Wednesday, December 27, 2023

You Say You Want A Resolution


We present two Christmas messages, one from our current president, the other from a twice-loser of the popular vote, going for the trifecta. 

First: “The Christmas story is at the heart of the Christian faith, but the messages of love, hope, peace, and joy are universal. It speaks to all of us whether we are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or other or no faith at all. ... To care of one another, to look out for on another, to love one another. Our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan. And too often, we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors. So, my hope this Christmas season is that we ... [f]ind that stillness at the heart of Christmas and really look at one another ... as who we really are—fellow Americans, fellow human beings. Worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. I sincerely hope this holiday season will drain the poison that has affected our politics and set us against one another. ... So, this Christmas, let’s spread a little kindness, let’s be ... that friendly voice when no one else seems to care for those who are struggling in trouble and need. It just might be the best gift you can ever give. I wish you—and for you—and for our nation, now and always, that we will live in the light. The light of liberty and hope, of love and generosity, of kindness and compassion, of dignity and decency. So, from the Biden family, we wish you and your family peace, joy, health, and happiness. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in the new year! God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.”

Second: “Merry Christmas to all, including Crooked Joe Biden’s ONLY HOPE, Deranged Jack Smith, the out of control Lunatic who just hired outside attorneys, fresh from the SWAMP (unprecedented!), to help him with his poorly executed WITCH HUNT against ‘TRUMP’ and ‘MAGA.’ Included also are World Leaders, both good and bad, but none of which are as evil and ‘sick’ as the THUGS we have inside our Country who, with their Open Borders, INFLATION, Afghanistan Surrender, Green New Scam, High Taxes, No Energy Independence, Woke Military, Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Iran, All Electric Car Lunacy, and so much more, are looking to destroy our once great USA. MAY THEY ROT IN HELL. AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

Can you spot subtle differences? If it wasn’t from the beginning (it was), it’s clear now what a damaged person is Trump. Continued support cannot be despite his deranged railings but because of them; because of sharing his perverse vision of America, full of perceived enemies; seeing in him justification for conspiratorial self-pity. From Trump there are no plans to improve the lives of anyone but himself; only promises to rid America of all people and institutions that challenge his pusillanimous ego.

So make a New Year’s resolution: be honest. Cut through the disinformation. Recognize, for example, that the border is not “wide open,” and that saying it is encourages false hope for migrants to flee their oppression. Based on simple observation, Republicans block funding for increased border security because they see lying about it as a winning message.

Spend some time with credible scientific sources to learn that climate change is real and dangerous. Easily obtained, the information is everywhere except right-wing media. Discover that there’s been more drilling under President Biden than Trump. Unfortunately. 

Realize that during Biden’s presidency, the US economy recovered from the pandemic faster and more robustly than anywhere else in the world. Employment and job creation are at historic highs. By the Inflation Reduction Act that no Republican voted for, inflation has been brought under control. Credit it elsewhere if you prefer, but don’t deny it.

Agree, too, that whereas leaving Afghanistan was a mess, it followed a timetable guaranteed by Trump. Before which he facilitated the release of five thousand Taliban prisoners. Accept that there’s no evidence of impactful election fraud; rather, there’s irrefutable proof –- including from MAGA-funded investigations -- that it didn’t occur.

Believe Trump’s promise to eliminate the institutions that protect democracy. If you like it, admit it. Contemplate the consequences if, as Trump claims, presidents have “absolute immunity” for any crimes committed while in office. (Extra credit: recognize Trump’s “Christianity” as his biggest con yet.)

In 2024, resolve to vote thoughtfully. If for Trump, don’t pretend it’s for any reason other than stripping equal rights from minorities of all kinds, and for making it harder for them to vote; that you prefer autocracy over democracy, and punitive religious beliefs over women’s lives. Acknowledge that what you’ll get from Trump is, mostly, (short-lived) satisfaction from seeing people you dislike get what you’ve been taught to think they deserve; and that, for you, that suffices.


