Saturday, March 20, 2021

COVID-19 Follows Trump Around Like a Loyal Dog

One year ago the first known exposure to the virus happened at Mar-a-Lago when Trump invited a Brazilian official to his resort.

The official posed for a photo next to Trump and attended a family birthday party. Since then the pandemic swept over the country like a toxic black cloud.

Remember the Trump White House? It had several outbreaks after flouting virus precautions by resisting mask-wearing and continuing to hold large events.

Who can forget the mass spreader rallies Trump put on while campaigning?

Is it any wonder then the virus has been following Trump around like a loyal dog being thrown scrapes of meat?

Trump's lies and distain have sustained the virus for over a year. 

In January, Palm Beach County issued a warning to Mar-a-Lago's management after a New Year's party that violated an ordinance requiring employees and guests to wear masks.

Videos of the party went viral because of the blatant non-compliance during the last surge.

Since losing the 2020 election Trump has been holed up at his once "Winter White House," plotting revenge against the world.

His loyal virus has stayed with him right up until now. Mar-a-Lago is partly closed after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

An email sent to members said that service has been temporarily suspended in the club's dining room and its beach club because staff members have tested positive.

It's no secret Trump doesn't like dogs, but it may be news to some that he treats the coronavirus like a loyal pet.

Friday, March 19, 2021

On Being Lucky: Pure Chance or Planned?

Good lucky is an elusive thing that most people hope to catch like lightning in a bottle.

Two aspects of luck

1. Good Luck can strike like lightning when you least expect it.

2. Good Luck can also be planned if a person has enough determination to focus on the steps to improve their situation. It's called "making your own luck."

Examples

When someone wins the lottery it's pure luck. No amount of planning can make it happen.

In contrast, you can combine knowledge and luck and find expensive and rare items in a garage sale.

The most recent example is a rare 15th-century Chinese antique purchased for $35 in New Haven, Connecticut.

The person who discovered the "Lotus Bowl" was knowledgeable about porcelain craft and always kept their eye out for treasures.

It paid off and the lucky person (name not released) sold the rare bowl at an auction - Sotheby's - and got $721,800 dollars for it.

As for pure unadulterated luck I have a personal example for you.

When I was in Vietnam (1970) I stepped on a land mine while minesweeping Hwy. 1. My squad leader saw the depression in the road before I did and shouted (and used hand signals) to stop... but I took one more step before complying.

Ripping off my ear phones in a panic I was sure my time was up as I stood there on shaky legs!

The rest of the squad scattered to the sides of the dirt road. Everyone but my squad leader. He got down on his knees and started probing around my foot with a k-bar knife.

After uncovering most of the plate he wiped the sweat off his brow and told me it was okay to step forward - it was an Anti-tank mine (a leftover from the French occupation) and I wasn't heavy enough to set it off.

That's when I became a believer in dumb luck.

At one time or another, we all have encounters with good luck. How you get it, is a story with two possible tales.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

When Are Democrats Going to Stand Up To McConnell's Obstructionism?

It seems impossible that one man can change the fate of the country by simply opposing the other party on ANY legislation.

Yet, Mitch McConnell has been doing that since President Obama was sworn into office, promising no cooperation with the newly elected Commander-In-Chief. 

Even though McConnell now leads a minority in the Senate, he's still doubling down on ANY agenda the Democrats propose.

In his latest rant, McConnell threatened the Democrats if they change the filibuster, or did away with it.

Standing behind the podium on the Senate floor recently, McConnell promised a "totally scorched-earth policy in Congress" if the Democrats dare to make changes to the filibuster.

Listening to Moscow Mitch swear to "...unleash furies the Democrats can barely imagine," one would think he's running the country and not Joe Biden.

Claiming the the Senate will become even more divided if there are any changes to the rules - is a blatant misrepresentation. The Senate Republicans have already put up a solid wall of opposition with no means of reconciliation.

It's time for the Democrats to stand up to McConnell's obstructionist tactics. If that means changing, or doing away with the filibuster, then so be it.

Otherwise, there will be no progress at all in the next few years. 

What's the difference between letting McConnell call all the shots with a minority in the senate, or standing up to him and making rule changes?

In both cases, McConnell intends to stop any legislation that he doesn't approve of. Trying to reason with him has proved impossible.

