Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Gaping Black Hole of Political Discourse

Director’s DVD Commentary: This is a special Bonus Post because I don’t think I can keep all this bottled up until my next post on Monday. Plus, it may well be talked out by then and we’ll be onto the next outrage.

But holy crap, what a shit-show that was last night, during what was supposed to be a political debate. And I’m not going to entertain any “both-siderism” on this. The blame is squarely on the Clown in Chief. He, alone, rendered this event unlistenable. I’d love to see the stats on the number of people who turned it off in the first half-hour. But let’s start at the beginning.

Even before the debate, you could see the Republicans scrambling. It’s was like they suddenly realized that their year-long effort to paint Joe Biden as a doddering, senile, brain-addled old man was about to come crashing down. America was going to get to see him speak off the cuff, without the courtesy of a dishonest Fox “News” edit. Fox disciples were bound to be shocked that Biden actually could string a sentence or two together. So to combat the sight of a coherent candidate, they began a whisper campaign that Biden needed to be drug tested for performance-enhancing drugs. The Biden campaign, naturally, refused.

Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with pre-debate drug testing as long as it applies to both sides. And I’d need someone independent in there with Trump because if he can’t take his SATs himself, he’s certainly not going to take his own drug test.

Then they pivoted to claiming Biden would be wearing an earpiece, with someone telling him what to say. That ruse may fool the Trump base, but most people should know that it’s not easy to repeat things coming in your ear and repeat them in real-time as if they’re your own words. They, again, demanded that Biden be tested, with someone coming in to examine his ears. I’m sure they were told to go piss up a rope.

It’s clear that there’s nothing Republican media and leadership won’t stoop to, to prop up their campaign of lies.

Eventually, the debate began and it was enough to make you wish for more talk of piss tests and earpieces.

It was obvious that Trump’s strategy was to interrupt Biden at every opportunity and throw in insults, lies, and side tangents, to keep him from presenting a single coherent thought. Joe did as well as he could be expected to. He did better than I would have. I can’t believe he didn’t walk across the stage and start beating him with his shoe. (Now that would have made for great ratings.)

The result of this strategy was a clusterfuck of epic proportions, where great stretches of time were wasted with two people talking at once with no one understood. Reasonable people want to hear what both candidates have to offer. If I wanted to listen to a cacophony of lies, whining, name-calling, and exaggeration, I would have locked myself in a room full of 5-year olds.

I know they won’t change the agreed-upon debate rules, but Production really needs the ability to cut off the mics. That would solve the biggest problem with debate-watching. While Trump is by far the biggest violator of other people’s time, it was a problem at the Democratic primary debates as well.

They should turn off every other mic when one person is delivering their dedicated 2-minute statement or 1-minute rebuttal. Anyone that interrupts causes 30 seconds to be added to the interuptee’s time. At least we’d be able to get a clearer picture of who stands for what.

Or maybe leave the mics on but activate trapdoors under the candidates. Something’s got to give. All we get from this mess are headaches. Monty Python’s “Argument Clinic” featured better debate than this.

Or maybe we just bring in a more effective moderator:

So I didn’t have any problem with Joe getting a little irritated and throwing some elbows himself.

Will you shut up, man?

That’s putting it mildly. And I did like his referring to Trump as “this clown.” The thing is, Biden couldn’t take the “high road” completely or else he’d come off as a pushover. He had to be able to stand up to the blowhard. He should have just gone with the “Gambino Defense,” and said, “Everything that guy said was bullshit. Thank you.”

“This time, I’ll allow it.”

I think he lost a big opportunity to pin the Republicans down over their decision to speed through the SCOTUS nomination. Biden basically parroted the GOP talking points from 2016. That’s not really the issue. If the Democrats had been able to get the Garland nomination heard, I wouldn’t have a problem with the GOP doing the same now. The argument about how the “people need to be heard” was invalid then and now. The people were heard during the elections. Two decisive elections said that Obama should place Merrick Garland on the bench. Trump eventually pointed out that he’s the president and he gets to have his nomination. And that’s true.

The real issue is the Gumby Theater put on by the Republican Senate in 2016 and then saying the opposite now. Joe needed to point out that the Republicans changed the rules to suit their needs. They “created” this precedent and then reversed it once the opposition expected it to be followed.

