A Dark Winter Ahead

I have to give Joe Biden credit for the headline on the post: A Dark Winter Ahead. That’s what he said during last week’s Presidential debate, when he was throwing shade on Trump’s rosy (and wrong) evaluation that the USA was rounding the corner and the pandemic would soon be just a bad memory.

Unfortunately, facts tend to overshadow the predictions that we hear from Dofus-in-Chief and his merry band of compliant bootlickers.


Oh, boy.

It appears that the USA is now in the midst of a second or third wave of the virus with no end in sight. More than eight million Americans have contracted the virus, and it has killed more than 230,000 (along with Trump’s presidency, most likely). And amazingly enough, we’re recording more than 80,000 new cases a day now as we are heading into the holidays. Good luck to Grandma as she tries to fix Thanksgiving dinner following a stay in the intensive care unit. I digress.

Anyway, I admit that I never thought I would still be writing about this national fiasco as we approach winter with snow on the ground here in Colorado.


And part of the problem is that Trump has provided no leadership or responsible decision-making in response to this national crisis. In fact, he has done the opposite and taken measures that have further divided the country while going against the advice of health care professionals.

In Trump World, you are a patriot if you refuse to wear a face mask, even though health experts believe that this simple act might be more effective in defeating the virus than a vaccine.


So it goes.

Since Trump’s response has been so anemic and pathetic, clearly someone has to take the blame. And guess what. That person now appears to be the good doctor Fauci.

Here’s what Trump said last week at a campaign rally (super spreader event?) in Arizona, according to the Chicago Tribune:

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said of the government’s top infectious disease expert. “Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb. But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. But Fauci’s a disaster.”

Well, gee. What should we make of that critique from POTUS?


It’s going to be a long, dark winter.

A Fly Wins The Debate

You have to admit that last night’s “debate” between Pence and Harris wasn’t as big a shit show as the one last week with the two Presidential candidates. Well, that’s unless you buy into the conspiracy theory that the DNC somehow managed to unleash a fly that attached itself to Pence’s head, highlighting that the VP is pretty much just a pile of dung.

Hard to believe I actually wrote that. Oh well.


Actually, I discount that conspiracy theory. I seriously doubt that the DNC is smart enough to do that . Or most anything else for that matter.

But I do have a theory for how the fly managed to gain the attention of a nation desperately wanting to get some info from these political gasbags.


I’m not sure what constitutes a good debate. But I know that these days we are a long way from the classic confrontations of let’s say Lincoln and Douglas. The candidates really don’t even make an attempt to answer the questions they are asked. And to the extent that they are stringing a series of words together the result is mostly a barrage of lies and bullet points taken from their campaign websites.

Oh well. We elected a reality TV personality in 2016. And the so-called debates are really nothing more than reality TV shows: all sound and fury with no substance. Kind of like studio wrestling without the divas.

So it’s not hard to understand why a fly can emerge as the star of the broadcast. 

And now the second Presidential debate has been scheduled for October 15 in a format that has been described as a virtual townhall. Trump says this would be a waste of time and won’t attend. Presumably he would rather be face to face in a crowded venue where he can infect others with the virus. I digress.

Yet I have to believe that Biden is already preparing for the next debate.


It Is What It Is

Well, it looks like POTUS was right about the pandemic when he said: “It is what it is.”

And the IS now is that Trump and Melania and some White House staffers have tested positive for the virus and have to self-isolate for 10 days or so. Good grief. I’m sure the last thing Melania wants to do is be in quarantine with the Doofus In Chief. Thoughts and prayers to her. I digress.


Ah, I don’t really take any joy or satisfaction in Trump testing positive. And I hope he, the First Lady and the thousands of others in this country who will test positive today and in the days ahead all have a full and speedy recover.

But let’s be honest about this. Does it really surprise anyone that POTUS has tested positive? If he would have followed the advice of the medical experts months ago maybe thousands of Americans would still be alive and the rest of us could get back to worrying about the Major League Baseball playoffs instead of having to read and listen to the barrage of news about the Prez.


Oh well.

I guess leadership and competence really do matter. I digress again.

Anyway, I echo the thoughts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who opined this morning that some good can come of this if people — read that as Trump supporters — now take the virus seriously and do what the medical experts have been telling us to do: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, avoid crowds and stay home when possible.


