Saturday, August 15, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 152: Deja vu - A Counter to Birtherism

Dear Diary,

I think I figured out what's going on with Trump's re-election campaign. "Goldie Oldies" are surfacing like snakes from the shadows of the 2016 election.

One of Trump's most disgusting lies was that President Obama wasn't born in America. His launch of the "birtherism" bullshit helped him slink into office on the backs of racists and conspiracy goons who saw him as one of their own.

There's another birtherism controversy going around based upon "what people say," that I'm going to share today:

"Trump was NOT a live birth. He was hatched in a cage in Nigeria and sold to a family of gypsies who migrated to the United States."

There, I said it. 

It could be true. Most people agree that Trump is part reptile based upon what his lizard brain comes up with on a daily basis. He sheds the truth like a snake's second skin. 

I really hate to see this stale replay of birtherism again, but there doesn't seem to be an end to it. The only thing to do is mock the moron-in-chief, and see if I can't get a counter birtherism story to stick somewhere in the hinterlands of undecided voters.

One of my favorite sports personalities, Yogi Bara, once cleverly observed, "It's deja vu all over again." I agree with him one hundred percent when it comes to contrived birtherism stories.

So why not fight fire with fire? If there's that many crazy people out there, it doesn't necessarily mean they're all Trump supporters. Frankly, I don't think Biden or Harris would mind if crazies voted for them too. Their vote still counts, right?

In this time of toxic conspiracies', Q-Anon has melded with the remnants of the Republican Party, forming a mutation led by a malicious narcissist who won't accept reality.

What Trump can't get into his tiny brain is this is 2020... not 2016. 

Quote for the Day: "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." -Adolf Hitler

Friday, August 14, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 151: A Bridge Too Far: Trump's Attack On the Postal Service Has Crossed a Line

Dear Diary,

Watching a malicious narcissist melt down in real time is an ugly sight.

Watching the president of the United States, a liar and malicious narcissist melt down and threaten democracy and American lives with his absolute denial of reality, is damn scary!

Trump is in full berserker mode because he sees his re-election efforts crashing under the thrashing the coronavirus reality is giving him. It's all about him. Science is his enemy.

In one of his more risky gambits to suppress voting, Trump has decided to attack - the U.S. Postal Service. By combining his lies about fraudulent mail-in voting, he's doubling down against established facts and historic evidence to the contrary.

By attacking the messenger Trump thinks he can totally discredit one of the few government agencies that was explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.

Proof that Trump lives in his own little universe is the fact he's actively, and openly, trying to turn an institution that traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general, into a political football.

I admit to being somewhat surprised by how few Republicans are standing up to this unperilled assault against an institution Americans have counted on for 240 years. 

This latest attempt to hamper the Post Office by putting his crony (and major contributor to his campaign) in charge is thankfully being challenged by Democrats in the House and Senate.

They called on Tammy Whitcomb, the Postal Service inspector general to do an audit on Trump's corrupt appointee, Louis DeJoy, who has conflicting interests owning anywhere from $30 million to $75 million worth of assets in competing delivery and shipment services like J.B. Hunt.

Meanwhile, Trump's threats become more ominous every day. He's gone so far as to linking a stimulus relief program to NOT Giving the Post Office and States what they need to handle the expected historic amount of mail-in votes.

"If we don't make a deal, that means they (The Post Office) don't get the money, that means they can't have universal mail-in voting. They just can't have it," Trump said yesterday.

There you have it. He openly admits to attempting to rig the election in order to win in November. That threat is crystal clear.

While DeJoy does everything he can to slow down mail deliveries, even taking away overtime, crucial days are passing as one of the greatest challenges to freedom is being fought.

Quote for the Day: "Do you know why I like killing the messenger? Because it sends a message." -Damon Salvatore 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 150: Profiles in Ignorance

Dear Diary,

History will show how Trump's profound ignorance of science and his denial of a deadly virus killed thousands of Americans.

