Friday, November 12, 2021

Coup Redo? Trump's Setting The Table As We Watch in Disbelief

After five years, I still feel like I'm in a bad dream when I look at the news every morning.

Trump Plants his flag on a logical absurdity

Trump defends threats to Pence on January 6 in new video

Trump could use the courts to run out the clock

The ongoing attempt to undermine our democracy is gathering steam as Trump and minions prepare to steal the next election out in the open. It's no secret.

The basic groundwork of suppressing voters is well underway in red states. The daily dialogue about the Big Lie is repeated in the halls of Congress and throughout what use to be the Republican party.

Trump's cult has gone mainstream with bad actors placed in state positions to rig elections against democrats in 2022 and 2024.

Right wing media is enjoying a golden age of disinformation where reality is undercut by a lies so numerous they're like a rampant plague.

Many Americans, like me, are having a hard time believing Trump will ever be held to account for his myriad crimes. Or, for his blatant coup attempt.

His history suggests he can work the courts like a mad maestro conducting evasive actions until either time, money, or patience wears out on the litigator's part.

After subverting laws for four years in office Trump is confident he can keep up that act. It worked well all of his corrupt career, so why not now?

As long as Trump's enablers in government and the quasi Republican party continue to cover his ass, we can expect the worse if he isn't held accountable for his heinous attempt to overthrow our democracy.

It's like watching an impending train wreck. You know it's coming, but are helpless to do anything about it.

Our nation's survival is dependent on the courts ability to overcome Trump's baseless eternal appeals. If they move slowly enough, Trump wins.

If the courts do their job in a timely way (due to the seriousness of the challenges) to protect our Constitution, Trump's last line of defense will be destroyed.

Then freedom can ring victoriously. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Vietnam Veteran Speaks Out On Veterans Day

It's been  over a half of a century since I waded through rice fields and jungles full of man traps and hidden NVA, and or VC.

(Photo taken in 1970. I was a combat engineer in the Army)

Since those days I've watched Vietnam veterans get vilified and eventually honored. It's been a wild ride.

When I think of Veterans Day I think about why members of our military must always be prepared to sacrifice their lives for freedom. To preserve the union.

As a veteran I want to see unity in this country.

Millions of men and women have died preserving our rights and freedoms for all Americans. 

Instead we have red and blue states living in two different realities. Talking about a second civil war.

We can honor living veterans by showing them this country can be unified under the Constitution. That we all believe in the same basic human values.

When right-wing jerks call for uprisings against our government they are dishonoring every man and women in the military.

If you want to honor a veteran today...come together peacefully and show you care about our veterans by acting to preserve our union.

Monday, November 8, 2021

In Search Of Holiday Spirit: Can't We Just Get Along To Celebrate?

I don't know about you, but I've yet to see any holiday spirit spreading across the country.

The toxic hate and fear that's been infused into our society from a combination of the pandemic and Trump still denying he lost the 2020 election, has been devastating for most Americans mental health.

The country is torn between two tribes - the red and the blue - who see each other as sworn enemies. We don't have a functioning Congress, despite the recent passage of the infrastructure bill.

Sadly, a lot of people don't feel there's anything to celebrate this Thanksgiving or Christmas. That our country has gone down a rabbit hole so deep we're facing an authoritarian government in the near future.

Growing up I remember how different these holidays were and the universal joy and tidings of peace across the nation. The holiday spirit was tangible. You could feel it in crowds and holiday activities from coast-to-coast.

It was a time when we didn't talk about red and blue states, or the possibility of a second civil war. It was a time when families set their differences aside to celebrate the seasons.

Peace. Forgiveness. Unity in spirit. The feeling we were one America once gave us comfort. 

I'm hoping for a holiday miracle this year.

That people are able to shrug off the hate and fear flowing through conversations and come together to celebrate. 

Life is too short not to recognize the good things around us. To celebrate. To pray together. To understand anything is possible with unity, and understanding. Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Biden's Bipartisan Bill Passes House Restoring Hope For Democrats

Finally.

