With hurricanes, one after another, battering the south while wildfires ravage the west coast and a climate change denier commander in chief talking about the Covid problem being resolved by “herd mentality” amid breaking news that a private jail in Georgia, used by ICE to house detainees, may have been performing unnecessary hysterectomies on women detained at the border – with all of this happening at the same time isn’t it about time for somebody to get up and shout out the obvious, that Donald J. Trump is mentally challenged to the point that he represents a clear and present danger to the country? At long last, do these Republicans have absolutely no shame? Are they without humanity? Do they find no treachery beyond the realm of acceptability?
We are approaching 2-hundred thousand dead from Covid, and still we have no national plan to stop it. How long can this madness go on? Only the Republicans can stop it. Only they will be held accountable if they continue to do nothing as this madness, this destruction of our democracy, continues.
Donald J. Trump is not well. He obviously cares nothing for the law even though our founders gave us a nation of laws. He cares nothing about the well being of our people or our troops overseas. He has taken us dangerously close to the edge with speech patterns filled with inconsistencies, illogic and paranoia. Don’t you suppose that Mr. Trump’s greatest fear is that his followers might find out just how utterly incompetent he truly is?
How many psychologists and psychiatrists need tell us that Donald J. Trump is not mentally sound to the degree that he represents a danger? That the job of President, is quite simply beyond his abilities? Are there no patriots left in the Republican Party, only traitors? Why are we being forced to wonder whether a peaceful transition of power will be possible when Joe Biden wins in November?
We wouldn’t be asking most of these questions if only the Republicans had fulfilled their duty to the country and held a legitimate trial in the Senate following Trump’s impeachment in the House. Eisenhower, Reagan, McCain and other real Republicans are surely spinning in their graves as this current batch of pseudo-Republican hacks continue selling out the country, their party, their sense of moral decency and ethical responsibility that once upon a time, not so very long ago, probably made them actually worthwhile. The other possibility, of course, is that those Republicans in the Senate who held a “show trial,” along with the president himself, all exhibit such a degree of psychological co-morbidity as to render them beyond any real human feeling or conscience, and as such, beyond the reach of simple decency.
Breaking! Trump sends out military to blow holes in roads to improve transportation. White House says the president feels it’s the least he can do following his success with the USPS and Covid-19.
Breaking! First Lady Melania Trump sprains ankle while pretending to putter in the new and improved rose garden. While struggling to stay upright on 6-inch stilettos, Mrs. Trump was heard saying, “Vy isss diss damn dirty ground so damned vet? Vhere isss Donald? Vire da gardener!” An unnamed supporter standing nearby needed medical attention after being hit in the head by a golden spade Mrs. Trump launched into the air just before hitting the ground. The man is expected to recover.
Breaking! President Trump sounds alarm over failure of Frederick Douglass to respond to repeated invitations to White House dinner. Trump thinks there may be an ANTIFA connection. Anonymous men in black body armor are investigating.
Breaking! The American Academy of Auditory Pediatrics issues warning to keep children out of the room when Kimberly Gullfoyle is speaking. The Academy is working on a system of automatic electronic alerts to guard against potential hearing loss and broken glass.
Broken! Mike Pence to give campaign speech from Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, the nation’s only national park also designated as a shrine. The site was chosen, the White House says, after the Vatican turned down a request to shoot at St. Peters.
Did you see it, or perhaps I should say, can you remember any of it with your eyes still burning from all that smoke in the air? It was in the headlines less than a week ago, but is mostly forgotten, hidden behind the Trump Administration’s giant smoke machine.
The latest cloud of nonsense from Trump, is another possibly bogus treatment for Covid-19. First it was the possibility of injecting sanitizers into the body or flooding the body with some kind of magic light. Then came hydroxychloroquine. The doctors gave that one a big thumbs-down. This time it’s the “emergency authorization of convalescent plasma” to attack the virus. Donald Trump, a man with no medical training, has assured the public that it will work. He has made this assurance before medical trials have been completed. So he has no real idea whether it will work. Medical experts apparently don’t either, which is why actual doctors haven’t broadly recommended it.