Shit Just Got Real

Well, if you thought the year 2020 couldn’t get any worse, you might have to reconsider that view with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday.

Clearly, the country — and the Supreme Court — has lost an icon with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, a champion for equal rights under the law.

In my view, Justice Ginsburg represents what is right about America, a noble yet imperfect exercise in representative democracy. Sadly, with her death, we’re about to witness everything that is wrong with this country: partisan bickering where the power brokers Inside the Beltway and elsewhere do what they can to advance their own agenda with the public be damned.

Well, don’t take my word for it. Here’s from an email that I received from Bernie Sanders over the weekend.

Rob –

First and foremost, the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss for our country. She was an extraordinary champion of equal rights and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.

That said, the right thing to do here is obvious, and that is to wait for whoever wins the presidential election to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.

Unfortunately, we’ve already heard from Mitch McConnell that he has decided to go against Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish — and his own words from 2016 — in order to bring a judge nominated by Trump to the floor of the United States Senate.

McConnell’s goal, maybe above all others, is to pack the courts with partisan ideologues who will protect corporations at the expense of workers, will suppress people’s right to vote, and will allow the wealthy to buy our elections. And make absolutely no mistake about it, if he gets his way in this Supreme Court fight, that will be the end of Roe v. Wade.


Unfortunately, Congress like the public in general is now split into two camps: conservative and liberal, with neither being willing or able to compromise on important issues. And when you throw the evangelical christians into the mix you have a devil’s brew that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those who actually believe in individual freedom. 

Still realistically, nothing is more important than appointing a Supreme Court justice who can shape how we live in this country for years to come. Since Congress is impotent, the sitting justices essentially determine how we go about living our lives.

So to say that with Justice Ginsburg’s passing “shit just got real” is a classic understatement.

From now until the election and most likely beyond the issue of how and when to seat her successor on the high court will be the most important issue facing members of Congress — and voters.

Supporters of both parties — Republicans and Democrats — are so f*********g hypocritical that listening to them trying to take the high moral ground is enough to send most of us running to grab a barf bag. I would like to hear from even one elected official who argues that we should be doing what is in the best interests of the country rather than merely advancing the interests of one political philosophy at the expense of another.

I imagine that as I write this every Republican Senator who is running for reelection is locked behind closed doors with their campaign pollsters trying to figure out which way the political wind is blowing.

So I guess we’ll see how this plays out.

From the standpoint of this citizen journalist, it’s hard to see how the Republicans can hold on to enough votes to force the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice  either before the election or in a lame duck session. But I’ll admit that Moscow Mitch McConnell probably knows more about this than I do.


The Ghosts Of Watergate

Well, this should be interesting. For those of you like me who are old enough to remember Watergate, you’ll recall that one of the key questions posed as a result of the reporting by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein was “what did the president know and when did he know it?”

Tricky Dick Nixon is long gone. But now it looks like Donnie Doofus is going to have to deal with the same question. And once again it is Woodward who is shining the spotlight on presidential misconduct and incompetence.

This time the story involves the pandemic that has already killed nearly 200,000 Americans. And it is likely that at least some of those lives could have been spared if the current POTUS had been honest with the American people and taken some early measures that would have benefited the public and not necessarily his reelection.

Here’s from The New York Times:

“This is deadly stuff,” President Trump said of the coronavirus in a Feb. 7 interview with the journalist Bob Woodward for his upcoming book, “Rage.” But it was a vastly different story than he was telling the public at the time. Mr. Trump would later admit to Mr. Woodward that publicly, he “wanted to always” play down the severity of the virus.

Mr. Woodward conducted 18 interviews with the president for the book, which goes on sale next week. Mr. Trump also granted Mr. Woodward access to top officials inside the White House, revealing the inner workings of the president and his administration.

Here are five takeaways.

Mr. Trump minimized the risks of the coronavirus to the American public early in the year.

Despite knowing that the virus was “deadly” and highly contagious, he often publicly said the opposite, insisting that the virus would go away quickly.

“I wanted to always play it down,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Woodward on March 19. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

And while he was saying publicly that children were “almost immune” to the virus, he told Mr. Woodward in March: “Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too — plenty of young people.”

Oh, boy.