As I mentioned in my last post, the GOP will say whatever it takes to get what they want, and then pivot to say the opposite as soon as it suits their needs. They literally stand for nothing. Anything they say can and will be used against YOU in a court of law.

But otherwise, I thought he acquitted himself pretty well. When Trump unleashes that “firehose of lies,” it’s hard to even know where to start. And he just went from one outrage to another. I felt bad for the fact-checkers. I bet they’re still soaking their swollen fingers.

I’m especially angered by Trump’s promotion of “poll watchers,” and how he has the nerve to complain about how they’re not being let into the polling stations in some areas. I say, GOOD! These people have no business hanging around the polls. They’re only there to intimidate minorities into leaving without casting a vote. It’s not like they can insinuate themselves into the check-in process, they have zero rights in that respect. So what are the criteria for challenging a vote? All they can go on is race and for Republicans, that’s enough. These creeps need to be given the bum’s rush out of there.

And then there was the Disavowal That Wasn’t. When given the chance to condemn white supremacists, Trump backpedaled and redirected. He acted as if it were some kind of magic phrase he needed to say to get him off the hot seat. It sounded to me like a bad boyfriend trying to get out of the doghouse with his girl… “Just tell me what to say, baby, and I’ll say it.” He sounded as if he were going to be just as sincere. The words would have rung as hollow as his soul.

But it turned that out he never said the words at all, telling the “Proud Boyz” to “stand back and stand by.” They sure got the message, too. Social media threads were rife with the celebration of their validation. He’s not even dog-whistling anymore, he’s sky-writing.

If this kind of hate speech doesn’t disgust independents, I don’t know what else will. And then our nation is truly in jeopardy.

As desperately as I wanted to go to bed as soon as this dumpster fire was over, I knew I’d toss and turn, replaying the aggravating parts in my head. I had to watch an episode of “Dexter”* just to feel clean again.

*OK, it was actually a rerun of “Modern Family.” Using “Dexter” was funnier.

Monday, September 28, 2020

GOP Weasels

First of all, please disregard what I said last week about Mitch McConnell being “magnanimous:”

That’s the scenario I think is most likely… trying to appear magnanimous by waiting until after the election, (to vote on a new SCOTUS nominee) but then carrying on immediately afterward if the Democrats win the presidency and/or Senate.”

I should have known that Mitch doesn’t have a magnanimous bone in his terrapin body. He’s ramming Trump's weekend nomination right through the Senate as fast as he can. And all those highly principled GOP Senators, who made those highly principled speeches four years ago about how The People needed a say in the next Supreme Court nomination and the only highly principled thing to do was delay a nomination vote for ten months because it was an election year, turned around and said the exact opposite thing this time around, with Election Day 36 days away and the voting in progress.

There is a valuable lesson here. This mass about-face movement goes to show that Republican politicians stand for nothing. Whatever they say publicly is null and void as soon as the tide turns and they find benefit in saying something else. You might as well record their speeches and proclamations in pencil because next week they might well be claiming the opposite to be true.

The only principle to which they truly adhere is propping up the rich. As long as they do that, the donations will come and their career will continue as planned.

It’s not a coincidence that the only Republicans who speak out against Trump and the current political atmosphere are retired politicians. No active politician has had the backbone to cross the Orange Idol or displease the big-money donors. I guess it’s easier to find your spine once you’ve gotten off of your knees.

And now we know for sure who the hallowed nominee is. They went full “cult” on us this time. A strict Catholic isn’t good enough anymore, now we have to bring in a Catholic offshoot sect. I understand these are the people who inspired “The Handmaid’s Tale.” How nice. How can we stand up to theocracies if the people in charge are trying to make America a Christian version of Iran?

And while the religious thing is bad enough to cope with, I’m also bothered by the fact that this person has limited experience, including only three years as a judge. How does that even remotely qualify her for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land?

In Trump World, she’s qualified because her previous rulings line up nicely with the authoritarian and big-business leanings of the Republican Party. No further qualifications are necessary.

She will no doubt come in handy soon, whether it’s to decide whether the clean-up after the Trump Administration begins in 2021 or 2025, whether or not a former president can be sent to jail.

