Wednesday, December 30, 2020

This is what Progressives are all about

Barack Obama did a great job in the White House, considering he had the entire Republican Congress against him led by the scourge of the Senate, Moscow Mitch McConnell. Among his major accomplishments: The Affordable Care Act; doubled Pell grants; signed the Paris climate accords; negotiated a decent nuclear deal with Iran. On the other hand, Democrats have regularly maintained...
"right-wing policies with a friendlier face were the only way Democrats could win or maintain power, and prevent another Reagan-like figure from seizing control of the country."

In my mind, that is centrism at its worst. Salon sums up the last four years...

"Over the past few weeks, the Republican Party has proven itself hostile to freedom and democracy; its merciful incompetence the only thing saving whatever remains of our republic from the fascist insurrection of a con man. The absurdity of the cast members — from Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to their incoherent Michigan "witness" and of course Donald Trump himself — have made the entire fiasco seem more like a satirical film than political reality."

Now that's what we should have been fighting during the Donald Trump nightmare, not creating animosity among ourselves, denying a large faction of liberals an equal input, which could have well won bigger numbers last November. With Progressives branded as Socialists, and many Americans afraid of this political philosophy, the leftist movement has not had its chance. But it will, and it very well could be during Joe Biden's administration. 

This is what The Nation has to say...

"Too many congressional Democrats are making a potentially fatal political miscalculation about the reason the party lost several seats in this year’s elections. And those incorrect interpretations of why Democrats lost at least 12 seats could lead to grievous missteps that will imperil their majority in 2022."

According to Data for Progress, although the overall positive attitude toward Socialism is less than half that of negative approval, those neutral are almost equal to the negative. There are several more interesting data in this article that seem to illustrate that the U.S. public is warming up to Socialism. And I want to emphasize that this is Democratic Socialism that supports change through legislation, not Socialist change through revolution which advocates violence.

Some defeated centrists claim that their association with Progressives, or any of their causes like Black Lives Matter, "damaged their contests this year." Not so says The Nation...

"The truth behind the unexpected losses, however, is exactly the opposite of what those members believe."

And the real reason is that...

"It was their failure to inspire progressive and Democratic voters to the same extent that Donald Trump galvanized his supporters to turn out in extraordinarily large numbers to defend him and his race-baiting presidency."

Progressives will not give up and the sooner Democrats learn this, the better off the Party will be.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Another top Republican disowns his party in disgust

The exit of the latest Republican to dump the party is further evidence of the decline of the GOP. The good ones are departing, leaving only those with the mentality of their mentor, Donald Trump. Thankfully, the Trump era is almost over, putting an end to one of the most appalling White House administrations this country has ever known. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) even laid it out in a letter in The Hill's piece for his leaving. Reason: "President Trump's efforts to dispute the presidential election."

This is his thinking...

"If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and 'stop the steal' rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was 'the most secure in American history, our nation will be damaged."

"Will be damaged?" It is already beyond belief the damage Donald Trump and his minions have done to this country. The most important is his inattention to the COVID-19 pandemic, letting it run wild while calling it a hoax and exclaiming it would go away soon. Because of this there have been 310,331 deaths in the United States, leading the world. 7,098,109 cases of the virus, also leading the world. It might also be noted that Mitchell voted 95% for Trump's agenda. Not admirable.

Karl Rove started it all in 1977 when he joined George W. Bush to turn the GOP into a fear-mongering party of corruption and misinformation. GWB enjoyed two terms using this strategy, but Donald Trump turned all three into an art that has prevailed and almost brought down America. It will take Joe Biden at least one full term to dig out if this disordered anarchy. It will also require the removal of Moscow Mitch McConnell to realize the U.S.'s full potential.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Who is to blame for Democrats' poor performance in Tuesday's election?


Here's a quote from an AlterNet article by Meaghan Ellis...

"The strong voter turnout for Trump, which stands at more than 68 million voters as of Thursday, October 5, proves that bigotry, white supremacy, and racial division are still alive and well in the United States."

Even with all three of the above Donald Trump abhorrent idiosyncrasies prevalent both in the 2020 campaign and in the last four years of the White House maniac's administration, the Democrats could not convince Trump supporters to get rid of this cancer that is destroying our country. Don't know if it was the ineptitude of the Democratic Party or the fact that this 68 million is mentally retarded and/or misinformed. Probably a combination.

Owen Jones from the Guardian says this...

"How could the electoral circumstances for the US Democrats have been more favourable? A quarter of a million Americans have died in a pandemic bungled by the incumbent president, and at least 6 million have consequently been driven into poverty."

Remember Brandy Lee, the Yale psychiatrist, who has been telling us for most of Trump's time in office that he is completely unfit for the presidency, and definitely mentally unstable? She now adds that, "Trump’s mental illness infected 48% of the electorate," the percentage that voted for him. Yet, somehow, the Dems were unable to turn all these horrendous flaws into the kind of message that says, 'You must get rid of this loser.' Which should have brought a landslide, but did not.

As a Progressive I am worried, very concerned, over the run-down state that liberals are in. Look at what happened in the House and Senate. We had a chance at Bernie Sanders, and I again wonder what would be our state of affairs today if the Bern had won in 2016, again in 2020???

Sunday, October 18, 2020

George Orwell predicted Donald Trump


Orwell's classic, 1984, was published in 1949, one year before his death in 1950. He died of Tuberculosis, another respiratory disease, which is rare today but can still be spread by anyone who is infected. There is a vaccine for TB but isn't normally given in the United States because of the low risk of infection. When I was in my teens, I remember a neighbor who caught TB, was quarantined, and the neighborhood went on about its business. 

