Blog Articles (2017-2021)
(2/23/2021) Belief vs. Knowledge (by Tom Ersin) What is belief? What distinguishes knowledge? What happens when people fail to differentiate the two? We get the consecutive epistemic crises of a Trump presidency and the post-Trump disinformation universe. What happens when people confuse belief and knowledge? We get 500,000 (as of February 2021) American COVID-19 deaths that easily could have been reduced by half — because knowledge was confused with and overwhelmed by (false, disinformed) belief spread by dishonest rhetors. This depressed competent government action and citizen compliance with health guidelines. This turned the defiance of easy, common sense prevention efforts into support for Donald Trump.
(1/21/2021) “Democracy Has Prevailed” (— Pres. Biden) (by Tom Ersin) This is my last weekly commentary on the Trump presidency. I can hear the cheers coming through my keyboard as I type, including from all of MAGA Nation (at least the seven who ever read my stuff). President Joe Biden took the oath of office 12 minutes before the constitutionally designated time of power transfer (noon) in a seemingly symbolic show of national anxiousness to move on from Trumpism. He gave a soaring 22-minute speech. Fox News’ last-remaining respectable journalist, Chris Wallace, called it the greatest presidential inauguration speech of his lifetime.
(1/14/2021) It’s Finally Happening: Supporting Trump Is More Costly Than Not (by Tom Ersin) It’s finally happening. In the wake of the Pro-Trump riots in Washington, D.C., last week, Republican lawmakers and luminaries are determining that maintaining support for President Donald Trump is more costly to their careers, financial well-being, and country club standing than not supporting him. It only took an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and an attempted coup to convince them. In my optimistic naiveté, at every frequent peak of perversion and debauchery since his campaign began, I thought Republicans surely would realize that time had come. I was consistently wrong. It took an insurrection and an attempted coup.
(1/7/2021) December 7, 1941. September 11, 2001. January 6, 2021. (by Tom Ersin) On Jan. 6, 2021, an event occurred in the U.S. capital that — forgive the well-worn cliché — will go down in infamy. Multiple books will be written about it and commissions and investigations will be launched. In a nutshell: On Wednesday, during the constitutionally required congressional session to certify the Electoral College presidential winner, a pro-Trump crowd of approximately 40,000 mounted a well-planned insurrection. Much of the mob overwhelmed police and breached the Capitol building, for the first time since 1814. Security officials ordered evacuation. MAGA rioters terrorized lawmakers and staff, forcing them into hiding and gas masks; replaced American flags with “Trump” flags; took photos of themselves occupying the Senate dais and sitting back with their feet atop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk; trashed many other congressional offices, leaving floors covered in piles of strewn documents; destroyed media equipment; and discharged firearms inside the building. President Trump poured the gasoline and lit the match. He got exactly the result he wanted: violence.
(12/31/2020) Mr. President, Even Pat Robertson Says, “It’s all Over” (by Tom Ersin) Mr. Trump believes the election was stolen from him. Well, at least he believed that when the election was called, Nov. 7, by all the major networks (an unofficial but traditionally inarguable determination). Then the recounts and vote audits came in. Then Mr. Trump’s legal team lost all 59 of its election-challenge cases in court. Within a few weeks, Donald knew he had lost but decided to keep up the charade, which he believed would best position him for future business deals or possibly another presidential run in 2024. Then after several weeks of that, he reverted to the darkest depths of his narcissistic pathology, believing his own conspiracy of mendacity. Which is where we are today. And depending upon the poll, approximately 50-70% of Republicans believe Trump believing himself: that he won the election — by a lot — but it was stolen by oodles of dead Democrats voting for Joe Biden, multiple times, and deep-state operatives secretly carting off millions of Trump ballots in maintenance trucks. To be destroyed in Venezuela. By the ghost of Hugo Chavez. Note that many of the down-ballot Republicans on those same stolen ballots won their races. Wait. Wha?!
(12/23/2020) This Christmas I Ask: When Did My Christian Friend Become OK With Needless Death? (by Tom Ersin) When did my sweet, compassionate evangelical Christian friend become a conspiracy-theory-believing, white-supremacy-sympathizing, pandemic-denying mask opponent, callously willing to allow thousands of post-born Americans to die needlessly because she thinks her “rights and liberties are being taken away”? When did my friend start buddying-up on social media with the likes of Tucson Two-Tone who claims to have worked at the Defense Department for 30-some years and hails Trump as our military savior? (Two-Tone fancies himself a consummate military man but thinks the dozens of respected three- and four-star Trump-critic generals are insubordinate wimps.) My friend is commiserating with Diana Roseanna Diana who believes Romans 12:2 is her catch-all excuse for discounting every Trumpian outrage — and crime — inflicted upon America. And Joe Beam who saw “in real time” the election being stolen from Trump in Detroit. And his brother Jim, who believes COVID-19 is a Democrat hoax to eliminate church attendance and hurt the president. And Williams Brian who thinks coronavirus health guidelines are the greatest (sot?) plot to usurp our freedoms since “Mein Kampf.” President Trump has made ignoring pandemic health guidelines — causing needless sickness and death — a pro-MAGA political statement. Isn’t Christianity better than that?
(12/17/2020) Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (and Other Classic Songs) (by Tom Ersin) Disillusioned non-Trump Republicans do not make up a majority of the GOP. But they’re not nothin’. There was a historically unprecedented number of luminaries from the president’s own party who supported the opposition candidate in November 2020, to stop the frightening, horrendous damage President Trump has done to our country. The Republican Party has split into two factions: 1) the majority, Trump-Republicans who will carry on Trumpism long after the leader is out of power; and 2) the minority, traditional Republicans who still uphold democratic principles, who still stand up for integrity and character, even under threat of tweet-attack. It appears there is only one option: for the minority to form a third party supporting the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan and John McCain but denouncing the autocratic characteristics of Trumpism and the GOP’s even pre-Trump gravitation toward self-dealing and mendacity. Now we just need that new party name for the good Republicans. Whigs? Torys? Reform Party? Reborn Party? “You’re the reason I’m a-traveling on, But don’t think twice, it’s all right” (— Bob Dylan).
(12/10/2020) Deep State Swallows SCOTUS, President (by Tom Ersin) There’s no way around it: If you still support Donald Trump in 2020, you support the following:
— Massive needless pandemic death
— Psychological torture of thousands of innocent migrant children
— Systematic subversion of American democracy, inducing violence in the process
All to support an aspiring autocrat’s hold on power. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to America. The U.S. Supreme Court shot down his request to throw out Pennsylvania’s election result. The 18-word judicial diss also made it clear: Don’t come back with any more male bovine excreta. What does this mean? It means the Deep State has infiltrated the Supreme Court, including President Trump’s three nominees — whom he thought he owned. In fact, the only logical conclusion is that the Deep State conspired to take control of Mr. Trump’s thoughts, causing him to fill his vacancies with appointees who would betray him. That damn Deep State. Its conspirators have been out to sabotage our 45th president from day one. They finally took over his brain to do it.
(12/3/2020) Losers Anonymous (by Tom Ersin) Donald has been a loser throughout his adult life. He just didn’t know it. We’ve learned his father raised him with a rigid-but-false version of loserism. Essentially, Fred taught his son that any common characteristics of humanity — empathy; kindness; ability to apologize and admit mistakes — made one a loser. By his father’s metrics of lying, denying, obfuscating, never apologizing, Donald steadfastly avoided loserism. By any other standards, Donald has always been — a loser. Like any good alkie, Donald had great enablers propping up his loserism. Instead of a claimed $1 million loan from Dad, Donald inherited $413 million dollars. And Fred often bailed out Donald’s financial collapses with unpaid-back loans, covering up the failures, the losses. Donald fooled the other 49 states with the constant covering-up of his losing. But his home-state New Yorkers knew, especially the New York business and society elite. To them, he was always a loser, and part of him knew it.
