What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders



    One of many guiding principles
    "I find two opinions are better than one, particularly if one is mine,"
Sister Monica Joan, PBS Call The Midwife TV series

Even Those Who Know Him Don't Support Trump

Most of the time they endorse Biden|Harris; Here's a short list:

Maryanne Trump Barry - Trump's sister and former Federal Judge says: "... he has no principles and you can't trust him."  [doubt me? sorry, we have the audio  ... it's her own words]
Mary L. Trump - the Donald's niece, who has a PhD in clinical psychology and is the author of the best selling tell-all book: "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man" [summary]
Caroline Rose Giuliani: "Rudy Giuliani Is My Father. Please, Everyone, Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris." [Vanity Fair]
Gen. John Kelly - Trump's former Chief of Staff & Secretary of Homeland Security - recently said Trump is 'is the most flawed person he's ever met.' [source]
Cindy McCain - widow of Senator John McCain: "Joe Biden represents to me the kind of values and integrity and courage that we want in the president." [source]
Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney who arranged the hush money payment from the Donald to porn star 'Stormy Daniels': "Trump made 'overt and covert attempts to get Russia to interfere in the 2016 election' and was also well aware of hush-money payoff ... Cohen has described the president as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”"  [source]

  • "A man is judged by the company he keeps" ... William J.H. Boetcker
  • To Know Him Is to Love Him - the Teddy Bears 1959

posted 10.17.20

noteworthy article(s):
OUR NATIONAL CRISIS The Case Against Donald Trump
NY Times Editorial Board.    Here's a snippet ...

"Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II. Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds."   [full article]

Musical Smack-down
For the first time ever, Carly Simon is allowing the use of her song 'You're So Vain' for political purposes. And it comes at the expense of Donald Trump.  [music video]

Trump Base Seems Clueless About What Has Transpired The past 3˝ Years

While running a few errands this past Thursday (10/15/20) I listened to a bit of Rush Limbaugh's radio program and he had one listener/caller say some stuff that I classify as "whack-a-doodle" and vowed on the spot to write about her comments here. First, to be fair and ensure I captured exactly the woman's comments, I accessed elRushbo's website & his transcripts [link to Rush's segment he identifies as "What’s Wrong with Suburban Women?" ]

Caller: "I am a white, educated, suburban woman. And I support the president 100 percent. And while I do know other women like me, I think that the issue is that many of these other women who say they don’t like his tweets or his rhetoric and how he says things, that they’re looking for someone that’s just going to make them feel better. They’re much more self-centered and looking their life alone, and they don’t like the way Trump says things. Instead, they need to be looking at what Trump is actually doing. The old saying of actions speak louder than words. Trump is absolutely a person where you can look and see what he has done more than what he says."

After a little banter between Rush & the "caller" she continues to explain:

"You know, I was not a supporter of Trump to start with. I thought he was kind of pompous, and I didn’t particularly care for him. But as the debates were going on in the primary, my husband and I kept saying, “Oh, my gosh. We agree with Trump more than anyone ... for these past three and a half years, the things that he has done have just been incredible."

Incredible is not how I'd explain it. Instantly I was reminded of something Rachel Maddow often says: "pay less attention to what he says, watch what he does."

Like... such as,

Southern border crossing - the issue of separating over 1,100 families since June of 2018 when courts ordered the Trump administration to STOP the practice and end their "zero tolerance policy" of taking children away from their parents. Yes, you read that correctly....1,100 additional separations AFTER they were told to stop. And, countless children remain separated and still not united with parents or their guardian. In my opinion this is the most egregious act of evil that Trump's guilty of...I'd love to hear how Limbaugh or his caller mentioned above would try to explain this. If it were possible to forget all other issues and flaws demonstrated by Trump and his administration...and evaluate his performance on this one issue alone, I'd say Trump, Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, and others oughta' be in jail. They turned countless innocent children into orphans instantly - and I say "countless" because the Trump administration says they kept no records. [source

UPDATE 10.21.20:  Two well-respected journalists with NBC News, Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, reported yesterday that "Lawyers say they can't find the parents of 545 migrant children separated by Trump administration".   As I mentioned above, set aside all of the other issues related to Trump's single term in the White House, this news should prompt every American voter to select Biden in our national election November 3rd.  Even his family and staff should bail on the guy, and when votes are tallied, Joe Biden will be our next president (official vote tally should be something like Biden 186,669,276 vs. Trump 1 ... yes, one vote, likely his own. (And yes, the total vote is my projection ... roughly 50-million more votes than 2016 when Hillary won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots ... a fact that drove Trump absolutely crazy all through his term of office.)

Incompetence - Pandemic - Trump is guilty of lying to the American public (about many things) like the seriousness of the pandemic. Trump's total failure has cost tens of thousands of American lives, and it did not need to happen. Same with the impact on the economy - we can blame Trump for the bulk of the closures of small businesses, the loss of jobs, property, homes, and more. Team Trump ignored all the preparation for pandemics developed by previous administrations and their own health experts at HHS, CDC, and other agencies.  Team Trump ignored the advise of scientists in various government agencies, and battled with the nation's governors creating much of the divisiveness we now struggle with as a nation, rather than leading the country toward solutions. [source]

Lawlessness - Dozens of indictments have been filed against members of his staff, several have been found guilty of crimes and violating federal & state laws.  (In contrast to the previous administration which had ZERO indictments over 8-yrs.)  Many of Trump's cabinet and various appointees have literally flown out the revolving door as we've experienced more firings, terminations, resignations than any administration in history. [source 1] [source 2]

National debt - the fiscal year just ended September 30th and our budget deficit grew to a record high under Trump's watch: $3.1 trillion. This brings total nation debt to $21 trillion...greater than our gross national product. [source]

Any reasonable, rational person could add hundreds of additional examples of Trump actions that have destroyed our economy, and has in many cases caused significant loss of life in America and abroad, and ruined our standing on the world stage. His actions AND his words have wrecked havoc on most every aspect of the things he touches. Rush Limbaugh's caller and the rest of the Trump base of voters are wrong - it's not a matter of opinion - its not a policy disagreement - Trump's actions and his words have caused this, and he needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible and prosecuted for his crimes.

posted in disgust 10.17.20
updated: 10.21.20  Apparently Rush Limbaugh mentioned on his Monday broadcast that his lung cancer has "some progression" and that he views his condition as terminal.  As much as I dislike the guy's politics, I'm sorry to hear the news.  Perhaps this could present an opportunity however for Mr. Trump ... a job vacancy that could keep him in the limelight while he's battling assorted legal matters after January 20, 2021.  The real question is whether or not the state of Florida will honor an extradition order from the state of New York.

Republicans Guilty of Voter Suppression (Among Other Things)

11-Hours to vote "early" in Georgia yesterday? 
This is not the America we all grew-up in.

It's freaking pathetic that our society allows such travesties to continue to be repeated.  One of my biggest pet-peeves is when known problems are not addressed or resolved ... rather, allowed to linger, fester, and drive apathy across this grand land.  And who is to blame?  Voters.  American citizens who refuse to take responsibility for staying informed and holding politicians accountable. 

Take the annual pledge by politicians to invest in our nation's crumbling infrastructure.  "Fix The Damn Roads," was the Clarian call here in Michigan in 2018.  Our Republican controlled legislature blocked the funding.  Or, how about the current debacle over mail-in voting?  Besides the obvious attempts by Donald Trump to erode confidence in the integrity of this election there are known issues & problems with current restrictive laws in several states prohibiting how and when mail-in ballots are processed.  GOP legislators want the mailed-in votes to not count, so they restrict county clerks from opening the mail until election day (ok, MI legislature added 10-hrs to the schedule for clerks to open 'em ... big freaking deal).  The nation has identified problems and still will not take steps to resolve them.  That is just sick, in my opinion.

I have always had a large sense of urgency to get things done in my life.  It's why I was so successful in business, and one of many reasons I enjoy a happy, well-adjusted life.  Except when it comes to politics - and voters who allow this crap to happen.

Four years ago Mitch McConnell refused to allow hearings for Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee: Merrick Garland. "Let the voters decide," said the freaking Senate Majority Leader - even though the next election was nearly a year away.  Flash forward 4-yrs and we have the same situation again.  And since voters did not act ... since voters allowed this breach to occur in 2016 and did not remove the turtle from office, we are faced today with even more Republican hypocrisy ... and another pending Trump nominee to the Supreme Court.  This should not be allowed to happen; I'll be really pissed if voters do not punish Republicans for this action up and down the ballot in this election cycle (and I suspect they won't).  Republicans have lost their way ... rather than doing things that are good for this country, their only mission is to "win".  To secure their offices, to remain/retain control even when they have become the minority party.  In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote over GW Bush (by 543,895 votes); 2016 Hillary Clinton captured more than 3-million votes than Trump.  In 2018 Democrats won 53% of the statewide popular vote in Michigan ... but hold just 47% of the House seats.  It's even worse in Pennsylvania: Dems cast 54% of the ballots but have just 45% of the House seats.  North Carolina?  Same thing.  How is that possible?  Gerrymandering & the Electoral College.  Republicans have always aligned the "rules" to benefit them and its time voters insist on changing that dynamic by voting them out of office. [source]

Yep.  Vote 'em out of office and scrap the Electoral College.  This is why I say every Republican candidate for every political office from President on down to local dog-catcher needs to be defeated ... Republicans must be taught the ultimate lesson with a massive BLUE WAVE right now ... and see how satisfying it is to "get things done!"

posted 10.14.20

Congress, take your cue from Amy Coney Barrett

The Senate Judiciary hearings should be a clarion call for lawmakers to protect health care, reproductive rights, and our elections — since the Supreme Court nominee won’t.

Boston Globe Editorial Board | October 13, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett didn’t invent the art of judicial nominees giving evasive answers at Senate confirmation hearings. That has been par for the course since Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s ill-fated hearings, in 1987. 

But Barrett’s refusal to clearly answer Senate Judiciary Committee members’ questions about her views on crucial issues that affect Americans’ lives — including health care, reproductive rights, and voting rights — makes it clear that too much is at stake to rely on these performative guessing games.

Barrett is right that “policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people.” Indeed, Congress can and must act to protect essential rights and services rather than leaving them vulnerable to the ideological shifts of the unelected members of the nation’s highest court.

There is no clearer example than the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans — unable to repeal or replace the law legislatively — have attacked with legal challenges in the courts for nearly a decade.

Barrett predictably declined to give any opinion about the third challenge seeking to invalidate the ACA to reach the Supreme Court — despite having previously criticized Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision upholding much of the ACA. Barrett would play a part in deciding on the latest challenge to the health care law should she be confirmed before arguments are heard in the case on Nov. 10.

“It’s a case that’s on the court’s docket, and the canons of judicial conduct would prohibit me from expressing a view,” Barrett told Senator Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday.

But Congress has a clear opportunity to protect the health care law. It can nix the current Supreme Court challenge by passing an amendment to the ACA that clearly states that future challenges to its individual mandate penalty, even if successful, would not invalidate the entire law. Lawmakers can go further to strengthen the act, including its protections for preexisting conditions, which Republicans continually attack despite their election-season claims of support. These actions can and ought to be separated from starting an acrimonious legislative and political debate over the merits of other health care reforms, such as Medicare for All, so as to make sure Americans have access to the care they need now — particularly with no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers also have a host of ways to protect reproductive health care and abortion access rather than leaving it in the hands of nine justices. Congress could codify Roe v. Wade’s protection of the right to abortion access in federal law. It could also limit states’ ability to pass restrictive Targeted Regulation on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which curtail accessibility to abortion care and have served as the basis of legal challenges designed to give the Supreme Court opportunities to overturn Roe.

The need is clear. Though Barrett, as expected, declined to say if she’d vote to overturn Roe, she said it does not enjoy the status of a “superprecedent” that cannot be overturned. Barrett’s past condemnation of Roe, and her comment at her hearing that abortion rights is an issue that “continues to be pressed and litigated,” suggests that she doesn’t see Roe as the law of the land. But survey after survey shows that most Americans do, and lawmakers should act according to their wishes.

Barrett’s views of the right to vote, which she described in a dissent as a “civic right” that enjoyed less protection than individual rights like gun ownership, also speaks to the need for Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision. Lawmakers can reinstate the enforcement mechanism that required voting districts with a demonstrated record of past voter suppression to seek pre-approval from the Department of Justice before enacting new restrictive laws. Congress could also boost voting access with measures like automatic voting registration and early voting in federal elections, and boost election protection and polling security measures to restore Americans’ faith in the integrity of our election systems.

Moreover, President Trump’s statement that he wanted Barrett’s swift confirmation to ensure any election challenges would be decided in his favor, coupled with Barrett’s refusal to commit to recuse herself from any such case as a result, make clear that Congress must expand the federal law governing judicial codes— which includes ethical rules that require most federal judges recuse themselves from cases with such conflicts of interests — to apply to Supreme Court justices too.

If lawmakers use these hearings as a roadmap for action, then they can be more than a futile exercise in political theater. Barrett’s confirmation is all but certain. But just as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used her dissents as demands for Congress to act, the rush by Senate Republicans to fill her seat should serve as the same clarion call.

RELATED: The Barrett hearings: wrestling with a foregone conclusion [link to article]
Mike posted the above in disgust 10.14.20

Nothing Normal About Super Spreader Trump; Biden Leads Grows to 14%

‘Epidemiologists just wanna vomit’

Washington Post reports: "Following a weekend of mounting horror among medical professionals and commentators fretting over Trump’s handling of his own infection, his actions Monday — particularly removing his mask and walking into a room frequented by White House staff — left them worried and frustrated yet again."

‘Don’t Be Afraid of Covid,’ Trump Says, Undermining Public Health Messages

New York Times reports: "Experts were outraged by the president’s comments about a disease that has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States ... “Don’t let it dominate your life.” When he arrived at the White House a few hours later, Mr. Trump removed his mask before joining several masked people inside. The president was probably still contagious, as many patients can pass on the virus for up to 10 days after symptoms begin."

White House blocks FDA’s ramped up coronavirus vaccine guidelines

USA Today reports:  "The White House rejected on Monday an offer from the nation’s public health experts to lead the effort to track down and notify Americans who were exposed to a growing coronavirus outbreak linked to President Donald Trump and several top aides."

Trump Is a Super-Spreader of Disinformation

The Atlantic reports: "The president is the single biggest reason why many Americans distrust science, the electoral system, and one another. A super-spreader—a term we didn’t much use nine months ago—is a person with a contagious disease who gives it to a lot of other people. In the coronavirus pandemic, super-spreaders have played an outsize role. Scientists have identified super-spreaders who have infected dozens of people with the virus, while others with the illness haven’t infected anyone at all. Super-spreaders may explain why the coronavirus seems to take over so quickly in some places, but not in others."

 Could VIP Syndrome Explain Trump's Unusual Cocktail of Drugs to Treat COVID?

Newsweek reports: "After announcing he tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 last week, President Donald Trump has been prescribed a combination of drugs that experts say is unusual for patients with the disease, prompting questions over whether he has so-called VIP syndrome. This is where a person's importance affects decisions about their medical care, ranging from doctors sparing them from tests to prevent them from experiencing pain, to unnecessarily investigating any minor abnormality, as well as the individual demanding treatments."

Biden Scores 14-Point Lead Over Trump in Poll After Debate

Wall Street Journal reports: "Democrat draws support of 53% of registered voters, as GOP incumbent’s backing falls to 39%, new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds ... President Trump is drawing his weakest voter support of the year in his re-election race following Tuesday’s contentious debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds."

posted 10.06.20 - election is less than 30-days away ... you're registered, right?

GOP Rush To Replace RBG Contributes To 7 New Positive COVID-19 Cases

And counting ... guests at White House Rose Garden nominating ceremony last week were seen largely without masks or social distancing guideline ... undoubtedly there will be more.    

Donald & Melania Trump, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), senior WH advisor to the President, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Notre Dame Pres. Rev. John Jenkins, Kellyanne Conway, former counselor to the president, and an un-named journalist - all have been diagnosed positive for the virus.  Hope Hicks (pictured above) was diagnosed the previous day and did not attend the ceremony.   Other noteworthy attendees who may also be at risk: SCOTUS nominee Judge Amy Barrett and her entire family, Attorney General Bill Barr. 

And, to further prove the point that Trump only cares about winning re·election, the Donald dashed off Thursday afternoon to attend a fundraiser at his Bedminster, NJ Trump National Golf Club ... (isn't that a bit like "double-dipping"?  soliciting cash from donors all the while racking up a massive bill for renting the space & serving snacks, drinks, hors d`oeuvres.)  What's really sad is Trump already knew of Hope Hicks' diagnosis before the Bedminster fundraiser.  And, did attendees wear masks of observe social distancing at the fund raiser?  Nope.  Two days before Trump announced he had tested positive President Trump lost his 1st debate with Joe Biden, and he & his staff were not tested prior to the Case Western Reserve debacle even though the debate rules his campaign agreed to required a test at the Cleveland Clinic.  On Wednesday, the day Hicks was diagnosed, the Donald also exposed more people as his campaign traveled to Minnesota to disparage Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district.  Wed eve since Team Trump was in the neighborhood, so-to-speak, the president dashed off to Duluth, MN to address another rally filled with potential donors.  [source]

Republicans quest to "win ... win at all costs" has blinded many politicians ... and apparently bamboozled just under half of American voters.  The all-star cast looked a bit like the players on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show where he seems to have gained most of his fame with conservative voters.  Surely it is not because of his multiple failed business ventures.  Failed?   Ah, you're still in the dark about Trump's multiple bankruptcies, business failings & losing millions, likely illegal income tax filings?  Goodness, you're not alone - don't feel bad, especially if your normal source for info is Fox News.  Fortunately we have linked here two comprehensive financial news stories that will surely convince reasonable human beings to join the majority of Americans and bail on their support of America's worst president in history ... and cast a sane vote for Joe Biden instead.  Must read:  "The President's Taxes" (NY Times 09.27.20 expose`) and "The Trump Family Finances - Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father" (NY Times 10.02.18).  Be sure to bookmark the articles for future reference, because after reading these ... you will find yourself referring back to them.  Often.

The Republicans expose their hypocrisy in so many ways ... #1: by ignoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish that the next President be allowed to fill the vacancy on our nation's Supreme Court.  #2: "If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.' I want you to use my words against me," the South Carolina Republican said.  [source]

posted 10.03.20 with the sincere wish that all of these people recover quickly & completely

updated: 10.03.20  Also testing positive is Wisconsin's weak Senator Ron Johnson who's been Trump's water boy regarding fake news, GOP style, attempting to smear Biden over his son's Ukraine business deals.  Hmmm...Lee, Tillis, and now Johnson ... might this complicate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Barrett?  The nation can only hope.  (For that matter, Republicans had better hope - because the way this is heading the only folks left clinging to the Republican Party will be wing-nuts like Louis Gohmert & Jim Jordan.  Remember the Federalist Party? How 'bout the Whig Party?)

Reaction To Trump's Diagnosis As Diverse As Global Opinion

"He may have it. But it's also possible he's lying," says Michael Moore, the embarrassing far-left commentator/film maker. “There is one absolute truth about Trump: He is a consistent, absolute, unrelenting, fearless, and professional liar. A serial liar. A factually proven liar. So why on earth would we believe him today?” writes Moore on Facebook.   

It was on Rush Limbaugh's radio program that I heard reference to the above Facebook post from Michael Moore.  Leave it to Limbaugh to quote the wackiest comment he can find from the Never-Trump crowd to paint all Democrats & Independents with the same broad brush strokes. 

I had heard news late last night that WH staffer Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus, and that Trump would be quarantined, so it was not a total shock waking this morning to news that our President & First Lady have tested positive, too.

Earlier this morning I heard on NPR that world reaction to the news was mixed and unsympathetic.  Rob Schmitz reports that Germany's popular daily news publication Der Spiegel was unsympathetic and says a top trending German word right now is schadenfreude - satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.  As much as I dislike Trump, even I think that's a bit harsh ... though given what Trump did at the 1st debate, as well as all of the destruction and death that has resulted from his negligence, maybe we do get what we deserve.   I don't derive pleasure from the news and seriously hope this doesn't actually net him any sympathy votes.  But I do agree his opinions & actions have contributed to this outcome.

Der Spiegel today says: "Donald Trump downplayed the danger posed by the coronavirus for months, although, as the revelations by journalist Bob Woodward recently demonstrated, he knew very early on how easily transmissible and deadly the disease is. He dismissed Corona as a political trick by his opponents. He has claimed the virus is no more dangerous than the flu and will go away on its own in a short time. He has held election campaign events at which his supporters should jostle because the bathroom in the crowd was more important to him than the protection of health. He made fun of people wearing a mask, most recently during the TV debate with challenger Joe Biden . Now the virus has caught him himself."

To read the article featured on the cover of Der Spiegel above, click here.

posted 10.02.20

This is too rich...just this afternoon when Trump commandeered the podium in the White House press briefing room to conduct one of his campaign rallies (yep, right inside the WH)...the Donald was trying to take shots once again at Hunter Biden and his foreign financials deals, sounding all sanctimonious when a reporter asked for his comment on this news that Trump paid just $750 in Federal Taxes the past two years and zero dollars in ten of the previous 15-years.   No wonder he's not smiling much these days.  This piece of well-researched journalism, combined with some poll data that's not at all kind to Trump, likely has him constipated as he's thinking about life behind bars when he loses the election.  Not a pretty future.

Read the full story in the New York Times
posted 09.27.20

Perhaps It's The Only Topic I Agree With Trump ... Sorta'

Just barely actually; there is little that Donald Trump says that is honest, accurate, or correct.  But when it comes to the need to rebuild America's manufacturing & industry are essential to our recovery I agree in principle.  Yesterday I spotted a full-page ad in USA Today (below right) that got me thinking - hopefully it prompted thought for a lot of Americans ... particularly those who shop regularly at Walmart, Costco and other big box stores filled to the brim with merchandise made elsewhere (not in the USA). 

I was unfamiliar with the ad's sponsor: Zekelman Industries ... so cue the Google. Turns out its owned by Barry Zekelman, Canadian billionaire with manufacturing facilities in Canada & the USA, and, he's a mega-donor to the Trump campaign. In 2018 alone Barry gave Trump groups over $1.75 million.  Conservatives love to bash Democrats who often benefit from cash infusion from folks like Mike Bloomberg & George Soros.  [source]  But wait a minute ... I thought contributions from foreigners violated campaign finance laws.  Following the rules, however, is not one of Trump's strengths ... he brags at his rallies about how he breaks the rules and his MAGA crowd eat it up.

So how's the Donald doing in fulfilling his 2016 campaign pledge?  Well, like most all Trump pledges he breaks those, too.  Midwest battleground states (MI, OH, IN, WI, MN, PA) have each lost between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs under Trump's watch.  And it's happening all over the country.  Politico reported earlier this year: "Manufacturing across the U.S. is still down 720,000 workers."  Energy related jobs?  Down.  Auto manufacturing?  Down.

"I don't care for some of his Tweets, but he gets things done because he's a successful businessman," MAGA voters often say when interviewed at Trump rallies.  Oh, yeah, right.  Trump's a businessman.  Those voters need to read: "Most Americans think Trump is a successful businessman. Until they learn about his losses."  Consistently, well-documented news has trickled out about Trump's business failures, but MAGA voters consider it to be "fake news" - even when many of the sources are Trump's own gov't agencies (like the Bureau of Labor Statistics).   You can't make this stuff up.


Mike's Hoping Joe Thoroughly Embarrasses the Donald in Debate Round 1

What we're likely going to hear from President Trump are more of his lies that he's trying to brainwash the voting public.

“We built the greatest economy in history, not only for our country, but for the world. We were number one, by far.”

FACT CHECK: Before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and sent unemployment soaring, the president could certainly brag about the state of the economy in his first three years as president. But he ran into trouble when he made a play for the history books to say it was the best economy in U.S. history. By just about any important measure, the economy under Trump did not do as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2019, slipping from 2.9 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2017. But in 1997, 1998 and 1999, GDP grew 4.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Yet even that period paled in comparison against the 1950s and 1960s. Growth between 1962 and 1966 ranged from 4.4 percent to 6.6 percent. In postwar 1950 and 1951, it was 8.7 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate reached a low of 3.5 percent under Trump, but it dipped as low as 2.5 percent in 1953. (After the virus tanked the economy, Trump jacked up his claim even more, falsely saying it had been the greatest economy in the history of the world.) REPEATED 360 TIMES

“And we're also -- on the southern border, as you know, the wall is going up. It's going up very rapidly. We're at 182 miles.”

FACT CHECK: Only three miles of the border barrier being constructed by Trump close off parts of the border that did not previously have a barrier. The rest of the new construction is replacement fencing. The "wall" as promised will not be complete by 2021. REPEATED 261 TIMES

'My job was made harder by phony witch hunts, by ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ nonsense.”

FACT CHECK: President Trump frequently said the special counsel's investigation was a witch hunt or a hoax. Special counsel Robert Mueller revealed significant criminal activity by some of Trump's campaign advisers and by Russian individuals and entities. Mueller concluded Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons associated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and then publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks, to sow discord in the United States, hurt Clinton and help Trump. “Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," the special counsel's report says. Mueller declined to reach a decision on whether to bring charges against Trump for obstructing justice. The special counsel also did not make an explicit recommendation to Congress on impeachment. But Mueller spent nearly half of the report laying out a sustained effort by Trump to derail the investigation, including an effort by the president to have Mueller removed. “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report says. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

“We've done a lot: the largest tax cuts ever.”

FACT CHECK: Trump’s tax cut amounts to nearly 0.9 percent of the gross domestic product, meaning it is far smaller than President Ronald Reagan’s tax cut in 1981, which was 2.89 percent of GDP. Trump’s tax cut is the eighth largest tax cut — and even smaller than two tax cuts passed under Barack Obama. REPEATED 210 TIMES

posted 09.27.20 source: Washington Post

Democrats Need To Stand Tall & Resist Another Trump Court Nominee

The news this past week has me quite unsettled.  From Trump calling our fallen soldiers "losers" ... to Trump's recorded audio quotes with Bob Woodward proving that he has lied to the public about the coronavirus ... to Mitch McConnell's pledge to hold hearings on Trump's Supreme Court nominee ... I just want to scream: "what is wrong with you people?"  Why are Republicans NOT totally pissed off at their "reality TV show president" for the disrespect he's shown to the entire nation?  Why is Trump still getting support from some 40% of American voters? Even though some 62% of likely voters think the next Supreme Court selection should be made by the winner of the 11/3/20 election ... as if Mitch McConnell cares.  But will voters care?  I tend to think so; the vast majority of Americans favor "choice" when asked about the abortion question. 

Sunday morning I heard House Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) referring to the 20+ cases in US history when a Supreme Court candidate was nominated in the same year as the general election ... only to ignore the most recent example: 2016 when Republicans denied hearings for Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.  In 2016 the election was some 11-months away but since the primary process was underway the GOP blocked President Obama's ability to fill the position on the Supreme Court after Judge Scalia died - plus - hundreds of vacancies on various Federal Courts.  Gee, no wonder there were so many vacancies when the Donald took office.  Republicans have for decades attempted to present themselves as America's red, the patriotic party ... yet they seem to have no problem with a US President denigrating US soldiers who were killed or captured in various conflicts around the globe.  What is wrong with this picture? 

Well, I'm hoping to see a MASSIVE blue-wave this fall.  Even though I am not now, and likely never could be a card-carrying Democrat, the way the Republicans have acted ever since Barack Obama defeated John McCain there is no way I can align myself with these radical right-wing conservatives.  After the passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg I have come to the conclusion the only way to block more of their evil acts is a "full Monty offensive."  Democrats need to block, disrupt, stop in any way possible EVERYTHING Republicans attempt to do between now and the final tally of the Nov. 3rd general election - even if it takes weeks to add up all the mail-in ballots.  Democrats should not support a continuing resolution on the budget ... shut-down the gov't if McConnell can't find a way to get a continuing resolution thru Congress.  Hopefully there will be enough voters selecting Biden and rejecting Trump's 2nd term, as well as giving the Democrats control of the Senate and the House ... so that normal Americans can see the world slowly getting put back together.  Never again should this nation permit a Republican majority in Congress, or the White House, or our state legislatures.

A Great Read - Op-Ed: Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it

posted 09.20.20

It's About Time - Shoulda' Happened 5-yrs Ago!

Networks boycott Trump event over his repeat breach of coronavirus guidelines

CNN: Several broadcasters won’t send camera crews inside Donald Trump’s indoor campaign events in Nevada over concerns that staff could be exposed to coronavirus. News outlets have been forced to make “tough decisions about how to keep their staffers safe” while the president flouts public safety guidelines by increasing the risk of transmission among large groups at his indoor events. “Major TV networks have decided not to send their camera crews inside, because they feel it will not be safe enough,” he said.  The president has held six indoor campaign rallies in the month that followed after he had admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a February interview that Covid-10 can be transmitted via the airborne virus.

Trump Wants One Only 'Cuz Obama Received One

Trump vigorously promoted the news that he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Tweeting 17 times in rapid fire fashion about his candidacy.  Maybe the criteria oughta' include knowing how to spell the name of the award.

Salon.com reports: "An official Trump campaign ad on social media managed to misspell Nobel as "Noble" while celebrating Trump's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by an publicity-hungry anti-immigration crank from Norway."  

The "crank" Salon refers to is a far-right member of the Norwegian Parliament: Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who nominated the president for his Middle East policy.

Funny.  In 2019 Trump was busy whining at the UN General Assembly:  "I think I’m gonna get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things — if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” Trump said.  The Washington Post reported: "Trump’s fascination with the most prestigious foreign affairs award in the world fits a well-known theme of his presidency: his dogged pursuit of praise, validation and superlatives."  Well said.


Trump Owes The Nation An Apology (ok, more than one)

Trump tells legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’ and worse than the flu - intentionally misleading Americans with his alternating mix of moronic happy talk & scare tactics 

Trump owes us an apology.  Besides lying to American voters, the Donald also directed the CDC to water-down their advisory statements.  He convinced the Postmaster General to slow down mail delivery to destroy voter confidence in mailing ballots in the general election ... and refused to establish a national plan for testing, mitigation, contact tracing, and isolating those infected.  In short, Trump has been an absolute failure in his role as president and needs to be removed from office before more lives are lost.

Trump is not guilty that America has been infected with the virus ... but he IS GUILTY for not leading the nation to follow a plan to get the virus under control as most ALL DEVELOPED NATIONS IN THE WORLD HAVE SUCCEEDED IN DOING.  As I noted in May over 50,000 lives could have been saved if the entire country observed an orchestrated shut-down 2-weeks earlier than the "partial shut-down" that failed.   To my crazy relatives who continue to mindlessly support Trump I say: "read the freaking Columbia University report: "Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States" which can be found at the link above ... or Google it if you think my link is going to give you a virus of a different sort. 