Wednesday, December 20, 2023



“You can’t just say you’re innocent and not have to prove it.” So says Ralph Norman, R-SC, conjuring Salem. (Also the guy who urged Trump to declare “Marshall” law.) Does he hate America? If it’s the stupidest justification for Republicans’ impeachment “inquiry,” it’s not the most revelatory. That’d be the answer given by Troy Nehls, R-Texas, when asked what he hoped they’d get from it: “Donald J. Trump 2024, baby!”

Oh, but they impeached God-given Trump, twice, for no reason, intone the cultists. Right. Well, except for reasons. Which, in the second trial, convinced ten Republican senators to vote for removal, bringing him closer to conviction than any prior president. Based on evidence. Of which, regarding President Biden, Republicans have produced none but innuendo. The purely political motives behind this made-for-Foxification exercise couldn’t be more obvious. The only fact on which it’s based is that the Foxotrumpified will swallow it like a cheeseburger and diet Coke.

Every one of those pro-impeachment people is in office not on their record, which is all but nonexistent, but thanks to a nonstop barrage of disinformation from deliberately dishonest media. Looking at Fox “news,” it’s apparent that Rupert Murdoch set about to destroy democracy by creating enough permanently propagandized citizens, unable to and uninterested in discerning truth, to turn the tide toward Republicans. His goal, presumably, was not to destroy America, but to turn it into an unregulated capitalist paradise whose sole purpose is enriching and protecting people like himself.

Seeing proof, every day, that repeating lies incessantly eventually makes his viewers believe anything, Murdoch made it the modus operandi of his “news” organizations. From there, it became the central strategy of the Republican Party. They may be unable to legislate, but they sure can prevaricate. A steady drip, they’ve learned, erodes skulls.

Conscience having taken the day off (the whole year, actually), not a single Republican stood against this shambolic theater. The outcome is irrelevant. Unlike Trump’s near miss, we know it already. All that matters is creating the impression, based on nothing, that President Biden is corrupt. Lauren Boebert, whose presence in Congress is living, vaping, groping proof of Murdoch’s genius, says random people approach her in grocery stores and gas stations asking her, “How is such a corrupt man still holding office?”

Eating Trumpic brains like Naegleria fowleri, that embedded impression is the only thing they’ve accomplished since their majority. Which is why none had a problem voting for the “inquiry:” It replaces Trump’s indefensibility, including his latest anti-immigrant, Hitler-echoing demagoguery, away from commenting upon which they run like noses.

In that speech, he also praised Putin, Xi, Kim, and, admiringly, a new one: "the great" Al Capone. For those who cry foul at comparing Trump to Hitler, recall that the first of his several cheated-upon wives, now resting tax-avoidingly near the first tee at Bedminster, revealed he kept Hitler speeches by his bed.

The outcome of the 2024 election depends on the answer to this question: comes there a point when facts about President Biden’s and Democrats’ successes are so numerous and Trump’s lies so undeniable that even the fully Foxified will be unable to dismiss them? If they’re in the midst of a hundred sunny days, during which Fox “news” and the whole coterie of media liars, plus Trump, Speaker Mike, et al., tell them around the clock that it’s raining, will they finally notice they’re not getting wet and set aside their red umbrellas? It’s not impossible. But, dang: seeing interviews with them, it sure seems unlikely.

As gas prices (not in gas-taxy Washington) are below pre-Covid rates across the country, Trump is telling his infecteds, “We now have gas prices at 5,6,7, even 8 dollars a gallon.” Has anyone in his crowds looked around and said, “Huh?” And he promised to bring manufacturing jobs “back to America.” So I’ll say it: huh? Record numbers of small businesses have sprung up under President Biden. Between the infrastructure bill and CHIPS act, job creation and manufacturing numbers are hot as a blast furnace; unemployment is at historic lows.

What’s a policy-free party to do in the face of such good news? Lie. Convince the convincible it’s fake news. Lie. Change the subject. Put on an impeachment. Lie. Damn the consequences to democracy. Lie some more.

Here’s a moderate Republican, who sees through it. If there are enough like him, resistant to lies and subject-changing, manufactured outrage (Taylor Swift, Jill Biden’s Christmas), we’ll maintain the American greatness restored when Joe Biden took over.