The above is given based on the fact that we are currently going through the coronavirus pandemic, also a respiratory disease, that as of today has spawned 8,380,969 cases and 224,643 deaths, with 60,000 of those preventable by Donald Trump in a grossly mismanaged campaign to control the virus. Most of this is attributable to the Oval Office lunatic's authoritarianism which is so similar to similar to Orwell's dystopia.

Ken Abramowitz, writing for the Jewish News Syndicate, says...
"It [1984] dealt with the consequences of a totalitarian government, mass surveillance, unending propaganda to distort the truth, and the suppression of freedom, including even the freedom of thought. The totalitarian state, which is at the heart of the story, perpetuates its rule by continuously spying on its citizens, systematically manipulating the truth, and rewriting history.

Sound familiar? Trump is not a fan of George Orwell but was compared to 1984 when making the statement in 2018, “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” Abramowitz added...

For some, the quote immediately recalled a line from Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

The big difference here would be Donald Trump "told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears." And, of course, the poor souls who follow Trump have done just as he told them to do. There are some quotes in this article that are downright terrifying when compared to the real Donald Trump. Like...

  • The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.
  • Free speech is my right to say what you don’t want to hear.
  • It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant should have so much influence.
  • A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.
Abramowitz had one last shot...
"One of Orwell’s observations is particularly appropriate today. He warned of the authoritarian enemies who, driven by an intoxication of power, will be waging a campaign of fear, rage and loyalty only to their party. Already in 1949, Orwell foresaw the budding of dystopia in the world."

For those of you who haven't read 1984, Remember Orwell’s warning: “Don’t let it happen; it depends on you!” VOTE DONALD TRUMP AND ALL HIS REPUBLICAN CRONIES OUT NEXT MONTH!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

American public has right to know Donald Trump's condition


Let's see, this is what we know so far. Donald Trump announced late Thursday that he and Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. There are reports he knew he had been exposed when Hope Hicks reported she had the virus earlier, but Trump still attended a fundraiser in New Jersey, potentially exposing several Republican donors. T-rump, of course, rarely wears a mask. Then he was mysteriously whisked away to Walter Reed Hospital. 

The White House doctor Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley reported that things were going well, although "a source familiar with the President's health," said

"The President's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery."

As usual, it is hard to believe those closest to Donald Trump because of all the misinformation and lies that have come from him in the last four years. Conley stated flatly Trump is not receiving oxygen, yet, again...

"a source close to the White House said Trump has received supplemental oxygen since his illness began. Trump 'definitely has had oxygen,' the source said, adding that it was on Friday."

Conley couldn't even get the reported date of the announcement correct and commented, "that the President had a fever at one point, but refused to say what it was." Although Trump proclaims that he feels fine, "the treatments administered to the President in the past 24 hours have raised concerns about his condition." While still in the White House, he was given...

"the experimental Regeneron polyclonal antibody cocktail, a promising treatment that has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

Then after arriving at Walter Reed, he was administered the antiviral drug remdesivir. In the case of both of these drugs, experts have said that they are normally given to the more serious coronavirus patients. And then a rash of notices of the virus from former aide Kellyanne Conway and Trump campaign manager, Bill Stepian, both in close contact with T-rump. Add to that a third Republican Senator plus former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. 

But Donald Trump is still in charge, not yet turning control of the White House over to his second in command, Mike Pence. And this probably wouldn't happen unless he suffers the ultimate. Like the earlier source said, "the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care." The world is watching and one can only hope that the White House gang will put misinformation aside just this once and give us the truth on Donald Trump's condition.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

White House nixed coronavirus masks in West Wing


Okay, it was early, in February, when the "first masks arrived on the White House grounds by special order of the National Security Council." Followed by, "Job One in their [WH staff] emergency response was to take personal precautions, preparing for the critical work at hand." But wait, the word got out this was happening and the higher-ups, assuming all the way up to Trump, decided this would not look good so the following decisions were made...
"If you have the whole West Wing running around wearing masks, it wasn't a good look," one administration official recalled of the directive that came down from senior staff and lawyers.
The West Wing wanted to "portray confidence and make the public believe there was absolutely nothing to worry about," the official said, revealing the image-conscious reason for the opposition to masks for the first time.

What this "confidence" got them was 7,489,417 cases of COVID-19, resulting in 212,506, mostly unnecessary, American deaths. The United States leads the world in these dismal statistics, all because Donald Trump was completely incompetent in the handling of the virus. Officials wanted to talk about Trump's ineptness but could not for fear of reprisals. But anonymously they...

"tell a consistent story of how White House attempts to deal with the virus were dogged by President Donald Trump's fixation on one thing: optics."

CNN reports...

"The radical polarization that now grips the country traces back to the very first workplace where it really sank in, at the West Wing of the White House."

As usual, the administration blamed its failures on Democrats. There's more...

"We lost so much time," a former administration official said, looking back. "The whole thing was mind-blowing. This could have been so different."

But it wasn't different and Donald Trump will have to live with those 212,506 American lives lost as long as he lives. Unfortunately, we know he doesn't care. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hard to believe? No! Donald Trump has 3,400 conflicts of interest


Yes, Donald Trump has had 3,400 conflicts of interest, and, yes, all while he has been in the Oval Office. CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has labeled him the most corrupt president in history. My gut tells me that T-rump doesn't give a damn since multiple authors have books on the market that document his corruption over the years. If they were truly lies, like he is famous for, he would have quashed them with his legal team.