Trump owes the media an apology.
March 19th:  Trump admitted to Woodward during a private interview that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”  [Washington Post 09.09.20]

Interesting ... he "likes to play it down."  You'd think the president would view a question about Americans being scared would be right up his wheelhouse ... just one day after he made the above comment to Woodward the Donald, the world's greatest negotiator, the stable genius that he claims to be, goes nuclear on a reporter in the briefing room:

March 20th:  NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump at WH press briefing whether he was giving Americans "false hope" by touting unproven coronavirus drugs. Alexander asked, "What do you say to Americans who are scared?"  The President proceeded to launch into an extended rant against Alexander, saying he asked a "nasty question" and assailing NBC and its parent company, Comcast.  [For all the radical right-wing extremist Trumpians out there questioning the accuracy of this exchange, shove a freaking sock in your pie hole and watch the YouTube video, and/or, read the CNN press report filed on 03.20.20 just minutes after Trump further embarrassed himself.]

posted in disgust on this anniversary of 9|11 when Americans came together in support of the nation's worst terrorist attack.  09.11.20

Trump Town: Over 280 Lobbyists Make A Farce Over Pledge To Drain Swamp

Myth Busters: part of our on-going effort to debunk Trump stupid stuff the Donald says and to ridicule his dwindling base of supporters

Very little of what President Trump says is accurate.  He says things that his base want to believe, and he keeps repeating things that have been debunked a zillion times ... which is just crazy.  He loves to say: "promises kept" ... meaning he's done what he said he'd do.  Well, that is certainly not true as we've demonstrated in the dozens of articles below. 

What I'd like to ask these deranged voters: how will you explain your support for Trump to your grandkids when he effectively destroys America?  How will you tell them, even with all the evidence that proved Trump's a liar, that you voted for the creepy guy anyway? 

Today's example 1: "Drain the Swamp"  - It's a misconception that Washington DC was built on a swamp.  [yep, more reading]   The swamp is really just a metaphor for cleaning up a mess and maze of insider dealings, payola, graft & bribes.  Trump was relying on an old trick in politics implying that Clinton was only a candidate because of her ties to her husband's administration and her network of political pals, lobbyists & special interest groups that s'posedly Hillary leveraged since working on the Watergate committee in the '70s ... and the slogan "drain the swamp" became as popular as "lock her up" because the mob-mentality of the Trumpian supporters. 

As it turns out it is Trump who is sucking up swamp water! Trump set new records for hiring lobbyists and conservatives from special interest think tanks pouring into the very agencies they once lobbied or whose work they once opposed.  Of his 3,800 appointees 281 were former lobbyists, 150 worked for conservative policy-focused nonprofit organizations (think Heritage Foundation or Federalist Society), and another 263 had worked in one of Trump's campaign organization.    ProPublica has built an amazing database that helps us track such things [link to article: "Trump Town" developed in conjunction with Columbia Univ. School of Journalism.  It's the sort of resource that I bet you'll bookmark for future reference!

Oh, and while we're talking about corruption, graft, and shady-deals ... I bet you had this thought already ... as we learn to deal with this pandemic multiple pieces of legislation flew thru Congress to provide some relief and economic stimulus: "Who's getting rich off these billions and billions being spent as the world learns to deal with COVID-19?"  Good question, grasshopper.  At least 40 lobbyists connected to President Trump through his campaign, or his administration have thus far lobbied on COVID-19 issues or indicated that they have signed up clients to do so.

PublicCitizen says: "Twenty-seven clients of Trump-connected lobbyists have received federal COVID aid, totaling more than $10.5 billion." Additionally, these lobbyists are generating contributions, bundled deals that benefit Trump's 2020 "Victory" committee, or the RNC.  Shameful.

Example 2: The Steele Dossier: Trump's been saying for several years that the Steele Dossier is "fake".  Oh?  And who has proof that an opposition research paper, the sort of thing EVERY political campaign has generated on their opponent for decades, is "false"?  It's not, and readers of this page will recall nearly 4-yrs ago the actual dossier was posted on this website to learn more about it & read it.  Never got around to it?  Well, shame on you.  It's just 35 pages long, written in 2015-16, and it simply gives investigators a road map of ties & connections between Trump & his campaign, and the Russians.   

Other than being referenced in several FBI FISA warrants to investigate a low-level Trump campaign associate, the dossier was not used for much other than providing background information.  And, the low-level Trump staffer (Carter Page) was never charged with anything.  But forget about little details like that - instead of actually refuting or addressing the substance, team Trump just calls it a "hoax" over and over as if to brainwash his base.  "It's a hoax," Trump says, because he says so, and then he launches into a silly rant about how the Obama administration "spied" on his campaign (false), and then he charges his political enemies with Treason (which its not) but the Donald keeps repeating it because he knows to his base it sounds like a serious assertion, even though they likely have no idea what constitutes "treason".  [yep, look it up]  Trump probably figures it sounds good and the shot-and-a-beer crowd will eat it up. 

Next Trump rattles off a list of officials from the past several administrations (patriots who served both Republican & Democratic administrations); but Trump says they "should be in jail for 50-yrs!"  Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Mueller, Hayden, Rice, Yates, Ohr ... heck, lets include Pelosi & Schumer & Joe & Hunter Biden, Hillary & Bill Clinton, too.  "Lock them up!"  These are the rants of a crazy man, or, is he someone who just knows it matters not if the charges are true, it off-sets the facts that the Democrats have piled up against him.  Trump figures: "why not go on the offense instead of always playing defense?"  

posted in disgust 09.08.20   

In Plain Sight (something's just not right)

Houston, we have a problem.  And the problem goes well beyond the documented reality that the man occupying the White House is incompetent.  No, the real problem is that voters had the evidence in advance and voted for him anyway. 

Which is why I'm not as optimistic that we'll quickly recover from the latest mess Republicans created.   Even before the 2016 election people were saying: "The only time that Trump makes any sense is when he is trying to read from the teleprompter, with a script written by others because he can barely read and write.  When he goes off the teleprompter he reverts to the rambling moron that he is."  Harsh?  Hardly.  Donald Trump, then the GOP presidential candidate shown above at one of his 2015 "rallies" as calls one of America's finest US Presidents, Barack Obama, "The Teleprompter Guy".  Even Fox News talking heads adopted the nickname ... why?  Well, as Trump will demonstrate when he takes office: all-things Obama = bad ... "if Obama was for something - Trump automatically takes the opposite view," says historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Flash-forward 4-yrs ... anytime former President Obama speaks publically these days, it is as if the voice of reason has re-emerged.  

Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

The president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of his parades, multiple sources tell The Atlantic. Trump Campaign Is In Major-League Damage Control

We first saw and heard it with our own eyes & ears in 2015 as Trump revealed his long-standing distain for Americans who serve in the military.  Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, video captured then candidate Trump's remarks about the GOP's 2008 losing presidential candidate John McCain: "He's a war hero because he was captured," Trump replied dismissively. "I like people that weren't captured, OK?"  Voters heard him - some American's cringed but still voted for the guy.  Trump voters may have thought he was misquoted, or that the "deep state" somehow manipulated the video, and voted for him anyway.

But The Atlantic story that broke yesterday is reinforced by several reports attributed to four former White House staff which confirms a pattern of Trump bashing injured military personnel and is finally causing voters to bail on the Donald.  "I used to say that while I didn't care for his Tweets or some of things he says, I appreciated what he's accomplished in his first term," says a former GOP official.  "But the closer I look at his "record" I can see he's lied about so many things including the virus, and mail-in voting and realize he just can not be trusted.  I regret ever supporting Donald J. Trump."

A bombshell book by the Donald's niece, Mary Trump, reinforces The Atlantic story when she revealed her uncle, Donald Trump, threatened to disown his son, Donald Jr., if he joined the military.  Trump also demanded that Marla Maples' prenuptial agreement specified that child-support will be terminated if their daughter Tiffany joined the military.   Trump obviously has a deep seated problem with people who serve their country.

Jeffrey Goldberg says in The Atlantic that four unnamed people with firsthand knowledge that Trump disparaged the military service of the late former president George H.W. Bush.  Trump also objected to wounded veterans being involved in a military parade:  "People don't want to see that," the Donald says, and the President canceled a visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because he didn’t care about honoring those killed in war.  The Atlantic story provides even more details ... I'm suggesting that you read it and share it with a veteran you know.

Today his surrogates like Rush Limbaugh were quick to defend Trump's love of all things military including those N. Korean style military parades, pointing out Trump's massive boost to military spending, and explaining that Trump was concerned about Eisenhower's assessment of the "great industrial military complex" by reducing troops stationed in Germany and S. Korea.  Oh, right.  The 1st hour of Limbaugh's "open-mike-Friday" was devoted to damage control because the collective impact of this consistent, well-documented revelations is going to hurt Trump's re-election campaign.  The news simply reinforces opinions of his opponents ... but to his base of voters it is obvious the disrespect Trump extends to American war heroes is going to spell big trouble ... he is not expanding his base, and it seems every week he's doing or saying things that are eroding his support.   

Limbaugh, sensing that the blowback against his boy Trump was going to be "Yuge" so el-Rushbo crafted multiple counter narratives:  "the Pelosi beauty salon video was growing legs, and the Dems needed to roll this story out to offset SalonGate."   Right.  One minor hypocrite faux-pas by the Speaker = a lifetime of disparaging sentiments about US soldiers?  I don't think so, Rush; nice try.  So then the White House's non-denial denial fell flat.  With a decent jobs report released this morning which shows nearly 1.4 million jobs were re-gained, we hear the president fumbling the story about his callous remarks of wounded warriors: from Air Force One Trump said to reporters: "It’s fake news; everyone knows it’s totally false."  Um, actually, no Mr. President, we don't.  We heard you with our own ears, and it was captured on video.

Let's see if Hannity's got something better ... nope - at least nothing at his website.  The Donald himself then tried, believe it or not, to launch his Twitter defense: “I never called … John a loser and swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES.”  In the 1st paragraph above I provided a link to the video in which Trump DID disparage McCain.  You can click it and listen again with your own ears and then join me in unison as we call Trump what he is: "LIAR".  Need more proof?  NPR: Trump Faces Fallout From Report He Calls Military 'Losers' and 'Suckers'   Oh, you say National Public Radio is too liberal for you?  Hmmm, well, if you read it in Yahoo News, would it be more palatable?   No?  Jiminy Cricket, you're a tough nut to crack! It seems none of the radical right-wing news organizations want to add credence to the story so they're basically ignoring it .... so how 'bout a veterans organization???  Is that red, white & blue enough for ya?  After you've finished reading, please join me in repeating the following pledge: "I will not vote for Donald Trump; and yes, I will support prosecution of Trump and his criminal organization when he's voted out of office."

posted 09.04.20

Trumpian Wrecking Crew Takes Aim At American Institutions

As The World Watches In Horror: Will Voters Really Permit Destruction of Voice of America ... and Stars & Stripes? Seriously?

Since he can not control the "fake news" as he calls it ... even Fox News has recently criticized the president this year (finally).  So what's an autocrat to do?  The Donald is so predictable: he'll lash back at his detractors and find something else that he can break, ruin, destroy.

On the chopping block: Stars & Stripes, the newspaper for our armed forces.  It's first editions date back to the Civil War, and has always maintained journalistic independence.  Trump has stated he wants to nuke it.

Trump has also taken a crowbar to one of America's most effective global broadcasting services: Voice of America (VOA) which produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages distributed to affiliate stations around the globe.  The US has always been open about the purpose of VOA - it's programming is influential on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.  Some refer to VOA as specialists in "good propaganda".   Likely Trump is getting some direction, or inspiration, from Moscow?  [read more]

posted 09.04.20

Day 3 (or was it day 4?) Snooze Fest Offers Something For Every Wing Nut

Starting From The Obvious: Hatch Act Violators, Ignoring Masks & Social Distancing, & Distancing Themselves From American Voters Who've Had Enough

Vox news has a feature article this month on Stephen Colbert's Late Night Show on CBS, and says "Stephen Colbert is looser, funnier, and angrier in quarantine - and that's a good thing".   It's a great article and the video clip (14-min or so) is both on-point & funny.  [article]

So how did things go for you watching Day 3 & 4 of the Trump Convention?  Personally, I thought the conservatives behaved badly and continue to give reason to voters to bail, at least for 2020, on the Trumpian Express.  They're trying so hard to find ways to suppress the vote and re-write history pretending as if the pandemic as something that's behind us ... in the past after Donald J. Trump's amazing* leadership. 

It's not people.  Infection rates continue to rise in some regions, & drop in others ... but nationally our death toll is heading toward 200,000 and the wing-nuts are still calling for schools to open nationally - and the nation begins to celebrate Labor Day Weekend ... 'cuz after all we did so well with Memorial Day & the 4th of July.  (Not.)  I'll be anxious to see where the nation will have spikes in the infection rate in 2-weeks.
  * note: amazing probably does not do justice to describe the RNC's Trump Convention ... the Donald's script writers skilled in polishing any speech with glee and hope and assorted unproveable warm-fuzzies have a handy reminder of attributes taped to their keyboard just above the function keys: beautiful / best / big league / brilliant / elegant / fabulous / fantastic / fine / good / great / happy / honest / incredible / nice / outstanding / phenomenal / powerful / sophisticated / special / strong / successful / top / tremendous / unbelievable.
  * note-2:  the entry-level script-writers who focus entirely on the dark-side of Donald have their own unique cheat-sheet designed to scare-the-bejesus-out-of-the-world:  boring / crooked / disgusting / dishonest / dopey / dumb / goofy / horrible / not good / obsolete / out of control / overrated / pathetic / ridiculous / rude / sad / scary / staggering / stupid / terrible / unfair / weak / worst.
  * note-3:  and for emphasis, the Donald knows instinctively when to repeat himself - it helps reinforce the factually challenged idea among his audience who actually believe what DJT has to say (as in: stupid, stupid Hillary).   

Speaking of double trouble, Trump was actually advising voters to "vote twice" this fall ... once using a mail-in ballot, then on election day, show up at a polling station and try to vote again.  That's advice from your President.  Think about that for a moment.  Voters should know Trump's instructions are illegal, as is the act of attempting to vote twice.  Voters who follow his advise, and there will be some who will try this - just watch, could be in trouble, legally.  Or, just tie-up lines at the polling station filled with honest decent Americans trying to vote.   Fortunately that gang of wing nuts is gettin' smaller each day. Or at least it oughta' be after a week where Trump is attacking our military, Social Security, Voice of America, the City of Portland, OR, the city of Kenosha, WI, Stars & Strips military newspaper.  What's next?  Moms, baseball & apple pie?

posted 09.04.20

On Planet Earth Reasonable People Know Mainstream Media Is Not "fake"

On Trump's Alternate Universe Up Is Down, Black Is White
And Lying Has Become Standard Operating Policy

The average voter likely would concede: most journalists don't overtly allow their personal biases to influence news coverage.  Some journalists may, from time-to-time, lean a bit from the center to the right (conservative), and to the left (progressive).  However,  conservative voters are more inclined to label information they don't like as "fake news" or, as Kellyanne Conway put it: "alternative facts".  Conservatives point to the inequitable line-up of broadcast TV news venues: ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC ...  and say if it weren't for Fox News, American TV viewers are being force-fed the liberal/progressive bias - instruments of the progressive/liberal left.  And the lot of 'em are nuthin' but a gaggle of commie/socialists who crave open-borders and embrace looters & riots! 

So goes the radical right-wing assessment of the main-stream media who advocates & supports the failed urban policies popular on the coasts but not so much in the heartland.  Fly-over country the right-wing calls it.  Thank God for Fox News they say each Sunday from church.  Oh, and now One America.  ... and Sinclair Media. and Breitbart, and we can't forget the Federalist - not to be confused with the Federalist Society that supplied DJT and former White House counsel Don McGahn the names of young conservative judges - nominees who will re-shape our courts for generations!  Longtime booster of conservative conspiracy theories Drudge Report apparently has fallen out of favor with the Donald (but Limbaugh still loves 'em).   Not familiar with some of these conservative news outlets?  I thought that may be the case - normal people tend not to tune-in to 'em, so I provided links to give you a little taste.

We all should also consider the impact of conservative talk-radio: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck.  Why?  Well, it's no longer Fox News vs. the world.  Since there is no requirement on the conservative right to be factual and honest in the material they present as "news" they can save cash on staff and on research and just publish whatever comes to mind. "You can't handle the truth," shout the radical right-wing extremists, like Steven Miller, Trump's anti-immigration domestic policy advisor (shown right - pure evil).

Elections have never been more important.  Never have we had an incumbent candidate admit to tactics leading to voter suppression as he's sabotaging the USPS.  Never have we seen our Executive branch manipulate national health care data to keep the public in the dark of the facts about the COVID-19, or force the CDC to water-down their advice to the nation regarding the best way to manage this virus.  Never before have we seen nearly 1/2 of Americans ignoring facts, truth.  As I've said below, Joe Biden's lead over Trump shouldn't be 7 or 10 points ... Biden oughta' be leading by 90 points, OR MORE.  What the f**k is wrong with you people?  (Rhetorical question geared to Trump supporters.)

posted in total disgust 09.03.20
coming soon: "Record List Of GOP Defections Agree On At Least One Thing: Defeat Trump"

Republicans Have Wanted To Kill Social Security Since It Began - If Re-elected Trump Just May Try Again

In 1940 a 65-yr old retired Republican woman named Ida May Fuller collected the nation's 1st Social Security check for $22.54.  Now that Louise & I are of the age where our benefits have begun, I tend to read with great interest articles like this one from the online financial advice firm known as 'Motley Fool'.   I thought it was interesting.  Why would anyone who is plans on retiring soon, or may already be retired & living off Social Security vote to re-elect a president who threatens to injure, defund, or otherwise mess with their primary source of income in their 'golden years'?  Editors at Motley Fool write:

If President Trump wins again in November, it could potentially spell trouble for the program. Here are six things that might happen to Social Security if our current president is reelected. [read article]

  1. The program's main source of funding could be cut permanently. Today our payroll taxes (employee and employer portions) fund Social Security, and the president is proposing a permanent payroll tax cut that would do away with the payroll tax. No funding, Social Security dies.
  2. The program's main source of funding could be cut temporarily. To provide COVID-19 relief Trump signed an Executive Order allowing employees to defer payroll taxes through December 2020. If reelected, the Donald will seek to have those deferred payroll taxes forgiven, which means Social Security will be short a lot of revenue.
  3. Beneficiaries may be subject to means-testing, Trump suggests. Under this system, higher earners in retirement would receive a lower Social Security benefit, or perhaps no benefit at all.
  4. Social Security could be (partially) privatized - seriously, look how well that's worked out with prisons and immigration detention facilities. Naturally, it another famous Republican idea that Trump has supported.
  5. SSDI beneficiaries may be subject to further scrutiny - Trump says recipients should be required to recertify their need(s). Likely fewer disabled persons would qualify from this program as funds grow tighter.
  6. The program could just get ignored - if reelected, Trump could simply sit back and allow the program's financial woes to escalate, thereby putting future beneficiaries at risk of receiving lower benefits once Social Security's trust funds run out of money.

Mike thinks 6 is most likely the path Trump is expected to take, and one that can be easily resolved if Congress would simply pass two reform bills ... as soon as Joe Biden is inaugurated: a) eliminate a cap on income subject to SS withholding - treat SS like Medicare - every dollar earned is subject to withholding - no limit, no cap.  b) reduce benefits paid to mega-wealthy retirees, or raises income taxes which basically reclaim SS benefits to this tiny fraction of retirees.

Extravaganza of Adulation For Trump Keeps Fact-Checkers & Truth Seekers Busy

Day 2 of the Trump Convention - USA Today referred to as "an extravaganza of adulation" for the Donald.  The reality TV show event, much of it illegally held at Federal properties in violation of the Hatch Act, kept fact-checkers busy through the night.  Virtually nothing said was accurate from any of the speakers which included a gaggle of Trumps: Melania, Eric, Tiffany ... plus DJT, Junior's girlfriend, former Fox News glam-commentator Kimberley Guilfoyle.  It's also the first convention in history that lacks a party platform.

NBC News reports: "Kimberly Guilfoyle calls herself the daughter of two immigrants. Her mom's from Puerto Rico ... Guilfoyle described herself as a "first-generation American" ... and described both her mother "a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico" and her Ireland-born father as immigrants. People born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens." The rest of Guilfoyle's speech was just more flame-throwing tirade to get the Trump base excited.  Wonder how many Republicans know she used to live in California, the state she tried so hard to attack, and was married to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. [NBC article]

Chris Cillizza, CNN:
"Pam Bondi: Look, I get that conventions are about rah-rah speeches for your side and takedowns of the opposition party. And that there's some level of hyperbole and exaggeration expected. But the former Florida attorney general's speech, which centered on Hunter Biden, was literally larded with falsehoods about what Joe Biden's younger son did -- and didn't do -- in Ukraine and China. To be clear: Hunter Biden should not have been on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president of the United States. But that doesn't make the insinuations -- and outright untruths -- pushed by Bondi fair or right. Also, a speech about the dangers of nepotism on a night when the President's son, daughter and wife were all speaking at the convention? Er ..."  [read entire article with CNN News clips, Jake Tapper & Wolf Blitzer, and even more fact-checking by Politifact.]

Bondi is the former Florida Attorney General (2011-2019) who was entangled in accepting illegal donations to her PAC from the Trump Foundation (whereby Trump was fined $2 million), and began working for Trump as a "special gov't employee" working on his impeachment defense.  Bondi's attacks on Joe Biden were particularly problematic since virtually EVERYTHING she said has previously been fact-checked ... and just about all of it is bullshit.  She knows it, the Trump campaign knows it, but they keep repeating it because they are convinced their base of mindless voters will doubt the "fake-news" analysis, or they know the Trump base will not bother to read or learn facts - they prefer the evil narrative put forth by Trumpians.  I never seriously believed the Donald when promised the Republicans wouldn't be "dark" and planned on presenting a positive path for America ... trouble is, the fake-republicans are bring new meaning to the words: negative & scary.    

posted in disgust 08.28.20

USA Today Opinion:

"Trump, inappropriately using the White House as backdrop for a political speech, and in front of a mostly mask-free crowd that was not socially distanced, delivered a sometimes listless, sometimes blistering account that could have been titled: "I alone am still the only one who can fix it."   As an exercise in logic, it is the equivalent of a quadruple axel, something like:  You have to vote for me to solve the problems that I created, exacerbated or ignored. As the presidential campaign enters the home stretch, polls show that many of the voters Trump must reach, including some within his own party, are fatigued by his incendiary rhetoric.

"Today, more than 180,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19, the highest toll of any nation and a number far higher than it would have been under more competent stewardship in Washington.

"Trump has spent much of his first term claiming that the sun rises in the West and water flows uphill. In last week’s speech, he even laughably claimed to have 'done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln'."   [read the entire article]

Trump Convention Launches - Kellyanne Bails Anticipating Crushing Defeat

Fox News In-A-Twitter As Real Journalists Must Fact-Check Virtually Every Word Spoken @ the Donald's Big Show
Real GOP Runs For The Hills - Support For Joe Biden Growing

Imagine if you can: a political convention with no platform.  No big aspirational policy statement ... which Bloomberg News reports "contains nearly no actual policies".  Yep, just a pledge to support "all-things-Trump."  This really isn't the GOP Convention.  

Day 1 was difficult to watch because virtually everything that was said required Fact-Checking ... TV analysts including those on Fox frequently broke away from live coverage to either debunk statements made, or to clarify when the Trumpians left out significant information.  Like 181,181 deaths in the US of A ...   barely a mention of the devastating loss of life that could have been radically reduced had Team Trump actually employed leadership rather than pretending the virus would just go away.  Magically. 

The conservative gathering did find time on the agenda to reinforce their standard, very tired, constant scare tactic: "be afraid, very afraid of those Socialists who are coming after your guns" ... they gave  some airtime to Mark & Patricia McCloskey, the couple facing criminal charges for their stunt pointing loaded weapons at a group of protestors in St. Louis last month.  The insanity surrounds the circus on Pennsylvania Avenue.

What is going away however is the counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway.  Her official explanation:  "For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."  Catchy line, Kellyanne, but insiders say Trump's former campaign mgr during the 2016 election doesn't want to be associated with Trump's likely losing effort and the anticipated chaos that is expected when the Donald refuses to accept his electoral defeat.  "A hoax," Trump is already saying.  "The only way we're going to lose is if this election is rigged."  Plant those seeds of discontent, Mr. President.  It worked for you when Hillary got 3 million more votes than you, but you captured the magic number of Electoral College votes.  Flash-forward to images of armed military prying the Donald's "cold dead hands" from his beloved Resolute desk as team Biden marches in following their inauguration January 20th 2021. 

Naw, it's time for Kellyanne to ride off into the sunset and avoid being associated with the lawlessness that's about to further destroy the country.  Besides, family Conway has seen enough division, and torn apart over the past 4-yrs.  Daughter Claudia has become a social media sensation at just 15-yrs of age with her Tweets disparaging Trump and his policies of destruction and hate.  Conservative legal-beagle hubby George has been an outspoken contributor and founding member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project - a group of former Republicans seeking Trump's defeat thru an extensive ad-campaign build largely on Trump's own words.  The latest additional contributor to the Lincoln Project is former RNC Chairman Michael Steele ... further proof that real Republicans have bailed on the Trump Party.   Just yesterday a group of 27 current & former Republican office holders announced their support for Joe Biden [source].  Smart folks.  

I realize the hardcore Trump-base will stick with the Donald even as he violates the law by having his WH staff make arrangements to use government facilities for the Trump Convention.  (Read more about the Hatch Act.)  But hopefully there are a few Trump supporters who come to the senses as the daily drip-drip-drip of facts surface ... and vote Biden-Harris.

Update: mid-day 08.25.20
Trump groused last week about the boring Democratic Convention and ridiculed the DNC for its low ratings ... well guess what?  Viewership for both conventions was below 2016 levels.  The Nielsen ratings are out for the 1st Day of the Trump Convention and they're slightly worse then the DNC ratings.  The Los Angles Times reports: "The first night of the Republican National Convention averaged 15.9 million viewers on Monday, a sharp drop of 28% from 2016. The audience figure from Nielsen was ... below the opening night of last week’s Democratic National Convention which averaged 18.7 million viewers ... The audience for the Democrats on the first night of their convention was also down about 28% from 2016."  Another gauge Fox News may have had the highest ratings (7.1 million viewers) ... but most conservatives tend to watch Fox.  The larger Democratic viewership (8.77 million) tends to be split among several networks: ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, & MSNBC.   

originally posted 08.25.20

Wingnut Calls Virus A Hoax, Refuses To Take Precautions ... Dies

Another senseless death.

First, we have a president who refuses to follow the science or the preliminary plans that he inherited upon taking office ... a president who refuses to establish and implement a plan to mitigate the spread of virus so that our citizens wouldn't perish at the rate they have, now exceeding 180,000.   Having a plan that included testing, contract tracing, and isolating those exposed to the virus would also protect our economy from tanking like it has, and to ensure schools and churches could re-open safely.  Did Trump do any of this?  Nope.

Then we have the Trump base of wingnuts who refuse to wear masks, refuse to avoid crowds and follow social distancing guidelines ... and through their ignorance and/or laziness, or whatever their freaking excuse is for being a worthless POE ... like Brian Lee Hitchens and his wife, Erin of Florida, who believe the claims that the virus was a hoax. They both became infected - Brian survived, Erin died. News reports indicate Brian who drives a taxi, kept right on working - no mask, no sanitizing his vehicle.  One can only guess how many people he spread the virus to, and news reports say that he "wished [he'd] listened from the beginning."

I hate to hear of anyone dying from this illness - but I'll admit I am less sympathetic when the victim's own life-choices appear to have led to Erin's death.  Now he's regretting that they didn't take this seriously: "If you have to go out please use wisdom and don't be foolish like I was so the same thing won't happen to you like it happened to me and my wife," he says. 

posted 08.24.20

Republicans Tried All Week To Discredit Biden, Harris & Democratic Party

Now, the GOP gets to take a swing at their own convention during a pandemic ... everybody got their masks?

Doubtful.  Thanks to Trump and Fox News the notion that Americans would follow respected health practitioner's guidelines has become political which may explain why Southern states continues to lead the nation in virus cases and deaths.  Some of the "red states" never shut-down, others "reopened" too soon, and now they're doing the same with schools, putting faculty, staff, students and their families all at risk.  Like the national death toll, now exceeding 180,000, it did not have to be this way.  That fact was punctuated multiple times during the DNC Convention last week.  [link to Michelle Obama's speech and other examples reported by the Washington Post]

So when I consider the horrendous 1st term record Trump brings to the table: his attacks on US Institutions (FBI, CIA, USPS, DOJ, the media, Congress), combined with any one of hundreds of messes that normal presidents try to avoid (cancelling US participation in Paris Climate Accord, attacking NATO, attacking the WHO while we're in the midst of a pandemic, turning his back on the Kurds, etc. etc. - there are literally hundreds of examples, many of which I've written about over the past 3-yrs.) ... combined with the facts that the US national response to the pandemic has been the worst among all developed nations in the world ... WHY THE HELL IS JOE BIDEN LEADING DONALD TRUMP BY JUST 9 OR 10 POINTS???????  

Seriously, I can not understand how some 30-40% of Americans still plan to vote for Trump ... and given his sabotage of the mail-in voting process & our US Postal system, the actual vote count will be far closer than it oughta' be in my humble opinion.  Below is my fantasy screen shot of the results of our Nov. 3rd General Election ... Biden-Harris win in a real landslide, and Democrats win a massive majority in Congress & re-captures control of most all state legislatures.  Hey, a boy can dream, can't he? 

Sidebar: so many politicians these days attempt to link themselves to one of America's great presidents, Abe Lincoln.  Trump went so far as to claim he's done more, accomplished more than virtually all presidents with the exception of Honest Abe.  So, if Lincoln is the gold-standard ... the model that politicians try to emulate, have you ever considered: how much did Lincoln win by in 1860?

