Thursday, April 23, 2020

Twenty-Five For Forty-Five

“I alone can fix it,” he announced, to delirious cheers, after which he proceeded to prove he couldn’t: budget deficits, healthcare, Mexico/wall, coal, 4% growth… It’s a long, well-known list. 
More recently, he claimed “total authority” over when states end stay-at-home rules. Then, maybe realizing he couldn’t avoid responsibility if he failed to fix this, too, he punted to governors.
Which brings us to now, when, in a functioning democracy, the 25th Amendment would be halfway to dethroning him. 
We refer to fomenting armed rebellion against those governors to whom he ceded authority. “Liberate Minnesota,” he tweeted. “Liberate Michigan.” “Liberate Virginia...” In the last instance, he added, unsubtle and mendacious, “… and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege.” This “president,” having told governors it was theirs to decide, is inciting citizens to rise up -- armed, by implication -- against those governors and their decisions. Did he mean it? He said it. Like a dangerous lunatic, not a president. Not even a “president.” This should be obvious to everyone. 
It isn’t. From sea to temporarily-shining sea, answering the bawling of their golden calf, people are protesting. Saying, in effect, “We’re not sick, and if we’re asymptomatic carriers who end up infecting others, and if that overwhelms our hospitals, causing more deaths, it’s okay. We may be waving swastikas and Confederate flags along with the Stars and Stripes, wearing armor, packing, urging fellow citizens to die for us, but we’re the real patriots.” 
Like their Tea Party predecessors, they’re acting in the interests of wealthy Republican donors (Family DeVos and gun promoters this time around) and against their own. Possibly fatally. Perfect timing of reopening is impossible, especially with inadequate testing; but these virulent protests are helping the wrong people. 
The point, though, is less about the comparative handful, so far, of protesters than it is about an Oval Office malefactor who encourages sedition. Who’s appealing to the worst of us, intentionally turning America upon itself. Like his transparently cynical, base-pleasing ban on Green Card applications. To “protect” us. It’s what he considers leadership. 
What he doesn’t consider leadership is creating coherent policies to address this crisis; especially a coordinated, federally-managed process for getting protective equipment and testing capability to every state, rather than causing hospitals and states to resort to subterfuge to get and keep them. Instead, it’s thievery and grift from a lifelong crook and grifter, likely so he can dole it out as political patronage. Governors of both parties are speaking out, too.   
Unironically carrying signs saying “My body, my choice,” these easily-exploited protesters are beyond reach. They reject the personal sacrifice and common sense that real patriots have always delivered when America needed them. If this slice of Americana is small for now, the cultish cake from which they’re cut is not. But surely there are former supporters and true conservatives who see how this “president” is undermining his own government, suborning rebellion, to save his particularly personal @$$.  
And, equally importantly, who see what he’s not: an able and empathetic leader, more concerned for others than himself. Who see how he’s preparing to shift blame onto governors (after China, Democrats, President Obama, and the W.H.O.) for his own failings; and who’ve come to recognize he doesn’t care about the consequences for our republic.  
The current occupant of the White House is but one disturbed man, whom we should ignore. The problem, then, is us. Those who’ve become so inured to being lied to that they neither notice nor care. “You’re a commie POS,” was the entirety of a recently-received email. Asked, in response, what he’d read that’s remotely like communism, the sender disappeared. (I didn’t dispute the POS part.) “You’re a liar,” write others, who refuse to provide examples. 
“Say hello to George Soros,” smirked yet another Foxicant, who declined information about the work Soros does defending democracy and supporting resistance to dictators around the world. Giving less to Democrats than the Koch Brothers give to Republicans, my pal George is nevertheless a knee-jerk boogeyman for propagandized rightists. Hook, line, Foxified sinker, regurgitated word for word, mindlessly. 
People like that are why the 25th won’t be invoked. Integrity began leaking from the Republican Party with the election of Saint Ronnie. And those were the good old days. Fox “news” didn’t exist, and our pernicious “president” was just a pampered draft-dodger who hadn’t yet filed his first bankruptcy.
[Image source]


  1. Sid, your column needs a national platform.

  2. John: ain't gonna happen. I wouldn't even know how to enquire. But thanks!

  3. > People like that are why the 25th won’t be invoked.

