Too Dangerous To Ignore

I have, over the course of the past 24 hours, tried to write about the latest abomination by the former guy, but anger takes over my fingers and I pound the keyboard, look back at what I’ve written, and hit ‘delete’.  It serves no purpose to write words filled with venom, and yet the story needs to be told, the seditious … nay, treasonous … behaviour needs to be highlighted, the dangers duly noted.  Fortunately, some are more clear-headed and self-disciplined than I am at the moment.  One such is Ruth Marcus, deputy editorial page editor for The Washington Post, who has echoed my own thoughts in her latest piece …


Trump’s call for suspending the Constitution is too dangerous to ignore

Ruth Marcus, Deputy editorial page editor

4 December 2022

There was a time, in the naive spring and summer of 2015, when I deemed Donald Trump beneath my notice and refused to write about him: Why soil myself, I thought, and also: Surely he will fade away.

I finally caved, in July 2015, with this prescient sentence: “Do not worry about Donald Trump becoming president.

There was a time, in the increasingly appalling months and years that followed, that I deemed Trump too dangerous to disregard and I could not stop calling out his never-ending, ever-escalating outrages against American democracy. Mexican judges. Enemies of the state. Fake news. Muslim bans.

Even a columnist gets tired of repeating herself. And so, during his final stretch in office, and in the years since, I mostly averted my gaze. I called out Trump last August, when he warned darkly of “riots in the streets” after the Justice Department’s search of his Mar-a-Lago residence and before that, in December 2020, when he released a 46-minute video rant assailing the election.

But I mostly thought: Why bother? Shaming targets and convincing readers are the columnist’s goals. With Trump, no minds will be changed, and neither will his behavior.

And yet, there are times when attention must be paid — if only to lay down a marker, if only (grandiose as this may sound) so historians will understand: This went too far. This cannot be allowed to stand without being denounced.

I might have made this choice in the aftermath of Trump’s dinner with antisemites and Nazi sympathizers Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Nick Fuentes. Who could have imagined, in the time before Trump, that a former president of the United States and declared candidate for president would so sully himself and the office?

But I am moved, now, to write about Trump’s latest post, on his Truth Social network, because it is at least equally dangerous and even more insidious.

“So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential election results of 2020 OUT and declare the Rightful Winner, or do you have a new election,” Trump posted. “A massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great Founders did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

And, he followed up, “UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!”

Pause to take this in. The former and would-be future president has suggested suspending the Constitution in support of his deranged belief that he won the election and that its results are subject to change. A man who took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution now has hijacked “our great Founders” in the service of his megalomania.

No.

This is insurrectionism by social media. Nothing — and certainly not imaginary “Fraud,” capitalized or not — “allows for the termination” of constitutional guarantees. Trump is laying the groundwork for a coup.

We can dismiss the post as just the latest Trumpian bluster, something he will never be capable of implementing. Yet the mere willingness to entertain and encourage extra-constitutional action is alarming coming from a man who is seeking to return to office.

Which is why Trump’s words must be highlighted — and called out. I’m past expecting Republican leaders to speak out. We know that, for most, their spines have collapsed and their courage reduced to a shrunken kernel.

Trump “says a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ever going to happen,” was the most that Rep. David Joyce (Ohio), chair of the Republican Governance Group, could choke out in response to questions by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

The White House was right to rebuke Trump. “Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned,” spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. If anything, the words should have been issued in the name of the president himself.

Others made more puzzling choices. For a full day, the New York Times, so far as I can find, made no mention of Trump’s post. I assume this was not an oversight but a deliberate decision not to let Trump hijack its product for his unpatriotic purposes.

I get it, but I’m glad the Times relented with a news report Sunday afternoon. The episode embodies the paradox of dealing with Donald Trump. We do not want to give him oxygen, yet there are times we dare not ignore him. This is one. It should be neither excused nor forgotten.