Joe Biden was able to prove his credentials as a negotiator, coming away with the biggest infrastructure bill in history.

Somehow he was able to break the impasse between the moderates and progressives in the party and broker the deal of a lifetime.

Give Biden credit for this accomplishment. Political pundits were predicting the bill would never get passed because the Democrats weren't unified.

Biden's final push to get the bill into the end zone was motivated by what happened in Virginia when Democrat McAauliffe lost the governor's race to Republican Glenn Youngkin.

Democrats went into a panic mode afterward, because they were sure that Virginia was a blue state and they should have won. The possibility of a red tide in the midterms left the party shaken to its roots.

When Joe Biden's infrastructure plan got the green light last night, there was a collective sigh of relief. Now, Democrats will have something to run on next year.

The tide is turning. Trump and his minions have been thwarted from blocking this major legislation. 

The economy also got good news yesterday when over 500,000 new jobs were created in October - exceeding predictions. The stock market hit a new historical high.

Look for Biden's poll ratings to go up in the coming months as millions of Americans get relief during this pandemic. More jobs will be created to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Trump Justice Lackey Doesn't Cooperate With Jan. 6 House Select Committee Today

A foreboding forecast for future hearings seems likely after today.

Members of the Jan. 6 House Select Committee met with former Trump Justice official Jeffrey Clark for 90 minutes.

It was a waste of time.

Clark and his attorney walked out of the room several times and refused to answer any questions. End of story.

All the buildup on how the committee would hold Trump and his minions to task if they didn't cooperate was a mirage. Maybe it was just hopeful thinking expressed out loud.

What's particularly frustrating is Clark wasn't even one of the insurrectionists claiming executive privilege while ignoring subpoenas. His resistance will probably be the template for future Trumpies called to testify.

I'm seriously wondering if this select panel can get anyone to testify. 

After the Senate Judiciary Committee shared it's report on how Trump and his allies pressured the DOJ to overturn the 2020 election, the pivotal figure who emerged was Clark.

Yet, he gave the select committee the finger and proudly left the building. 

I don't know for sure, but I suspect Clark just kept claiming his 5th Amendment rights to keep his flap shut, and that short-circuited any fact-finding. 

So...where does that leave the committee's investigation?

Between Trump's stonewalling in the courts and minions perfectly happy to lie for him, the prospect of the committee accomplishing it's goal get dimmer by the day.

All the Republicans have to do is stall for time and gamble that they'll get the House back in the midterms. If that happens the committee shrivels up and lands in history's dustbin of good intentions.

I feel like our democracy is slip-sliding away under the authoritarian assault from Trump and his cult followers. 

May God have mercy on this republic.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Exposed: Coup Command Center Funded By Trump Campaign

One of many questions about what happened on Jan. 6 was who funded the effort to overthrow our electoral system?

The picture has become more clear in recent months as evidence compiled by Congress clearly shows the insurrection was funded by various sources.

One of them was Trump's campaign. For a detailed account read the Washington Post's story today - Trump Campaign Payments for 'Command Center' at D.C. Hotels could undermine executive privilege claim in Jan. 6 Investigation.

What's Been Discovered Thus Far?

-- The so-called 'Command Center' was set up by a former New York City police chief, Bernard Kerik, and Rudy Giuliani. It was located at The Willard Hotel in Washington D.C.

-- The two men were central players when it came to creating the Big Lie, that Trump lost because of fraud.

-- Last December Kerik was getting really nervous because he had shelled out thousands of dollars and the Trump campaign turned down his request for a campaign credit card. It looked like he was going to get stiffed and stuck with all the bills.

-- To the rescue, Judge Jeanine Pirro, a longtime Fox host. She convinced Trump to repay Kerik's costs

Why? The answer probably lies with the fact that she's one of Trump's favorite Fox hosts, and he pardoned her husband who was serving time for tax evasion.

-- In all, more than $225,000 in campaign cash went to Kerik and Giuliani - including close to $50,000 for suits at the Willard Hotel/aka the command center.

Final Thoughts

It's interesting to note that Kerik and Jeanine's husband were both convicted of tax evasion. Something Trump now faces in New York.