This is how CREW describes their study...

"Today’s report details some of the most glaring examples of presidential corruption and conflicts of interest ever raised by a president, all of which stem from his refusal to divest from his businesses."

You see, with Donald Trump it is all about money and power, and as he has indicated now, he won't give up his position in the White House because that is the doorway to his keeping that money coming in and holding on to the beloved power. Since Trump's election, CREW has...

"tracked interactions between the president, the Trump Organization, and those trying to influence government decisions and public policies, including members of Congress, industry groups, lobbyists and cabinet officials. These interactions have continued to blur the lines between where President Trump’s public responsibilities end and his private financial interests begin, and between his loyalty to the Trump Organization and his obligations to the American public."

There has been no separation, and quite the opposite, he has used his position to influence deals for the Trump brand in the United States and even throughout the world. This is how CREW characterizes it...

"The extraordinary numbers in this report paint a picture of a president who is fixated on the personal financial benefits he might derive from his public service—and a whole ecosystem of officials, special interests and governments that exploit that fixation in order to curry favor and advance their own interests,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder."

Here are some of the report's focal points...

  • President Trump has made more than 500 visits to the properties he owns and profits from. The president’s frequent travel to and from his properties has cost American taxpayers well over $100 million.
  • 141 members of Congress have patronized Trump properties. These visits often coincide with events held by special interests or wealthy political donors that rake in millions of dollars for his properties. 
  • Special interest groups, many of which have business before the Trump administration, have hosted or sponsored 130 events at Trump properties since he took office. Political groups have held another 88 events at Trump properties. 
Remember, there 3,397 more conflicts you can see at the CREW report here. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

200,000+ COVID-19 deaths should beat Donald Trump in November


Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. are the highest in the world. Add to that the over 7 million cases in this country, also the most worldwide. We are second in new cases and new deaths and number one in serious/critical cases. Faring better in cases per 1,000 population, number 11, deaths per 1,000 pop. at number 10, and number two, behind China, for total tests completed. You can see this all for yourself on Worldometer, which is updated regularly. 

And yet another ghastly figure reported by the New York Times, the 200,000+ figure is...

"nearly two and a half times the number of U.S. service members to die in battle in the Vietnam and Korean Wars"

There is no reason for this other than the ineptness of Donald Trump in the running of this country and his hassling of the CDC, which is contradicted regularly by T-rump. If Barack Obama had been this incompetent--and he never would have--the political system would have erupted against him. But that is total hindsight and what we have today is a maniac in the White House who has lied about the seriousness of coronavirus from the beginning.

With around 40,000 new cases a day...

"Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said he worries about the country entering the cooler months without having a handle on the virus."

Fauci is Trump's favorite whipping guy because the doc tells the truth, something Donald Trump does not understand. Just consider that all this could at least be slowed down if the population would wear masks and practice social distancing. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, said "wearing face masks may be more effective at protecting against COVID-19 than a vaccine.

The second major problem--Donald Trump is, of course, the first--is the anti-everything group, vaccines, facemasks, the pandemic. An August study provides that only 65% of the U.S. population use face masks; that leaves 35% who are actively passing around potential COVID-19 contamination. Here's the scenario...

"Still, the persistently high death numbers in the United States stand in stark contrast to mortalities in other high-income countries. Italy, once the center of the pandemic, reported 17 deaths on Monday; Germany reported 10 deaths the same day. In the United States that day, 428 people were reported to have died of the virus."

In the annual UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump once again blamed China's Xi for the coronavirus in the United States. In Xi's reply he, "described China’s response as scientific, generous and responsible," adding..."

“Any attempt at politicizing or stigmatizing this issue must be rejected.”

Donald Trump agonizes over the fact that China has done a much better job of controlling the COVID-19 virus than he did. Much, much! As an example, with a much larger population, China is 43rd in total cases where the U.S is number one. In total deaths China is number 30, the U.S. number one. Once again available on Worldometer. Joe Biden might very well want to study all the numbers and consider whether this might be a leading point in November.  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and who will take her place on the Court


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famous for her quotes. They ranged from men and women on the Court to abortion rights. Here are a few...
"When I'm sometimes asked 'When will there be enough (women on the Supreme Court)?' and my answer is: 'When there are nine.' People are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that."
"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent."
"This [abortion rights] is something central to a woman's life, to her dignity. It's a decision that she must make for herself. And when government controls that decision for her, she's being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices."

This is an idea on how she voted on the issues over the years, while she always had the respect of Court members and the American public. Her body was no doubt still warm when Republicans began positioning to fill her chair with the Court, with hardly a mention of this woman's commendable career. The GOP is desperate and they have already mounted a campaign on behalf of Trump's choice, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. But Democrats are playing their cards and they are strong.

Nancy Pelosi says she will even consider impeachment, if necessary. From my September 19, post, "there are already three Republican Senators who have voiced opposition with filling Ginsburg's position prior to the election. They are: Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME). Another step would be Democrat Mark Kelly's win in Arizona (currently ahead 6.7 points). Here's the Kelly/McSally outcome...

“Two Republican and two Democratic election attorneys agree that state law and Senate practices would make Kelly eligible to take over the seat once held by Sen. John McCain as soon as Nov. 30, when the state election results are expected to be canvassed.”

The Daily Beast added...

"Tomasky had 3 ways McConnell could be stopped. One, to threaten expansion of the Court after the election; Two, Moscow Mitch may decide the polls are against it enough that proceeding could damage the GOP even more; and three, McConnell may just feel Democrats have the numbers to win and not want to rock the boat. This would be based on the three Republican Senators, above, and Mark Kelly's win in Arizona."