(11/26/2020) We Give Thanks: Mass Homicide Voted out – Integrity, Competence, Compassion In (by Tom Ersin) About the article title, the latter phrase needs no explanation. Regarding the “Mass Homicide” part, MAGA supporters, please don’t give me your mindlessly reflexive TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) argument, that anti-Trumpers blindly condemn your messiah because “orange man bad.” I speak in facts and truths, albeit with a sharp edge. The definition of “homicide” applies here: “the intentional and unlawful taking of another person’s life” (Merriam-Webster). And MAGA supporters, don’t give me your guff about Donald’s own CDC and U.S. medical facilities artificially bumping up coronavirus death numbers to “get more money,” as Mr. Trump has lied to you. Frontline health care workers are overwhelmed, exhausted, and dying themselves. American hospitals aren’t giving out any raises or stock dividends for inflated pandemic deaths. Additionally, yes, many victims had other disorders, which contributed to cause of death. But if they wouldn’t have contracted the virus, they wouldn’t have died yet. If a flood wipes out a city, even the lung cancer and heart attack deathbed patients who drowned still died from the flood. Donald Trump — through his inaction on, and sabotage of, pandemic-fighting efforts — is responsible for a conservatively estimated 50% of U.S. COVID-19 related deaths.*
(11/19/2020) Trumpism Causes Heavy Hearts (by Tom Ersin) I simply refuse to engage any longer with those who do not accept truth and fact, including family. Why do Trump supporters still exist, now that everyone knows beyond any doubt what he stands for? They’re not monolithically poorly educated — large portions are “smart” in other areas, college-degreed, and highly educated. Many are selfish. He purports to give them what they want (tax cuts and growing 401[k]s). Many are bigots. They like (covertly or overtly) his support of white supremacy while hiding it in plain sight. Finally, many just like that he spits in the eye of forces they disdain (politicians, pandemic “hoaxes,” mask-wearing to save lives). Most are prone to conspiracy theories, suspending reason and empathy to feed their grievances. Whatever their motives, they’re all essentially saying, “I want what I want, and screw humanity.” Conversely, Democrats support equality, diversity, truth, the earth, the worker, the (biblical) stranger, freedom of (any) religion or no religion, a cultural safety net, and an ethical government that works for the people.” Today, Republicans are the party of Trump, corruptly trying to retain power and enrich themselves by falsely feeding people’s grievances.
(11/12/2020) Truism #1: “You May Hear Statements Detrimental to Our Republic” (by Tom Ersin) President Trump, sensing his imminent loss, went on national television to comment on the state of the race. One pundit remarked to viewers while prefacing Mr. Trump’s remarks, “You may hear statements detrimental to our republic.” The president did not disappoint. He claimed massive fraud where there was none. He weakened a country. He was a temper-tantrum-throwing 74-year-old 2 year old. But I stand with Dave Chappelle and Joe Biden: It’s not a time to gloat. Almost half the country is disappointed and in pain. It is a time to be gracious, humble winners. But it’s also time to face reality, to accept the results — as we always have when they’ve gone the other way — for the good of the country. Nearly all Republican lawmakers STILL are enabling Donald’s wholly false claims. They’re choosing selfish political expediency, fearing a Trumpian tweet, over national security and protecting our democracy. I empathize with Trump voters. I’m sorry for you, that your guy lost. But I have zero patience for GOP legislators whose self-serving mendacity continues to impede the work of government, endanger national security, and prolong the pain of suffering Trump supporters. Those poor bastards deserve better.
(11/5/2020) Election Day Tuesday, Still Counting, It’s Close (by Tom Ersin) Election Day has dragged into Election Week. A half-dozen or so battleground states still are counting their mail-in ballots because those Republican state legislatures refused to consider requests to allow the counting to begin a day or three before Election Day. That is, they wanted the election results to drag out, deferring to President Trump who has telegraphed for many months his intentions to challenge mail-in votes. Trump’s strategy was to see himself ahead on Election Day night, then get the courts to invalidate — stop the counting of — mail-in votes while he was still ahead. And he would declare himself the winner. That’s not happening.
(10/29/2020) Critical Thinking: “Pro-Life” Vote Must Include Consideration for the Post-Born (by Tom Ersin) Trump supporters still holding on are either grossly, willfully disinformed or amoral. Disinformed or amoral. Astonishingly, 45% of Americans still believe a President Donald Trump is good for the country. This is why I continue my call for basic critical thinking instruction to be mandated in our K-12 curriculum. It is for lack of critical thinking skills that 45% of Americans can deny Mr. Trump’s corruption, incompetence, and immorality — his blatant and massive disregard for human life, to support political expediency.
Seasoned MAGA adults probably are beyond hope. But young-adult Trump voters still have a life ahead of them to become enlightened, albeit after the 2020 election. My young adults have plenty of time to see the light and maybe even thank me some day. “Two things I want my nephews to remember about their uncle long after I’m gone: He loved us with the fierceness of a summer storm, and he did all that he could to help stop Donald Trump.” (— thanks to journalist Connie Schultz). For single-issue voters, a “pro-life” vote must include consideration for the post-born, for their lives and deaths, no matter their heritage or citizenship status:
— 228,000 U.S. pandemic deaths, half due to corruption and incompetence
— 5,400 migrant children caged away from their parents for months in a strange land
— Untold Puerto Rican (U.S.-citizen) fatalities through bigoted withholding, delay of disaster aid
— Attacks on peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters and their factually righteous cause
— Untold U.S. fatalities from climate change denial and environmental-protection rollbacks
— Attacks on Latino congresswomen, judges, “rapists,” and “some, I assume, are good people”
— Attacks on Muslim congresswomen, immigrants, and “sh**hole country” residents
And consider this factoid: Abortions have increased in many parts of the world under President Trump’s denial of reproductive health aid, which suppresses birth control. It seems reality (and decency) DOES have a liberal bias.
(10/22/2020) If You’re Under 88, It IS “The Most Important Election of …” Yada, Yada (by Tom Ersin) Many people have been decrying the overuse of the declarative noun-phrase “most important election of our lifetime.” Can I just say they’re all dead wrong this year. If you’re under 88 years old — born after America was desperate for FDR to pull her out of The Great Depression, then World War II — this IS the most important election of your lifetime. We can retire the phrase after the existence of the-United-States-as-we-know-it is no longer threatened. Some still like to profess there’s no difference between Biden and Trump. They plan to stay home or “protest-vote” to produce a third-party president someday. In a few decades. Maybe. They say that Biden-compared-to-Trump is just another apples-to-apples comparison. But this isn’t apples-to-apples or even apples-to-oranges. It’s apples to NO apples. It’s having a recognizable America after 2020 or not.
(10/8/2020) Undecided: “Gee, I Guess I’ll Vote for 4 More Years of Trump” (by Tom Ersin) I’m really undecided about this election. They say it’s the most important of our lifetimes. So I did some reading and talked to a smart friend. Here’s what I found out:
— World abortion rates are up under Trump. (A copy of “The Lancet” was stuck to my “People” magazine.)
— Trump’s bad leadership translates into half our 217K pandemic deaths being avoidable (U.S. death rate = 5X world average).
— The military (dozen-plus tippy-top generals) thinks he’s destroying our country.
— Donald took 5,400 crying migrant children – babies and toddlers – away from their parents for months, locking them up in squalor, to make a point.
— Speaking of federal taxes, he doesn’t pay any.
— Donald is an unindicted co-conspirator – a criminal, free only because he’s president.
— 20-some women are suing him for sexual assault. (Can they all be Democrat child-sex ring operatives?)
— My smart friend also pointed out that Trump once accused Sen. Rand Paul of having bad hair.
I don’t know — I’m still so undecided. The “bad hair” diss was really uncalled for. But we need to shake up Washington. Gee, I guess I’ll have to vote for four more years of Trump.