I found it amusing that both Kerik and Giuliani thought Trump was going to stiff them. No honor among thieves, I guess.

The Jan. 6 investigation continues to collect evidence leading up to, and the weeks after the coup attempt. Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.

But how long will all of this go on? It seems like the Jan. 6  Select Committee is moving as slow as molasses. 

My biggest fear is Trump will string out the proceedings until the midterms next year when there's a very real chance of Republicans taking back the House. 

If that happens, the committee dies along with any justice for attempting to overthrow the will of American voters. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Democrats Don't Have Time To Whine: They Need To Unite Before The Midterms

When Republican Glen Youngkin ended a decade of democratic governors in Virginia by beating Terry McAuliffe, Democrats were shocked.

The state that has been turning more blue since the 2020 election has now become a swing state that Democrats can no longer count on.

Pundits are busy burying the Democratic party that has been in disarray for six months. Predictions are warning of a red tide steadily building momentum.

Youngkin took the Goldilocks approach when it came to Trump; not to close, not too far, just the right distance. 

This tactic allowed Youngkin's campaign to tailor its message to Trump's base as well as independent voters in the suburbs.

The big question is are Democrats going to come together and give Biden's Build Back Better agenda a fighting chance by adapting their approach to voters and uniting for the common cause?

They have one year to produce results, or the midterms will be a Democratic massacre allowing Republicans to take up Trump's agenda and cause chaos for the rest of Biden's term.

Youngkin's win in Virginia was a blow that Democrats need to get over fast. It's not the end of the world. A lot can happen in the next year.

Hopefully Democrats learned their lesson about their lack of voter enthusiasm. It's the key to winning and without it Democrats won't have a chance next year.

What has to happen between now and next November is the passage of the two infrastructure bills.

Otherwise they'll have nothing to run on except vilifying candidates who support Trump. A plan which didn't work for McAuliffe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Hiding Behind Ignorance: Conservatives Embrace Bogus CRT Threat in Schools

People are voting in Virginia today for a new governor.

 Normally that wouldn't be national news. 

But today it is.

The fate of the state's future direction rests with either a Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, or Republican Glenn Youngkin.

The hot button issue that Youngkin is counting on to get elected is based upon lies about CRT being taught in schools - both elementary and high school. 

For the record, CRT is not being taught in the public school system anywhere in the country. 

But that doesn't keep the right-wing conspiracy theorists from violently invading school board meetings with misinformation and outright lies.

It's obvious Republicans muddled arguments about how school children are learning that whites are bad and blacks are good, has taken hold of nativists fears of many parents.

The galling part is most of the protesting parents aren't do any factual research, instead they're happily getting misinformation from such partisan sources as Fox News, Newsmax, and Oann.

What's intriguing is that those sources don't give any detailed information to their viewers. They just blast their horns and say "CRT is bad because we said so." 

Which, as it turns out, is just fine with the mindless sheep wearing MAGA hats. They don't really want to be bothered by such minutia. Give 'em catchy phrases and the believers are sold.

I saw a good example of this kind of attitude while watching the news this morning. A reporter was going up to voters in Virginia and asking them what was the most important issue they were voting on? 

One man said he was voting to keep CRT out of the state's school system.

When the reporter asked him if he knew what CRT was, he frowned and said he wasn't sure... but he didn't like it! That moment told me everything.

The guy was firmly against something he knew nothing about. But, because his right-wing information bubble said it was bad...well by God, it must be. 

It's this kind of partisan ignorance that's turning school board meetings into battle grounds. The real losers in this insanity are the students who are being pulled apart between reality and fiction.

We won't know who won in Virginia for some time as the ballots are still being counted. The results are set for certification on the 15th.

Will Virginia go further down the rabbit hole with Youngkin, or will McAuliffe bring some sanity back to school districts under fire from right-wing activists?

Monday, November 1, 2021

QAnon Is Poisoning The Health and Wellness Movement

The yoga world is riddled with anti-vaxxers and QAnon believers. /Image Wired UK 

Let's begin this discussion by noting that the Health and Wellness movement
has always been slightly off-kilter when it comes to science.