A few interesting headlines

Keith’s post today is a compilation of just a few of the latest headlines that prove just how low the once “Grand” Old Party has sunk. This is a big 10 on the growl-meter in my book! Thanks Keith!!!

musingsofanoldfart

From John L. Dorman of Business Insider yesterday – “Georgia GOP Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says Herschel Walker will ‘probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history'”

From The Guardian yesterday – “Brexit has fueled surge in UK food prices, says Bank of England policymaker: Britons need to be kept aware of the cost of leaving the EU, says Swati Dhingra

From Francine Prose of The Guardian yesterday: “Trump had dinner with two avowed antisemites. Let’s call this what it is: A 2024 candidate broke bread with Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist, and Ye, who has praised Hitler. Don’t normalize this”

From Newsweek yesterday – “Kari Lake lawyers sanctioned by judge over frivolous election lawsuit”

Taking these four headlines in order, let me offer these frank assessments. First, a party must police itself if it intends to serve our country. Republican Lt. Governor Duncan’s…

View original post 397 more words

The Week’s Best Cartoons 12/3

I don’t want to write about Elon Musk/Twitter, don’t want to write about Kanye West & Nick Fuentes, don’t want to write about Kevin McCarthy or the Georgia runoffs … in short, I think I’m on ‘bad news’ overload.  Lucky for me it’s Saturday and I can count on TokyoSand over at Political Charge to have spent time finding the best of the week’s political ‘toons for us!  Thank you once again, TS!!!


Per TokyoSand …

Honestly, I really don’t want to talk about what’s been trending all week on social media. I hate that we’re living in a world where Nazis are a regular part of the conversation. Alas, editorial cartoonists react to the the news of the hour, and so here we are. Here’s some of the most effective cartoons I saw this week. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons here!

Wise Words From A Former President’s Daughter

Nearly two years ago, when President Joseph Biden took his oath of office and the former guy left the White House and Washington behind, I expressed a hope that the media would not keep Trump in the headlines, that they would relegate him to the annals of history, let the nation heal.  I suspected then that I was spitting into the wind, but I didn’t realize to what extent.  Not a single day has gone by in those 23 months that his name has not been in the news, on the editorial pages, and shoved in our faces just about everywhere we turn.  ENOUGH!!!  He is the “former” guy … you didn’t see President Obama’s face on every news site every day for two years after he left office!  Obama’s face and words would be much more welcome than Trump’s, for that matter.  There are much more serious and important matters to cover than the temper tantrums of a low IQ former guy!

Patti Davis, the daughter of the late President Ronald Reagan, wrote a guest essay for the New York Times today that caught my eye and makes a lot of sense, if you think about it.  While I wasn’t a fan of Reagan’s political views, have mocked his ‘trickle down’ theory of economics more than a few times, I do think that he was a good man, a humanitarian, and the advice he gave his daughter those many years ago is sound.  Take a look …


If We Ignore Donald Trump We Might See Who He Really Is

Guest Essay by Patti Davis

Nov. 28, 2022

When I was about 8 or 9, I was bullied ruthlessly in school by a boy in my class. I faked being sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school, but my parents figured out that something was going on and my father came in to talk to me. I confessed to him that I was scared of my tormentor, and what followed was a lesson in the beauty of ignoring another person. He explained that bullies crave attention and that if they are ignored, they sort of deflate. He then showed me how frustrating it is to feel like you’re invisible, by ignoring me when I tried to speak to him. It worked. I returned to school, I ignored the bully and he gave up his attacks on me.

Donald Trump is like the abusive boyfriend or ex-husband who won’t go away. In that situation, one would take out a restraining order, but obviously we can’t do that with Mr. Trump. So how about not making him the predominant news story? I have noticed, to be fair, that he is a little less predominant, but let’s face it, he is still everywhere in the news. I understand that announcing his candidacy for president is news. But does it have to be a front-page story? Does the end of his exile from Twitter have to dominate the day’s coverage? Does every move he makes, every ridiculous statement he utters, have to be reported?

