This Cannot Become “Normal”

I came across this OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite opinion writers, Nicholas Kristof, earlier today.  It is a prescient warning that I think is worth sharing.


Don’t Let Trump Make You Numb to What’s Unacceptable

Our species has an ability to adapt. Now’s not the time.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Nov. 6, 2019

The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.

Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown.

Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.

I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.

Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”

Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)

Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.”

Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.” Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history.

 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or toothbrushes.

We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for.

Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws.

Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.

American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing.

Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in every American city.

America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything.

But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

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Filosofa’s Thoughts

Tonight, I was in an introspective mood, doing some thinking about where this nation appears to be headed and about the people of this nation who seemingly applaud the direction we are taking.  In the midst of my introspection, came the news that the so-called president of this country was once again conducting a rally and that he was, once again, denigrating those of us who speak or have spoken against him or his actions.  The rally was in Minnesota where he said of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden …

“He was only a good Vice President because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

This isn’t Dave down at the corner bar talking after a few beers, my friends … this is the ‘man’ who was elected to lead a nation of 330 million people.  At the same rally, he slammed Ilhan Omar, the U.S. House representative from Minnesota, saying …

“How do you have such a person representing you in Minnesota? I’m very angry at you people. She is a disgrace to our country, and she is one of the big reasons that I am going to win, and that the Republican Party is going to win, Minnesota in 13 months.”

But do you know what disgusts me the most, my friends?  At that last malicious statement by Trump, his audience stood and begin chanting “Four more years” and “Send her back”.

That’s right, my friends … a large number of the people of this nation still, despite his rants, his foul language, his illegalities, his anti-humanitarian rhetoric and policies, his self-serving nature, still find something to relate to … something to cling to.  And that is what disturbs me most.  People who I once thought I knew, people I once called “friend”, support the speech and actions of a person who is … a lawbreaking, lowlife bucket of scum.  And they want him to lead this nation … straight over the cliff or into the iceberg, whichever analogy you prefer.  I find that I can no longer respect or even tolerate those who would support a president whom I cannot respect.  And this led me to some thoughts … thoughts which, if you care to listen, I will share with you tonight.

  • I think that when the person who sits at the highest level of our government invites foreign nations to create chaos and promote falsehoods in our elections, as Trump did in 2016 and is doing already for the upcoming 2020 election, we cannot respect that person, for he is breaking the law, undermining the Constitution, and acting out of self-interest, not the interest of the nation.

  • I think that when the person who occupies an office that has been respected for more than 200 years stoops to calling any who don’t agree with him names such as ‘pompous ass’, ‘fat Jerry’, ‘nervous Nancy’, ‘lyin’ Ted’, ‘shifty Schiff’, and more, that person cannot expect and does not deserve the respect of the nation.

  • I think that when the person who was elected to lead a nation of 330 million people turns his back on that nation’s allies, pulls out of crucial previously negotiated treatises, and leaves other allies to certain death, that person loses the respect not only of the people of the nation, but of the people of the globe.

  • I think that when the person who supposedly ‘leads’ a nation disregards environmental threats to not only the nation, but the entire globe, and instead provides incentive to wealthy industry barons to further decimate the planet, that person has earned the scorn and wrath of every person on the planet.

  • I think that when the person elected to the highest office in the nation lies, cheats, steals and then bullies those who would hold him accountable, we cannot possibly have any respect or compassion for this person.

  • I think that any person who has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of a nation, then breaks that oath on a near-daily basis, does not deserve the honour of the position to which he was elected.

  • I think that a person who holds an office that historically has been internationally respected, but yet praises strongman dictators while stabbing that nation’s allies in the back, can only be considered a traitor who deserves no respect.

  • I think that any person who defends a president guilty of the above trespasses, cannot claim to be a good person, a patriot, or a concerned citizen, for he or she is defending a creature who has no concern for the nation and its people.

In the words of writer and friend John Pavlovitz …

“I just want a President with compassion, intelligence, and simple human decency.”

And in the words of Filosofa …

“I just want a president I can respect and trust. I don’t need to like him, but I need to be able to respect him.”

