Living Large in Carson City: What’s a Liberal to do?

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
― John Adams

What is Christian Nationalism and why should all American believers, non-believers, and even those of other faiths pay attention? Today, as the nation slides further and further into decisive debates over everything from education to the rise of MAGA to immigration to the rights of women to control their bodies, Christian Nationalism can be seen as a major contributor driving these destructive trends. Simply put, whereas once Christianity was a positive force in people’s lives, the rise of Christian Nationalists has cast a dark shadow over the role religion plays in American society, and more importantly, in how government works.

The origins of Christian Nationalism, oddly enough, lies in the roots of our democratic republic in the form of the First Amendment to the Constitution which states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The problem from the beginning was two fold. First, the Founding Fathers were well aware of the problems created when a government placed religious restrictions on its populace. For years, Britain forced the Church of England’s doctrine on the new colonials. “Religious freedom attracted settlers to America. English Protestants sought to structure their society so that every part of life experienced the renewal of the Reformation. Quakers, Roman Catholics and others came to America to escape persecution.”

Consequently, the Founding Fathers had little patience with the way the British government insinuated religion into its policies of governance. They wanted to ensure the burgeoning American government kept religion out of governmental affairs and vice versa. Complicating the issue, the population of the new republic was heavily steeped in Christian belief and Christian ideals. The founders believed strongly that for a citizen to function at their best they should cleave to their religious ideals and live in accordance with those beliefs. This is where confusion came into play and has continued so through the years. Were the Founding Fathers opening the door for the intrusion of religion into governing of the nation? If not, why put it there in the first place.

The answer lies in the the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” What was meant to be seen as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state always held the potential of being misinterpreted by zealous Christians wanting power that extended into the governance of the country. Both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson supported a “wall of separation” that kept religion and the state separate.

Today, Christian Nationalism is all the rage in conservative circles. It is important to recognize that the movement is staunchly embedded in both the conservative movement and the Republican Party. It would be easy to dismiss the culture of Christian Nationalism as just another phase that will pass in time. It will not, and it can only be assumed that as conservatism gains a firmer grasp on the nation, so too, will the Christian Nationalism. Understandably, the movement is one of white identity politics which reflects a portion of white America who believe they are being pushed out of their positions of power they held since the nation’s inception.

The Founding Fathers were not sanctioning Christianity as the one and only “American Religion”, but rather, were speaking in general terms about all religions. In the late 1600s through the middle of the 1700s, Anglicanism and Congregationalism were the driving forces in colonial America. Both were derivates of the English Puritan movement and emphasized the Protestant aspect of religion. There were, of course, people of the Jewish faith, some non believers, Native Americans, and others who did not fit the mold that the larger denominations espoused. Still, in the Founding Fathers’ eyes, all were afforded the same protection given them by the First Amendment. As Christianity prospered, other less popular belief systems remained in the shadows as the juggernaut of Christian faith grew wealthy, powerful, and ambitious.

Unfortunately, along with white identity politics, the movement harbors sinister and dehumanizing attributes. Racism, negative gender positions, violence, blind trust in leaders who shouldn’t be trusted, and an “us against them” mentality are part and parcel of the movement. Savvy political operatives like Ron DeSantis, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene (no matter how negative or untruthful) are just a few of those who have tapped into the angst that permeates the Christian Nationalist negative worldview.

Understandably, Donald Trump who has a huge political base associated with his MAGA movement has reaped the most from the Christian Nationalist movement. He has mined the depths of Christian Nationalism to further position himself as a Messiah for those hungry to see their beliefs brought to the national stage. Conspiracy theories, the attack on the Capitol on January 6, and a plethora of unfounded lies and fake news stories can be attributed to Trump’s wooing of the Christian Nationalist movement. As he becomes more and more threatened by the courts as they pursue him on a variety of fronts, Trump’s modus operandi is to further embrace those who would foist their religious views on the rest of the nation; something that will surely lead the nation into dire straits in coming months and years.

At this point it would be useless to point to nations around the world who are actually governed by religious nationalist. Everyone knows the horror that is the Taliban. Their repressive belief system leads to death and defilement of any one, especially women, who dare step out of line and confront their thuggish actions. Iran is another example where people live in fear for their lives as morality police are a constant threat of all who don’t share their brand of religious extremism.

Could Christian Nationalists succeed in gaining sufficient access to the American halls of power to institute a national religion (Christianity)? Would its faithful followers act to subvert the freedoms that are guaranteed by the constitution? In many ways it has begun already. It is important to note that Christian Nationalism is not strictly an evangelical movement although many evangelicals are a part of the crowd. In an article published in Christianity Today titled “Christian Nationalism is Worse than You Think“, the publication’s global media manager Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen sat down with Paul D. Miller, professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, to discuss Christian Nationalism to better define the movement. Miller notes that Christianity is a religion dedicated to worshiping the Christian god. He makes an important distinction, however, when he states,

“Christian Nationalism is a political ideology about American identity. It is a set of policy prescriptions for what the nationalists believe the American government should do. It’s not drawn from the Bible. It draws political theory from secular philosophy and their own version of history as well.” Source

In hindsight, Americans watched as Trump courted evangelicals and other religious leaders as part of his goal of spreading his conservative views to groups around the nation. Christian Nationalists took Trump’s acknowledgment of them as a carte blanche nod to spread the group’s devisive agenda. And it worked frighteningly well. The question is can they be stopped and will America have the wherewithal to say enough is enough? Only time will tell.

Living Large in Carson City: What’s a Liberal to Do?

I believe the Republicans have never thought that democracy was anything but a tribal myth. Hunter S. Thompson

Two speeches in the first week of September perfectly outline the areas of contention between the forces of democracy, and those who would reshape the U. S. government and the Constitution in an image that looks more like fascism everyday. Of course, the two speeches by President Joe Biden and Donald Trump offer a much different worldview of the nation and how the political winds are pushing both sides to the brink of incivility. Biden’s speech came from Philadelphia’s historic Independence Hall on September 1 while Trump chose Wilkes-Barre, Pa on September 3 at a gathering in support of carpetbagger Mehmet Oz, and his bid to win one of the state’s coveted Senate seats. Biden came sounding the alarm that our democracy is in peril and called for a unified front in confronting Trump and his MAGA supporters. Trump came to speak only to his faithful, sowing seeds of distrust and lies that suited his purpose.

