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. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A 'Painful Filibuster' May Open the Door to Biden's Legislation Agenda

I like the idea of  a "painful filibuster."

Since 1975 the filibuster has given the minority in Congress a way to obstruct all legislation introduced by the majority.

That may change soon

When Sen. Joe Manchin, a blue dog Democrat, said he was open to introducing a "painful" addition to the filibuster, Democrats saw a game-changing opportunity to remake the Senate and lift a key obstacle to a progressive agenda.

Manchin, the most outspoken Democratic supporter of the filibuster, has decided to soften the political maneuver, but not do away with it entirely.

What does a "painful" filibuster look like?

The idea is to test obstructing senators by forcing them to talk in order to halt legislation.

This move would end the filibuster as it currently exists, while still allowing a determined minority to slow down or scuttle bills.

It would also enable a resolute majority to outlast them. The only way this can happen is if all 50 democratic senators, plus VP Harris, unify behind the change.

And Manchin says he's onboard.

Under the current rules the majority has to find 60 votes or the bill stalls. 

The proposed change would require a group of 41 senators to hold the floor and take turns talking incessantly - to air their grievances with the legislation being considered.

One of two things will happen:

The majority party will lose its nerve and pull the bill, or the number of senators will fall under 41 and enable the majority to advance the bill with a three-fifths majority. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer summed up the proposed move to AP, "All I can tell you is we need big, bold action. And we have to figure out the best way to do it."

One thing is for sure, the Democrats have to sidestep the Republican's obstruction or no more important bills will be passed.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Is It Finally Time For Common Sense Gun Controls? House Passes 2 Bills To Close Loopholes

In a sure sign of the shifting political landscape in America the issue of gun control has resurfaced.

To that end the U.S. House of Representatives passed a pair of gun control laws yesterday after years of failed attempts.

Summary

**The first measure passed the House 227-203 with support from eight Republicans.

It's designed to close a long-standing loophole in gun laws by expanding background checks to those purchasing weapons over the internet, at gun shows and certain private transactions.

**The second bill passed 219-210 with two Republicans supporting it. 

It gives authorities 10 business days for federal background checks to be completed before a gun sale can be licensed. Currently it's three days.

When these bills arrive in the Senate they're going to face a bitter battle with no guarantees of being passed.

Republicans will quickly claim that Biden is coming to take their guns away. Even the financially crippled NRA (whose currently fighting in court to dissolve the organization) will fundraise off the coming GOP propaganda.

The current construct in the Senate - 50-50 - doesn't bode well, especially because it can't be done through the reconciliation process that was used to pass the American Relief Bill.

My question; is this the right time, or is just another attempt doomed to failure?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"Pillow Boy" Mike Lindell's Efforts To Discredit 2020 Election Are Pathetic

Most of the conservative public crazies have moved on from "election fraud" narratives to other conspiracies.

But not the infamous Pillow Boy, Mike Lindell, however. 

Being a Trump devotee has paid off for his business beyond his wildest crack dreams. 

Despite being sued by Dominion (a computer company) for $1.2 billion dollars for defamation and outright lies about the company, Lindell continues to pursue the "loser route" of election fraud.

Keeping Trump's Big Lie alive has earned the Pillow Boy a legion of Trumplicans who are steadily buying his pillows - probably more of a political statement than one about quality.

To that end, Lindell held an event yesterday where he was the featured speaker at a election fraud rally. The event was organized by "We the People AZ Alliance," a group seeking to repeal the 2020 election results in Arizona.

Despite advertising the event would be held at Queen Creek Botanical Gardens in Arizona, it was actually held at "Pecan Lake" and not their property. Par for the course, I'd say.

Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and right-wing personalities Mindy Robinson and Matt Couch, also spoke at the "Mike Lindell Election Integrity Faith and Freedom" gathering.

While the election trolls howled their grievances under a full moon, the rest of America had moved on.  

It appears that Lindell's loser marketing strategy is going to continue until the court locks him up - and throws the key away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Long Overdue: Houses Passes American Rescue Plan Act

The relief that millions of Americans have been praying for is here.

This morning the House passed the 1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill in a partisan vote.

Every Republicans stubbornly opposed the bill despite polls that show overwhelming support. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released today showed that 75 percent of all Americans want it.

As usual Republicans tried to make a circus out of the proceedings, starting with Marjorie Taylor Green who called for adjournment ... again, after pulling the stunt repeatedly to slow down the proceedings. Over 40 Republicans voted against her this time.

That was just the opening salvo from a party twisting in the wind over helping Americans recover from the pandemic.

The irony is when Biden signs it into law FRIDAY, Republicans will be the first in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new/old businesses - puffing out their chests like they did something positive.

Hearing House GOP members talk about the high cost of the bill reminds me of last year when there was no problem with racking up several trillion dollars for bills to help the economy. It was even a bipartisan effort, unlike this relief bill.

It was vomit-worthy watching Republicans making false claims, like the country will go bankrupt if the bill passes. The shameless hypocrisy the Republicans are using is a stain on the House of Representatives.

The good news is the bill passed, and it'll just be a matter of days before relief for all Americans is felt.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Regeneration: What Do Trumplicans and Two Species of Sea Slugs Have in Common?

Researchers recently discovered that two species of sea slugs can regrow hearts and whole bodies, even after removing their own heads!

That information made me immediately think of the Republican Trumplican Party. The similarities are obvious.

Apparently these two special species of sea slugs cut off the own heads (for reasons still not known) and the separated head grows a new body.

When Trump was voted out of office he was decapitated as the party head. The GOP was thrown into chaos.

What emerged is Trump's attempt to grow a body back and regain his once unlimited power. Holed up like a hermit crab in Florida, he's busy plotting a new attack on our republic.

Meanwhile the severed body politic, divided between Republicans and Trumplicans, has been thrashing around in search of a direction. 

Elements have already joined with Trump in an effort to regenerate his political body. Time will tell whether he'll continue to be a threat to democracy.

How The Crazies Found Their Voice in America

I miss the good old days when the crazies in our society wore tinfoil hats and communicated with aliens from another galaxy. Whenever they ...