It may not work, at least not to the degree that Trump wants us to believe, but it’s sending out another giant plume of smoke, one more huge deflective dust-up for the general public to try and deal with, at least those who are still paying attention after being worn thin with exhaustion from Trump’s misinformation and disinformation.
It almost feels like something the Russian KGB would have put together during the cold war, doesn’t it?
Trying to sort out just one piece of Trump’s PR putrification is enough to throw the public completely off track, which is what has happened since, less than a week ago, NBC News reported that “The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee made criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince and Sam Clovis to federal prosecutors in 2019,…” Just days after the story broke, former Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, was taken into custody from a yacht off the coast of Maine. So what about the others? Principally, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr.? Will they be arrested next?
It’s all very close to home for Donald Trump, with “criminal referrals” being recommended by top Intel Committee Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. Wikipedia, says a criminal referral, is “a notice to a prosecutory body, recommending criminal investigation or prosecution of one or more entities for crimes which fall into that body’s jurisdiction.”
They went after Bannon, so what about Don Jr. and Jared Kushner? Will they be deemed immune from prosecution by William Barr’s Justice Department? Will Steve Bannon, be the temporary sacrificial goat, out on bail until and if he’s escorted to jail only to be issued a presidential pardon?
All we really need to know is that Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee think there is enough evidence of collusion with the Rusians in the 2016 election, to recommend a criminal investigation into Bannon, Kushner and Trump Jr. Obviously, they think there is something there, something that might lead to criminal convictions.
All we need to know is that Donald John Trump broke the law, grossly violating the emoluments clause, when he asked Russia to help him defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is a criminal.
All we need to know is no matter how despicable Jeffrey Epstein might have been, his possibly being denied due process is a threat to us all. The very fact that we now must wonder if suicide actually was his cause of death is troubling enough, with implications that reach even into the British Royal Family.
All we need to know is that almost every angry accusation that comes from the Trump family or their minions, is a projection of themselves. We can feel the uncertainty of those who live in Turkey, Russia, North Korea and Belarus, as Donald Trump does all he can to turn our system into a totalitarian state. His need for control unfettered by the advise and consent of the Congress is transparent. History will likely judge this Republican controlled Senate to be traitorous in their refusal to conduct adequate oversight of the Trump White House.
One can only pity the mainstream press in this era of Trump. All they need to do to be condemned for being slanted in favor of the left is to tell the truth. And so they are condemned for doing their jobs. The urge to be less than objective to avoid attacks from the massive and well organized echo chamber of the right has to be nearly overwhelming. Attacks from politicians are to be expected, but never before, at least not in recent times, has the normalization of the abnormal been so prevalent, has the promotion of abject lies as the truth become so normalized, as to drive the acceptability of a totalitarian thug who exhibits “co-morbid” mental issues.
Beyond the traditional news media and its struggle to deal with this current madness, a bigger question might be whether we are at a point where a madman (or woman) with a Twitter account can control the direction of the country?
But back to our premise of trying to remember what is and isn’t real in the chaos-strewn world of Donald J. Trump – with his latest new miracle cure for Covid and TikTok suing the Administration over Trump’s threatened ban. With the Republican Party announcing that they will have no platform for the upcoming convention, that their only platform will be to back their golden boy. With Trump’s Niece, Psychologist, Dr. Mary Trump, writing a tell-all book alleging Donald exhibits psychological “co-morbidity” and then releasing audio of Donald’s sister, who happens to be a retired federal judge, corroborating some of the claims laid out in the book? Or Donald’s completely bogus threat to send law enforcement officials to oversee the upcoming election, something he has no power to do? Did I mention the apparently intentional crippling of the USPS in what appears to be an overt act of voter suppression while sending anonymous federal “police” out into our streets to detain peaceful protesters? And now, topping it all off, Trump mainstay and misinformation guru Kellyanne Conway, the woman who coined the unforgettable term “alternative facts” is quitting her job with the White House. Apparently we aren’t alone in reaching the point of exhaustion.