Some news this weekend about Trump’s taxes, huh? OK hands up: who’s not surprised that Trump is a tax cheat? Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, big shocker there, right? And there’s no doubt about it… the New York Times has this story cold. They have his returns and they have him by the balls. There’s no way they publish anything so specific and damaging if they don’t have proof. Where they got it, I have no idea. Maybe it was Trump’s niece, Mary, maybe it was his sister, or maybe it was just some accountant he stiffed on the bill. Whomever it was, a grateful nation thanks them.

The $750 in taxes he paid in 2016-17 is what most people are hung up on, but that part doesn’t surprise me. All the best billionaires pay a pittance in taxes, that’s just how the tax system was set up. Created by the rich to accommodate the rich. I’d wager there’s a whole laundry list of rich guys who have paid less income tax than any of us.

But Trump has to be Trump, and that means he has to press it even farther. He’s got “consultant fees” paid to his daughter, he’s writing off personal expenses (like haircuts) as business expenses, he’s receiving millions from foreign investors, he miscategorizes personal property as business property to transfer tax liability to his company, and much more.

Most alarming is that he’s up to his eyeballs in debt, over $400 million worth, which comes due in 2022. This is the kind of debt that keeps people from getting security clearances because it would be too great of a risk that a foreign agent could use it as leverage. And this isn’t some middle-management schmo, this is the President of the United States.

All of this paints a picture of a man who is wholly unqualified to hold this office. He’s a crook and a con man. And most damaging to his brand, he’s a terrible businessman. The reason he pays so little in taxes is that he took such great losses, they’ve counteracted his tax burden for over 15 years! It makes you wonder how he can even put up the charade.

No wonder he’s gone to such lengths to keep this information out of the public eye. It punctures his whole aura.

I don’t expect any of this will make a difference to his fan club, they’ll just claim it’s a lie or start up the “Whatabout” machine. But maybe this can sway a few independents. If the guy running as a millionaire businessman is really lousy at his job and a tax cheat to boot, what exactly is there to vote for?

Monday, September 21, 2020


That was some gut-punch Friday night, wasn’t it? I put on the TV after dinner and immediately wondered why Lester Holt was there… his news is usually done by 7:00 but there he was. And that’s when I noticed the chyron at the bottom of the screen… Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died.

Boom... right in the solar plexus. I knew she’d been sick but every report always had an optimistic prognosis. I never knew she was that sick.

Whoever first thought up “Notorious RBG” should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Almost immediately I had a vision of just how screwed we are. I knew in an instant that Moscow Mitch would try to fill the seat. As I’ve said a dozen times, he has no principles other than the acquisition and maintenance of his own power. He’s not bound by his word or any other contemporary symbols of righteousness. He’ll turn on a dime if it will get him another pro-business, pro-GOP judge, and he’ll dance on Ginsberg’s grave if it will claim her seat on the bench. Anything he’s ever said before is null and void if it counters what he wants now. He is incapable of being shamed.

And then there it was, an hour later, when Mitch released his statement of intent to do just that.

Since then, I’ve seen a number of different predictions and scenarios. I know we keep saying “before the election,” but we have to remember that there are another 2 months after the election. Mitch and Trump can come up with all kinds of mischief to unleash in 2 months. Although Trump may be a bit preoccupied with finding a way to cling to the White House. Not Mitch though. He’ll be using every hour to his advantage.

That’s the scenario I think is most likely… trying to appear magnanimous by waiting until after the election, but then carrying on immediately afterward, if the Democrats win the presidency and/or Senate.

Democrats are rattling their sabers by saying “everything is on the table” if the Republicans name a justice before the election, meaning ending the filibuster and adding to the number of SCOTUS seats. I don’t think those should be conditions… those are things they should do anyway.

It’s nice to be principled, but the unprincipled Republicans are out-maneuvering us all over the board. I’m tired of acting honorably and finishing second time after time. We should use the (GW) Bush strategy: “Eff you, we won.”

Creating a 6-3 conservative majority will damn the nation for generations. Any law or program a Democratic congress and presidency can dream up to lift up the nation will be overturned if it costs Big Business any money.

