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President 10-Out-Of-10

 What, exactly, is life-sustaining work? In this day and age, it is becoming more and more apparent that work that produces an income that sustains families’ ability to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, clothing and health care coverage when they need it is life-sustaining. Of course, this includes the workers who are almost universally recognized as life-sustaining and essential workers due to the nature of their jobs. Health care professionals, police, firefighters, grocery store and pharmacy employees and those who make it possible for the rest of us to attain what we need in order to survive.

When President Trump resumed his contemptuous relationship with the press recently by starting daily press releases to inform us all of updates relating to how his Administration is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic he was asked to rate his team’s response on a scale of 1-to-10, to which he replied it would be 10-out-of-10. At the time, he was totally misleading the American people about the seriousness of the crisis – even going out of his way to say that it wasn’t even a crisis. The illness wasn’t affecting many Americans at all, and would completely, miraculously, disappear in a matter of days, or at most weeks.

Those of us among the vast majority of Americans who have been living under statewide stay-at-home orders proclaimed by our governors are very glad we did not hold our breaths waiting for the crisis to end. Hundreds of thousands have been diagnosed as positive for the virus. Thousands have died. The end is nowhere near our line-of-sight. We don’t know where the end of the tunnel is – let alone see light at the end of it. At his campaign rallies (which these press briefings have really become for Trump, since his normal political rallies would violate the guidelines for mass gatherings and distance between people published by his own Administration as standard conduct these days) he constantly goes out of his way to blame state and local government officials, foreign officials and the unforeseeable nature of the developing crisis as excuses for the situation turning out to be far worse than he initially predicted.

The way in which Donald Trump dumps on every other possible culprit (except, perhaps, for extraterrestrial evil beings) as being responsible for any shortcomings of his policies (if they can be called that) while repeatedly and utterly completely refusing to take even one smidgeon of blame for shortcomings on his own part has become nauseating. He not only refuses to answer direct, highly relevant questions posed to him by professional journalists seeking to inform US of what is going on and why, he does so in such a manner as to belittle and ridicule the persons asking the questions. Often, he doesn’t even let the reporter ask a question at all, but rather continually interrupts them with his rants about the reporters’ biased views and unwillingness to do anything other than report fake news that shows him in a poor light.

The informative nature of the briefings is itself a symptom of how Trump has been putting his heels to the necks of even the most professional of those on his task force as they explain what they are doing. Almost everyone on his task force makes an opening statement praising Trump to the high heavens for saving us from death and destruction we would be experiencing if any other human being were serving in his post. Break out the Pepto. Then they delicately go about wording their responses in such a way as to contradict what he has been saying without drawing his ire by doing so.

When asked about resource shortages faced by state and local officials in the more hardly hit regions of the country, Trump blames the Obama Administration, state governors, even hospital administrators and the individual health care professionals themselves for squandering the limited resources they do have. Donald Trump accusing doctors and nurses of wasting Personal Protective Equipment or saying they need more of certain items of equipment (such as ventilators) than they really need is simply Donald Trump proclaiming his own omniscience, which should not even be allowed to show itself – it gets people killed, plain and simple.

For the most part, lately, our President has gone out of his way to say other people should be following guidelines that he openly admits he refuses to abide by himself. Wearing a mask is but one example. Testing for the virus has been a shortfall of the response since the onset of the crisis, and is still causing the illness to spread unnecessarily. As it gets ramped up, the true expanse of the problem becomes more apparent. His main expressed concern is to get people back to work before it is safe to do so. He has consistently been far more concerned about bailing out big businesses and making billionaires richer than it has been about taking care of the unemployed workers his policies have helped to create or feeding and housing their children and other dependents.

Donald Trump is more concerned about raising the price of oil to mollify American petroleum producers, whose environmentally destructive fracking practices cause their production costs to be non-competitive when the Saudis and Russians are ramping up production competing for market share than he is with the further strain that energy cost inflation will cause working Americans – not to mention further acceleration of climate change. This President does not try to empathize with the vast majority of Americans. He can’t and does not even put forth the effort. Born to wealth and privilege, he seems to feel himself entitled to do and acquire anything his heart desires, just because he is Donald Trump. Too many people have been enabling this behavior for too long. The result is more suffering and misery for people at or near the bottom of his economic pyramid.