(10/8/2020) Trump Infected — AND He Got the Virus (by Tom Ersin) The U.S. — with the greatest health expertise in the world — accounts for 4.2% of Earth’s population, 21% of world COVID-19 deaths. You do the math. The president literally is allowing Americans to die needlessly. His malfeasance has caused a conservatively estimated 105,922 deaths, 50% of the U.S. total. Donald is consistently, still, playing down the coronavirus and spreading dangerous disinformation to restart the economy early, solely for reelection, to avoid near-certain indictment. Even after he fell ill, he’s still refused to emphasize or even mention safety guidelines to the country, though he’s made several rah-rah, male bovine excreta videos. He tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” apparently forgetting about the 210,000-plus and their loved ones — whose lives clearly have been dominated by “it.” After leaving Walter Reed Hospital against medical advice, news footage showed the president on a White House balcony laboring for breath after ascending the South Portico steps. Before standing pompously for the cameras, over-extending a salute to departing Marine One, then entering the residence through large double doors, Donald ripped off his mask in a symbolic bras d’honneur to families of loved ones who have succumbed to coronavirus. 210,000-plus families.
(10/1/2020) POTUS Debate No. 1: “Oh Yeah, I Want 4 More Years of THAT” (by Tom Ersin) There was a presidential debate this week, a once-in-a-lifetime rhetorical event. I won’t go into detail because historians and pundits are flooding the airwaves already. Let me just say, the word “logorrhea” underwent a 56,000% increase in lookups on Tuesday, as in, “The president’s debate performance was a sewage pit of logorrhea.” Linguistic enthusiasts might notice the suffix “-rhea,” as in “diarrhea.” You could also call it “circumlocution, wordiness, periphrasis, prolixity, verboseness,” or any other thesaurus synonym. Or bullsh**. You could call it bullsh**. Trump has an advantage that almost no one else in politics can match: his ability to be COMPLETELY unethical and amoral. It’s a universal advantage he maintains because other human beings who aren’t ax-murderers have a rhetorical bottom below which they will not sink. One of VP Mike Pence’s former top aides and covid task force member, a lifelong Republican, says the president is killing Americans needlessly to be reelected. She could be a swamp monster. She could be a deep-stater, willing to destroy her career to keep the Democrat child sex ring operating. But even Howard Stern says Donald hates his supporters. No swamp monster or deep-stater there. TRUMP TO PROUD BOYS: “Stand back and stand by.” PROUD BOYS TO TRUMP: “That’s my president!”
(9/24/2020) “Death Cult”: Fascism 101 (by Tom Ersin) I used to say MAGA was “like” a cult. Now I say it clearly “is” a cult. Trump is the leader, with the brainwashing skills of Manson, Jones, and the rest of the best. I used to say Donald was “like” a dictator. I used to discount other pundits’ “fascist” characterizations as hyperbolic. Not anymore. MAGA cultists willingly risk their lives for him at superspreader rallies. Trump has allowed the needless deaths of 100,000 Americans for the sole purpose of reelection. The U.S. accounts for 4.2% of Earth’s population, 21% of world COVID-19 deaths. But MAGA members DO NOT CARE about truth or humanity. They worship one or all of three things: 1) a leader who is as openly uncouth, racist, and corrupt as they wish they could be; and/or 2) a leader who hates all the same people they do, i.e., anyone who threatens white majority control; and/or 3) the single issue of stopping abortion, at the expense of all other humankind issues. It’s that simple. There is no clearer indication of a fascist attempting to consolidate power than his willingness to kill his own citizens. Other signs have been there. Trump was investigated by Mueller, then impeached by House Dems for traitorous corruption. He was sprung from accountability by Senate Republicans — a prime autocratic benefit of owning them. Now he won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power, a U.S. first. But killing. His own citizens. This simply leaves no mistaking what’s going on. Except by members of the cult — the death cult. Some doubt these truths. Some doubt the sun rises in the east.
(9/17/2020) Progressive Babies (Cut off Nose, Spite Face) (by Tom Ersin) It’s bad enough I have to fight with Trump Republicans: brainwashed MAGA cult members for whom absolutely nothing matters. I’ve also encountered a group of “true progressive” babies who want to boycott Joe Biden and blow it all up because their guy didn’t win the primary. I’m not talking about us sincere progressives who were lukewarm on Biden but still are voting for him because the country will implode under four more years of Trump. No, I’m talking about those advocating a Biden boycott to somehow force a “real progressive” on Democrats someday. I’m a progressive, a realistic liberal. I’m a social Democrat, as left as you can get without being a sot or communist. (Note to sots: I’m not conflating the two.) But practically speaking, I don’t want my country to burn down. Progressive babies are pouty, recalcitrant, dangerous children who don’t see any big picture and are willing to turn America into a “Twilight Zone” Jack-in-the-Box. I’m tired of you phony purists. There is currently one practical solution: Vote Biden. Anything else supports burning down the country so that there is nothing left for you or any other histrionic ideologues to fight for. I’m sick of your whining. MAGA cult members, whining progressive babies, come together, see the light. (It could happen.)
(9/10/2020) “A Dog Biscuit in Every Pot!” (by Tom Ersin) We already know Donald is corrupt to the core. We already know he’s a liar, a traitorous cheat. We already know he holds deep contempt for the military and he’s a serial sexual pig. Now with Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” the revered nonpartisan reporter and historian has unveiled indisputable, unparalleled Trumpian presidential depravity: a willingness to allow Americans to die so he can secure reelection — and it’s on tape. President Trump played down the pandemic danger, caused massive needless death, to protect “his” economy — his sole lifeline to reelection. Let’s face it. I like Joe Biden well enough. And yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s good if Biden gives us something to vote “for,” which he does. But this election is about one thing: voting “against” President Trump. About 60% of the electorate would vote for any candidate who isn’t a convicted ax-murderer over Donald. My dog, Bob Barker, would make a better president: I’d be his chief of staff and would surround Mr. Barker with the “best people,” not the criminal element with whom Mr. Trump feels most comfortable. Not jailbirds and pardon-whores. “A Dog Biscuit in Every Pot!”
(9/3/2020) Trump Supporters: Here Are the True Deal-Breakers (by Tom Ersin) [FACT]: Virtually all racists support Donald Trump over Joe Biden. I’m not saying President Trump is a racist. Draw your own conclusion. Now consider Donald’s “pro-life” people who want to repeal Roe v. Wade at the expense of everything else. [FACT]: The abortion issue comprises people of high moral standing and integrity residing in both factions. So how can abortion prohibition — pro or con — be a presidential deal-breaker? There are many fine people, on both sides. On both sides. A deal-breaker is allowing needless post-born pandemic deaths. A deal-breaker is the policy-driven emotional torture of 5,400 migrant children, 6-year-olds wailing for their parents. MAGA supporters, please tell me about the “very fine people on both sides” of these issues. The U.S. accounts for 4.3% of Earth’s population but 22% of world COVID-19 deaths. You do the math. Mr. and Ms. Trump Supporter, you can claim not to believe any of this “fake news.” But that’s simply classic denial from an addict. That’s the closet racist averring “all lives matter.” I would want Trump out if he were a pro-choice Democrat and Biden were a pro-life Republican. Abortion prohibition, pro or con, is not a deal-breaker when American democracy is at stake. If, however, emotional torture of children and needless loss of post-born life AREN’T deal-breakers for you, we’re done talking. My mental health depends on it. But I’ll miss you.