Since much of Trump’s psychopathic wailings were mostly in response to what Biden had to say, Biden goes first. Most Americans know that Biden came out swinging by attacking Trump and his MAGA supporters as an aberration never seen in American history. When he stated early on in the speech, “. . . too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal, Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” it was obvious this was going to be a speech to rock the nation. Had Biden stopped there, the speech would still be one for the record books. However, the president had much more to say and hadn’t begun to throw shade on Trump and his freaky band of loyal insurrectionist.

It is important to note, as well, Biden went to great links to distinguish Trump’s MAGA supporters from mainstream Republicans by stating, “Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology.” No, Biden was speaking directly to Trump and the MAGA crowd saying aloud what others have not. The jig was up, and Biden for one would no longer condone the actions of known insurrectionists who think their views are more important and beneficial for the country than sane and honest understanding of the issues. They are wrong, and he was right to say so for the nation to clearly hear and understand.

As is their wont, Trump and his minions were quick to cry foul, calling the speech political, rather than bipartisan. They claim the choice of Independence Hall , and the fact Marine guards stood behind the podium, were indications that the president was using both as a ploy to underscore his message. It was neither. The Republicans are revisionists and seem to forget presidents of their own party that used the military and government buildings as backdrops for their own political messages. Can anyone forget W standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” less than two years after September 11, 2002. In truth, the war was only just beginning. Or how many times in his four years of office did Trump use the White House, the Rose Garden, the Lincoln Memorial, and other sites to promote clearly political messages.

None of those instances compare to what Joe Biden did in Philadelphia . He wasn’t pushing a Democratic stance. Indeed, he seemed incredulous that much of the nation is either ignorant or complicit as to the gravity of what is going on in the nation today.. The only logical path was for him to cut to the quick of the matter and point a finger at the extreme right who are engaged in support of a creeping fascism that threatens the foundation of American democracy. He clearly surprised both the right and the left with his blunt, no nonsense delivery that named Trump and the MAGA Republicans as the culprits who choose conspiracy theories, Trump’s word, and nonsensical claims over truth and common sense. A more succinct way of describing Trump and his followers is in the incredible concept album The Point by Harry Nilsson and the song “The Pointless Man”. The lyrics quote the Rock Man when he says, “The rock man said, ‘Say babe , isn’t nuthin’ pointless about this game. The thing is, you see what you wanna see – and you hear what you wanna hear. You dig?”‘ Many in Trump World are obviously “seeing” the wrong things in America right now.

One reaction from the press deliciously describes what Biden accomplished in his speech. In an Opinion piece for Raw Story titled “No president in my lifetime ever talked about his Republican predecessor like Joe Biden did” , John Stoehr points out the oddity, and importance, of what Biden accomplished in his speech. He begins his commentary with the poignant statement, ” Here’s the important thing about the president’s prime-time address Thursday evening on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. That it happened.” Stoehr continues by beginning several of his paragraphs leading into the points he makes with the refrain, “No Democratic president has ever, in my lifetime . . .”

  • . . . talked about a former GOP president the way Joe Biden did,
  • . . . questioned publicly the elemental patriotism of a former Republican president and his followers.
  • . . . identified the people’s enemy in the course of being the people’s partisan.

He then lays out Biden’s reasoning in his own summation of the speech writing, “In my view, last night’s speech was the BFD of BFDs.”

There is a simple reason why Biden did what he did, and one that some Trump and his MAGA acolytes cannot seem to grasp or refuse to acknowledge. America has never had a president like Donald J. Trump. The other 45 presidents for the most part acted with dignity and honor that the office demands. Sure, there have been exceptions, Nixon and Clinton come to mind, however, no American president was a known serial liar, grifter, misogynist, insurrectionist, twice impeached, or who defaced America’s standing at home and abroad like he has and continues to do. Biden was right to call him and the MAGA horde out for what they are: People who do not love this country and want to tear it down for their own selfish reasons jeopardize the very foundations of our republic. It is Biden’s job to call out those who would do so in as harsh and forceful a manner as possible. It’s called tough love.

Then there was Trump’s speech in Wilkes-Barre, PA with a decidedly darker and more insular tone. The speech ran two hours with little new revealed by Trump as he sang a false tune of danger and foreboding. It was only in the last six minutes when maudlin music filled the arena and his voice turned into a sing song lilt that things got interesting. Much like a greatest hits revival tour, Trump bashed everyone who he feels has not kissed the ring and backed his falsehoods and conspiracies.

This was the first time Trump spoke since the FBI served a search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago compound, so of course, they were the first to be criticized. He claims Democrats weaponized law enforcement “like never before” before claiming the FBI does not pursue “election facts” that tend to reside only in his mind. The Department of Justice in his view either condones or allows “egregious acts of voting irregularities and fraud”. His next statement is actually ironic when he said America has a president who is “cognitively impaired, and everyone knows it.” This is a point in his dirge that one realizes that maybe continuing is a waste of time. He goes on to touch on all of the hot button items that MAGA Republicans eat up like candy: China, Iran, free speech, the press is the enemy of the people, blah, blah, blah . . .

The gist of the speech’s ending is that compared to Biden’s speech Trump has nothing new to offer. While Biden’s speech might be seen as a bit caustic, Trump’s speech confirmed what the current president was trying to get across: Trump and MAGA republicans want to tear down our government and Constitution to uphold their falsehoods, grift, and the deeply held vision that America is doomed unless people turn to him as their savior. Biden put a wedge in that argument by calling out Trump and the MAGA crowd, but at the same time, acknowledging that not all Republicans are Trump Republicans. No one can say what the future holds for Donald Trump, but it is a good bet he won’t be winning over the minds and hearts of true Americans and patriots any time soon.

Living Large in Carson City: What’s a Liberal to do?

The mind of America is seized by a fatal dry rot – and it’s only a question of time before all that the mind controls will run amuck in a frenzy of stupid, impotent fear. Hunter S. Thompson

Is there anyone in the United States who can say with a straight face that the old adage, “. . . going to hell in a handbasket” doesn’t apply to the nation’s current zeitgeist? In today’s climate of snark, vitriol, and pandering to the extreme segments of society, it would be well to remember where the term supposedly originated. “The origin of the phrase ‘hell in a handbasket’ can be found in the practice of capturing the heads of guillotine victims in a basket, with the presumption being that these criminals would be going straight to hell for their crimes.” Harsh words, but realistically in light of the state of American democracy, who can deny it?