How long before Kellyanne shows up on Fox? Does former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, have audio or maybe even video of the “golden showers” incident with Donald Trump he has admitted to witnessing in Las Vegas? But mostly, how is America supposed to focus on the Senate Intel Committee’s recommendation of a criminal investigation of Donald J. Trump’s eldest son and son-in-law? Like that doesn’t matter? That was huge folks, a monster story, while much of this other stuff is just noise. But it’s the noise, the smoke, that obscures all else, and it’s gonna get worse. The closer the election the more Trump and his evil minions will ratchet their giant smoke machine into high-gear, bellowing, bloviating and blathering to the max to the very last minute in an effort to obscure the truth, hide the facts, hoodwink the American public and hijack an election while somewhere deep within the bowels of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, smiles.
Oh Lord, the plague is upon us. But can Covid possibly screw things up any worse than it already has? Of course it can. And maybe it will. Bad enough that we humans, who crave social contact, are now forced to see all other humans as vector-carrying threats.
Bring out the dead.
More than anything, most of us love getting together with others. Which will now kill us. Or so we’re told. Either way, a smart person will play the odds and put some distance between himself and other people. So there’s that. There’s also this new thing I feel when I go out and see someone not wearing a mask, or wearing a mask without covering their nose. It really pisses me off. It really does, almost as much as Donald Trump, refusing to wear one at all. Anywhere. I’ve run out of adjectives to define his consistently declining despicability. Or those who refuse to see it. All we can do is wait for his next new low. It’s what he lives for and it’s coming. Bet on it. It’s one of the few things we can all still depend upon, which means we all need to keep one eye on D.C. and another on L.A.
It was four or five months ago that a friend in Los Angeles sent word that he was waiting in a long line at Costco. When I asked why the line was so long, he responded that for some reason, half of L.A. had decided to load up on toilet paper and bottled water. It made no sense. I still don’t understand it, except that Covid-19, or maybe fear of the unknown, causes people to do some very strange things. And that Angelenos, were a good two weeks ahead of the rest of us.
I suppose the bug might have invaded trees, severely limiting the timber industry, thereby causing a toilet paper shortage? From there, airborne virus that it is, Covid might have somehow invaded the water supply, contaminating that as well, which would put washing one’s hands to keep one safe to the test.
From the start, stocking up on toilet paper and bottled water made no sense whatsoever, with the possible exception of promoting the bottom lines at the toilet paper and bottled water companies, which makes me wonder what we’re doing now. Except for folks over in Bangkok, Thailand, where, according to a piece in the New York Times, Bangkokians are offering food and drink to certain spirits, in return for the spirits keeping them safe. Might be worth a try?
Here in the medically logic-strapped but greed-possessed United States, it appears that wearing masks, washing hands regularly and social distancing are what definitely does work against Covid. Keeping your immune system in good shape might be a good idea, as well. So why are states like Texas, Florida and Alabama opening everything back up even though our national Covid curve is high and staying there? Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait for the curve to at least start falling before we throw away our masks and head to the beach or the nearest Trump for President rally, to become an ignorant, screaming cog in the next Covid super-spreader event? What exactly is wrong with Donald? The entire thinking world wants to know. The tac being taken by the liberal Northeast, makes far more sense.
My sister just returned to Vermont from Arizona. She wants to go down to Massachusetts to visit her mother, but she can’t. Not for two weeks. That’s how long Massachusetts is forcing here to remain in quarantine up in Vermont, before crossing the border. Then, after she gets into Massachusetts, she can’t go back to Vermont for two weeks, for the same reason. The quarantine thing.