You can see where more Senators stand on the Ginsberg replacement in this New York Times article. It doesn't look good for Republicans but, then, we all know you cannot depend on Donald Trump nor Moscow Mitch to play fair. Dems beware!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

At least 3 ways to stop Trump/McConnell Ginsburg replacement

 Doesn't it look like a sinking ship?

DOES IT LOOK LIKE A SINKING SHIP, ABOVE? First of all, there are already three Republican Senators who have voiced opposition with filling Ginsburg's position prior to the election. They are: Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME). Another step would be Democrat Mark Kelly's win in Arizona (currently ahead 6.7 points). Here's the Kelly/McSally outcome...
“Two Republican and two Democratic election attorneys agree that state law and Senate practices would make Kelly eligible to take over the seat once held by Sen. John McCain as soon as Nov. 30, when the state election results are expected to be canvassed.”

Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky remarked...

“Place yourself in the White House private residence, or down in Louisville, at Chez Mitch, when the news about Ginsburg was conveyed Friday. Do you think either of them took even 30 seconds to reflect on her service to her nation?”
The answer to that, of course, is a resounding no! 

Tomasky had 3 ways McConnell could be stopped. One, to threaten expansion of the Court after the election; Two, Moscow Mitch may decide the polls are against it enough that proceeding could damage the GOP even more; and three, McConnell may just feel Democrats have the numbers to win and not want to rock the boat. This would be based on the three Republican Senators, above, and Mark Kelly's win in Arizona. 

Returning to the November election and the control of the Senate, there are more vulnerable candidates. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (he is tied with Jaime Harrison); Cal Cunningham (D) leads incumbent Thom Tillis (R) by 3.6 pts; and in Georgia, David Perdue (R) v. Jon Ossoff (D) (Perdue ahead by 4.3 pts.) plus a runoff election. More you can see here. My point is there are several chances for the left to take the Senate, made more positive by the current state of affairs.

And now a GOP Governor, Charlie Baker (R-MA)...

"issued a statement on Twitter urging Senate Republicans to hold off on filling Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat until after the November election."

So it would appear the damn is breaking with Moscow Mitch's support, accompanied by the realization by many, on both sided of the aisle, that this corrupt, conniving, bogus head of the United States Senate is not to be trusted or listened to. He'll get even less attention after Joe Biden enters the White House. That is, if McConnell beats Amy McGrath. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Joe Biden has support of young Hispanic voters


The ex-Vice President has the Latino age group 18-34 solidly behind him, but trails Donald Trump in older Hispanics. The younger ones number 14,588,994 and Biden's supporters of 60% total 8,753,396. But he still needs that almost 20 million Latinos who are 35+. And US Today reports he isn't doing as well with this profile as Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Here's the scenario...

"This year, a record 32 million Latinos across the country will be eligible to vote, making them the largest minority electorate for the 2020 election. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (64%) of young Latinos say they definitely will vote in November, and another 22% say they probably will."

Still: " When asked who they expected to win the election, 53% of the young Latinos surveyed said Biden would while 52% said Trump would be re-elected," which is troubling because it shows a somewhat lack of confidence in Joe Biden. There are a lot of first-time-voters and the fear of being deported if outed appears to be lessening. I've said it before; it's time to bring in Kamala Harris and use her advocacy to win over the Hispanic vote.



Saturday, September 5, 2020

Donald Trump demeans U.S. troops, including former senator John McCain


James Mattis, Donald Trump's former Sec. of Defense denounced Trump saying


that he was "a threat to the Constitution." John Kelly, a retired four-star general and former White House chief of staff, was not on speaking terms with Donald Trump when he left the White House and is purported to be able to confirm the disparities against American troops. And Trump's obsession with John McCain produced comments like this re. his funeral...

“We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides.

Not exactly the kind of comment one might expect from the person sitting in the Oval Office. Knowing sources within the White House said...
"he seems to genuinely not understand why Americans treat former prisoners of war with respect. Nor does he understand why pilots who are shot down in combat are honored by the military."
That could be because he was a draft dodger who connived through his doctor an exemption from the draft over a bogus health problem. Once at Arlington Natl' Cemetery to celebrate the death of Kelly's son in Afghanistan, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” One of Kelly's friends added...
“He can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself,” one of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, told me. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Kelly’s friend went on to say, “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”

Yes, this is, tragically, Donald Trump. And there is much more in the Atlantic article I recommend reading.

Read even more here.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Are police cozy with far right?

Mark of the White Supremacist
A former FBI agent speaks, "Too many local police don’t take the far right seriously – or actively sympathize." The Brennan Center for Justice says there is, "Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement." A couple of observations from Brennan...
"many have concluded that a structural or institutional bias against people of color, shaped by long-standing racial, economic, and social inequities, infects the criminal justice system."
"These systemic inequities can also instill implicit biases — unconscious prejudices that favor in-groups and stigmatize out-groups — among individual law enforcement officials, influencing their day-to-day actions while interacting with the public."
Mike German, the former FBI agent has been warning of this enigma for years, but the problems have escalated in the last couple of years as Donald Trump spews racism and white supremacy from the Oval office. In an undercover assignment in California against neo-Nazi groups in Los Angeles, California, in 1992, there were routine warnings...
"A redacted version of a 2006 FBI intelligence assessment, White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement, alerted agents to 'both strategic infiltration by organized groups and self-initiated infiltration by law enforcement personnel sympathetic to white supremacist causes,'"
There's more from German...
"A leaked 2015 counter-terrorism policy guide made the case more directly, warning agents that FBI 'domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.'"
The former agent says that "white supremacists have engaged in deadly rampages in Charleston, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and El Paso, Texas." It gets worse...
"More ominously, neo-Nazis obtained radiological materials to manufacture 'dirty' bombs in separate cases in Maine in 2009 and Florida in 2017, which were only avoided through chance."
The point is we have been lucky when it comes to the discovery of nuclear threats before they occur. What we don't need is law enforcement standing in the way or even aiding and abetting in these events. Police are basically honest and dedicated to their jobs to protect the public. The problem is identifying those who aren't. Mike German's article here.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