Lincoln had 3 opponents Bell, Douglas & Breckenridge.  None of the candidates had more than 50% of the vote.  Total votes cast: 4,685,030.  Lincoln won with just 39.8% of the vote.  (Little Stephen Douglas, as Trump would likely call him, captured 29.4%, Breckenridge 18%, and Bell 12.6%.) 

posted 08.23.20

Trump Supports Q∙Anon ... FBI Classifies Group As A Domestic Terrorism Threat

Wall Street Journal says the conspiracy hate group has some 150,000 members

We know how this works: a few left-leaning liberals say something like "defund the police" or "free health care for all" and suddenly the internet is all a-Twitter with news for anyone who still claims to be a Republican (thankfully the number is declining rapidly) that the Democrats favor a socialist agenda that will ruin all the good things Donald Trump has accomplished since assuming control of the White House. 

Well, there are multiple flaws to that line of harebrained reasoning: 1st, the winner of the Democratic primary is not supporting free universal health care ... though Joe Biden does support a single-payer option that could broaden health care coverage for all Americans. 2nd the "defund police" concept has been skewed by the GOP - the bulk of protestors and serious political types are advocating a shift in funding - moving budget dollars for community health responsibilities to some other department better equipped and trained to deal with mental health issues and more.  And 3rd: Trump's record isn't being soiled because he hasn't accomplished much ... one massive tax cut that adds $2 TRILLION to our national debt, and Senate Republicans have confirmed hundreds of conservative Federal Court judges promoted by the Federalist Society.  That's about it, other than dozens of Executive Orders that will be neutralized when Biden takes office.

Trump has no other legislative accomplishments and some of the things going well that he takes credit for actually happened under the previous administration like "Energy Independence" - sorry Donald, the US became a net exporter of refined petroleum products in May 2011.  Look it up.  Or, how about his claim about jobs? "As you know, we broke the record last month," Trump said in July.  Trouble is far more jobs were created in the Obama administration which set a record for 75 months of consecutive job growth: 2009 thru 2016. [source]

On the flip-side what do Republican voters know about their own radical right wing faction?  No, not the Tea-Party ... folks like designated GOP pit-bull Jim Jordan or Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ... they're relatively tame compared to Q·Anon which has far more active members than any left-leaning subset of the Democratic Party.  The Wall Street Journal estimates some 150,000 Twitter accounts are Q·Anon members or followers.

Why is Q·Anon a problem?  Let's explore a few things Q·Anon members believe in (summarized in a video on YouTube):

  • Hillary Clinton leads Satanic worship events and traffic children for sex, and/or engage in pedophilia.
  • Democrats murder and eat children ... and,  the government created AIDS, polio and Lyme disease.
  • Deep State plot opposed to all things Trump.  Fox News viewers should be familiar with the assertion that career institutionalists from the FBI, CIA, and assorted high-ranking government officials are involved with collusion and cronyism within the US political system and constitute a hidden government within the legitimately elected government.  Sean Hannity talks about 'em daily as does Maria Bartiromo.  Q·Anon members believe Anthony Fauci (our nation's leading expert on infectious diseases) is a plant from the Deep-State.  I'm not making this stuff up.

According to MarketWatch: Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy-theory expert, a book QAnon: An Invitation to the Great Awakening, is selling like hotcakes at Amazon and generating piles of cash from its gullible followers calling it “a bold new step in the endless grift at the heart of Q.”   Until Republicans dial back the hate rhetoric that surrounds Trump and today's Republican Party - voters will bail-out on the fringe loving GOP.  Which is why voter suppression is likely the Republican party's only hope since they've alienated so many voters who formerly made up their base of support.  Vote for Biden·Harris.

posted pride 08.21.20
updated 09.03.20:  Not all that familiar with Q-Anon?  It did sort of "come out of nowhere" ... well, thankfully USA Today published a great summary of the cult driven by conspiracy theories (which have been proven to be false or misleading).  So those of you who contend my depiction of Republicans is unjustified and unfair, you are wrong and dangerously misinformed.  I'm not talking about the Bill Milliken Republicans (former Michigan Governor) or the Gerald Ford Republicans, or even the George Herbert Walker Bush Republicans.  Those guys were largely conservative and supported a party platform that favors individual liberty supported by a small(er) Federal government the favors a healthy business climate.  Today's Trump Republican belongs to the nation's largest radical right-wing extremist organization who will do or say whatever it takes to win and stay in office where they can block changes the disagree with, or ram thru and agenda that the majority of Americans do not actually favor or support.   

Trump Loses Tax Case - Steve Bannon Arrested For Fraud

The Donald Must Turn Over Tax Returns to D.A.
Bannon & 3 Others Charged With Fraud In Border Wall Fundraising Campaign

Bad morning for Team Trump - the President loses his attempt to conceal his tax returns, and Steve Bannon, Trump's former Campaign CEO and White House Advisor, has been charged along with 3 others for bilking donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars that was supposedly meant for Trump's "We Build The Wall" campaign.  [source]  Even Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano "painted a grim picture for Steve Bannon’s future Thursday morning."

"The former White House chief strategist allegedly received more than $1 million that was raised to build Trump’s border wall through a non-profit organization under his control," according to the Daily Beast.

Yes, this is the same wall that Trump said Mexico would pay for ... the wall that even the Customs & Border Patrol reports acknowledge that Trump is over-stating construction status ... only 15 miles of new border wall that didn't previously exist has been erected, not 275 miles as Trump cons his supporters & base. [Mentioned a week ago here on this website.]  

posted 08.20.20

Reasonable U.S. Voters Won't Stand For A President Sabotaging Post Office 

Oh will they? Heck, wing-nut Trump supporters don't seem to care about his lies so far, why would they change now? 
How does one factually-challenged man create so much negativity & destruction (the likes the world has never seen before?)

As Trump trails in the polls Republicans are resorting to a series of evil tactics in an effort to pull-out a victory, including engaging in sabotage at the US Postal Service in a crazy effort to stop the growth of mail-in voting.  It's just the latest effort to suppress the vote, a specialty of the Republican Party for decades.  The current problem however is that more voters than ever before are seeking safety by mailing-in their ballots as the pandemic is making it unsafe for senior citizens who often volunteer to work at election polling stations, and voters who face long lines and questionable social distancing practices.  Remember the Wisconsin primary a few months ago or his assault on post office rates charged to Amazon? (I wrote about it in April.) 

On Thursday MSNBC's Rachel Maddow sort of freaked us out with news about Trump's new Postmaster General firing 20+ senior managers at USPS, and removing hundreds of high-speed sorting machines at distribution centers coast-to-coast.  It turns out Maddow was just ahead of the curve with news & information because by Friday the story was all over cable news & the internet confirming much of what Rachel ranted about: team Trump is limiting the number of USPS postal mailboxes strategically local in towns all across America. They are also trying to limit local governments to just one voting ballot drop-boxes per county.  Says Maddow:  "I just mentioned some breaking news about what's going on with this ongoing story of the administration admitting now they are trying to sabotage the post office before we all vote absentee by mail in this election because of the coronavirus.  Today, the president really did come out and say he's undermining the postal service and denying it funds so that they can't handle ballots for the election," Maddow reported. [link to source].

Thankfully, the word of evil acts by Trump officials seems to be getting traction.  The Associated Press & the Daily Beast report: "Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for ‘their accelerating arson of the post office,’ he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time,” The Daily Beast reported Friday.

Another web-based news article reports: "Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them" which is good news for voters who are seeing delays in mail delivery.  Increasingly citizens use the postal service to keep their supply of critical medications flowing, in addition to traditional communications & bill paying. 

New Jersey is not the only state looking into the legality of Trump's maneuvers ... Arizona Sec't of State Katie Hobbs launched an investigation to and posted news on her Twitter account: "In Arizona, it’s against the law to “delay the delivery of a ballot.” I’ve asked Attorney General Brnovich to investigate recent changes at USPS, and whether or not the Trump administration has committed a crime."  And if you were to Google the question or watch TV news other than Fox, you'll find this protest of voter suppression and condemnation of Trump is close to universal.

Messing with our nation's postal service affects Trump's base of voters just as much as the rest of America.  It seems every day the Trump administration is giving voters the rationale and justification for voting him out of office, and Republicans who don't join the critique of Trump's illegal acts should be voted out of office, too!

posted with patriotic pride 08.15.20

USA Today: "The Incredibly Shrinking President" 

Over time people are learning to tune Trump out ... ignoring him

USA Today has come to a similar conclusion as many news and political analysts have determined:  the world has tired of Trump and his rhetoric and in-action.  He says a lot, but does very little.  Border wall?  He keeps bragging about the existing sections of fence that have been repaired or replaced.  Only 15-miles of NEW BORDER WALL that did not exist previously have been constructed.  That's a lot less than the administration would have you believe.  [click here to read more at PolitiFact.org] Why so few?  Because what remains to be done involves actual work: securing funding from Congress and securing the land which may require using "eminent domain"  the legal process of compulsory land acquisition.  His administration hasn't even begun buying the land required.

The folks at USA Today say the President is becoming less significant with each of his failures.  They write:

"When a massive explosion vaporized the center of Beirut last week, Trump that same day declared it an “attack ... a bomb of some kind” with a level of certainty that should have sent ripples of concern through foreign governments. As it was, few paid any attention. His comment barely registered as news, and evidence quickly surfaced that the blast was almost certainly a terrible accident. And there have been other pronouncements recently that, all things being equal, should have generated quite a stir.  Except they didn’t."

"Trump’s ability to shock and awe has gotten smaller.  He’s the incredibly shrinking president."

"Our View: Fatal response to coronavirus, unkept campaign promises, and mountain of lies and falsehoods show what a small man he really is."  [read entire story]

Worst President in US history.  How about we vote him and most all Republicans out of office?

posted 08.14.20

Normally The "Silly Season" Would Start Now.   These Are Not Normal Times. 

Every Day Trump & The GOP Show American Voters Why They Need To Be Defeated

There has been little that is "normal" about the reign of terror Donald Trump has thrust upon the world but now that Joseph Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris to be our next Vice President the vicious attacks from the radical extremist right wing have begun, right on cue.  The "silly season" has been engaged for 3-˝ years.

The Donald's campaign staff was ready with negative TV ads and pundits had their hate-filled talking points prepared ... most of which requires viewers to do a bit of mental fact-checking as the assault spews from venues like Fox News. 

One typical example can be summarized by Tucker Carlson's monologue just minutes after the Democrats announced  Biden's VP search committee's recommendations.  Plenty of viewers are influenced by the fact-challenged show where producers pepper the ever-present brainwashing "breaking news" screen crawler with a series of assertions and  commentary:

  • Kamala Harris may end up running the country
  • actual voters aren't enthusiastic about Kamala
  • the Biden/Kamala ticket is actually pretty absurd
  • there's nothing authentic about their relationship [referring to Biden & Harris]
  • Biden campaign doesn't care much for public policy
  • there's nothing moderate about Kamala Harris [repeated several times]
  • Kamala: let the kids take part in elections, too
  • Kamala Harris: "parallels" between ICE & the KKK
  • criticizing Kamala Harris is now off-limits
  • Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate [also repeated several times]
  • Biden official: Biden called Kamala Harris to offer her the job 90 minutes before the announcement
  • CNN chief has actually endorsed Kamala in past
  • [coming attractions teaser} Hannity: Biden and Harris play nice for the cameras
  • [coming attractions 2] 'The Ingraham Angle' exposes Kamala Harris' 'radical' views
  • [coming attractions 3] Pence warns of what will happen to middle class during a Biden presidency
  • [coming attractions 4] Sarah Sanders: Biden-Harris admin would be a 'disaster'

Notice how Tucker emphasizes the Senator's first name ... Kamala, Kamala, Kamala.  It's as if he's saying to those Suburban Housewives of America: "how many of your neighbors go by the name 'Kamala'?"   The next 80-some days are going to be sickening.  As Rachel Maddow often says, it's time to 'buckle up" ... but it's time to step up and vote these nasty people out of office permanently, up and down the ballot.

posted 08.13.20

He’s a ‘Gilded Dirigible’ With No Sense of Public Service

Trump considering giving acceptance speech at Gettysburg battlefield

Perhaps the best description thus far in the 2020 election to restore America (before its too late) came from the mouth of Tim O'Brien who Trump unsuccessfully sued after the writer revealed Trump's net worth was only a fraction of what Trump claimed (TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald proved DJT's net-worth was $250 million, not "billions", and virtually all of it was inherited, not earned). 

O'Brien was commenting on MSNBC when asked about Trump delivering his 2020 acceptance speech from the hallowed grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park: “Donald Trump has never had a moment of interest in public service. He has floated above the miseries of most of the people in this country like a — like a gilded dirigible and above his own inadequacies as well. So when he speaks about a place like Gettysburg ... he’s someone who’s not a student of history, he doesn’t read and doesn’t really have any interest in furthering some of the values that that site embodies, it comes off not only as cynical, I think, but as yet another fraying of the majesty of the office he inhabits.”   [click here to view a clip from Brian Williams 11th Hour on MSNBC.]  A gilded dirigible.  Stick a pin in it.  It may have marked the moment when a few thousand additional former Trump supporters finally woke up ... it's happening daily.

Critics point out such an address violate ethics laws including the Hatch Act limiting political activity by federal workers. Trump says the Hatch Act doesn’t pertain to the president - which may be technically true. However, to pull off such an event presidential staffers would be involved & would be in jeopardy. “The rule prohibiting political activity on government property still applies ... any federal employee who helps facilitate the acceptance speech risks violating the Hatch Act,” says Kedric Payne, ethics director at the Campaign Legal Center.

Mike ponders that description of Trump ... a Gilded Dirigible

And as often happens, much like the Strudel Stories on Mike's main, not-too-political page where one thought typically leads to another and the next thing you know you've got strudel: a tasty treat in layers ... like a fine pastry.  "A" leads to "B" and then "C", and so-on, and on, & on.    Strudel.

So, O'Brien says: "gilded dirigible" and my mind eventually flickers to other historically famous dirigibles:

Not familiar with the phrase: "oh the humanity"?  The Google comes to the rescue: "When radio reporter Herb Morrison saw the airship Hindenburg burst into flames in 1937, he blurted “Oh, the humanity!” meaning something like “what terrible human suffering!” Writers who use this phrase today - usually jokingly - are referring back to this famous incident."
posted 08.12.20

Don't Get Suckered By Trump's Attack On Our Beloved Postal Service 

Isn't It Amazing How The Former "law & order" GOP Is Purposely Destroying Citizen Confidence In The Very Institutions They Once Championed In Their Desperate Attempt To Retain "power"? 

First it was the FBI - the Donald tried to denigrate the FBI because he feels they were questioning the legitimacy of his election.  Then he went after all of his intelligence agencies (CIA, DNI, NSA, NSC, Homeland Security) partially for the same reason he attacked the FBI but also because the intelligence staffs were involved in the Iran nuke deal and the Paris Climate Accord.  Trump has burned thru six National Security Advisors in his first 3-yrs: Michael Flynn, Keith Kellogg, H. R. McMaster, John Bolton, Charles Kupperman, & Robert O’Brien. Good thing Senate confirmation is not required for this critical position - the Donald's nominees would still be answering Senate committee questions.  [For more discussion of Trump destroying the office of the Presidency, read: "Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies" by Robert Draper for the NY Times Magazine.]

Trump also has attacked the CDC during his totally ineffective response to the virus.  And now, because he is way behind in the polls and fears losing his re-election bid, he's trying to discredit voting by mail ... and the postal service who delivers the "fake, phony illegal ballots" as he calls them.  Forget the fact that he and members of his staff have repeatedly voted in their home states utilizing some variation of "absentee voting".  Trump's newly appointed human wrecking-ball of the United States Postal Service, postmaster general Louis DeJoy has only been on the job a month and already he's implemented changes that are slowing delivery of mail, reassigned or fired 30+ top staff managers as they prepare to block election ballots in November.  [Doubt me? Read more.]

Voters all across the country are contemplating a mail-in option this fall to avoid contracting the virus - especially after Republicans in Wisconsin blocked legal challenges earlier this year to expand mail-in voting options (see "this is ridiculous" protest pictured above, lower/right).  Most states have provided voters with that choice, so don't let Republicans scare you.  But I say: voters should also not allow Trump's Storm Troopers to shred, or destroy, or otherwise not count your ballot ... voters should delivery their completed ballot a week or more BEFORE the election to a designated official "drop box".  Louise & I did that for the recent primary election.  The drop-box is located in front of our township office right next to a U.S. Postal mailbox (pictured center above photo).  We saved on stamps and maintained "social distancing" as we rolled down our car window and deposited ballots in the drive-thru drop-box.  Louise posted a link on her Facebook page to a list of drop-box locations throughout the state of Michigan.

posted 08.11.20

Trump Attacks Democrats From The White House For Blocking Aid 

Base of supporters must think Democrats are the roadblock - ignoring the House
"HEROES" legislation passed 2˝ months ago 

Actually the headline online that raised my blood pressure: "Donald Trump pleads with Democrats to agree to extend $600-a-week unemployment boost 24 hours before it expires as Republicans admit they can't come up with their own deal"  because there is so much wrong with what is happening in Washington these days.  First, Trump is ignoring the fact that Democrats pro-actively passed legislation in the House over two & a half months ago.  Now here's the Donald whining about unemployed folks losing out on unemployment benefits and more.  Excuse me, Sir...but the Republicans control the Senate - and they can't muster a majority to pass Mitch McConnell's "slim & trim" stimulus plan. 

My 2nd beef with Trump today (but it's early, I suspect there will be more issues to wrestle with) is the fact that historically incumbent presidents refrain from overt political campaign rhetoric from the podium at the White House.  But since Trump has done nothing but talk, bitch, complain, & whine for the past 3˝ years his supporters seem to get amnesia.   Where's his health care plan he's promised since 2015?  Why hasn't his Southern border project built more than 3 new miles of his famous wall?  Where is our national pandemic plan (testing, contact tracing, isolation)?  Why hasn't the President responded to reports of the Russian bounty paid to Afghans who kill American soldiers?  

Read more about the pro-active Democratic bill known as "Hero's Act" which is designed to extend unemployment & economic benefits to American citizens, hospitals, states & local communities, hazard pay for 1st responders, and even monies for the US Postal Service to ensure mail-in voting security.  [another info source

posted 07.31.20

This just in ... noteworthy 'cuz the Federalist Society are the folks who gave Donald their support along with a list of judicial nominees they wanted to see Trump appoint to Federal benches across this grand land ... they got over 200 judges they wanted so now the creepy guy is disposable.  "Kick him to the curb," the Federalists say.

New York Times
By Steven G. Calabresi co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law:

"Opinion: Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election. That’s Unconstitutional. He should be removed unless he relents ... " [read the rest]

Forbes By Matt Perez
TOPLINE ... Steven Calabresi, co·founder of the conservative Federalist Society, called for a second impeachment inquiry into President Trump ... [more]

Reagan Foundation tells Trump campaign to stop using Reagan's likeness

Late-breaking news: even Republicans are bailing on the Donald

(CNN)  The Washington Post reports that the Ronald Reagan Foundation has asked the Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee joint fundraising committee to stop using President Ronald Reagan's likeness in fundraising appeals, an RNC spokesman confirmed to CNN. 

In typical Trumpian fashion the Donald took to Twitter to respond:  "So the Washington Post is running the Reagan Foundation," Trump tweeted Sunday, promising supporters, "... We will win anyway ..." despite "phony" polls.  "It should be no surprise that the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post wants to interfere with President Trump's reelection campaign," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told CNN.

posted with glee on 07.27.20

Seriously ... Trump's Big Campaign Strategy Is To Attack Biden For A Gaffe???

We thought we were prepared for it - but now that Trump's launching his attack ads,
it seems so freaking crazy that any voter would be persuaded to vote Trump in 2020.

On Sunday Trump attacked Biden for referring to Arizona as a city, then proceeded to display more of his true evil self by saying: "The Obama/Biden Administration is the most corrupt in history. They even spied on my campaign!”  That's totally false but enough people have repeated it, including his personal Attorney General Billy Barr, that gradually the uber-conservative right-wing Trump supporters are believing it is true.  To the rest of America, Trump's tirades demonstrate how petty he is.  

As highlighted below, the Donald has misstated the facts, or incorrectly Tweeted a message over 15 times daily ... every day spanning the entire 3˝ years he's been in the White House.  And we're not talking about a minor mental flub like mispronouncing a name or confusing Iran for Iraq.  Over 20,000 times Donald J. Trump, the self-described smartest man to ever be elected president, the very stable genius himself has repeated stuff that is simply not true, not accurate - and even when his mistakes are pointed out to him and his staff, he keeps repeating the same inaccurate statement like Obama spying on his campaign.  That's when it's safe to call it what it is: a lie.  A bald-faced fabrication of the truth. "The likes of which the world has never seen before," Trump loves to repeat just about any time he has control of a microphone. [audio link]

Think about it.  Other than getting his "tax cut" passed when Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, what has Trump himself really accomplished?  And keep in mind the tax cut will add $1.9 trillion to our national debt, so says the Congressional Budget Office.  In terms of actually doing things this is an administration that talks a lot but has accomplished little more than issuing Executive Orders, and obeying the Federalist Society's wishes on judicial appointees.  And Trump had little to do with that - former White House Counsel Don McGahn coordinated all nominations to fill vacancies on Federal Courts.  Few Presidents have been as overtly partisan as Trump, who supposedly represents all of America.  Consider how he regularly lashes out at Democrats in the course of regular business (not just campaign related appearances):

  • "... President Trump implored the nation’s political leadership to 'stop the partisanship' and come together to confront the coronavirus pandemic."  The next day Trump "woke up and immediately issued partisan attacks on Democratic congressional leaders," says Peter Baker of New York Times.
  • CNN reported in April 2020: "Trump lashes out at Democrats, seeking to pass the blame for economic pain."
  • Last month the Washington Post reported: "Trump keeps claiming that the most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats. They aren’t."

Another Washington Post article (mentioned below) highlights the most outrageous falsehood Trump has repeated 360 times ("...we built the greatest economy...").  Surely his advisors have pointed out: "Sir, one of the many reasons the "lame-stream media" has little respect for you is because you keep saying stupid stuff like that which has been proven to not be true." 

But other than his daughter & son-in-law, the rest of his advisors don't last long.  His current Chief of Staff is tea bagger Mark Meadows who accepted the position likely because he knew he'd never get re-elected to his House seat  Meadows has been on the job barely 3-months.  Before Meadows, Trump had another former House Freedom Caucus alumni: Mick Mulvaney who only worked as Chief of Staff part-time 'cuz he was also, simultaneously, Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).   Wow.  Talk about double-dipping.  Mulvaney lasted longer than others who served as Trump's Chief of Staff: 454 days ... but far short of the historical average: 540 days.  Prior to the Mickster we had a General ("love those generals") John Kelly who served as Chief of Staff for 519 days and actually did attempt to rein-in the chief executive.  Reince Priebus lasted just 192 days ... but he was only in the position to placate the Republican National Committee.  [As a point of reference Leo T. McGarry, decorated Air Force fighter pilot & former Sec't of Labor, served as fictional West Wing President Josiah Bartlet's Chief 2,430 days, or 81 months. BTW: McGarry attended the University of Michigan ... natch.]  

But let's get back to reality; another often repeated lie the President tends to dwell upon relates to his campaign pledge to build a wall along our Southern border (and have Mexico pay for it!) ... “And we're also -- on the southern border, as you know, the wall is going up. It's going up very rapidly. We're at 182 miles.”  Aside from the obvious fact that his comment does not contain an actual sentence ... and makes sense to us only because the Donald has said something like it 261 times, his base of supporters are brainwashed.  Regular readers here know I've been fact-checking that whopper throughout Trump's reign of terror (see #baamboozle below) including providing a copy of the US Customs and Border Protection April 2020 status report that confirms that what the president says over and over is simply not true.  Not even remotely.  Here's Washington Post's summary fact check: "Only three miles of the border barrier being constructed by Trump (to) close off parts of the border that did not previously have a barrier. The rest of the new construction is replacement fencing. The "wall" as promised will not be complete by 2021."  Two-hundred sixty-one times Trump has made a similar claim ... a claim that likely most of his supporters believe to be true.  It's a claim Trump's base holds near and dear to their hearts 'cuz they've been able to holler about it at all of Trump's insane never-ending campaign rallies.

Another of Trump's favorite whoppers: "We've done a lot: the largest tax cuts ever".  Nope.  Not even close.  Fact check: "Trump’s tax cut amounts to nearly 0.9 percent of the gross domestic product, meaning it is far smaller than President Ronald Reagan’s tax cut in 1981, which was 2.89 percent of GDP. Trump’s tax cut is the eighth largest tax cut — and even smaller than two tax cuts passed under Barack Obama," says the Washington Post.  Trump has repeated that lie 210 times, which is why my cousin can recite it in her sleep ... unable to process the truth that America's 1st black president actually supported more significant tax reduction legislation than Trump.  

Elections should have consequences.  98 days from now we can make things right again.

posted 07.27.20

In 1,267 days, President Trump has made 20,055 false or misleading claims

Washington Post database - searchable by topic/subject
Does Trump's base of supporters care?  Obviously not.

Uninformed American voters are the reason the world has to put up with Trump.  Why are some voters unconcerned about the lies and inaccurate things President Trump says? Trump averages more than 15.8 misstatements or mangled truths every day. That fun-fact is actually on the rise ... just 2-months ago the average was 14.8. To make matters worse, Trump often repeats the same false statements hundreds of times.  His most famous inaccurate statement:

“We built the greatest economy in history, not only for our country, but for the world. We were number one, by far.”   Actually, Trump has repeated that 360 times in less than 4-years ... and the facts are Trump is not correct - and he's been shown the facts, yet he continues to repeat it because he knows his base of supporters don't worry about little things like truth or facts - and as he keep repeating the falsehood, one can only assume he is knowingly lying.

WASHINGTON POST FACT CHECK: "Before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and sent unemployment soaring, the president could certainly brag about the state of the economy in his first three years as president. But he ran into trouble when he made a play for the history books to say it was the best economy in U.S. history. By just about any important measure, the economy under Trump did not do as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2019, slipping from 2.9 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2017. But in 1997, 1998 and 1999, GDP grew 4.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Yet even that period paled in comparison against the 1950s and 1960s. Growth between 1962 and 1966 ranged from 4.4 percent to 6.6 percent. In postwar 1950 and 1951, it was 8.7 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate reached a low of 3.5 percent under Trump, but it dipped as low as 2.5 percent in 1953. (After the virus tanked the economy, Trump jacked up his claim even more, falsely saying it had been the greatest economy in the history of the world.)"


Originally posted by Mike on 11.08.17, updated 07.25.20

Even Conservative Media Is Fact-Checking Trump & Finding Plenty Of Errors

America's Worst President Reveals How Misinformed He Really Is
He's Dropping In Polls & Returning To Daily Virus Briefing To Bolster His Campaign 

A few months ago President Trump stopped performing at his daily WH press briefings. Some aids said he was getting bored with the topic and wanted to move on to matters he thought he had more control over like the economy.  Liberal minded folks like myself were relieved that the charade was ending because the more Trump spoke it was obvious he cared only about his re-election, and has little concern for the health of the nation. So the Donald returned to his rallies only to find his base was shrinking - he filled less than half the seats in Tulsa and had to cancel his New Hampshire trip because his MAGA base was not planning to attend. 

Plan B: Rose Garden campaign speeches - well, as reviewed below, his hour long rant last week netted very little support as virtually EVERYTHING he said was fact-checked.  Virtually nothing that came out of his pie-hole was accurate. 

So, enter Plan C: an interview on Fox News ... surely that's a great way to stabilize his base.  Wrong.  Most news sources say Chris Wallace roasted Trump:

  • (CNN) President Donald Trump sat for an interview ... with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, one of the most skilled -- and best -- interviewers in the news business. It did not go well for the President. Wallace repeatedly fact-checked Trump's falsehoods in real time -- although it didn't stop Trump from insisting he was right. (He was not right.)  

  • (Washington Post) Most notably, Wallace countered Trump’s confidently uttered claim that Joe Biden had called for abolishing the police. There’s no evidence of that, Wallace said so to Trump’s face and later noted that, despite promises to the contrary, the White House never followed up on promises to send him proof of it — because there isn’t any. 

  • (The Hill) Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents all say they wear a mask in public all or most of the time, including 96 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 66 percent of Republicans. “I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears,” Trump said

Even Steve Bannon's Breitbart News struggled to find something positive about the Wallace interview.  Dan Gainor, Media Research Center exec VP: "Intimidation campaigns directed at Republicans via “cancel culture” prevent many supporters of Trump from sharing their political views with pollsters. “We’re the era now, where if you even have a Trump bumper sticker on your car, not only can your car get vandalized, but someone can photograph you, go and complain to your business, and you can lose your job,” Gainor stated. “People aren’t idiots. People realize that if they go public [with their politics], they could have their lives destroyed."

Today Trump launches Plan D - a return to the Daily Virus Briefings ... he just can't help himself.  

posted 07.21.20

America Under Siege By Trump Storm Troopers -
Impeach Him NOW

Peaceful Protesters Shot And Kidnapped By Unmarked Federal Troops ... (yes, it's illegal)

Peaceful protesters in Portland are under attack by Federal troops who supposedly were in the state at President Trump's direction, to secure and protect Federal property.  Supposedly.  What Federal property?  Statues.  The President is pissed-off that protesters in other cities and states have tried to do what politicians should have done 50-years ago or more: removed monuments to traitors, racists, and Confederate traitors of the United States of America.

This tyrant, Trump, has proven to be totally corrupt and totally incompetent in leading this nation needs to be removed from office - Senate Republicans need to do right now ... what they failed to do earlier this year: impeach the President and his Attorney General William Barr and remove them from office before they destroy this once grand country.  Congress needs to convene and begin the process, again, impeaching those who are intentionally abusing citizens rights. 

Not familiar with this news item?  Homeland Security has sent armed Federal troops to Portland, OR and last weekend, they engaged with protestors that had NOTHING to do with Federal property.  A peaceful protestor was shot in the head by the Federal troops with a "rubber bullet" - breaking bones in his face, requiring multiple surgeries last weekend.  (The incident was captured on video shown by Brian Williams of MSNBC, linked below. 

You need to read the articles linked and then turn on your freaking television and watch some real news (not Fox).  Google the topic if you question the validity of my news summary or if you're skeptical of the sources linked below.  Be warned, and be prepared ... if you have half a brain you are about to be as outraged as I am right now ... you may want to have a barf-bag handy because this is just sickening what Donald J. Trump and his Republicans sycophants are doing.  These Federal troops oughta' leave the state as their Governor has asked - and if they don't they should be arrested.

posted in protest of our government's illegal actions 07.18.20

Point By Point Summary Of Trump's July 14th Rose Garden Campaign Speech

Mike's Fact-Checking Analysis Of Trump's Rambling Address To America

Text of President Trump's "speech" comes directly from the WhiteHouse.gov website ... these are HIS words - or words written for him - in the left-hand column below.  Comments in the right column were organized by Mike 2020. 

