Conway delivers parting gift

Thank you, Kellyanne Conway, for the parting gift you delivered as you prepare to return to some semblance of a private life.

The soon to depart senior adviser to Donald Trump has said out loud what many of us have thought all along, which is that that more rioting, looting and violence occurs the better it is for Donald Trump’s re-election chances.

According to Business Insider: “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” Conway said during an interview on “Fox and Friends.”

Gosh who do you think to whom she refers? In other words, according to Conway, Trump wants the rioting to continue.

Let’s roll that around for a brief moment.

Presidents of the United States usually seek to calm roiling waters. They usually seek to quell national tensions with speeches that appeal to our better angels. They want stability, calm, peace and quiet in our cities.

Not this clown. Not Donald Trump. If we are to believe Kellyanne Conway — who is leaving her office this week to spend more time repairing the damage done to her family — Trump is so damn concerned about re-election he wants to fan the anger that simmers in places like Portland, Kenosha, Minneapolis. Trump refuses to speak to the protesters or to even say the names of the individuals who have died at the hands of rogue cops.

Many of us out here in Flyover Country are left to wonder about what is going through what passes for Donald Trump’s mind. Well, we don’t need to wonder any longer. Kellyanne Conway has laid it out there for us in plain view.

Donald Trump wants the chaos to continue.

I wish Conway well as she steps away from the White House. I also want to thank her for telling us what I believe to be the truth about what motivates Donald Trump effort to stay in power.

I hope it helps derail the Donald Trump re-election train.

Swift Boat fiends are back

You’ll recall how 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry was defamed by those who sought to portray his heroic Vietnam War experience as a falsehood.

The term “Swift Boat” became a verb. You know, how Kerry was “Swift Boated” by the liars who launched the scurrilous attacks on the former Navy officer’s heroism while patrolling the rivers of South Vietnam.

Well, guess what, ladies and gents. The folks who engineered that hideous campaign are getting back into the game. They are planning a multimillion-dollar ad campaign aimed at bringing down the candidacy of the current Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.

Granted, Biden didn’t serve in the military, but he well might be receiving his version of the Swift Boat treatment from the political action committee that wants to support Donald Trump’s re-election.

They call themselves Preserve America. They will start advertising in swing states where Trump reportedly is vulnerable. As Politico reports: Preserve America’s first commercials will begin airing Tuesday in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia. Roughly $25 million of the total buy will be invested on TV, a figure that nearly matches what America First Action and Priorities USA have spent on the airwaves over the course of the entire election cycle. The remaining $5 million will appear on digital platforms.

This is a frightening new aspect of this campaign, which everyone expects to head straight into the gutter as Trump’s mud-slinging machine kicks into high gear.

The Swift Boat defamation effort launched against John Kerry was despicable on its face. I am saddened to say I became acquainted with one of the Swift Boaters’ major benefactors, the late Texas oilman Boone Pickens. I regret terribly to this day never asking Pickens why he chose to underwrite the lies that Kerry’s enemies told about him and his valiant service during the Vietnam War. Well, that was then.

The here and now offers a stern warning about what lies ahead for the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

My advice to the Biden team? Be ready to respond quickly and with all due vigor when they spread the lies we know are certain to come.

Go away, 2020

I want to enthusiastically endorse the notion expressed in this social media post that showed up on my Facebook feed today.

This year has sucked … out loud!

The pandemic, the violence, the unrest, the racial tension, the widening political divide in the nation.

We have lost 180,000-plus Americans to the pandemic. Many thousands of those folks died alone. Their loved ones couldn’t hold their hands as they slipped into the great beyond. The nurses, doctors, technicians have been pushed into the role of surrogate “loved ones” replacing those who were blocked from sitting with Mom, Dad, Wife, Husband, Brother, Sister, Daughter, Son.

The pandemic has destroyed weddings, school graduations and, yes, funerals.

Then there have been the African-American men who died at the hands of rogue police officers. They have been shot, suffocated and otherwise harassed. The Black Lives Matter movement has erupted.

Yep, 2020 should become a curse word.

What can redeem this hideous year? I’ll tell you what would do it for me: a presidential election that turns out the correct way.

Who has ‘moral authority’?

Moral authority isn’t written in the presidential oath of office specifically. However, it’s implied throughout the oath. Thus, when a president places his hand on a Bible to swear “so help me God” that he will perform the duties of his office faithfully, well, there’s a moral equivalence to be found.

The Dallas Morning News today published a lengthy editorial, part of a series of issues discussions preceding the presidential election. The DMN chose this way of examining the contest rather than endorsing one candidate over the other.

That leaves outside observers to draw their own conclusions about the issues at play. The topic of today’s piece is “moral authority” and how a president should use the authority given to him.

Hmm. Wow. That’s pretty heavy stuff to ponder.

I will state categorically one more time — and surely not the last time — that Donald J. Trump lacks moral authority at every possible level. The Morning News reminds us that moral authority helps guide the president to a “greater purpose.” How in the world does this president find that purpose? How does he dispense his moral authority? How can he even pretend to possess any semblance of moral authority to do anything?

Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, seeks to expose the president’s lack of such authority while campaigning to restore “the nation’s soul.”

It seems that we learn more about Trump’s lack of moral fitness daily. We can start with his well-chronicled marital infidelity; then we can look at the way he conducted his business and how he treated those who got in his way; we can examine how he handles government appointments and the manner in which he disposes of individuals; we can look at the absence of any public service on his record prior to running for president; let’s examine this individual’s faith and its authenticity.

I hope you get my point here.

The DMN won’t offer a specific recommendation for the upcoming election: Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Instead, it is examining in detail the issues it believes should drive this election. Read the editorial here.

The DMN opines: So what’s at stake in our presidential elections is more than who will hold the office. What’s at stake is whether the person who wins in November can marshal the moral authority necessary to unite the country, prioritize national problems, and rally our political system to carry us through perilous moments ahead.

“Marshal the moral authority necessary to unite the county.” Imagine that. Have we seen any semblance of unity coming from this president? No. We haven’t.

That, right there, serves as all the evidence I need as an American voter to cast the incumbent aside.

No such thing as ‘Democrat mayor’

I have heard enough of this continual mislabeling of politicians in my hometown of Portland, Ore. by Donald J. Trump.

I want to et the record straight on a small, but still significant point.

Trump keeps yapping about “Democrat mayor” Ted Wheeler needing to take control of the city he governs, which has seen a spike in violent protests in the wake of the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis by police in that city.

Wheeler was not elected as a Democrat in Portland. Nor were any of the city council members elected as Democrat or Republican. They run as non-partisan candidates for mayor and city council member.

Thus, for Trump to ascribe the violence in Portland and other major cities as byproducts of “Democrat” politicians’ policies is wrong. Dare I say that it is yet another lie.

Granted, Portland’s voting population is decidedly more progressive than Trump would prefer. Portland voters and those in Multnomah County voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and will do again this time for Joe Biden. They endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.

However, the folks who govern the city of 675,000 residents aren’t elected as partisans. Indeed, few municipal governing bodies are run by partisan politicians in the United States. Most of them, just like those in Portland, are elected as non-partisan. I mean, there’s no Democratic or Republican way to pay for garbage pickup, or water service, or police and fire protection.

So, my strongest possible advice for Donald Trump is this: Do your homework — for once — when talking about who runs local governments.

DNI takes ironic action

Surely, I am not the only observer who sees the irony in Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s decision to forgo direct briefings to Congress on foreign government election interference.

Ratcliffe, who formerly represented a Northeast Texas congressional district once served by the late, great Rep. Sam Rayburn, has declared that from now on all briefings will be submitted to Congress in written form. Ratcliffe said he wants to prevent leaks. Hah! As if they won’t occur anyway?

There will be no interaction between the DNI and House Intelligence Committee members, most of whom I should add are Democrats.

Why the irony? Well, when Ratcliffe served in Congress he was none too bashful about grilling those who appeared before the Intel panel, particularly those who were critical of Donald Trump, for whom Ratcliffe often carried a lot of water in defense of his policies.

Now that he’s a member of the executive branch of government, Ratcliffe is trying to shield information about Russian interference in our 2020 election, or so it appears.

This is absurd. It’s ridiculous. It’s also stupid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issued a statement that said, in part, according to National Public Radio:

“This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy,” Pelosi and Schiff said in the statement.

“This intelligence belongs to the American people, not the agencies which are its custodian. And the American people have both the right and the need to know that another nation, Russia, is trying to help decide who their president should be,” they said.

Americans deserve to know the whole truth in real time and they need the DNI to provide the public with the knowledge they must have about the security and sanctity of our cherished right of citizenship: our ability to elect a president without foreign hostile government interference.

Settle down, nerves

Am I allowed to express a bit of nervousness? Sure I am! This is my blog and I can say whatever I deem appropriate!

So, here goes …

I am getting slightly nervous that Donald Trump, on whose watch we have seen a pandemic rocket out of control and producing an epic economic collapse, could actually be re-elected to a second term as president of the United States.

Do not misread this nervousness. I am not predicting it will happen. Nor am I going to predict that Joe Biden will end our long national nightmare with an Election Night victory over Trump.

I just listen to Trump’s bellicosity, his anger, his in-our-face declarations that Biden will lead us straight to hell and I am filled with dread that Trump’s base of supporters is getting fired up. Worse, I am shuddering at the prospect of Trump persuading those few undecided voters out there that he’s their guy.

He is playing into many Americans’ fears about the unrest that is boiling up in cities across the nation.

Joe Biden can point to Trump’s abject incompetence in his early handling of the pandemic. Trump, though, is seeking to portray Biden as being soft on the violence that has erupted on many city streets.

Dare I remind anyone that all of this is happening … on Donald Trump’s watch? There. I just did.

Trump managed to trash Hillary Clinton in 2016 sufficiently to eke out an Electoral College victory. I am not going to suggest a similar event will occur this time, with Trump losing the actual vote by even more than he did four years ago but still winning the Electoral College.