(8/27/2020) Trump Doctrine: “Every Day It’s Something Else. Who Cares?” (by Tom Ersin) In unguarded conversations released this week, President Trump’s older sister, former federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, exposed him to the world for what he is: a cruel, ignorant grifter. This revelation would end any other politician’s career. Donald’s response? “Every day it’s something else. Who cares?” He’s counting on voters to lose track of his multitudinous outrages and depravities. The effect is similar to an aspect of Superman lore: Kryptonite (Trump’s crimes, scandals) is deadly to the superhero. A lot of Kryptonite ultimately will kill him. But massive amounts cancel out its deadly effects. When Donald’s crimes, scandals, and malfeasant outrages are exposed on a daily basis, he retains his power through long-term desensitization of the electorate to his transgressions. He’s counting on enough of the country not to “care.” The existing damage to our nation is about to increase exponentially as the November election looms. The cornered in-fear-of-indictment rat is losing and desperate. It will get worse. And the period between his election loss and Joe Biden’s inauguration?
(8/20/2020) “No Collusion” Claim Blown out of Water by GOP Senate Report (by Tom Ersin) The Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday released the long-awaited last installment of its report on Russian involvement in corrupting the 2016 presidential election. The committee is majority-controlled by Trump Republicans. The report blows Trump World’s mendacious mantra of “No collusion” out of the water, into the upper atmosphere, then far into the heartland of the contiguous United States. In a Trump Republican nutshell, the GOP Senate’s final word says the MAGA campaign solicited, welcomed, accepted, used, benefited from, and vigorously covered up illegal Russian help to win the election. It tiptoed as close as humanely possible up to the line of American illegality without crossing it — that we know of. But the report confirmed there were myriad essential reasons and sufficient evidence for the FBI to investigate the 2016 Trump campaign for traitorous breaches of national security. Trump Republicans said that.
(8/13/2020) Trump Attacks Biden VP Pick, Kamala Harris; He Would’ve Attacked Virgin Mary (by Tom Ersin) A Trump supporter opined that latte liberals like me might think she’s great, but Donald will “tear apart Kamala Harris.” I did go through a brief latte phase, but my coffee drink has been a working-class red eye for many years. Let’s be clear: Mr. Trump would attack Biden’s VP pick no matter who she might have been, with mendacity and a barrage of ad hominems. Did I mention mendacity? Donald would tear apart the Virgin Mary if she were Biden’s pick. I can hear him now: “She had a kid without having sex!?! Give — me — a — break! She’s lying. She’s a phony. Phony Virgin Mary. Men are insulted. She’s nasty, probably nastier than even Pocahontas, who got pregnant out of wedlock. Yeah, Pocahontas eventually married Johnny Rolfe who knocked her up, but the kid’s birthday was weeks short of nine months after the wedding. ‘Virgin’ Mary?!? Yeah, right. You know she cheated on Joseph to get pregnant because he swears he never moved on her. Virgin Mary is the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody coming out of Nazareth, and the most liberal! Where do you think her son Jesus picked up his radical left-wing sot ideas!?!”
(8/6/2020) Conservatively Estimated Trump-Caused Deaths: 79,134 (by Tom Ersin) The biggest story of the Trump presidency continues to be his responsibility for a conservatively estimated half — equaling 79,134 to date — of all U.S. coronavirus deaths. Note that the U.S. accounts for 4.3% of Earth’s population but 22% of the world’s total COVID-19 deaths. This is all you need to know to refute Donald’s lies about how well he’s handled the pandemic. Then there’s this week’s other presidential headlines, any one of which would implode another administration. In spite of thousands of needless deaths and consistent attacks on our Constitution, rule of law, institutions, and governmental norms, Mr. Trump’s Republican enablers in Congress — even the ones who secretly loathe him — remain unmoved. “Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head, And pretend that he just doesn’t see? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” (B. Dylan)
(7/30/2020) Needless Virus Deaths, Separated Children. Why Are White Evangelicals Unmoved?! (by Tom Ersin) Donald has allowed a conservatively estimated 75,358 unnecessary pandemic deaths to date. He’s separated thousands of migrant young children from their parents, locking them up in squalor, causing lifelong-lasting trauma. There is no estimating how many Puerto Rican lives were lost due to lack of water, electricity, food, and medicine because of the president’s bias after Hurricane Maria. White evangelical Christians, 18% of your brethren see through the smoke and mirrors and know that Mr. Trump is unfit to be president. That’s not a majority but it’s not nothing. About 1 in 5 knows the truth. Seek him out. Ask her why she knows. There is a historically unprecedented number of luminaries from the president’s own party who are supporting the opposition candidate in November. Virtually all these Republicans (and the 18%) are pro-life, anti-Roe-v.-Wade Christians who want more conservative judges. But they also all know that none of these things matter if we allow Donald Trump to continue tearing down the institutions and moral foundation of our country’s government.
(7/23/2020) Conservatively Estimated Trump Malfeasance Pandemic Deaths: 71,596 – to Date (by Tom Ersin) The biggest story of the Trump presidency continues to be that he is responsible for a conservatively estimated half — equaling 71,596 to date — of all U.S. coronavirus pandemic deaths. This is on top of, after, all his other presidential depravities, any one of which would have sunk another administration.
(7/16/2020) Pandemic Deaths Due to Trump Malfeasance: 68,709 – so Far (by Tom Ersin) The time to be frank about the president’s damage to the U.S. and its citizens is long past. Donald Trump’s corrupt coronavirus response policies are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. I’m calculating my new weekly to-date estimates as a conservative 50% of any current U.S. total pandemic fatalities. This morning, the aggregate is 137,419. It is now clear — crystal — that Mr. Trump has had a direct hand in a conservatively estimated 68,709 — half — of those. That’s why there is a historically unprecedented number of luminaries from the president’s own party who are supporting the opposition candidate in November, to stop the frightening, horrendous damage Trump has done to our country and institutions. That’s why there is a Lincoln Project, assembled long before the pandemic, comprising innumerable distinguished Republican, conservative thinkers and former legislators, spending millions of dollars on effective ads to abort the Trumpian destruction of America.
(7/9/2020) Corrupt, Incompetent, Amoral (by Tom Ersin) [[[A Refresher, Very Partial List]]]
— ASSOCIATES CONVICTED OF CRIMES: Donald has six associates convicted of campaign crimes
— GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS: Donald violently dispersed peaceful protesters; he intentionally inflamed national racial tensions
— HURRICANE MARIA: Donald withheld and bungled aid to, disparaged Puerto Rico
— IMPEACHMENT: Donald extorted Ukraine for election help; he ended the careers of many impeachment witnesses
— INDIVIDUAL NO. 1: Donald was implicated as an unindicted co-conspirator in campaign crime
— JUDGE MARY TRUMP: Donald’s sister Mary resigned her lifelong federal appointment to head off Trump family tax probe
— MIGRANT CHILDREN: Donald separated thousands of migrant minors from their families
— MUELLER REPORT: Donald obstructed justice, committed perjury, dangled pardons, and colluded with Russia for election help
— PANDEMIC: Donald has caused tens of thousands of needless deaths through corrupt policies
— RULE OF LAW: Donald has ordered AG Barr to quash numerous Trump-related investigations
— RUSSIA TROOP BOUNTIES: Donald has refused to confront Putin after learning Russia paid Taliban bounties for U.S. troop deaths
— TRUMP FOUNDATION: Courts ordered “charitable” foundation to pay $2 million in fines/restitution, and be shut down permanently for massive fraud and campaign violations
— 100’s OF OTHER SCANDALS, MALFEASANCE (see more below)]
(7/2/2020) Dog-Bites-Man News; No — Many Dogs Bite Many Men [This week brings more — MUCH more — of the same bad Trumpian news: many dogs biting many men. Red state governors finally have seen the coronavirus light, with hospitals overwhelmed. But President Trump has grown quieter with each newly smashed pandemic record, i.e., pandemic failure. He rarely mentions COVID-19. On a lighter note, last Sunday he re-tweeted to his jillion followers a video of a supporter yelling “White Power!” then retreated to his Florida golf course. His aides immediately freaked out, but the president was in radio blackout, on the links, his phone out of reach. The big Russia news is that Putin paid the Taliban a bounty to kill American troops. And. President Trump knew about it and did nothing. This is another example of how even Trump’s most egregious behaviors — e.g., bowing to the Russian leader at their 2018 Helsinki summit by believing Putin’s denials of U.S. election interference over all U.S. intelligence sources — get buried in the mountain of Donald’s inept, depraved behaviors. But now Russia is back. And the question is renewed: What does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?