CNN's Daniel Dale highlights Trump RNC convention lies

Anderson Cooper-Daniel Dale
Of course we expected a parade of deceit from Donald Trump at his RNC speech on the last night of the Republican convention. It was a big show for the morons packed close together, most without masks, on the south lawn of the White House, a group of around 2,000 with the potential of turning into another super spreader of COVID-19. Why not...everyone else is doing it. But it gave the Oval Office lunatic another shot at adding to his collection of over 20,000 lies.

Right after the convention ended, Daniel Dale, an expert fact checker with CNN talked to CNN's Anderson Cooper about Trump's ongoing clash with the truth. Here's what he said to Cooper...
“Anderson, this president is a serial liar, and he serially lied tonight,” Dale told anchor Anderson Cooper, and then—over the course of three dizzying minutes—ticked off 21 instances of Trump assaulting the truth, everything from his erroneous claims that Joe Biden wants to take down the border wall and confiscate guns to his bogus boast that no president has done more for the African-American community.
Dale finished and Anderson Cooper jokingly asked: "That’s it?” Dale replied: “There’s more. How much time do you have?” But it really wasn't funny, as both men must have agreed, the leader of the greatest nation in the free world feels it is okay to lie about most everything that comes out of his mouth. It is a character trait most would agree not appropriate for the position. That is, of course, except for Trump's double-digit supporters.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Trump shuts down briefings on election security

The noose tightens around the neck of the November election with Donald Trump eliminating a source of critical information from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It seems they are afraid to do live briefings to "avoid the risk of saying something that might incur the wrath of the President," according to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Here's the scenario...
"With a written release or a written report, you avoid the back-and-forth of questions, some of which could be quite probing. And I think, I think the DNI would like to avoid that and avoid the risk of saying something that might incur the wrath of the President," former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Saturday.
There's more...
"I think this is a terrible thing with respect to the need to inform the electorate about what foreign nations are doing to interfere in our political process, most notably the Russians," added Clapper, a CNN contributor.
Apparently, the committee hasn't replied to CNN requests for qualification. There is back and forth within the Trump administration that China wants Biden to win but Russia wants Trump to win. My assumption is the White House is afraid the intelligence will lean too heavily with China's desires than with Putin's Russia. The irony is that so far I have seen no indication Biden wants help from China, but plenty that Trump will take anything he can get from Russia.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Controlling the use of your name and personal data

Back in 2005, when I was still a part of the junk mail business, I began seriously questioning whose property an individual's name, address and other personal data was. I came to the conclusion, and it also seemed common sense to me, that the individual should own this data and be paid for its use. I created a formula for how the American public should be compensated and publicized it nationally. It was met by resistance by the entire industry, even privacy organizations.

My proposal, which was introduced on July 4, 2006, "Independence is Control Over your Name and Personal Data," was met with hostility from junk mailers, the Direct marketing Assn., and many privacy groups whose purported purpose was to protect your name and personal data. Here's an excerpt...
"There is only one answer to protecting our names and personal data, and holding Big Brother at bay when it comes to business and government usurping individual privacy. Orwell’s 1984 predicted it, and we are very close to fulfilling his prophesy, but Americans are beginning to see the light and the need to protect their inner sanctum."
That led to...
"(2 In the case of compensation in the sale of consumer names and personal data, this same system would calculate revenue by individual, and maintain an accounting of what is due. Based on the junk mail industry’s annual take of $4 billion for the selling of names and private information, I feel the name-holder should receive one-half. Ideally, it could be placed in an account bearing simple interest of 3 percent, and the person could eventually draw around $607 a month to supplement their retirement, or take the proceeds in cash."
And then I did a follow-up piece some two weeks later, "Junk Mail Industry Continues to Rob Customers," which reassessed my earlier post of July 4, remarking how junk mailers seemed to ignore the individual's privacy, selling your name repeatedly...
"Yet, the very culprits responsible for the conspiracy are whining over how to get even more results from your names and private information. In a recent article, “Marketers Feel Data-Challenged,” from Direct, a junk mail industry publication, a survey reveals a general unhappiness by companies of not realizing the highest return from your personal data. They want more and more of it, but don’t know how to use it. Pathetic."
There's more...
"In keeping with the inaccuracy of ChoicePoint and Acxiom data from another survey ( 73% and 67%, respectively), junk mail marketers seem to fare no better, with only 30% reporting their data as reliable. Have you ever known of an industry selling its product—mailing lists—for $4 billion a year with an average error rate of 70%? I think not."
Well, the American public, a bunch of lazy apathetics I call them, didn't respond to my proposal, but apparently California sees the idea of the protection of this private information very important. Important enough to pass California Consumer Protection Act, or CCPA, and I look forward to seeing its effect on the use of our names and private information. Read more here...


