Tag Archives: pandemic

It’s no ‘hoax,’ Mr. POTUS

Joe Biden vows to restore our nation’s soul.

The presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee wants to lead the nation into a battle against the pandemic. I get it. I want him to take the reins of power soon.

His first order of business if he is able to assume the presidency in January is to wipe out the “h-word” from our political glossary of phony, fraudulent terms.

Donald Trump has called the pandemic a “hoax,” cooked up by Democrats, the “enemy of the people fake news” media. He refuses to enact a national strategy. He has sent myriad mixed messages, all of which do nothing but confuse governors, city and county officials, school administrators, and just plain folks like, um, you and me.

Trump’s initial response to the pandemic was to declare it would vanish like a “miracle.” The warm weather of the spring and summer would kill those nasty germs. Kill ’em dead.

Well, here we are, with 165,000 Americans gone forever. That number will climb and, so help me, we have no idea on Earth where it will top out.

Trump continues to boast about the job he and his response team are doing. Therein, I submit, lies the hoax. Trump’s so-called “success” is every bit the hoax.

Joe Biden promises to lead the nation. He vows to take charge. He promises to heed the science at every turn.

I am going to hold him to all of that. As you should, too. We all must demand that the new president deliver on this promise. The stakes for letting this status quo continue are too grim to even ponder.

The former VP wants to restore our national soul. I support that noble goal and want him to keep that promise.

The place to start is to eradicate the word “hoax” from the context of the grievous battle against a killer viral infection.

Does he care … at all?

I just learned that Texas state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo has tested positive for COVID-19.

Seliger is the latest individual with whom I have a relationship to have tested positive. Other friends of mine in Amarillo have gone into quarantine because of positive test results. So have our niece, her husband and their two young daughters. One of our sons thought he would test positive after being exposed to a work colleague who had come down with the virus; it turned out to be a false alarm.

This is my way of making a couple of points.

One is that the virus lurks all around us, as well as around you. It gives any reasonable person pause, requiring us to ensure we follow all the recommended measures we need to take to keep exposure at a bare minimum.

The second point concerns Donald J. Trump and his insistence that the virus is “under control.” Trump, too, has seen many folks with whom he works closely come down with the disease. His oldest son’s girlfriend has tested positive. So has the national security adviser. Same for several Joint Chiefs of Staff staff members, along with those who work on the National Security Council staff.

Yet through it all Donald Trump traipses blithely along, suggesting even now that 167,000 American deaths and more than 5 million of us facing hospitalization are nothing to worry about.


It’s Trump vs. USPS

Donald J. “Dimwit in Chief” Trump has declared proverbial war on the United States Postal Service.

Yep, the president doesn’t want to allocate money to USPS on the basis of some specious contention that voting by mail is inherently corrupt and that it would benefit Democrats more than Republicans.

So, there you have it. Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that he will seek to withhold money for the USPS because it might use that money to institute voting by mail in time for the Nov. 3 general election.

Is there possibly anything more disgraceful than to hear a president say that he doesn’t want to grant people every opportunity to vote in a free and fair election? The head of the world’s greatest democratic republic is now on record telling us that he opposes granting the Postal Service the funds it needs to operate efficiently.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a longtime Trump supporter, agrees with Trump … naturally! He is systematically stripping the USPS of its operational ability to deliver the mail with maximum efficiency, in an apparent precursor to the voter suppression tactics Trump intends to employ to tamp down turnout for the Nov. 3 general election.

Trump’s disgraceful, disgusting and dishonorable attack on the Postal Service no longer surprises any of us. It doesn’t make any less deplorable.

We are in the midst of a pandemic. Many Americans are concerned about voting in person on Election Day. They want the option of voting by mail. We have a watershed election on tap, one that demands maximum participation among the American voting public.

And we have a president of the United States who wants to inhibit those voting opportunities, which is just one more reason to kick his sorry backside out of office.

Ignorance isn’t bliss, Mr. POTUS

I hereby declare it to be a semi-official recognition that Donald J. Trump can be labeled the Ignoramus in Chief.

I say that understanding fully that other presidents have misspoken or misstated certain facts, such as when Barack Obama once boasted of having visited “all 57 states.”

Still, to hear Donald Trump make a declaration about how the 1917 flu pandemic likely ended World War II makes my head spin 360 degrees.

World War II commenced in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. The flu pandemic occurred two decades earlier.  Was Trump referring to World War I, the War to End All Wars, the Great War? Who knows? The Ignoramus in Chief won’t say what he meant.