I guess I could buy Trump’s argument about all this that he was trying to reassure the public and not create a panic if it wasn’t for the fact that he really has displayed no leadership during this entire crisis. Oh, and he is a pathetic liar. That doesn’t inspire confidence either. I digress.

Anyway, I’m not a big fan of insider tell-all stories. Trump’s niece, Mary, doesn’t seem to me to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. And Michael Cohen is, well, Michael Cohen.

But Bob Woodward. He is one of the last credible journalists in this country. IMO. Although it is a legitimate question to ask why didn’t he reveal this information when he first heard it from POTUS rather than wait until he was ready to publish his book.

From USA Today:

The revelation President Donald Trump expressed serious concerns about the danger posed by the coronavirus outbreak, even as he downplayed the threat in public, drew outrage toward the White House and veteran journalist Bob Woodward for keeping the scoop quiet until the publication of his new book was imminent.

Woodward defended his decision not to share the revelation sooner in interviews with The Washington Post and The Associated Press after details from his upcoming book, “Rage,” were made public Wednesday. In audio clips from the 18 interviews Woodward conducted with Trump, the president says the coronavirus is highly contagious and “deadly stuff” while admitting he “wanted to always play it down” because he didn’t “want to create a panic.”

When asked why he didn’t share the discrepancies between Trump’s private fears about the virus and his public statements minimizing the danger, Woodward told AP he needed time to determine if Trump’s statements about COVID-19 were accurate.

Hmmm. That explanation by Woodward doesn’t really meet the smell test. Trump said what he said — and he said it on tape. That should be good enough.

But the bigger issue, I guess, is that Trump downplayed the severity of the virus and as a result the economy tanked and people died.

So, “what did he know, and when did he know it?”

And what would Nixon have done during Watergate, if he had access to Twitter?


Well, we’ll have to wait for Trump to take to Twitter to set the record straight concerning what he told Woodward and what he told the American people.

Somewhere, Tricky Dick must be smiling.

Make Boats Great Again

It looks like the Trump campaign in Texas had some tough sailing yesterday. It appears that several boats that were participating in a pro-Trump rally took on water and sank in a lake close to Austin.

Here’s the story from USA Today:

AUSTIN, Texas – Multiple boats participating in a parade in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign sank Saturday on Lake Travis, located west of Austin, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Multiple small boats needed rescue after they began sinking due to choppy water conditions as the boats travled together on the lake, according to the office. No one was injured as a result of those incidents, according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services officials. The lake is known for being difficult to navigate at times, and large wakes could be seen during Saturday’s boat parade. Travis County Sheriff’s Office “responded to multiple calls involving boats in distress during the Trump parade on Lake Travis. Several boats did sink,” the office tweeted Saturday.


Trump’s campaign has been taking on water for some time now. So maybe this boat parade fiasco in Texas is a preview of things to come.

And for Trump supporters, maybe it is time to head to higher (moral and ethical?) ground.


The Year 2020: A Real Pain

For the thousands, hundreds, one or two of you who read these posts even semi-regularly, you probably have noticed that I have been absent for the past few weeks. Well, I managed to have a medical adventure in the midst of a global pandemic. I passed a kidney stone and that was a real pain, much like the year 2020 in total.

So what did I miss?

Well, millions remain unemployed. People are still contracting the virus and dying throughout the USA and the world. And while rejecting the advice of  health care experts and ignoring common sense, the “patriots” among us continue to refuse to wear a mask or social distance in public. Heck, these geniuses can’t even walk the right way in the clearly marked aisles of a grocery store. Like dude. Follow the damn arrow. I digress.

And the Republicans and Democrats both held their virtual conventions. I didn’t watch either. But the talking heads on MSNBC were giddy about the Dems. Not so much about the GOP.

And that to some extent troubles me. Most of us — myself included — tend to live in an information bubble these days. We only read and listen to so-called news outlets that confirm and reinforce our already existing view of the world.

That’s why the liberals these days flock to MSNBC and CNN. While conservatives take comfort listening to talk radio and watching Fox News.

And here’s the rub. I don’t sense that the liberal pundits have great enthusiasm for Biden. They clearly hate Trump. But if that takes us back to the “lessor of two evils” choice that many of us had in 2016, does that bode well for Democrats in November?

Michael Moore, the filmmaker and liberal advocate, views this as a problem. And I agree.