Postscript: Regarding Colorado removing Trump from its primary ballot. I’d rather see him in every state – no excuses! – and trounced, ending his and his party’s trading hate for votes, forever.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Poster Boy

I’ll spare readers the details, but I’m in recovery from an unpleasant illness (not Covid, per home testing). Hopefully, the worst has passed, but if this column makes more sense than usual, credit whatever pathogen took up corporeal residence.

Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, is a heartless Christo-fascist. Under several indictments, like Trump, he’s the “Death to America” poster boy for America’s future if Trump and Republicans like him control America’s government. This is not subject to question. It’s as obvious as Trump’s escalating, dangerous rhetoric, spewing forth at rallies and from “Truth Social” like lava from Kilauea but not as awesome.

You’ve heard the story: a Texas woman, pregnant with a fetus bearing a death-dealing genetic mutation, “Trisomy 18,” was advised by her doctors to have an abortion; not only to terminate the doomed pregnancy but to protect her own health, as she’d already had three visits to emergency departments to deal with consequences of carrying this malformed tragedy. Because Texas abortion laws are red-state restrictive, she needed a judicial order. Which she got.

Immediately, Paxton threatened to jail the woman and any doctor who’d do the abortion; and punish hospitals who’d allow it in their facilities. Then, the Texas Supreme Court, a panoply of rightwing religious zealots, one of whom was arrested 37 times for (with judicial impartiality) harassing women at abortion clinics, stayed and later aborted the lower court order.

For what possible reason? To the benefit of whom? Forced to be born, the baby would either be a stillbirth or die shortly after. Carrying the baby to term in emotional misery, the mother could well lose the ability to become pregnant again.

Other than vindictive cruelty and a desire to impose a most perverse form of “Christian” theocracy on all Texan women because they can, what justification can there be to demand such an outcome? If it’s God on their “minds,” well, He sentenced the baby to death at the moment of conception. Is the God they believe in the sort to do that and then glory in the mother’s gestational suffering? That’s not one I’d want to believe in.

Nor is it a party, were I a past, present, or future mother, of which I’d want to be a part. The party that, wherever it’s in control, is passing draconian anti-abortion legislation, imposing its legislative will, born of religious extremism, on all who do or, more importantly, don’t share their radicalism. J.D. Vance, once a respected author, now Senator from Ohio and hardcore Trumpist, just said, on national TV, that he knew of no Republicans working to end access to birth control.

One-hundred-ninety-five of them, including their current Speaker, voted against a bill guaranteeing a right to contraception. The bill passed because, at the time, Democrats were in control. Outside of D.C., several state legislatures have tried to ban access. If Republicans gain all-branch power, it’s coming, sure as Santa.

It’s mystifying that a party dominated by religious extremists has also become the Party of Putin, arguably Satan on Earth. (Trump ain’t exactly the Sermon on the Mount, either.) It’s not unreasonable to wonder if some are intentionally working for Russia; but there’s no question Putin craves the re-installation of Trump, who previously gave him everything he wanted. Whatever the reason, like Trump, they’re all but kneeling before him.

And he’s not the only strongman they fluff, bringing representatives of Hungary’s Viktor Orban to discuss defunding Ukraine’s struggle against Putin’s criminality. Using our southern border as a non-sequitur excuse for not providing help in the war, Senate Republicans are validating Putin’s war crimes. How delighted he must be. In fact, Russia has heaped praise on Republicans for denying the help Ukraine needs. After all, it’s clear they prefer dictators. And support candidates who promise to become one. It’s a twofer, they’re saying in Moscow: Republicans will bring down Ukraine, and when it falls, it’ll bring down Biden and re-install our guy Trump.

Speaking of whom, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith took the bold move of appealing directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing lower courts a la the Nixon tapes precedent, for an expedited ruling on Trump’s claim that he has blanket immunity for any crimes committed while in office.

If this were like the Nixon tapes time, when Republicans and their courts included people of integrity, there’d be no question SCOTUS would reject such a ridiculous claim. But, like the Republican Party itself, times have changed since then, for the much worse. In Congress, on the right side of the aisle, integrity is a liability. Just ask Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, or Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Clichés Are So Last Year


Much as I try to avoid clichés, it oughta be a slam dunk. A no-brainer. Go without saying. Certain to be the nominee of the party of no “law” and unrelenting dis-“order,” Trump ought to be defeated by staggering numbers. Trump and Trumpism should be shown the door, wiped off the map, sent packing. The danger he represents is enormous. Nevertheless, in exceptional America, it’ll be a squeaker, a close shave. Nip and tuck.