Tonight, as I write this, I sit here with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart, for we do not have a president that meets either John’s standards or my own.  We have a dishonest, deceitful, bullying ‘person’ in the White House who is leading us quickly down a path to … what?  Destruction, certainly, but … will this nation survive intact?  I once thought I knew this nation, thought I understood our government even with its flaws, and thought I liked the people I called ‘friend’.  If our friends and neighbors who are still wearing their slightly frayed maga hats, who are still playing that somewhat warped “he tells it like it is” record, don’t take off their tinted glasses and find a functional mind and a conscience, if he is allowed a second term, I think this nation will not come out in 2024 only slightly damaged, but completely destroyed.  I shan’t be here to see it.

Trump vs Facts

It shouldn’t have been a big deal … but it was.  It shouldn’t have received the attention of the international press … but it did.  It was stupid, foolish, but relative to the news of the day, irrelevant – just another example of the ignorance of the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office.  I mostly ignored it, save for a brief mention, but an ego was involved … perhaps the most bloated ego of any in the world … and thus it was blown up, mocked, and the ‘man’ in the Oval Office refused to simply say, “I made a mistake”.

I try hard not to waste my voice here on my blog with irrelevancy, unless it is to bring a smile, a laugh, a bit of levity to my readers.  But, what was irrelevant has now become yet another sign of the despotism that flows around the White House today.

The incident, of course, is the one that began last Sunday, September 1st, when Trump tweeted …

“In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”

The fallacy was that Alabama was not in the path of Hurricane Dorian.  Within an hour, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a statement correcting Trump:

“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”

And then the sh*t hit the proverbial fan.  Had it been left there, it would likely have died before the next round of late-night television shows, for there were more important things to worry about.  But, Trump can never be contradicted, can never be told he is wrong about anything, despite the fact that he has been proven wrong about most everything.  The notice by the NWS was important and necessary, for Trump’s statement could have sent Alabama residents into a frenzy, wondering why they hadn’t been warned and running out stripping the store shelves of bottled water and other essential supplies.  It was the responsible thing for the NWS to do.

So, Trump couldn’t let it lie, took one of the official maps showing the likely trajectories of Hurricane Dorian, and with a Sharpie pen, drew an additional line to include Alabama in the path of the storm.  It was as if a 5-year-old child had done it, was obviously a stupid thing, but … well, Trump’s ego, y’know.  And then the whole thing blew up.altered-map.jpgTrump continued to defend his tweet and complain about the flak he’s received over media reports that point out that he was wrong, his vile rhetoric becoming more ludicrous with each tweet.  He tweeted a doctored video of a CNN segment that noted Alabama might feel the effects of the hurricane.  WHAT PRESIDENT DOES THIS???  Where is the professionalism of the office?  Where is the dignity?  For six straight days, he tweeted obsessively about the whole thing, even demanding an apology.

But, on Friday this truly became a serious issue, and one that should have every person in this nation up in arms.  On Friday afternoon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the parent agency of the National Weather Service, issued a statement declaring that its Birmingham, Alabama office was wrong to dispute the president’s warning that Alabama “will most likely be hit” by the hurricane despite forecasts to the contrary.

“The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”

Yes, my friends, a government agency tasked with reporting facts, tasked with the safety of the nation under severe weather conditions, was forced to bow to the whims of a megalomaniac for the sake of salving his ego.  Let that one sink in a minute.

This is no longer a laughing matter, for it is further evidence that the safety of this nation matters less than the ego of Donald Trump.  This only happens in autocracies, it does not happen in democratic nations.  It is but one in a long line of such incidents, but this one received the notoriety to put it front and center and the perfidy cannot be ignored.

The biggest issue facing every industrialized nation on the globe is climate change, yet because Trump says it is a “Chinese hoax”, our government doesn’t talk about climate change.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed all references to climate change from every one of its documents.  The EPA has also removed the Climate Science page from its website.  All to stroke the ego of a madman who just happens to be the highest-ranking official in our government.  And now, our National Weather Service is not allowed to give us accurate warnings when a devastating, life-threatening storm is looming.