Typically U.S. Presidents have declined to indulge in overt campaign rhetoric or mud-slinging at rivals from the White House or during official business trips.  That is, until Donald Trump slithered into the White House and proceeded to break all the rules, blowing away official protocol and norms.

It's just one more reason why he needs to be removed from office, and why Republicans must share the blame for allowing it to happen.

Donald Trump's actual campaign speech (from the Rose Garden?) Mike's fact-checking & commentary
Mike's decided this article shall reside as an "archive" because of the length of the presidents remarks. Link ---> http://www.michaeldawson.com/archive-071420-trump-rose-garden.htm
posted 07.16.20  

Trump Press Sec't Who Promises To Never Lie ... Just Lied

Former Never-Trumper & Fox Personality Kayleigh McEnany Distributed "Opposition Research" On Dr. Fauci

Yep, it's never a dull day in the WH when these lying creeps address the public with their straight faces and proceed to lie ... even though Trump's 4th press secretary Kayleigh McEnany vowed in May she'd be different from her predecessors, and never lie. 

“I will never lie to you. You have my word on that,” McEnany said with a straight face ... a pledge captured on video, and repeated broken since then.  Case in point: this weekend WH staff prepared a bit of "opposition research" highlighting all of the statements made by Dr. Fauci that some are calling "lies" including Peter Navarro, Trump's director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy who appeared on Fox News' Bartiromo Futures Sunday Wing-Nut Republican Gab-Fest, and then doubled down with an editorial opinion piece he wrote for USA Today.

Apparently your thin-skinned president Trump does not like seeing Dr. Fauci, his popular & long-serving infectious disease expert, commanding approval ratings 3-times higher than his own ... so Trump began to attack the good doctor last week.  The opposition-research, included a sketchy list of things Fauci has said which have not exactly turned out to be true ... but in fairness, Fauci usually stated that much about the virus was not known at the time - and said so.  Forget the fact that it was the President who claimed the virus would just go away soon, or would disappear when the weather got warmer, and he urged researchers to determine if swallowing bleach might not kill the virus. ‘Trump was right,’” the president, referring to himself in the third person.

But on Monday McEnany was asked why the WH distributed the "op/research" on Dr. Fauci, the press sec't, who happens to also be a lawyer, said the sheet was not an attack on the good doctor, but rather a direct response to a question posed by the Washington Post.  Forget the fact that such follow-up material is rarely copied and shared with the entire press-pool.  The truth is, the WH began taking A LOT of heat from GOP Congressmen and other advisors for the unnecessary aggressiveness ... gradually it became clear to Trump's staff that this was yet another self-inflicted wound ... and needed to be handled better.  Gee ... ya think?  Whada' bunch of amateurs.

posted 07.15.20  (Hope you got your tax returns completed and processed - today is the revised deadline.)

Attacking Dr. Fauci Backfires On White House, Trump & Fox News

Voters Turn On Trump For Ignoring Science &  Lacking National Plan(s) 

The President has gotten hundreds of conservative judges named to Federal courts, and yes he did cram through tax cuts for the rich without any bipartisan support.  He's also set out to erase all-things-Obama thru a series of Executive Orders (which can be just as easily erased in January 2021).   Other than that ... name something positive that he's accomplished.  You're stuck aren't you?  Border Wall?  Trump lies about that regularly ... at last count, only 3 new miles of construction on border wall that did not already exist.  [Read more - facts, not spin]   

Meanwhile, the virus continues to set records for new daily cases ... hospitals in many former Red States (TX, AZ, GA, FL, OK, MS, AL) have exceeded capacity causing Sarah Palin's "death panels" to be implemented.  Just how else do you expect our medical professionals to determine who gets treatment vs. who's left to die?  Hospitals are forced use triage, a rationing process for the distribution of limited equipment, ICU beds, and medical staff: doctors, nurses. Some sick patients will not be admitted to hospitals - instead, left to die at home or in the back of an ambulance. 

And this is the backdrop for Trump trying to discredit the nation's top infectious disease expert, directing his staff in the WH to prepare an "opposition research" document listing the good doctor's "mistakes".  Pathetic political crap that voters must pay attention to if we're going to save this country.  The WH staff would have been better off spending the weekend researching the 54 times Trump himself has been wrong in his remarks about the coronavirus.  [link to source info]

More examples:
Mortality rate according to Trump:  "we have the lowest mortality, or just about the lowest mortality in the world."

facts:  false.
The US has the ninth WORST rate according to Johns Hopkins (behind only San Marino, Belgium, UK, Andorra, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and France). US death count per capita: 41.45 deaths per 100K pop. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Testing - Trump: we test more than anybody by far; when you test you create cases.

facts:  again, not true - the US rate of growth of new cases far exceeds the increase in testing, especially considering the delay in getting test results can be 5-10 days, making contact tracing impossible.

The fact that Trump's inaccurate statements has been pointed out repeatedly for weeks can only support that he's lying....and not simply misinformed, or unaware of the truth. It's been pointed out to him on a regular basis, but he keeps repeating these "known inaccurate statements".

Pandemic response overall - Trump says: "we're doing a great job."

facts: maybe doing a great job, Sir, at spreading disinformation - lies, falsehoods. But the country has no national testing strategy, no national contract tracing program, no plan for isolation of infected Americans who have no safe place to shelter (and not infect more family members).

Read more, and share with your Trump-supporters: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/14/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

posted in anger 07.14.20

Radical Right-Wing Extremists Getting Desperate As Trump Sinks In Polls

Finally, the GOP is worrying about Trump-effect on "down-ballot" races

Polls showing Joe Biden leading Trump by double digits has caused a cascade of "fake news" to be piled upon the general public as conservatives scramble to minimize the damage inflicted by their MAGA president.  There's a spike in "op/ed" style articles such as the USA Today minority view: "How President Donald Trump can get his campaign — and America — back on track" [link] ... and worrisome analysis: "'Republicans are really fed up': GOP increasingly splits with Trump as his polls drag" [link].  As I mentioned last week, nothing will arrest my fear of a Trump 2nd term ... I will be a basket-case until the Nov. 3rd election results are confirmed.

The media and the internet are filled with inaccurate statements.  Virtually all major broadcast networks allow Trump & his surrogates to repeat false statements, like "the Mueller Report was a hoax" and even worse: "the Mueller Report exonerated Trump" - it didn't

So keep reading the news, folks ... but be mindful most all news & information sources, especially those on-line, have an agenda.  Like silly, time-wasting photo features like the "Women Of The 70’s Amazing Careers" ... loaded with nonsense designed to erode voters confidence in the news, the media, and the internet.  (No, actress Jaclyn Smith of Charlie's Angels fame is not 'almost 90' ... she was born in 1945 ... she's 74-yrs old and happily lives in Houston, TX.)

posted 07.13.20

Mueller: Stone Is A Convicted Felon ... He Lied, Repeatedly

Trump's Commutation Spares Pal From Prison

In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post Robert S. Mueller III, former special counsel for the Justice Department, says:

"The work of the special counsel’s office — its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions — should speak for itself. But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.

"... Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.."

"...A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress."

Stone had indicated to veteran journalist Howard Fineman that he had the goods on Trump & that would have blown his defense but did not want to be a dirty-rat and tattle on the president.  Fineman posted on Twitter: “He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him.  It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”

How can Trump's declining base continue supporting this evil man who seems hell-bent on destroying this country?  Fortunately, the president's commutation does not affect state courts ... and hopefully there are additional charges that can still be filed.   How will the MAGA crowd explain to their grandchildren that they contributed to these evil, un-American acts?

update 07.13.20: "New York (state) should prosecute Roger Stone" reports CNN.

Tulsa Health Official Says Trump Rally Contributed to Surge in Virus

16 days after Trump's MAGA rally in Tulsa ... and we're seeing another spike

Time magazine reported yesterday: "Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa that drew thousands of people in late June, along with large protests that accompanied it, “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said."

Tulsa County reported 261 new cases Monday & 206 on Tuesday. “In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots,” Dart said.

If any of these people, or the folks they infect, happen to die ... can we charge Trump with manslaughter?  Negligent homicide?  Knowing this, how about the Donald's upcoming appearance in New Hampshire, the "live free or die" state?

While posting this I've been listening to Asleep At The Wheel the Western Swing musical group playing their rendition of "Tulsa Straight Ahead."

There's a detour sign on the road that winds
Out on the broad highway
But the place for me is the sign I see
T U L S A straight ahead ...

posted with pride Friday 07.10.20
updated 07.11.20 - NH event canceled - official disinformation rationale: "weather" ... actual reason: Trump operatives could not fill the rally hanger - limited interest even among conservatives - fear of exposing one another - even Republican Gov. Chris Sununu planned to greet the President but skip the event. Trump staff didn't want a repeat of Tulsa debacle where less than half of arena was "filled".  

breaking news headlines ... stuff you'll have to read for yourself ... like this NPR report:

Trump's Fortune Could Be In Jeopardy With Supreme Court Decision

the Donald lost another case brought before the court he 'packed' [link]

posted  07.10.20    [sidebar: "Is it just me or does Trump’s neck look like ..."]

Why Biden's 12-Point Lead Over Trump Worries America (& Mike)

History justifies the need for Americans to worry, fret, & work non-stop for the next 120 days to GET OUT THE VOTE!

This morning's USA Today had a cover story: "Dems Still Haunted By '16 Loss.".   Uh, yea!  And with good reason.  Hillary won the popular vote by over three million votes ... but Trump pulled enough votes in 3 key swings states (like Michigan where he won by 10,000 votes, and PA, & WI) to win the electoral college.  It's the 2nd time the past 5 elections that the will-of-the-people would be ignored, and serves as my personal justification to eliminate the electoral college system. 

It just makes no sense today though I realize the GOP will never agree because they are the party in decline - they need to restrict the vote thru assorted acts of voter suppression in order to have a chance.   Just look at what they accomplished through the Supreme Court last week: another 5-4 conservative decision that allows the red-state of Alabama to not expand mail-in voting during the pandemic.  Kentucky normally has some 3,700 polling stations in a major primary election - this year: 200.  Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas & Arizona had similar declines in the voting places.  Reduced locations, reduced options for mail-voting, purged voter registration lists, and the ever popular technique: voter ID ... a tired argument, but it builds this belief among some radical right-wing extremists that there is a ton of voter fraud to worry about.  Fact is, that's false ... but its nearly impossible to have a discussion with a wing-nut when facts are involved ... they'd prefer to make up their own or just listen to Donald Trump's hunches.

The fact that Joe Biden leads Trump by as many as 12 points in some polls is not terribly reassuring to me.  Voting experts call it a landslide - personally, I just hate the thought that half of America thinks this guy is acceptable ... he's not!  I just can not figure out why Biden's lead isn't 40-pts.  Barely 32% of Americans say Trump's doing a good job.  I would assume the balance of Americans will support Biden, but that's not assured.  There is the "crazy factor" where countless voters just opt to sit on their hands & not even bother to vote.  "Why bother wasting time to stay informed; my vote won't make a difference; besides, I hate politics," they say.  It's that sentiment that contributed to Clinton's 2016 defeat; had as many voters turned-out in 2016 in Detroit as those who voted in 2008 when Barack Obama was leading the ticket, we would have never experienced the chaos and division that America has seen the past three years.  One city - Detroit - and their apathy allowed the state to go red and usher the Donald into the White House.

So until November 3rd I know I'll be a basket-case, and I suspect millions of Americans will too, which is why we can not let up - we must get the early vote in where its allowed by law ... we must keep encouraging people to make sure their registration to vote has not been tampered with, and encourage people to avoid 3rd party candidates.  Another vote for Jill Stein or Ralph Nader and we'll see a 2nd Trump term, and the end of America as we know it.

posted 07.06.20

Here's a headline that caught my attention (seems like a reasonable assumption to me) ...

Trump Believes That He Is Losing Because He Hasn’t Been Racist Enough

New York  Intelligencer  Magazine

Link - posted 07.07.20

Welcome to the Coronavirus Class War

Those who have suffered the least financial harm are the most supportive of reopening businesses.
An essay in the Atlantic magazine prompted thoughts: "why are we not together in this fight?"

Being the history buff that I am I enjoyed several shows on TV over the 4th of July weekend and was struck by the sense of national patriotism that's largely blanketed the country in times of crisis: be it wars or a response to being attacked, we'd come together.  Heck, following 9|11 George W. Bush's popularity doubled.  In past battles we'd come to the aid of our allies, we'd not leave a soldier behind.  "Over there, over there ... Send the word, send the word over there ... That the Yanks are coming ... And we won't come back 'til it's over, Over there!"  (George M. Cohan's rally cry for Americans heading off to save Europe in WW1, 1917).

So how is it that we've failed so terribly in our fight against this virus?  And why is it that it's become a political dog-fight, at least you feel that way after listening to Trump speeches, and or Fox News?  To hear these guys tell the story: Republicans are the good guys, eager to stomp out "hot spots" as they "reopen the country" and keep the economy rolling. They just never get around to explaining how these "embers" get stomped out, and by whom? 

Meanwhile, those evil mask-wearing Marxist, Commie, Socialist Liberal Democrats are portrayed as simply making a big deal out of the virus just to make the Donald look bad and thereby lose the re-election to 4-more-years of this insanity that the GOP thinks they deserve.  Mask wearing, recommended by the CDC, is avoided by the Trump base ... social distancing is ignored and folks flock to the beaches & parks so they can enjoy their annual 4th holiday picnics. 

My sub-headline above mentions an article in the Atlantic.  It's a worthy read.  Staff writer David Graham says:

"The coronavirus has created the same gulf between imagination and reality. It’s no accident that the iconic images of anti-lockdown protests feature not a beat-up old Accord or Taurus, but a gleaming, late-model Dodge truck. Putting that together with the polling, what emerges is a picture of a revolt against social-distancing guidelines that is mostly composed of wealthier Republicans who have been less directly affected by the economic fallout of the closures. Trump has described Americans who are ready to go back to work as “warriors.” If so, the war they’re fighting seems not to be against the virus, but against the working class."

The Atlantic link to read the full article: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/class-war-over-social-distancing/611731/
The Atlantic article - text only: http://www.michaeldawson.com/051520-atlantic-graham-class-war-over-social-distancing.txt

posted 07.06.20

Trump Putting More American Lives At Risk

He could give Mt. Rushmore commemorative quarters if he wants to celebrate our heritage

The US Mint cranked out a millions & millions of America The Beautiful® Quarters, and get this: they are still just 25˘.  The Mount Rushmore commemorative coin was released in 2013.  There really was no need for the President to travel to S. Dakota; he could have just stayed home and handed out these beautiful keepsake coins in Lafayette Square and saved the nation over $1.8 million.  The added benefit to staying home?  How 'bout not risking the health of Americans at another selfish campaign rally at the iconic national park.   Oh, wait, those coins were issued during the Obama administration ... scratch that thought.

Speaking of big money, the former Fox News celebrity legal scholar famous for her impersonations of a street walker (or, lady-of-the-night, if you prefer) Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son who traveled to South Dakota is now the 3rd person closely associated with the administration to be tested positive for COVOVID-19.  Yikes.  Still got that mask handy, Mr. President?

Someone might say: "Whoa that pony, Mr. Big Shot Bean Counter ... what blue sky did you pluck that figure from?" Good question, Grasshopper ... round trip it's 3,260 miles from Washington DC to Mt. Rushmore.  According to Factba.se tracking of the official WH calendar the President & First Lady's entourage left DC @ 4:45 pm Friday returning  in the wee hours Saturday at 4:25 am ... a long day of campaigning: 11-hours, 40 min. @ an estimated $2,614/minute (*) ... or about $1,829,800.  Huh?  Yeah it sounds like a bunch of dough, but when you consider everything involved, the Donald probably would say its a big, beautiful bargain.  In addition to cases of MAGA hats, there are also a lot of cars, and trucks.  The typical motorcade requires 40-50 cars to reach airports at both ends of the trip so some have to be flown to the destination site by one of those beefy C5 Galaxy Cargo Planes that's also packed with helicopters.  Then we add staff, multiple security details, 2-pints of blood matching the president's blood type.  It takes up to 5 helicopters just to get to Andrews AFB, and Air Force One doesn't fly solo; there's at least one other 747 plane to serve as a "back-up" and/or diversion defense.  *travel cost fun facts compiled by WendoverProductions & shared on YouTube ... watch & learn.

Besides all the folks attending his rally in SD mentioned above that he put at risk, he's also endangered American lives thru his failed leadership of the pandemic - no country on Earth has anywhere near the deaths we've experienced in the US.  Need a refresher course on other Trumps actions that cost lives?  I posted an article below in March with a similar headline "Trump Supporters Put Lives At Risk - Over & Over".  You may wanna' read it.

It has been reported that the Russians were paying rebel fighter a bounty to kill US soldiers earlier this year, effectively placing a target on their backs.  The Donald initially said he wasn't briefed, then switched his excuse to "the acts couldn't be verified" to "some intelligence officers claim it never happened".  Perhaps he meant the intelligence officer at Fox News?  Tell us the name or department of this officer, Mr. President.  He has a habit of these non-specific references: "Leading Generals tell me..." or, "...a lot of people tell me" followed by a series of non sequiturs, and other head-scratching statements.  He's so full of it, it's disgusting.

Whether the Donald was or wasn't "briefed" by intelligence officers ... the item was in his Presidential Daily Briefing (PBD) February 27.  Likely, the man who avoids such details, preferring to govern by his hunches and the seat of his pants, influenced by the last guy to have his ear, never read the most important report presented to the President and his closest advisors, daily.  Regardless, he's aware of the matter now ... so what's he doing about it?  Nothing - he's calling it another "hoax".  Sorry Donald, the facts are against you on this one, too.  It's been reported that analysts have tracked and confirmed payments by the Russian intelligence agency to factions of the Taliban. 

So how can we deal with this guy?  He must know when prosecutors tried to put gangster Al Capone away for good they had to charge him with tax evasion ... not murder or racketeering.  Sometimes you just have to take whatever guilty sentence we can get that can't be appealed to end this disastrous stretch of ruination and carnage brought to the world by the Republican Party and that basket of Deplorable Wing-Nut Voters. Perhaps the day after President Joe Biden is sworn-in we can begin prosecution of Trump so that he'll never be out of custody - ever again.

As I'm writing this I'm listening to some of my favorite patriotic-like tunes to celebrate the 4th of July: Mitch Miller's Orchestra playing an invigorating rendition of the March From The River Kwai.  Earlier: Democracy by Judy Collins, Graham Nash's military madness, Crosby Stills Nash Ohio, Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan and others ... just to get me into he mood.  Might be good if you did the same while reading more about this disgraceful man.

Happy Birthday, America!   07.04.20

We Can Do This If We Employ National Health Policies

(like we used to in the good old days)

The Trump administration wants to simply "will it away" and we have plenty of mindless citizens who either don't care, don't give it a thought, or doubt that the virus is not really a big deal.  Several of my former co-workers have expressed thoughts like "cloth masks, the ones being made out of t-shirts, hankies, fabrics, do nothing."    Um, actually that's terribly false - other commercially manufactured masks may be more effective, but given the shortages of PPE people will do what they can - and yes, homemade masks can and does reduce the spread of the disease. [source]

Maybe they agree with the Donald when he says: "it's a hoax ... an effort by the "fake news" to discredit his presidency.  No Mr. Trump, you're doing that nicely all on your own.  America is No. 1 for all the wrong reasons when it comes to managing this pandemic - even though his predecessors had multiple action plans for just this sort of catastrophe.  Last evening Rachel Maddow interviewed Dr. Howard Koh one of the persons who was trying to help us prepare a federal response for the Obama administration during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.  Dr. Koh makes a compelling case given the surge in outbreaks (new cases now exceed 50,000 cases daily) that what America needs is a national mask policy as other countries have done who successfully mitigated the spread and transmission of the virus.

Length of the video clip is 7:49 ... on YouTube.


Why Republicans Made It Political To Wear A Mask (and why its just so wrong)

Why is wearing a mask or protective facial covering suddenly a political football?  Because Republicans have come to realize that all down-ballot elections including the fate of the Senate is based on their ability to demonize Democrats & Independents as evil, law-breakers who favor anarchy, looting, civil unrest and the destruction of our heritage (tearing down Confederate statues).  Republicans (and Trump) want to pretend that Coronavirus is fading and it's the "fake news media" and Democrats who continue to make the virus an issue.  Forget the fact that this past week America has experienced more new cases of the virus than any week so far in this pandemic ... hundreds of times more cases per capita than any other country on the planet. 

Donald Trump refuses to wear a mask - as previously reported he's been seen wearing a mask in public only once.  As a result, few people in the West Wing wear masks - one exception, according to Politico is "Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, has sometimes worn a mask. Maybe he knows something: his wife is a former CDC microbiologist."  The opinion page of this morning's USA Today includes a piece "Not wearing masks is suicidal - Hong Kong proves they prevent virus spread" written by Scott Harris, an American reporter now working from Hong Kong.  The Washington Post reports that increasingly even some Republicans are pushing back against Trump's position that mask-wearing is a sign of weakness or political correctness.  Some 58% of Republican voters wear masks most of the time when they're away from home, compared to 89% of Democrats.

I've worn masks for years ... had one on yesterday while mowing the lawn due to the pollen and dust.  Wear 'em too when woodworking to minimize the amount of dust I inhale.  When visiting Florida the 1st time in my life, as pictured above right, my parents made sure to cover their fair-skinned, blue-eyed boy.  But many of my relatives refuse to wear 'em - insisting the masks do nothing to keep them safe from the virus ... some incorrectly reference current OSHA and CDC recommendations, others claim masks are an infringement on their civil liberties ... though they can't specify any details of what they call their "Constitutional Rights!"  It's a sign of the times and illustrative of this political divide that seems to work its way into all aspects of life.  In the same issue of USA Today another article addressed mail-in voting plans for our upcoming general election ... and we have the same sort of manufactured nonsense with voting this year thanks to Trump's Scare Tactics claiming potential fraud (even though he regularly uses absentee ballots).  Republicans fear losing badly this fall, and want to blame it on everything but their own crazy notions and shameful rhetoric.   Fox News host Laura Ingraham illustrates the wing-nut posture as she makes-up an objection to voting by mail: “social control over large populations is achieved through fear and intimidation and suppression of free thought” and “conditioning the public through propaganda is also key, new dogmas replace good old common sense.”  I'm just glad that the number of Republicans in America is dwindling fast ... and voters can help expedite the process by voting 'em out of office up & down the ballot.

[Note: I wrote about this on 06.29.20 and posted it on my generic "index" page ... which is a minor mistake that I have no problem admitting and correcting unlike Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's disgusting Press Sec't].  I had thought the retro vintage mask photo from my youth may give this topic some cross-over appeal.  Wrong.  It is overtly political and also just common sense ... so I moved it here with other political observations.)


Memo to Washington DC: We Need Leadership To Guide A National Plan

And we need it now.  The lunatic in the White House thinks the pandemic is bad for his re-election chances so rather than guiding his administration to lead, they've opted to obstruct and pretend it's going away.  NEWSFLASH: it's not going away - yesterday we set another new record for daily new infections.  The $600/week stimulus program is slated to end next month, as is FHFA's Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium.  Meanwhile your taxpayer dollars paid for the Donald to appear with Sean Hannity at a Fox News Town Hall-style campaign gathering in another battleground state: Wisconsin ... not wearing a mask even though the audience was required to wear essential protective covering as several members of Trump's Secret Service detail are quarantined because they were exposed to the virus during Trump's recent campaign appearances in another battleground state: Arizona.  About the only good news about those trips is the latest polling that shows Trump is losing badly in both of those states as well as PA, FL, and MI ... all states where Trump barely won in 2016.

What the nation really needs is leadership.  Trump's administration has put the people who know how to manage this pandemic on the back shelf, insisting the he alone knew how to fix it.  Think back to his disastrous daily mini-campaign rallies disguised as "press briefings" when the president claimed there were only a handful of cases and we'd be down to zero in a matter of days.  Then flash-forward to today's total body count ... more than 124,416 Americans have died from the virus since March 1st.

We really do know a great deal about how to minimize the affects of this virus and how to keep people safe and eventually how to keep our economy rolling again.  The trajectory we're currently on is not sustainable.  The virus in states to the South & Western USA that are currently raging & spreading like crazy are jeopardizing citizens states that are currently managing the spread nicely (like NY, NJ, MA, CT, RI, VT, NH, ND, RI, DC, PA, MI, IN, IL, ND, SD, ME, & VA where the rate of new infections are flat of declining - see article below).

What virtually all the experts advocate is a coordinated national plan, including funding & direction, that includes more testing (not less, Donald), contract tracing to identify outbreaks and specific people who may have become infected, and plans for isolation & quarantine those who can not safely shelter in their homes.  That's what other countries have done throughout Europe and elsewhere that have succeeded in "flattening the curve".  American's need to insist that the CDC be allowed to do their job as they used to without Trumpian interference.

posted 06.26.20

America Didn’t Give Up on Covid-19 ... Republicans Did

Partisanship has crippled our response

by Paul Krugman
"Earlier this year much of America went through hell as the nation struggled to deal with Covid-19.  More than 120,000 Americans have now died; more than 20 million have lost their jobs. But it’s looking as if all those sacrifices were in vain. We never really got the coronavirus under control, and now infections, while they have fallen to a quite low level in the New York area, the pandemic’s original epicenter, are surging in much of the rest of the country."

"And the bad news isn’t just a result of more testing. In new hot spots like Arizona — where testing capacity is being overwhelmed — and Houston the fraction of tests coming up positive is soaring, which shows that the disease is spreading rapidly. It didn’t have to be this way. The European Union, a hugely diverse area with a larger population than the U.S., has been far more successful at limiting the spread of Covid-19 than we have. What went wrong? ... "

" ... Americans didn’t fail the Covid-19 test; Republicans did. After all, the Northeast, with its largely Democratic governors, has been appropriately cautious about reopening, and its numbers look like Europe’s. California and Washington are blue states that are seeing a rise in cases, but it’s from a relatively low base, and their Democratic governors are taking actions like requiring the use of face masks and seem ready to reverse their reopening. So the really bad news is coming from Republican-controlled states, especially Arizona, Florida and Texas, which rushed to reopen and, while some are now pausing, haven’t reversed course. If the Northeast looks like Europe, the South is starting to look like Brazil..."

Yes there is more!  And you too can read the rest of this NY Times opinion article:  text version (ad-free)
or online @ NY Times website: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/opinion/coronavirus-republicans.html

29 States Where Virus Spread Is Increasing ... Not Surprising

California is the exception, the outlier.  After initially embracing mitigation efforts when the Coronavirus first began raging, the West Coast shifted & embraced "reopening" and returned to living dangerously.  Like most of my relatives, they avoid wearing masks, they ignore "stay at home" recommendations, and behave as if they can simply "will this away" and engage in variations of mindless Trump Happy Talk.  Sorry to say you can not just will it away; it doesn't work that way.  New cases of the virus immediately began to spike in states like:  Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, both Carolinas ... okay, it's easier to simply say: deep South & Western states who largely ignored mitigation efforts previously, are now overwhelmed with new infections.  I don't feel sorry for them but I am pissed because their carelessness is jeopardizing the health of the entire nation.  Especially when you add the fact that leadership from our national government is virtually non-existent.

If your brain processes this sort of information better when graphics & charts are displayed along side the numbers, there is a great info source you should consider bookmarking (and checking daily).  I've mentioned the source previously where you'll find these graphs & data for each county of each state as shown below at the following website: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html  
Perhaps you can share it with your friends and relatives who continue to deny the severity of this crisis.  BTW: unlike financial reports and that snapshot of your 401K plan you have framed in your den ... where "up" is good, down is "bad" these illustrations are just the reverse "upward" trends signify a rise or increase in the virus spread ... which means an increase in sick people.

posted with pride 06.25.20

Trump Continues To Baamboozle His Base ... Slowly They're Bolting

LA TIMES: "Trump campaigns on border wall progress. There’s not much of it"
Washington Post:  "People are sawing through and climbing over Trump’s border wall"

Likely every evening news program in America included images of President Trump at his famed border wall Tuesday when he took his campaign back on-the-road-again ... spending tax-payer dollars to promote is 2016 campaign pledge to build a wall (and make Mexico pay for it).   Yep, the Arizona trip and cost of transporting his staff and Secret Service detail is being covered by your tax dollars and mine ... and sadly very few members of the "fake news media" bothered to cover the real story ... which is: to-date just 3 miles of new border wall has been constructed during the Donald's reign of terror, which is one mile more since I last wrote about the  Donald's Shell Game  2-months ago.  And get this: even though Trump has spent $15 billion on the project so far ... migrants are cutting holes in the wall to sneak into the USA!  I was glad to find 2 stories that confirmed these facts, and both articles were published in two of the country's finest newspapers:

Los Angles Times reporter Eli Stokols writes: "President Trump, whose plans to campaign on a booming economy were ruined by the coronavirus, traveled Tuesday to the southern edge of Arizona to highlight completion of “more than 200 miles of powerful border wall” with Mexico. He didn’t mention the fine print. Nearly all 216 miles built since Trump took office replaced outdated or dilapidated fencing. Only about “three miles of new border wall system [have been] constructed in locations where no barriers previously existed,” according to Homeland Security’s June 19 status report on the wall. Trump repeatedly pledged during and after his 2016 campaign that he’d make Mexico pay for “a big beautiful wall” on the entire 1,954-mile border. So far, the Trump administration has spent $15 billion on the project. Mexico has not contributed anything."  [link to Eli Stokols complete report]

Washington Post - June 4, 2020: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection has asked contractors for help making President Trump’s border wall more difficult to climb over and cut through, an acknowledgment that the design currently being installed along hundreds of miles of the U.S.-Mexico boundary remains vulnerable."  [link to WAPO article]

In a perfect world the facts (3 freaking miles of border wall at a cost of $15 billion US taxpayer dollars) would have been the lead story about the trip - instead, the media wanted to dwell only on the dinky crowd who largely opted to not wear masks.  So it bears repeating, particularly for those voters who are beginning to doubt President Trump's leadership ... to date only 3 miles of new border wall has been constructed ... and criminals have found ways to get around it.

posted in disgust 06.24.20

A Public Trump Campaign Rally During Pandemic: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

NY Times - Annie Karni & Maggie Haberman report: "President Trump and several staff members stood backstage and gazed at the empty Bank of Oklahoma Center in horror ... The president, who had been warned aboard Air Force One that the crowds at the arena were smaller than expected, was stunned, and he yelled at aides backstage while looking at the endless rows of empty blue seats in the upper bowl of the stadium, according to four people familiar with what took place. Brad Parscale, the campaign manager who had put the event together, was not present."  Just love that voters are increasingly being shown how unstable this self-proclaimed genius really is.  Unstable, unqualified.

