Category Archives: national news

Riots inflict terrible collateral damage

There can be no way on Earth to gloss over any aspect of the reaction to the death of an African-American man at the hands of rogue cops in Minneapolis, Minn.

George Floyd’s death is a hideous example of how dangerous it is to be black in America. He was arrested by the cops, cooperated with their demands, then thrown to the ground, restrained with a knee in the back of his neck until he passed out … and then died. 

The reaction of the rioting crowds, though, is what also is quite troubling. It’s the vandalism that I find so repugnant … accompanied by the theft of items taken from retail outlets that have been looted by the angry mob.

What we have here is a situation that creates untold collateral damage to individuals who do not deserve to be damaged by the rioters.

Think of this for just a moment. There might be a business owner who is aghast and horrified at what the nation has witnessed with the conduct of the police and the death of George Floyd. That business owner then becomes a victim of the mob that rampaged down his or her street, broke into the business, smashed windows, stole items, destroyed the interior, perhaps even set it afire.

How in the name of human decency does one justify such reprehensible conduct?

Do not misunderstand me on this point: I share the anger of those who are demanding justice for George Floyd’s death. The video of the cop — who was fired along with his three colleagues involved in the incident — is repugnant on its face. I hope prosecutors can find grounds to prosecute these officers, particularly the goon who killed Floyd.

However, the damage inflicted on innocent individuals, business owners who well might be sympathetic with the rioters, is beyond anything reasonable, rational or humane.

Needing to understand Trump’s grip on his ‘base’

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

I never have professed to know everything about everything.

Some things escape me. They sit perched beyond my ability to grasp certain aspects of human thinking. One of those things involves Donald John Trump, who does profess to know everything about everything, but who in reality is a dunce who cannot admit it.

This brings me to my query: How in the world does Donald Trump’s base of voters defend the conduct of this individual who to my way of thinking exhibits an astonishing example of unfitness for the job he holds.

I have many social media acquaintances — some of whom are actual friends of mine in real life — who cling to this idiot’s world view … such as it is! Maybe they can explain a few things to me.

I am left to ponder so many examples of crassness, boorishness, cruelty from this clown. How do these folks stand with a guy who:

Defames a talk show host by suggesting — without a shred of evidence — that he played a role in the death of a trusted aide when that talk show host served in Congress and drags the family of the young staffer through more grief?

Alleges that a former president of the United States committed an illegal act, again without any evidence?

Suggests the former president, Barack Obama, should be thrown in jail?

Denigrates the service of a war hero, the late Sen. John McCain, and then continues to criticize him as he fights a disease that eventually would took his life?

Mocks a reporter with a serious physical handicap?

Criticizes a Gold Star family — that happens to be Muslim — whose son died while fighting for this country in Iraq?

Admits to grabbing women by their genitals, admits to philandering on his wives and admits to seeking to do so immediately after his third wife gave birth to his fifth child?

Donald Trump is unfit at any and every level to make decisions as president of the United States. He was elected in 2016 partly because he sold Americans a bill of goods about his business background.

And now here we are. We are struggling against a global pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans. Many thousands more of us will die. He should focus solely on the effort to stem the infection. What does he do instead? He takes to Twitter virtually 24/7 to foment lies about his political foes and to disparage others who choose to wear masks as a way to protect themselves and others against a potentially fatal viral infection.

Trump’s base of voters continues to stand with the Nimrod in Chief for reasons that escape me. I want to understand a little better that line of so-called “thinking.”

Bear in mind that I won’t change my own mind about his unfitness for the office he occupies. I just want to learn something.

What kind of lowlife would do this?

I just cannot stop shaking my head in utter disgust.

Donald Trump continues to exhibit the traits of a disgraceful, despicable lowlife capable of defaming the characters of those with whom he has mere political disagreements.

His latest target happens to be an MSNBC talk show host, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican member of Congress who has since become a Trump critic.

The president of the United States of America has suggested several times openly that Scarborough had a hand in the death of a former congressional aide. Donald Trump has said Scarborough was responsible for the death of Lori Kaye Klausutis. Authorities have debunked anything of the sort.

Trump, though, keeps pitching that scurrilous lie. Not only is he seeking to harm the reputation of Joe Scarborough, Trump is brining untold suffering and pain to Klausutis’ family. Her widower has called on Trump to cease and desist. So has Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who has said “enough already” with the defamatory rhetoric.

When reporters ask Trump about the lie he keeps fomenting, he falls back on that lame “many people have said” defense.

To think, therefore, that this piece of sh** politician managed to get elected to the highest office in the land and that the individual masquerading as our head of state is continuing to conduct himself in such a reprehensible manner … while he should be focused exclusively on putting down a global pandemic that has killed 100,000 Americans.

Lori Kaye’s husband, T.J. Klausutis, has asked Twitter to take Trump’s tweets down. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain,” he wrote in a letter to Twitter. To date, the social medium has not done so, but it has put warnings out about the lies that Trump keeps fomenting.

Donald Trump is sickening in the extreme.

