Wednesday, October 21, 2020

'Trump's Army' Preparing to Intimidate Voters at the Polls - Democrats Will Be Ready

 Pandemic Diary - Day 219

Dear Diary,

It appears that some Americans are going to get a taste of the old Jim Crow politics at the polls as "Trump's Army" prepares to intimidate voters in Michigan and Minnesota.

The call to arms is coming from Trump operatives who are encouraging armed militias to monitor polling places in the two swing  states on Nov. 3rd.

In Minnesota, civil rights groups sued to block efforts by a private security company to deploy armed polling monitors, labeling the effort voter suppression.

Michigan's top election official said state police will enforce a ban on people openly carrying firearms near polling places on Election Day.

There's similar scary incidents in other states. In Florida Democratic voters are being targeted by the right-wing group Proud Boys via emails threatening harm if they don't vote for Trump.

Some officials are concerned that an attempt to block people from carrying guns to the polls will spur protests by gun rights activists outside of the voting centers.

But there's no choice. The right to vote without being intimidated is guaranteed in our government and backing down is not an option.

Violence on Election Day? Perhaps. No one really knows. Fear is driving people to vote early in every state as the data shows historic early voting nationwide.

More than 200 "Count Every Vote" demonstrations - and counting - have already been planned across the country by "Protect the Results," an effort launched by "Stand Up America" and "Indivisible" amid Trump's ongoing attacks on mail-in voting and the electoral process.

In addition, FBI and local officials have been running through worse-case scenarios in response to high tensions among voters. 

State governors are issuing public warnings that any crime that threatens the sanctity of a Nov. 3rd vote will not be tolerated.

In the end, the majority of Americans are standing up for democracy despite Trump's best efforts to denigrate it in the waning days of his regime.

Quote for the Day: "If you want to control someone, all you have to do is make them feel afraid." -Paulo Coelho

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Why History will Remember Trump as a Mass Murderer Who Abused The Power of the Presidency

Pandemic Diary - Day 219

Dear Diary,

One of the hallmarks of great civilizations is the pursuit of science. 

Called by many names throughout the centuries, science has always been about verifying facts in the physical world, nature, and the universe.

There were eras of such ignorance that scientists were called witches and agents of the devil, and were tortured and summarily executed.

Here we are in the 21st century and the president of the United States is calling scientists "idiots."

Any pretenses that Trump was listening to the scientists of the Coronavirus Task Farce have evaporated into thin air this week.

Trump has unapologetically turned on science like a mad dog with rabies. 

He's holding daily super spreaders and talking about how stupid scientists are... and how the country is "turning the corner" against the coronavirus while cases spike in 47 states (latest update).

Reality versus Trump

We always knew it would come to this. He's unable to operate in the real world any longer and has retreated into a bubble where adoring fans chant his name every day. And he's not losing the race.

Most Americans aren't stupid and recognize what's happening around them. Friends and family are dying in astronomical numbers

Hearing Trump trashing the foremost scientist in the country, Dr. Fauci, was a step too far for most Americans to ignore. 

Dr. Fauci has been truthful about the dangers COVID-19 poses, in spite of the pressures Trump's regime has put on him, and continues to push for safety measures like wearing face masks.

The scientists are warning Americans that between the coronavirus and the flu, there's going to be darker days ahead this fall. More cases. More deaths.

When historians look back at this year, Trump will be credited with hundreds of thousands of deaths that should never have happened.

His mishandling of the pandemic, and the science to save us, was nothing less than a case of mass murder.

Quote for the Day: "History is the biography of murderers." -Khayri R.R. Woulfe 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Daily Disinformation Dumps Highlight Nastiest Presidential Campaign in History

Pandemic Diary - Day 217

Dear Diary,

Whew!

There's a lot of lies disguised as breaking news flooding into the mainstream press and confusing a lot of Americans two weeks from election day.

Who should we believe?

--Scott Atlas, WH coronavirus task force medical advisor? Oh, hell no! He's a Trump minion (with no experience in epidemiology) who denies science and claims we don't need face masks to be safe from COVID-19. 

For example, Atlas was flagged by Twitter for a tweet that violated the social media site's "misleading information" policy yesterday. He was nailed for pushing his mask lies.

--Trump? Unless you're drinking Orange Trump aid you know this virus is not turning a corner and getting better. Just look around. The virus is spiking in nearly every state and healthcare experts say it's only getting worse this fall and winter.