CNBC reports: "they did have empty seats. Approximately 13,000 of them, according to the Tulsa Fire Marshal, who counted slightly less than 6,200 attendees at the 19,000-seat Bank of Oklahoma Arena on Saturday night.  Shortly before Trump took the stage, construction crews dismantled the outdoor “overflow” space near the arena, after it was clear there wouldn’t be enough people to fill it. Trump and his campaign were quick to blame protesters outside the arena for scaring away prospective rally goers. They also blamed the media for reporting extensively on the risks associated with attending a massive indoor gathering during the coronavirus pandemic, especially one where neither masks nor social distancing are required. Early Sunday morning, it was still unclear precisely what had accounted for the massive discrepancy between the number of ticket requests the Trump campaign said it received, and the number of people who showed up in Tulsa."

Associated Press: "huge swaths of empty seats remained in the downtown arena before Trump was to take the stage. And that came on the heels of the campaign revealing that six staff members who were helping set up for the event had tested positive for the virus."

Forbes: "The rally has been marred by controversy since it was first announced, both for the fact that it was originally planned on Juneteenth, a holiday of great significance to African Americans, and due to the dire public health implications of a large indoor rally during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Public health experts, including some from the Trump administration, had warned against the rally."

Laughable:  hoodwinked, shrinking base of Republicans blame others for their own failures. 
posted 06.21.20 updated 06.22.20

Another Bad Day ... Bad Week For Your Incompetent, Failing President

1. Photo Op at West Point Graduation Didn't Go Well ... 2. National Polling Shows Trump Support Tanking ...
3. Defense Sec't & Joint Chiefs Chairman Express Regret About Trump's Other Photo Op ...
4. Judge rules: 'Gross abuse' of power in Flynn case

Perhaps the strain is beginning to affect Donald Trump.  The New York Daily News was one of the first national news sources to report it:  "He’s trembling again. President Trump struggled to lift a glass of water Saturday during his speech to U.S. Military Academy graduates at West Point."

After all, his polling numbers have tanked as voters question the lack of a national, coordinated response to the pandemic.  No national plan on testing, no contact-tracing guidance to states, no orchestrated approach to secure PPE (personal protective equipment).  The administration's CORONA-Virus Task Force has stopped it's daily or even weekly meetings; no regular updates from the CDC ... Trump just wants to put on a happy face, and engage in happy talk at events where he refuses to display any sense of leadership by wearing a mask or respecting social distancing. "Not a good look," he says.  Meanwhile, with his wind-swept comb-over this sweaty, obese figure addresses the solemn audience in New York where he struggles, Marco Rubio style, to gulp a bit of water.  The smattering of applause from his staff belies the indifference displayed by the graduating audience.   Embarrassing.  

Nineteen straight days of protests from coast-to-coast has over-shadowed the administration's efforts to change the narrative.  As badly as Trump wants to run away from the pandemic, and who can blame him  after his disastrous daily briefings backfired on him (Trump asks about injecting patients with disinfectant' and UV light to treat coronavirus ... doubt me? Watch the freaking video.)

The 4th example of the Donald's bad week on Pennsylvania Avenue involves one of his first official acts, barely a month into the job, when he fired his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying.  Trump convinced Attorney General Billy Barr to drop prosecution of the case even though Flynn admitted multiple times that he was guilty.  The trouble with Barr's interference was not appreciated by the U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, the judge in Flynn's case, who sought out the opinion from retired Federal Judge John Gleeson.  Gleeson's scathing 82-pg opinion says in part that Bill Barr's argument is  “preposterous” and a "gross abuse of power".   [news source

Overall, another bad week for our one-term President.

posted 06.14.20

Time For Republicans To Grow A Spine & Neutralize This Incompetent President

Let Him Complete His Term ... But Temporarily Remove 100% Of Trump's Ability To Destroy Our Nation

I've had this thought for months but have stifled the temptation to post it here on my web-page.  I figured:  WTF, our election is just 142 days away (14 hours, 26 minutes, 43 seconds).  But after the latest disgraceful act of total incompetence, Trump has proven that he's too dangerous, too flawed, to spend another week in office.

He needs to be impeached and removed from officeNow.  The final straw, for me, was Trump's order to deploy the US Military against Americans engaged in a legal protest in Lafayette Park across from the White House.  The related charges against President Trump are well documented below. 

In his 3-yrs in office Trump has "accomplished" just 2 things: he's gotten a slew of judges approved to lifetime appointments to assorted federal courts and, his tax cuts for the wealthy ... everything else that has happened is either a negative development (like providing zero leadership helping the world deal with the pandemic) and/or some bizarre stance or position on matters that virtually no one else on the planet advocated such as withdrawing from the Iran Nuke Deal, or pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, or defunding NATO and the WHO, or building a border wall that supposedly Mexico would pay for, etc., etc.  Some whack-a-doodle Republicans may claim today that they support the president but they're a dinky minority and likely those same hypocrites were previously card carrying members of the "never Trump" coalition.  I'm giving a nod to Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, and more. 

And yes, Fox News loves the Donald.  He's good for their ratings.  Consider Trump's unofficial kitchen cabinet advisor, Sean Hannity, who previously advocated multiple harebrained ideas like the "penny tax" (cut one cent from every dollar of federal spending for five years).  Considering that Hannity's prior work experience that qualifies him to guiding the President included stints bartending and working as a construction site grunt (his description, not mine) one has to wonder.  But then again, I have wondered about a great number of things since Hillary Clinton secured roughly 3 million more votes than Trump in November 2016 ... how on Earth did this happen?   Well, that's a topic that's been debated and hashed over for 3+ years including plenty of thoughts below - but the issue at hand today is simple: are we going to do something before it's too late and the nation is embroiled in more fighting, perhaps even attacks from foreign powers who see the weakness Trump has brought?  Are we going to risk deeper Constitutional battles?  Consider this: what do we do when Trump is beaten badly by Joe Biden but refuses to acknowledge the results of the election & refuses to leave?

We can't risk it.  The Donald must be afforded  the option of being removed from office through impeachment, or agreeing to a series of conditions which puts the so-called Gang of Eight (GoE) in-charge until such time as Joe Biden is inaugurated.  The Gang of Eight refers to the Congressional leaders (House & Senate minority & majority leaders) as well as the House & Senate Intelligence committees.  [read more about 'em.]

So Trump can agree to exit now and turn the keys to the WH over to VP Mike Pence.  Or, he can stay essentially as a figure head until Biden wins and moves in ... with the GoE handling all official business normally tackled by the President's administration.  Trump relinquishes the "nuclear football" and all launch codes are revised, and agrees all Twitter messages he wishes to post between now and January 21, 2021 must be approved in advance by the GoE.  Trump can not sign any Executive Orders and the White House staff will report to the GoE, not to Trump.  Naturally Jared & Ivanka are furloughed, as are most other non-essential Trump appointees.  Rather than the President signing any future legislation passed by Congress, the GoE will serve in that capacity.

In the event there is disagreement among the GoE, like a silly 4-4 tie ... Nancy Pelosi will have the authority of make the final decisions.  Why Pelosi?  Well, since the Republicans did not have the courage to confront Trump until now when things have gotten so desperate they've sort of lost the nation's confidence.  In short: they're not worthy.

Foreign governments will be advised: contact the GoE on any serious international matters.  Trump will be permitted to stay in office to finish his term of office, period.  On the day Biden is sworn in, the legal proceedings against Trump can begin.  What legal proceedings, you ask?  Well, there are a laundry list of matters that have piled up these past 3-yrs that can now be adjudicated:  such as the bribes paid to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, income tax evasion prior to 2017 as well as campaign financing violations (like those which sent his former attorney Michael Cohen to prison). 

Trump will also be held to account for violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and other manners in which Trump attempted to enrich himself and his family during his reign of terror.  Trump will also reimburse the federal government for all excessive fees paid to any of his properties (like the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Secret Service details paid for rooms, meals, golf cart rentals, and such). Any class-action lawsuits for violating immigrants rights to due process may proceed as part of Trump's agreement with the GoE whereby the Donald voluntarily waives any rights he may have thought he had for immunity from prosecution. 

Any public appearances or communications with the media (including Fox and One America) must be approved in writing in advance.  No interviews from the White House lawn, no rallies or any travel that requires a Secret Service detail (because the current headcount of Secret Service agents will not be increased, and current staffing now must protect the GoE).  The GoE has the right to replace members of the Trump cabinet including appointing a new Attorney General for the duration of the current term.  The GoE also has the right to release the un-redacted version of the Mueller Report allowing all citizens to see for themselves the evidence that Republicans have spent the past 3-yrs attempting to hide. Trump also loses the ability of issuing pardons and clemency for the remainder of his current term.

[Mike's still pondering this proposal...and welcomes any feedback from thoughtful persons.  The genius of this fundamental, novel solution to America's critical moment in time is breathtaking and yet simple...let's get it done!]

posted 06.13.20 - updated 06.14.20 ... see article above: "Trump has trouble lifting glass of water and walking down stairs at West Point graduation" reports NY Daily News.

It Should Matter To Voters: Early lockdowns could have saved lives

Through all the distractions created by Mr. Trump we can't lose sight of the facts - he is unfit for the office

USA Today reports: " The United States responded later to the pandemic than the rest of the world, implementing lockdown and social distancing restrictions in mid-March. A study from Columbia University published in MedRxiv shows the delayed response may have cost thousands of lives in a matter of weeks. According to the report, if the country had adopted lockdown measures one week earlier, it would have avoided 703,975 confirmed cases and 35,927 deaths as of May 3." 

The President could change his administration's policies and actually demonstrate leadership to mitigate early failures in handling the pandemic, but I doubt seriously that he will because in his dinky brain that would require that he admit he's been wrong.  That's something he has refused to do ever since he was elected.  Instead his day is filled with activities, Tweets & political stunts geared to deflect the focus on his failures and distract the American voters in an effort to hold onto the White House.  That is what makes this the #1 story of the year and will remain at the top of this page until some other development becomes more significant ... like: "Trump Hospitalized With Virus"  or "GOP Senate Tired Of Trump's Failed Leadership & Votes to Re-open Impeachment Trial" something along those lines.

posted 05.28.20  [see original story about the Columbia Univ. study below.]

Trump's Dwindling Base On Wrong Side Of History

Crybaby President sends CNN "cease & desist letter"
when the network reports Trump trailing the former vice president Biden by 14 points, 55%-41% 

CNN's news reports based on SSRS Research polling shows "the President's approval rating at 38% ... roughly on par with approval ratings for one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at this point in their reelection years -- and his disapproval rating at 57%." 

Personally, I am amazed that Trump's polling is that high.  Seriously, I can not understand why any voter would be in support of this buffoon. 

His "law-n-order" pledge last week to clear out legal protestors from Lafayette Park across the street from the White House, using tear-gas, pepper-spray and federal troops has been critiqued by hundreds of retired U.S. Generals and other military experts. 

"Walking like lapdogs behind a five-time draft dodging coward who is more interested in looking like a leader than actually being one," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who lost both legs in combat as a military helicopter pilot in Iraq, said of Esper and Milley, "sends a horrifying message to our troops — including our black and brown troops — that our military's leaders will not protect them from unlawful orders."  But Senator, the Donald wanted a photo-op moment to appease his base.

posted 06.10.20

Trump’s version of the Gettysburg Address

The other night on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon dug up & read the Gettysburg Address as if it were written by Donald Trump.

Video clip (jump to 3:30 mark); Audio only

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers – terrific people,
fantastic fathers – brought forth on this continent a new nation
conceived in liberty – beautiful thing, liberty – and dedicated to
the proposition that all men are created equal, the most equal,
couldn’t be more equal. We are met on a great battlefield – a
great classy field everyone says it’s really classy and we’re
going to dedicate it to those who gave their lives. But, in a
larger sense, we’re going to dedicate it to me. We’ll put up a
sign, a big beautiful sign that says “Lincoln Field” in huge
gold letters, with golf course and a pro club and cabana
bar. Now we are engaged in a great civil war – and it’s very
unfair how I’ve been treated during this war. The newspapers
have not treated Lincoln nicely. They’ve said nasty things.
Very nasty. You don’t see them saying these bad things
about Sleepy General Sherman, or Creepy Custer
Sad! We here highly resolve that this nation, under God
great God by the way – good friend of mine, shall have a new
birth of freedom … especially when it comes to the 2nd
amendment. Everyone has the freedom to fire a rifle, place a
new bullet from a pouch in the barrel, bite off the end of a gun
powder pouch, take out a long stick shove all of that down
into the barrel, and fire again. And if the people want to fire as
many as one bullet every three minutes, no government should
be able to stop them. Not even a Lincoln government. And
that government of Lincoln, by Lincoln, for Lincoln, shall
not perish from the Earth. OK, if you need me, I’ll be in my
bunker. Be best.

posted 06.05.20

Initially DJT's Advisors Were Split: Should He Side With Protestors or Oppose?

President tried a middle-of-the-road strategy for about 1/2 a day & then did a typical Trumpian 180°  flip-flop

It didn't last.  Perhaps Sean Hannity had called POTUS and mapped-out the strategery ... or, maybe it was Steve Bannon who called because about 6-hrs after Trump Tweeted this "80%" message [left] he sighted a story from Breitbart News with a similar rant.  By the evening, after posting this conciliatory sort of Twitter message Saturday, the President pivoted and called the protestors "THUGS" and terrorists.  That really is more like the President the majority of Americans have come to know (53% disapprove of his job performance says Quinnipiac*).

Trouble is, the outside agitator argument appears not to be true.  USA Today studied the info about protestors arrested, and those actively Tweeting during the violent stages of the protest and determined: "Agitators at protests are mostly are homegrown".   Sort of shoots down the popular narrative, doesn't it?   And here I was thinking that the white supremacist instigators had driven north from some Confederate state only to party-down & cause mayhem ... which only proves I can be wrong once in a while, too.  At least I have no problem admitting it ... and the Donald can never admit when he's wrong.  Regardless, I support the peaceful protestors and think the violence and destruction only hurts the chances that anything positive can come from all of this mess.  And with the virus rampant, I can't help but think these communities where protests took place will see a spike in COVID-19 infections over the next 2-weeks ... further impacting minorities and people of color.  

Anyway, USA Today continued: "Experts said the “outside agitator” trope can unite local politicians looking to assign blame without taking a side."  The Donald fell into that camp for a while before flip-flopping and claiming terrorists were on the run.  [Mental Soundtrack: "Band On The Run" by McCartney & Wings.]

"The overwhelming majority of people who posted on social media from the precinct fire and those arrested Friday night at the protests in the Twin Cities live in the area, according to USA Today’s review of police jail records and more than 100,000 tweets."  Similar analysis from other American communities-on-fire: Los Angles, St. Paul, Detroit, Nashville, Louisville discovered much the same. Minnesota officials have begun walking back their statements.

As protestors raged in Washington DC ... a wee-bit too close to the White House to suit our Secret Service, the Donald was hustled to a "secure bunker" aka' the state-of-the-art Presidential Emergency Operations Center.  The Sun newspaper and Fox News reported that 50 Secret Service Agents were injured.   (What is  wrong with people?) 

* the problem I have with this polling data is:  why the heck do 47% of the voters polled think Trump's doing a good job?

posted on this lovely 1st day of June [2020]

Twitter Finally Has The Courage To Fact-Check Your President

When will Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg grow a spine at Facebook?

As a way to deflect attention away from his terrible leadership regarding America's response to the pandemic and over 100,000 lives lost Donald Trump has increased his unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in mail-in voting.  And finally his favorite social media outlet: Twitter has begun to fact-check him.  Finally. 

This past Wednesday the president established a new record: "most Tweets posted in a single day: 142 "tweets" and "retweets" - which beat his previous all-time record of 123 Twitter posts established December 12, 2019 (the day he became only the 3rd US President in history to get impeached). 

All told, Mr. Trump has posted 49,404 Tweets.  Think about that for a moment.  I've never posted a Tweet, don't even use it ... and barely 31 million Americans do.  But posting 49,404 messages has to represent a lot of wasted time.  And, the Donald even tried to delete 857 of them.   What's also amazing to me is there are people who keep track of this stuff and have it indexed and accessible to anyone who cares to dig deeper.  Factba.se. (Yep, that spelling is correct.)

My only complaint about Twitter fact-checking our president ... ok, I have 2 complaints:  1) what took you so freaking long? and 2) why the namby-pamby baby blue notice: "Get the facts about mail-in ballots"?  I'd prefer we got a bit more aggressive with liars and cheaters and call 'em out directly.  My suggested modification to the Fact-Check Alerts appear to the right ... in red, although I suppose brilliant bright orange could work as well.

posted 05.29.20

USA Today Editorial: 100,000 U.S. deaths reflect a leadership failure

Lingering thought after reading that headline: Leadership Failure

USA Today editorial: "President Donald Trump has called the safety and security of the American people his “highest obligation.” During his first year in office, he vowed that he would “never forget that my responsibility is to keep you, the American people, safe and free.”

"Now, with 100,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus epidemic and large sectors of the economy on life support, it’s time to assess whether the president has lived up to his obligation and responsibility.

"The inescapable conclusion is that he has not. Some disarray is inevitable during a rapidly evolving crisis, and COVID-19 is the worst health disaster the world has faced in a century. But Trump has compounded the damage by undermining his administration’s scientists, heralding a risky anti-malarial drug as a potential coronavirus game changer, ruminating about injecting patients with disinfectants, promoting magical thinking about the virus disappearing, and refusing to lead by example by wearing a mask in public."  [read the rest of the editorial]

posted 05.28.20

Wingnut Republicans In House Clearly Signals To Voters: "GOP Is Unworthy"

Yep, Republicans think it's a bad idea to keep the public safe while also keeping government running & functioning

USA Today reports: "20 Republican lawmakers file lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new proxy voting system ... The House developed and passed its new — and historic — proxy voting rules earlier this month, allowing members unable to come to Capitol Hill due to the coronavirus pandemic to designate another lawmaker as their "proxy" and cast floor votes on their behalf."  The idea behind proxy voting was to ensure lawmakers who are not able to travel safely still maintained a voice in negotiations and lawmaking during this unique phase of life on Earth.

The proxy voting system also helps to reduce unexpected exposure to Americans working in "essential services" all along the travel path: airport services staff, TSA, airport & airline staff/pilots, drivers, food service personnel, transportation folks (bus/taxi/Uber drivers). Also included in the list of unnecessarily exposed Americans: the folks who are required to keep the capitol building running: like Congressional office staff, pages, clerks & security personnel.

Actually, what is needed is the ability for House members to vote from home - and not thru a "proxy" which requires the House of Representatives to be "open" thus impacting many of the above mentioned staff.  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's lawsuit claims the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, responsible for over 675,000 deaths in the US, did not cause lawmakers to change their rules, nor did the House change it's rules after the terror attacks of 9|11. 

Gotcha', Kev-man ... back in 1918 we didn't have communication tools like the internet which can provide secure connections.   Neanderthals.  Reference to 9|11 confirms that Republicans are really struggling to maintain some degree of relevance as they've become the laughing stock for the world to ridicule as they've allowed Trump to get away with so many evil things.  The GOP didn't have the courage to remove Trump from office when the compelling case for impeachment was tried in the US Senate.  And, the Republicans have allowed the Trump administration to essentially do nothing about managing a national response to the coronavirus: no national testing or contact tracing protocols, no coordinated supply chain or stockpile of personal protective equipment.

Republicans have stood by idle as team Trump has diminished the once hallowed CDC.  Today the Republicans resemble the caricature of Rudi Giuliani originated by Joe Biden back in 2007 when he said the Republican required just three things to make a sentence: "a noun, a verb, and reference to 9|11." 

Surely each day more and more former Republican voters are determining they'll change their vote in November.  Pray for a big global Blue Wave.

posted 05.27.20

British View of Trump

Article shared by Democrats Abroad “sent by a friend, that encapsulates the man we must beat in 2020"

Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"   Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:

A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief. Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman. But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.


Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers. And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a sniveling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down. So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that: #1: Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are. #2: You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart. In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish: 'My God… what… have… I… created?'"   If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."

link: https://www.democratsabroad.org/angelogoode/british_view_of_trump
posted here at mkd.com on Memorial Day 2020


Landmark Decision For michaeldawson.com To Publish Opposing Point Of View

Mike's thinks it's best to be armed with facts is preferred over a sea of mindless dweebs, but there are limits ...

The proceeding article came to my attention from an email Louise received from a friend who apparently agreed and appreciated the "British View of Trump" above.   I appreciated it too - instantly.   But hesitated publishing it for the same reason I hesitate re-printing political cartoons and other manufactured content.  I saw enough despicable Photoshopped content (from 2008 thru 2016) of Michelle & Barack Obama dressed in traditional Kenyan fashions and other sickening, fake depictions.  But then Louise received a 2nd email ... this item advocates a position that's 180-degrees in the opposite direction ... published over a year ago on "theFederalist.com" an ultra-conservative venue that Mike says he rarely (if ever) agrees with:  "I dare readers to spend some time at that website and see how long it takes before you get sick to your stomach ... a sensation much like one may experience after listening/watching an hour of Fox News and a smattering of Rush Limbaugh between his obscene profit breaks," Mike says.

One added caveat:  Republicans love to filibuster whenever they get a chance to control the microphone.  The Federalist.com article is significantly longer ... 78% more words, 69% more paragraphs, 95% more characters.  So, to offset this disparity, Mike says he'll add appropriate commentary to the Federalist.com piece (most likely fact-checking).    

In the interest of fairness I present the following essay "Why I Like Trump".   Due to it's length and the age of the article, written over 6-months ago, Mike has opted to use his famous "archive format" ... click any portion of the image below to access the complete article, or go to the Federalist.com website and read it there (without Mike's commentary/fact-checking).

[Link to the balance of the article]
posted by Mike 05.26.20

Is It Possible For Donald Trump To Be A Bigger Jerk Than He Already Is? (no)

Fore!  (Supporters duck when facts surface like: Trump has taken more "play days" than any president in history)

Associated Press: Donald Trump has played golf at least 218 times as president.  He frequently criticized Barack Obama's regular golf outings when he was president.  "Can you believe that with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.  Worse than Carter," Trump tweeted in October 2014 during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.  What is laughable is after Trump enjoyed his 2nd day in a row of golf the President took to Twitter this morning to defend his playtime by doing what he's famous for doing:  1. lying and making stuff up; and, 2. attacking everyone who comes to mind as a way to deflect attention off his personal flaws.

Trump Tweets Today:  "...in order to get outside and perhaps, even a little exercise, I played golf over the weekend. The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin - I knew this would happen! What they don’t say is that it was my first golf in almost.......3 months and, if I waited 3 years, they would do their usual “hit” pieces anyway. They are sick with hatred and dishonesty. They are truly deranged! They don’t mention Sleepy Joe’s poor work ethic, or all of the time Obama spent on the golf course, often flying to.......Hawaii in a big, fully loaded 747, to play. What did that do to the so-called Carbon Footprint? He also played moments after the brutal killing by ISIS of a wonderful young man. Totally inappropriate - and it was me who shattered 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. I was left a MESS!"

Actually the above quote spanned 3 Tweets ... and WOW, did he ever sound like he was a bit unhinged this morning - likely part of the reason he was so late to arrive at Arlington National Cemetery for a memorial service.  Trump's targets:

  1. Fake News media coverage of Trump's golf outing simply highlighted the hypocrisy of his attacks on President Obama whenever he played golf or took a vacation ... ignoring the truth that no modern day president has taken more play days than Trump.  [Washington Post: "Nearly a third of the days he’s been president, Trump has visited a Trump-branded property"]
  2. Biden, Obama, climate change, Middle East conflicts and taking credit for "shattered 100% of the ISIS Caliphate" which is absolutely FALSE.
  3. Also false is his repeated assertion that the Obama administration left him with nothing but messes, which is also demonstrably false.

One golfing website says: "Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2017, Mr. Trump has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses or played golf elsewhere 266 times - as of May 24, 2020.  The cost of Trump's golf rounds to the American taxpayer varies by round and course, but it has totaled so far in the tens of millions of dollars. The Secret Service has spent at least $550,000 in third-party golf cart rentals and over $500,000 to stay overnight at Trump-owned properties, including his New Jersey country club."   

Washington Post reports that Sunday as America's death toll from the virus approaches 100,000 American lives lost, the Donald took to Twitter attacking Stacy Abrams, Nancy Pelosi, and of course what would a holiday weekend be like without attacks on Hillary Clinton?

posted 05.25.20

54,000 Fewer USA Deaths Had Lockdown Began Just 2-Weeks Earlier

Columbia University Estimates a majority of U.S. fatalities caused by the coronavirus could have been prevented

The New York Times reports: "if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided."  Ouch.  So much for Trump's claims "the situation is under control" and “it’s going to be just fine”.  [NY Times link]

For months, the president downplayed the severity of the pandemic, overstated the impact of his "policies" as he bragged about unproven treatments (hydroxychloroquine) as President Trump blamed others (your pick: all Democrats, blue state governors, the "fake news" media, China, WHO, Mary Barra, Barrack Obama & Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, CDC testing) as he tried to rewrite the history of his response.  The New York Times published a great article on March 27th: "Patterns in Trump's Falsehoods About Coronavirus" - well worth reading.

The researchers are quick to point out the real value to their study is not simply providing a revisionists view history or looking backward thru a rear-view mirror ... rather, giving society a guidepost for the future to more effectively manage any subsequent outbreaks as the nation attempts to "reopen".

Read the report for yourself: .pdf file

posted 05.22.20

Trump Visits Ford Motor Factory & Violates Law, Disregards Safety Of Others

Selfish Act of Disobedience - Lock Him Up?  Naw, Mike's gotta' better idea ...

The President came to Michigan today to tour a Ford Motor Company factory that had been converted to manufacture medical ventilators in Ford's patriotic gesture to help relieve the shortage of this vital medial equipment.  Donald Trump refused to wear a mask through much of the tour, despite the fact that wearing masks in public is a state law in Michigan, and company policy at Ford.

Trump claimed he wore one earlier in the tour (see article below) but he didn't want "to give the press the pleasure of seeing it."  He then pulled a mask from his pocket as proof that he was prepared to do the right thing - but he just couldn't resist being a rebel.   

"Not necessary," Trump said when asked why he refused.  "I've been tested," was the 2nd part of his lame excuse, ignoring the reality that the testing equipment used in the White House has a 50% failure rate. The fact is Trump could have been exposed between the time he was tested and his arrival in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Besides, mask wearing is meant to protect other people, not the president ... so Trump's selfishness puts the rest of society at risk and gives his wing-nut base an excuse to be just as reckless.  Some role-model we have as our president.  Pathetic.

His act of disobedience is so blatant I do think there oughta' be consequences - and as badly as I'd like to "lock him up" I suspect that could be a bit harsh ... and his base of supporters would just turn him into a martyr.  So a better solution ... in my humble opinion: find him guilty of a misdemeanor and charge him with 80 hours of community service in a hospital COVID-19 ward.  It's perfect.  Let him work as an orderly or some sort of support staff & require he adhere to proper utilization of the complete array of personal protective equipment (PPE) ... and ban all rallies and press encounters during his community service stint.  No calls to Sean Hannity, no Fox-n-Friends appearances.  And, no Secret Service detail; why put more people at risk?  Pence can run things for 2 days.

posted in disgust 05.21.20

L-to-R above: Trump's MAGA image on mask; Trump wears mask briefly at Ford plant; New Yorker magazine parody

"The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules"

... says Michigan's popular Attorney General Dana Nessel

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford had "encouraged" Trump to wear a mask when he arrived for a tour of Ford's ventilator manufacturing center; the president later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit the Ford statement said.  [NBC News link]   Given the president's ineffective pandemic response & leadership failures, perhaps the New Yorker magazine parody (with his eyes covered by the mask) accurately captures how clueless Mr. Trump really is.

NBC report aired May 21st 2020 @ 05:55 p.m. EDT

166 Days Until Election ... 166 Days For Trump To Be Makin' Stuff Up

Guaranteed - from now until November 3rd Donald Trump will find 166 ways to keep himself in the news thru a series stunts all of which will be manufactured to deflect attention away from his despicable record and failed leadership.

America's worst President in history has just 5˝ months left.  But these 5˝ months are sure to be some of the nastiest public display of shameful, self-centered politics that most of us will ever see in our lifetimes.  It never should have happened.  Donald Trump is not qualified to be President of the United States and has spent the past 1,217 days hood-winking Republican voters.  Thankfully, there are plenty of Republicans who have a heart, a mind, and enough smarts to realize that this buffoon occupying the White House is a danger to this country and this planet ... and have bailed on the Republican Party for not having the courage to address some of the many wrongs this President has committed. 

Doubt me?  You need to learn more about the Lincoln Project.  “Trump put his political ambitions before the health, safety, and economic security of the American people," says Lincoln Project co-founder Jennifer Horn.  "Due to his utter failure in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are now sicker, poorer and worse off than they were four years ago. If there is one thing we can count on in the coming weeks it’s that Donald Trump will continue to fail and embarrass the people he is elected to serve.”

The developments and news of the past 7-days is pretty typical and totally unacceptable in this alternative universe Trump has created (where up is down, where right is wrong).  In less than a week, Donald Trump has ...

  • fired his 4th Inspector General - State Department I.G. Steve Linick. [link to FactCheck.org]

  • threatened to pull the US membership & our financial support from the W.H.O. [link to USA Today]

  • threatened to punish the good states of Nevada & Michigan in retaliation for allowing vote-by-mail [link to Washington Post].  Keep in mind, Michigan just experienced devastating flooding in the city of Midland, home of Dow Chemical.

  • admits he's taking Hydroxychloroquine (and has been for nearly 2-wks) despite warnings from his own Food & Drug Administration after preliminary studies indicated potential adverse effects. [source: NY Times]

  • claimed once again - incorrectly - that he was named "Man of the Year" in Michigan back in 2013.  FALSE.  Trump supporters are encouraged to read: FactCheck.org - a project sponsored by the conservative Annenberg Public Policy Center.  (Walter Annenberg, as reported previously on this webpage, served as US Ambassador to the U.K. when Dick Nixon was President.)

Oh, yeah ... it's only Thursday.

posted 05.21.20

Daily He Says Stuff That's False - How Can His Base Keep Supporting Him?

