Labour cautioned that data-collection issues that have plagued the agency throughout the crisis continued last month. Some temporarily jobless workers were characterized as “employed” in May; had they been counted correctly, the department said, the unemployment rate would have topped 16 percent.

On the news of the drop in the unemployment rate (which, it should be noted, is still nearly triple what it was in the pre-coronavirus days), the stock market surges.  Stupid people.

More than half of the jobs added were in the food and beverage industry – restaurants and bars.  But even so, business is not what it once was, and once restaurant owners see that they are not making a profit … and they likely won’t for some time yet, as many people are still unwilling to mingle in public … businesses will start to go out of business.  There are so many variables in play that only a fool would take the numbers released today as a sign that the economy is on the rebound.  And speaking of fools …

Donald Trump gave himself his usual disgusting ‘pat on the back’ when the numbers were released this morning, claiming that the jobless numbers represent “the greatest comeback in American history.”  Not true … not even if the numbers were accurate would it be true, but then since when does Trump deal in truisms?  He also tweeted …

“Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!”

What a pompous ass.   He had little, if anything, to do with employees being called back to work.  And in yet another foolish tweet, he claimed this single number, shaky as it is and in the midst of a nation afire with racism and police brutality, would cinch his bid for re-election …

“Oh no, the Dems are worried again. The only one that can kill this comeback is Sleepy Joe Biden!”

But all the bullshit aside, in his impromptu news conference this morning in the Rose Garden, he crossed a line when he said …

“We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now, and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

I was speechless when I read this … speechless for all of about 3 seconds until I let forth a string of expletives worthy of a truck driver.  How could anybody with a shred of human decency, anybody with even a tiny bit of conscience, make such a ludicrous, offensive statement?  But then, decency and conscience are not things that Trump has ever been accused of having.  Still … this is perhaps a new low for even him.

No, Donald, this is not a “great day” for George Floyd who was brutally murdered on May 25th.  It is not a great day for this nation, which is burning down around us.  It is not a great day for virtually anyone living in the United States, though some are not capable of realizing it.  Damn you, Donald Trump … just DAMN YOU.

Not The “Grand” Ol’ Party” Anymore

Boy, the GOP sure has a lot of class these days, don’t they?  Remember when GOP stood for ‘Grand Old Party’?  Nothing grand about them today … old, yes, but damn sure not grand.  It started long ago, but once they threw their weight behind the least classy person on the planet, they have sunk to several all-time lows in U.S. politics, and seemingly with no remorse, no shame.

The latest?


Well, for starters, Trump’s son Eric.  Now, we should probably give Eric a pass, for you can look at him and tell that, like his father, he’s a bit dimwitted.  Still, somebody should have stopped him from speaking in public long ago, for he seems to take some great pride in his idiocy.  Last week, during an interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro, he made the following claim …

“They think they’re taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time.  You watch — they’ll milk it every single day between now and November 3. And guess what? After November 3, coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen. They’re trying to deprive him of his greatest asset.”

Eric-TrumpOnly one problem with Eric’s theory, which is that more than 350,000 people around the world have died, 100,269 in the U.S.  So, what???  Did France, Italy, Spain, the UK and every other nation on earth collude with U.S. Democrats to perpetuate this “hoax”?  What about those bodies, Eric?  How to you explain the deaths?  How do you explain the fact that every nation in the Western world has closed businesses, some issuing strict lockdown orders?  All just to defeat your father?  Guess what?  Donald Trump is just not that important … not by any stretch of the imagination.  Eric is, as always, an idiot.


And then, there’s Trump senior, who went on a bit of a tirade over the weekend, as he seems to do whenever there is a holiday weekend.  I guess he gets bored, but this time he called people names, fat-shamed a democrat, and just generally acted like a 13-year-old boy in heat.  He has done some extremely low-brow stunts before, such as the time he showed a doctored video of himself beating up a reporter, but this one takes the cake.  In normal times, the FCC would step in and ban this ad.