With each news story, each segment on television, we are giving him the elixir that keeps him going — attention. There are plenty of things going on in the world that are more important than Donald Trump. We have a planet to save. Russia is still waging war on Ukraine, and still imprisoning American citizens like Brittney Griner. The West is running out of water. There are mass shootings so often it’s hard to keep track of them. Just to name a few really important issues.

What if there was a collective pledge among responsible news organizations to take Donald Trump off the front pages, to not talk about him every single day? He would huff and puff and try to blow the house down, but no one would be paying attention. Think of how much calmer the waters would be. Think of how many other stories would get the bandwidth they deserve.

It’s not easy ignoring someone who keeps barreling onto the world stage, determined to create chaos and eviscerate the democracy we depend on, but it is often the only remedy that will work. The person being ignored will find himself alone on a battlefield he created, with only his own voice bellowing around him. Linger on that image for a moment — Donald Trump all alone in the wilderness, with only his own voice to keep him company.

There was a very satisfying end to the story of my school bully. My parents insisted that I had to invite everyone in my class to my birthday party — I couldn’t be rude and leave him out. We had my birthday parties at our ranch and the entertainment was a man with a horse and a dog, who had trained the dog to ride on the horse and do other tricks. Then the kids would get a chance to ride the horse for a few moments. My former tormentor burst into tears and recoiled at the idea of getting on a horse. He was terrified, and everyone started laughing at him.

Every bully has something they’re scared of. Every bully has something that knocks them off their game and reveals the weaknesses they’ve worked so hard to hide. All the media has to do is turn away from Donald Trump and we will see who and what he truly is. Aren’t you at least curious?

WHAT A WASTE!!!

The total annual salaries for the 435 members of the House of Representatives is $76,300,300.  That’s just the salary, not including benefits, travel, and other perks, and not including all their staff!  When you add it all up, the total budget for the House of Representatives is $1.715 billion!  We the Taxpayers are the ones who pay these salaries.  Now, mind you, I don’t begrudge them their pay and relative to what the average corporate executive earns in a year, House members’ salaries are actually less.  But what I do mind is paying for people to do a job that they are not doing, but instead are spending their time and our money on pointless, stupid time-wasting games.

As the Republican Party leadership makes plans for their next session beginning January 3rd, 2023, we hear that their sole intent will be to impeach President Biden … multiple times if possible … for grounds as yet undetermined.  They play to spend their entire first year doing nothing but running investigations into every aspect of the Biden administration, including the president’s family members, looking for evidence of … what???

These are just a few of the ‘investigations’ they are plotting:

  • They will seek to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, not for misdeeds but because they are displeased that the Biden administration’s immigration policies are more humane than the Trump administration’s.

  • They’re planning to probe the alleged “politicization” of the Justice Department, claiming it is a hotbed of leftists and Democratic partisans. Additionally, they plan an investigation into what they claim is the ‘mistreatment’ of the January 6th insurrectionists.  Say WHAT???

  • They intend to investigate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with the goal of gutting the IRS budget. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provided funding for additional IRS staffing to pursue tax fraud by corporations and the wealthy, but the Republicans want to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • They say they plan to waste even more time and resources “investigating” the source of Covid, claiming that there was some vast ‘conspiracy’ involving none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, responsible for the virus. They say they want to see Fauci imprisoned, or perhaps even executed for his alleged ‘crimes’.

  • And of course they plan to make President Biden’s son, Hunter, the subject of some massive investigation into his emails, his computer, his sexual relationships, and probably the brand of socks he wears! Funny the double standard here … Trump’s children were involved in a number of unsavory things, but not once was an investigation launched into their shenanigans.  In fact, they were given high-level security clearances against the recommendations of the White House personnel security office at Trump’s behest.