She’s thinking about heading out to Martha’s Vineyard to wait it all out from a distance. I was thinking that it might be fun for my wife and me to drive up and join her. Thing is, getting there, normally a day’s drive, would probably take us two to three months because of all the quarantined states. That said, the fight against Covid does seem to be working here in the northeast, which is far more than can be said for the southern super-spreader mostly former slave states, which either don’t get it or simply do not care, apparently seeing all the additional death as the cost of doing business.
But that’s life in Donald Trump’s America in this age of Covid. Love him or hate him, he is our Commander in Chief. Our big wheel. The man. El Patron. Our great orange thud, leaving us with no national strategy to deal with a very deadly bug.
As for me, I’m awaiting word from L.A., to find out what’s coming next. If the lines start forming up at Costco again, I’m buying all the toilet paper I can get my hands on. Will also, probably, begin leaving offerings to Thai divinity Kaman Thong, out on the patio. It’s something to consider.
Donald Trump is in a firing mood again and once again he’s pointed his magic “you’re outta here” wand at oversight, giving the boot to State Department Inspector General, Steve Linick. It’s being reported that Linick, may have been looking into allegations of wrongdoing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is the fourth internal agency federal oversight official to be fired by Trump in the past three months.
It’s only a matter of time before the same happens to Drs. Fauci and Brix. Could happen in two or three weeks, or maybe in the fall. Trump might keep them both hanging around just in case the virus comes roaring back in time for the election and he needs a couple of medical fall guys to blame. “Fall guys,” get it? You had to know the good doctors days with the Trump Administration were numbered when both showed up wearing masks at yesterday’s White House news conference, exhibiting both intelligence and competency. Can’t have that.
Trump never wears a mask. Wouldn’t be manly. It would send the wrong message to his following of gun-toting goofballs. Those same guys who keep showing up at the state house in Lansing, Michigan. Who the hell are they? Gun rights advocates? Don’t they understand that they’re a living billboard for the elimination of civilian ownership of assault weapons? Don’t they get that? Of course not. Or they wouldn’t be supporting opening things back up regardless of the consequences.
Consequences never matter, until they jump up and bite you in the ass. Or destroy your lungs. Or fill the air with lead in Vegas.
Anyway, Fauci and Brix are outta there. You heard it here first. Just a matter of time. Donald can’t handle anybody who is smarter than he is or who might be in possession of a conscience, which is why he keeps firing pretty much everybody he hires.
Maybe Drs. Fauci and Brix will join forces with another of Donald Trump’s many victims, Dr. Rick Bright, and open a practice somewhere. With their qualifications and backgrounds they could make a fortune consulting for the federal government.
So Trump went out to interact with the Lincoln Memorial. The only other president I can remember doing anything similar was Richard Nixon, who also wandered around the White House by himself at night, talking to portraits of dead presidents. Could have been too much scotch. Could have been he was a little nuts. Could have been he should never have been in the White House, and that he wouldn’t have gotten there without his campaign cutting a deal with the South Vietnamese that killed a peace deal that would have ended the Vietnam War. It’s all on audio tape and available from the Johnson Library – Lyndon’s conversation about Nixon’s treason with Republican Senator Everett Dirksen. Johnson opted not to go public with it, probably because he thought it would tear the country apart. Instead he stood down and withdrew from the race.
In case you missed it, here’s the short version: Lyndon Johnson cut a deal to end the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon cut a deal to prolong the war, because he knew if Johnson ended it, that he, Johnson, would easily get reelected, beating Nixon like a drum. So Nixon got in, the war went on, and thousands more Americans lost their lives needlessly.
I’m also reminded by numerous posts on Facebook, that today is the 50th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State. If you’re too young to remember, then all you really need to know is that former Ohio Governor, James (“Jobs and progress!”) Rhodes, sent the National Guard up to Kent State to do something about anti-war demonstrations that were taking place.