Can we ever again trust anything we are told by any government agency?  No.  We now know that Trump manipulates the information given by every agency under his control, and we should not take a single thing at face value.  Yesterday, the Bureau of Labour Statistics released their report for August, saying that the U.S. had added some 130,000 jobs during the month.  I do not believe it for one minute.  What if we actually lost 50,000 jobs?  Trump is apprised of the report before it is made public.  What if he said, “NO … we didn’t lose jobs, we added jobs — lots of beautiful jobs — great jobs!  This report is ‘fake news!!!’  Then, would the Labour Department have changed the numbers to match Trump’s whim?  I posit that no new jobs were added in August, and that the Labour Department report has no validity.  For the duration of Trump’s term in office, I shall not believe another piece of data that comes out of our federal government.

It is a damn shame when one ‘man’, in just under three years, can completely shred the credibility of the entire federal government, but that is exactly what has happened.  Would we receive proper warning if there were a pending threat from another nation?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on what Donald Trump wants us to know.  This is a dangerous and disturbing situation.  Next time there’s a hurricane, the NWS will ask Trump where he would like them to draw the projected trajectory.  I can envision a number of scenarios where lives would be placed in danger, lives perhaps lost, to protect the fragile ego of a man-child.  Think about it.

The New Pinocchio Drug!

There is a new drug on the market.  I don’t know the medical name, but it is commonly referred to as the “Pinocchio Drug”.  Apparently, the drug is available only to republicans, and early drug trials were performed on a number of Trump’s own staff members.  The drug makes it such that the person who takes it cannot recognize a lie.  A few examples …


First, there was the new White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, who replaced Sarah Huckabee Sanders in June, but has never yet held a press briefing, and continues to be Melania’s “communication director”.  In an interview with The Washington Post, when reminded that the WaPo Fact Checker had documented 12,019 lies told by Trump from the time he took office on January 20, 2017 thru August 5, 2019, and then asked if she thinks he lies, she responded:

“No, I don’t think they’re lies … I think the president communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with. A lot of times they take him so literally. I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is. What I’ve learned about him is that he loves this country and he’s not going to lie to this country.”

pinocchio


On the same day, Wednesday, one of Trump’s re-election campaign spokespeople, Kayleigh McEnany, appeared on Chris Cuomo’s CNN program … she has obviously also been taking the drug …

Cuomo: You don’t think this President has lied to the American people?

McEnany: Let me finish, Chris.

Cuomo: You–

McEnany: No, I don’t think the President has lied.

Cuomo: –have to answer that question, first.

McEnany: I don’t think the President has lied.

Cuomo: He has never lied to the American people?

McEnany: No, I don’t think the President has lied.

pinocchio


Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney proclaimed with a straight face on Friday morning that President Donald Trump has never lied to the American people, asserting that Trump has only ever exaggerated and spun.  Varney was interviewing Joe Walsh, who recently threw his hat into the presidential ring in a bid against Donald Trump for the republican nomination.

Walsh: Stuart, do you believe this president lies?

Varney: No.

Walsh: You don’t believe he’s ever lied?

Varney: He exaggerates and spins.

Walsh: Okay. Do you believe he’s ever told the American people a lie?

Varney: No.

Walsh: Stuart, he said there were high-level phone calls with Chinese officials, his staff admitted that was not true, that he lied in order to manipulate the market.

Varney: That’s not a lie. If the man said and he did that high-level talks had been held with China, that is not a lie. They were held with China. 

pinocchio


The drug has apparently been on the test market for quite some time, for back in April 2018, U.S. Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio, one of the founding members of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus, was interviewed by Anderson Cooper …

Cooper: So you have heard the President lie? You haven’t heard the President lie?

Jordan: I’ve not heard the President — he’s always been square with me. That’s for darn sure.

Cooper: What about the American people?

Jordan: The American people elected him president of the United States.

Cooper: OK. But I mean, have you ever the President lie? That’s why I’m asking you?