    More specifically, people like that in the Senate and cabinet are why the 25th won't be invoked. Trump selects his advisers like Mr. Burns on The Simpsons selects his lawyers:

  4. I've been catching up on recommended shows, the most recent being "Homeland". In season 7, there is a focus on misinformation campaigns through an Alex Jones-like character that broadcasts daily and is instrumental in building and supporting a troll/ bot farm. It's stomach-turning stuff and frighteningly real. It IS real. I know there are ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative factions doing this, and I avoid them both.

    The protests against common-sense measures to stay at home and isolate against a deadly virus which has no cure and no vaccine, are funded and supported by right-wing ideologues and amplified by Drumpf the Moron. Yesterday the moron said how "interesting" are the ideas of UV light inside the body to kill the virus, or injections of disinfectant to clean out the lungs. Clearly, his recklessness, arrogance and ignorance have no limits. I'd like to feel some sorrow or compassion for anyone stupid enough to take his advice, but I feel they deserve what they get, and they get what they deserve. A form of natural selection where all the Bubbas with their AR-15s and 8th grade educations high-five their virus communication among their own herd. I hope their wills are updated.

    There will be no invoking of the 25th Amendment, even though there should. Just stay healthy and alive, Democrats. We need to vote out as many Republicans as possible. With their careless disregard for all life, even those of their constituents, the already dwindling numbers in that party will be further diminished.

  5. you left out Pelosi/De-Blah-zio telling peoples to go to Chinatown/Broadway Show...

    Frank "Not getting Tatoo/Haircut/Manicure/Workout, not cautious, just don't like Tatoos/Haircuts/Manicures/Workouts"

  6. Looks like the current occupier is searching to solve the problem of idiots.
    I wonder how many of the Tide-pod crowd will start inhaling Lysol now?
    I also wonder why anyone listens to the guy anymore? (I read an article about it on MSN)
    Now, which idiots? MAGA people aren't afraid of Covid-19, so, vape-ers? those who inhale other harmful things, like the lineups outside of every heavily-taxed _________ store (fill in the blank, I haven't offended anyone if you do it)?
    We'll know soon if there's a run on Lysol.
    Stuff like this has got to drive the health industry nuts.

  7. Golly, Frankie, it's been a while since you've done the "what about" deflection. The thing is, those people said/did what they did in the early stages. Trump is still doing it. Plus, the Pelosi thing is, as usual, mostly fake news:

  8. Love it! (pocket Lysol inhaler, and, her/his? voice!)
    I'm always late at everything...
    I spend my time walking and not listening nor reading nor discussing whatever inane/insane is being tossed around on the internut.
    A recommendation for what to watch: Factory Made, How It's Made, Modern Marvels, Journeys In Japan (I have a few more if there is interest).
    One of the things you'll notice in those shows is that most industries have few employees who are widely spaced from one to another. Automation means very few people even in very large facilities. The risky places are the lunchroom, the time clock, the restrooms, etc. I think the solutions to not spreading viruses will be very effective in many industries (oh to be young again and a con$ultant. Again)

  9. Pertinent to ME's remarks about C19 shrinking Trump's base.

    Study: Elderly Trump voters dying of coronavirus could cost him in November

    This is no schadenfreude in this dismal prospect on my part. As an aging boomer this cuts both ways.

  10. Hard to believe the numbers will be significant, but it's certainly true that Trumpists are the ones flouting the rules. Between that and drinking sanitizer, there's a certain amount of culling to be expected.

  11. I just couldn't resist sharing this one:

  12. MEH said:
    > The protests against common-sense measures to stay at home and isolate against a deadly virus which has no cure and no vaccine, are funded and supported by right-wing ideologues and amplified by Drumpf the Moron.

    My subconscious has been telling me the same thing. My sleep has been on the weird side since the pandemic hit, which I suspect is happening to a lot of people. Anyway, I had a dream where current events were replaying in my brain and woke up with the overwhelming impression that the "protests" were not spontaneous events. Rather, they had been orchestrated step by step and passed off as spontaneous events for Trump's advocates to point to and say "this is how John and Jane Q. Public feel".

  13. Such good comments* today! It's a reflection of your fine writing, Sid. I'm sorry that I can't play today, at least for now.