In the last decade, along with the respect for fellow citizens, the reins of government slipped from the hands of legislators, judges, and the president into the hands of those who would steer the country to achieve their own personal agendas. In a recent commentary posted on the political blog Rawstory.com, noted political pundit, Thom Hartmann, opens his article stating, “Now it’s official. Twenty-seven men run this country.” Hartmann rightfully points the finger at the boneheaded move by the Supreme Court a decade ago that gave legal status to Citizen’s United. The decision literally allowed unrestricted dark money from corporations and individuals to funnel cash into the political arena.

The result is seen in the partisanship that grips the three bodies of government. Where there once was a chance of bipartisan cooperation across the aisles of Congress, those days are long gone. Rabid partisanship is the rule not the exception. Extreme conservatism and unbridled liberalism butt heads on a daily basis. Those caught in the middle, vote not their conscious, but line up like sheep to support the political party who put them in a position of power. Courts are packed with judges who feel legislating from the bench is their right, regardless of what the Constitution says or intended by the Founding Fathers. The presidency is little more than a glorified empty seat of power. Presidents are no longer respected, but ridiculed, reviled, and hated by the opposition party both at home and abroad.

It is little wonder that the mood of the country reflects this contentious climate in towns and cities across the nation. America is more polarized now than at any time since the Civil War. Local city council and school board meetings are ground zero battlegrounds pitting citizens against one another on topics ranging from religion, gender issues, civil rights, and how and what students read or are taught in the classroom. Issues that once lounged in the shadow of the Constitution’s protection are now flashpoints that pit neighbors, friends, and families against one another with victory at any cost the only acceptable outcome.

Both on the national and local levels, vitriol that takes the form of personal attacks is all too common. Shaming one’s opponents is the tool often used in today’s climate of discord. No one should be surprised by this turn of events. Shaming has a long and unhealthy place in America’s history books. Like many forms of control, shaming others is often the bailiwick of those in power whether it be politically, economically, or socially. From debtor’s prisons to the stocks on public squares to dunce caps in schools, America used shame as a corrective tool against those opposed to the goals of the powerful. Today is no different. While a crude and unflattering example of humankind’s insensitivity, shaming is an effective and efficient manner of alienating blocks of people who do not fit into the expectations of what the powerful want curtailed or controlled.

Shaming is tied to fear and guilt. White Nationalists fear losing their place in America’s rapidly changing demographics which places their position of authority in numbers at risk. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this when he stated, “The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.” King’s words play out time after time when Donald Trump holds a rally. His Make America Great Again (MAGA) campaign is at its roots nothing less than a call to arms of those who identify with his belief that those who oppose him are worthy of nothing less than shame and condemnation. The MAGA phenomenon as crude and unseemly as it is, at its core, is understandable on some levels. These are frightened people unsure of their place in an ever-evolving society. They point fingers and condemn those who would work for change and social justice.

While they could be seen as pitiable on some level, in Trump, they found a sounding board that plays into their false beliefs and supports the fear of victimhood that permeates the movement. They are literally held up as the true America by Trump’s rhetoric and feed on a steady diet of claims like the Democrats are a combination of socialist, Antifa radicals, pedophile devils, and malcontents who are attacking the very foundation the America they believe they are protecting. The sheer hyperbole of these beliefs is reason enough to question the motives and connection to realty that the MAGA supporters harbor. Regardless, they feel justified in finger pointing to assuage their sense of persecution and estrangement from an increasingly fragmented American society. They think they are being shut out of the national dialogue conveniently overlooking their pro-violence, white supremist, and fascist/authoritarian mindsets which goes contrary to the Constitution and American civility.

When trying to understand the roots of the current climate of shame afoot in American society, MAGA supporters are the go-to low hanging fruit of those who would use shame as a tool to ridicule opponents. Their acts to preserve their place in American society are often deadly comical and certainly contrary to democratic thinking. Yet, they are widely seen as the torch bearers from everything from Stop the Steal to the January 6 insurrection played out on the grounds of the national capital. In a opinion piece published by Salon, Michael Gueldry writes of the roots of the MAGA movement stating:

“What we might call the Great Demolition plot includes establishing a corporate oligarchy, a neo-feudalist regime based on long-term minoritarian rule and a malevolent pseudo-Christian theocracy undergirded by state thuggery and social authoritarianism, all of it infused with an incoherent ideological blend of anarchic libertarianism (on guns and most forms of regulation) and fascistic nightmare (white supremacy, antisemitism and numerous grades of conspiracy theory). Salon

As stated above, MAGA followers are the low hanging fruit, simply because the amount of press they receive from conservative media outlets and from politicians trying to appease the former guy in hope of winning his backing. The truth is there is more than enough to blame in the dumbing down and caustic atmosphere that grips the nation. Liberal and conservative Democrats deserve just as much blame in fanning the fires of dissension as their conservative and radical Republican counterparts. To heal this rift in American politics and society, the tenor of our national debates must evolve to a more civil and constructive discourse in which Americans discuss the big issues that affect daily life. In today’s contentious climate of accusations and counter accusations from all sides, the outlook can only be seen as bleak and depressing at best.

Living Large in Carson City: What’s a Liberal to Do?

“Misinformation is a virus unto itself.”
― Brianna Keilar

In 2015 the arrival of Donald Trump on the political landscape seemed like a gift from the journalism gods. Here was a man with few filters and many delightfully bizarre and disturbing incidents in his past. The prospect of lampooning him grew like a festering boil on the pan head of every liberal/progressive who could string three sentences together in anything resembling a coherent thought. And did he deliver.

Trump’s win in 2016 gave America an unprepared, under educated, and amoral president with little or no interest in improving the lives of average Americans. Indeed, his modus operandi was antithetical to actions of most who served before him. From the beginning, Trump was a hot mess spread on a thin veneer of questionable success based mainly on his own statements highlighting his shady real estate career, success as a television reality show host, and by the support of those who willfully sold their souls to him for their own personal self-aggrandizement. From the time he took office to the time he left the White House shrouded in a grifter’s stew of lies, falsehoods, and shady dealings behind the scenes, he proved to be a flimflam artist on every level. He is and was a shameful man child with little recognition of anything that approximated the qualities of a competent leader or the truth.  