Jordan: I have not. And the American people feel like the treatment he’s receiving from the top people of the FBI —

Cooper: A, I don’t think you can talk about all the American people. But I’m asking you — just yourself, have you ever heard the President lie?

Jordan: I have not.

Cooper: Really? So when the Washington Post counts hundreds and hundreds of times, none of those are believable to you.

Jordan: I have not seen what the Washington Post reported. You are asking me if the President communicated something it wasn’t accurate to me, I’m not —

Cooper: No. No, not to you. Has the President publicly said anything that is a lie?

Jordan: I mean, look, I don’t know of it. Nothing comes to mind. But look, people who talk as much as you and I do, my guess is probably, Anderson, you may have said something at some point that wasn’t 100 percent accurate.

pinocchio


Then there was Steve Bannon, Trump’s former “chief strategist”, who when asked if Trump lies, replied …

“Not to my knowledge, no. I think he speaks in a particular vernacular that connects to people in this country.”

Yeah, a vernacular of vitriol and outright lies.  Go take another dose of the drug, Steve.

And, of course, there was the very first test of the drug on Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway on the day of the inauguration, when Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration “drew the largest crowd ever” (it didn’t, not even close), and Kellyanne backed him by saying it wasn’t a lie, but merely a set of “alternative facts”.


Trump-pinocchioI hope that either this drug is taken off the market soon, or that someone develops an antidote and force feeds it to every bloody republican!  Listen up, people!  Yes, Trump lies … every damn day he lies … and he is making us all sick!  Get off the drug, now!  Take, instead, a dose of reality!

Don’t Be Fooled …

Why is everybody so pleased that Trump called out white supremacy?  He lies.  Simple fact is that he doesn’t mean it but was told by his campaign people that it wasn’t looking good, that a lot of people were blaming him for at least the El Paso shooting.  Can’t let those poll numbers drop, now can he?  So, he stands up and says, “In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy”, and the press acts as if this absolves him of the hundreds, maybe thousands of times he has called for violence, called white supremacists “very fine people”, and denigrated members of Congress only because of their ethnicity or skin colour.

Turns out, he also blamed mental illness, violence in the media, and video games.  He did not urge Congress to pass strict gun laws, he did not condemn the NRA, he did not recant any of his previous statements.  Quite simply, he said what his advisors told him he ought to say.  In this case, talk is cheap and he has told so many lies that there is no reason … not a single shred of reason … to believe him.  Trump has been a racist all his life, from when he refused to rent apartments to blacks all the way up to just last week when he went on a tirade against a civil rights hero and member of Congress, Elijah Cummings.

He took no responsibility for the atmosphere of division, nor did he recognize his own reluctance to warn of the rise of white nationalism until now.  He blamed social media, which is laughable, since it is his main venue, apart from campaign rallies, for spewing his racist hate.Trump-racistActions speak far louder than words, and in this case, you can rest assured that his actions will not change, and by next week he will be back to his campaign of racist remarks and behaviours.  The media seems to be drooling all over themselves at his remarks, with big bold headlines reading …

Trump Condemns White Supremacy After Mass Shootings

What they should read is

A Leopard Doesn’t Change His Spots

As Jennifer Rubin said in her column today, “It would be laughable if it were not so infuriating”.  Or, in the words of Senator Kamala Harris, “I’m too busy watching what he’s doing to hear what he’s saying”.

As I said in a previous post, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.  Trump has been waddling and quacking for far too long … he hasn’t changed.  He’s still a liar and a racist.  Don’t be fooled.

India calls out Trump lie

Yesterday, I promised there would be a Part II to my post Open Mouth, Insert Foot, but I had some difficulties and hadn’t written the piece yet. Just as I was about to start it, I saw that our friend Keith had written of the incident with Trump v India, and he has done as fine a job as I could have done, so I figure … why re-invent the wheel, right? Thank you Keith for this post, for shining a light on a problem that many missed this week in light of all the detritus swirling about, and for permission to share your excellent work!

musingsofanoldfart

A story that got very little press occurred this week regarding India and Pakistan. It was overshadowed by the Mueller testimony, budget bill and the presidential seal issue, but it was a major faux pas and harmed relations with India, an important ally.