I regularly get to watch press briefings by both Tom Wolf (my governor in PA, whose briefings are extensively covered by the local press) and Andrew Cuomo of New York, the current focal point of the most urgent needs in this crisis (which are extensively covered by cable news). Both of these governors are, in my opinion, doing a far better job of trying to alleviate the problems faced by average people living under their jurisdictions. Other governors, not as widely covered where I live, appear to be doing likewise for their people. They may not be candidates for Trump’s job and may not even be good choices to replace him, but as far as looking out for their people, in general and especially in this crisis, they would certainly be an improvement.

Donald Trump made a point of concentrating a large amount of his daily rant today denigrating the performance of the Inspector General he fired for putting forward the whistleblower complaint filed pertaining to his now infamous phone conversation with the President of Ukraine, which formed part of the basis for his impeachment. He further assailed the character and performance of the person who was the whistleblower. Another attempted distraction from the topics relevant to the alleged purpose of his press “briefing”. Further proof that Trump is a ruler, a would be authoritarian dictator, not a leader who looks to advance the interests and well-being of ALL people he is supposed to be governing, not just the few oligarchs with whom he dines and golfs while pocketing their donations and allowing them to fatten his wallet by patronizing his company’s ritzy properties.

Donald Trump should not have ever been our President. He proves himself morally, temperamentally and philosophically unfit to hold the position on a daily and often tweet-by-tweet basis. He was properly impeached by the House (though he is guilty of many more transgressions – some even more egregious than those he was charged with) and should have been convicted and removed from office by our sorry excuse for a Senate. For the sake of the future lives of those living in this country now and in the future, as well as the rest of humanity, he must not be allowed to remain in office past the end of this term, and must be held to account for his past, present and any future misdeeds he has/will perpetrate. Make America a democracy for a change.

Suggested Further Readings:

Trump Keeps Using Racist Wording To Describe Coronavirus, And Here’s Why

Who’s in Charge Here?

“Without these workers, everything ceases to exist”: How coronavirus is coming for your produce

Playing With Fire in a House Filled With Gas: Trump Places Stock Markets and Profits above People

Texas’ Dan Patrick: many seniors willing to sacrifice for economy

States Should Designate Grocery Workers as “Essential Personnel” Without Delay

This doctor works in an ER in NYC. Here’s her open letter to President Trump and why she thinks if we follow his coronavirus plan, it won’t just be dangerous, it’ll be deadly

Deaths in United States linked to coronavirus surpass 1,000

Seth Meyers Clobbers Trump: ‘Emotional Maturity Of A Middle Schooler’

AOC went off on the massive corporate bailout while Americans get ‘crumbs for our families’

Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us

Gig workers are doing essential jobs, but tech companies still insist they’re not employees

‘Insulting’ Frontline Health Workers, Trump—Without Evidence—Accuses Hospital Staff in New York of Stealing Protective Gear

U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Hits Highest Any Country Has Suffered in One Day

Keep Calm and Carry on Voting: How to Vote By Mail During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Voting by mail is increasingly being investigated as an alternative to traditional voting methods for use in many, if not all states in both primaries and general elections. Here is a state-by-state guide for choosing this method in upcoming primaries.

Computerized paperless voting has come up as being vulnerable to hacking and other forms of election fraud. In my state of Pennsylvania, this method has predominated in recent years, with new procedures being put in place this year to supposedly address these concerns. Voting by mail may or may not have different drawbacks. I have not seen it in action, but know that it is very common in several Western states, where people seem to be very favorably disposed to using it.

While security concerns may still exist in voting by mail, it certainly is not prone to computer hacking, dependent on new technology, or subjected to the problems of long lines, technical difficulties, or problems inherent to gathering large numbers of voters in one place to place their votes. This is a great concern to many – especially in light of the new concerns of many in dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

While voting by mail may not be a perfect solution to our faulty election system, it would eliminate some of the more prevalent forms of voter suppression experienced in recent years and promising to prevent untold millions from casting ballots this fall. It doesn’t require anyone to travel long distances to stand in long lines for hours to vote.