It isn’t ‘political correctness,’ Mr. POTUS

A reporter stood before Donald Trump today to pose a question; he said he had to speak loudly because he was wearing a surgical mask.

“You’re being politically correct,” Trump told the reporter, speaking in that dismissive tone he uses to discuss measures people are taking to avoid being sickened by the coronavirus.

The reporter answered that he was merely being cautious, that he doesn’t want to catch the killer virus.

And so it goes on and on with the Dipsh** in Chief, who continues to dismiss the wearing of masks as a preventative measure by Americans.

Trump won’t wear one in public. He says a mask makes him “look ridiculous.” He poked fun today at his likely election opponent, Democrat Joseph R. Biden, for wearing a mask during Memorial Day services in Delaware. Biden was asked by a CNN reporter whether wearing  mask is a sign of “strength” or “weakness.”

Joe Biden’s answer? It’s a sign of “leadership.” Bingo!

Donald Trump has failed every leadership test he has ever taken since becoming a politician.

Oh! There’s this: The disease that would in Donald Trump’s words disappear “miraculously” when we had recorded 15 cases is about to claim its 100,000th fatality.

Oh, the dilemma is maddening

I am faced at this moment with the most vexing political dilemma I have encountered since I first became eligible to vote.

That was in 1972. I had just returned from active duty in the Army. The 26th amendment to the Constitution was enacted in 1971. I got to vote! Cool!

Now it’s 48 years later and I am trying to stare down this dilemma. It goes like this:

I am torn between wanting the economy and the nation’s health to recover from the global pandemic that is going to kill thousands more Americans while also wanting to remove Donald John Trump from the office of president of the United States.

The dilemma forms because Donald Trump would find a way to take credit for the nation recovering from the pandemic when, in my view, he has done damn near nothing to bring about a welcome conclusion to the crisis.

The economy might start to rebound later this year. Or it might continue to crater. Americans might no longer be stricken with the viral infection called COVID-19, or we might continue to get sick and die at a shocking and tragic rate.

Do I want the worst to occur? Of course not! I want there to be a full return to economic vitality and I certainly want an end to the misery, the grief and the tragic loss of life we are enduring at this moment.

However, a return to economic and physical vitality is likely going to produce a blizzard of self-aggrandizing and misleading (at the very least) pronouncements from the Nimrod in Chief about how “none of this could have occurred without me as your president.”

Perhaps the strangest aspect of it all is that millions of Americans are going to guzzle the swill that this con man would deliver.

Would a happy ending produce a Donald Trump re-election? I shudder at the thought. In my humble view, this individual — through his initial dawdling and dismissiveness about the pandemic — is responsible for more of the misery than he ever will acknowledge.

He deserves to be booted out of office.

Did POTUS make an unintended admission?

Donald Trump now says the man he selected to be attorney general, Jeff Sessions, didn’t have the mental capacity to do the job.

That’s now the president’s description of Jeff Sessions, who had the bad taste — and the good sense — to recuse himself from an investigation examining whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Sessions did the right thing and for that he now is being vilified by the president who vowed to surround himself with the “best people” were he elected to office four years ago.

Has Trump now offered an implied admission that Sessions wasn’t among the “best people”? Did The Donald due sufficient due diligence in looking for an attorney general? If not, then why not? If he did, then why has Trump changed his mind about the quality of the guy he nominated to become the nation’s top law enforcement officer?

Trump offered the criticism of Sessions in an interview with Sheryl Attkisson. “He’s not mentally qualified to be Attorney General,” Trump said. “He was the biggest problem. I mean, look Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster.”

Trump now wants Sessions to lose the upcoming GOP primary runoff in Alabama for the U.S. Senate seat. He has endorsed Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach. The winner will face Sen. Doug Jones in the fall election.

I just am astonished as I read and hear Trump talk about men and women he selects to these key jobs, who then decide to do the right thing … and then become unqualified, unfit to the job to which they were selected.

Trump’s ad hominem attacks on these individuals tell me far more about him than they ever say about the men and women he denigrates.

Among the messages I get from these attacks is that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he is doing.

Trump might demand a GOP convention change of venue?

Donald John “Bully in Chief” Trump keeps looking for ways, it seems to me, to prove how incompetent, shallow and self-serving he can be.

Consider what he is threatening to do: He is now threatening to force a change of venue for the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. to move to another location at the last minute. His reason is a stunner.

He says North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper — who happens to be a Democrat — needs to declare its OK for GOP conventioneers to gather in the convention arena to cheer Donald Trump’s nomination for president.

Except that Gov. Cooper isn’t ready to make that declaration. He isn’t ready to say that the convention hall will be safe to stuff thousands of people under one roof while the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

I will stand with the governor on this one. No surprise there, right?

Still, Gov. Cooper is seeking to protect North Carolinians and those who are venturing to his state to take part in a presidential nominating convention.

What is troubling to me is that Trump would seek to coerce a governor who — along with his colleagues of both political parties — is trying to wrestle this killer virus into submission. Trump’s overarching concern is producing images of cheering convention attendees which, of course, he could use to boost his re-election chances.