I know we’re down 5-4 right now, but John Roberts has so far been keeping a lid on the crazy. He’s the only one of the five who seems remotely concerned that SCOTUS is becoming a political rubber stamp instead of the impartial justices they’re supposed to be. But add one more Federalist Society appointee and there’s nothing anyone can do until another one drops dead or is coerced into retiring, like Kennedy.

Single-payer (or even a bolstered ACA) – DOA.

Roe v Wade – Overturned.

Citizens United – Upheld at every turn.

Census – the new political football, to be pushed and pulled until it’s essentially another gerrymander, expressly designed to undercount poor people and immigrants.

Post Office – Gone… off to be privatized, despite its existence being enshrined in the Constitution.

Voting rights – Gone. Welcome back, Jimmy Crow. Poll taxes, intimidating “poll watcher” mobs, limited voting options, all blessed.

You get the gist. There’s nothing we can legislate that can’t be rejected 6-3 or 5-4. This seat means that much.

The only real strategy is to get four GOP senators to vote no. That’s a hard ask because the pressure will be enormous. A couple have already expressed their intentions to vote no, but that’s now. Wait until the Republican leadership starts weighing on them. There’s a big difference between stating intentions months in advance and bucking leadership and voting “no” on the floor. (And I’m sure there will be the usual death threats and intimidation from the “base,” as well.)

I’ll believe them when they cast the votes, not before. But still, it’s our only tangible option. If the Republicans stick to straight party lines, they can do anything they want. And the difference between us and them is that they will.

Maybe someone will have the foresight to do what’s right, realizing that their party may well be in the minority, and if he or she works with the Democrats, they can raise their own stature… be seen as a pragmatic peacemaker.

Nah, skip that last part. The last thing the rank and file want is peace with Democrats. They don’t get any liberal snowflake tears that way.

And now, some quick debunkings of stuff I found posted by conservative friends, the Speed Round:

If you can’t tell the difference between lobbing a few rock and bottles at a building overnight and using explosives to blow up a building in the middle of the day, killing 168 men, women, and children, then you’re a special kind of stupid. There is literally no comparison between these two things. Besides, Democrats cheer on the protests for equal rights and justice, not vandalism.

I think they misspelled something. I fixed it. There’s nothing remotely untoward about those donations. I bet they mostly came in as amounts less than $100. Now if you’d care to open up the Republican campaign funding reports, maybe we could look at the amount of the average donation to see where the real influence is coming from, and from what country.

So basically he’s saying, “If you don’t count places where all the people are, I’m doing great.” This is akin to when he said he won the popular vote if only we didn’t count California. It was ridiculous then and it still is today. Anyone can post good numbers if they delete all the bad ones. This may be why he had someone else take his SATs for him.

 Why is it that Republicans think where a person lives in the country affects the worthiness or weight of their votes? Land doesn’t vote, people do. So it shouldn’t matter if a person voting in a national election is in Rhode Island or California, all votes should carry the same weight.

They only support the Electoral College because it gives them an advantage. A vote from California carries less of a punch than a vote from Wyoming because the Electoral College doesn’t have the ratios figured accurately anymore. I guarantee, if the Electoral College was handing victories to Democrats who didn’t win the popular vote, Republicans would be trying to defund it right now.

I haven’t researched this one but I’m pretty sure that FB took down posts that had incorrect or misleading information about pedophilia. What scares the shit out of me is how many people believe anything they come across, if it confirms an existing belief. That’s how we end up with armed idiots storming pizza shops looking for a basement that isn’t there.

They should just start handing these out at Trump rallies:

Monday, September 14, 2020

An Abdication of Duty

As if Trump needed any additional evidence of his incompetence to surface before Election Day, especially right on the heels of his “suckers and losers” debacle, last week Bob Woodward provided audio tapes of the president talking about what he knew about the coronavirus back in February.

Turns out, he knew all about it. He knew it was spread via airborne particles. He knew it spread rapidly. He knew it was “more deadly than your serious flus.”

Unfortunately, the president kept that informant from the nation and downplayed the seriousness of the virus, both in scope and deadliness. He said they had it contained. He said it wasn’t that serious. He said it would go away by April, and then by summer when it got hot. But not a thing he said was true and he absolutely knew that.