The President makes things up - deflects the truth - and displays zero leadership skill.

At Trump's re-election rally Friday in the White House Rose Garden the sound of blaring truck horns intruded on Donald's campaign speech. When asked about the noise and interruption Trump claimed that the truckers had staged a pro-Trump protest. "And you hear that outside, that beautiful sound -- those are truckers that are with us all the way. They are protesting in favor of President Trump, as opposed to against," Trump said. He made a similar claim when his TV interview with the former "money-honey" Maria Bartiromo from Fox News was interrupted in the same fashion. "Well, they're not protesters. They're supporters of me."

FACT-CHECK:   False.  Make that triple-false.  The truckers were indeed protestors, and their anger was directed at Trump, personally.  They are protesting a variety of issues affecting their jobs, not protesting in favor of Trump.  Thirty-years in the  trucking business Greg Anderson told CNN that Trump had "lied on national television" with his remark to Bartiromo about how the protesters are not protesters at all.  [source: CNN]

Posted 05.16.20 ~ Who is that in your rear-view mirror, Mr. President?

It's A Process ... Developing Articles On This Web Page

1st step: identify a news story that needs to be explored;
2nd: find a graphic item that can be modified or enhanced;
3rd: time to write and pull it all together - the facts & my personal take on the news.

News that is based on facts that can be linked or referenced to source material is what many folks grapple with, it seems, particularly those who reside in Fox News' alternative universe.  Take for example:  Jim Flynn who pleaded guilty in December 2017 for lying to the FBI.  According to the Washington Post "Flynn was convicted of lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador about easing U.S. sanctions during Trump’s presidential transition in late 2016." 

You likely won't hear that on Fox ... they'd rather blame former President Obama for the entire mess (ignoring the truth & fact that Mr. Obama met with Mr. Trump and recommended the new administration avoid hiring Flynn).  

During a sentencing hearing nearly a year later U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan repeatedly admonished Flynn, telling him, “Arguably, you sold your country out” ... nonetheless, Sullivan granted Flynn with more time to cooperate with investigators. 

Flynn had initially repeated to Judge Sullivan that he was guilty of lying, that no one had coerced him to admit his guilt and that he had no intention of taking back that plea.  "Flynn also said he took responsibility for wrongdoing that also culminated in his firing by Trump for misleading Vice President Pence, White House aides and the public," the Washington Post reported.

Politico reported that Flynn also acknowledged that he "lobbied for the Turkish government during the election campaign without registering as a foreign agent, although he has not been charged in that case."

Sometimes voters forget the details, particularly when the Trump strategy for most issues is "to run out the clock".  They delay, obstruct, ignore, or bring legal action as a way to resist doing the right thing.  This Flynn case has been going on since Trump's inauguration.  And it would seem, given the facts and Flynn's repeated admission of guilt ... on multiple charges ... that Trump's attorney general Bill Barr is sticking his nose into something that is already settled ... and smacks of extreme political interference with our legal process ... maybe Barr & Trump oughta' join Flynn - where all 3 of 'em belong: in jail. 

posted 05.13.20  [in response to a common question: "Mike, how do you think of these things?"]

Trump Continues To Exaggerate & Mislead Public On Testing

Trump displays "melt-down" at WH Rose Garden press briefing

The Washington Post reports: "President Trump claimed Monday that his administration is besting the world in testing and that it will help states expand such efforts."  The trouble for the President and his supporters, it's not true. 

With large banners hanging from the WH pillars claiming (inaccurately) that "America leads the world in testing" the press asked several questions in an effort to clarify.  Trump has proven repeatedly during his tenure that he does not appreciate being questioned, especially by journalists, especially if they are female.  Weijia Jiang of CBS News asked why does he keep saying the US is doing more testing than any other country. “Why does that matter?” she queried. “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we are still seeing more cases every day?”  The President became visibly disturbed by the question and responded:  “Well, they are losing their lives everywhere in the world. Maybe that is a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me.  Ask China that question.  I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.”  No, the question was: why does Trump view the testing as some form of competitive distinction when so many lives are being lost.  But he's obviously not thinking clearly ... the President turned on his heels and abruptly left the Rose Garden in a huff.  [Watch the video if you doubt my assessment.]

The Washington Post explained how wrong the Trump administration is when it says the US leads the world in testing:

"The United States as of Sunday had completed nearly 9 million coronavirus tests, according to the Covid Tracking Project. ... equivalent to just 2.74 percent of the U.S. population ... There are far higher levels of per-capita testing in other parts of the world. In tiny Iceland, the figure is an extraordinary 15.4 percent, but that amounts to about 54,000 tests across a population of 352,000 people. Yet major industrialized economies with large outbreaks also have fared better in testing than the United States: Italy has conducted tests equivalent to 4.31 percent of its population, and Germany is at 3.35 percent. The United States also is still behind its northern neighbor, Canada, where its 1.09 million tests are equivalent to 2.95 percent of the county’s population." 

Global Change Data Lab, sponsored by Oxford University, confirms the above figures and provides a mountain of data about rate of infections, testing, and deaths from most all countries on Earth.  [It's a great source to "bookmark".]

posted in disgust on 05.12.20

Coronavirus Spread Inside White House Prompts New Focus On Testing

Trump Valet, Pence Aide, Ivanka's Assistant, and now eleven Secret Service Agents ... all tested positive

The national guidelines require symptoms to be present before a test for Covid-19 could be performed, which has caused distress among most state & federal health officials who have sought a more robust testing and tracing programs lead by the national gov't. 

Trump has said before that he’s not crazy about tests because all they do is make him look bad. Now he’s going further: he seems unsure the tests are even measuring something real. They’re negative one day and then positive the next.  "She (Katie Miller, Pence communications director) was tested very recently and tested negative and today I guess for some reason she tested positive," Trump said.  For some reason? hmmm, like perhaps she exposed to someone who was positive causing Miller herself to become infected?  

The Washington Post reports: "As deaths mount, Trump tries to convince Americans it’s safe to inch back to normal and the administration is effectively bowing to — and asking Americans to accept — a devastating proposition: that a steady, daily accumulation of lonely deaths is the grim cost of reopening the nation."  Grim indeed - the death count this Mother's Day morning in America stood at 78,763 (over 1,700 more than the CDC was reporting as of May 10th).

Fact-checking links to other infection news:  Trump's valet ... Eleven Secret Service staff infected, 60 are in self-quarantine.

posted 05.11.20

The IRS Sent Coronavirus Relief Payments To Dead People

Treasury Dept hasn't responded to Qs: what you should do if a deceased loved one has received a payment?

National Public Radio reported this morning: "The IRS has paid out more than $207 billion in Coronavirus relief payments to individual taxpayers, as part of the $2 trillion package passed by Congress known as the CARES Act."  This from the administration that says "mail-in voting fosters fraud".  

Home big is the problem?  I'd say it's substantial.  NPR says: "The CDC estimates that 2.8 million Americans died in 2018, for example. And there are signs that people who died more than two years ago have received payments."   That must be part of the reason the voting public has little confidence in this corrupt, ineffective, clueless administration.  What a mess ... many people who are qualified for the stimulus payment have yet to receive 'em (Mike raises hand to self identify one such taxpayer).  Even the "Get My Payment" short-cut on the IRS website malfunctions.  [read more

Did you know that the U.S. stimulus spending program pales by comparison to many foreign countries?  Yep. And some of these foreign economies are in much better shape than the US where shortages of food, protective personal equipment, and even some medications have become common place.  So much for this business about "making America great again".  Treasury Sec't Steve Mnuchin, facing questions from Congress, can not explain this away.

  • Japan: "emergency support" phase -- about $2,760 -- to families losing income to the outbreak in one of the months between February and June." [source]

  • UK: "80% of freelance workers' average monthly income, up to 2,500 pounds ($3,060) per month for three months, if they earned 50,000 pounds or less annually on average over the past three years. Distribution is set to begin in June. " [source]

  • Denmark:  "covers 75% of wage bills...Employees must take five days of their vacation entitlement or time off from work. The offer lasts for 3-months and aims to encourage firms to send home employees rather than fire them. [source]

posted 05.06.20

Mitigation Crumbles - Estimated Death Rate Doubles (now nearly 3,000 per day)

No state has met the President's coronavirus task force guidelines ... but some 38 states "open anyway"!

With nearly 3,000 Americans dying DAILY from the coronavirus that has spread from coast-to-coast and now settles in the country's heartland, why bother issuing guidelines if there is no intention to enforce them?  The President urges citizens to "liberate" and go back to work even though efforts by Trump's task force did manage the outbreaks & has proven to be successful ... & likely saved lives. 

Well lives be damned - Trump's political operatives (Fox News, Sean Hannity) want to end the "lock-down" and put the country back-to-work.  This hypocrisy has embolden radical right-wing extremists, brandishing long guns and MAGA hats, to mount protests from coast-to-coast which Trump views as his only hope for re-election ... to divide the country. 

Meanwhile he fires another inspector general who had the audacity to issue a report identifying critical medical supply shortages and testing delays at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.  Christi Grimm, the principal deputy Inspector General at the Dept of HHS, is the 3rd I.G. fired this year. The others: Glenn Fine, Coronavirus Oversight I.G.; Michael Atkinson, Intelligence Community I.G.  Anyone who does not march in lock-step with the President could face the same threat.  [source]

NY Times also reports: "Rick Bright, the ousted chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, said he was pressured to steer millions of dollars to the clients of a well-connected consultant." Dr. Bright has filed a whistleblower complaint.

Also gone are the president's Task Force Happy Talk references to any models managed by IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington).  That's the lab that produced death toll estimates the President and his top medical experts kept pointing to thru the 1st two months of the administration's pretense of 'managing' the Federal government's response to the pandemic.  They predicted if the nation's mitigation efforts continued there may be 60,000 or so deaths in the U.S. by August 4th.  Now, with 38 states boasting no restrictions or relaxed rules the estimated death count has more than doubled ... so naturally Trump's administration has stopped referencing data from this model (IHME now an estimated 134,475 Americans could die by August 4th ... read more).  If the dangerous actions by the right-wing protestors would only impact fellow protestors, I'd say: "have at it ... knock yourselves out."  Let's hope they don't do something stupid with those AK47s as they spew droplets of the virus on the faces of innocent people or law enforcement officers who are merely trying to protect citizens.  Trouble is these wing-nuts likely will be taking the virus home with them only to infect & endanger innocent relatives & neighbors.  That's how this virus spreads: human to human and it knows no boundaries.


Donald's Shell Game: The Border Wall ... How To Spin The Truth

No matter how much spin Trump puts on it (in plain view) only 2 miles of new primary border wall has been built!

In the shell game, three or more identical containers (which may be cups or shells) placed face-down on a surface.  A small ball or even a pea is placed beneath one of these containers so that it cannot be seen, and they are then shuffled by the operator in plain view ... encouraging onlookers to select where the ball is now hidden.  [Unfamiliar with the "shell game" reference?  Amaze your friends & neighbors with this demo on YouTube]

Interesting, Mike ... but what's your point?  Well, grasshopper, there is a lot of balderdash being spread about President Trump's No. 1 campaign pledge (build a wall and the votes will come ... I mean - "Mexico will pay for it").  Anyway, someone has to off-set the fiction with facts.   Often even the media gets hoodwinked so let's delve into some of the details just to be clear.  I did find more than one example of tradition "mainstream media" that mindless published falsehoods ... like this story from CNN, of all sources ... considering how much Trump loves to attack them.  (The story says "The Trump administration has built 100 miles of new wall" which you'll see, based on the info below, is not exactly accurate.)

At the April 20th  Daily Dump  in the White House James S. Brady Press Briefing Room President Trump invited General Todd Semonite of the Army of Corps Engineers to describe the progress his team had made with building dozens of shelters & temporary hospital facilities all across this highly fractured and infected nation.  Earlier this month, I shared my praise and admiration for General Semonite and his "can-do" approach to his mission [link] and the General once again delivered an impressive summary of the great work his team has done in coordination with local and state groups.  At the end of his remarks related to the virus ... which was supposedly the point of the press briefing, Mr. Trump decided to take advantage of the situation and invited Gen. Semonite to branch out into the real purpose of the Daily Dump: his political re-election campaign.

Trump: "...while you’re here, we’re building — the general is in charge of the wall on the southern border, and we want to build 450 miles of wall, and it’s very much under construction. You might give them a little bit of an update: how are we doing with the wall."  (For those who question the accuracy of any of this report including Trump's broken sentences and mangled speech, please be advised: the quotes and facts come directly from White House transcripts and official government reports.)  General Semonite confirmed that building the border wall along our Southern border is underway with the target of completing 450 miles by the end of December 2020.

THE PRESIDENT: And we’re over 160 miles.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL SEMONITE: A hundred and sixty-four as of today, Sir.

What is missing in the text are the words "new" and "where no barriers previously existed" because like the shell-game analogy previously mentioned the administration is being purposely deceptive.  As some news outlets have reported, and government documents confirm, much of the border wall construction completed to-date has involved replacement & repair of dilapidated, existing wall ... portions of the border wall that were built by previous administrations.  And when you dig-onto this slight of hand and realize the President and his administration are intentionally misleading the public you will begin to feel as if you and the entire nation have been violated.  Lied to. 

Once again, doubters need to shove-a-sock-in-it (oral orifice or pie-hole) until you've read the US Customs and Border Protection Border Wall Status Report dated April 17, 2020.  For your convenience a .pdf copy of said report is provided here.  If you think I have doctored or manipulated this info/material ... well, I suggest that you Google it for yourself ... the report is out there in the public domain.  Quit complaining and go fetch it.

And for those reading the report, much like that shell game, you too will see it is written in a way that will likely confuse many.  But those who read carefully will find the following statement ... the truth ... "2 miles of new border wall system constructed in locations where no barriers previously existed."  The remaining 160 miles of border wall construction replaced existing wall, or represents portions of "secondary border wall."  Like the claim during the 2016 election campaign that Mexico would pay for it ... much of what Donald Trump says is meant only to placate his base.  And its not true.  Trust me, after you take the time to read the intentionally confusing report from the CBP report you too should desire joining the majority of American voters who plan to not only remove the creepy guy from office, but hopefully most other Republican office-holders, too.  We will enjoy life ... restored to "normal" ... only when a vaccine for COVID-19 proves to be effective, and the majority of state legislatures and the US Senate and the White House are no longer controlled by Republicans. 

posted on May Day, 2020

Trump's "Liberate" Tweets Inspire Whack-a-Doodle Fox News Coverage

Fox News and GOP's Trump re-election campaign launches it's new favorite issue ...
lives & health be damned, we've got an economy to worry about

I don't doubt the average American voter is more than a little tired of "stay home" mitigation efforts & finds the wall-to-wall pandemic news coverage to be overwhelming.  But Trump's base would rather get back to "normal" by returning to work & when its time for TV viewing they'd prefer: Dancing With The Stars, or America's Got Talent, or the latest installment of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.  And for updates & pandemic info they tune into Fox News even though they continue to provide a steady diet of factually-challenged material that's easily debunked.  Just a few examples:

Fox News Tucker Carlson advocates GOP's "open for business" case as he introduces two California doctors who incorrectly state the data shows the death rate for COVID-19 to be just "0.03%".  YouTube wisely removed the doctor's video (though Fox continues to broadcast it) as most experts agree not enough of the population has been tested to draw conclusions. [read more]
Laura Ingraham is a lawyer for goodness sakes so why is she on the wrong side of issues so often when she knows facts will prove her wrong? "We were told the virus was far more lethal than the flu. Now, we know it's likely to be closer on a really aggressive flu season," Laura asks.  Wow.  This is after 50K Americans died in a month. Salon magazine called Laura out 2 days after her mindless statement was aired.
"Left & media blaming Trump for coronavirus outbreak," says Trump's leading unofficial cabinet member, Sean Hannity.  The former bartender & construction grunt (his description, not mine) can tell at this early date that his buddy's re-election will be in jeopardy, so the political blame-game begins.  The reality is Trump is not being blamed for the virus outbreak but rather our nation's woefully weak, ineffective response. 

Deadly Ignorance On Full Display At The White House

The US Is Failing The Test Of The Century - says the Financial Times

A new spike in infections, the 2nd  spike or wave of infections will cause our second lockdown to be a bigger hit to wealth than a cautious return to work ... but Donald Trump is refusing to listen.  And now months after the initial outbreak we still have no idea how many people have been infected by the Coronavirus.  Epidemiologists say that if shutdown had taken place just 2 weeks earlier, 90% of deaths would have been prevented ...  [more]

Disinfectant spokesman investigated for misconduct
- says the Associated Press

Bill Bryan, the Acting Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology who presented research findings on Coronavirus mitigation when disinfectants & UV light are applied.  Bryan's comments appear to have been the springboard for a number of comments by President Trump such as "... it sounds interesting to me so we will see but the whole concept of the light the way it kills it in one minute that's--that's pretty powerful."  Random thoughts like these were captured on video live and caused the WH to waste 5-days trying to explain what the president meant to say, or was trying to say, or what he shouldn't have said.  Blah, blah.  What few reporters did address however is: who the heck is Bill Bryan?

Turns out Bill Bryan is just latest shameful example of Donald Trump's "drain the swamp" hypocrisy.  The president hired Bryan even though he has minimal credentials related to his gov't job (Alex Azar, Sec't HHS would be another).  And Bryan is not unfamiliar with a bit of controversy: "he's been under investigation for abusing his gov't position with energy consulting work in Ukraine," says the Associated Press in a report titled: "Bryan Accused of Abusing Position As Consultant."

President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat - reports Washington Post

Thirty-four times President Trump has downplayed the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports.  "U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than dozens of classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat, according to current and former U.S. officials.  The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day and designed to call the president’s attention to the most significant global developments and security threats."  [read the entire article]

Do Trump voters really need another reason to bail out on the most corrupt, ineffective President in US history?

posted 04.28.20

Incredulous Trump Must Be Debunked (and ridiculed) ... Daily

Testing Is Our Only Hope While We're Lacking Vaccine

"Anyone who wants a test can get a test."
Not true.  The flaws in our testing protocols for coronavirus continue to be at the root of the problem - data of the spread of the outbreak is skewed by inaccurate tests and shortages of testing materials (in some regions of USA compared to others).  Trump blames states & Governors for not being prepared.  So how does that answer why the VA hospitals and Federal penitentiaries lack adequate supplies of PPE?

Trump admin falsely claims testing flaws are Obama's fault

"Initially speaking, the tests were old, obsolete, and not really prepared," Trump says over & over.  He can repeat it hundreds of times, but it's still not true.  CNN reported:  this is a new virus that was first identified this year, the tests couldn't possibly be "old" or "obsolete."

CNN's fabulous fact-checker Daniel Dale reports: "He is lying. He is lying 100%. He is lying because he is trying to shift blame to others, even if the attempt is totally nonsensical," said Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health.  Tara Smith epidemiology professor at Kent State University said the claim "doesn't make sense because it is false. This a new virus.  No test can be created until the DNA can be captured."

Doubters & disbelievers & Fox News viewers: read it for yo-self ... https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/06/politics/fact-check-trump-coronavirus-briefing-april-6/index.html

Instant Branding ... Courtesy of Your Commander-in-chief

The Donald's attempt to diminish Michigan's Governor Whitmer backfires ... badly

Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Governor, gave the Democratic response to Donald Trump's campaign-rally-style State of the Union address which put her squarely in Trump's sights for predictable attacks.  He demotes or fires professionals within his administration who have the courage to disagree with him.  He has silly nickname names for his GOP rivals (Lyin' Ted, Little Marco), as well as Democratic rivals (Sleepy Joe, Pocahontas). He attacks the Postal Service, the news media (fake), his own intelligence agencies including the FBI, CIA, NSA.  Heck, he even attacks many of his own appointees (Sessions, Generals Kelly/Mattis/McMaster, Kirstjen Nielson, Mick Mulvaney).  And now, gives his dwindling base of voters yet another reason to support just about anybody-but-Trump!  191 days from now we get to give him the boot!

Testing...1, 2, 3...testing. Is this [tapping microphone] ... is this thing "on"?

Botched response is costing lives - disorganized testing means we have no idea how bad it is.

We have no idea how many people have been infected by the Coronavirus. Only guesses & estimates, and every day it seems data reveals it's more widespread than we thought. Just yesterday researchers announced the actual first known death in the US of A was not February 26 in Seattle, WA as originally thought, but rather 3-weeks earlier ... February 6th in Santa Clara County, CA. [read more]  At the President's Daily Dump on April 21st Mr. Trump claimed the US has tested its citizens in the US of A more than all other countries combined.

“I think I read yesterday a report that we’ve done more than everybody — every other country — combined,” Trump said on Tuesday, adding later: “We’ve tested more than every other country in the world even put together.”  The quote is accurate and lifted directly from the White House website.  It's not the first time he's said it - and even when proven with facts to be wrong ... he keeps repeating it. 

Trouble is, he's wrong ... and it's not even close.  Here are the actual numbers according to a global data tracking firm:
    US tests     4,326,648
    all others  19,700,009   ... 4˝ times more testing globally than in USA

data source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
WH Daily Dump transcripts:  plenty of good sources including the WH itself, but I prefer the independent sites 'cuz frankly I don't trust our reality show TV star pretending to be president ... such as rev.com because it has both the text and the audio file. Pretty slick.

posted with pride 04.23.20

Debunking Trump's Attack On U.S. Postal Service

Sorry, the Donald's not right - in fact he's wrong in so many ways...

At the President's Daily Dump on April 6th Mr. Trump claimed “the Post Office is losing billions of dollars … because it delivers packages for Amazon at a very below cost. And that’s not fair to the United States. It’s not fair to our taxpayers.”  Yes, that quote is 100% accurate ... Trump says the Post Office "delivers packages for Amazon at a very below cost".  Aside from the fact he struggles to complete a sentence, little else in that statement is accurate. 

1. No one disputes that the Postal Service "loses" a lot of money, but there are reasons - and Democrats have proposed changes that would resolve much of the issue. “The Postal Service has incurred cumulative net losses of $65.1 billion from 2007 through 2017,” according to the 10-K form that it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017. The largest single contributor to its red ink is a requirement Congress imposed in 2006 that it prefund its retiree health coverage costs, a requirement no other government entity has to account for.

2. The implication that taxpayers are  “subsidizing” Amazon’s deliveries and covering the debt is also false but the U.S. Postal Service does not receive any federal funds for its operating costs and hasn’t since 1982.  The requirement for the USPS to pre-fund their pension obligations was meant to ensure postal liabilities wouldn't become a taxpayer responsibility, though Democrats contend the amount required to cover pensions is excessive. 

Trump also has said "every time they deliver a pkg they're losing one dollar and 47 cents."  Also not exactly true.  Trump got the figure from a Citigroup research project that estimated how much growth the USPS would need to see over the next three fiscal years FY2017 - FY2019 to cover actual operating costs plus their inflated pension obligations.

The reality is Trump has a conflict with Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos who also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper Trump does not respect and takes personal offense at the coverage he receives in one of the nation's leading newspapers.  It's personal and it's petty. 

One ironic sidebar to this story: CNN reported today that the Trump family business is asking the General Services Administration (GSA) to give Trump International Hotel a break on monthly lease payments on the Old Post Office Building the Trump family rents from the federal government.  Why on Earth would Trump be entitled to a reduction?  CNN says Trump properties have furloughed nearly 2,000 staffers across the country including some 237 employees in Washington DC.  Fortunately the Democrats were smart enough to block Trump and his family from securing and funding from the $2 Trillion coronavirus stimulus plan.

posted 04.22.20  Friendly fact-checking of postal story above: FactCheck.org

Trump Re-election Campaign Alters Video To Attack Speaker Pelosi

Trump-2020 figures their base will never bother to question any attack on Pelosi

Speaker Nancy Pelosi discusses the challenges of the next virus rescue bill with Chris Hayes on MSNBC 4/14/20. »

Typical.  Trump's chances for re-election have become so strained his campaign has resorted once again to lying.  They've taken an MSNBC interview of Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week with sharp-as-a-tack host of "All In" Chris Hayes, edited the sequence of her comments while deleting complete portions of the interview, says FactCheck.org.  The Trump re-election ad was posted on Twitter by campaign mgr. Brad Parscale, illustrating how desperate the GOP has become given the Trump administration's disastrous, disorganized, ineffective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Pelosi famously pushed back on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell who was trying to ram-thru on a unanimous voice vote for small business relief (PPP-2: Paycheck Protection Program).  Nothing more.  No help for states, many with balanced budget amendments, and hospitals who are in a world of hurt, financially, as they deal with the virus and forgo lucrative elective procedures. The Senate bill also ignored the reality that no money had been allocated to broaden the scope of testing that has plagued the Trump administration response for over a month ... March 6th: “Anybody that wants a test [for the coronavirus] can get a test.”   That was false then, and it still is not true.  America has no freaking idea how many people in have been infected. 

Pelosi supported the 2nd phase of small business loans but wanted to also include funding for states, hospitals, and more testing too.  Ultimately this broader approach to support by Pelosi & Democrats appears to be victorious, ensuring the funding would address multiple problems caused by the pandemic ... with final voting to take place today.

One other topic Pelosi & Hayes discussed was Donald Trump's ongoing attack on the US Postal service ... but that's simply another shameless example of how the Donald will do and say most anything to attack a rival.  But the story is complex enough to warrant a separate article - stay tuned.  [Mike's Strudel-like* notes: the postal squabble for Trump stems from his disputes with Jeff Bezos, owner/founder of Amazon ... also owns the Washington Post, which is famous for publishing less than flattering articles about the President. Trump contends that the USPS gives Amazon volume shipping/delivery pricing that jeopardizes the postal service solvency ... which is the least of the their problems & is only a tiny fraction of the post office's challenges to remain viable.  *Strudel layers ... one story leads to another, to another, to another ... ]

Another noteworthy observation from Mike: Since many Neanderthals on the radical-right imply that most "fact-checking" is supported & sponsored by Democrats on center/left ... it's noteworthy that's not the case with FactCheck.org.   The Annenberg Foundation endowed at the University of Pennsylvania, and they're totally independent - they accept no advertising revenue or support from any political party.  It should also be noted: the fund was created by conservative business tycoon Walter Annenberg & his wife Leonore ... both served as US Ambassadors back in the day.  Walter was Ambassador to U.K. '69 - '74 appointed by Dick Nixon and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Reagan in '86. (If your brain is groping for context, that's the award Trump gave to Rush Limbaugh at the last State Of The Union.)  Leonore served as Chief of Protocol of the US of A  (hence the designation Ambassador) and Assistant Secretary of State by President Reagan in '81.  And, Americans ... including the radical-right-wing extremists who struggle to differentiate between fact & fiction ... fret not.  You too can learn more about the Annenberg Foundation by expanding your mind, & enriching your life with knowledge gleaned thru a wee-bit of personal effort - like, reading [website].   Parents of home-schooled kids, for example, will be delighted to learn the Annenberg Foundation supports remote learning lessons - vital during the pandemic as local schools are closed throughout the US of A?  True story ... aw, gwan ... read it.)

posted 04.22.20

Trump Keeps Repeating Crap That's Been Proven (to be crap) Because He Can

" ... the ammo cupboard is bare ... "

It's been happening every day for weeks now during the Daily Dump - the Donald's re-election rally from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House ... the man elected to lead & serve as President ... stands at the podium and lies.

TRUMP: "When I took over our military, we did not have ammunition. I was told by a top general, maybe the top of them all, 'Sir, I'm sorry sir, we don't have ammunition.'"

FALSE.  You can Google that one for yourself pretty easy - the internet likely has a thousand or more articles all saying much the same thing.  IT'S NOT TRUE.  But, since I realize that his base loves the story, true or not, I suspect they'll never take the time to research it ... so I'll freaking spoon-feed 'em a few facts:  1.) The US Military spent $611 billion in 2016, the year before the Donald moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (the White House).  2.) The funds, appropriated by Congress, allows the military to determine in large part how it's spent, so if it were true, the Defense Department would be the culprit, not President Obama.  But it's simply false - a made-up story that has actually evolved over Trump's term in office.  Did Trump increase military spending?  Sure.  Did we need to?  Debatable.  We now spend more on our military than 144 other countries - combined.  [source]

Trump repeated "the ammo-cupboard is bare" tale in September 2019 in the Oval Office to reporters ... yep, the same folks the president refers to as "the fake news media".  Trump said when he took office, General Jim Mattis — his future defense secretary told him the country was “very low on ammunition.”   Seriously, 2˝-yrs after his inauguration, Trump's still inaccurately complaining about the Obama administration. “You know, when I came here 3-yrs ago almost, General Mattis told me, ‘Sir, we’re very low on ammunition.'"  On a campaign stop 09.16.19 in Rio Rancho, NM he repeated the lie with a new twist ... now, instead of being "low" the military was plumb out of bullets ... saying: the country had “very little, slash, no ammunition” when he took office.   Doubt me?  Watch the freaking video.  Why does he feel the need to lie about it?

Trump says he inherited "Empty Shelf" of emergency medicine & supplies

Again, FALSE.  During the WH Press Briefings that are meant to convey information & some degree of hope for the American people your president prefers to use the national TV exposure as his Daily Dump of politics and personal rants. 

“We took over an empty shelf. We took over a very depleted place, in a lot of ways.”  The president made sure he brought up the same topic several times in the past week even though virtually all news sources had already debunked the notion.  Why would he keep saying something that's false?  Perhaps its because Fox & Friends keeps repeating it and the president knows his base will never even hear or believe the fact-checkers.

“The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) was definitely not an empty shell,” says Dr. Tara O’Toole, former homeland security official during the Obama administration. The SNS began in 1999 and has to be actively managed. Much of the equipment requires maintenance and some material/products have a limited shelf-life.  The CDC shared proposals with the incoming Trump administration in 2017 with a number of "opportunities to improve efficiency" for the nation's Medical Countermeasure Stockpile.  Did they do anything over the subsequent 3-yrs?  Nope.  Except to cut the CDC staff.  As Reuters reported instead of upgrading the SNS ... the staff at CDC was slashed.  “The Trump administration cut staff by more than two-thirds at a key U.S. public health agency operating inside China, as part of a larger rollback of U.S.-funded health and science experts on the ground there leading up to the coronavirus outbreak."  [read more @ FactCheck.org]

Instead of maintaining the reserve equipment, or doing anything substantive in response to the pandemic, the reality TV star would rather rely on performance art and bluster:  "Nobody's ever seen anything like it," the Donald keeps saying.  But, the world has seen something like it; it's called the 1918 Flu Pandemic (some call it inaccurately the "Spanish Flu") and roughly 1/3 of the world's population died. Americans will have a choice in November.  Four more years of this sort of madness? 

posted 04.19.20

Liberal Challenger Defeats Conservative Incumbent in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Republicans’ voter suppression efforts appear to have backfired.