Why not conduct a “virtual” convention, which is under serious consideration by the Democratic National Committee? The DNC is hoping to stage its convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., prior to the RNC’s event. However, as has become the norm in this fight against COVID-19, Democrats appear to err more on the side of health concern than their Republican colleagues … although I am certain GOP operatives are concerned about people’s health.

They’re just equally concerned about how to ensure Donald Trump’s re-election.

And the president is seeking to throw his weight around on an issue that well could put more Americans at risk.

Unbelievable!

Put partisan politics aside to fight the pandemic … please!

We are living in perilous times in light of the pandemic that is sweeping around the globe and has killed nearly 100,000 Americans.

OK, that is no flash on the part of this blog and your friendly blogger. Still, the idea needs a bit of fleshing out.

One would have thought — or could have thought — that a pandemic on the scale of the COVID -19 crisis could unite a nation that is divided sharply along partisan lines.

Democrats and Republicans dislike and even detest each other. We need a reason to unite. I would have thought that a pandemic that kills Republicans and Democrats with equal malice would do the trick. It isn’t happening.

Who’s to blame for the continuing partisan pi**ing match? I’ll declare my view: The blame belongs to Donald John “Demagogue in Chief” Trump.

The president takes an oath that compels him to unify the nation when crisis strikes. Past presidents have risen to the task: Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor was bombed; George W. Bush after 9/11. Donald Trump and the coronavirus pandemic? He has picked fights with Democratic governors, Democratic members of Congress, the media … you name ’em, he’s fought ’em.

Trump bristles at the idea that voting by mail is an alternative to traditional balloting. Why? He dismisses the fear that traditional voting would expose Americans to the virus and concocts a phony fear of “rampant voter fraud” if we allow all-mail voting. He threatens to withhold federal aid to Democrat-governed states if they proceed with mail-in voting.

We shouldn’t be fighting partisan battles when we’re supposed to focus on the viral infection that kills Americans with no regard to whether they are Democrat or Republican.

It appears to me that we are locked in a hopeless divide that is growing perhaps too wide for a worldwide health crisis to bridge. If only Donald Trump could learn to abide by the oath he took when he became president of the United States.

What an utter shame.

Campaigning via Twitter? Sweet!

We are witnessing the birth of a new style of presidential campaigning. OK, it’s not entirely a brand new thing, but it’s taking on a life of its own.

The world is being treated to a presidential campaign conducted via Twitter. The antagonists? Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

For those of us who came of political age in an earlier — and decidely more quaint — era, this is a strange evolution to watch. However, I am learning to get used to it.

Donald Trump has perfected the Twitter gambit. It has become something of an art form with this guy. He has an 80-million follower crowd, many of whom hang on his every word. I admit to following Trump on this medium, but it’s primarily a way to keep this guy in front of me at all times. Better to keep the bad guys visible than to have them lurking unseen or unheard in the shadows.

He blathers, bellows and bloviates via Twitter constantly. He most recently has taken to the medium to fire back at criticism of his golf outings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He accuses Biden of having a poor work ethic while serving as vice president in the Barack Obama administration.

Biden has fired back. He said, also via Twitter, that Trump should concentrate on the pandemic rather than firing off tweets aboard his golf cart.

So it will go until the end of this presidential campaign … and likely far into the future of presidential campaigns. It’s a new age.

Trump reaps what he has sown

I had to laugh out loud when right-wing media began criticizing former President Obama’s discreetly worded criticism of the way Donald Trump has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why, the right-wing pundits just couldn’t understand how a former president would dare criticize a sitting president, particularly as he is up to his armpits (supposedly) fighting the pandemic.

Indeed, Obama has been quiet about Trump until only recently, when he took a couple of verbal pot shots at Trump during two virtual graduation commencement speeches he delivered via television to a national audience.

The three other living presidential predecessors — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter — have remained quiet.

But here’s the deal. Donald Trump has expended more verbal energy, not to mention Twitter characters, vilifying the efforts of Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton.

If it’s fair to criticize President Obama for talking trash about Donald Trump, it’s also fair to criticize Trump for the profound disrespect he has shown to the men who preceded him in the nation’s highest office.

Did Barack Obama ever criticize George W. Bush specifically, by name, with epithets while he struggled to rebuild an economy in free fall right after he took over as president? Yes, he has talked about the economic peril he inherited, but he also has thanked President Bush for his many years of service to the nation.

Did George W. Bush ever say a word publicly about Bill Clinton, who he succeeded in 2001?

And did Bill Clinton ever criticize his immediate predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, after taking over from him in 1993? Indeed, the two of them became dear friends, with Clinton declaring that he became a sort of “wayward son” to George and Barbara Bush.

Instead, with the current president, we hear a constant drumbeat of profound disrespect and denigration of the effort his predecessors all devoted to the oath they took to defend and protect Americans.

So what, then, if Barack Obama had offered some veiled criticism of Donald Trump? He had it coming.