These are but a few of the pseudo-investigations that Kevin McCarthy, Marge Greene and others are rubbing their hands together and salivating over launching.  The end goal, as I mentioned, is to impeach President Biden.  Why?  Because he’s not a Republican, because he won the 2020 election, because he’s a man of conscience and integrity, unlike most of the Republicans.  And there may well be yet another reason … because Donald Trump asked ordered them to.

Now, we can shrug it off, for it’s unlikely with the slim majority the Republicans will have in the House that they will succeed in impeaching the president.  Surely there are at least a few who would be uncomfortable with such a dramatic and ludicrous move.  And even if they succeeded in impeachment, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the Senate would convict him.  But it is still important because it is a denigration of our entire government, turning the United States Congress into a circus act.  In my mind, at least, it signals the beginning of the end of a democratic system.  The Republicans are obviously not interested in earning their keep, in providing good governance, but are only interested in domination.  Then again, maybe part of the scheme is to deflect attention from their own crimes and those of their ‘leader’, Donald Trump.

What makes me furious is that the Republicans have absolutely no plan for policy-making or for legislating, which is what we hired them to do!  Their sole focus is going to be on trying to bring down the Biden administration and block any and all legislation proposed by the Democrats.  And for this … for this we are going to pay them $76,300,300!!!  I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damned tired of paying hard-earned tax dollars and getting absolutely nothing in return!  I’d far rather my tax dollars go to help improve the lot in life of people who are struggling just to survive in this world than the already-wealthy bozos the Republicans have shoved into Congress!

Bye-Bye Little Birdie

He paid $44 billion to buy a toy that he didn’t know how to play with.  Last night I closed my Twitter account, so I have one less ‘pinned tab’ taking up space at the top of my browser screens!  I’ve been considering such a move ever since Elon Musk started threatening to buy Twitter, almost did it when he officially took ownership and fired half the people working there.  But for me, the final straw came yesterday evening when Musk announced that the former guy’s access to Twitter has been restored.

On Friday evening, Musk put out a “poll” asking if people wanted Trump to return to Twitter or not.  I immediately voted with a resounding “No!!!”, but at the end of the 24-hour polling period, those voting to let Trump back on outnumbered those of us who voted against.  And so, I’m finished.  That, for me, proved that since Musk’s takeover, Twitter has turned into a veritable garbage dump, and I refuse to share space with the likes of Donald Trump.  Ah well … one less thing to stir my angst!

But what a waste of $44 billion!  I did a bit of research and calculating, and even with today’s food prices, that $44 billion could have fed nearly 16 million people for a year!  SIXTEEN MILLION!!!  And I can only imagine how many homes for the homeless, how many pair of glasses for children whose parents cannot afford them, how many months’ supply of insulin for diabetics who cannot afford it.  The list is endless … and yet Elon bought himself this social media network and begin breaking it the very first day!

There is a direct inverse correlation between the amount of money a person has and the size of his conscience.  Oh sure, I know there are exceptions like Bill & Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and others, but … even they are left with billions more than they could use in a lifetime.  Take Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, who has given away $2.1 billion to causes such as the environment, education, and homelessness.  $2.1 billion is a lot of money worthy of kudos, until you consider that he is left with $184.8 billion in his own coffers.  The amount he gave away comes to just over 1% of his net worth … most people of average/moderate incomes typically give a higher percentage of their income than that to worthy causes.  And … Bezos spent more than twice the amount of his ‘philanthropy’, some $5.5 billion, for a ridiculous and pointless trip to space last year.

In short, Elon Musk wasted an obscene amount of money that could have helped millions of people in one way or another, then turned his purchase into a trash heap.  If he completes the destruction of Twitter before the end of the year, he’ll have one heck of a tax write-off next year!