In another taped interview with Woodward, Trump told him “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic." This, from the guy whose stock-in-trade is promoting panic to help him get elected; panic over immigrants, Muslims, gays, Antifa, Black Lives Matters, socialism liberals, and whoever else he can whip into Boogieman of the Month.

This single act of deflection on coronavirus constitutes a grave failure at a president’s single most important job requirement: protecting the American people.

But he thought it was more important to prop up the illusion of a strong economy, and therefore, the stock market because he just wasn’t smart enough to realize that this virus was going to devastate the economy if left unaddressed.

This treasonous act is the most profound error of his entire term because it would have changed the course of our existence as we live right now. We’d be about done with COVID like the European countries are. (If not “done,” then on a whole different plane. And certainly not gaining 10,000 cases per day.)

I recall a Facebook meme sent around by liberals that posited that if Hillary had been elected, we wouldn’t be in this mess now. I disagreed. I think it would be better, sure, but there would have been major resistance from the Trump fan club because they’d be resisting anything a President Clinton would want to do. We’d still be polarized on masks.

Now if Trump had come out hard for distancing and mask wearing, testing, and tracing, like the other civilized countries, there would have been nowhere near the resistance to masks that we have now. And if everybody united to stay home, distance and wear masks, for as long as necessary, (instead of until they got bored), we’d have come out the other end on this thing months ago and I’d have been enjoying college football this weekend.*

*Yes, I know the SEC and Big 12 are playing, but I’m a Big Ten guy.

More importantly, if he’d have taken action, we would have at least 100,000 families that wouldn’t be grieving right now.

So now, because they can’t admit they elected a vainglorious idiot, his fan club has to come out and defend the indefensible. This time, they can’t complain about anonymous sources because it’s Bob freakin’ Woodward, the gold standard for investigative reporting since 1974. And they can’t claim Trump was misquoted because he produced the audiotapes (that I presume are free from manipulation. I presume that because Woodward doesn’t play that shit, like a two-bit hustler like James O’Keefe. That, and no one, not even Trump, has complained that the audio was manipulated.)

They tried though. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “The president has always been clear-eyed with the American people," she said, claiming Trump "never downplayed the virus."

All the White House Press had to do was quote from the transcripts: Trump: "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic,"

With those customary excuses shot down, Republicans are left to claim that it’s Woodward’s fault because he should have leaked the tapes earlier.

That has a grain of truth, in that Woodward could, indeed, have raised the warning months ago. However, he’s an author trying to sell his book and Trump is the fuckin’ president of the United States. It is literally Trump’s job to warn the public of an immediate and easily avoidable threat.

But even an earlier warning from Woodward wouldn’t have done much… Trump’s base would still be scorning preventative measures because freedom and manly stuff and they don’t wanna. The only thing that would have changed our current predicament is Trump doing his job in February and letting the experts formulate the national strategy. All they had to do was run the playbook left by the Obama Administration. Hell, he could still take credit for it all later, right? I mean, he’s taking credit for any success the governors who acted responsibly had, isn’t he?

Yes, he is. Every time he spouts off about how great his response to COVID was, he’s talking about a plan to throw all decision-making to the states. The governors who didn’t listen to the crap coming out of the White House and took action are on the down-slope of COVID activity. The Red States, who pretended there was no problem, are all hot spots. I read over the weekend that the Dakotas lead the nation in COVID positive test rates. (Thanks Sturgis!)

Trump also tried to blame China to Woodward. He said, “The virus has nothing to do with me… It's not my fault. It's — China let the damn virus out."

Again, technically true and not in dispute.  But that doesn’t excuse not taking action. It’s not up to China to combat the virus within America, it’s up to the American federal government and our president abdicated that duty.

And now a word from aging white men on Facebook:

And what I want for MY grandkids is a functioning Social Security system. Keep electing Republicans and that’s gone, and Grandma and Grandpa are out on the street. You make the choice… some amorphous idea like “freedom,” as defined by racist idiots, or a program that we’ve paid into all of our lives, that keeps retirees from starving or losing their houses.