Such hideous misstatements of well-chronicled history, though, does reveal how utterly uniformed and uneducated this individual truly is, even though he keeps boasting about how he attended the “best schools,” how he knows “the best words,” and how he surrounds himself with “the best people.”

He does none of the above.

Trump has boasted about being a self-made business tycoon. He isn’t. Trump has bragged about his fabulous wealth. He refuses to release for public review his financial records, which previous presidents all have done. He couldn’t pronounce properly the name of an iconic American national park, Yosemite.

Trump has become damn near legendary in his lack of knowledge of basic American history. He recently declined to cite a single aspect of the late Rep. John Lewis’s iconic civil rights struggle. Why? Because he detested Lewis over the fighter’s refusal to attend his inaugural and because he has no understanding or appreciation for the struggle that Lewis embodied.

Trump keeps placing his ignorance on public display. It’s one thing to misspeak. I wouldn’t object one little bit if Trump ever would offer a simple “my bad” were he to be caught misspeaking. He doesn’t do that. Trump’s refusal to own his goofs and gaffes only tells me he believes that the wrongheadedness he blurts out to be the truth.

Sickening and weird.

Yes, a dilemma for sure

REUTERS/James Glover II

A Facebook friend of mine — someone with whom I am acquainted from my years in Amarillo — has posted a fascinated quandary that vexes many of us.

She writes: What a weird Catch 22 we’re in. If Donald Trump was competent and handled the crisis the way he should, and then the economy got back on track he would have a greater chance to be re-elected. God, what do you root for?!

Hmm. Interesting, yes? Well, I think it is.

We hear often how presidents who hand the office over to someone from the other political party wish their successor well. President Bush 41 famously wrote to President Clinton a letter in which he said he would root for the new president’s success. President Bush 43 said much the same thing to President Obama … who then said in a statement after Donald Trump was elected that he hoped for the new president’s success.

Trump’s tenure as president has presented many of us with a dilemma. Do we want the nation to suffer on any president’s watch? Of course not! I don’t wish pain and misery on my fellow Americans, let alone my friends and family members.

However, my loathing of Donald Trump seems to transcend all of that. I want him gone from my White House. I do not want to listen to his lies. I don’t want him to embarrass me. I love my country and revere the presidency too deeply to want this individual as my head of state/government/commander in chief.

It’s personal. It’s visceral. It has nothing to do with ideology … because Donald Trump does not govern according to any known ideology.

If only we could achieve some success in the COVID-19 fight, revive our economy — and then boot Trump out of office because of the terrible mess he has made along the way.

Get ready: no football

I believe football fans from coast to coast to coast need to steel themselves for some very bad news.

There might not be football this autumn. Two college conferences — the Lone Star and Mid-American — have “postponed” all football games until the spring. The Ivy League canceled its football season altogether.

The “power” conferences — such as the Big 12, the Pac 12, SEC, Big 10 — are set to play football. But wait! Are they really going to expose their student-athletes to the pandemic, to the coronavirus that continues to kill Americans?

I have this feeling in my gut, right along with my trick knee, that we aren’t likely to see college football this autumn. Or, perhaps, too the National Football League.

A lot of players are opting out of NFL play, citing concerns over the virus.

Am I dreading the thought of no football this fall? Yes. More so regarding intercollegiate football. I care less about the NFL than I care about NCAA football.

I care much more, though, for the well being of the student-athletes, their coaches, their family members, their friends and assorted loved ones who could be infected a potential killer that continues to ravage this nation.

Where’s the second-term message?

Donald J. Trump continues to flail and flounder not only on the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also on the president’s re-election message.

I suppose the two things are connected, given that he can’t craft one strategy let alone two at the same time.

Truth be told, I care only about the first thing, the response to the coronavirus that has killed more than 160,000 Americans. I don’t give a sh** about the second matter, the re-election effort. I want his butt tossed out of the White House.

However, I want to look briefly at the consequences of Trump’s failure to craft a message worthy of re-election.

He is running against himself. Trump continues to paint a gloomy and forbidding picture of life in America. He’s been president for nearly four years. He was going to “drain the swamp,” provide health care for everyone, unify the nation, make America great again, put America first. He said that “I, alone” can do all those wonderful things.

He has failed to deliver the goods.

What’s left for him to promise? More of the same?

That ain’t a winning strategy. Again, it’s not that I want him to craft a vision for a second term. I want him kicked out. I want him as far away from the seat of power as he can possibly get.