I am going to express my fear that it could happen. The very idea of a second Donald Trump term is likely to cost me more than a few sleepless nights.

‘You won’t be safe … ‘

Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to Republicans who believe Donald Trump deserves to be re-elected president of the United States.

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence intoned with all the seriousness and gravity he could muster at the GOP convention this week.

But wait! How safe are many Americans today … in Donald Trump’s America? Not very. Especially if you’re black and you are unfortunate enough to get into an argument with a police officer. What about the concern for those Americans, Mr. VPOTUS and Mr. POTUS?

Well, Pence isn’t wading into that thicket. He chooses instead to follow Trump’s lead, suggesting that the “suburbs” will come under attack by inner-city residents who move into the ‘burbs to escape the criminals who do damage to all Americans.

Hey, it’s a race thing. We all know the game that Trump and Pence are playing. They want to suggest that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party nominees, are going to loose the criminal element on society. They will go soft on criminals, they will throw open our borders to illegal immigrants, they will seek to dismember the Second Amendment and disarm Americans.

It’s all a bunch of horse dookey. You know it as well as I know it. Yet Trump and Pence would have us buy into the crap they’re peddling that Trump’s America is a safe haven set to be overtaken by hordes of criminals if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected president and vice president.

The plain truth is that Donald Trump’s America ain’t so great at this moment. We’re fighting that pandemic, which has killed 182,000 Americans with more to fall victim. Racial unrest has reached a boiling point and Trump is doing not a damn thing to soothe our nation.

That isn’t how Trump is portraying the state of play in the U.S. of A. He tells lies about what he has allegedly has done to curb the pandemic and all he has done for African-Americans.

What’s more, he paints a grim picture of what life will be like if he gets booted from the presidency. I am one American patriot who believes that occurrence will be cause for joy.

Trump sows fear in election system

Donald J. Trump’s strategy against Joseph R. Biden is coming into sharper focus each day.

He wants to sow seeds of doubt and fear in the very election system that produced the Greatest Electoral Fluke of All Time in 2016.

He says if Biden wins it will be because the 2020 election will be “rigged.” There you have it, ladies and gentlemen of each county in America. Your work isn’t worth a damn, according to Donald Trump.

These folks all swear an oath to protect and defend the same Constitution that the president swore an oath to protect. They do so at the local election level. They are county clerks and their deputies. They work diligently to ensure free, fair and secure elections.

Trump says a Biden victory — which I consider a blessed event — will be tainted by whom or what? He doesn’t say. Just that it’ll be “rigged.” Recall he said the same thing in 2016 in advance of that election, suggesting that Hillary Clinton was seeking to rig the result. She wasn’t. The result turned into one of the biggest Electoral College shockers in any of our lifetimes.

Trump has ripped another page out of that same playbook by suggesting Joe Biden is seeking to rig an election. In truth, as I see it, Trump is the one who is seeking to rig it. He wants to suppress voter turnout by suppressing mail-in balloting. Intelligence officials already have warned that Russians are working to interfere in the 2020 race just as they did in 2016; they want Trump to win. Why? Trump won’t speak ill of his pal Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump is trading on fear and loathing in a time when the nation needs unity, comity and a search for common ground. Trump won’t acknowledge what it painfully obvious, that Americans are continuing to die from the COVID crisis. Why is that? Because of Trump’s incompetence. It’s as crystal clear as that.

Trump is mounting a major diversion in seeking to cast doubt on the electoral process that is unfolding.

He is a disgrace.

Trump Shop is open

What you see here likely is part of a “chain” of such “shops” scattered hither and yon throughout Texas and other supposedly Donald Trump-leaning states leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

With apologies for the composition of the photo — which I shot while sitting at a street light at the Intersection of U.S. Highway 380 and Bridgefarmer Road on the outskirts of Princeton, Texas — this is a Donald Trump campaign kiosk.

I figure there will be others of them popping up in Collin County, Denton County, Tarrant County and perhaps even in Dallas County.

I’ll have more to say about this kiosk later after I visit with the folks who man it during the heat of the day. It’s 100-plus degrees, zooming to a heat index reading of about 110. I won’t venture out again today … maybe later when it “cools” to around 95.

I learned a thing or two when I attended the Trump rally this past year at the American Airlines Center arena in downtown Dallas. One of those things is that the rank-and-file Trump supporters — at least those with whom I had some conversation — are fine folks. I didn’t run into any rabid knuckle-draggers. With that established I am going to presume that the folks running the Trump Shop just down the highway from our neighborhood fall into the “nice folks” category of Trumpkins.

I do want to ask them this simple set of questions: How can they continue to support a guy who denigrates prisoners of war, mocks people with handicaps, calls Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen “very fine people,” and uses tear gas on U.S. citizens who are mounting peaceful protests.

I will do my very best to keep the derision out of my voice. I also hope they do their very best to answer the questions honestly and politely.

I’ll get back to you … maybe soon.