What happened, is that a bunch of white kids in uniform shot and killed four students and wounded nine others, leading to white people, mostly older white people, re-thinking the whole anti-war issue in America. Eleven days later, city and state police would kill two students and injure twelve others at the predominantly black Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, but it was mostly the impact of white kids killing other white kids at Kent State that had rednecks and warmongers alike scratching their heads from coast to coast.
It’s a problem that’s still with us, isn’t it?
Imagine if all those rednecks carrying assault rifles that showed up at the statehouse in Lansing, Michigan, had been black. Do you really think the “non-response” would have been the same?
What was the message those gun-toting militia members were trying to send to their beloved state lawmakers? Was it to ignore the Coronavirus pandemic and open up the state or lead would fill the air?
Who are we and what the hell are we doing? Nixon, got in with the help of the South Vietnamese and Trump, with the help of the Russians. And here we all are, waiting out the Coronavirus, regardless of our political preferences, and hoping nobody opens fire as a tiny minority of misinformed and misguided militia with assault weapons stand watch over our state legislatures threatening to turn their armed ignorance into one more American tragedy.
Waiting out the virus is bad enough. The threat of armed insurrection only makes it worse for everybody, while making the assault weapons ban set to be adopted adopted by Canada all the more attractive.
Gotta get this down in writing before the devastation of the daily news-stream once again causes my brain to put up a wall to all incoming information as part of the intellectual prophylaxis that’s become a part of my new normal.
John McCain and Al Franken, were our nation’s political saving grace. One is now dead and the other was kicked to the curb. Republicans should be flogged for their rejection of McCain and their resulting dive into Fascism and Democrats, for what they did to Franken, cutting off their overly-PC collective nose to spite their overly-PC collective face.
These are things to consider, as the nation approaches 50,000 dead from the Cronavirus. A bug that might have been at least partially stopped, saving thousands of lives, had safety mechanisms put in place by the Bush and Obama Administrations been left where they were instead of being defunded by Donald J. Trump and his fascist friends with their crash and burn philosophy of non-governance. That is to say, the Bannon process, whereby you disassemble government, for, of and by the people, by defunding government, for, of and by the people, leaving the door wide open for corporate raiders and other fascist vultures to swoop in, compromising, cornering and coercing nearly everything in sight.
If you don’t want to pay taxes to support a federal or state government, then don’t complain when those same governments can doing nothing for you in a time of crisis. Which is precisely where we are.
How much of the $2.2-trillion bailout went to the very wealthy, who are in no need of a bailout, while Trump and his minions insist upon no oversight of the bailout process? According to Politico, the package contained “a $500 billion bailout fund for big businesses and a $170 billion tax break for real estate investors like the president. ”
In a very real sense, the tragedy of Covid-19 is a friend to the fascist greedheads who care only for themselves, led by a narcissist in the Oval Office who is now recommending that his medical advisors look into the possibility of injecting household disinfectant as a possible treatment for the virus while he, with his typical Roy Cohen-type diversionary nonsense, blames immigrants and Iran.
This is beyond stupid, it’s nuts. It no longer matters whether Trump actually understands what he’s doing or whether he is, as the Russians like to say, a “useful idiot.” Either way, the damage has been done. Anybody who isn’t awake enough to understand this yet has got to be in an intellectual coma. Why is anybody out there still supporting this Republican Party? Is it because their only news source is a single cable channel serving as Donald Trump’s private pipeline of belligerent blather? Or is it because the party is represented almost entirely by white men? Is that it? Fear born from racism with a healthy dose of sexism? What else can it be? These Republicans have given up on nearly every conservative economic principle ever conceived, so it can’t be that.
Kudos, to MSNBC, for bringing Al Franken back as a guest commentator. Intellectually vibrant free-thinkers like Franken, are part of the solution as we approach 50,000 deaths.