Last week, Joe Biden made one of his gaffes.  In the grand scheme of things, while it was a stupid thing to say, it only rates about a 1 on the stupid scale, while most times Trump opens his mouth, it rates at least an 8.  However, Trump will play up Joe’s gaffe for more than it’s worth.  He posted a doctored meme and a doctored video showing Ghana’s dancing pallbearers (a tradition in Ghana) carrying a casket marked “Biden”.  This is not only tasteless, but is against FCC rules.  But then, Trump can do anything he wants, according to AG William Barr, so …


I told you last week about his wrongful accusation against journalist Joe Scarborough, accusing him of murdering an intern on his staff back in the days when Scarborough was in the House of Representatives.  There was no basis for Trump’s accusation … the staffer died of a heart condition in 2001, the autopsy and police investigation at the time revealed no sign of foul play, and Scarborough wasn’t even in the same state at the time!  But the Idiot-in-Chief can’t abide the fact that Scarborough, a republican, is holding Trump’s feet to the fire, is not reporting on the “party line” as his buddies over at Fox do.

Well, the upshot of this one is that the deceased woman’s husband, Timothy J. Klausutis, wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asking him to please remove Trump’s tweets.  The letter reads, in part …

“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets … I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the president of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain.”

Very eloquently stated, and if I were Mr. Dorsey, I would have taken the tweets down immediately and given Trump a final warning.  But, don’t expect any attack of conscience on the part of Twitter.  A “spokesperson” responded …

“We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family. We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly.”

What a crock of compassion, huh?  I hope Mr. Klausutis files suit against Twitter and wins!  This is eerily reminiscent of the pain caused by Alex Jones’ unfounded conspiracy theory that Sandy Hook never happened.  What the Sam Hell is wrong with people?

Trump’s tweets in this and many other instances do not fall under ‘freedom of speech’, but rather of hijacking a public platform to spread filth and lies.


No, my friends, there is zero class or dignity within the GOP in this, the era of Trump.  Every single republican who condones these behaviours … false premises, conspiracy theories, name-calling … is beneath contempt.  Any republican who fails to speak out against these atrocities must share the guilt of Trump, his ignoble sons, the greedy Jack Dorsey, and others who allow this abominable behaviour.  Quite literally, this is not a nation I respect or even like anymore.  That people tolerate this sort of behaviour, that there are no longer filters for people’s speech and actions, disgusts me.  No, the GOP is no longer the ‘grand’ anything.

There Is NO Smoking Gun …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discord & Dissension-A Pause

Jeff and I are taking a little break from our project … I’ll let Jeff explain …

On The Fence Voters

At the beginning of the year, Jill Dennison and I decided to collaborate on a project that we hoped would focus our collective attention on the upcoming presidential election. Both of us felt then, and now that this election is the most consequential of our lives.

We told you how we got to the present hyperventilating partisanship in Washington, D.C. We reminded you how one political party was doing its level best to keep as many people from voting via unprecedented suppression tactics and gerrymandering.

We told you about the current administration’s unprecedented corruption, their total denial of climate change, and their attempt to destroy the administrative state. We alluded to how important the courts were to our future, as well as showcasing the myriad of issues that will confront voters in this election.

We also touched upon the growing dispute going on at the time between Bernie Sanders and…

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Will Justin Amash Spoil the 2020 Presidential Race?

Yesterday, when I read that Justin Amash is contemplating a third-party run for president in November, my heart dropped, for it is my belief that if he does so, Trump will be re-elected. I had planned, of course, to write a post on the topic. However, our friend TokyoSand has written almost exactly what I would have, so … why re-invent the wheel? Thank you, TS!

Political⚡Charge

amash Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03)

Once again, we have someone who is angling to be the 3rd party spoiler for this presidential election. Enter Justin Amash.

Amash is a 5-term Tea Party Republican who became well known last year when he changed his party affiliation to become an Independent and then voted to impeach Trump. He announced that he was exploring a run for the Libertarian nomination earlier this week. 

That said, in a year when getting rid of Trump is of primary importance, any 3rd party candidate can cause problems. The last 3 elections with a 3rd party spoiler pulled away enough votes from the parties to make a significant difference. My biggest concern is that the right-leaning voters who aren’t willing to vote for Trump but were begrudgingly thinking about voting for Biden, might now vote for Amash. Especially in Michigan, a critical swing state. In 2020, we need every…

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