One way for him to ensure his earliest possible departure — short of resigning from office in the next 15 minutes — is to continue on the clumsy path he has blazed for himself. That’s fine with me.

Joe Biden stands poised at this moment of relieving the nation of the misery that Trump has brought upon us all. That, of course, will depend on whether he can withstand the withering assault that is coming his way.

Look, the former vice president wasn’t my first choice to challenge Trump. Biden did survive a grueling primary process. He’s now the only choice we have. I now am all in.

The campaign will unfold –, given the pandemic’s effect on political life — in a way we haven’t seen ever before. Be smart, Joe. Be restrained. Be presidential, which I know you can do.

Just let Trump be Trump.

‘Fake news’ from its originator

I continue to be astonished that Donald J. “Fake News Purveyor in Chief” Trump continues to hurl epithets at the media in that petulant fashion he has adopted.

He calls the media “fake news.” My ever-lovin’ goodness, the man has no shame, no self-awareness.

He did so again today during that campaign riff disguised as a “news conference” in Bedminster, N.J. He said the media don’t report the progress he supposedly is making against the pandemic, calling them “fake news.”

I feel the need to call Trump out because he, alone, is responsible for more than 20,000 reported instances of misleading statements and outright lies since becoming president, according to the Washington Post. He lies and lies some more. His “base” gives him a pass because, in their twisted view, he is “telling it like it is.”

The most egregious act of fake news, of course, came when Trump kept alive the lie that Barack Obama was born in Africa and wasn’t qualified to run for president. It was a blatantly racist attack on the first African-American ever elected president. He followed that up by questioning President Obama’s academic credentials at Harvard University.

Trump’s familiarity with fake news is well-known to everyone on Earth … except him. A certifiably pathological liar is prone to say things without any realization that he’s lying. That’s what Trump does. He blurts statements out. He gets fact-checked and he is told that what he says is untrue. He doesn’t care.

He recently told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that Democratic nominee-in-waiting Joe Biden wants to “defund the police,” which Wallace challenged on the spot. Trump ignored what Wallace said.

Fake news, anyone? Anyone?

The upshot of all this, maddeningly, is that those who continue to endorse Trump also continue to buy into his claptrap nonsense about “fake news.” They applaud the president for his declaration that the media are the “enemy of the people.” They, too, see the media as peddlers of “fake news.”

I never thought such idiocy would be contagious. Silly me. I was wrong.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump keeps peddling his own version of fake news. The difference between what he seeks to pawn off on us and what he accuses the media of peddling is that Trump is dealing in the real thing.

Donald Trump is a liar.

Why not just scrap the season?

A part of the Lone Star Conference decision to “postpone” certain athletic activities has me puzzled.

The LSC has decided to postpone intercollegiate football and other sports until the spring, meaning that the student-athletes can start blocking and tackling for real during, oh, baseball season.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled LSC officials. They aren’t comfortable letting the athletes participate in the fall when their regular sporting events occur. Who in the world can blame them?

Why not just scrap the entire season? Just call it good. Football, soccer, volleyball and basketball will be there next academic year. So, why not just tell the student-athletes they will have to wait. Perhaps there’s a way to extend their eligibility a year to enable them to play these sports even if they have completed their academic work at their schools.

The impact is going to disrupt a lot of activity in communities where these LSC’s 18 schools are located. I am saddened for those who like attending football games on Saturday afternoons and evenings.

There will be some economic impact as well on the schools that derive income from attendance at football contests.

The overarching issue is the safety of the student-athletes. Allowing them close contact with fellow competitors while the nation is fighting a deadly infectious virus exposes them to too great a risk.

Let’s just call it a season. Wait until the next academic year … and hope we have this virus contained a whole lot better than we do at this moment.

Fool me twice?

You know how it goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Are we really ready to fool ourselves once again by sending Donald Trump back to the White House for another four years?

I see these compilations of public opinion surveys and notice Trump continues to rake in about 42 percent approval among registered voters. I am left to ask: Who in the name of political sanity is actually continuing to support this guy?

Are they not paying attention to the idiocy that pours forth from this individual? Are they giving him a pass on his dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic, when he called it a “Democrat hoax”? Or when he stands before TV cameras as recently as this week and pokes fun at the name of the virus, while it is killing 1,000 Americans every single day?

I am left to scream at the prospect of this guy keeping the keys to the White House for another four years. This is a dangerous, perilous time. We must exercise some wisdom in deciding who leads us out of this nightmare. 

It ain’t Donald Trump.