Those heady days are gone along with America’s collective shock of what Trump and his associates really had in store for the country. As much as he was a bumbling, inept clown, his actions will have reverberations that last far longer than the memory of his criminality, or the surprise of just how much damage he sought to cause in his persistent attempts to hang on to the nation’s highest office. Yet, the die is cast, and the country has to come to grips with how to deal with it all.

As Americans saw recently with the actions of the Supreme Court, Trump crafted an extreme right-wing majority of likeminded justices that are wasting no time implementing their white, evangelical nationalism on the rest of the populace. With the overruling of Roe vs Wade, the court demonstrated how the conservative Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett are willing to steer the nation against the will of the American people. In the days following the demise of Roe vs Wade, the Court issued rulings that struck down a gun control law in New York state, and weakened the wall between church and state by sanctioning prayer on school grounds. Restricting the EPA’s ability to monitor and fight climate change was simply icing on the cake. And this is just the beginning.

It is hard to believe that the emotionally and intellectually challenged former president even understood the effect his actions would produce. It is even harder to believe that he cared. Appointing three radical personalities to the high court is a politically expedient act meant to throw red meat to his crazed followers to shore up their support. Still, while expected, the sweeping rulings by the court and the breadth of their impact on American society caught many off guard.

As bad as these early rulings are, they portend even more egregious decisions in the offing. Gay rights, gay marriage, eliminating contraceptive rights, immigration restrictions, race in college admissions, voting rights, and of course, free speech are all in the crosshairs in next year’s Supreme Court docket. To use a crass overstatement, the court has become the ultra-right’s lurid wet dream. The possibilities are far reaching and frightening. The next year will be crucial to the continuance of our democracy.

Why the urgency? Americans have to awaken to the fact that the Republican Party no longer supports the will of the people. They are the party of big business, the one percent, and are rapidly becoming the party of white nationalists, rabid evangelicals, and power-hungry insurrectionists willing to sell the nation out to fulfill their unpatriotic agenda. It is necessary to point out that the few sane Republicans left in the party’s ranks have been duped into believing that America is not great, and Trump has the answer to the ills facing the nation. He doesn’t, and therein lies the rub.

A steady diet of Fox News, slanted conservative talking points, and a fear of becoming irrelevant in the face of growing numbers of brown skinned people has the MAGA crowd peeing their pants and closing their ears to the truth. The Republican Party has been playing the long game from at least the point when the Supreme Court gave George W. Bush the presidency despite Al Gore winning the popular vote. The decision highlighted the need to scrap the Electoral College in lieu of using the popular vote as a barometer of where the nation’s consensus lay. Despite Barack Obama’s eight years in office, Congress skewed right setting the stage for Mitch Mc Connell’s crusade to pack the court with conservative judges to set up the current state of affairs America finds itself in today.

This is why the next year will be so crucial. Given the Court’s actions over the past month, Americans can expect more of their rights trampled upon and severely restricted. Conservatives know the actions of the court will bring on an onslaught of dissention among liberals and moderates. Still, expect the court to act in flagrant disregard of the will of the people. They believe that if they can pass crippling voting rights restrictions, shore up the states’ abilities to question election results, and marginalize entire blocs of voters, they will have gained control of the government despite the Democrats being in charge of both chambers of Congress.

Yet, conservatives understand their playbook is little more than a governmental game of chicken; a game they have to win next year. Conservatives know they are walking a slippery slope. The justices have one shot at reconstructing America’s democratic process. A half-hearted attempt in 2023 to legislate by judicial decree would place them in an untenable position. Liberals and moderates would rise up and punish them at the ballot box in 2024. Republicans are playing for all the marbles in this game, and they are playing to win. Anything less than a tumultuous year of judicial decrees further cementing them into power would be unthinkable. Expect the fireworks to begin on October 3 of this year when the 2023 Supreme Court begins their deliberations in reshaping America in their image. It will be interesting if not pretty.

Living Large In Carson City: Democracy on the Line Edition

“My life before him was so simple and decided, now after him…It’s just…After.” ― Anna Todd

I ran across the quote above and got to thinking: What was it like not having Donald Trump plastered across the media world when life was simpler and more rational and sane. The first time I really paid attention to Trump was when he made that long escalator ride down with Melania in Trump Tower to announce his presidential candidacy. They were still holding hands back then, and Americans had never heard her utter, “Give me a fucking break.” Five years later, things have changed.

I can barely remember the feeling of knowing Barrack Obama was sitting in the White House, and all was relatively well in the country. Where did those times go? Now, all I have are memories of those days. After five years of scandals, pandemic, lies, distortions, Bill Barr, and the corrupt Republican Party even those memories seem surreal. Merle Haggard sang a song with this line, “Let’s stop rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell” which seems fitting in the age of Trump and his wild grifting philosophy.

Frankly, I am frightened. Frightened because Trump might win. Frightened Trump might lose but disavow the election results. Frightened because there is an element of American society that is so butt fuck stupid that they support this monster, even unto taking up arms against the Constitution, our American way of life, and all that entails. Frightened of the prospect of innocent people being killed in the streets because of their belief that we do in deed live in a free and democratic society. Frightened that if the election is contested in the courts and it winds up in the Supreme Court, conservatives will once again steal the election regardless of the impact it has on our society.

I want to believe that I’m just being foolish and believe it couldn’t happen in our country. I thought something like that when Bush vs Gore went to the Court. I remember the night of November 3, 2016 when the results came in and Trump was declared the winner early on in the evening. It never occurred to me that as bad as we knew Trump was in the beginning that he would progressively become worse and worse until our country no longer resembles the country we lived in under Barrack Obama.

I am ashamed, dishearten, and sickened by the fact that America, once the mightiest and most revered country on the planet, is now little more than a laughingstock on the world stage. It breaks my heart that because of Trump’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 virus that 226,500 Americans are dead with just under nine million cases confirmed in the United States. I am depressed that an equal number of deaths are on the horizon.

Most of all, I feel helpless. Helpless that there isn’t anything tangible that I can do about it other than vote. I despair that my vote and the vote of those who feel and believe the way I do might not be enough to stop the madness before the nation is consumed. I feel helpless I like so many others have lost hope in this time when hope is so badly needed. I want to believe that the evening of November 3 will return a favorable decision for the freedom and sustainability of our Republic. Yet, the abyss of shame I feel for not believing in the good of the American people and the centuries old process might not be enough.