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Michael Cohen's Trump tell-all does that and more

"Disloyal: A Memoir. The true story of the former personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump," is due out October 6, but Cohen is pushing for September. The recently published foreword site had so much traffic it crashed, which gives you an idea of the significance of the expose. Cohen says...
“'From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies, to silencing Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise—I was an active and eager participant,' it says, among other things."
When Cohen first outed Trump to congressional leaders, "he urged others to rethink their support," resulting in the following comment...
“To those who support the President and his rhetoric, as I once did, I pray the country doesn’t make the same mistakes as I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying,” Cohen recalled, “exhorting them to learn from my example.”
Cohen continually felt that he was under surveillance, checking to see if he was being followed. Paranoid, perhaps, but completely logical when you are dealing with Donald Trump. After all, as Cohen describes it, he was the most infamous person in the country at the time. I have read over a half-dozen books on Donald Trump recently but think I am looking forward to this one most. Read more here...


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

COVID-19 aerosol transmission must be addressed

There are three kinds of coronavirus transmission: "The first is through “fomites,” objects that are contaminated with the virus (which could include someone else’s skin)." The second "is through droplets, small bits of saliva or respiratory fluid that infected individuals expel when they cough, sneeze, or talk." The latter is the major source according to WHO and the CDC, but in this case the droplets fall to the ground after traveling 3 to 6 feet.

The above droplets are only important when coughing and sneezing. However, more important is the third pathway which is aerosols. Here is Jimenez's assessment...
“'Aerosol' (sometimes referred to as 'airborne') transmission is similar to droplet transmission, except that the bits of fluid are so small that they can linger in the air for minutes to hours."
Both "WHO and CDC both state that aerosols could lead to transmission under highly specific situations, both organizations maintain that they are less important." Professor Jimenez disagrees...
"I believe this is a significant mistake and on July 6 I, along with 239 scientists, appealed to the WHO to reevaluate their stance. WHO updated its position in response, but the agency’s language continues to express skepticism of the importance of this pathway."
Even considering WHO's and the CDC's position on aerosols...
"just a few diseases, including measles and chickenpox, have been accepted as being transmitted through aerosols—and only because these are so transmissible that the evidence could not be ignored by the medical community."
Here is an excellent illustration...
"it is useful to use cigarette or vaping smoke (which is also an aerosol) as an analog. Imagine sharing a home with a smoker: if you stood close to the smoker while talking, you would inhale a great deal of smoke. Replace the smoke with virus-containing aerosols, which behave very similarly, and the impact is similar: the closer you are to someone releasing virus-carrying aerosols, the more likely you are to breathe in larger amounts of virus."
Jimenez describes it like "cannonballs" flying from someone's mouth that "travel through the air until they either hit something (worst case someone else’s eyes, mouth or nostrils) or fall to the ground." That is not a good scenario but is just yet another mandate for masks and social distancing that, while not guaranteed, are proven to cut back the transmission of COVID-19 significantly. This is an excellent article you can read here.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Republicans out of touch beyond reality

The GOP has always been out of touch to the point they continually risk their credibility by their actions. After almost four years of Donald Trump with his antics in the White House, laughable at times, these poor souls believe the Oval Office lunatic has performed well, even if you can accept it, on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. OK, the economy is doing well but aside from killing 180,000 Americans, it has created unemployment in the U.S. of around 10%.

 CBS published their Poll today that makes the Grand Old Party even more comical. Here's an excerpt...
"The vast majority of Republican voters approve of the U.S. economy’s state and how the government handled the coronavirus, and more than half say the level of deaths has been “acceptable,” a new poll shows."
180,000 deaths due to COVID-19 are "acceptable?" A clear picture of just how little Republicans value your life. This is despicable, but should illustrate to voters across the U.S. how this Party has only one thing in mind, to win at any cost. Any cost! The osmosis of Moscow Mitch McConnell has instilled his sick philosophy into the ranks of the GOP; nothing matters matters more than power and the Party. Here's more from the CBS Poll...
"Heading into their party’s convention on Monday, 75% of Republicans say the U.S. is in better condition than it was four years ago, with 82% crediting President Donald Trump for that, according to the national survey from CBS News and pollster YouGov released Sunday."
Yet, when you look at all voters, only 25% say the U.S. is better off than four years ago, 65% say it’s not. There's more and you can see it on CBS here.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

U.S. lags in therapeutic testing for coronavirus

Convalescent plasma
The United States ranks 18th in the testing of COVID-19, per 1,000 population, behind Russia. We are number one in total cases, number two in new cases, #1 in total deaths, #2 in new deaths and #1 in serious/critical cases. And for all of this we can thank Donald Trump for his early reaction to the crisis, telling the public it will just go away. It didn't. The complete incompetence of the oval office lunatic is unquestionable, but his continuing ineptitude is unforgivable. 

But the scientists are telling us...
"the clinical trials necessary to provide that evidence for convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies have been fraught with delays and have had problems recruiting volunteers. Many trials are only beginning now, months into the pandemic, because researchers focused their early efforts on therapies, such as hydroxychloroquine, that didn't pan out."
Erica Edwards of NBC points out that we are eight months into the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and we still don't have a prescribed direction. A direction that should come from Donald Trump, but rather than face the issue, he prefers to play golf. Nero fiddled while Rome burned; the White House maniac plays another round of golf while the U.S. dies from COVID-19. Yet over 40% of Americans still hold a favorable rating of Trump. Why?