Currently, there are 49,963 and counting, adding to what will surely be the legacy of Donald J. Trump. The idiot man-child who slipped through an electoral college which failed the nation miserably, to support our enemies, betray our allies and generally just muck things up.
The imposition of self-quarantine can do strange things to the brain. Like bringing on really bad dreams after spending one’s waking hours thinking about the very real implications of what’s going on, beyond the ineptitude of one man who is out of his depth and apparently determined to take us all down with him as he sinks ever deeper into oblivion. Not that that’s not bad enough, in and of itself.
The hardest part may be the helplessness, the feeling that there’s no way out, like seeing a train wreck coming with no way to stop it. Sort of. We had our chance, didn’t we? But Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans in the Senate, pretended everything was alright and took a pass. So here we all are. Waiting for the train to come and hoping it passes us by. Hoping we’re among the lucky ones with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Not the loud barking, dry cough, that could spell out death. If not now, then maybe during a possible resurgence in the Fall?
Horrible, isn’t it? Have you seen the pictures of hundreds of people returning to the beach in Florida, despite a mountain of evidence proving the one thing we can be certain that works against Covid-19 is people avoiding other people?
Just this morning I found myself thinking once again about the four horsemen, wondering if this is nature’s response to centuries of waste and ruin being heaped upon the planet by an unappreciative species, many of whom seem to believe that what’s here is ours to plunder with no consideration given to any possible payback, or just what form that payback might take. Just grab as much as you can with no regard for the consequences, leaving the mess for those who follow. Those who survive.
What matters more? The tens of thousands who need not die, or getting through this with a robust economy? Where should the focus be and who will be held accountable for repeated bad decisions? Death isn’t half as bad if you die while wealthy? Did you hear the latest? That Daffy Duck has just been appointed Secretary of Lunacy and is under consideration to replace Mike Pence as VP?
It’s probably that kind of thinking, the kind I can’t control, that’s brought back the dreams. Workplace dreams that haunt me even in retirement. Last night I was in a factory, like an aircraft hanger, but it wasn’t a factory at all, it was a radio station. I was new to the job and a co-worker was showing me the equipment just prior to my going on the air. Then he left, but there was no real equipment at all, just a pile of metal boxes and nuts and bolts and assorted metal bits instead of tape players or turntables. I pushed bolts into a metal box, but nothing happened. I slammed my fist down into the pile of junk with no result. No music. Nothing. Through it all, I kept talking, not wanting to surrender to a DJ’s worst fear of all, something we used to call “dead air,” meaning nothing was going out over the airwaves. I was alone, and helpless.
I had barely gotten through that one, which got me out of bed and sent me to the kitchen for a pill when another nightmare stuck. This time it was on the TV side, with me as a reporter, assigned to cover a Daryl Gates news conference back in L.A.. But my photographer couldn’t be found and when he was found he was mad as hell at me for disturbing his lunch, which included the biggest piece of cake I’ve ever seen one person attempt to eat. So, I was going though all kinds of anguish with this guy who was throwing a fit, trying to get him to pick up his camera and follow me to the news conference. When he finally consented, after endless pleading and prodding on my part, Gates, was a block away and on his way into a building. The other TV crews were packing up their gear and leaving. It was over. We had missed it and I had no story.
My quarantine partner, my wife, thinks it’s all about being helpless. Both the dreams were surely expressions of helplessness and why not? Why wouldn’t my subconscious be dealing with exactly that? Isn’t that where we are? Absolutely and totally helpless to do anything at all other than wait for November, hoping we’ll be able to put an end to this madness at the polls? And even then, what will our new normal be? A return to sanity or ongoing cries from a mad billionaire for his gun-carrying, science-denier followers to rise up in some unthinkable reenactment of the Civil War – as he takes the nation down with him in his last big bankruptcy, his final act of self-defeat?
And for this, he expects our gratitude. A fine madness, indeed.