(6/25/2020) My TOP 10 Liberal Responses to MAGA Male Bovine Excreta (by Tom Ersin) I’m treating readers to my Top 10 liberal responses to Trump, GOP bullsh*t. Play the home game. Impress your friends. Shut down Uncle Ed and his MAGA hat at the next family barbecue. President Trump has exacerbated exponentially the three concurrent, massive crises of our time: 1) caused needless pandemic deaths with no end in sight; 2) ignored, then patronized, then inflamed the BLM civil rights movement; and 3) pushed the nation further into depression-era economic numbers. He’s also conspired with AG Barr to “go easy” on political buds. How did we get here? Enabling by invertebrate Republican representatives and senators. Do NOT forget that. If even a few of them had not been obsessed with their own reelection and future standing at the (country) club, Trumpian destruction of governing norms, rule of law, and all things decent could have been aborted. It’s not enough to oppose the president. Democrats, independents, and enlightened Republicans must oppose all GOP legislators to excise completely the cancer upon America that is Donald J. Trump.
(6/18/2020) GOP Senators: Nothing to See Here, Business as Usual (by Tom Ersin) Under President Trump, America’s house on the otherwise decent world community block continues to deteriorate. The roof is sagging. The yard is overgrown with weeds. It desperately needs a paint job. Several junk cars crowd the driveway. The head of household is a degenerate con man. And drunken family feuds regularly overflow into the street on summer nights. Even Jed Clampett says they’ve brought the neighborhood down. Donald Trump is still corrupt, incompetent, and amoral. In downplaying the pandemic, he said, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases.” In a typical mocking response, some smart*ss somewhere said, “And if we stop pregnancy testing right now, this family wouldn’t have so many damn babies.” Presidential response to crisis is business as usual. And to quote SNL’s Keenan Thompson appearing in a skit on a “Face the Nation”-type news pundit panel: “Ain’t nothin’ gonna happen. Ain’t nothin’ gonna change.” So what’s the upshot? Republican senators boil it down for you: “I missed that tweet. No comment.”
(6/11/2020) Why Wide Acceptance of BLM Now? Trump, of Course (by Tom Ersin) One question has loomed since George Floyd’s death: Why are THESE protests setting records for participation and broad ethnic makeup? It’s because Donald Trump has been president for three and a half years, and even the nicest Caucasian families have had it. This shift among the passive center has supercharged the dissent. Get this: The protests are justified, says 84% of Americans. You can’t find 84% of Americans who all like ice cream. That’s what is different. The BLM cause has merged with the until-now-quiet disapproval of Trump’s racism and corruption. Even the politest of WASP’s in largely segregated suburbs no longer can stomach police murder of black men. Even the most genteel white people no longer recoil at the slogan “Black Lives Matter” and can explain the folly of responding with “All Lives Matter.” Even the nicest of Caucasian families now are willing to disapprove publicly of the worst American president in history.
(6/4/2020) “Blessed Are the Peacemakers,” Bunker Boy Trump Can Go to Hell (by Tom Ersin) Can President Trump do NOTHING right? Is there really no bottom to his incompetent, venal responses to the three major crises facing our country today: a (still raging) pandemic; an economic depression; and civil unrest not seen since the 1960s? The president didn’t start these. But there is no thinking person who doesn’t believe Donald has exacerbated each of these crises exponentially. Between Inauguration Day and early this year, it has been postulated often that Trump has done no real damage yet because he has had no significant crisis to respond to. I disagree with the premise: Trump HAS caused major damage to American democracy and the country’s psyche by creating his own crises. But I wholly agree that now that major external crises have landed at his feet, the additional damage his responses have caused is enormous and increasing galactically.
(5/28/2020) Trump Owns all Future Churchgoer Pandemic Deaths (by Tom Ersin) This week the U.S. passed its grimmest of milestones — 100,000 pandemic deaths — and President Trump ordered churches opened for business. The order doesn’t consider how any given state’s pandemic curve is trending or if that church is in a county hot spot. It doesn’t consider if the meat packing plant down the road was shut down recently due to an explosion of COVID-19 — then forced to reopen because the president’s meat producer CEO buds convinced him America needs its meat at any cost. To their credit, many faith leaders and governors are keeping their houses of worship closed to save lives, despite Donald’s order. They know the Lord also lives on the internet and in one’s home and heart. The country is not safe for churches to reopen across the land. Every new coronavirus death suffered by a churchgoer will be tied directly to Trump. There’s no way around this. Maybe he thinks a certain number of deaths among the faithful is the “price of liberty.” Maybe it will be 100 or 1,000. Or maybe it will be 100,000 MORE in a second wave — caused by his inept, corrupt pandemic response. Either way, he’ll be responsible directly for them all.
(5/21/2020) 2020 Grads: No Presidential Role Model (or Soup) for You (by Tom Ersin) I watched the virtual graduation ceremony for 2020 high school seniors. Their literal ceremony was preempted by a once-in-a-century pandemic. Didn’t recognize half the performing artists. To be expected. Did recognize the keynote speaker, Barack Obama. So nice to hear his reassuring tone. As those of us born before 2002 approach our graduation anniversary, I can’t help but review the time gone by. Contrary to the universal admonition not to beat oneself up over past mistakes, I still find myself nursing self-inflicted bruises over taking the wrong forks in the roads (— thanks to Yogi Berra). So many things I would’ve done differently, except for marrying my tremendous partner of 38 years who has kept me and the family as steady as possible. But I’m where I am now. Don’t you wish you could grab those 2020 seniors and point them in the right direction? No, I know. Most will find their way. And as several parents averred, they’ve learned more from their graduating offspring than vice versa. So that’s my goal going forward: to resist set-in-your-ways age inertia, keep learning from others, especially young adults, and strengthen my empathy muscle. I might not have recognized the artists H.E.R. and Bad Bunny, but I’m up on Malala. Many 2020 seniors will be role models in the future. But they need role models now. Sadly, the current president is not one.
(5/14/2020) “This Is Why the Whole Concept of Tests Aren’t Necessarily Great” (DJT) (by Tom Ersin) This week, the United States passed the 80,000-pandemic-deaths marker. Contrary to MAGA supporters I wrestle with on social media, this IS the news — the man-bites-dog news. The 329,647,808 Americans who have not died from COVID-19 are the dog-bites-man news — though good news nonetheless. Trump cultists accuse the media of sensationalizing the bad news: “Why don’t you report all the people who have recovered!?! The good news!?!” That “good” news is reported every day: You simply subtract current number of deaths (84,136) from current number of cases (1,390,764), and you have the approximate number of recoveries. There you go: the pandemic “good” news. Reported daily. Oh. That reminds me of the other man-bites-dog bad news: a 6% U.S. mortality rate that’s been holding. Additionally, a growing number of recovered victims, including many children, are suffering severe aftereffects that are confounding doctors.
(5/7/2020) Dog Bites Man: President Still Incompetent, Corrupt; Testing Still Widely Unavailable; WH Reopening U.S. Despite Exploding Red State Deaths (by Tom Ersin) I love a raucous debate, ever since my firebrand 9th grade social studies teacher, Gerald (“Jerry”) Eggen, taught me how to be a respectful liberal, always mindful that the other side has facts, too. But the sad conclusion about most Trump supporters is that facts, reality, science, and expertise are out the window. Blind passion, inane fantasies, and dangerous idolatry are in. Critically thoughtful discussion is not possible when one group dishonestly refuses to accept baseline facts, engages in chronic projection and wholesale logical fallacy, and cites arguments only from Trump World propaganda sources with little or no journalistic standards. When you deny things you know — and wish not — to be true, you are a waste of time. When you deny the veracity of legitimate information sources, because your leader tells you to, you are a waste of time. When you ask for proof that the sun rises in the east, you’re not an honest debater. By those standards of (non-critical) thinking, all truth is deniable, and there is no reality except your leader’s. Once this intellectual insincerity has been exposed, any further attempt at critically thoughtful debate is a colossal waste of time. Still, how can we get through to them? A few stragglers might come around, might see a Trumpian line not yet crossed. For the majority of MAGA devotees, there are no lines left, no bridges too far, no bottom.