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Nation's 1st Openly Rigged Election

We’re living in an unprecedented time. Never, in the modern era, have we seen one party working publicly and aggressively to rig an election. The Republicans flat-out don’t care what people say about it. They have the Justice Department under their thumb, with an Attorney General who will do the president’s bidding without question. They have governors who are doing the same. They have packed courts to allow whatever suppression tactics they can dream up.

Think this is an overstatement? It’s not. It’s the inevitable conclusion of multiple documented acts on the part of the Republicans:

·        Trump has spent the last year publicly denigrating the concept of voting by mail, (except where he does it.) He calls it rife with fraud, despite there not being any fraud found in the past elections of the states that have had unrestrained mail-in voting for years. This sets the table for later.

·        Then he appointed a Postmaster General who immediately began hampering the Post Office’s effectiveness by removing mail collection boxes, mechanical high-speed sorters, imposing overtime limits, and mandating that trucks leave at a particular time, rather than when they were properly loaded. The goal is to delay mail delivery so as to interfere with the mailing of ballots. The cover is a claim that they’re trying to cut costs. But no one yet has been able to answer how removing automated sorting machines (and sometimes destroying them) cuts costs. Machines don’t get overtime or even regular-time.

·        He’s suing states who expand mail-in voting.

·        He encouraged voters in North Carolina to vote twice, just to see if their system was strong enough. Aside from this being a felony, he’s continuing to sow the seeds to backstop his objections later on.

·        He openly pressures other countries to provide political assistance or ammunition (true or otherwise) to use on his opponent.

·        In the face of overwhelming evidence that Russia did and continues to influence voters and hack political opponents, he has done nothing to admonish or punish them in any way. In fact, his administration actively covers up evidence of their activities. Hell, Trump and his officials are sending out doctored videos their own selves.

·        To that end, they’ve ended in-person Congressional briefings on the subject, so that they don’t have to answer questions or even hear concerns.

·        The Attorney General is holding onto the “Durham Report” until just before the election. This is the report he requested to investigate the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference. It’s done, but he’s holding it until he can drop it right before Election Day, (so by the time anyone can look into the shortcomings and improper conclusions, it will be too late.) Essentially, they’re trying to duplicate the Comey statement on Hillary that came in late October of 2016. AG Barr is already on record as summarizing the Mueller report in terms describing the opposite of the report’s conclusion. There’s no telling how skewed his own hand-crafted report will be.

·        Everything about his COVID-19 activities results in voter suppression. They decided early on not to help the big blue states like New York and California. They thought that the more sickness and death in Democratic states, the fewer there are to vote against him. From March to June, he did nothing to stem the spread of the coronavirus in cities, alternately pretending the virus will go away, or that it’s just not that bad. After he threw pandemic planning to the states, he had the Federal Government confiscate supplies purchased by those states. He even criticized Maryland’s Republican governor for obtaining a planeload of COVID tests in secret, so they wouldn’t be commandeered. (Maryland is a rare Blue State with a Republican governor.)

·        In all locations, Trump and the GOP refuse to provide money for essential and low-level workers while pushing for them all to go back to work. He knows they’re putting their life on the line to go to work and he’s counting on a lot of them ending up too sick to vote, or just dead.

·        He’s gathering a force of 50,000 “poll watchers” to show up at polling places and contest votes they think are fraudulent. (Given their lack of access to records, how do you think they’re going to conclude someone is attempting a fraudulent vote?) It’s a show of force to intimidate people of color into not voting. This is a tactic that a government mandate expressly forbids Republicans to use until recently, when a federal court revoked it, saying it was no longer necessary. When Republicans last tried this back in 1980, they recruited off-duty cops and other military men in order to be as imposing as possible. This will be the perfect role for Trump’s camo-clan 2nd Amendment Warriors.

·        He sent a no-name paramilitary force into Portland and other Democrat-run cities, for the simple reason of creating campaign footage of riots and cities in flames. Peaceful protests don’t serve his purpose of scaring people, so he had to ensure there would be a riot. Before that, he had a similar military force beat and tear-gas peaceful protesters, from in front of a church, so he could pose for his Backward Bible photo-op.

·        He’s delaying new citizenships from taking effect. People who started the process at the beginning of the year, have completed all of their assigned steps to citizenship, are hearing crickets from the government. The last thing Trump wants is a bunch of non-native Americans voting. Naturalized citizens or not, they’re still foreigners to him.