Edwards continues...
"Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, considered the gold standard, evaluate whether a treatment works by comparing it to a placebo. At the outset, neither the researchers nor the participants know who is getting the real thing and who is getting the placebo."
But people who have the virus do not want to be the guinea pig, rather they want the real thing now. You can't force someone into this kind of situation, but the predicament clearly shows the lack of education for the public in trying to solve the coronavirus pandemic. People must understand the urgency to get something done before COVID-19 turns into a 1918 flu pandemic. And that's another factor with the flu season near and thousands of anti-vaxxers out there.

Edwards explains the process...
"The idea behind both convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies is to provide the immune system with a boost to fight off the virus. Convalescent plasma refers to the antibody-rich blood product taken from patients who've already recuperated, and monoclonal antibodies are a synthetic version of those antibodies that could be mass-produced in a lab."
This article is definitely worth a read.


Friday, August 21, 2020

Wearing a mask to prevent coronavirus

Comments from readers re. the use of face masks...
D.B. believes that a healthy lifestyle is more important than a face mask: "Masks are simply delaying when any of us will get the virus."
Meaning, let's hurry up and catch coronavirus so we can get over it and be free of problems. WRONG! It is proved that long-term lasting effects can be heart trouble, respiratory problems and neurological complications.

In another case, Ron disagrees and says that masks are useless: “Since coronavirus can pass through ANY mask including the N-95, what is the reason for making masks mandatory? They probably are 99.9 % useless.” I question his statement, and masks have been proved to stop COVID-19.

And yet another non-believer, Tom says he is not confused about face masks: “I have worn a mask in total about a half hour since this nonsense started in March. I have been among many people and even in crowds nearing 100, without masking. I have not been sick in any way." Freakin' lucky, but stupid as a rock.

There's more in this article a well-worth a read.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Explain today's pandemic deniers

Biggest denier of them all
The most devastating stand of all is their denial of COVID-19, itself, exclaiming that it is only a virus. It doesn't get more stupid than that. Here is how CNN Health describes it...
"With so much information available about the severity of the coronavirus and the need to follow guidelines, some people still refuse to accept reality."
The quick answer to the above is that these people don't believe the scientists, the experts trained to work in these fields. Rather, they look to social media for the answers, with some killing their children with radical, worthless remedies. The problem here is not only do they do harm to their own family, they also put friends and innocent bystanders in harm's way. And that is where I draw the line, most certainly with children, friends and innocent bystanders.

There is a lengthy Q & A between CNN and psychologists Eve and Mark Whitmore that basically attempts to explain denial in its relationship to the coronavirus pandemic. Science/medicine has a tendency to identify a problem like this, then quickly apply a name that is supposed to give it credibility. It may be appropriate here, but I have another name, independence, doing what I please regardless of the outcome, which is a product of the Donald Trump era.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

How to make sure your November mail-in vote is counted

The U.S. Postal Service, under the control of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, was appointed because he is a big supporter and donor to Donald Trump's campaign. He is single handedly dismantling the Post Office for the sole purpose of preventing the mail-in votes to arrive on time. As an example, DeJoy has started removing sorting machines from several locations, the lifeblood of these facilities to direct mail to the right people on time.

Remember the guy at the New York post office hand-sorting mail when he found the letter to Santa Claus. Without sorting machines all offices revert to this method which drastically slows down the process. In keeping with his changes, DeJoy has notified 46 states that their mail-in ballots may not arrive on time to be counted. Just what Trump ordered. I did a post yesterday with my solution to beating Donald Trump and Republicans on this issue...
"States must send out the mail-in ballots earlier than normal to compensate for slow mail delivery. I would suggest you contact both your Senator and representative, using the following sites:
U.S. SenateU.S. House of Representatives
In keeping with sending ballots out early, states should extend the date for receiving them, again, to compensate for a slowed down postal system. Put this in your note to your Senator and Congress person."
CNN reports that Pennsylvania is already considering extending mail-in ballot receipt by three days. Of course, Pennsylvania's governor, Tom Wolf, is a Democrat, but states with Republican governors can be pressured, or as I said in my earlier post, shamed into doing the right thing. Also, RepresentUS has a site, "How to Vote by Mail this November," with information on each state. Give them your email and they'll keep you updated. BE SURE AND VOTE IN NOV.


Friday, August 14, 2020

How to beat Trump/Moscow Mitch at their own game

Pariah of the Senate Moscow Mitch McConnell
As I indicated, the miscreants we are up against are Donald Trump, who is double-jeopardy right now by fighting the stimulus program along with trying to gut the U.S. Postal Service for the sole purpose of preventing a mail-in vote. The other is Senate leader Moscow Mitch McConnell, who is against everything from the left, plus he has recessed the Senate until September 8. Contrary to this stupid move, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cancelled the House recess.

The question is what do we do about it. Assuming the American public could be codified to the point of shaming the Trump administration to back off (he has done it before if he thought it would benefit him) the new Postmaster General could be forced to stop his bulldozing of the Post Office. Because Moscow Mitch is running a tight Senate race in Kentucky against Amy McGrath, McConnell could be enticed to cooperate.

In case none of this works, the next move is a huge decision. Should we just vote in person? In view of the COVID-19 situation, that is a tough decision for some, especially the older seniors, particularly the elderly. There is one more option, and it is somewhat simple. States must send out the mail-in ballots earlier than normal to compensate for slow mail delivery. I would suggest you contact both your Senator and representative, using the following sites:
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
In keeping with sending ballots out early, states should extend the date for receiving them, again, to compensate for a slowed down postal system. Put this in your note to your Senator and Congress person. And I realize these ideas won't fly with Republican governors, so the pressure on Congress must be the max to get anything done. Donald Trump and Republicans will do anything within their power to thwart this election in their favor. Those on the left must do more.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Jonathan Karl: "Front Row at the Trump Show"

I just finished "Front Row at the Trump Show," and like a good mystery novel, you just can't put it down. Jonathan Karl has known Donald Trump for over twenty-five years beginning the book with his first trip to New Hampshire just before becoming a declared candidate. As he presses on, there is the Trump real estate con man including all the outrageous activities that went along with this and his exploiting of women.