I know that many of you will tell me to buck up, think positively, and keep the faith. I wish I could tell you I do. Yet, looking back over the past four years, it hard to lift my thoughts up to combat the constant stream of lies, abuse, and general disregard of basic decency that this administration seems to embrace as normal. Maybe, we should have seen this coming. Maybe, but honestly, if someone had told me that we would be in this position two nights before and election that could be the end of the America we’ve known all of our lives, I would have laughed in their face. Such is the nature of evil.

The type of world we live in on November 4 (or when ever we find out the outcome of the election) depends so much on the whims of fate. What we will have to live with regardless of who wins is going to be a new day for America. If it’s Trump, well, I will let you fill in your own vision of the future. If it is Joe Biden, we will have to come to grips that there is so much wrong with our America. Things we’ve too long swept under the rug. The fact that I am writing this, and I know you know the feeling, means that our democracy is in peril. How to heal the rift between Republicans, conservatives in general, Evangelicals, and a laundry list of repressive factions who thought it wise to align themselves with a fascist dictator wanna’ be will be daunting.

The clock is ticking. Today is Monday, November 2, less than twenty hours before the vote begins. So many questions are on the table with so many answers on the horizon. It’s hard to put on my happy face and look the future in the eye. Yet, deep down inside me, I want to believe the madness is coming to an end that Biden and Harris will overcome the flood of lies and adversities to prevail. Yet, something in me knows that Donald Trump is still playing his long game, still grifting, still looking for the big score. A score, I fear, America can’t afford.

Living Large In Carson City: The OMG What Just Happened Edition


“I truly believe I am not afraid of death. What I shrink from, I believe, is the shame of dying as stupid and befuddled as I am.”
― J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

Okay, here is an informal poll for undecided voters in the upcoming presidential election who watched the first debate Tuesday night September 29:

Question 1:

What part of crazy did Donald J. Trump not exhibit in the first debate September 29?

a. Public masturbation

b. Screeching like a wild banshee

C. Lying in an apoplectic manner

d. Committing repeated acts of boorish behavior and acting like an ass

Caveat: If you said a you are correct although we don’t know what those tiny hands were doing behind the lectern.

Question 2:

Donald J. Trump came off as

a. Sick puppy

b. Yellowish green slimy slug

c. An angry puffer fish

d. All the above

Question 3:

As an undecided voter, Trump’s performance prompted them to

a. Blow chunks of their dinner across the living room

b. Run screaming to the Biden camp

c. Look around with a quizzical look on their faces wondering if they had

wandered into the Coney Island Fun House rather than the debate venue

d. Go violently berserk and start grabbing pussies with abandon

Question 4:

What hidden talent did Trump reveal over the course of the debate?

a. His ability to hold a one-man debate while others looked on

b. A penchant for stomping on little Chris Wallace like a bug scuttling across the stage

c. The truly amazing talent of protruding his lower lip well beyond the length of his beak like nose

d. Alternating snorting and puffing out his cheeks like a puffer fish (see question 2 above)

Question 5:

What one word sums up Trump’s performance Tuesday evening?

a. Bizzare

b. Putinish

c. Buttholerly

d. Skanky

What major lesson did the world take away from the debate?

a. America is a land of racist twits not worthy to lick the bootheels of the other industrialized nations

b. Republicans are jerks and assholes

c. No head of state should be extending invitations for visitations in their home country or in the United States

d. There is a very special kind of craziness at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C.

After you finish, please delete this message and put on your seatbelts, there are two more debates to go. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster protect us. We are fucked.

Living Large In Carson City: The Long Play Edition

“We will bury you!”

Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev 1956

For the past two weeks, I have experienced writer’s block like no other time in my writing career. My first attempt was about Trump’s abysmal response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and his increasingly bizarre reaction (or non-reaction) to the disease that has  killed 170,000 plus American citizens. After that, I tried to write about his, again, abysmal reaction (or non-reaction) to the controversy over protests across the nation calling for deep changes in the way America views race, hate, and politics. He has dropped all pretense that he is not a racist son of a bitch and is not worthy to comment on a movement that he is ill equipped to handle or understand.

Next, up popped his dunderhead denials of the New York Times revelations of Russia paying bounties for Afghan fighters to kill American soldiers. Now, if today’s headlines are true, so has Iran.  Always angry, always mean spirited, always divisive, the man is literally a walking advertisement for everything that is not America. Now, it’s an all out assault on the Post Office. Sadly, he can’t even lie that he is actually doing something to help America. No, he openly admits his actions are meant to help sway the election in November in his favor by crippling mail in voting by states.

When Trump first came up with the slogan, Make America Great Again, many Americans scoffed thinking America was great already. No need to make it great – again. Three and a half years later how things have changed. Under Mad King Donnie the once greatness of the nation has slipped and spun into near oblivion. Who knew he was speaking prophetically? He fans the flames of racial prejudice, ignorance, white power, hatred, and more. Trump has done only one thing perfectly. He expanded, nurtured, and embraced the swamp he promised to drain.

But back to Americans. When in our history have we ever been more divided. The Civil War, maybe, but has all that much changed. White Americans seem not to know the meaning of irony. Everyday a new revelation of white people acting badly spouting racial slurs, committing acts of white privilege, and holding ideas that make normal white people wish they had been born anywhere but here. Maybe in this age of über news coverage,  both real and fake, white people haven’t caught on to the fact when they say something ill advised chances are someone has a phone pointed at them and is recording their indelicate moment for all the world to see.

There is a lot of speculation out there about just what is Trump trying to do in his insane rants, bizarre stances, and unorthodox approach to the campaign, especially with his own base. One theory is he is trying to sabotage his own election chances.  The less than reliable Tucker Carlson said as much on the air recently. His theory, and that of others, states that Trump can see the writing on the wall, and rather than come up a loser, he can make things look so bad for himself, he will throw up his hands and call the election twisted and corrupt and walk away a “winner” (or whiner). Longtime New Yorker, Donnie Deutsch, has known Trump for decades. He agrees with Carlson that as schizoid as it sounds that Trump will walk away to keep from being seen as a loser. Or he continues to alienate voters from both parties while hanging onto his basket of deplorables, some of whom, are violent, white nationalist and racist who will rise up and declare Trump the true authoritarian he aspires to be.