Voting by mail is definitely an alternative which deserves wider discussion in every state. I have heard nothing but praise for this method from those living in states where it has become the preferred method for voting. It certainly could increase turnout and result in a more representative government for all of us, while simultaneously eliminating voter suppression techniques which have resulted in extremely unequal opportunity for political expression such as gerrymandering and difficulty in getting to the polls and actually casting a ballot. – rjc

It’s easy to request an absentee ballot and there’s still enough time to do so for most states with upcoming primaries.

Source: Keep Calm and Carry on Voting: How to Vote By Mail During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Preparing to shelter in place for coronavirus: A printable guide to what you need at home – Vox

For what it’s worth. I’m not sure how difficult it is to follow this guide, but I hope folks find it useful. – rjc

Our recommendations for surviving boredom, loneliness, and the coronavirus.

Source: Preparing to shelter in place for coronavirus: A printable guide to what you need at home – Vox

Fiona Hill warns about Russian political meddling in 60 Minutes interview – CBS News

For those who missed 60 Minutes on 3/8/20. Given the fact that our government has been meddling in foreign elections (not to mention fomenting coups to topple foreign governments we don’t like) for decades, her points certainly do not seem far-fetched. Arguing over which candidate(s) this benefits most seems trivial compared to the fact that we know it has been going on at all – with little or no effective countermeasures being employed to try to stop it. Hell, Trump has on several occasions even encouraged such foreign intervention. – rjc

 

President Trump’s former top adviser on Russia talks with Lesley Stahl about the differences between briefings in the Trump and Obama administrations, how Vladimir Putin operates and how both Republicans and Democrats have played into his hands.

Source: Fiona Hill warns about Russian political meddling in 60 Minutes interview – CBS News

President Out-of-Control

Post-Impeachment Donald Trump is Pre-Impeachment Donald Trump on steroids. Being basically released from any Congressional oversight as he was by the sham trial concocted by him in collusion with Mitch McConnell and almost the entire GOP majority in the US Senate (at least for the foreseeable future – save for faint hope that some of the legal obstacles that he has placed between him and real oversight may ultimately be decided against his wishes) has left him room to move against his perceived enemies and concentrate on consolidating his vision of how he has some Constitutional right to do anything he pleases without subjection to any kind of accountability to Congress, the law or even the American People.

The news cycle is actually helping Trump in these endeavors. Such events as the coronavirus outbreak and the inevitable political machinations surrounding the coming election and the selection of his opponents in this year’s election are eclipsing his antics to a great degree. This must drive him nuts at times – having other people steal the limelight for however brief a period of time due to the results of debates and primaries and such that do not directly involve him – but it also distracts attention from what he’s up to. His response to the coronavirus has been downright atrocious, especially as he has been speaking of the situation in terms of political appearances instead of human decency and compassion for the victims. Apparently, he is among those of us who never learned that everything is not about him. The rest of the world is not beholden to the goal of making life go as Donald Trump demands. People have needs and desires that do not and should not revolve around what makes Donald Trump look good and improves his chances of remaining in office and constantly expanding his own personal power.

Purging his Administration of any semblance of sanity by replacing people for doing their jobs despite the fact that  doing so made him seem somewhat less than perfect in every way is no way to run a government – even for someone as authoritarian in nature as he has projected himself to be throughout his life. Having a make-believe cabinet to disguise the fact that he thinks the only one capable of doing everything correctly is himself only fools himself and those (albeit they number in the millions) who swallow everything he says and does hook, line and sinker. He has systematically dismantled the intelligence community and Department of Justice from the top down. He continues a penchant for appointing “acting” cabinet members to replace Senate confirmed people with others more willing to sell their souls to do his bidding.