On Friendship

Please forgive my introspective and somewhat dark mood this morning …

What is friendship?  Respect?  If I don’t respect you, can I still really call you a friend?  In times of strife, we learn who our friends really are, don’t we?  I and most of you have either lost friends or found relationships strained over the last six years because of our political views.  Here in the U.S., it was Trump, and in the UK it was Brexit.  I remember in 2016/2017 being floored to find out that people I had known for 30-40 years were avid fans of Trump.  Eventually, most of them ‘unfriended’ me on Facebook, stopped sending Christmas cards and stopped including me in their occasional lunches.  All of which was fine with me, for I realized we had nothing to talk about and my views were too strong for me to sit and smile while listening to them sing the praises of a maniacal madman.  I’m lucky for while I have lost a number of friendships, some people have even divorced over unreconcilable political differences!

So, my question is … what is friendship if it cannot, in many cases, survive differences in political ideology?  Is friendship fleeting, depending on both people to grow and change in the same direction?  Is it by necessity doomed when they don’t?  And I ask myself in the wee hours of the morning when sleep is elusive, “Do I care more about political philosophy than I care about the people I once called ‘friend’?”

A fellow-blogger spoke the other day of taking a road trip with a number of friends who are avid Trump supporters and how difficult it was, listening to the talk show radio in the car set to the station of their choice where the radical right viewpoint was presented loud and clear, and I think he’s a better person than I am, for I would have told the driver to stop the car, gotten out and hitchhiked back home!  Worse yet, had it been my car, I’d have stopped the car and told the rest to get out!

And it isn’t only politics … another person who I had been friends with since 1970 recently stopped being my friend because of my non-religious beliefs, even though I do not talk of my views, do not make a big deal of them, and certainly never try to convince anyone else to think as I do.  She decided that if she couldn’t convert me to her ways, then the friendship had to end.

Y’know … times are tough everywhere and we all need a support system, we need friends who we can count on and who can count on us in times of trouble.  I recently found out that a couple of my former work friends had died, and I was as saddened to learn of their deaths as if we were still close friends.  I was sad to know that I wasn’t there for them when they might have needed a hand to hold.  I wish I could have given them just one last hug.

For two years while working on my undergraduate degree I worked as a research assistant for a professor of political science at the University of Virginia, Joseph M. Scolnick.  One of his projects that I assisted on was based on the theory that the surest way to bring a nation of people together is an external threat.  We saw the results of this briefly in the hours and days following 9/11 when this nation came together, especially the people of New York City, but throughout the nation.  We came together, if only for a few days before the conspiracy theories and finger-pointing began.

Right now this nation is more divided than I can remember … even during the Vietnam War, we were not this divided.  Is this what it’s going to take to bring us back together?  Is it going to take someone dropping a bomb, declaring war, shooting down an airliner, before we set aside our differences and pull together for the sake of camaraderie, the sake of self-preservation, the sake of the nation, the globe?

I have no answers, and I’m no better than anybody else, for I am intolerant of what I see as the ignorance that has led us to the brink of the destruction of democracy in this nation.  I think what is at stake is too important to sacrifice our values and integrity.  But … what about our friends?  😢

Time To Kick The Rubbish To The Curb

Will this year’s mid-term election finally break the grip the former guy has had on both the Republican Party and the media?  Somehow I doubt it, but time will tell, and for the record I certainly hope so.  Jamelle Bouie, writing for the New York Times has a few thoughts on the topic that I found interesting and share-worthy …


Republican Elites Might Be Done With Trump

By Jamelle Bouie

12 November 2022

After the results of Tuesday’s election, where Trump-inspired and Trump-backed candidates went down to defeat across the country, Republican elites are desperate to make Ron DeSantis happen. It makes sense. This right-wing, pugilistic governor of Florida won a smashing victory in his race for a second term, albeit against a lackluster opponent — the former governor and perennial candidate Charlie Crist — and a moribund, uninspired Florida Democratic Party. But a 20-point margin is still a 20-point margin, even if you run virtually unopposed.