Then there are the scary neo-Nazi anarchists who actively seek the destruction of our democratic society. Groups like  the Base and Atomwaffen Division are not simply wanna’ be bad boys, but active groups that are recruiting mostly young white men to prepare for a race war they wholeheartedly embrace. There is no evidence these ultra whack jobs support Trump, but it is not beyond believable that they would welcome a break down in societal rules to step into the breach and exacerbate any conflict Trump’s whack jobs might promulgate at the behest of the Mad King Donald. Regardless, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators continue to show up at white supremacists rallies where the supremacists are armed to the teeth, one has to wonder when the day will come when some hot headed knuckle dragger simply draws down and starts blasting away at the other side. And, sorrowfully, it will happen.

Now, Joe Biden has made his choice for vice president, Kamala Harris, and the world is in a tizzy. Democrats are ecstatic, gushing with pride and an excessive abundance of hope and expectations of great things to come. For all of his craziness and vile personality traits, either Trump has some very smart people in his campaign headquarters or is, himself, a master politician. Overnight, he came up with plans to counter the online Democratic convention with barnstorming tours  across the nation to coincide with the Democrats and their machinations of the nominating process. Those tour stops have done little to stymie the Democrats to date, but you have to give him credit for making the effort.

With seventy odds days to the election, Trump has pulled out all of the stops. His latest ploy is, as mentioned above, is attempting to dismantle the United States Postal Service in the name of cuts to neuter one of the most important tools of our democracy. The Trump administration knows if mail-in ballots were to be cast and counted on time that his days of wrecking our democracy are over. The acting Postmaster General just yesterday claimed that no cuts to the agency will be put into effect until January next year after the election is over and counted. Yet, in reality, no one believes that Republicans will sit still and let the post office do its job. There is too much at stake like the death of the administration, and hopefully, a slew of Trump supporting Republicans losing their jobs.

The 500 pound gorilla in the closet is Russia. This week the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee released its findings on the depth of Russia interference and collusion of the Trump administration then campaign 2016. Their damning conclusions were that, yes, Russia and members of Trump’s team routinely shared information with Russian contacts (and vice versa) to help Trump win the 2016 election. And it hasn’t stopped. New information indicates that Russia is doing all they can to ensure Biden is defeated and Trump remains in office.

I vividly remember back in 1956 watching the evening news and seeing Nikita Khrushchev bellowing from a podium in Moscow as he addressed Western diplomats saying “We will bury you.” Actually, his quote was much more telling. What he said was, “whether you like it or not, history is on our side, we dig you in.” With Trump in office acting like the quintessential Manchurian Candidate, who knows, maybe Old Nikita’s words were not just a bombastic threat, but a long term play that is now coming to fruition.

Living Large In Carson City: When America Faces The Present Edition

“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools,

and those who dare not, are slaves.” Lord Byron

Well, it’s finally happened. America has gone to hell in a handbasket. Seriously, Trump has had to briefly retreat behind the wall he finally built – but around the White House. He continually skulks about like a demented little dwarf king whose most important task is to stamp his tiny feet and wail at his underlings and perceived enemies. The military is denouncing the president as unhinged and incapable of ruling America. He falters down a ramp and needs to hold a glass with two hands to drink water. Americans have taken to the streets to protest the murder of a black man whose most salient crime was being black in America. Even staunch Republicans are beginning to see that their support of Mad King Donald is about to bite them in the ass come November. Some are desperately looking for any way out of the web they spun and now find themselves mired in up to their eyeballs. And, of course, the Pandemic moves on behind the scenes at open beaches, restaurants. protest marches, and thurches across the nation.

One could argue that those mentioned above would inevitably turn on Trump simply out of self preservation. The military brass know that to follow illegal orders from the president would still be following illegal orders, making them complicit in any aftermath that would arise. Treason is not out of the realm of possibility if Trump demands something outside Constitutional parameters like using the military against American protestors. Republicans have to see that their chance of governing on any meaningful level is slowly being eroded as Trump’s poll numbers sink, and their reputations, suchs as they are, along with sagging numbers are at risk. These people exist on a plateau that the common American have no understanding of other than the fact we live in a double-standard universe where power is everything and not having it makes one irrelevant.

The crazy times we live in cannot be totally laid at the foot of the fence surrounding 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Average Americans are turning up in droves spouting racial epithets, supporting well-known racist dog whistles, and the police have gone bat shit crazy as they try to control peaceful protests with tactics that are anything but peaceful. Old white women seem to have a special propensity toward outright outlandish behavior. It is as if a Trump rally has metastasized and spilled out thousands of rabid, froth spewing demonoids onto the public landscape with marching order to make complete fools of themselves. I am not naive. I’ve lived in the deep south and East Texas. But really, where are these people coming from, and what reason do they have to live?

The thing that really startles me is the audacity that people exhibit when they make rude racists statements to people who are actually filming them. They know they are being filmed. They must know on some level that their faces and actions will soon be burning up the internet as their bigotry goes viral. Yet, not a day goes by that a legion of offenses are pasted across the news cycle of dumb-ass crackers acting, well, like dumb-ass crackers. It is more than a little disgusting and somewhat frightening to see these incidents play out in real time. What are they thinking?

But, therein lies the rub, they aren’t thinking. They simply feel emboldened to be who they always were under the cover of their white neighborhoods, churches, and fraternal police organizations. Of course, much of their new found freedom to proudly fly their freak flags can be traced back to Trump and his own racism, hatred, and white privilege. America can no longer laugh at Trump’s narcissistic acts of exclusion. Sure, we have all had a fine old time pointing out Mad King Donald’s lack of filters when it comes to dealing with issues of importance. It was funny for a couple of weeks, but here’s the thing. Three and a half years in, Trump is pushing his agenda of divisive hatred and racism more and more each day he sits in the chair of the presidency. He’s only getting started.

Okay, people can be obtuse and do ignorant things without thinking. Your average non-thinking American, especially white Americans with a sense of privilege, simply believe it is their right to lord their “specialness” over people of color or those less fortunate. But it is not just non-thinking Americans, more and more we see police officers doing much the same thing with the added threat that they are armed and prone to violence. Seeing the protestors subjected to mindless vicious attacks by the people who are supposed to be protecting them is simply unconscionable. Yet, America sees it over and over again on cable television as if this is a new normal we all have to accept or be drawn in to the violence and are condemned for standing up for what is right.