Something I un-recommend for anyone whose mental stability is questionable (which includes me but I have commitments) is watching interviews of Trump supporters. It smacks gobs. Blows minds, beggars belief.

Without exception, they’re un- or misinformed on virtually everything. “Biden is destroying America.” How? “In lots of ways.” Can you be specific? “Well, I can’t think of any right now, but it’s true.” Have you heard of the CHIPS Act? “What’s that?” What about the Inflation Reduction Act, the infrastructure bill? Have you heard that Republicans who voted against them are taking credit for their successes? “The whats?” Are you aware inflation is at its lowest in years; same with unemployment? That our economy is the fastest growing on Earth? “Fake numbers.”

And, while Trump promises destruction of every foundational institution, the most counterfactual of all: “He loves America.” Along with, do you believe the election was stolen? “Absolutely.” But there’s no evidence, even by inspections commissioned by Trump. “We’re done here.”

In fairness, some mention the border, which remains a mess, as it’s been for decades. But they have no idea that, under Biden, there have been more interdictions of border-crossers and drugs than under Trump, by far. It’s a wide-open border, they insist, and nothing will disabuse them. Nor do they know that all Republicans but two voted against Biden’s border funding bill. Why? Because, other than the Big Election Lie, “wide open” is their go-to obfuscation.

It’s clear as day, sure as shootin’, that efforts to help Trumpists see the forest for the trees are wasted. Perhaps there are enough unpolluted conservatives and Republicans to outvote them. Which is why there’s a coordinated effort by wealthy right-wing donors to finance third parties like “No Labels” and self-deluded people like RFK, Jr., Jill Stein, and Cornell West. Right about only one thing in her political life, Liz Cheney, who knows better, is considering a run, too.

A vote for any is a vote for Trump, who’d lose on merit or policy. He’s running only for vengeance (and avoiding trials); getting it would be America’s downfall.

Also tipping the scale is nonstop “coverage” of Joe Biden’s age, from all sides, with scant mention of Trump’s obvious decline in mental acuity (which was never dazzling), and the fact that the more incoherent he becomes, the more disjointed, the more outrageous his lies, the more his cult loves hearing his mendacious balderdash. Horsepucky.

Granted, Joe isn’t a riveting speaker; he’s made embarrassing verbal gaffes throughout his career, and his struggles with stuttering compound the perception. But his accomplishments that benefit all Americans and the world are arguably greater than any prior president except FDR. Here’s more detail for those open to convincing.

Nor, as mentioned many times, is 2024 about Trump vs Biden: It’s about dictatorship vs democracy. Top to bottom (which is a very long way down) Trump and Congressional Republicans have made that undeniable. Trumpists, who have no idea, don’t care. As long as Trump keeps bashing the people and institutions they’ve been convinced to hate or fear, telling the lies they hunger for, whatever happens to our Constitution and the democracy it protects is hunky-dory. The cat’s meow. They’re clueless about what democracy entails.

Some might consider it hopeful that George Santos, as prolific a liar as Trump, more imaginative but less sinister, was booted from Congress. But it’s worth noting that a majority of Republicans, including every top leader, voted against expulsion. The same ones, no doubt, who’ll defend Trump, hand him matches as he burns the Constitution; stand by as he actually, not imaginarily, weaponizes our government as all dictators do: rounding up enemies, unleashing the DOJ, CIA and IRS on people and media who criticize him. He and his people are promising it. Already suffering MAGA wrath, most if not all of those who voted to remove Santos, will remain silent.

Proceeding with their vaporous, made-for-Fox, evidence-free impeachment of President Biden, Republicans provide hope. As their latest truckulent “bombshell” self-destructed like all the others, impeachment will lay bare, shine a light, blow the lid off their phony evidence. When Democrats take it apart, piece by piece, Trumpophiles will witness the truth. Unless they decide, “We’re done here” and turn it off.

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