Like DOJ and the intelligence communities, the State Department, under the guidance of Mike Pompeo, has likewise suffered the fate of having career officers fired or otherwise replaced by acolytes more subservient to the desires of a despot than the people and the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. Perhaps to a lesser degree (or less obviously) the same is true of the rest of the department falling under the purview of the Executive Branch of our government. The same can be said of the Courts, which he and McConnell are proud of doing their utmost to pack full of lifetime judges bound and determined to undermine decades worth of jurisprudence in subservience to a power-hungry Chief Executive.

The Donald Trump now residing at 1600 Pennsylvania now more closely resembles the monarch our predecessors deposed with their Declaration of Independence and subsequent war to make it a reality, as well as any number of despots, monarchs and dictators he counts among his friends, than he does previous Presidents of the United States of America. Wishful thinking on the part of people like Susan Collins, who had the opportunity to burb his appetites through the impeachment process – that it taught him a lesson and he’ll act differently in the future – have been proven horribly, though predictably, wrong. The only way to prevent Donald Trump from abusing power is to remove it permanently from his grasp. Congress and the GOP have proven themselves either unwilling or unable to perform that task so far. It seems to be left to the American People as a whole to thwart his less than honorable intentions in this November’s elections, while acting as necessary to curb his excesses (and get Congress and the Courts to do likewise, as provided for in the Constitution) until that election occurs.

I, for one, didn’t sign up to serve the interests of a dictator. We were raised to value democracy, self-government, equality and civil and human rights. Donald Trump and his followers offer us none of those. The time to take back our government has arrived.   

 

Suggested Further Readings:

Threats, misogyny, hypocrisy — Trump’s bonkers post-impeachment speech had a little of everything

Trump Uses Prayer Breakfast to Slam Romney for Politicizing Faith

White House Press Secretary: Trump Believes ‘People Should Pay’ Over Impeachment

Trump’s acquittal has unleashed the most ‘corrupt, unfit, demented and malevolent president’ ever: columnist

Susan Collins, now a national laughingstock, has concerns

The Vengeful, Lawless, Corporate Toady Trump Explodes

Lawrence O’Donnell nails Trump: Most dangerous thing is that he feels nothing.

Esper guarantee against retaliation proves faithless for Vindman

After His Acquittal, Trump Has Unleashed New Heights of Vindictiveness

Dear Leader is Above the Law

The Trump Presidency Enters Its Most Dangerous Phase

Exclusive — Trump’s secret hit list — the Never Trump files

Trump aides concede he’s ‘crossed a psychological line’ post-impeachment — and he’s got a blacklist to purge staff

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In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give by Michael Hudson

We must make sure the People of the USA do not totally lose control over both of the major parties which determine who will govern us in the future. Bloomberg must not be allowed , through the pure brute force of his great economic wealth, to control the Democratic Party in the same way that Donald Trump has come to own the GOP that now caters to his every whim.

Exchanging one oligarch for another in no way increases our government’s  responsiveness to the will of the people or the rule of law. Instead, it would underscore a whittling away of the political and civil rights of the masses of American citizens to the ever-increasing power of a ruling class that has become totally non-responsive to our needs and lack of accountability for its misuses and gross abuses of power.

Making a mockery of our democracy by allowing massive undeserved wealth to dictate the future course of our government is not the solution we need to the problems presented to us by a prospective second term of Donald Trump, who has shown such contempt for not only the American people but the entire world.

Treating the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as incapable of leading the charge to dislodge a totally unfit would-be dictator from his seat of power would be as wrong in 2020 as it was in 2016. People should be encouraged to vote in their own interests, not those of party elites claiming that only they can win in November. The Democratic Party becoming a slightly less malicious ruler over us would lead many to believe that it is Republican Light, not progressive in nature. Allowing a brokered convention to select a nominee for President in such an undemocratic manner, ignoring the needs and desires of the vast majority of the people, would be unacceptable to people who  have been underrepresented (many even unrepresented at all).

Saying that Bernie Sanders or anyone else is not electable is a sham red herring designed to convince voters to ignore the value of his/their  policy proposals or the lack of acceptable alternative proposals presented by the ruling class’s preferred candidates. The same tactic failed miserably when the mainstream GOP leadership and Clinton tried it against Trump in 2016.