It's understandable that people seeing others using crystals to heal that some skepticism is going to surface. But, that's okay. No one is getting harmed by people who believe in medicinal crystals. Or, in the power of yoga and seeking spiritual assistance.

It's that little wedge however, outside the government's belief in science, that QAnon creeps saw the opportunity to infect the whole wellness community.

Traditional yoga instructors have been closing their studios because they can't stop extremists from going and sharing anti-vax propaganda. And, worse. 

A large part of  the yoga community in California and Arizona has packed their bags and gone to a little seashore town along the Mexican coast to escape the chaos the extremists have been spreading.

It's scary seeing the influence that QAnon has accumulated since 2017. The radical conspiracies QAnon believers use to poison others has infiltrated not only the Health and Wellness industry, but into other organizations like school boards, local governments, and right up to Congress.

Encouraged by the former president, the denial of reality philosophy has slithered into mainstream society like a venomous snake.

The Health and Wellness community is now poisoned with people who could care less about loss of life, and more about their idiot conspiracies. 

It's a complete denial of the original intent of helping people through various means, mostly spiritual, to heal their bodies and minds.

This wellness assault is just one more battle in the nation's fight between fact and fiction. Truth and lies. And, preserving our democracy.

Cult Over Country: The Unraveling of Democracy

 

"...and a great liar emerged at the dawn of the 21st century in America. He cultivated weak and fearful minds into fierce supporters who assaulted everything America ever stood for. It was a dark time for the republic." - Democracy's Last Stand

Fact, or fiction?

It's hard to believe that one seriously flawed man has built an autocratic cult that has made Cream of Wheat of the once proud Republican party, while threating every norm in society.

Trump's followers are happily rejecting reality and trying to re-write history about what happened on Jan. 6. This, in spite of the tons of evidence from videos recording the entire assault on the Capitol and what really happened.

The worst, most treasonous president in American history is actually looking to get re-elected with the help of state cronies rigging their electoral systems - willing to cheat democracy and the will of the people for a failed reality star that went bankrupt four times.

All of this is no secret. It's happening right before our eyes as Republican governors pass voter suppression laws.

The most frustrating thing of it all is nothing has happened to Trump yet. No legal charges have been filed for fomenting an insurrection or for cheating the IRS for decades. 

And it looks like he's going to tie up the courts (something he's gotten away with all of his life) until midterms, hoping that the Republicans will get back the House and ax the Jan. 6 committee investigating his complicity in the coup attempt.

No one could have predicted that the greatest democracy in the world would succumb to a fascist sociopath with a cult following.

It hasn't happened yet. Perhaps justice will still prevail and Trump will pay for his crimes one day. It's just a gamble we'll all have to take.  

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween in a Polarized America

Boo!

It's Halloween in a divided country that's already experienced the scariest medical emergency - COVID-19 - in our history.

Instead of holiday revelers we have rioters.

The sane part of our population will try to forget - for a moment - that Trumpies are their worst nightmares.

While traditional costumes will be worn, Trump followers will be wearing their usual regalia of defaced American flags and images of Trump's ugly mug on their shirts and flags.

While children trick-or-treat in neighborhoods, Trump supporters will be planting Trump signs on lawns and intimidating parents accompanying their kids.

Instead of traditional Halloween parties, Trumpies will be holding rallies worshipping their favorite devil - Trump - by burning copies of the Constitution.

This Halloween is not about the usual monsters -Frankenstein's, vampires and witches.

It's about the new monsters that have infected our society in the name of a failed reality star and world-class narcissist. 

Instead of showing classic horror shows, theatres will provide a full four hours of the insurrection attempt on our Capitol.

This Halloween is truly a horror show, with Trump acolytes roaming the night like ghouls in search of humans to harass.

Are You Extremely Proud to be an American? Then You're in the Minority

Just 36% of Americans   recently told Gallup pollsters they were extremely proud to be an American.  That's the lowest percentage   sinc...