The fact of the matter is the Russians are amplifying the chaos Trump is causing and doubling down on it to spread more lies on social media platforms and into the mainstream media.

Case in point:

The New York Post ran a story that was riddled with lies about Joe and Hunter Biden. 

Loyal lapdog, Rudy Giuliani, supposedly came up with a damaging secret email about the Biden's (15 years ago) that was discovered on a water-damaged laptop from a third party who found it in a computer repair shop.

All fiction. The FBI is currently conducting an investigation into Rudy's weak attempt at an October Surprise. The agency has come out and said the email release was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

The agency was clear it was an attempt to "denigrate" Biden ahead of the election. The FBI also already warned Trump and other government officials this year that Rudy is a puppet for a Russian agent and has been since last year. 

The story also prompted a social media furor after Twitter and Facebook restricted access to the article because of its uncertain sourcing.

Disinformation dumps from the Trump campaign are tumbling out daily hoping to confuse voters and somehow rescue his fading efforts at getting re-elected.

I don't think most Americans are buying those lies however. The early voter turn-out in all 50 states has been historic, and is favoring the democrats according to political pundits and data supporting that assertion. 

We must not let our guard down. For those who haven't voted yet, please consider doing so before election day if possible. If not, then make sure you vote on Nov. 3rd.

The world's oldest Democracy is under assault by an authoritarian narcissistic sociopath who refuses actual reality in lieu of his reality TV show presidency.

Quote for the Day: "Truth will never shine from a heart filled with corruption and lies." -Suzy Kassem

Sunday, October 18, 2020

America's Shame: Our Election Looks Like a Third World Country On the Verge of Losing Its Democracy

 


Pandemic Diary - Day 216

Dear Diary,

I'm embarrassed for all Americans. We've sunk so low that we're now on par with Third World nations struggling to maintain democratic governments.

In a dramatic sign that people's freedoms are at stake this year, the Carter Center is monitoring our elections for the first time in the organization's history.

For over 30 years, the Atlanta-based Carter Center has been observing elections for fairness worldwide. It was founded by former president Jimmy Carter.

The Carter Center is in discussion with some states, including Georgia, about small-scale, targeted observation efforts on specific aspects of the process, but stopping short of full-fledged monitoring.

Among the Carter Center's election efforts in the US:

-Producing two animated videos - one that lays out voting options and another that focuses on the need for patience after election day, as the large number of mailed ballots will likely delay the results of the election.

-Working with nonpartisan groups to produce and distribute a number of reports, fact sheets, opinion pieces, and articles on various aspects of the electoral process.

-Offering training for journalists on transparency and international election standards.

-The organization will also be hosting free virtual public conversations about voting.

It's sad that we've come to this place, but Trump has put us here with his deranged policies, rhetoric, breaking laws, constant daily lies, and collusion with a Russian disinformation campaign against Joe Biden.

The world is watching, along with the Carter Center to see if we defend democracy on Nov. 3rd.

Quote for the Day: "Democracy is not a spectator sport, it's a participatory event. If we don't participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy." -Michael Moore

 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Trump is Someone's Crazy Uncle and She Hates Him!

 


Pandemic Diary - Day 215

Dear Diary,

Kudos to Savannah Guthrie who skillfully exposed the essential Trump to viewers in his recent town hall debate.

When she told him that his words matter and he was not someone's crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever, I realized Guthrie was a real journalist and not all fluff. I owe her an apology.

I would like to add however, Trump is someone's crazy uncle; Mary Trump, who wrote a book about why he's so crazy comes to mind.

It get's more pathetic each day as Trump's bronzing makeup drips down his sweaty jowls as he's ranting in front of super spreader rallies.

Mary Trump's crazy uncle was bitch-slapped by reality recently when both of his October Surprises came off like lead balloons.

The first one, led by Rudy Giuliani, who was getting his dirt from Russian agent, claimed that a so-called hidden incriminating email was exposed.

The day that lie ran in The National Enquirers poor cousin The New York Post, social media shut it down and the mainstream press fact-checked it into a corner.

Now there's an investigation into this bogus email release that shows it's part of an ongoing Russian disinformation program to hurt Biden.

The second lead balloon came when AG Bill Barr had to admit that both of his year's long investigations (witch hunts) to discredit the Obama administration and Biden, didn't uncover any illegal activities.

As one might case that information infuriated Trump who believes in "bringing home the bacon."