Karl had a reasonably close relationship with Trump during the 2016 campaign, reporting on the man perhaps being the most guilty ever of unpredictability. The author is quoted re. his first contact with Donald Trump...
"I was a cub reporter for a New York tabloid. He was a flamboyant real estate developer with a scandalous personal life." (To quote Avril Lavigne, "Can I make it any more obvious?")
In one instance during the 2016 debates, Meghan Kelly of Fox News asked him about calling women he didn't like things like "pigs," "dogs," "slobs" and "disgusting animals" on his Twitter account. Trump's reply was, "Only Rosie O'Donnell," which engendered some laughter. Karl is privy to a lot of Donald Trump's relationships either directly or indirectly, so it is clear from his book who he likes or dislikes.

There are twenty-four chapters and each one is packed with a new expose of the man he claims is redefining the U.S. presidency. It's up to the reader to determine just how bad the new profile is. A MUST READ at Amazon.


Donald Trump knows he's had it

Here's the scenario from salon's Amanda Marcotte...
"The parallels between the situation of many abuse victims and the nation’s dilemma when it comes to removing Donald Trump from power have not been lost on feminists. As sex educator Twanna Hines noted on Twitter on Friday, Trump “knows his time is up.' She predicted that he will lash out the way that abusers do “when the relationship is ending.'”
He's hard at work trying to sabotage the stimulus programs presented by both sides, and he gave up long ago in the fight against COVID-19. Now he is doing his best to destroy the U.S. Postal Service making his crony, supporter and large donor Louis DeJoy Postmaster. According to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)...
"he's worried that 'the postmaster general is working with the president to make it a problem so he can argue he doesn't like vote by mail.'"
In a major move, DeJoy has started removing mail sorting machines out of postal facilities, for what reason no one knows, except to delay the mail-in voting in November. From my experience in the junk mail business, there is nothing more important to the USPS than mail sorting machines that speed up the process while making it more accurate. Somehow this kind of action must be halted immediately and what's been done reversed. This can't wait until November!


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Noam Chomsky: 2020 election tampering for real

Noam Chomsky
Vote for Joe Biden, Noam Chomsky is telling Progressives. We cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump, nor can we afford to let down our guard now because Trump and other Republicans cannot be trusted until the last vote is counted. They're corrupt, all of them, and will do anything to thwart the election from Joe Biden. Chomsky wants Biden to stay on track to support Progressive issues and hopefully Kamala Harris will help insure that.

Chomsky cautions...
"despite all the polls showing Biden ahead, a Biden victory is 'anything but a sure thing.'”
“Election tampering is a huge industry. Massive campaign funding in the last days can have a major effect, as seems to have happened in 2016. The leading specialist on campaign funding, Tom Ferguson, found that a ‘dual wave of money’ for both president and Senate had a substantial and probably decisive impact in the final days of the ’16 campaign.”
Already Trump has been fighting the mail-in vote since it has a tendency to include more Democrats. I have heard figures that at least 75% of the country is eligible to vote by mail, which could produce 80 million ballots to count. And another example of Trump's dirty hands meddling in the 2020 vote, his new Postmaster General, Louis Dejoy, is purposely slowing down the mail. Add to that the regular GOP voter suppression of the left to round off their efforts.

Here's a shocker for me, Noam Chomsky warned that...
“'popular support for autocracy runs disturbingly high.'” in the U.S., and he made his point by citing an Ipsos poll that was released last week and addressed 'Americans’ views on the media.'”
The latter would explain at least some of those poor souls that support Donald Trump with his autocratic power hold on the U.S. government. It would seem that these misfits are just begging for a 1984 society, welcoming Big Brother into their homes. These are the same double-digits who scream about too much government control, refusing to vaccinate their children and wear face masks and socially distance in the COVID-19 pandemic. Pathetic!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Against concealed and open carry of guns

I've wondered from the beginning why these cowboys feel the need to walk around on the streets armed, finally coming to the conclusion it somehow makes them feel like a man. For some time there has been a debate over whether this action keeps the streets safe. A new study says NO! It's the "good guy with a gun" theory that says. "If more well-intentioned people carry guns, there's a higher chance of stopping a violent shooter."

I've never witnessed anything personally, but there was a report from the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson that says two civilian gun carriers on the scene heard gunfire and rushed in with their weapons drawn and almost shot each other. These carriers can be a menace...
"according to new research published in the journal Justice Quarterly. The study found that laws allowing more people to carry guns in public are associated with a rise in gun violence. The results also showed that the higher a state's gun-ownership rate, the more likely a mass shooting is."
Emma Fridel, an assistant professor at Florida State University authored the study and found...
"that looser concealed-carry laws had little impact on mass shootings and increased a state's gun homicide rate by 11%. Higher rates of firearm ownership overall, meanwhile, was associated with a 53.5% increase in the likelihood of a mass shooting."
But during all this, concealed carry laws proliferate throughout the country, and Congress is even considering passing federal legislation making them overlap nationwide. Hopefully, November will change all this.

Donald Trump Says He Will Be Indicted On Tuesday

  THAT'S TODAY... Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought the case to this point, now looking at a possible indictment. Trum...