Here’s an article from the Daily Mail:

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has warned Democrats that they seem to be engaging in the same election-losing mistakes they did in 2016, after new polls show President Trump‘s popularity among swing state voters is on the rise. 

Back in 2016, Moore was one of a handful of political activists who had predicted that Trump would defeat Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton at the polls. 

And in a Facebook post Friday, Moore said it is starting to look like Trump could pull off another win, as he urged people to register to vote.

He then asked: ‘Are you ready for a Trump victory? Are you mentally prepared to be outsmarted by Trump again? Do you find comfort in your certainty that there is no way Trump can win? Are you content with the trust you’ve placed in the DNC to pull this off?’

Moore noted that the confidence was misplaced, as it seemed like the Democrats are heading down the path of making the same mistakes they made during Clinton’s campaign.

Oh, my.

If we want Trump out of the White House in January, then maybe we should approach this election as though Biden was the underdog and go about our business of registering and then voting as though he was way behind in the polls. Just because the folks on MSNBC are lined up solidly in support of Biden doesn’t change the reality that Trump supporters are fired up and ready to do whatever it takes to reelect the Doofus-in-Chief.

Are the Dems equally as enthusiastic? I don’t think so.


I’ll admit that I’m not all that enthusiastic about Joe Biden. I’ll vote for him but I still believe Bernie was the better choice — and I don’t care how hard or long Trump shouted “socialist.”

Bernie’s supporters were enthusiastic — and if they sit this election out we are going to see four more years of Trump.

And that is a prospect that is more painful than any kidney stone.

The November Elections. It’s In The Mail

Well, here we go again. Another POTUS inspired crisis, this time involving the Post Office and the upcoming elections in November.

I’ve reached the point where watching the news pretty much requires you to wear for your own health and safety a blood pressure cuff. Good grief. I digress.

Anyway, with Trump’s election prospects folding faster than a tent in a hurricane, the Doofus-in-Chief and his Republican lackeys have come up with a new strategy. Apparently they want to suppress voter participation by denying emergency funding to the Post Office.

Anything that makes it harder for people to vote during a pandemic must be good national policy. Right?

Well folks, you can’t make this shit up.

Here’s from The Washington Post:

President Trump on Thursday said he opposes both election aid for states and an emergency bailout for the U.S. Postal Service because he wants to restrict how many Americans can vote by mail, putting at risk the nation’s ability to administer the Nov. 3 elections.
Trump has been attacking mail balloting and the integrity of the vote for months, but his latest broadside makes explicit his intent to stand in the way of urgently needed money to help state and local officials administer elections during the coronavirus pandemic. With nearly 180 million Americans eligible to vote by mail, the president’s actions could usher in widespread delays, long lines and voter disenfranchisement this fall, voting rights advocates said.
Trump said his purpose is to prevent Democrats from expanding mail-balloting, which he has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, would invite widespread fraud. The president has also previously admitted that he believes mail voting would allow more Democrats to cast ballots and hurt Republican candidates, including himself.

I guess at some level you have to give Trump credit. No matter how outrageous the lie, he is more than willing to make a total ass out of himself by promoting it extensively in public. Most people, like me, only get to spread such nonsense in the privacy of one’s home — or from the safe confines of a padded cell.

Anyway, in Colorado we vote via mail in every election, federal, state and local. And as best I can tell it works well. You get the ballot in the mail and then mark it up before returning it by mail, depositing it in a safe box, or going to vote in person if you have nothing better to do and are trying to commit suicide by virus.

Oh, by the way, Bernie agrees with me:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday lashed out at President Trump on postal service funding, hours after the president signaled that he was opposed to giving additional funds to the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service (USPS) because he thinks it will allow Democrats to expand mail-in voting for November’s elections.

“What this is about is not complicated,” Sanders said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper while discussing Trump’s rhetoric on mail-in voting. “Trump may be crazy, but he’s not stupid. And he looks at polling. He is behind. And I think what he and his friends believe [is] that if they can suppress the vote — make it harder for people to vote — they have a better chance to win the election.”

I understand that the Post Office has huge financial problems, most of which are caused by health care and pension benefits owed to thousands of retirees in addition to current employees.