Let the people decide who would best represent their interests in the White House – not a small group of establishment political operatives more intent on augmenting their own political power than improving the lives of those they have sworn to represent. I urge everyone to keep their eye on the prize. The goal is not to merely vote Trump out of office, but to reverse the policies he has been trying to force down our throats ever since he took office. Vote blue no matter who is not a winning strategy and should not be implemented – especially when it includes an addendum singling out Sanders or anyone else as unfit to vote for with no valid reasons to demonstrate such a claim. If we wanted an oligarchy we would’ve come up with a far different Constitution than the one our elected representatives have been swearing to uphold for over 200 years. – rjc

via In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give by Michael Hudson

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Chris Hedges: The Collapse of Democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic and its Descent into Fascism

This appears to be the path Trump sees as the future for the US under his leadership. Impeachment does not seem to have deterred him in the least, as demonstrated by his actions this past week regarding pardons, the Department of Justice and the intelligence community. This is one particular piece of history we need to ensure is never even close to being repeated. – rjc

 

via Chris Hedges: The Collapse of Democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic and its Descent into Fascism

Documentarian Ken Burns warned Trump’s rise would be ‘Hitler-esque’—here’s what else he said

Was Ken Burns right about this? To a large degree I think he was. I hope we can prevent Trump from causing as much damage as Hitler. – rjc

“…He (Trump) represents the greatest threat to American democracy since the Second World War. He is so fundamentally un-American…” — Ken Burns on Donald Trump, 2016 Variety Interview The above quote is by award-winning filmmaker and documentarian…

Source: Documentarian Ken Burns warned Trump’s rise would be ‘Hitler-esque’—here’s what else he said

Trump’s march towards dictatorship/fascism speeds up as Americans exercise what’s left of democracy

Great information from Robert A. Vella’s “The Secular Jurist” blog relating to President Trump’s redoubled attacks on America’s democracy since Mitch McConnell’s GOP Senate gave him a pass (for now) in his sham impeachment trial. We need to reign in his authoritarian style of “leadership” and reclaim our government before the situation becomes even more dire. This means, in my view, voting him out of office in November (as a worst case scenario) if we can’t remove him sooner.
– rjc

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Two contrasting events occurred yesterday in the U.S.  Attorney General William Barr, evoking nightmares of Adolf Hitler’s brutal police enforcer Heinrich Himmler, overrode the criminal sentencing recommendations of federal prosecutors in the trial of Roger Stone who just happens to be a close ally of President Trump.  In response, the four prosecutors resigned in protest.  Their recommendation that Stone be sentenced to 7-9 years after being convicted last November on all seven counts he was charged with – which included making false statements to investigators, obstructing a congressional probe, and witness tampering – was well within the federal sentencing guidelines for such crimes.  As we shall see in the following links, this isn’t the first time that Trump and Barr have usurped the Department of Justice’s constitutional duty to uphold the rule of law for blatantly personal and political reasons.  However, it is the…

View original post 1,757 more words

Mitt Romney’s Full Speech On Voting To Convict And Remove Donald Trump | OpEdNews

This speech by Mitt Romney yesterday  puts today’s Trump gloating acquittal celebratory rant to shame. Trump’s weak bullying and threatening cannot stomach the challenges people with moral integrity pose to his demands for unwavering adulation by all those he feels to be inferior to himself (which, for those who have not yet noticed, includes all of humanity). – rjc

 

Article: Mitt Romney’s Full Speech On Voting To Convict And Remove Donald Trump – . Mitt Romney is the first Republican to break from his party and announce that he will be voting for removal.This is a short and powerful speech by Senator Mitt Romney explaining why he decided to vote to convict Trump. He knew that he was breaking ranks. He knew he would anger many in his party. He voted his conscience. ‘Conscience over party. Remarkable.’ This is worth hearing. It only takes 4 minutes.

Source: Article: Mitt Romney’s Full Speech On Voting To Convict And Remove Donald Trump | OpEdNews

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