While we wait this out, and unless somebody does something (25th Amendment?), this perpetual helplessness threatens to drive those among us who are still capable of cognition absolutely crazy.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Constitution of the United States, Article III, Section III
Don’t worry too much about Donald Trump and this current Republican dominated Senate enabling an American dictatorship. It’s more important to look upon those things that really matter. Issues of real substance, like whether a giant rodent sees his shadow and whether we’ll be bailed out by the Year of the Rat.
Punxsutawney Phil put in his annual appearance at Gobbler’s Knob, apparently whispering in the ear of a member of the local business association that Spring will come early. You know it’s for real, because the man the groundhog whispered to was wearing a top hat. Just like Abe Lincoln.
Now there’s something good. Something nice. Something we can all get behind, because it’s something we can all understand. Like twenty-two over-developed men repeatedly bashing into one-another with all their God-given power on a grassy field while spectators scream their approval and feign their concern should one of the combatants be carried from the field after being repeatedly knocked bloody and senseless. Or two guys getting in a ring or a cage and beating the snot out of one-another.
Our recreational preferences say so much about how far we’ve come, don’t they?
The groundhog, really nothing but a big ugly rat without a tail, had no shadow this year and so Spring, they say (or the big rat says), will be arriving early. Isn’t that wonderful? Who doesn’t want an early Spring, other than shareholders at the power company who want to keep our furnaces burning as long as possible. You got a problem with that? What are you, some kinda Capitalism-hating Commie?
If the groundhog isn’t good enough for you, the Chinese Calendar tells us that this is the Year of the Rat. Being that China started things off with the Coronavirus, I’m not putting too much stock in getting any kind of a positive break from the rat.
But none of that really matters. Spring is coming early. We know this to be a fact, because a groundhog and not a rat, whispered it into the ear of some guy at Gobbler’s Knob. So everything is just ducky. Even though it’s a lie. What’s important is that it’s understandable. Something we can all support without thinking too much.
Don’t worry about any of the rest of that stuff people have been popping pills to try and forget. Stuff like democracy, self-determination or why the Russians seem to own the current occupant of the Oval Office, and whether we will be able to conduct a real election in November.
Groundhogs and rats aside, if you’re into signs, here’s one for you. I was down at the National Archives in D.C. yesterday and the the Declaration of Independence has nearly faded away. You can’t even make out the signatures, so maybe they were never really there? Maybe it’s all just a story made up by a bunch of evil liberal revisionist Trump-hating pinkos.
But don’t let any of that bother you, either. Thanks to Mitch McConnell and his Republicans, we now have someone who will be making all our decisions for us. An American dictator. A man who is above the law. So just let it go. Forget it and pass me another beer. The game is on and it’s something I can understand. Like Spring coming early.
Chris Matthews just posed the question of whether what’s happening in the Senate is some kind of “jury nullification.” In other words, the jurors know what the law says they should do but they are going to vote for the opposite.
I think the problem is a bit different. Not only is the defense (the Republicans) threatening to nullify the law once it comes time to vote on the guilt or innocence of Donald Trump – they are also preventing evidence from being presented.
What is accepted into evidence, by way of both documents and witnesses, should be up to Justice John Roberts, not Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. The Democrats need to figure this one out and so does John Roberts. Without it there can be no trial, and without a legitimate trial our system of checks and balances, our Constitution, is no longer valid.
Without it, we will have a dictatorship, not just now, but going forward as well.
McConnell and the Republicans are trying to throw away everything that makes the Republic work. They are trying to throw away our basic freedoms. Our liberty based in law. I’m fairly sure the founders never envisioned one party or another stopping evidence from being presented during a senate trial. Simply put, you can’t have a trial without the relevant evidence, and it should be up to the judge to decide what’s relevant.