If the Democrats really want to enact big legislation, like Voting Rights and infrastructure improvement, the only way it's going to get done is to take charge and do away with the filibuster.

The can worry about the rolls being reversed someday all they want - with a Democratic minority helpless to do anything about it. But, unless they take bold measures now this country is never going to see progress.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Herrera Beutler: GOP Latina Congresswomen Not Afraid to Chart Her Own Course

Regardless of party, if a lawmaker stands up for truth and democracy, I respect them.

The one thing that stands out about Herrera Beutler, a Republican Latina member of the House, is she's not afraid to enter uncharted waters to do the right thing.

She's unique for a lot of reasons. She's not a grandstanding puppet pledged to protect Trump despite how corrupt he is.

Trump minions were unable to intimidate her when she voted to impeach Trump the second time around. She, and nine other, "renegade" GOP House members broke from the pack and voted against Trump.

That vote was a moment of truth for Beutler.

It landed her in the GOP leader's office, and incurred the wrath of Trump who promised to campaign against her (and the other nine) when they're up for re-election.

That moment of truth hasn't faded yet, as she continues to be in the limelight for revealing damaging details about Trump's phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

Here's the thing about Beutler; she's spent 12 years in the House steering clear of controversary. She's never been a flamethrower.

However, what little allegiance she gave Trump evaporated after the Big Lie and the Capitol riot. 

In doing so she may have become a potential prototype for how to cross Trump and survive in the party. It remains to be seen.

One thing is for sure, she's not afraid to chart her own course and stand up for the Constitution and truth.

In a recent interview with Politico, Beutler was asked, if she lost her seat for standing up for what she believed was right would it be worth her defiance?

Her reply, "If it means making sure our party thrives and continues to defend those ideals that I think are enshrined in the Constitution, then it's worth it. It's so worth it."

Kudos.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Why Don't We Know How Officer Sicknick Died Yet?

When the first reports about the Trump-inspired coup attempt at the US Capitol came in we heard a Capitol Hill Police Officer, Brian Sicknick, was killed.

The early reports suggested he died after being struck with a fire extinguisher. Not true. Since then his cause of death has become a mystery.

According to Sicknick's brother, Ken Sicknick, the family had been informed he suffered a stroke resulting from a blood clot. 

Ken Sicknick said his brother told him in a text message sent before he collapsed that he had been hit with bear spray wielded by rioters.

Thus far two men have been charged with assaulting Officer Sicknick. Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios were arrested Sunday.

Arrest papers stated that both men used bear spray on Sicknick and two other officers.  But - and this is a big but -   neither have been charged with his murder.

Why?

The authorities investigating the case have been mute as to what the real cause of death was. The rumor mill in Washington D.C. claims Sicknick died from "chemical exposure."

Still, there has been no definitive cause of his death two months later. His death has been a secret long enough.

Someone is preventing the whole story from coming out for reasons unknown. There had to have been an autopsy report. So why not release that?

Sicknick's family was told one thing that may, or may not, have been true. The troubling part is the family may have been lied to. Why else would the story not be released to the public?

Hopefully, time will reveal what really happened so we can put Brian Sicknick's death behind us.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Trump is Kicking His Followers Under The Bus

A recent poll showed that half of Trump's supporters have indicated they aren't going to get the vaccine against the coronavirus.

The reason why is both pathetic and sad. 

Trumplicans tend to ignore reality in favor of Trump's alternate universe. Even when their lives are at stake.

Thanks to our former president, getting a vaccine has become a political statement. 

In a twist of irony, Trump got the shot in private. He didn't want his loyal minions to see that he was a hypocrite and supercharging a pandemic for political gain.

In other words, Trump is throwing his minions under the bus. There's no other way to describe what he's doing.

In a time when healthcare officials are cautiously advising people that the pandemic has slowed down - less cases and deaths - but to not let their guard down and to continue safety measures, Trump's vaccine stance stands in the way of defeating the virus.

The worst part of what Trump has done is indoctrinating his cult followers against science and facts. 

Going Through the Motions: House Select Committee Approves Bannon's Contempt of Congress Report

Straight up. I have my doubts about t he House Select Committee on Jan. 6 holding anyone accountable for Trump's coup attempt. The chan...