(4/30/2020) Trumpism Is Lethal – Literally (by Tom Ersin) The astonishing deadly circus that is the Trump presidency is like the Grand Canyon. Standing at the abyss, one person’s two eyes are incapable of comprehending the vastness. It can be perceived only through the big picture of reading books and consuming media reports throughout his tenure. Sadly, the average person can’t or won’t do this. So the lethal clown show lumbers on.
With both raccoon eyes focused firmly upon reelection — and only reelection — President Trump is allowing Americans to die needlessly:
1) He’s forcing massively infected meat plants to reopen or stay open, without safety rules.
2) But he’s (still) refusing to mandate national testing production.
3) He’s castrated the CDC and OSHA, handcuffing safety rule authority.
4) He’s influencing states to reopen economies prematurely, “rapidly.”
5) He’s dangerously lying: “the worst is behind us”; it’ll “soon go away.”
6) He’s refusing to extend social distancing guidelines past April 30.
(4/23/2020) Amid Pandemic Malfeasance, Don’t Forget: Trump Is Still a Literal Criminal (by Tom Ersin) During this time of pandemic anxiety and death, it’s easy to forget the nightmare presidency that has led up to this crisis and enormously exacerbated its effects. Remembering that Donald is a literal criminal, multiple times over, can mitigate tragedies of this magnitude in the future. You know the old saying: Those who refuse to learn the lessons of redundancy are doomed to repeat it. Again. Besides allowing thousands of needless, lonely viral deaths, President Trump is still “Individual No. 1.” His inaugural committee took illegal foreign money and still can’t account for it. He obstructed justice at least 10 times and dangled pardons to keep the rats quiet. He openly witness-tampered. He committed perjury. He has profited illegally from the presidency. He’s a serial sexual predator with several criminal cases pending. His keep-hidden-at-any-cost tax records are widely believed to buttress evidence of financial crimes. And he shook down Ukraine to get illegal, false dirt on his presidential opponent. But his invertebrate GOP buds in Congress thought that one should slide.
(4/16/2020) I Got Your “Metrics” Right Here (by Tom Ersin) Unfortunately, we know all too well about the metrics in Donald’s head. The criticism of President Trump is not to bash him (well, maybe a little). The primary purpose for keeping up the criticism is because it’s the only reason he’s taken any of the right action he’s taken. Look no further than the cockamamie cutting of auxiliary funding for state and local testing. Virtually every independent medical expert avers that testing, testing, testing is the only way out of this pandemic, and the U.S. is WAY Behind. But Trump cut funding support for testing. Until he reversed that cockamamie decision after ferocious public backlash. Why would he make such a stupid, callous decision in the first place? Many speculate. But it might be Oscar’s razor — you know: the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Maybe he’s simply that stupid. What we DO know is that legitimate, blistering criticism is the only thing that got Donald to change his mind
(4/9/2020) For the Love of GOD! Donald, Please Resign (by Tom Ersin) Experts and medical staff across the country are screaming, pleading for him to act. But every move he makes is about reelection. President Trump’s reprobate leadership has cost, and will cost, thousands of American lives through corrupt responses and non-responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Let me count the ways:
1) He discounted the virus for two months, still downplays it, to keep markets up.
2) He won’t nationalize social distancing policy because he fears GOP governors’ wrath and favors business over lives.
3) He won’t nationalize the supply chain, refusing to interfere with private business, leaving profiteers to leverage states’ desperation.
4) He won’t sufficiently nationalize production (DPA) for desperately needed supplies and ventilators, fearing the “som” label.
5) He won’t compel needed mass test production because fewer tests mean lower “numbers.”
6) He won’t sufficiently deploy military medical personnel to desperate private hospitals.
(4/2/2020) President Learns a New Word: “Aspirational” (by Tom Ersin) President Trump learned the term “aspirational” this week. His aides floated the word in the days before his Easter-retraction press briefing March 29, and he said it several more times Sunday for good measure. After pushing for the Easter (April 12) reopening, to “get our country back to work,” the president had to back down. Before his back-down presser, Trump had almost guaranteed it. His business buddies had gotten to him (read: lost profits). But then science went where it had never gone before: into the black hole of Donald’s consciousness. Doctors showed him numerical projections (read: political truths) that he could not tweet-attack away: If he did not get serious, many more would die, and he would be blamed (i.e., not reelected). But his TV ratings are WAY up. Don’t ever forget the smallness of this president. This small, incompetent, corrupt man is costing American lives.
(3/26/2020) Disbelieve This President Like Your Life Depends on It. It Does (by Tom Ersin) Yes, students in 2040 or 2050 American History class, there once was a United States president who spoke like this in public. And not just the occasional slip of tongue or flare of misplaced, disingenuous passion. President Donald Trump spoke in this shocking, emotionally immature manner near-daily — even to political allies who dared stray a comb-over hair’s width from Trump doctrine. And this is how he handled the 21st century COVID-19 plague, which killed so many of your grandparents. By the dawn of the 2020 pandemic, however, Trump’s fourth year in office, Americans had become desensitized to the junior high school ad hominem attacks and were no longer shocked by his galactic, pathological narcissism.
(3/19/2020) The Boy Who Cried “No Wolf” — Wait … “WOLF!” (by Tom Ersin) President Trump is the boy who cried “No Wolf.” He’s played down the crisis consistently for venal, self-serving purposes. Now that reality has slapped him upside the head, and he’s realized he can’t tweet-intimidate a virus into submission with junior high ad hominems, the boy has been forced to cry “Wolf!” Because the wolf now is snarling at his feet, tearing away the boy’s chances for reelection. And the boy knows reelection loss equals presidential immunity loss equals multiple indictments slapped on him at 12:01 p.m., Jan. 20, 2021. The pandemic has been a dual-track story. The second track is Donald’s handling of the crisis – the corrupt, incompetent, amoral response of a piss-ant (an underrated ad hominem), pompous, maybe-billionaire who woke up one day to find himself an accidental president.
(3/12/2020) “I Don’t Need to Have the Numbers Double Because of One Ship” (by Tom Ersin) Donald Trump lies. It is not exaggeration. It’s not “truthful hyperbole.” If only it were only truthful hyperbole. If only he knew the meaning of “hyperbole.” If only he knew the meaning of “oxymoron” — a truthfully hyperbolic “oxymoron.” Trump is a fabulist whose lies are now costing lives. The U.S. is experiencing a disastrous shortage of coronavirus testing kits because Trump lies. We had two months to gear up production — as many other countries did — but Donald kept playing down the crisis. And how convenient that a shortage of test kits keeps the confirmed-cases count artificially low. Trump consistently has contradicted and muddled his health experts’ public guidance. He wants us to believe the opposite of reality: that people are getting better and the victim number is trending toward “zero.” Why is the president callously playing with American lives? It’s all about the stock market. Donald views a healthy market as integral to his reelection. If he loses in 2020, thereby losing presidential immunity, he faces multiple indictments. You do the math.