In a HuffPost article by Mary Papenfuss called “India Calls Out Trump Lie That He Was Asked To Mediate Kashmir Conflict,” she spells out what happened.

“President Donald Trump spun a tale in front of reporters Monday that he was personally asked by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to mediate the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan.Trump raised the issue during a meeting with Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, in the White House while reporters listened.

‘No such request has been made’by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the U.S. president, said a spokesman for India’s government, despite what Trump claimed.” It should be noted, the White House…

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Just Two Thoughts …

It occurs to me that those of us writing political blogs covering U.S. politics and the regime of Donald Trump spend more time correcting misconceptions that he creates than we spend being proactive and creative.  But so be it … we cannot let the fool on the hill get by with lies that go unchecked and with tarnishing the reputations of good people.

Image result for don mcgahnThe latest, of course, is Don McGahn, former White House counsel.  According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, McGahn testified under oath that Trump had given him a directive to order Rod Rosenstein, then-Deputy Attorney General, to fire Robert Mueller based on a ‘conflict of interest’ that did not, in fact, exist.  McGahn refused, and ultimately left Trump’s employ rather than break the law.

Naturally, Trump denied that he had told McGahn to fire Mueller …

“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.”

Ah yes, he could have, but that would have opened a can of worms and made him look even guiltier than he already did at that point.  Now really, folks, who are you going to believe … Trump who has told more than 10,000 documented lies since his inauguration, or McGahn who had the integrity to refuse an order and resign rather than break the law?

Then last month, the day after the redacted copy of the Mueller report was released to Congress and the public, Trump contacted McGahn and asked him to publicly declare that he doesn’t believe Trump obstructed justice.  McGahn refused Trump’s request.  Now if that doesn’t speak loud and clear that Trump is, to this day, obstructing justice, then I don’t know what it takes.  Are you listening, Mitchell McConnell??? 

Trump, needless to say, is in a state of rage …

“I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”

Image result for quotes about lies thomas jeffersonUnprecedented help from the administration?  I think not.  And if he wasn’t a fan of McGahn, why did he hire him in the first place?  More lies.  With apparently nothing better to do, Trump tweeted some 70 times on Saturday. Since he is so fond of giving everyone nicknames, I think his new moniker ought to be Tweety Twump.

McGahn is still, as of this writing, scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 21st, though Trump has ordered him not to.  I think that since McGahn is a private citizen, and since he has already testified before the Mueller team, that even Trump’s “executive privilege” cannot stop McGahn if he chooses to testify.  I hope that he will, I like and respect McGahn, however if he doesn’t, I hope that the committee will issue a warrant for his arrest for contempt of Congress.  Somewhere, somehow, Congress must find the chink in the armour and be allowed to do its job.


july-2The United States celebrates Independence Day on the 4th of July each year.  The celebration commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject and subordinate to the monarch of Britain and were now united, free, and independent states.  Of course, it would take a war to make the declaration reality, but this is the date that is remembered for its significance.  In recent decades, the holiday is, for many, not much more than an excuse to picnic or grill out, drink lots of beer, and watch fireworks after dark.  Nonetheless, there is symbolic meaning to the day.

One of the most prominent events takes place in Washington, D.C., which includes fireworks on the mall.  Correction … it did.  Until King Donald Trump decided to take over the celebration and make it all about himself, rather than the people who fought for this nation’s independence back while his own ancestors were still living in Germany.

Trump has decided to move the fireworks display from its usual spot on the Mall to be closer to the Potomac River (who said it was up to him???), but that isn’t even the worst of it.  He has decided to hold a bloomin’ campaign rally from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!  What an irony!  The man who was known as ‘Honest Abe’ … being defaced and devalued by the most dishonest president in the history of the United States.  The man who fought to free the slaves and end bigotry being smeared by the one who is “Making America Racist Again”!