    *except for one

  14. Hoping you've got better things to do, DocS, as opposed to being ill or arrested for non-compliance. Won't happen, of course, if you're in unincorporated Sno County.

  15. > Hard to believe the numbers will be significant, but it's certainly true that Trumpists are the ones flouting the rules.

    Hmmmm ... that truism prompts a poem ... not a limerick or an acrostic, just a quatrain of doggerel ...

    Let the MAGA-heads
    Assemble and die;
    Kiss Trump's re-election
    Prospects goodbye.

    Yeah, that's harsh, but that IS the risk they're running. And they're fooling themselves if they don't believe it.

  16. I am encouraged that some Republicans have joined the fight to prevent this unbelievably awful president, and are now spending bucks to attack him. I'm referring to the Lincoln Project and Republicans for the Rule of Law. Together they've released at least four ads/commercials that are pretty devastating.

    Nothing will change the minds of Trump's cult, of course, but I think that these efforts will, over weeks and months, help to motivate enough Republicans to cross over for a Biden win.

    If you haven't seen them —

  17. Here is an interesting article that mirrors somewhat your article. It is a dangerous cult that this madman has created.

  18. Re: Dr. Strangelove's comment about the Lincoln Project and Republicans for the Rule of Law. Not only have I heard of them, they are on my monthly donations now, along with my usual lefty candidates and the DNC. Kellyanne the Liar's husband is one of the founding members of the LP, as are Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt. I love their writing!

    I can't send them much, but a ten-spot a month to each of them is money well spent, IMHO.

  19. Hey, Mary Ellen, thanks for your support of those two organizations! Because of your example, we decided to drop $10 per month per each of those PACs. It's the first time that we've ever spent more than a stamp on any political organization.

    Are there any other takers, those of you who can afford a few bucks?

    I see them as a key influence on those Republicans who aren't quite ready to swallow hard and vote Democratic, but who just might eventually listen to these PACs, hold their noses if necessary, and cross the bridge to the Democratic side just this once to save the country.

    C'mon, you can do it!

  20. What is additionally disturbing to me about the current MAGA militants is many of them are inclined to wear masks while they swagger around stroking their penis substitute weaponry. Is it to protect themselves from the virus that they apparently think is not such a big deal, or is it possibly to conceal their identity if they happen to pop off a few rounds?

  21. Since the election of Trump, we've been giving monthly to PP, ACLU, SCLC, and EJI (the Equal Justice Initiative.) And we've given a lot to the "Flip the Senate" PAC, ActBlue, and several candidates around the country, from some of whom I've had to unsubscribe because I was getting five or more emails/day, never thanking, always asking for more. I'll keep it up, and will probably resume those from whom I unsubscribed, one of whom is the guy running against Lindsey G.

    I've assumed the Lincoln Project was pretty-well funded. I might be wrong. I really like what they're doing.

  22. Very happy to hear that, Sid. We support the SPLC and had been giving to the ACLU, but dropped the ACLU this year at my wife's request.

    I've been meaning to support the EJI ever since reading the book "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson a few years ago, but I keep letting it slide. I need to do that.

  23. Re: "penis substitutes." I'd originally preceded "packing," in my description, with "priapically." Shoulda left it in.

  24. We started giving to EJI after the others, after hearing him speak at Seattle Arts and Lectures. Impressive man.

  25. For fun (from Wikipedia):
    In 2019, the neurosurgeon who operated on Biden in 1988 said he felt Biden was fit to run for president, and joked, "... he's the only politician in Washington I'm sure has a brain, because I've seen it."
    I think it will be a punishing election in 2020 for the current occupier.
    I think it will find a place in this list:
    The only thing that could possibly be more tumultuous than what we've seen, would be a lame duck version of the same, something people should be made aware of.

  26. I would really like to see this recall petition for Fortney take off. Due to the low (43%) turnout in 2019, he won with only ~24% of all registered voters. I'm convinced he would lose if enough eligible voters actually voted. Maybe it could even be held concurrently with the Nov 3 election.

  27. It's far simpler. Trump will never experience the thrill of XXV Amendment removal because every member of the cabinet and the vice president share one qualification: fanatical personal loyalty to him.

    Who can anybody see being the first to raise the question? I'll wait.

  28. Michael Moore movie Released.

    I think it's time to reassess everything. Lots of us got nothing but time to reflect at the moment...