(3/5/2020) Thank You, Selfless Democrats (by Tom Ersin) A funny thing has happened. Viable moderate candidates have shown tremendous selflessness and patriotism by exiting the race just days before Super Tuesday to clear the way for Joe Biden. In a normal primary season, even weak candidates would stay in longer — at least 48 more hours — hoping for an unexpected boost or at least to continue building name recognition. But this year we have a corrupt, incompetent, amoral sitting president who must be defeated. In four days, Biden has pulled off one of the most amazing turnarounds in American political history. He has emerged as the only Democrat to beat the democratic populist Bernie Sanders, and therefore beat the Trump GOP populist Donald Trump. I say “Trump GOP” because the Republican Party is now wholly owned and controlled by the president. It has abandoned most of its core values and now stands for The Donald, that is, cold, venal avarice.
(2/27/2020) Trump Doesn’t Own the CDC — Yet (by Tom Ersin) President Trump purports huge bragging rights for U.S. stock market performance. In his mind, the market IS the economy. To him, the daily Dow Jones Industrial Average is his identity, his plea for us to believe he’s a good president helping all Americans, in spite of reality. Donald’s lies are an obvious joke. They are a pathetic device to prop up a little man. And they can cause great harm. The coronavirus pandemic is steering Trump’s presidential lies in a deadly direction. He’s dissembling about its effects, to try to stop his precious market numbers from hemorrhaging. Lives will be lost. Trump owns the Senate, DOJ, EPA, Education and Energy Departments, and other Cabinet agencies. He’s installing non-experienced sycophants at the top of the intelligence community. The Trump HR department has been ordered to seek out and cleanse the administration of anyone neutral about the president, let alone not pathologically loyal. Fortunately, he does not own the truth-telling CDC — yet.
(2/20/2020) Trump Persecutes Patriots, Pardons Pals, Pressures Prosecutors (by Tom Ersin) By Monday, President’s Day, over 2 thousand former Department of Justice prosecutors and other officials had affixed their names to a letter calling for Attorney General William Barr to resign over his unethical interference in DOJ matters related to the president. That’s “thousand” — with a “T”! This is unprecedented. The AG’s most recent, protest letter-precipitating conduct comprised quashing the work of four prosecutors involved in the case of presidential bud Roger Stone. The four attorneys resigned the case in protest — one quit the DOJ outright. Now get this: The day after Trump released him from prison, the corrupt former Illinois governor showed zero remorse for attempting to sell — for cash — Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in 2009. Rod Blagojevich (“D”) called himself a “political prisoner” and now a “Trumpocrat” who will vote for Donald. Can the Trump-pardon circus get any more disgusting? Can one’s stomach be turned any further? That’s “thousand” — with a “T”!
(2/13/2020) Censorship Through Noise (by Tom Ersin) The unimaginable horror of a Trump reelection is becoming imaginable. Trump’s primary weapon is disinformation — $1 billion worth — and character-assassination-retaliation against anyone, friend or foe, who deviates from the White House disinformation script. Communications scholars call it “censorship through noise.” The autocrat no longer needs to repress the heretical truth-teller. He simply drowns her out with wave after wave of disinformative noise. Thinking people know how the process works and see through it. But this weapon still could reelect Donald and damage functional understanding of knowledge for many decades. How do we fight it? All who care about ethical government and truth must commit to supporting both. They must speak. They must participate in the rhetorical fight or lose what they hold dear, what many take for granted. “Safeguard or surrender. You choose.” (— Chuck Rosenberg)
(2/6/2020) Trump Impeachment and the Legend of Mitt Romney (by Tom Ersin) Romney’s vote to convict, along with several vulnerable red-state Democratic senators, robbed Trump of bragging rights to a “bipartisan acquittal.” Only four senators — one Republican, three Democrats — were in the chamber to hear Romney’s 10-minute speech that explained his vote and rocked the White House. But it was the speech heard ‘round the world. It left a glimmer of hope for the American democratic system. The Republican lawmaker in attendance walked out of the chamber in silence; two of the Democratic legislators appeared with eyes moistened, all three feeling profound reverence for the senator from Utah. Mitt occasionally has been accused of waffling insincerity in the past, especially during his 2012 presidential run. But there can be no doubt about the depth of poignancy, good faith, and integrity that ran through Mr. Romney’s words yesterday.
(1/30/2020) Cult of the Senate: Lawlessness Run Amok (by Tom Ersin) Trump’ defense team lawyers wrapped up their initial presentation to the Senate, using only about half the allotted 24 hours. Critics have issued their pull-quote reviews: “Feel-good impeachment of the year!” “Magical (not in a good way).” “Irrelevant.” “Mendacious.” “Hypocritical.” “Ironic (not in a good way).” “Highly hypocritical.” “Dangerous.” “Stupid (there is no good way).” “Galactically stupid.” “Farcical.” “Laughable (in all ways).” It is an insane political climate in which the Republican Senate majority will almost certainly accept Trump lawyers’ arguments and vote, first to hear no witnesses, and second, to acquit President Trump. The insanity is ignored by the vast majority of the electorate because they are numb to it. Trump Republicans have become a lawless majority run amok by cult force. The country is in real danger. I am sick to my stomach.
(1/23/2020) “A Trial by any Other Name …” (Nice Play, Shakespeare) (by Tom Ersin) The Founding Fathers took certain things for granted. When Madison texted Hamilton at 2 a.m. and asked, “u up?” the night before the Constitutional Convention’s 1787 vote, they didn’t hook up to hash out final arguments over the use of the term “trial.” To call it a “trial” was never in doubt. There was no other word for the event they envisioned as a remedy to remove a corrupt president. They accepted that there is and always will be certain connotations that accompany this term in the new republic: 1) A trial is supposed to be an impartial process. 2) A trial is supposed to seek the truth. Yeah, “high crimes and misdemeanors” could have been sussed out a little more. But no Founder doubted the definition of “trial.” Which leaves us with a simple question: Do the Senate’s impeachment proceeding rules reflect the two givens every honest rhetor can agree appertain to the term “trial”? 1) Do the Senate rules reflect an impartial process? 2) Do the Senate rules support seeking the truth?
(1/16/2020) Hillary Cleared of EVERYTHING by Trump’s DOJ, Nobody Cares (by Tom Ersin) The biggest news of the week, which you likely missed, was that Hillary Clinton was cleared of all legal charges and (blatantly false) accusations from Trump World related to her emails, Uranium One scandal, Clinton Foundation hanky-panky, and anything else ever thrown at her. “Who cleared her, the ACLU?” Look no further than the Trump administration Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr. It takes a colossal ethical deficit to lie brazenly and unceasingly. Many people can’t accept that someone could be that morally bereft. Trump’s Republican Party is. Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? The simple fact is that Democrats, as a group, don’t have the moral paucity to pull off blatant, unceasing mendacity, which is near-impossible to combat. It’s not that Trump and the GOP are brilliant manipulators of message. No, any idiot can do it. It only requires a hole in your soul where character is supposed to live.
(1/9/2020) One More Time: Trump Starts Fire, Takes Credit for Dousing It (by Tom Ersin) I don’t claim to know the proper response when a foreign adversary kills one of our military contractors in a foreign war zone. I DO know that I don’t want a corrupt, incompetent, amoral commander in chief making those decisions. And I DO know I would look colossally petty and pathological 1) by conjuring up the non sequitur-ious lie during my speech to the nation that Barack Obama funded Iran’s missile system through the “foolish” Iran nuclear deal (from which my pulling out has caused this entire foreign policy debacle), and 2) by demonstrating that (as pundit Chris Matthews noted) I have a “kind of Tourette’s” when it comes to Obama — I can’t get through a day without some crude, false criticism of the former president that good and smart people wish were still in office and to whom I could never hold a candle.
(1/2/2020) Happy Holidays to Anti-Trump, Anti-War Republicans (by Tom Ersin) Thank Jesus for the anti-Trump Republicans who have given us permission to say “Happy Holidays” again. During Donald’s War Against the War on Christmas, we were not allowed to combine Christmas and New Year’s greetings into one concise salutation. Instead, we were forced to delineate exactly which holiday we were offering greetings for: “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.” Merging the two into “Happy Holidays” was considered blasphemy and an affront to religious (read: Christian) freedom. But now that President Trump has lost his War Against the War on Christmas, he might be looking for conflagrationist opportunities in Iran and Iraq. That certainly would take the focus off impeachment. What is killing 25 Iranian militia members in retaliation for the death of one American contractor? A good start.