During the WH Briefings on the pandemic, reporters asked the President if he thought the Wisconsin primary election last week should have been delayed, and he went off on a lengthily, angry, hate-filled tirade accusing democrats of wanting the election postponed simply because HE endorsed a state supreme court candidate.  It's always about the Donald, isn't it?  No. The democrats were concerned about the safety of Wisconsin voters in the midst of a national disaster. 

But, voters turned out in droves even though Republicans had cut over a hundred polling stations due to lack of volunteers - which resulted in long lines and in many cases, hours of waiting.  Through the court challenges and subsequent news coverage the GOP and President Trump were justifiably excoriated ... and now the vote count is out: voters punished Republicans, too.  Hopefully that's another sign of things to come this fall in the November election!  [news report about WI vote]

Polls Show Americans Angered By Team Trump's Slow, Disorganized Response

USA Today: Trump squandered a week or more
NY Times: Trump Lashes Out at Fauci Amid Criticism of Slow Virus Response
Press & public ignoring Trump's daily political mini-rallies as he dominates WH Press Briefing lectern

"69%-21%, Americans endorse a nationwide lockdown through the end of April, requiring people to stay at home except for essential work. The idea is backed by solid majorities across partisan lines, by 8 in 10 Democrats and 62% of Republicans," says a poll by Ipsos Research & USA Today reported this morning, April 13th.  "Those surveyed express more concern about the health risks of reopening the country too soon than of the economic risks of keeping it closed for too long," according to USA Today & Ipsos Research. [source: USA Today "Golf, handshakes and a Mar-a-Lago conga line: Squandered week highlights Trump’s lack of COVID-19 focus"]

So it's particularly puzzling why Trump would be attacking via Twitter the federal government’s top infectious disease expert: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. [source: NY Times]  The Times reported that doctor Fauci told the press "more lives could have been saved from the coronavirus if the country had been shut down earlier."  

The facts are clear ... the Donald can be pissed all he wants but the response has been slow as documented in the timeline below.  Facts are our friends, and Dr. Fauci's approval rating far exceeds Trump's ... another fun fact that you can also glean from the above mentioned USA Today polling article.

As the daily WH Press Briefings have become the Donald's personal outlet for attention and launch-pad for his political attacks the media has learned there's really no point paying attention until the experts like Dr. Fauci & Dr. Birx take the lectern.  Cable news stations including CNN & MSNBC opt to broadcast only the highlight of Trump's remarks, particularly when fact-checking is required.  

And speaking of Dr. Birx ... as the Donald is rants about every negative thought that pops into his warped mind ... some journalists have said they pass the time reading the latest fashion news in Vogue which reports: Dr. Deborah Birx’s Many Scarves Now Have Their Own Instagram Account.  "Day after day, Dr. Birx has turned up in front of television cameras, a scarf affixed to her person in the most creative of ways. They’ve become something of a highlight at press briefings—perhaps unintentionally, she’s captivated the American people with her scarf du jour,"  writes Lilah Ramzi.

posted 04.13.20

Trump Base Ignores Truth - Cares Only About Winning Elections & Packing Our Courts

The Donald Chats With Sean Hannity Nearly Every Day, Offers Little Substance Except Attacking Others
... Meanwhile, States Languish To Protect Citizens - Even Those Who Don't Seem To Care

"Anyone who wants virus test can get a test," says President Donald J. Trump on March 6th while touring a CDC facility, sporting his resplendent "let's go golfing" garb: MAGA Hat, black windbreaker, dress white shirt with collar wildly open, and his famous Buy-n-Large off-white slacks. [Click here to view an unaltered video of DJT, in his own words repeating empty promises and pathetic falsehoods]


Keep in mind who paid for the trip (US taxpayers) as Trump sports his campaign rally MAGA hat as he visits the CDC on official business with HHS Sec't Alex Azar, the  former pharmaceutical lobbyist.  The trouble for Americans, however, is that was not true then, and its still not true over 5-weeks later.  Instead, we're waiting, praying, and hoping the past 37-days that just one or two of his promises actually come true.  None have. 

"Now, mail ballots — they cheat. Okay? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they're cheaters. They go and collect them. They're fraudulent in many cases," Trump said on April 7th.

Again, that's FALSE says PolitiFact sponsored by the Poynter Institute - "There is no evidence that any candidate or group has executed a mail ballot fraud scheme of this magnitude in modern elections," said Michael P. McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist. "In this day of social media, it is nearly impossible to keep anything secret, much less a scheme involving thousands of people."

posted with pride on Easter Sunday 04.12.20

Clear Fact Checking ... More False Claims Made By President Trump

Lack of clear testing policy will limit the speed of nation's recovery

"We're now conducting well over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day," President Trump said (Thursday 4.9.20). "It's over 100,000 tests a day. And these are accurate tests, and they're moving rapidly, which is more than any other country in the world, both in terms of the raw number and also on a per capita basis, the most."

False.  NPR reported today that while testing in US of A has slowly improved "it still lags behind Germany and South Korea in terms of per capita testing.  Over 1.2 million tests have been taken to date in the U.S. which equals about 1 for every 273 Americans.

In addition to the raw numbers, there are several problems with testing.  Early on the US experienced manufacturing defects with initial round of testing kits, inadequate supplies, not having enough of the general population tested to properly judge the true number of cases of infected patients.

Testing protocols and reporting procedures are not being coordinated by the federal gov't but rather controlled at the state, county or city level. States: New York, Washington, Oregon and Louisiana have done the best job with testing in the country.  Until testing issues are resolved, and without the benefit of a vaccine, it's hard to imagine the wisdom of relaxing the mitigation procedures & "getting back to normal".

posted 04.10.20

Wisconsin proves it: Republicans will sacrifice voters' health to keep power

Deliberate chaos & unthinkable images from the state’s primary marked Republicans’ dress rehearsal for Nov

The following excellent report comes from the Guardian:

"If any lingering doubts remained, Tuesday should have erased them all. Republicans will weaponize anything – even in-person voting during a deadly pandemic – to maintain power, avoid accountability and bend electoral rules in their favor. Worse, the US supreme court will have their back.

"Make no mistake: the deliberate chaos and unthinkable images from Wisconsin on Tuesday (04.07.20) ... Americans on line for hours, wearing homemade masks, risking a gruesome respiratory disease to exercise their right to vote – wasn’t just a warning sign for November’s elections. It was Republicans’ dress rehearsal.

"It’s scarcely 200 days until the real show. The coronavirus has already pushed more than a dozen states to postpone primaries and forced fearful Ohio and Wisconsin governors into court the day before an election, desperate to avoid worsening a public health crisis. It’s quite likely that the virus will threaten in-person voting in many states and cities in November as well.

"That’s why a growing non-partisan chorus has called for expanding vote-by-mail options this fall. It can be done; five states already conduct all their elections this way and every state allows some level of mail-in voting. It doesn’t favor either party – just ask Republicans in Utah and Colorado. It’s safer during a pandemic, but also secure: a study of hundreds of millions of votes in Oregon, ever since it became the first to adopt all-mail elections, found fewer than 15 fraudulent ballots cast over more than a decade."

[A note from Mike:  originally I stopped my copy/paste of this wonderful news piece from the Guardian and suggested the "rest of story online, free ... click here".  But after re-reading the remainder of the article multiple times I decided to publish the remainder here - it's too important of a story to take a chance that readers do not see it in it's entirety.]

"Republicans, however, have fought efforts to fund expanded voting options this fall. President Trump recently told Fox & Friends: “If you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” On Wednesday, he tweeted that vote by mail creates “tremendous potential” for voter fraud and mused that “for whatever reason, [it] doesn’t work out well for Republicans”. Georgia’s state house speaker knows that reason, opposing it because it “will certainly drive up turnout” and “will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives.”

Nothing about the Wisconsin election was normal

"But while the quiet part sometimes comes out louder than expected, most of the Republican party’s anti-vote-by-mail excuses are ludicrous. If the president’s intention is to conjure phony visions of voter fraud, others hope to simply slow-walk reform. When Senate Democrats attempted to add election protection safeguards to the first coronavirus stimulus package, the Republican senator John Barrasso insisted they “have no place in an emergency rescue package for the American people”. Election assistance funding, sniffed his colleague Marsha Blackburn, “has nothing to do with Covid-19”.

"On Tuesday, however, the connection between voting and the virus should have been clear enough for even a Republican senator to see. When Robin Vos, Wisconsin’s Republican assembly speaker, tried to deny it, he wore a mask and full personal protective gear. He looked like one of those mean government agents looking to capture ET, which only undercut his assurances that voters stacked up in the five available Milwaukee precincts had absolutely nothing to fear.

"Nothing about the Wisconsin election was normal. Not voters in homemade masks, not the immunocompromised woman whose requested absentee ballot never arrived voting in full bubble wrap, not the plaintive signs that read “this is ridiculous”. But the five conservative Republican appointees to the US supreme court, concerned, ruefully and almost comically, that something might “fundamentally alter the nature of the election”, stepped in … on the side of forcing tens of thousands of Wisconsinites to brave the pandemic and vote in person.

"Along a dreary 5-4 party line vote, the supreme court’s conservative majority, most appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, overturned two lower-court rulings that had extended the vote-by-mail deadline until next week, despite evidence that tens of thousands of absentee ballots had yet to be delivered to voters who requested them, and that untold thousands more might not be postmarked in time. Ruling comfortably from their own living rooms, the five conservatives required these voters to leave their homes during a shelter-in-place order and placed them in the path of a virus. (On Wednesday, the day after the election, reports came of absentee ballots piled in post offices, undelivered.)

"That the supreme court intervened not on the side of voters and fair elections, but in order to protect particular Republican partisan interests, should be saddening, yet unsurprising. Chief Justice John Roberts arrived in Washington almost 30 years ago as a young justice department appointee with a particular interest: eroding the protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Under his leadership, this court has embraced his cramped vision with gusto.

"The Roberts court has made clear that it should not be looked to as any guarantor of the foundational right to vote. Not in an emergency. Not at all. In 2013’s Shelby County v Holder, a 5-4 court defanged the enforcement provisions of section V of the VRA and laid the groundwork for a decade of voter ID requirements, precinct closures and voter roll purges from states with documented histories of racist voting inequities.

"The legislatures behind those efforts, a 5-4 court decreed in 2018’s Abbott v Texas, must be awarded the “presumption of good faith” – even for naked racial gerrymandering schemes. Those voter roll purges were upheld in 2018’s Husted v A Philip Randolph Institute, where the court, again 5-4, created a non-existent loophole that justified canceling registrations if a voter had not casted a ballot in two consecutive elections. Then last year, Roberts authored a, yes, 5-4 decision – Common Cause v Rucho – which slammed the federal courthouses closed to partisan gerrymandering claims at precisely the time a growing number of decisions, by judges appointed by presidents of both parties, saw both an urgent role for the courts and a clear standard for when politicized mapmaking crossed a constitutional boundary."

Elected Republican officials have proven that they are willing to see Americans die rather than hold fair elections

"Gerrymandering and voter purges were at the heart of the GOP urgency to hold this election, this week, with this diminished turnout. A critical state supreme court seat was on the ballot. The winner could sway an upcoming appeal over whether Wisconsin can purge about 240,000 voters from its rolls ahead of November – keep in mind, Trump only won this state by 22,000 votes in 2016 – and could also determine whether Republicans, once again, have a free hand to gerrymander the state’s legislative and congressional maps in 2021. The maps the party carefully engineered in 2011, behind closed doors at a Madison law firm, delivered a 63-36 Republican edge among state assembly districts in 2018, even though Democrats won nearly 54% of the statewide vote, and a statewide edge of about 200,000 votes.

"Non-partisan electoral reformers, Democratic congressional leadership, and even some apostate Republicans like Bill Kristol and the former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele have been battling to ensure that November’s election doesn’t look like the one this week in Wisconsin. After all, even if Congress does nothing to create a national vote-by-mail standard, there’s still likely to be record demand for absentee ballots this fall. And just as the underfunded election administrators and US Postal Service were overwhelmed by an unprecedented 1.2m requests in Wisconsin, it’s easy to imagine a creaky system collapsing under similar strains in November.

"The Republican strategy is clear: drag their feet so it’s difficult to properly fund vote-by-mail. Mislead the public with fictional claims of voter fraud that get amplified on Fox News and by Russian bots on Twitter. Finally, count on John Roberts and the court’s partisan 5-4 majority to backstop any efforts to make free, fair and safe voting more difficult.

"If this plays out according to the Republican plan, it will plunge this nation from an unprecedented public health crisis into a dark constitutional emergency that threatens the legitimacy of the White House, the courts and American democracy itself. That’s a frightening sentence to write. But it’s long past time we call this what it is: elected Republican officials, and the conservatives who they have handed lifelong tenure on the federal bench, have now proven that they are willing to see Americans die rather than hold fair elections that might oust them from power. They have used a pandemic to suppress votes.

"The warning sirens are real. The dress rehearsal is over. There are barely 200 days until election day."

Related story: "Yes, Wisconsin Republicans used the pandemic to stop people from voting"  < That's pure evil.  As voters wake-up and realize what is happening, they may very well NEVER vote for a Republican for the rest of their lives.

posted 04.10.20

GOP Tries To Ram Thru Emergency Aid With No Debate, Discussion

Meanwhile Mitch Says Nothing About Trump Firing Inspectors General

"Our country needs us to be nimble to fix urgent problems as fast as we can, to be able to have focused discussions on urgent subjects without turning every conversation into a conversation about everything," Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Oh really?  This from the guy who does not want to see process and rule changes to allow Congress to handle their business remotely? ... this from the guy who is ignoring President Trump firing multiple Inspectors General? ... this from the guy who REFUSED to a single hearing on President Obama's Supreme Court nomination (Merrick Garland) 4-yrs ago?  Hopefully voters in Kentucky will replace their senior Senator. And, hopefully, American voters nationally will have had enough of all of this obstruction and craziness, and vote to remove virtually all Republicans from elected office: local, state & federal positions. McConnell loves to repeat: "elections have consequences" - it's time to agree on that point, and consequentially kick these creepy people to the curb.  [source]

posted 04.09.20

Trump Turns WH Coronavirus Briefing Circus Into Political Rants & Attacks

News networks stop broadcasting some of Trump's non-virus rants

Fox News covered the White House press briefing live yesterday.  CNN carried only limited highlights, avoiding Trump's political rants and attacks on journalists and democrats and anyone/anything associated with the previous administration.  MSNBC did much the same - alternating between live coverage, and fact-checking analysis.  I'm just glad to have a DVR to capture the daily campaign rallies, er, WH press briefings ... to view when time allows.

Trump has no evidence of election fraud

But that doesn't stop him from trying to brainwash his base of supporters into believing that mail-in-voting options are fraught with ballot-box stuffing.  “Where is the evidence?” asked Jim Acosta of CNN.  Trump: "I think there is a lot of evidence, and we will provide you with some,” the president replied, citing Judicial Watch’s settlement with the state of California “where they agreed that a million people should not have voted.”  Actually, no voter fraud or illegal voting was involved - it was a case of "cleaning-up" voter registration lists to remove names of deceased voters and others who no longer qualify to vote in a given CA district (perhaps the voter moved or is now incarcerated).   When Carol Lee of NBC News asked how he justified his own use of "mail-in" ballot in the latest election, the Donald says: "Because I’m allowed to."  Such a hypocrite.  [more info]

Attacks on W.H.O.

The World Health Organization has become Trump's latest foil for his on-going attacks on multi-nation peace bodies like NATO, and the United Nations - accusing them for a number of things that simply are not true.  Trump said he's considering withholding funding to the WHO ... which is such a stupid thing to do right when the world is wrestling with a pandemic.  [read more about this manufactured, factually challenged rant]

Trump Has ‘Financial Interest’ in Hydroxychloroquine Manufacture

It figures, given the way the Donald keeps touting an anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a “game changer” in treating coronavirus ...  news broke this week indicates his trust owns investments in Sanofi, the maker of hydroxychloroquine.  "I'm not a doctor," Trump repeats, and then reveals more of his twisted mind when he repeats (over and over) "but it may be something really powerful - what have they got to lose?"  Um, well, maybe their life, Mr. President.  Trump's Commerce Sec't Wilbur Ross holds investments, too, in the pharmaceutical firm.  [source]

posted 04.09.20

Trump Keep Trying To Re-write History ... Travel Restrictions

It's become his trademark.  When the Donald doesn't like the press he's getting he tries to submit his alternative facts. 

Case in point: “I cut off China very early.  And if I didn’t, we would have a chart that you wouldn’t believe. So how would I know to do that?  How would I know to cut off Europe? I cut off Europe very early.  I mean, you have to make a decision. People knew that some bad things were going on, and they got off to a late start.  And some others got off to a late start also. But we cut off China. If we didn’t cut off China, we would have been in some big trouble. And we cut it off.” — President Trump, remarks at a campaign rally described as a "news conference" April 2, 2020

Most of that is false or truth that has been greatly altered.  Read it for yourself:

  • Washington Post FactChecker: Trump’s claim that he imposed the first ‘China ban’
  • Mike's archived text of FactCheck.org summary ... preserved just in case the Donald tries to scrub the internet.

Trump Avoids Taking Responsibility ... "because we're just the back-up"

Much of the suffering and death coming was preventable. The president has blood on his hands.

No Mr. President, you are not just the "back-up".   When you declared a National Emergency (March 13th - see timeline below) ... you triggered two federal statutes that grant the executive special authorities and responsibilities in times of crisis: the National Emergencies Act and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.  The law says: "coordinate all disaster relief assistance (including voluntary assistance) provided by Federal agencies, private organizations, and State and local governments".  Doubt me?  Read it for yourself

It's gotten to be quite tiring & sickening to hear Trump repeat, a dozen or more times a day at his Happy Talk Daily Press Briefing "the states were unprepared".  He may be right, but I'd suggest most all of us were not fully prepared - including the Federal gov't.  But it matters not ... 'cuz when he declared "it's a National Disaster" he was not just telling Americans the status of the pandemic or how serious things were across the globe ... no, he was engaging & enacting a legal step and course of action.  Hospitals across the country are experiencing shortages of supplies not limited to the protective equipment (masks, gowns, swabs) but also growing shortages of staff and medicine and other supplies required.  It's been a mess for more than a month and Trump refuses to take charge ... preferring to manage his Happy Talk Briefings and tell the nation he's just the "back-up".

Well, Mr. President ... much of what you and your administration is doing is not all that effective.  On Friday April 3 the Bureau of Labor Statistics told us that nearly 10 million people had filed for unemployment benefits (and millions more were unable to complete their applications due to technical glitches). Also on Friday Rachel Maddow reported on the above consequences of Trump's National Disaster Declaration ... you owe it to yourself and your family to view the streaming video clip of the show & share it with everyone you know.  As Rachel often says:  'these are difficult events to accept & swallow ... time to buckle-up'.   (The 11-minute mark of the program is most "on point" ... if you're pressed for time.)

Additional reading on topic: "Federal Executive Emergency Authorities to Address COVID-19."  Lawfare Institute


Coronavirus timeline [helpful for those with selective recall]

The outbreak that began in China demanded a White House that could act swiftly and competently ... which we didn't do.  News reports indicate that US intelligence agencies reported frequent advance alerts of pending health & safety issues, but as we've come to know this president holds US intelligence agencies in contempt & in such low regard, he ignored the news. Trump typically avoids the traditional NSC Daily Briefing which all modern day presidents have relied upon.  That is until we elected our 1st reality TV star who views his role quite differently.  Suggestion: clip the following summary, laminate it if you must to preserve the facts of the timeline ... because guaranteed: this president will develop his own alternative facts ... which Fox News and One America News Network and Sinclair Media will quickly adopt as "truth". You need to be prepared. 

NOV. 17  The first case, a 55-year-old, may have been known, but not publicly acknowledged, according to the South China Morning Post, which tried to track the virus back to patient zero. 

DEC. 31 China informs the World Health Organization it has detected unusual pneumonia cases in Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million. The cause, China says, is unknown.

JAN. 8  U.S. CDC urge physicians who treat patients with pneumonia-like sickness to consider a possible link to the Chinese outbreak and wear protective masks.

JAN. 9  China's state media reports the viral pneumonia cases are caused by a new type of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, with no specific treatment or vaccine. Symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

JAN. 20  China reports a third death and more than 200 cases, and acknowledges the virus can be passed from human to human. A 35-year-old man, examined in an urgent care clinic in the Seattle area after returning from visiting family in Wuhan, becomes the first American case.

JAN. 28  U.S. evacuates personnel and some private citizens aboard charter flights. The virus also has spread to Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France and Australia.  The U.S. confirms more cases in Chicago, S. California and Arizona. Stock market tumbles.

JAN. 30  The WHO declares a public health emergency of international concern as China reports thousands of coronavirus cases. The U.S. state department warns not to travel to China.

JAN. 31 President Trump restricts some travel of foreign nationals from China.  Americans traveling back to US however are screened but allowed to return to US.

Since Trump continues to tout his restrictions on air travel to portions of China as the cornerstone for his administration's feeble policies to manage the coronavirus spread into the US, it's important to not engage in revisionist history as the Donald has been doing.  Smart citizens will read and save the following FACTS:
   1.  "The Facts on Trump’s Travel Restrictions" by FactCheck.org or,
   2.  see Mike's handy text file captured to ensure the above information doesn't mysteriously vanish

FEB. 14  France announces first virus death in Europe.

FEB. 19  About 600 passengers disembark from the Diamond Princess in Japan. Chinese officials release data suggesting the virus could be 20 times more deadly than the flu.

FEB. 22  About 325 people in Michigan are monitored for coronavirus and self-isolating. There are more than 76,000 cases globally, with more than 2,200 deaths. There are 34 confirmed cases in America.

FEB. 23  A dozen towns in northern Italy go into lockdown as outbreak there surges to more than 150, and the U.S. braces for a pandemic. In the next few days, Univ of Mich football cancels trip, the Dow tumbles, and the president asks Congress for $1.25 billion to fight the virus.

MARCH 5  The public begins to panic, stocking up on extra food, cleaning products and hand sanitizer. The Fed cuts the federal funds rate to stimulate the economy.

MARCH 10  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declares state of emergency after confirming the state's first two cases of the new coronavirus, an Oakland County woman and a Wayne County man tested positive.

MARCH 13  Trump declares a national emergency from the White House Rose Garden.  Confirmed cases in Michigan rise to 25.   Gov. Whitmer limits visits in hospitals & bans gatherings of more than 250 people.

MARCH 16   Gov. Whitmer orders bars, restaurants, theaters, and casinos to close and restricts gatherings to less than 50 people, while the CDC recommends social gatherings be limited to 10 or less. The governor expands unemployment benefits as the number of infected cases rises to 54.

MARCH 27  President Donald Trump slams Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as he weighs disaster request for Michigan.

MARCH 28  The president trashes General Motors & CEO Mary Barra. Using the Defense Production Act the Donald orders GM to begin making ventilators (which they have never done before, and had volunteered days earlier to explore the potential to help the nation). Go figure.

MARCH 31  Reversing course, Trump praises GM, says it's doing a 'fantastic' job.  ("Trump likely heard for his advisors that he'd never get re-elected without sweeping Michigan in Nov ... 'cuz he barely won in '16 when the majority of Wayne County voters sat at home," says Mike.)

APRIL 2  Gov. Whitmer cancels remainder of public school year. Grocery delivery and curbside pickup services are running days behind.

source: Detroit Free Press which I've subscribed since 1972.  posted 04.05.20

Must Read for All: "A president unfit for pandemic" says Boston Globe

Much of the suffering and death coming was preventable. The president has blood on his hands.

March 30, 2020 - Boston Globe editorial board:  "While the spread of the novel coronavirus has been aggressive around the world, much of the profound impact it will have here in the United States was preventable. As the American public braces itself for the worst of this crisis, it’s worth remembering that the reach of the virus here is not attributable to an act of God or a foreign invasion, but a colossal failure of leadership.

"The outbreak that began in China demanded a White House that could act swiftly and competently to protect public health, informed by science and guided by compassion and public service. It required an administration that could quickly deploy reliable tests around the nation to isolate cases and trace and contain the virus’s spread, as South Korea effectively did, as well as to manufacture and distribute scarce medical supplies around the country. It begged for a president of the United States to deliver clear, consistent, scientifically sound messages on the state of the epidemic and its solutions, to reassure the public amid their fear, and to provide steady guidance to cities and states. And it demanded a leader who would put the country’s well-being first, above near-term stock market returns and his own reelection prospects, and who would work with other nations to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases around the world.

"What we have instead is a president epically outmatched by a global pandemic. A president who in late January, when the first confirmed coronavirus case was announced in the United States, downplayed the risk and insisted all was under control. A president who, rather than aggressively test all those exposed to the virus, said he’d prefer not to bring ashore passengers on a contaminated cruise ship so as to keep national case numbers (artificially) low. A president who, consistent with his mistrust and undermining of scientific fact, has misled the public about unproven cures for COVID-19, and who baited-and-switched last week about whether the country ought to end social distancing to open up by Easter, and then, on Saturday, about whether he’d impose a quarantine on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A president who has pledged to oversee the doling out of the $500 billion in corporate bailout money in the latest stimulus package, some of which will go to the travel industry in which his family is invested. A president who spent a good chunk of a recent press conference complaining about how hard it is for a rich man to serve in the White House even as Americans had already begun to lose their jobs, their health care, and their lives. A president who has reinforced racial stigma by calling the contagion a “Chinese virus” and failed to collaborate adequately with other countries to contain their outbreaks and study the disease. A president who evades responsibility and refuses to acknowledge, let alone own, the bitter truth of National Institutes of Health scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony: that the country’s testing rollout was “a failing.”

"Timing is everything in pandemic response: It can make the difference between a contained local outbreak that endures a few weeks and an uncontrollable contagion that afflicts millions. The Trump administration has made critical errors over the past two months, choosing early on to develop its own diagnostic test, which failed, instead of adopting the World Health Organization’s test — a move that kneecapped the US coronavirus response and, by most public health experts’ estimation, will cost thousands if not hundreds of thousands of American lives. Rather than making the expected federal effort to mobilize rapidly to distribute needed gowns, masks, and ventilators to ill-equipped hospitals and to the doctors and nurses around the country who are left unprotected treating a burgeoning number of patients, the administration has instead been caught outbidding individual states (including Massachusetts) trying to purchase medical supplies. It has dragged its heels on invoking the Defense Production Act to get scarce, sorely needed ventilators and masks into production so that they can be distributed to hospitals nationwide as they hit their peaks in the cycle of the epidemic. It has left governors and mayors in the lurch, begging for help. The months the administration wasted with prevarication about the threat and its subsequent missteps will amount to exponentially more COVID-19 cases than were necessary. In other words, the president has blood on his hands.

"It’s not too much for Americans to ask of their leaders that they be competent and informed when responding to a crisis of historic proportions. Instead, they have a White House marred by corruption and incompetence, whose mixed messages roil the markets and rock their sense of security. Instead of compassion and clarity, the president, in his near-daily addresses to the nation, embodies callousness, self-concern, and a lack of compass. Dangling unverified cures and possible quarantines in front of the public like reality TV cliffhangers, he unsettles rather than reassures. The pandemic reveals that the worst features of this presidency are not merely late-night comedy fodder; they come at the cost of lives, livelihoods, and our collective psyche.

"Many pivotal decision points in this crisis are past us, but more are still to come. For our own sake, every American should be hoping for a miraculous turnaround — and that the too-little, too-late strategy of the White House task force will henceforth at least prevent contagion and economic ruin of the grandest scale. But come November, there must be a reckoning for the lives lost, and for the vast, avoidable suffering about to ensue under the president’s watch."

posted 04.05.20 - the preceding was written by the Boston Globe editorial board; I support the overall conclusion. - Mike

Facts Matter: Much of Trump's "War on the virus" is Happy Talk

And much of what the administration says it's doing is false

March 19: "We're not shipping clerks," President Trump says in an effort to defend himself from critique of his team's poor response to the virus.  Doctors and nurses, hospitals and clinics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and ambulance drivers from coast-to-coast all say the same thing: "we have inadequate supplies of masks & gloves & gowns needed to keep everyone safe & avoid spreading the virus further.  Help us, please."  The professionals have been saying it for weeks and the administration's response has evolved ... first, they were saying: "not our job ... call your governor."   Then team-Trump started getting attacked for not employing the Defense Production Act to force manufacturers into producing goods the country needs much like Roosevelt did during WW2 (Michigan famously became knows as the "arsenal of democracy" for producing planes & tanks needed in the war effort).  Then when he decides to invoke DPA to force General Motors to make ventilators ... the company said: "chill-out ... we already VOLUNTEERED to do this for the good of the world."  How can the president arbitrarily select a manufacturer and order them to make something they have no expertise making?  Why not tell the 'My Pillow' guy to make Trump's ventilators?  (Because it makes no sense to do so ... Trump was just continuing his assault on Mary Barra at GM.)

At the daily WH press briefings VP Pence has been saying things like this almost every day for weeks: "We've vastly increased the supply of medical masks, and we're going to continue to put a priority on making sure that we are calling on industry at every level, calling on major suppliers that the president met with this week, to make sure those personal protective equipment are there." Trouble is: its not happening ... and was unable to offer any specifics. Or, said another way, it's bull-pucky. Given the negative press they've received over the lack of coordination of supplies, if Pence HAD actually shipped the materials, he'd have details to share - like how many pieces shipped, dates, destinations, and even the signature of the receiving party. He had no such info to share because the Federal gov't HAD NOT shipped the items Pence mentioned.  They may have ordered the stuff ... or located the stuff ... but the needed materials had not been shipped to the medical people who needed it.  Doctors & nurses are using the same freaking, virus infused masks for days.  The same thing is happening with tests to determine who does or doesn't have the virus.  Just a total disaster.

posted in total disgust 04.02.20  [source for more examples of incompetence]

Only Voters Can Make America Normal Again

Even before coronavirus outbreak voters knew what they needed to do  

The polls have been consistent since the Donald's inauguration in 2017: the Donald would go down in history for having the lowest approval rating for any US President in modern history.  His penchant for exaggeration, and not being completely honest or truthful is legendary.  Several journalists immediately began tracking the incidents and details about each time President Trump inaccurately stated the facts or details on a host of topics ... over 16,000 lies & inaccurate statements have been documented in just the first 3-yrs of this disastrous presidency. [Doubt me?  Read the list: source]

Congress had an opportunity to take action which could have had a positive impact on our nation's response to this pandemic, but lacked the moral courage to remove Trump from office.  Only one Republican joined the Democrats (100% of 'em voted to dump Trump).  This failure will prove to be one of many reasons that tens of thousands of American lives will be lost that could have been spared with rapid, decisive action.  Our next election can not come soon enough.