Both failures have left Trump more desperate than ever before. His frustrated tweets come across as shrieks of rage from a man who knows he's losing his grip on power on Nov. 3rd.

Those tweets from Mary Trump's crazy uncle will continue to foul the twitterverse with regularity - even after he loses the election.

Quote for the Day: "That's why crazy people are so dangerous. You think they're nice until they chaining you up in the garage." -Michael Buckley

Friday, October 16, 2020

Americans Turning Out in Record Numbers To Vote Early Because They're Scared

 


Pandemic Diary - Day 214

Dear Diary,

You can feel the fear in the air. It clings to the coronavirus that's spreading across the states unchecked.

Americans are afraid of dying during this deadly pandemic because there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

They're also afraid Trump's going to steal the upcoming election... somehow.

His campaign may be struggling for money, but his influence as the incumbent president can't be matched when it comes to using dirty tricks. His abuse of power is one of the hallmarks of his poisonous presidency.

The term "Bully pulpit" barely begins to describe Trump's efforts to destroy our democracy and become the nation's first dictator.

No sane person wants to see that happen.

Trump's voter suppression efforts are backfiring as record waves of democratic voters are getting in lines up to 11 hours long to cast their vote early.

The last time I saw Democrats this motivated to vote was in 2008 when Barrack Obama won the election with a message of hope.  

Now the party is motivated by fear that Trump's Army will be lurking near the polling stations with weapons on Nov.3rd.

Fear has motivated a new generation of first-time voters who are politically active and will not only vote, but who will also help at the polling places.

Sometimes being afraid is a good thing. It can force us to defend ourselves instead of sitting in stunned silence as the world around us collapses.

Quote for the Day: "He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life." -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Trump Conspiracy Theories Debunked: Campaign Left With Super Spreader Rallies To Keep the Lies Alive

Pandemic Diary - Day 213

Dear Diary,

The only reason Rudy Giuliani hasn't been committed to a mental institution or a prison yet is his longtime ties with Trump.

Operating safely in the Trump alternate universe, Rudy comes out and claims - a couple of days ago - that he's gotten ahold of a secret email that is damning for Joe and Hunter Biden.

It's notable that the New York Post - a replica of that sensational rag The National Inquirer ran the story claiming Hunter attempted to leverage his father's position to help his business interest.

The problem was there was no such damning email. It was a lie, just like the narrative the GOP has been pursuing for over a year.

Oh yeah! The NY Post forgot to mention that Rudy was working with "an active Russian" agent to obtain dirt on the Biden's.

But the bigly bust for Trump and his minions was Barr was unable to conjure up an October Surprise with dirt on Obama and Biden spying on his 2016 campaign.

It was a conspiracy theory that Fox News portrayed as one of the greatest - if not the greatest - scandals in American history.

Fox hosts fumbled over each other in reporting how demonic the democrats were, with descriptions like this:

Tucker Carlson - "It's a domestic spying operation that was hidden under the pretext of national security."

Referring to democrats, Laura Ingraham gleefully told her viewers, "They've been exposed!

Sean Hannity flatly described it as, "the biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal the country has ever seen."

This week the lame theory collapsed when The Washington Post reported that a Justice Department investigation into the supposed scandal ended with no charges.

Barr did not go public with the results. If not for The Washington Post, the results may have been concealed for a while longer.

To add insult to injury, Barr's "unmasking investigation" against the FBI's investigation on Michael Flynn was a BIG DUD. No one charged.

As expected, the news went off like a bomb in the Fox newsrooms where those phony conspiracy theories kept up their ratings for the last four years. 

One shouldn't be surprised that Trump (when he got the news) shrugged his shoulders and continued to keep that - and other conspiracies' - alive during his super spreader rally tour.

Our reality show president knows his season is being cancelled in a matter of a few weeks when voters drive him - and his minions - out of the White House like vermin.

Until then, the show must go on. Regardless of the lives that will be lost.

Quote for the Day: "'I don't know' is how I reply to people with conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. This avoids going down their rabbit hole." -Rupert Wolfe-Murray

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Race for an October Surprise Intensifies as Trump Becomes More Desperate

 Pandemic Diary - Day 213

Dear Diary,

With 20 days left before election day, Team Trump is looking for an 11th hour reprieve to steal a victory from what looks like a sure Biden win.

Trump toadie, AG Bill Barr, has been dangling the possibility of a bombshell report with criminal charges against certain FBI members involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe in 2016.

Trump has been hoping the "John Durham report" instigated by Barr and based upon conspiracy theories, was going to be an October surprise in his favor.