I think it's important to document other professional science deniers who refuse to wear masks and take all the safety recommendations by healthcare professionals. Their contribution to the chaos during the pandemic can not be underestimated.

I'll start off with the most recent example of science deniers putting others at risk. August 10th:

Straight from the infected state of Florida, where record numbers of people are dying daily from COVID-19, we have Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods.

Billy boy ordered his deputies NOT to WEAR MASKS despite 542,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and 8,600 deaths in the state. It's hard to believe, but true. He told reporters he could debate and argue all day why, and why not, to wear masks. 

He went so far as to falsely claim there's as many healthcare experts that believe masks are unnecessary, as one's who say they ARE necessary. That's pure bullshit on a steaming platter of ignorance.

August 12th - Dr. Mark Siegel (Trump's favorite Fox news doctor) insidiously claimed that parents could send their kids back to school because your kid "probably won't die."

The bad doctor's rousing speech in support of sending children off into a COVID-19 petri dish, was in support of Trump's lies about how safe it is to go back to in-person school this fall.

Parents, teachers, and healthcare experts disagree. We're already seeing the ill effects of going back to school too early in New Jersey and Georgia.
Not So Long Ago
In February, a little more than a quarter of U.S. adults believed the coronavirus was being blown out of proportion. (That number has actually risen and now 40 percent believe the virus is a big to-do over nothing.) 

March 9 - Sean Hannity on the Coronavirus: "I think we've got to be very real with the American people. I don't like how we are scaring people. Unnecessarily. And that is that unless you have an immune system that's compromised and you are older and you have other underlying health issues, you are NOT going to DIE, 99 percent, from the virus."

March 16th - Ron Paul claims the coronavirus could be a "Big Hoax" and a way to take rights away.

"It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans," Paul wrote on his website.

April 28th - Cheryl K. Chumley, reporter for The Washington Times: "The response to the coronavirus is hyped. And in time, this hype will be revealed. In fact, COVID-19 will go down as one of the political world's biggest, most shamefully overblown, overhyped, overly and irrationally inflated and outright deceptively flawed responses to a health matter in American history, one that was carried largely on the lips of medical professionals who have no business running a national economy or government."
(Apparently the writer knows nothing about run-on sentences, but then look at the publication.)

May 27th -  "As the United States neared 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a majority of Republicans still don't grasp the basic fact about the disease: it is considerably more deadly than the flu." The New York Times

 July 13th - Game Show host Chuck Woolery claimed "everyone was lying" about the coronavirus as a part of a plot to sabotage the economy and hurt Trump's reelection campaign. Of course, Trump re-tweeted the blatant lie.

Just yesterday, a Tennessee trooper (no mask on) ripped a face covering off a witness to a traffic stop in a caught-on-video confrontation that could lead to a lawsuit, according to the local newspaper the Daily News. 

Sadly, I could go on with endless other profiles in ignorance under one of the stupidest presidents in this nation's history.

Quote for the Day: "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere and conscientious stupidity." -Martin Luther King Jr. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 149: Biden Makes History With VP Pick - Kamala Harris

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 2020!
Dear Diary,

Well, Joe pulled the trigger yesterday and announced he was picking Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.

I remember talking with my wife, Shirley, when names starting surfacing for prospective VP candidates, about Harris. I'm not claiming we were psychics, but we both made a snap decision that Harris should be the pick.

As the months crawled by during this dreadful pandemic everyone was speculating about who Joe would pick. One candidate's name after another surfaced in the press and then faded away.

Until this month, when two names finally stood out; former American diplomat, Condoleezza Rice, and Kamala Harris.
Kamala Harris' Credentials
**She is the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate (elected in 2016).

**She served as California's Attorney General, and before that as a San Francisco District Attorney.
Background and Education
**She is a native of Oakland, California, and the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

**She attended Howard University for her undergraduate degree and was a Capitol Hill intern in the very same office she occupies today.
Background Notes
**As attorney general, Harris worked closely with Biden's late son, Beau Biden, when he was Delaware's attorney general, particularly in challenging big banks in the wake of the housing crisis.

