I know the newspaper industry is in trouble. I know their advertising base has been depleted by all the “new media” out there. I also know they are still needed if we are to survive as a free people. For years the “news” has been coming mostly from print reporters who went out and dug it up. What you see on television, is usually a follow-up to a story that originated with a newspaper or wire service. The great Walter Cronkite, famously, was uncomfortable putting anything on the air at CBS until it had appeared in the New York Times.
Consequently, I expect the Baltimore Sun to put the dysfunctionalism of the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland, their inability to work together for the common good, under a microscope on a regular basis. With two past mayors and the current Baltimore State’s Attorney, all indicted, and street crime that continues to be out of control, they should be holding public officials accountable daily. With the indictments and the crime and the general governmental mess, Baltimore, should be a journalist’s Nirvana.
That said, what their editorial board just came up with, broadly condemning President Biden, left me thinking that the people who wrote the piece must have spent the past several years doing nothing but watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.
I was fine with the editorial until it was coming to an end, with the accusation that Joe Biden hasn’t been “honest.” Really? When? And if that wasn’t enough, they then capped it off with, “For his second year in office, not being Donald Trump will not be enough.” They have got to be kidding. Not being Trump, will be more than enough. Except for those who have spent the past several years sequestered on an island eating coconuts with the Skipper and Mary Ann.
Can a major American newspaper really be that blind to the threat Trump and his Russian-backed cabal pose to the survival of our democracy? Apparently so. Can they be blind to the possibility that this current situation with Trumpist Republicans blocking any forward motion in the Senate, causing a federal logjam and general discontent throughout the land, and the pressure that puts on the White House – wouldn’t that be the perfect time for Putin, to threaten to send his troops into the Ukraine?
Oh, but that’s a stretch, isn’t it? Or should we be asking ourselves, “Who still supports Democracy, and who stands against it?” Maybe Joe Biden not being Donald Trump, is enough after all.
According to a piece in the newspaper, there appears to be a solid correlation between followers of DJT and those folks who continue to refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19, even as Covid continues to kill people as an epidemic of the unvaccinated.
In other words, Trump’s followers refuse to get the vaccine even though Donald and his family have all been vaccinated following Donald’s serious illness from Covid-19, as he attempted to set aside a valid election and establish fascist rule. Friends, Fascism, is NOT preferable to our representative Constitutional Republic. This should be a no-brainer. The fact that for so many it is not a no-brainer, means that millions of Americans have been misinformed, disinformed and generally duped.
Along with Republicans, the Russians and the Communist Chinese, are both working on confusing the issue to the highest degree possible. The Republicans, because they want to win upcoming elections, and they can’t do that if all of America is apprised of the truth as to the degree of their corruption following an attempted coup d’etat with thugs storming the Capitol while co-conspirators built a gallows on the Capitol steps with the stated purpose of lynching the Vice President of the United States. The Russians and the Chinese, because they are in direct competition with us and want to destroy our Democratic Republic.
Two points we should all keep in mind. One, is that more than 90% of those dying from Covid are unvaccinated. The other, is that being represented by elected officials is preferable to throwing away what we have to establish a dictatorship under the leadership of any would-be tyrant/dictator.
Don’t be fooled. Freedom is preferable to the yoke of tyranny. We are free to choose our leaders and because of that freedom, we are free to choose whether or not to get a shot to protect ourselves from Covid-19. That friends, is the simple truth. Another, is that along with freedom comes the responsibility of thinking for ourselves and then doing the right thing. I hope we’re up to it.
It began with last night’s appearance of the “Pillow Guy” from my home state of Minnesota, Mike Lindell, on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Lindell, was fantastic, bursting with personality and filled with religious goodwill and intelligent banter. Then, just this morning, I fired up the flat-screen to be greeted with news of the “Raid on Rudy,” with federal officers raiding Giuliani’s apartment in New York, gathering up evidence that will surely vindicate this good and generous man of any and all wrong-doing. What other outcome can be expected from someone who did so much to enhance the greatness of the already proven greatness of our very own, gone but never forgotten, Donald J. Trump? Who among us has done more, or at least tried to do more, for both America and the Ukraine, than Rudy Giuliani?
My heart swells with gratitude for all Mr. Trump, his political lieutenants, followers and fans have done for us, including, but by no means limited to, telling our traditional allies to take a hike while cozying up to dictators and tyrants around the world, with a special shout-out to Vladimir Putin, who, under the Administration of Mr. Trump, was finally given the recognition and respect he deserves.
When historical consideration is given to Trumpian accomplishments, the magnificent wall at our southern border, fully funded by Mexico, surely stands alone. Repealing and replacing Obamacare with something so much better and at a lower cost would have to come in a close second followed by the Administration’s efforts to dismantle, disable and otherwise cripple to the highest degree possible, the USPS, to further limit voting by those not wealthy enough to deserve it.