To Trump's disgust Barr told top Republican officials the report won't be ready before election day resulting in a nightmare scenario for those Republicans who have been counting on the report to demonize the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, Trump is turning over every stone to get his much-needed boost in the waning days of the campaign. 

Having a vaccine before Nov. 3rd is currently tops on his list of schemes to save the day. Frankly, I doubt it will make any difference with 50 percent of Americans skeptical about vaccines right now.

Next-in-line would be his push to get the experimental cocktail that he received at Walter Reed hospital approved, claiming it was a cure.

Medical experts have pointed out the treatment has not been approved for the general public, is still being tested, and it's a therapeutic... not a cure.

Despite being fact-checked by twitter for lying about the treatment being a cure, he plugs it at every rally now.

The treatment could actually be approved as a therapeutic in early November, according to some healthcare experts who are aware of the pressure the White House is exerting to get an early release of the product.

Time is running out for Trump's October surprise. Over 12 million Americans have already cast their votes and millions more are expected to vote prior to Nov. 3rd.

That doesn't mean, however, Trump won't come up with something in the following days. He's still commander-in-chief and could always try a "wag the dog" tactic in the trenches.

Quote for the Day: "Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation." -James Thurber

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

What Do Americans Fear the Most? The Pandemic, or Getting a Fair Election?

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 212

Dear Diary,

What do Americans fear more? 

The COVID crisis, or having a fair election in November?

On one hand, it would seem to be a no-brainer; the pandemic that's infected over 7.8 million Americans and killed over 219,000, is a damn good reason to feel fear.

Especially because it's still raging out of control across the nation. The patchwork of protections in each state is failing because of economic and political reasons. Not to mention total lack of leadership from the White House.

But there's something else Americans fear; our democracy is at stake in this election. The far-reaching implications of having an authoritarian government is terrifying.

Because Trump is losing the election, by all counts, he's doing everything it takes to suppress voters from going to the polls, or at the polls by calling on his "Trump's Army" to intimidate people at the polls.

His end gambit could very well be to defy the results by going to the courts to contest them, and refusing to step down in an orderly transition.

By pushing though the confirmation of Amy Barrett, Trump's hoping a contested election will go before the Supreme Court where he'll have another appointed stooge to back his power grab.

This same new judge will likely make it a majority to overturn Obamacare and leave millions of Americans with no insurance for pre-existing conditions.

It would be a death sentence. In the long run more people could die from that reversal than the coronavirus where at least there's a real chance of having a vaccine and containing the pandemic.

I suppose one could argue that the two are entwined. Fear to vote in person because of the virus and intimidation, and the fear of becoming an authoritarian state. 

From all accounts Americans are turning out to vote in historic numbers this year. In spite of their fears. Or, because of them.

Quote for the Day: "How do you stop those who will stop at nothing?" Anonymous

Monday, October 12, 2020

Hunter S. Thompson's Take on the 2020 Presidential Election Would Have Been Another Classic


Pandemic Diary - Day 211

Dear Diary,

As a journalist, I've always admired and been envious of the creator of gonzo journalism; Hunter S. Thompson.

Everyone whose ever read FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, comes away stunned, shocked, and highly entertained.

His anarchistic tendencies, excessive use of alcohol and drugs, and constant war with conspiracies' would have made his coverage of this presidential election strand out among his peers.

I suspect Thompson would have admired the chaos Trump has caused in four years. I'm reasonably sure his descriptions of Trump and and his enablers would have left a nation aghast and laughing despite these terrible times.

Here's an example of Thompson's work:

"The sporting editors had given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. 

We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers...and a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.

Man this is the way to travel, said my attorney."

Can you imagine Thompson covering this nasty 2020 race? He'd love it! His descriptions of debates and rallies would capture the truly chaotic times we're living in.

I've considered what other famous American writers might have to say about this election.

Ernest Hemingway's short crisp style would be powerful, and would pack a punch during these tough times.

John Steinbeck's stark style would be very effective in documenting the plight of the poor and minorities in the time of COVID.

Kurt Vonnegut, with his darkly satirical novel SLAUGHTER HOUSE-FIVE, would be describing the corruption and authoritarian rule coming out of the White House under the Trump regime.

But, in the end, Thompson would be my choice to cover this election because he'd fit so perfectly in this chaotic country today.

Quote for the Day: "Elections belong to the people. Its their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters." -Abraham Lincoln