**She wrote a book, "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey."

**When Harris was still running for president she attacked Biden during the Democrat debates for his record on busing and working with segregationists.

The attack was unexpected and left Biden bruised, especially because she was such a close family friend with Beau. Biden's wife Jill said the attack felt "like a punch in the gut."

Despite that, the two patched things up and Harris gave her full support to Biden after he won the nomination. In June, she raised $3,5 million for his campaign.
Senate Highlights
Harris was praised for her pointed questioning of Attorney General Bill Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during their respective confirmation hearings.

After carefully following the progress of all the VP candidates, I'm really comfortable with Joe's pick. I fully expect Trump and minions to start braying like jackasses today about her selection.

Quote for the Day: "Well-behaved women rarely make history." -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 148: Reality Producer Trump Searching for Stage

"Trump should accept his re-nomination at Disney's Fantasyland." - Dave Stancliff

Dear Diary,

When fading reality TV star Trump, pole-vaulted into office on the backs of white supremacists and Q-Anon conspiracists, a national stage was set for a four-year reality show... with no commercials.

Our liar-in-chief never lost sight of staging events thus far into his chaotic regime. His press briefings always feature some sort of entertainment - whether it's parrying the press with bullshit - or making outrageous accusations to divert the news of the day.

As the biggest narcissist to ever squat in the Oval Office, Trump was flabbergasted when he couldn't bully the coronavirus and hold a full-fledged Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Or, Florida. Or, anywhere.

Watching his stage for accepting the GOP re-nomination shrink before his beady eyes, Producer, Don the Con, went into action. 

It didn't take long for Trump to eye the White House as a viable alternative, because he'd look more presidential in that setting. 

Forget about ethical rules and the horrible optics a majority of Americans would see as a president once again ignored history and traditions, to defile them in a partisan staged event for his re-election.

Unlike past staged settings, Trump is getting some pushback from seasoned GOP lawmakers who realize his proposal would be a sacrilege the party may never recover from.

Ever the showman, Trump is looking around at equally historic spots to embrace his nomination. He may SETTLE for the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, but the White House is still his first choice.

Why Gettysburg, the site that turned out to be the turning point in the Civil War? That battlefield is hallowed ground with 51,000 soldiers buried there after a three-day battle.

I suspect it has something to do with the significant amount of time that Trump's put in recent weeks pushing the movement to remove Confederate monuments, and rename US military bases named after Confederate figures.

There's also another reason why Gettysburg resonates with our ego-driven leader; President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most important speeches in US history - the Gettysburg Address - there on the battlefield.

Trump's pathetic attempt at "stolen glory," comparing himself to Lincoln, makes me want to vomit. The orange maroon has dared to say he's done more for blacks than Lincoln numerous times in past hate rallies and press briefings.

It's possible Trump's aides had some input into him making his acceptance speech in the Keystone State because it is a critical swing state, and the largest collection of Republican voters in Pennsylvania are located there. That Joe Biden is leading in the highly contested state's polls was probably another motivation for the location.

The thing that stands out to me, and I'll bet future historians too, will be Trump's unethical and partisan use of his office. Nothing has been sacred in his attempts to consolidate power and to get re-elected.

Quote for the Day: "Choose your audience wisely, for its not your performance that varies but their response is what matters!" -Ramama Pemmaraju

Monday, August 10, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 147: Why Kodak is not Manufacturing Drugs After Trump Touted the Company

Dear Diary,

Revelations of everyday corruption during the Trump regime are so common they get little media attention these days.

Trying to survive during a never-ending pandemic is the primary news. With Trump handicapping progress on battling the coronavirus by displaying zero leadership... government corruption is playing second fiddle to breaking news.

It wasn't that long ago Trump made a big deal about saving a great American company like Kodak from going bankrupt. He bragged that by re-tooling Kodak to manufacture drugs, America would be less dependent on foreign pharmaceutical companies. That was then.

This is now: The Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating Kodak stock purchases by company board members and stock options granted to them before Trump announced the deal on July 28th.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the SEC investigation into potential insider trading concerning options the day before Trump waddled out and announced a bigly deal with Kodak. 