There were other noteworthy efforts, initiated by American patriot Steve Bannon, aimed at dismantling our institutions, making government more cost-effective by cutting services, and in some instances, coming close to making it non-existent. Many of us were left pondering the question of whether, beyond our military, government is necessary at all? Wouldn’t it be far more cost-effective if our decision making was left in the hands of a half-dozen or so oligarchs, while government services were privatized?
Who really needs the post office, or elections, for that matter? Doesn’t it all just get in the way? Wouldn’t it be so much better if we didn’t have to try and….you know….think about all that stuff?
Shouldn’t every real American stand ready to sacrifice their freedom of choice to achieve the goal of greater efficiency even if this means setting Democracy aside?
We should all remain grateful to Mr. Trump, for raising these questions as well as exhibiting the astounding wisdom of holding off on sounding the alarm about the spreading Coronavirus pandemic, so as not to cause undue awareness and possible panic. It was a move of such intellect and compassion that it nearly surpasses his support for a regime that kidnaps and butchers journalists. Think about it. What really matters more, the goodwill of a major Arab state and all that wonderful oil money, or the life of a single journalist? Striking this balance is surely the work of a stable genius, the likes of whom we may never see again.
And while the roll of unique talent is being taken, let us not forget the magnificent efforts of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Who in recorded history has done more to advance the cause of making the country more secure by furthering the power of our collective intellect through public education?
Like a Thanksgiving turkey, I feel stuffed, possibly even overstuffed, with gratitude and goodness for all they’ve done, both for us and to us. A gratitude exceeded only by my thankfulness for the great bounty of entertainment offered up by the motion picture industry at this year’s Academy Awards, a celebration of homelessness, civil unrest and racial injustice through the years. It was just the break from reality we all needed.
As we move forward in our never-ending quest for improvement, with elections still to come, we can only hope for continued and even greater input from Fox News and others of their conservative ilk, striving to provide us with the very best news and information profit-driven communications have to offer, while far less profitable traditional Journalism goes begging, it’s end, possibly in sight, having outlived its usefulness for a culture that no longer values reality but instead covets personal reinforcement, no matter how misinformed they might be.
With each day comes another new outrage. Most recently it’s news that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, is ending several emergency loan programs designed to help small business during the Covid epidemic. At almost the same time, Donald Trump emerged from the White House to proclaim the pharmaceutical industry spent millions to defeat him in the last election and that he is now researching ways to cut into that same industry’s profits.
At least I think that’s what he said. If not, just wait a while and he will. There’s a new word-salad about to tumble out of his mouth at any moment.
It would seem bizarre for Trump to wait until the very end of his Administration to go after big pharma, a move that will benefit millions of Americans, except that this is Donald Trump, a man who has been continually heralded for his mental instability and childlike need for revenge against those he perceives as enemies. Meaning, anybody who does anything other than lick his boots and send him money.
Mnuchin, denies the cuts he has ordered are another attempt to leave the country in the worst shape possible prior to the handover to the Democrats in January. So why do it at all, considering the state of the economy and the worsening pandemic? Could it be for the same reason the country has no uniform plan to fight the pandemic while weary healthcare workers say they feel abandoned and unsupported? Of course it is. It’s because Donald Trump continues to occupy the Oval Office, a continuing travesty promoted by the Republican Party.
It is nothing short of a modern miracle of digital subterfuge that there are still people who support this man in a country held hostage by Twitter. Unfiltered information provided free of charge to a dumbed-down cult of Trump, eagerly awaiting their next emotional fix.
If Donald Trump leaves us with nothing else, it will be our first presidency by Twitter and tweet. A certain sign that our very own technology has outstripped our ability to deal with what we’ve created, leaving unreason and chaos to take the day.
Another evening of fun with Donald, and another pill to help me sleep. I’m not the least bit ashamed of it you see, because I know I’m far from being alone with thoughts that will not leave me. Thoughts of just how precarious this situation really is, with an alleged leader who will say anything that pops into his head, continuing to project his illness, his bad craziness as Dr. Thompson would have put it, onto an already exhausted nation.
I keep trying to forget that this man who appears to pop in and out of some delusionary world all his own has access to the nuclear codes. Kudos to Savannah Guthrie, for doing as good a job as could be expected. Dealing with lunacy is no small chore, and she held up well as Donald prattled on and on with endless helpings of word salad, spewing lie after lie, projecting his wrongdoings and madness onto the opposition.
And they say that around thirty percent of the country likes this guy? I’m not sure who “they” are, but that’s what I’m hearing, so it must be true.
Watching the DJT event on NBC was an enormous waste of time, of course. Felt I had to though, just in case. You never know what a guy with Donald’s mental co-morbidity might do. That’s what makes it so exhausting. Like trying to figure out whether he’ll show up for the last scheduled debate on October 22nd. Not that it matters all that much. Barring any huge gaffs, everyone, I think, has probably settled in on who they favor. The petulant spoiled child, born with a $400-million silver spoon in his mouth and enraged over the thought of losing his binky, or the father figure, who will guide us back to the land of sanity. A place where we will all be able to get some sleep once again as American democracy is rescued from the bonds of treason that continue to threaten us by making this insane “new normal” a permanent fixture of American society.