  29. Will watch soon. A fascinating link in the comments for the movie:
    And, the one I'll be spending more time in than the movie:
    Time to reassess the clusterf**k of the cities.
    Yesterday I drove through Seattle twice, and realized I haven't been there in a decade. How could I have missed so many towering and strange buildings being built?
    And driving North, the clusterf**k of the spreading multi-story compaction zones?
    What a strange place this place has become!! (while I was sleeping?)
    Happening to Lynnwood, and the I-5 corridor like a tree growing taller and branches wider. "and when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby..."

  30. seeker of wisdom and truthApril 27, 2020 at 3:27 PM

    I support several of the fund raising efforts from the organizations mentioned in these comments. I have made a pledge to make a monthly contribution to the Community Fund of Snohomish County which is financially supporting the Everett Herald during the current downward trend in revenue from advertising and subscriptions.
    I can't envision a vibrant and progressive community like Everett and Snohomish County without a local newspaper. We must have this valuable asset to survive as a democracy of the people, for the people, and by the people. This is America, not Russia, China, or North Korea. Long live our free press.

  31. I concur, seeker of wisdom and truth. I made a one-time donation earlier today to the Community Fund of Snohomish County for the benefit of the Herald.

  32. And, in my ever-consuming hope to show people certain reality out there, to allay fear which is particularly rampant this year, and, to give credit to others who produce what I would have loved to have seen when I was so much younger, I've run across this superb company which allows a look into an unbelievable amount of companies. Each of their 285+ videos provides a superbly crafted video detailing things about each company:
    If you take the risk to look at the real world through this "lens", notice the things important for today, how easy it will be for most companies to re-engage in the post-virus apocalyptic world, since most companies maintain "social-distancing" already in what they do!
    I really like one of their recent episodes:
    Looking forward to when we restart and get out of the current fear-environment!

  33. seeker of wisdom and truthApril 28, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    I did not vote for the new sheriff in town, but I was hopeful that he might be an effective law enforcement officer. Sadly, it appears that he is more interested in promoting his right-wing political agenda than protecting our constitution. He proclaims his (and our) individual right to pursue freedom of choice is not subject to the governments mandate to protect the common good. I believe that he must do his duty as the County Sheriff and leave the courts to interpret the laws. His political asperations should be repressed while he occupies the position of sheriff. The deputies and staff he leads deserve his loyalty and every citizen demands his competency and honorable service.

  34. Pence's stunt, refusing to wear a mask while touring an ICU, is worse than Trump's antiseptic pronouncements. If he doesn't show symptoms in a week or two, his actions will have proclaimed that masks and social distancing are not needed and that the danger is way overblown. I don't wish him death or major complications, but he deserves to get sick for the example he's set.

  35. Probably felt he had to do it, rather than show up Trump. That's some life-and-death sycophancy, that is.

  36. Aside from being the finest basketball player who ever graced the courts, still, Lew Alcinder was also ahead of his time on something that has been abysmally forgotten in Covid-times, that is, airborne virus can enter through your eyes!
    I like Tony Parker's design too:
    For that matter, Doc Strangelove is OK with modification. :-)
    This is actually a serious comment for consideration:
    Until the day they're in vogue, us old farts can always wear these as next best:
    It's not funny, it's Covid (look at the URL link).

  37. Looks like the White House is now following the Fox and Friends model —
    "Trump and Friends". How cozy and reassuring!

  38. re: "Trump and Friends"
    Worse yet, if it's trademarked the White House would need to pay license fee(s) and/or get sued. This would be a good one for investigative journalists to "follow the money".
    Little doubt there's something involved that would get the general public excited at the correct time.

  39. Not sure that it's a "thing", but I was referring to the U-shaped "living room couch" physical format of this morning's "briefing". It looked low key, "we're all friends here", but of course with his eyes on everyone Trump was clearly in control.

    Maybe I'm making too much of it.

  40. Geez, it's Thursday already!

  41. Love it! Hadn't occurred to me it might be read that way. :-)
    I'm just amazed that time flies as it does even though I'm at home doing and accomplishing utterly nothing.
    If it weren't for my daily walks, I might not know if I'm still alive.
    (OK, that was dramatized a bit. Sort of.)


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