Louise shared with me a cute slogan she read online: "watching Fox News to learn about history or politics ... is like watching "Green Acres" to learn about farming!"  And to the radical right-wing extremists who think I'm being unfair or unreasonable consider the Donald actually volunteered to appear in this hilarious video.

posted 04.02.20

Trump Commandeers WH Briefing & The Evening News Hour

Briefings take the place of the Donald's political rallies

It's not a coincidence the Trump administration has monopolized the evening news hour to present their politically charged press briefings and their version of manufactured facts.  They know the world is watching.  They also know local TV stations will likely broadcast the event live, thus controlling the narrative.  Trump is ensuring his story & his version of the "facts" are seen by his base ... which means the local newscast is shorter, likely abbreviated.  It also means there is a good chance his base of supporters will not hear the truth about what's actually going on.

Take the laundry list of personal protective equipment (PPE) that our health care system so desperately needs to keep themselves healthy and not spread the virus further.  Masks, gowns, gloves, gowns.  The life sustaining machines like ventilators are in limited supply to meet the needs across the country.  The Trump administration has one excuse after another for the public to chew upon, as well as a mind-numbing list of materials that have either been ordered or shipped - it's difficult to say which ... and whatever the message - the reality in the field ... the reality in our hospitals from coast-to-coast are telling a different story.  But Fox News and One America Network viewers rarely hear the truth, and proceed eating dinner under the mistaken impression that all is fine and the gov't response is "spot-on" perfect, just like the Donald's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.  (The call was not perfect, nor are most messages the WH circulates.) 

posted 04.02.20

Resource: awesome searchable Coronavirus map and case count data

Revised 04.02.20 © New York Times

Stumbled upon the mapping program above in the NY Times.  You can search by state, by county.  Check it out.

"At least 4,800 people with the coronavirus have now died in the US and more than 200,000 people are known to be infected, according to a NY Times database. The death toll has quadrupled over the last week and now exceeds the number of people known to have died from the virus in China, where the pandemic started in December," says the NY Times. 

Do you not find it to be strange that our Federal government response, as incomplete and disjointed as it is, really didn't begin until mid-March?  Well I do ... and hopefully at least 50.1% of American voters agree.  There's plenty of evidence supporting the removal of Donald J. Trump from office - replaced with a new, professional administration in November.

Access map and data for yourself: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

posted 04.02.20 in memory of my aunt Dorothy

Trump's Glam Anchor Given 'da boot' on Fox News For Inaccurate Report

Will Remainder of Fox Personalities Face Similar Fate?

Trish Regan's ratings were not as rich and full-bodied as her radiant, luxurious locks ... nor as gleaming as many of her peers on Fox News.  It's typical: Fox needed to give the appearance of being 'fair & balance' by admonishing the weak link in their anchor lineup.  Regan was expendable even though her commentary was similar to the rest of the conservative fact-challenged network. 

"I’m setting the record straight," TR boasted on Twitter after the axe had fallen on her crumbling career.  One viewer responded: "Glad you ‘set the record straight’ as the virus spreads and kills his base. The record seems more important though."  Another viewer agreed & acknowledged: "The median age of Fox News viewers is 65. The irony is FOX viewers contain a lot of people in the highest risk group and they're glued to a network (and talk radio) that's telling them this virus is really no big deal.  CDC is telling people over 70 to stay indoors."  Let's face it: there are plenty of horny old men who are somewhat addicted to the Fox News eye-candy.

Options to salvage her career appear to be limited. CBS had given her a pink slip in '07, CNBC dumped her in 2012, as did Bloomberg TV.  The good news for Fox: they'll pocket Regan's estimated $7 million annual salary as the virus pandemic crushes advertising revenue.  Think of that, Fox viewers ... seven million dollars per year ... ninety-four times greater than the national average ... no wonder you're coughing-up, on average, $150/mo. for the privilege of seeing all the ads on cable TV.  "I am grateful to my incredible team at FOX and for the many opportunities the network has provided me," Regan said.  [one of many sources]

posted 03.29.20

Citizens Step-Up In Virus Response ... Trump Continues To Flounder

Goodness prevails over evil when it matters most

As promised yesterday for those who crave something positive, here are a few acts of kindness & general good news that caught my eye:

 ... like an iconic Ironwood, Michigan-based small manufacturer called Stormy Kromer ... makers of fine wool hats & more since 1903 "you can't fake your way to legendary" ... now making personal protective equipment (masks) for medical first responders.

... As a means of thanking school custodians for going the extra mile, making sure school facilities are kept clean and sanitary during the COVID-19 outbreaks, appreciative parents from all over the country have raised thousands of dollars for the janitors in their district. [story]

... as with past national emergencies, like 9|11, Americans have rallied around the president and given bipartisan support.  GW Bush saw his approval rating bump some 25-30% after the attack on Sept. 11th.   For Trump his response, or lack of, to the coronavirus has attributed to a 5-7% bump.  Not very impressive.  (Gallup says 49% of Americans approve ... sort of.  Read the full story.) 


Petty President Proves He's Incompetent In Time of Our National Crisis  

"Hey, President Trump: Her name is Gretchen Whitmer," says Mitch Albom / Detroit Free Press

It's become his trademark.  When President Trump perceives he is being disrespected or "not appreciated" he attacks.  Viciously.  Last week our reality show TV star president turned his venom on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her unforgiveable sin of asking the Federal government for help in response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.  “The governor of Michigan, she’s not stepping up,” Trump complained to Fox News. “I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government."  Actually, I think Trump takes aim at Gov. Whitmer because she gave the Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union address.  Sorry Donald ... Whitmer's remarks were spot-on perfect.  [Those who missed Whitmer's Feb. 4th speech can view it now & decide for yourself.] 

While I realize Whitmer commands overwhelming support from native Michiganders there have been a few conservatives in the state legislature who resist some of Gretchen's policy actions ("fix the damn roads") ... but when it comes to handling matters related to the virus, her support seems to be nearly universal within the state.  So it's refreshing to see comments from some conservative-leaning voices like Mitch Albom, author & Detroit Free Press columnist. 

"We have come to tolerate an infantile person in a grown man’s job, a baby in a suit," writes Albom. 
Well said, Mitch.

posted 03.29.20

Dangerously Inept Federal Government Response

"Nobody in their wildest dreams..."  Trump falsely claims

"Nobody in their wildest dreams would have ever thought that we'd need tens of thousands of ventilators," President Trump repeats almost every day as he commandeers the WH briefing room microphone. "Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before ... Nobody ever thought of numbers like this."

That obviously is false ... as the previous administrations of H.W. Bush, William Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Barack Obama all had detailed, written action plans with staff assigned to the tasks.  It turns out the Trump administration had practiced the government responses in the event something like COVID-19 actually happened.  Yep, the Donald's team "gamed out" an eerily similar pandemic over the first half of 2019 as reported in The New York Times.   The Trump administration even issued a report with recommendations in October that highlighted how unprepared the US of A was to deal with such a respiratory virus outbreak.  You too can have the facts to dispel silly Fox News reports by reading for yourself the .pdf written by Trump's staff: "Crimson Contagion"

Table A.1 (upper right) comes from page 44 in the Pandemic Influenza Plan which was just updated in 2017 by the US Dept of Health & Human Services ... look at the bottom-line "very severe" with 20% of the US population infected.  Dire.  

Was every issue the world faces today discussed or covered in the report?  Goodness no.  But the NY Times article and copies of these types of reports, along with the organization charts the Trump administration inherited, there were plenty of people assigned to, and working on, these critical matters such as the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS).  But many of the positions were vacant.  Time magazine reports: "key roles at the State Dept, the US Agency for International Development, the Dept of Homeland Security, the Dept of Veterans Affairs and the Dept of Health and Human Services are being carried out by temporary, unconfirmed officials." 

Last week Reuters reported that "the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China."  Doubt me?  Ask the Google: Linda Quick.  Or try researching Timothy Ziemer, he was a Director on Trump's National Security Council focused on Global Health - Security & Bio-defense ... Tim left team Trump in 2018 & was not replaced.  Ziemer's vacancy was just one of many failures highlighted in a November 2019 report ... back when there was still time to be proactive ... from a leading think-tank CSIS - Center for Strategic International Studies.  [read report]   And for the radical right-wing Trump supporters who may be thinking: "Yeah, sure, Mike ... another one of your progressive, liberal non-profit organizations?"  Hardly.  Current CSIS co-chair is former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

Bottom-line: we're in a terrible mess and the lack of a coordinated, calm, effective response from the Federal government is a glaring failure that most Americans are just not used to.  America is country that turned the tide in two world wars and kept the world a bit safer for generations.   As I finish this article I am already thinking more positively and will include future notes about some amazing steps that people and businesses are taking all over the country to fill the void caused by Donald J. Trump. 

posted 03.28.20

Positive News Begins To Trickle ... States Take Charge As Trump Fails

Lives lost due to lack of coordinated Federal response

Our President insists he's not a "shipping clerk" which is causing states to compete with each other for dwindling resources and supplies needed to keep our first responders healthy & safe.  But last night Rachel Maddow interviewed Lt. General Todd Semonite, Chief Engineer with our fabulous Corps of Engineers who are tasked with helping expand a series of temporary medical facilities across the country in coordination with FEMA.

Finally.  A professional with a clear sense of urgency.  If you missed the interview, fret not ... I located a YouTube clip just for you.  Please share it with others!

Greed Destroyed Our Social Immune System. It’s Time to Rebuild It.

This crisis is about a lot more than a virus, says Mother Jones

I stumbled upon a quick article in Mother Jones (it's a magazine), and decided to put a link here to the full text.  The greed that I see is today's "win at all costs" strategy deployed by the GOP who seems to tolerate Trump just so long as he keeps packing the courts with conservative jurists and shepherds tax cuts for the wealthy thru Congress.  

The trick though for this retired, balding Midwestern "blogger" (wanna-be journalist) is to provide just hint of the Mother Jones article ... a snippet to whet your appetite:

"...We knew Trump would make the crisis about himself (and his family’s personal gain). We knew he’d soon look for scapegoats, and find them among people of color and the media. We knew it because that’s what he always does. What we don’t quite know yet is how much further the president’s allies will follow him into his narcissistic fantasy ... here is what gives me hope: So much of it is happening. People are sewing masks, giving blood, filling out census forms. They are building mutual aid groups to support neighbors and raise money for restaurant workers. And they are finding new ways to organize politically now that no one will knock on doors or go to meetings in person."  Mother Jones March-April 2020 issue

The magazine seems to really be interested in your opinions:  "What do you think Mother Jones’ biggest priority in covering the coronavirus should be right now?"

Hmmm.  Why not tell 'em what's on your mind?

Trump Ignores Early Warnings; Threatens Media Over Ad

(the ad is made using only words uttered by the Donald) 

Such thin skin ... our Commander in Chief has a hissy fit over an ad that summarizes his administration's pathetic response to the global pandemic.  Whoa fully inept.  Not removing the ad about rising U.S. coronavirus cases “could put your station’s license in jeopardy,” the Trump campaign warned in a "cease & desist" letter.  Trump's attorneys extended the threats which make him appear more & more like a lunatic mob boss: "... not removing the ad could put your station’s license in jeopardy with the Federal Communications Commission."  Oh really?  Is this the next example how he plans to deal with his enemies?  "Lock her up!" became the campaign rally cry.  What's your next move ... unleashing the IRS on your opponents?

Haven't seen it?  No problem-o ... try this link

After China reported the outbreak of a new coronavirus in December, U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the Trump administration in classified messages about the potentially devastating threat, The Washington Post reported Friday. Yet President Donald Trump largely ignored the warnings and delayed action that might have slowed the spread of the COVID-19 disease, according to the newspaper.  [source]

posted with pride 03.27.20

"We can't let the cure be worse than the problem," Trump

Trump administration has failed in virtually every aspect of federal government's response to crisis

Virtually no health official or medical expert agrees with President Trump that efforts to halt the spread should be relaxed to ease negative affects on the economy.  The Commander in Chief says decisions meant to combat the pandemic should not solely be left to medical professionals. "If it were up to the doctors, they may say, 'Let's shut down the entire world,'" Trump said, adding, "You know, we can't do that."  He argued much of this reasoning at the White House briefing on Monday and again later that day at a Fox News town hall which is why his lunatic base of supporters agrees with him.  Forget the data ... forget the fact that his administration's response to the virus has been an absolute failure.  Trump gives himself a perfect "10" - I say he has failed by not following the federal pandemic response plans.  Trump credits his decision to issue "travel ban" on China on January 31st for saving America.  Regardless what Trump says now in retrospect the travel ruling was not a complete ban - there were so many exceptions - the "ban" was close to worthless in containing the virus. The action was also not "bold" as Trump loves to portray - because he knows if he says if often enough, his base will believe it to be true, but even his Health & Human Services secretary Alex Azar said at the time, the decision stemmed from "the uniform recommendations of the career public health officials here at HHS." Trump also loves to create a villain in every issue he faces and complained Democrats “called me a racist because I made that decision ... they loudly criticized and protested.”   False.  As Factcheck.org points out "None of the party’s congressional leaders and none of the Democratic candidates running for president have directly criticized that decision".

Beyond that, testing protocols have been an abject failure - forget the fact that his administration opted to produce their own tests rather than use the COVID-19 diagnostic tests produced by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Heck, why not reinvent the wheel, Donald?  Why pass on testing that had proven to work in China, Korea, and throughout Europe?  Critical weeks have been lost, and most likely American lives ... and testing is still one of the largest problems.  Add the issues of limited supplies: masks, gowns, gloves, shields, ventilators - and we have problems, Houston.  And to compound those problems, we have a president who longs for the days when he could embrace the adulation of his supporters at his MAGA constant-campaign rallies ... so he has been commandeering the podium at the WH Press Briefing Room that had been mothballed prior to current crisis because Trump press briefings typically generated little more than additional controversy & negative news.

Instead of communicating calm and reassurance to American citizens, Trump has used the briefings to attack the media and Democrats. Nothing new there.  But experts say the notion that world and the U.S. government has been blindsided by the pandemic is "an onion of layered lies."  So says Max Brooks, an expert on planning for pandemics and other disasters.  Brooks has lectured at the US Naval War College and a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Brooks appeared on NPR's Fresh Air hosted by Terry Gross [yep, the link leads to a podcast of the program and for those who love detail as much as I, there's even a freaking transcript].

Brook debunks the Donald's misunderstanding of the Defense Production Act, and offers local & state governments with a road map to help resolve some of the equipment shortages.  Brooks also offers the facts that could have been used at the water cooler to dispel Trump's claim that use of the DPA is the equivalent of nationalizing private industry in America. No, it's a process, Donald, to ensure that needed resources actually produce material & goods that are needed in this moment crisis.  "what you can do is identify a supply chain in order to make it work," Brooks says.  There are also numerous tips to the military who could and should be playing a more vital role - and that involves more than commanding 2 medical ships to report for duty "in the not too distant future" as Trump likes to say when asked for specifics.  It could be worth your time to listen to the podcast.

posted 03.25.20

Trump Supporters Put Lives At Risk - Over & Over

Like no other US President in history, Donald J. Trump puts lives at risk ... and his base of supporters allow it to happen.  Most likely America has never seen a political leader more focused on his approval ratings then our reality TV show president ... and what he sees is a disappointing but consistently low approval rating somewhere in the mid-forties.  Just think: of the 10 registered voters who live closest to you - four or more still support Trump.  And that is after numerous documented evidence that the Donald has lied thousands of times in the past 3-yrs* and he's repeatedly put human lives at risk.  Lives of Americans and our allies, jeopardized due to his or his administration's incompetence and bad decisions on his part. 

* Two of the best Trump fact-checkers have not updated their lists in months likely because the volume of inaccurate, false information that spews from Trump & his administration has become so voluminous and consistent its become a full-time job for many.  Washington Post is stuck at 16,241 false or misleading statements and hasn't updated the list since January 20, 2020.  Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief for The Toronto Star listed 5,276 false statements through May 2019 ... Dale continues to frequently post his current fact-checking analysis on Twitter but I can not locate Dale's comprehensive 3-yr list ... given the daily volume of inaccurate things Trump says it's gotta' be a challenge. Dale posted over 60 Tweets identifying specific Trump gaffes just Sunday (03.22.20).

Trump has a long history of destroying careers, reputations, and putting lives at risk which is disgusting since most past presidents and most Americans would say he's not fulfilling his oath of office: "I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."   (Just remember: Trump does much of this crap because he thinks a huge chunk of Americans support him - which I will counter and say: Trump supporters are too lazy to keep up with the truth and seem to buy-into the argument that the media is unfair in their reports, and his own intelligence agencies are staffed by Never-Trumpers.  Same with the Justice Department, the FBI, and the CIA ... all have conspired against Trump, or so he says ... and "money-honey" Marie Bartiromo has proof ("tune in to Mornings with Maria on Fox Business and learn more about the shocking evidence from Devin Nunes...").  How on Earth are we ever going to convince the lunatics who support Trump of the facts if they don't believe journalists or career government employees throughout our justice and intelligence communities?  It's really quite absurd that the "law-and-order" party - the GOP - would be trashing our law enforcement & intelligence officers.  Need a quick refresher of the facts? 

  • family separation policy - Southern border - snatching babies from their mother's arms
  • drastic cuts to LEGAL immigration & increases to deportations within the US of A
  • canceling US participation in Iran nuclear agreement (which was working)
  • terminating US involvement in Paris Climate Change Accord ("its all a hoax")
  • Trump cuts provisions in the Affordable Care Act without advancing his health care "plan"
  • reneged on DACA Deal with Democrats just hours after saying: “My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” the president said [see video if you doubt me].
  • increase in white supremacist rhetoric & hate speech ("He's done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country," says Senator Elizabeth Warren.)
  • Trump's solution to end school shootings? Let arm the teachers ... what could go wrong?
  • manufactured trade war (China, Canada, Mexico) & tariffs - especially hard hit: farmers
  • mangled hurricane response & rescue (Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Atlantic Coast)
  • entered into agreements with Kim Jong-Un of N. Korean without consulting his own State Dept staff
  • fractured NATO ally confidence in US of A
  • added trillions (and counting) to national debt ... for future generations to resolve
  • abandoned Kurds in Syria 2019 & put remaining US forces in Middle East at risk
  • withheld Congressional aid for Ukraine - blackmailed Pres. Zelensky to manufacture "dirt" on Joe Biden - meanwhile Ukraine soldiers killed by Russian attacks which the funding was supposed to safeguard
  • dismissal of gov't employees Trump views as "disloyal" (such as Lt. Col. Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, Gen. H.R. McMaster, Omarosa Manigault Newman, and dozens more)
  • ignored early national security intelligence reports four months ago about potential pandemic
  • dismissed importance of early reports of the coronavirus - blamed the media & Democrats
  • delayed official US Gov't response to virus testing (and lied about & continues to do so)
  • Trump mentions chloroquine was being tested as possible a COVID- 19 therapy: man dies [news link]

posted 03.23.20 - updated 03.25.20

Fox News is evil (as if more proof is required)

The challenge for headline writers is to be thought provoking & concise, using the fewest words possible.  I don't have that finely tuned skill.  I actually wanted to say: "Fox News and everyone who religiously watches Fox News are evil."  I might even go so far as to say Fox News viewers ARE the problem.  Not but six or 7 yrs ago Fox News and the opinions expressed by their "news analysts" and guests and their staff were on the fringe.  A bit whacky.  Not a crowd to be taken seriously.  Flash forward a bit and the Tea Party emerges, though tiny and still considered to be fringe.  We survived Freedom Works and the Koch Brothers.  But they've become mainstream now: Steven Miller, Steve Bannon, Mick Mulvaney, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan & more. 

Then Donald & Melania Trump glide down their golden escalator and claim the GOP nomination for President and a cast of Republican "Never Trumpers" emerge.  Literally everyone in the GOP establishment were card-carrying members opposed to the Donald ascension to the White House ... Lyin' Ted, Little Marco, Low-energy Jeb, Truly weird Senator Rand Paul.  Even Trump's so-called insiders were victims of the Donald's juvenile name-calling.  Jeff Sessions became Mr. Magoo, long-term Apprentice aid became Wacky Omarosa. He called his eventual VP as Mike Pounce

Gradually, the establishment Republicans see the courts being packed with conservative fire-brand judges they'd only dreamt of in the past, and see virtually every advance made during the Obama administration now over-turned & nuked.  Even things that were working and keeping the world safer like the Iran nuclear agreement, and the Paris Climate Change initiative from 2016.  Gone, erased.  [doubt me? read this article: "How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy"] 

So Republicans and especially Fox News viewers have drunk the Kool-Aid and now claim they support they Donald ... because "winning" is more important than any of the issues the nation and the world face.  And, those who prove to be disloyal face Trump's wrath & retribution.

Sean Hannity says Dems & "media mob" are weaponizing COVID-19 against Trump [read for yo' self]
Hannity says: "They want you to believe that the spread of corona is the president's fault and he's not doing enough to protect you."  No Sean, that's typical of you and other Republicans to make things up, but no reasonable Democrat or the "media mob" are saying the virus is Trump's fault ... but they'll repeat that line so many times that faithful Fox News viewers will have it memorized and will repeat it at Trump rallies or other public venues.  What Democrats and the media are saying is that Trump's his own worst enemy ... he contradicts his health experts daily and does not state the facts accurately.  'There are only 15 cases,' he essentially says, 'and 10 or those are better, so we're down to 5, and we'll be at 0 in a few days - we're fine - we'll have a vaccine in a few months & then the virus will just vanish.'  False.

FACT CHECK: Trump makes 14 false claims at Fox News town hall  [read & absorb truth]  I won't bother to repeat the list here ... serious readers will have already clicked-the-link and read the CNN story.  Trump's base will see that source and say: "CNN is fake news" ... even though nearly 17,000 documented, substantiated lies, misstatements, & exaggerations have been recorded.  Suffice to say, anytime the Donald appears before a camera he can not help himself ... he wants to make himself look good - he wants to stamp all issues with his hunches and his brand, his version of "reality" which is rarely accurate.  [more proof on Trump's lies]

posted 03.07.20

Super Tuesday reveals Joe Biden, hiding in plain sight

USA Today editorial board writes this morning:

Most important, Biden is the one thing that Trump is most conspicuously not: a man of good character. That is no trivial matter for voters looking to restore a sense of decency to the White House.  For Democrats desperate for someone with a fighting chance to beat Trump, they may have found their guy, hiding in plain sight.

Personally, I'd edit the above comment ... replace "Democrats" with "Americans" ... so that it reads:  "Americans desperate for someone with a fighting chance to beat Trump, they may have found their guy, hiding in plain sight."  Yep.   You go, Joe!

posted 03.06.20

In Search Of Joy (or, maintaining my sanity in these crazy times)

The past several months I'll admit, I've been on the brink of losing it.  I am referring to what's going on in Washington DC and all across this once great land in the midst of an election year.  Rather than re-hash all that has happened in past three years I decided to archive previous articles written here and just pick up with the impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives - which built a compelling, but incomplete case against Donald J. Trump.  His administration was blocking every reasonable attempt to secure documents & testimony, and fighting them in the courts would have extended the battle past the November general election.  Trump and his Republican defenders were essentially running out the clock ... so Democrats & Independents had little choice but Impeach the President.

Disagree with my assessment?  Prove it.  Actually, I'd say you likely have watched far too much One America TV or too much Fox News ... because the facts are quite clear.  And no, Trump never released a real transcript of his call with the Ukrainian President ... just an incomplete summary.  Have you read it?  You oughta'.  We can pause here while you dash off and do that.  And while you're at it, try reading some of these fact-checking articles:

  • Opening statements from President Trump's legal team at Senate trial:  fact-check link
  • Trump's attorneys claim he was locked out from participating in impeachment proceedings. That's false. fact-check link
  • Trump's false claim that US is the only country providing aid to Ukraine  fact-check link
  • Did Trump really care about corruption in Ukraine? The evidence suggests no  fact-check link
  • Breaking down Adam Schiff's account of Trump's Ukraine call  fact-check link

Even though many Republican Senators admitted that the Democrats made their case and proved Trump was guilty, they claimed there was no need for further testimony & evidence 'cuz the infractions didn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense.  What kind of nonsense is that???  Only Mitt Romney of all people, displayed an ounce of integrity, voting to remove Trump from office.  But the GOP "won" and they kept the most dangerous man ever to hold the nuclear football to remain in office.  "Winning" is all Mitch McConnell & today's Congressional Republicans care about ... which is why all of them need to be voted out of office (except Mitt). 

Following the impeachment trial Trump proceeded to act as if he was vindicated of the charges (he was not) and proceeded to embark on a shameful "victory lap" as he began to feel embolden to further attack and punish anyone who he perceived to be "disloyal".  His factually challenged, highly partisan State of the Union address was indeed “a manifesto of mistruths” as House Speaker Pelosi explained after the red-meat speech was delivered. 

Yet through it all some 40+ percent of American adults continue to support the guy.  That's just insane ... and its the reason I have to pull back from this craziness and find joy elsewhere.  Oh, sure, I'll still watch more news & read more government reports than the average buffoon, but I'm going to post fewer comments here about politics for a little while as I attempt to not go bonkers and shall immerse myself & flood my brain with material other than cable news ... Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams & Nicole Wallace ... who you may recall worked in the Bush-2 W.H. as communications director ... a Republican. 

step 1:  explore diversions based on decency

One source of joy for Louise & I is music.  The other day I mentioned that Harry Nilsson's classic production: The Point  turned 50-yrs old.  "Impossible," my brain responded.   So naturally, I've been playing more of Harry's tunes & through this fun diversion I've re-gained my appreciation for his music and even formulated a connection with our activity the past 2-years: exploring vintage sports cards from the golden era of sport.  Goodness, you may be thinking ... that's quite a stretch.  What does Oblio & The Point have to do with my beloved 1933 Babe Ruth baseball card?  Or, Red Grange? 

Glad you asked.   Take the 3rd song from the Point for example ... Poli High.  (Yeah, it's best to listen to the tune while reading this little thought.)

Poli-high, Poli-Technic, Poli-Technically High
Poli-high, Poli-Technically High
Valley Low, Valley Low, Valley so low
Valley Low, Valley Low, Valley High

Poly Tech.  It's a technical name.  Technically high.   A school?

Had a game, had a game, had a technical game
By the name, by the name, called a technical game
Valley High, Valley High, Valley High
Poli, Low

Alright, now we're getting somewhere. We have a game ... with a technical name. (Triangle Toss: the object is for participants to catch the triangle on the point of their heads ... or in Oblio's case, on Arrow's pointed snout.)  But the tune can easily be adapted to most any contest, especially when good vs. evil is involved.  Kinda' like: Decent Americans vs. Donald J. Trump.  Valley high ... valley so low.

Then de whistle blow
Then de whistle blow
Second half, second half, Poli come from behind
Hold that line, Hold that line, Hold that line

The lyrics suggest sport ... whistles blowing, 2nd half ... but also optimism:  Biden comes from behind.  Boy how I love rooting for the underdog.  And of course we need a strong defense - 2nd half, 2nd half ... to the next phase.   Hold that line, hold that line ... quit caving-in to the wingnuts who want to re-create the national education system with faith-based charter schools.  Hold that line, hold that line!  Send Betsy DeVos packing.  Oh, but wait ... are there charges that need to be brought against these criminals as their reign of terror on America comes to an end?

Far to go, going, slow, Poli come from behind
Running out of the time
Number Two, dressed in blue
Make a run with the ball

The effort never ends - its a battle: sometimes slow.  Far to go but it's worth the effort to preserve freedom and not accept the radical red-meat arguments or rolling back regulations simply because they were passed by the nation's first black president & his administration.  Dressed in Biden blue, #2 (like the Veep he was).

Hurry up Poli, pass Valley by
Then the rain start to fall
Making fools of them all
And so it ends in a technical tie

The struggle ends in a tie?  How unsatisfying ... the rain, fools.  Reminds me of the nonsense line in MacArthur's Park: "... someone left the cake out in the rain ..."  That can't be good.  But as depicted in the graphic above, Oblio & Arrow's victory over the bratty Trump-like son* of the Count was well-received by the citizens.  (* yep, another confession: in my mind's eye I do see Donald Trump, Jr. when I hear reference to the evil Count's Son.   It's a sickness; I admit it, but it'll be over soon.)

step 2:  let history be a guide

The moral or larger lesson gleaned from The Point is that while everything has a point ... a point in all directions is the same as no point at all.  Yes, I borrowed that analysis directly from Nilsson's story.  "He's got a point there!" said one observer.

So the references to sports & games is part of the joy for me.  The vintage cards have lead to books & articles, and life-long learning, and a sense of better understanding people and past generations.  Sports can help one develop personal goal setting and striving to achieve and do your best.  Poli High ... then de whistle blows ... reference to the second half suggests a football contest ... which I can not watch now without hearing Nilsson singing: "hold that line" and "come from behind!"   

The kids who collected these cards back in 1933 may have had access to a radio - my father didn't.  Information about the Babe's latest home run, or the other Babe's latest track & field victory at the Olympics out in L.A. could be found mainly in the newspapers or on the news-reels at the Bijou (theatre).

Sport Kings was a collection of cards that spanned multiple sports: football, hockey, golf, track, baseball, basketball, tennis, wrestling & boxing and more.  And, get this: two of the cards were girls!  Imagine a bratty, snot-nosed little freckled face boy with a penny burning a hole in his pocket, racing down to the local Sugar Emporium & Tobacco Shoppe to fetch a wax-sealed pack of Goudey's Sport Kings which had a card and a slab of bubble gum ... hoping to get a Jim Thorpe or a Carl Hubbell card ... only to find they got a girl.  Aaaaugh! Eeeuw!  The two girls?  1. Babe Didrikson, track star & future professional golfer; and 2. Helene Madison, gold medal Olympic swimmer.  "Say, maybe I can trade it to Roy," the little conniver says as he hatches his scheme.

-- see more of Mike's limited sports card collection (link).   -- The Point the movie ... streaming link.

Lists of Shame (Trump summary websites):
* Trump's Twitter index
* Washington Post's Long List of Lies
* Factba.se - the most awesome depository of all Trump speeches, Tweets, & policy
10.21.20 - many articles published earlier are being sorted - I may have a new "archive" soon ... or not.