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.
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.
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.
The attacks came on September 11, 2001, killing nearly three-thousand people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in a field near Shanksville, PA. The nation’s airports were closed while public officials tried to sort out what was going on.
A few days later flights resumed and I was sent to Los Angeles International Airport to cover it for KTLA. On a spot of grass, just beyond the fence around the airport’s perimeter, I spotted a lone man holding a flag. Thinking it might be a story, we drove over to his location. He told me he had been there for several hours, wanting to be there to welcome the first flights back into Los Angeles. He had been there all morning. He had rigged up the flag in short-order with a pole he had in his garage when it was announced that the FAA was reopening the nation’s airspace. As we drove away he was still there waving his flag as airliners continued coming in.
I’ll never forget that man with his flag, our flag, who did what he did for no reason other than patriotism. And now, with a show-trial in the Senate and a nation divided, it appears we may once again be in for the fight of our lives. It feels as though we are facing a very real threat to Democracy and that there just won’t be any easy way out.
Recently a friend posted a picture on Facebook, a painting of George Washington, showing humility, faith and courage as he kneeled in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. The odds he faced were insurmountable. However, to borrow from the late Eric Sevareid, “This country was not founded by wimps.”
Don’t give up on us just yet. Remember that man with the flag. He had no reason for doing what he did other than he thought it was the right thing to do. The American thing to do. So he did it.
So Trump incriminated himself by releasing a transcript of a phone call wherein he laid out that he would withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the Ukraine would open a fake investigation into the Bidens. That’s Article I.
Trump has also repeatedly obstructed the Congress by refusing to honor subpoenas for documents and directing others who work for the White House, to not honor congressional subpoenas. And they’re arguing about witnesses? They don’t need no stinkin’ witnesses.
Trump is guilty as hell. He’s incriminated himself of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and has been indicted by the House of Representatives. It’s over. Take the vote and get it over with. Let the Republicans incriminate themselves by voting to acquit an obviously guilty president. All this other stuff is just muddying the waters and confusing people.
The Constitution lays it out quite plainly when it directs, “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”
To preside: 1 : to exercise guidance, direction, or control 2 : to occupy the place of authority : direct or regulate proceedings as chief officer -Merriam Webster
Mr. Chief Justice, our country is at stake. Please do your duty and take control. This is supposed to be a trial, not a sham proceeding designed to accommodate a president who would be dictator.
A couple of reasonable questions: Why are the harmful and even deadly effects of vaping being felt here in the U.S., but apparently not in Europe? Are the Europeans immune?
Should we all listen more carefully when Donald Trump says “that’s what I’m hearing,” because he may in fact be hearing things that no one else can hear? In his head? That would be a problem. Do his aides in the White House have to worry about what he might be hearing from one moment to the next?
And finally, where did all the killer bees go? Not long ago we were threatened by an invasion of killer bees from the south. The horror. The horror. Did NAFTA take care of that? Might the hazards of vaping eventually go the way of the killer bees? Inquiring minds want to know. That’s what I’m hearing.
Just when one thinks there is nothing more Donald Trump can possibly do to further amaze and astonish, he again tops himself.
The BBC is reporting that Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of peace talks with the Taliban had nothing to do with the death of a U.S. solider in Afghanistan. No, they say it had more to do with the Taliban’s refusal to take a trip to Camp David, purely to provide Trump with a bigger public relations splash, as a deal had already been reached at the table in Qatar, and the Taliban wanted to sign it. Instead, with a peace treaty at his fingertips, Donald Trump pulled out of the talks because he wanted the signing to take place at Camp David, presumably because he wanted to give the appearance that only he had the skill to get it done.
If anyone on the Republican side has had any reservations at all about continuing to support this president, then with this, those reservations should be fully erased. This president is not well. Agreeing to peace with the Taliban and ending a 20 year war would have been a monumental accomplishment, giving his party and his reelection bid a tremendous boost, with or without a meeting at Camp David. In fact, in refusing to take the trip before signing the deal, the Taliban were inadvertently doing him a favor, as the politics of the situation would probably have left Trump and his party in a weaker position had the Camp David meeting taken place.
Republicans should take heed of what conservatives in the U.K. are doing in response to the madness of Boris Johnson. They are leaving their party, or being ejected from it, in far greater numbers than the few Republicans who have abandoned their party here in the U.S. In other words, British conservatives have the strength and conscience to put the good of their country above their party and their own financial self-interest. Something most American conservatives have not seen fit to do. Their silence makes them implicit with the inexplicable mentality and failures of Donald Trump, who once again appears to be making decisions with all the maturity of a petulant child.
The “walkback” from the Trumpists on this one should be massive.