This is supposed to be the people’s celebration, not Donald Trump’s.  That’s okay, though, for just as I said last year, in my heart, there is nothing to celebrate this July 4th.  Frankly, in this, the year 2019, I wish we were still a subject of the Crown.  Queen Elizabeth is a much kinder, more intelligent leader than the one we have.

Time For ‘Toons!

‘Tis time for a few ‘toons to lighten things up, don’t you think?  I sometimes wonder, once Trump is gone and hopefully out of our lives forever, will half of the political cartoonists be in line at the unemployment office?  For today, though, they have plenty of fodder for the grist mill.

Starting, of course, with Attorney General William Barr …

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Mueller's letter to BarrBarr-2barr-3

This week, Trump hit the 10,000 mark on the lies he has told since taking office.  Now, we all know he’s told more lies than that, but those are just the ones that are confirmed by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

trump-liestrump-lies-2trump-lies-3

Also this week, Trump announced that he plans to change the rules for asylum seekers.  He plans to charge them money that they don’t have, and limit their rights to work to earn money — in other words, he is essentially halting any migrants from seeking asylum in this country.  It is, in my book, an illegal move, but when has legality ever been a problem for him?

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Robert Mueller’s investigation confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, that which we already knew — that Russia did interfere with our 2016 election for the purpose of getting Trump elected, knowing he could be played like a puppet.

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I’m retired now, but back when I worked, this was always how I felt among my coworkers …

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I’ve made the point numerous times in the past few weeks that Trump is trashing the rule of law in this country.  He and William Barr, among others, seem to feel that the laws of the land do not apply to them.

rule-of-lawrule-of-law-2Question of impeachmentrule-of-law-4

And finally … just a few bits ‘n pieces I found …

trump-assholetrump-kimtrump-nraunfit-to-vote

Happy National Honesty Day!

I began getting a daily email of the “National Day” events a few months ago, for our friend Ellen occasionally teased me for not knowing that it was a certain “National Day” on the calendar. It has become a nightly ritual for me to read off the many national days on a nightly basis, to my girls, and we have a bit of fun over such things as National Hug-a-Plumber Day, National Shrimp Scampi Day, etc.  However, as I was reading off the National Days last night, one in particular caught my eye.  I pondered, and daughter Chris said she could smell the wheels turning (a bit of rust … the wheels need to be oiled).

National Honesty Day is celebrated on April 30 in the United States to encourage honesty and straightforward communication in politics, relationships, consumer relations and historical education. It was invented by M. Hirsh Goldberg, who chose the last day of April for two reasons. First, since the first day of that month, which is April Fools’ Day, celebrates falsehoods. Second, it is the anniversary of the First inauguration of George Washington on April 30, 1789.

Trump-pinocchioBy now, I’m sure you know where my mind is headed, yes?  Interestingly, this month, according to The Washington Post Fact Checker, Trump logged his 10,000th lie since taking office!  I debated writing a little made-up conversation with Trump in which I asked questions and he answered honestly, since it is Honesty Day, but even when I allowed my creativity to flow freely, I simply could not imagine him telling the truth.  So, instead I thought I’d feature a few ‘toons related to the subject.  But first, a bit of related trivia I came across:

  • According to Times Dispatch, a recent Gallup poll found that nurses are the most honest people. In contrast, lobbyists, salesmen, and members of Congress are supposedly the least honest people. (This was from 2012, in the ‘pre-Trump era.)

  • Book-of-LiesAccording to Goldberg’s book The Book of Lies: Fibs, Tales, Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed The Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives, the average person lies about 200 times a day with lies including omission and white lies.  (Seriously???)

  • According to a poll conducted by London’s Science Museum upon 3,000 British citizens, the average British man tells three lies a day, while the average woman tells two lies a day. The average lie for a man is “I didn’t drink that much!” and for a woman it is “Nothings wrong, I’m fine”. Also according to the poll, people are more than likely to lie to their mothers.

Trump-lie-1trump-lie-2Trump-lie-3Ed Wexler / Cagle CartoonsBruce Plante Cartoon: Trump's "Best People"Donald Trump lies

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And my own personal favourite …

Trump-lie-7