Warren warned the SEC that "substantial amounts of company stock" by Kodak CEO James Continenza and another board member, were purchased prior to the deal " a time when Kodak and Trump were negotiating the deal in secret."

The irony to me is that the development bank loan Kodak was going to receive was the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense.

One big element of this dark arrangement really stands out starkly... one of the main drugs Kodak was supposed to be producing was hydroxychloroquine. Trump and full-time douche bag Peter Navarro's preferred drug to treat COVID-19. There's no such thing as coincidences with Don the Con's backroom deals.

Kodak's chance for revival by re-tooling and making drugs with a new industry loan is circling the drain in the halls of justice. It looks like Kodak's lobbying efforts, after spending a company record of $870,000 to Trump's minions in government, was a complete bust.

I must say, I wasn't surprised when the press caught up to Trump Friday, and asked him about the Kodak deal. He told reporters, "I wasn't involved in it," and waddled away with no sense of shame.

Quote for the Day: "Corrupt governments are run by corrupt politicians that run corrupt law enforcement agencies." -Steven Magee

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 146: Trump Signs Executive Order: Americans Have To Vote For Him

Dear Diary,

Trump decided a long time ago that executive orders were like waving a magic wand. He could sign one to get anything he wanted.

In theory.

In the real world, many of Trump's executive orders have been, and still are being, challenged in the courts. 

Fact: The Constitution gives Congress authority over federal spending, so Trump does not have the legal authority to issue executive orders determining how money should be spent on fighting the coronavirus.

That hasn't slowed Stump down in the past when he declared a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border to shift billions of dollars from the defense budget to pay for his wall that he promised his supporters in 2016.

Congress passed legislation to stop him, but there were too few votes in the Republican-controlled senate to override his veto. 

If the measures that he signed yesterday are challenged by Congress - and it's likely they will be - a similar scenario could play out two months before the general election. Meanwhile all the measures are in limbo. Then it becomes a political football.
What did Thump sign?
To be clear, they weren't bills, despite what our liar-in-chief claimed yesterday.
There were four measures:

The first measure established a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year for Americans earning less than $100,000 a year. 

The second defers student loan payments until the end of the year.
Nice, but not exactly the immediate relief people need.

The third measure would continue eviction moratoriums.

The fourth measure extends unemployment benefits that ran out last week, but at a reduced level of $400 instead of $600. 

While both are important, without a comprehensive stimulus relief program conditions will only get worse than they are now. Not too mention it would be stripping Congress of its powers.

Picking and choosing segments of society to temporally help when practically everyone needs help is a vile political move by a malicious narcissist.

Once again Trump held a rally (falsely claiming it was a press briefing again) at his Bedminster Golf Club and invited his uber-wealthy pals (who pay upwards of $250,000 a year in  membership fees to be entertained by the reality TV president) to witness the "historic event."

It was weird watching a group of millionaires without masks clapping their hands like seals every time Trump lied about everything from the perils of mail-in voting to Joe Biden being a senile puppet of the extreme left.  

Needless to say, it wasn't a pretty picture. 

The optics of out-of-work Americans waiting in food lines and hoping for government help, while Trump paraded around in his club house like an obese peacock campaigning for re-election is going to resonate with millions of non-millionaires in the weeks ahead. 

Future executive orders by Trump I'm waiting to see:

**Americans have to vote for Donald Trump or be declared traitors.

**LED light bulbs and water saving toilets will be banned in the U.S.

**Anyone who sells Trump memorabilia (to include street vendors) will be eligible for coronavirus grants from $1 million and up. 

**A declaration of a new national holiday honoring White Supremacist's in America, on June 17th.

**Trump properties are no longer subject to any kind of taxation. Period.

In Trump's world the coronavirus is going to magically disappear. Meanwhile, he's waving his magic wand in a desperate attempt to salvage his failing campaign.

Quote for the Day: "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." -Walt Disney

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...