And in an era of email, FedEx and Amazon, the Post Office may no longer have a sustainable business model. But it seems to this citizen journalist that the Post Office provides a valuable and maybe irreplaceable service to millions who rely on it for the delivery of prescriptions, checks and so on.

And come November, the future of our country may hinge on the Post Office.

Okay. I have to go now.

I asked Kamala Harris to send me a copy of her birth certificate. Maybe it’s in today’s mail.

Congress At Work. Well, Maybe Not

Okay. To say that this country is a mess right now is certainly an understatement.

Our economy brings back bad memories of the Great Depression.

Millions are unemployed and may never return to their original job if they happen to depend on one of the thousands of businesses that have been forced to close and might not reopen.

Tens of thousands of Americans have died from the Trump Virus, with the number increasing each day by as many as one death every 80 seconds.

And we are about to reopen schools during a pandemic, putting millions of students (and their families), teachers, administrators and support staff at risk.

Gee. You would think that this is a time that would demand common sense — and leadership.

But alas, both are in shorter supply than toilet paper.

It’s really no fun any more writing about Trump and his ineptitude. If nothing else, POTUS defines the Peter Principle. Sad.

But what about Congress?

Certainly we should be able to rely on leadership during this crisis from the men and women who we send to Washington to act in the public interest.

Well, no.

Clearly, people throughout the nation need enhanced unemployment and income protections, health care insurance, limits on being evicted from their houses or apartments and yada, yada, yada. Bernie: Where are you when we need you? I digress.

Well, while the nation burns, members of Congress can’t do much more than fiddle.

Here’s from CNN:

Washington (CNN)Don’t expect a another stimulus check anytime soon.

While there’s bipartisan support for a second round of direct payments, negotiators have walked away from talks without a deal, and most lawmakers have now returned to their home states.Congress let three key coronavirus relief programs created in March — enhanced unemployment benefits, eviction protection and a small business loan program — expire during the past two weeks.
In the meantime, the economy is showing few signs of recovering from the pandemic. Thirty million people are collecting unemployment, consumer spending is down 8% from January and the number of open small businesses has fallen 18%. The unemployment rate remains higher than at any time during the Great Recession.

I’m not sure what relief members of Congress should focus on. But you would think that something needs to be done. And sooner rather than later.

So what has created the logjam?

A simple explanation:


Or another:


I’ll admit that I am becoming fairly discouraged by the inaction that we see every day from our elected representatives in Congress and in the White House.

Come November, it might be a good time for us to vote in a way that advances the agenda of the American people.

And those who are thrown out of office as a result can always find a new gig as a lobbyist or as a talking head on Fox News or MSNBC.

Get Ready To Vote. But When?

Well, this should be interesting. As though things aren’t bad enough in the USA right now, POTUS has floated the notion that we should delay the elections in November because of the pandemic.

Ah, dude. You’re the one that has prolonged this health crisis. And now that your poll numbers are sinking faster than my retirement savings account, it doesn’t appear to this citizen journalist that you should be rewarded for your ineptitude.

Of course, I’m sure there are others who would disagree with me.


Here’s from The Washington Post:

President Trump drew immediate rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike on Thursday after floating the prospect of delaying the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a “catastrophic disaster” leading to fraudulent results.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Trump gave no indication that he will push for the date change — or that he thinks he has the power to do so. The U.S. Constitution gives the power to regulate the “time, place and manner” of general elections to the U.S. House and Senate, with Congress also empowered to alter the rules. States control the dates of primary elections. Nowhere is the president granted such power.

I’ll admit that fraud is possible no matter how you conduct an election — in person, by mail, or some other method. In Chicago, more dead people vote in every election than any other demographic. I made that up. But gee. Don’t you have to admit that it was kind of a presidential lie?

Anyway, it appears that the Republicans who are facing historic losses in the Senate, House and White House are determined to limit how many people can actually vote. And voting by mail — or online — is the red herring that the GOP is banking on.


Well, if nothing else, we all know that elections matter. As someone who wrote in Bernie in 2016 so I wouldn’t have to vote for the lessor of two evils, I’ll admit I have learned the error of my way.


So I encourage everyone to join me in voting this time around.

And maybe Trump has a point about changing the date of the elections.

Let’s move the election up to Labor Day Weekend — and vote his ass out as soon as possible.

Then perhaps we can actually Make America Great Again.