·        There is now a fortified wall around the White House, a wall that has been unnecessary for over 200 years. History has shown that it’s not there for security purposes. The Secret Service is more than well-enough equipped to handle trespassers. But it makes sense to have a barrier in case the President decides not to honor the results of an election that removes him from office.

Trump knows that once he loses the protective bubble-wrap of the presidency, the New York State Attorney General and maybe even the new US AG will be after him like puppies after a pork chop. So he will do everything in his power to remain in that bubble-wrap for as long as possible, consequences (like fair elections) be damned.

·        Republicans are actively working to get Kanye West on the ballot in a number of states. It’s already too late for him to be included on the ballot of a bunch of states, thereby nullifying any chance he has of winning. But yet people close to the president’s campaign are still trying to get him on ballots. The only rational interpretation is that they’re trying to siphon off black votes from Biden, via this stunt.

·        All of the voter suppression tactics at the (Red) state level for the last 8 years, like
o   hand-picking voter IDs designed to be least used by Democrats
o   then closing the stations in their neighborhoods that issue them,
o   decreasing the numbers of voting machines in the same areas to ensure long lines,
o   eliminating polling precincts in Democratic areas, to ensure long lines
o   limiting early voting and mail-in voting, to ensure long lines,
o   and a special nod to Florida who after voters approved an amendment to let freed ex-felons vote, required they pay all court fees before they could register. (ie. A modern poll tax.)

Any one of these actions might be dismissed as a misunderstanding of intent or error in judgment, but taken together, there’s only one logical conclusion. This president will stoop to any level to retain power and he’s surrounded himself with others who will provide aid and cover.

And these points don’t even cover what may lie ahead. I certainly think that there are more plans afoot to contest votes in every conceivable way, or discredit any jurisdiction that doesn’t exhibit sympathy for the cause.

I’ve read a number of analyses that predict Trump will declare victory ASAP on Election night when the bulk of the in-person Republican votes are counted but the mail-in Democrats’ votes aren’t. That’s where all the early work to discredit mail-in voting will pay off. He’ll convince his base that he won fair and square and any future votes counted to the contrary must be fraudulent. It’s a scary proposition.

Our only recourse as of now is to vote as early as possible, preferably without relying on the mail. I intend to take my absentee ballot to a dropbox. After that, it’s a leap of faith to hope that it’s properly counted. Some states are trying to change their procedures so that they can start counting mail-in votes earlier, but states run by Republicans will never allow that.

Only in a landslide will we be able to drop the curtain on this circus of an election.

One Quick Note
I would be remiss if I didn’t address the “suckers and losers” quote unearthed from Trump this weekend.

First of all, The Atlantic must have had that down cold, or else they wouldn’t have published a bombshell story like that. Four separate sources provided the story. Yes, they were anonymous, but in the Era of Trump, can there be any other kind? We all see what happens to those who publicly tell the truth about Trump. They get harassed, threatened, doxed, or fired. Who in their right mind would claim to be an anti-Trump source? It’s the Right’s way of sowing mistrust onto every media source but Fox and the like.

And that made so much richer when a Fox reporter was one of the three independent media outlets that confirmed the story (along with the AP and Washington Post.) So that’s four journalistic entities confirming a story provided by four witnesses.

That, my friend, is air-tight. They have it right.

Naturally, all Trump apologists can do is claim they’re wrong anyway and “Nah-nah-nah-I’m not listening!”

I’ve already seen a meme going around Facebook saying, “Gee, I have four anonymous sources that say Biden”… something or another.

This person clearly doesn’t understand actual journalism. Souces, confirmations, double-checking. That’s what real news outlets do, as opposed to Fox “News” who just runs anything that helps Republicans or hurts Democrats, and worries about accuracy later. Or never.

Man, the Fox brass must have been pissssed about their own reporter backing the story. I refuse to believe it was a change of heart on account of the network. Hannity and Carlson have too much ass-kissing equity invested in Trump to turn on him now.

This is the opportunity for Republicans who truly honor the military to detach themselves from this crazy train. After this story, one can “support the troops,” or support this president. There is no rational way to do both.