DeSantis, for his part, has national ambitions. He wants to sell himself to voters as the nation’s foremost defender of freedom (terms and conditions apply). He wants to lead the Republican Party back to the White House. And many of the most influential conservatives are eager to hand him the reins. But first, they have to clear the field.

Which is why the morning after Election Day saw a full-scale assault on Donald Trump’s position as leader of the Republican Party. The Wall Street Journal, for example, ran an editorial blasting him as “the Republican Party’s biggest loser” and urging Republicans to move on from the former president.

“Trump is a bust for Republicans,” wrote Rich Lowry, editor in chief of National Review, for Politico magazine. “He picked the candidates who lost. He helped make himself an issue. He changed what should have been a pure referendum on Joe Biden into what was more of a choice between Biden and a Trumpified Republican Party that couldn’t make itself palatable enough to suburbanites and independents.”

Even Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, took a (veiled) shot. “Conservatives are elected when we deliver,” he said on Twitter. “Not when we just rail on social media.”

There is a good case to make that all of this will work. The chief problem for Republican elites in 2016 was that they could not coordinate around a single candidate for president. In the absence of a figure who could unite the entire party establishment, Trump steamrollered through the competition, even if he never claimed a majority of Republican primary voters.

A unified party establishment is a powerful thing, and there’s real reason to think that Republican elites could muscle Trump out of his position if they committed to the aggressive, scorched-earth tactics it would take.

But there’s an issue. The idea that Republican elites could simply swap Trump for another candidate without incurring any serious damage rests on two assumptions: First, that Trump’s supporters are more committed to the Republican Party than they are to him, and second, that Trump himself will give up the fight if he isn’t able to win the party’s nomination.

I think these assumptions show a fundamental misunderstanding of the world Republican elites brought into being when they finally bent the knee to Trump in the summer and fall of 2016. Trump isn’t simply a popular (with Republicans) politician with an unusually enthusiastic group of supporters. No, he leads a cult of personality, in which he is an almost messianic figure, practically sent by God himself to purge the United States of liberals (and other assorted enemies) and restore the nation to greatness. He is practically worshiped by a large and politically influential group of Americans, who describe him as “anointed.”

It is one thing for Republican elites to try to break a political fandom. It is another thing entirely to try to break the influence of a man whose strongest, most devoted supporters were willing to sack the Capitol or sacrifice their lives in an attack on an F.B.I. office. Some Trump supporters will leave the fold for an alternative like DeSantis, but there will be a hard-core group who came to the Republican Party for Trump, and won’t settle for another candidate.

This gets to the second assumption: the idea that Trump would go quietly if he lost the nomination to DeSantis or another rival. Donald Trump might have been a Republican president, but he isn’t really a Republican. What I mean is that he shows no particular commitment to the fortunes of the party as an institution. His relationship to the Republican Party is purely instrumental. He also cannot admit defeat, as you may have noticed.

There is a real chance that Trump, if he loses the nomination, decides to run for president anyway. And if he pulls any fraction of his supporters away from the Republican Party, he would play the spoiler, no matter who the party tried to elevate against him. Republican elites might be done with Trump, but Trump is not done with the Republican Party.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: About That Red Wave

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared TokyoSand’s weekly collection of political cartoons, so I thought this week would be a good time to share them with you.  Care to take any guesses as to what the main topic on the cartoonists’ collective mind was this week?  Yep, the U.S. elections and that ‘red wave’ that so many had pinned their hopes on but that failed to materialize.  Now that most of us have breathed a faint sigh of relief, we can have a few laughs over it.  Thank you, TS, for finding the best cartoons for us this week!


Despite the Republican Party and most of the media buying into the prediction of a red wave, it never materialized on Election Night. In fact, this is the first time since 1936 that the sitting president’s party didn’t lose a single state legislative chamber in a midterms! For all of you who voted, this is what you made happen. Enjoy!


That last one is my FAVOURITE!!!  Be sure to check out all the rest of the cartoons over at Political Charge!