Does anyone really care what Meghan McCain says on The Voice? Does it matter that Tucker Carlson, a known provocateur, spouts idiocy and lies nightly on Fox News? Who wants to watch another second of Kellyanne Conway sniping away at Chris Cuomo on CNN? Or god forbid, anyone having to sit through another dreadful press conference by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. The worst case scenario is seeing Trump seated at a long conference table with Mike Pence peeing his pants as he fawns over the supreme leader telling him what a great job he is doing for Christian values and white bigoted racists from bumfuck middle America and beyond.

And so it goes. Where it will stop, literally, no one knows. While Trump’s poll numbers are in the tank, there is no guarantee that he will not pull some crazy shit like, oh I don’t know, allowing Russia to steal the election for him. He’s done it before. Why stop now? This is the state of America as it stands today. Come November, there is no guarantee he will willing vacate the White House if he loses without calling on his goon squads, white supremacists, crazy old white women, and let’s not forget, the indubitably  rancorous basket of deplorables to take up arms and secure the government for him. He is that batshit crazy.

No place is immune in the country from the lunacy spreading across the nation. I live in a relatively small city in Nevada. Normally, Carson City is a happy, energetic place where the dregs of the old west makes reality a little bit bigger than life. There is an online chat group called something like Neighbors where people can post notes like Stray Dog Seen Running Free on Sierra Drive!!!. Or Firewood Available contact Earl. For the most part, it is a Mayberryesque existence were the only real excitement is when a herd of female deer and fawns happen to run into a band of young bucks on the backstreets of the neighborhoods. The excitement is breath-taking, but no real controversy.

Earlier this week, someone posted something to the effect of why is the only thing covered on the news shows about racism? The poster was tired of having to watch protestors making a commotion about racism. Of course, it devolved into a two-sided argument. On one side, there are the “neighbors” who have lived here all their lives and never saw a racist act. One person even said, I swear, that (and I paraphrase) there were 20 black families according to county records in Carson and they live, worship and gamble in our midst and never cause a problem. What scares me is in their postulating on racism, they are tone deaf to the fact that their comments are – racist. The rest of us who have lived elsewhere and have different life experiences can only shake our heads and wonder when will it ever stop.

Wackadoodle of the Week

Really?

Megachurch pastor tries to rebrand ‘white privilege’ as ‘white blessing’ gifted from slavery

 

Living Large In Carson City: It’s My Party/ I’ll Lie If I Want To Edition

“The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside.”—Sam Vaknin

It must be difficult being Donald J. Trump. Gifted a life of leisure and privilege, at the age of eight, he along with his four siblings and three of his father’s grandchildren were the recipients of a one million dollar trust fund which in today’s currency rate would equal four times the original bequest. Puffed up, proud beyond mere mortal’s imaginations, it is safe to say life has come easy to the Mad Don.

Yet, at the pinnacle of what most normal human beings would think the accomplishment of a lifetime, he sees only insults, threats, and effrontery at every turn. The man is not capable of normal human reaction to anything that the rest of us demonstrate as second nature.

A case in point is Twitter’s reaction to his well-known tendency to stretch the truth, if not outright prevaricate, by taking the unprecedented step of adding a Fact Check label to the president’s Tweets. Readers can now see the truth behind the lies he sends hurtling through the social media atmosphere. Not unexpected, his reaction was swift and unhinged as usual and totally beyond his limited power as president of the United States. What part of the Constitution does he think gives him the right to shut down private sector businesses because they want to offer the public the truth. It baffles the mind.

His response to the public’s reaction to his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is even more telling. Gabe Sherman in his column for Vanity Fair pulls off what little clothes the emperor had left on his body when he reported about Trump’s outrage at the effect the coronavirus has had on (wait for it) . . . him.

As he headed into Memorial Day weekend, Donald Trump complained that he was COVID-19’s biggest victim. “He was just in a fucking rage,” said a person who spoke with Trump late last week. “He was saying, ‘This is so unfair to me! Everything was going great. We were cruising to reelection!” Even as the death toll neared 100,000 and unemployment ranks swelled to over 38 million, Trump couldn’t see the pandemic as anything other than something that had happened to him. Vanity Fair

Forget the 100, 000 dead Americans. Forget the deep dive depression that the country is almost comically slipping into day by day. Forget any semblance of probity or self-awareness. Forget all of that because under this president fragile ego, it is all about him. Screw the rest of the world.

For Trump it is all about someone else that he can harangue and blame for his own shortcomings. He accused the Obama administration of leaving the country in the lurch by not preparing his administration with a pandemic game plan. Of course, he overlooked the sixty-nine page Obama Pandemic Playbook the former administration left behind. Not to be bogged down with the truth, in recent days he has focused his ridicule on among others like Joe Biden for wearing a mask to protect those who he comes in contact with while out in public. Something, Trump feels would somehow diminish his own manliness if his basket of deplorables saw him out about the country sporting a lifesaving mask.

A particularly attractive target recently has been MSNBC morning talk show host, Joe Scarborough. Mad Dog Donald has seized upon a tragic occurrence that happened nineteen years ago when a young woman, who worked in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach office when he was a congressman, fell after suffering a medical emergency and died when she passed out and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough’s office. Trump has repeatedly called for the “cold case” to be reopened and Scarborough’s involvement in the death be investigated. CNN explains it this way,

None of this is, of course, true. Trump is referring to the death of a woman named Lori Klausutis 19 years ago. As The Washington Post reported back in 2017 (when Trump first started making these unfounded allegations against Scarborough):

“Authorities determined 16 years ago that she died after losing consciousness from an abnormal heart rhythm and collapsed, striking her head. She was discovered in Scarborough’s office in Fort Walton Beach, lying on her back with her head near a desk, according to a 2001 police report.” CNN

While Scarborough is a player on the political front and can take what is thrown at him, Trump hasn’t given a second thought to the Klausutis family or the painful memories he dredges up every time he brings up the subject. This is typical Trump’s insensitivity on display once again as America has come to expect. It is savage fake ploy to attempt to turn the nation’s attention away from his failed presidency, and most recently, his dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

These are only a few of a swarm of recent examples that could be pointed out that define Donald Trump as a consummate liar, bully, grifter, and a small minded thug whose only goal in life is to uplift his own personae at the expense of others. As his poll numbers continue to slide, there is no guarantee that he will alter his ways in the hope that turning over a new leaf will make him look more desirable. This is a concept that has no relevance to Mad Donny. Why should he change? In his mind he is, to borrow a phrase from the Matrix movies, “THE ONE”. This is the only constant that he has taught America over the last three and a half years. Not that he is the one, but that he bleieves it.