I haven’t written anything in a while. The situation with the Trump Administration had become so repetitive, so obvious, so pathetic, so malignant, that I had determined the best course of action would be to stop writing and simply wait it out until November, hoping enough Americans would be awake and informed to the point of saving the country with a Democratic sweep. Today, that changed, with something that sent chills through the very core of my being.
It wasn’t Trump’s needless idiotic attack, sending in a drone to blast an Iranian general in a car at a civilian airport without a declaration of war, or Iran’s measured response to the idiotic attack, getting their country off the hook without starting a world war while Donald Trump appeared determined to do all he could to get a new war going. No, it was neither of those things. It’s the way those events are now being reported.
They are not reporting the Iranian general was assassinated or even killed, which is what happened. I turned on both CNN and MSNBC this morning to hear that the general had in fact been “taken out.” That’s what they’re now saying, “taken out,” much like any of us would take out the trash. Except in this case, they took out human beings.
What’s happening here is pure “Newspeak,” right out of Orwell’s “1984.” Alleged newswriters are using words to make the fact that our military, under orders from Donald Trump, blew a couple of human beings to bits just outside a civilian airport more palatable. They are using less descriptive phraseology to remove the sharp edge from sanctioned murder. In doing so, they are falling into the Orwellian trap of controlling language to limit freedom of thought. In doing so, they are inadvertently doing P-R for the Trump Administration.
If assassination is too harsh, then they could simply say the general was killed in a drone attack. That’s what happened and it avoids the slippery slope of getting into Newspeak with language that would be more fitting for De Niro in a mob movie.
This isn’t a movie, it’s reality. A journalist’s job is to find out what the hell is really going on and then report that out with as much objectivity and clarity as possible. Engaging in Newspeak, is an arrow to the very heart of that credo, threatening our existence as a free people by limiting our freedom of thought.
I won’t get into giving people what they need as opposed to what they want. That train left the station so many years ago that there is probably no calling it back. That said, this flirtation with Newspeak is something different. Something far more subtle and potentially far more dangerous. An infection that arrives in the night and spreads ever so slowly through our consciousness, unrecognizable, even while it robs us of our ability to identify the true nature of current events.
The networks and other news organizations need to focus more on income inequality, campaign finance reform, Russian influence in the U.K. and America, and how and whether the U.S. Supreme Court can be cleansed of political influence. Perhaps fixing the first three problems will automatically lead to a solution of the fourth?
Donald J. Trump has 65.2-million followers on Twitter. So, whatever idea might pop into his head, no matter how crazed, he can immediately blast it out to all 65.2-million of his minions. That, is political power. It is also frightening, because it is totally unfiltered.
Not long ago, in a time before cellphones, there were the newspapers and three major over-the-air broadcasting networks controlling most of the flow of information in America. For the most part, they had professional news organizations staffed with journalists who took their craft seriously, taking care to uphold the public trust with a standard for quality journalism, while serving as a filter for their readers, listeners and viewers, ensuring a degree of accuracy and truthfulness in what Americans read and heard. The worst thing these journalists could do, and they knew it, would be to betray the public trust and lose their credibility. And so, they took their work seriously.
Consequently, when CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite returned from Vietnam and told America that the Vietnam War had us mired in a stalemate, that the war was unwinnable and that a negotiated settlement was needed, the nation listened. Polls indicated Cronkite to be the most trusted man in America. There were calls for him to run for public office. Journalists were held in high esteem.
There were lapses of course, like “Yellow Journalism” during Hearst’s battle with Joe Pulitzer, but for the most part it worked pretty well. For the most part, America was protected by her journalistic filter. Then came cable, satellite news and the internet, and all bets were off.
And now here we are, with no filter to protect us and a highly questionable personality in the Oval Office with his finger not just on the nuclear trigger but on his massive Twitter feed as well. I’m not sure which might turn out to be more threatening to the country, or what we should do about it going forward. Clearly, what technology has given us may be more than our Democratic Constitutional Republic can handle. In a very real sense, it may be a clear and present danger.