It must be difficult to be Donald J. Trump. As he sees the love and respect he has for himself being tarnished at the hands of scientists, the legitimate news media, scholars, historians, and legal minds across the nation, his zone of comfort has to be shrinking every day. His claim of being “a most stable genius” has to be taking some serious shots to both his ego and his belief in himself. Why doesn’t America not love him for the superman that he is? Why do so many in the country work to tear him down and question his honesty? Why can’t the average American see the brilliance of his presence at the helm of our democracy even when he does everything he can do to bring it down at the aggrandizement of his own twisted myth he believes about himself?

At this point, any attempt to understand the president is a moot point. The only thing that matters is the election coming up in November. An election that in no way is decided at this point. With Russian interference, his basket of gun totting followers, the pandemic, his attack on mail in voting, and a packed judicial branch he and Mitch McConnell have constructed, all bets are off.

Wackodoodle of the Week

This week there was no doubt:

Woman with a hammer

Living Large In Carson City: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming Edition

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of ev’rything that stands
                    The end   The Doors 

Okay, so I am not as pessimistic as Jim Morrison and his fanciful cohorts of the LA music scene, but I will confess to having a certain number of questions about just what the hell is going on in the country. The pandemic is, of course, skewing reality into totalling uncharted waters with no end in sight. Trump is said to be considering winding down the coronavirus task force while the death toll is inching its way to 80,000 deaths. Now, Axos reports Trump and some senior administration officials are questioning whether those fatality numbers are accurate. They maintain the numbers are smaller while health officials believe the 80,000 deaths is probably much lower than it should be.

Now, America finds out that Trump is not only an inept commander in chief but totally lacks the interest needed to do his job. Who’s in charge one might ask? Knowing the president’s lack of trust in anyone but his closely knit family, the obvious choice (and one not too surprising) is son-in-law Jared Kushner. In an article in GQ titled “Jared Kushner Is the “De Facto President of the United States”, Luke Darby quoted Gabriel Sherman  from a story for Vanity Fair  who stated, 

“Jared is running everything. He’s the de facto president of the United States,” a former White House official told me. The previous chief of staff John Kelly, who’d marginalized Kushner, was long gone, and Mick Mulvaney, a virtual lame duck by that point, let Kushner run free. “Jared treats Mick like the help,” a prominent Republican said. GQ

Kushner was the guy who was going to bring peace to the Middle East and took up the mantel as savior of America from the pandemic crisis. Neither happened. On peace in the Middle East, he was widely criticized as little more than a dilettante with no experience and few ideas. The extent of his mishandling of the virus supply chain is still being investigated, but it is safe to say that his cadre of frat boy gofers at his leadership bungled everything while helping out people who Kushner favored. Did anyone vote for Kushner for president?

Recently, Trump barred Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases from testifying before House panels investigating the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic saying, “The House is set up. The House is a bunch of Trump Haters.” Instead, Fauci will testify in the more friendly Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Trump went on to say no corona task force members will appear before the House without the permission of newly installed House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Considering the Constitution sets up the House as one of the important oversight entities that is meant to rein in out of control executive branch actions, it begs the question, “Who will?” Mitch McConnell? I don’t think so.

Today, word came that Fauci and two other prominent doctors from the coronavirus task force have been exposed to someone who had the virus and will be in self quarantine for the next two weeks. Yesterday, the administration revealed that Stephen Millers wife has been tested positive for the virus. This is important because she is the vice president’s press secretary.  Also, one of Trump’s valets also tested positive. Part of his duties was serving the president his meals. So, now, the virus has entered the inner sanctum of the White House, a virus that Trump said would magically go away with a few days back at the beginning. California marks week eight of the original stay at home order. And so it goes.

Trump’s earlier call to shut down the coronavirus task force received such a public outcry that Trump saw a chance to use its popularity and now says the task force will transform into guiding the nation back to work. Germany, South Korea and China have what appears to be a second wave of confirmed cases of the virus as they too have tried to reopen their economy. It would be nice to have someone in the president’s chair who did not cater to the forces of capitalism and big corporation that are surely going to make things worse, but rather, listens to health experts and what can be see as proof rather than speculation.

The one thing that is becoming clearer as each day passes is that the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic has been bungled from the get go. His inability to grasp the seriousness of the problem has been breathtaking. His administration is made up of mindless sycophants who’s only motive is to keep their jobs. This means, of course, kowtowing to Trump’s every whim and not asking the hard questions or give accurate scientifically based information that would help mitigate the pandemic to some degree.

And that’s not all. Attorney Bill Barr took the unprecedented step Friday to throw out the case against Michael Flynn. Flynn admitted not once, but twice that he had lied the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials before withdrawing his pleas. If there was any doubt that Barr is an evil force in the administration, there is little doubt now that he is the head asskisser in support of Trump and the politicalization of the Justice Department. In a story in USAToday written by Savannah Berhmann titled “Michael Flynn: What we know about Trump’s former national security adviser”, Behrmann quotes Rep. Adam Schiff from California as saying,

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat, said the Flynn decision “does not exonerate” Flynn and rather “incriminates” Attorney General William Barr, adding that this is “the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.” USAToday

Finally, in an effort to reframe the news as his polling numbers plummet, Trump and his minions are pushing the false narrative that China developed the coronavirus in a lab. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is so outfront with this lie that world leaders and his own staff are angry and upset that an official of his stature would would be party to spreading a demonstrably false narrative. Leaders around the world seem to have their feet more firmly planted on the ground than the yahoo leader of the State Department. At a time when cooperation, not false controversy, should be the goal of all world leaders, Trump seems to see his reelection prospects more important than making “big boy” decisions for the good of, not only America, but the world. But we already knew that. Maybe Morrison and the Doors were on to something.

Wacko of the week

In First Briefing, Trump’s Press Secretary Pledges Not to Lie