(12/26/2019) Happy Christmas [We’re taking the holiday break off, to reflect on this season of thankfulness and giving. We’re thankful for Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Democratic House, all the impeachment inquiry witnesses, Justin Amash (I-Mich., formerly R-Mich.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and all the anti-Trump Republicans who have come out against the president for ethical and moral reasons, placing their country above party. Too bad none of them currently serve in the legislature. We’re giving it to Donald, who ultimately will be galactically sorry he ever ran for president thinking his brand of corruption, incompetence, and amorality would be acceptable to decent Americans.]
(12/19/2019) Impeachment of a Corrupt Projectionist [President Trump is big on declaring his best-ever, most-ever, first-ever accomplishments. In classic Trumpian fashion, Donald indeed has achieved two things no other American president has: 1) He is the first to be impeached in his first term; and 2) He is the first to be impeached for endangering national security. House Republicans compared Wednesday’s impeachment vote to the Crucifixion, among other things. Apparently in this analogy, Donald Trump is Jesus of Nazareth. That night the president held a Battle Creek campaign rally. Donald, ostensibly in his Son of God persona, mocked the grief of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), then implied her late husband, John — revered Detroit area Democratic House member of many decades — was in hell. I want my kids to grow up to be just like Mr. Trump.]
(12/12/2019) Articles of Impeachment vs. MAGA Delusionists: Divine Juxtaposition [Americans’ support for impeachment has remained relatively static at 48% for, 45% against, even after the open congressional hearings that spelled out the bitter, impeachable truth in detail. This is due largely to the GOP’s wildly successful disinformation campaign. You know: A lie makes it halfway around the world before a truth-telling Jesus can lace up his sandals. And Donald’s lemmings eat it up. The Beloved Son, Himself, could descend from the heavens preaching the truth — that Donald J. Trump is the corrupt, incompetent, amoral Antichrist endeavoring to destroy American democracy to enrich himself — and white evangelicals, Republican legislators, and all other MAGA delusionists would say, “Well, you’re only the S of God. The deep state has gotten to you, too.”]
(12/5/2019) Constitutional Scholars vs. Inveterate Fabulists [Testimony by four prominent constitutional law professors before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday changed virtually zero minds about President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment proceedings. Critical thinkers and truth-seekers still believe the president committed egregious impeachable offenses and should be removed from office. Sycophantic, self-serving, inveterate fabulist Republican legislators and members of their know-nothing, see-no-evil Trump base of supporters still believe the president did nothing wrong and should be allowed to continue destroying our democracy with more “nothing-wrong” behavior. Was that too harsh?]
(11/28/2019) War on Epistemology [Brett Stephens of The New York Times was on a cable news panel this week. The subject was Trump’s base of supporters and the swill they’re willing to swallow from their messiah. Brett summoned his best “Captain” (Strother Martin, who played the southern prison boss) for a play on the famous quote from the 1967 Paul Newman movie “Cool Hand Luke” and drawled, “What we’ve got here is failure of epistemology.” I know. It was a stretch. But Stephens’ heart was in the right place. Epistemology, the study of knowledge, is under attack. Facts are under attack. To Trump’s base, facts are the epistemological enemy, or at best, optional. Later in the panel discussion, New York Times reporter Nick Confessore pushed back on Stephens’ metaphor. He pointed out that Trump-supporting pundits clearly know what the facts are. They just lie. Touché.]
(11/21/2019) Don’t Let a Good Diplomat Go Bad [Most of the other career diplomats spoke highly of Kurt Volker’s reputation and dedication to service. But somewhere along the line, probably involuntarily, Volker got sucked into the president’s vortex of corruption. (Don’t they all.) Kurt Volker was minding his own business, being a good boy, when he came across a new Mercedes with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. (I know — fancy new cars don’t need keys in the ignition anymore, but let me have my metaphor.) In a split second, he made a bad decision. He decided to steal the car. In a split second, he decided to help the president extort Ukraine — and there was no turning back because now he was involved, he was dirty. Lock your car doors. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition. If you see diplomatic wrongdoing, report it to the inspector general or NSC lead counsel. Don’t let a good diplomat go bad.]
(11/14/2019) All “Arms for Dirt” Lead to Putin [You would think this past seven days would offer more than enough fodder for a weekly chronicler of political current events from the perspective of an average person who pays close attention to the news. And it does. But the painfully slow-turning wheels of justice are exhausting, frustrating, and depressing. I’m constantly lamenting the evil power of Trumpism’s colossally unethical communication machine. Its continuous repetition of any piece of information, no matter how outlandish or unreal, makes it real for 30-40% of the U.S. electorate — Trump’s base of supporters. What’s the meaning of it all? When will the White House be cleansed of Donald’s obvious compound criminality?]
(11/7/2019) “I Now Do Recall” [I now do recall that my $1 million contribution to the Trump inaugural committee in exchange for an ambassadorship did not include me lying for the president and going to jail for perjury. That recollection is clear. Crystal. I now recall that President Trump was demanding a public announcement of a commitment from Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and the cockamamie conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered with the 2016 U.S. election — to help Hillary Clinton. I recall that Trump’s defenders are using the term quid pro quo, declaring these are used commonly in the course of normal foreign policy. But I also recall that this was not your father’s president’s quid pro quo; this was the extortion of a desperate ally, under invasion, for personal political gain.]
(10/31/2019) Verbal Incontinence [Acclaimed New York Times journalist and author Michelle Goldberg used a term during an appearance this week on a cable news show. She described President Trump’s rhetorical style as “verbally incontinent.” Is that beautiful or what? Verbal incontinence would be the inability of the brain to stop the stream of words coming out of one’s mouth, as regular incontinence is the “inability of the body to control the evacuative functions of urination or defecation.” (Merriam-Webster.) Like the product of regular incontinence, the result of Trump’s verbal incontinence — his rhetoric — has the qualities of urine and excreta. And his oral evacuative functions are uncontrolled indeed.]
(10/24/2019) Not a Quid Pro Quo? [“This was not a quid pro quo” (— President Trump). This was not a bribe. I simply gave the lieutenant governor money for pushing through my liquor license. This was not extortion. All I did was let the senator know that if he couldn’t pay the “bills,” those compromising photos would find their way onto my Instagram account. This was not tax evasion. I just didn’t report my foreign lobbying income. This was not money laundering. All I did was buy a carwash to run my meth income through. This was not a bear sh**ing in the woods. It was simply a large brown furry mammal belonging to the family Ursidae (of the order Carnivora) defecating in a woodland area supporting an understory of shrubs, herbs, or grasses.]
(10/17/2019) Orange Wall of Silence Is Crumbling [The impeachment inquiry has broken open this week. Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — one of the good guys — testified Friday she was pushed out because she was against extorting Ukraine to get dirt for Trump on his likely presidential election opponent. As other (some not so clean) people in the administration realize their own butts might be on the line, they are more willing to disobey Trump’s congressional non-cooperation orders and jump ship — like the rats many of them are. As the detectives state in the “Law and Order” interrogation room: “If you got somethin’ to say, this is the time. Talk now and we’ll let the DA know you cooperated.”]
(10/10/2019) “Mandate of Heaven” [[PAT ROBERTSON]: “President Trump is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven [over his Syria withdrawal].” This means God is OK with the other stuff: serial sexual assault; caging children like animals; ripping thousands of children from their parents, many permanently; depriving life-saving treatment for immigrants; allowing irreversible damage to Earth; reversing life-saving regulations to protect workers and consumers; and taking health care away from working-poor families. But the one thing God WON’T stand for — the one thing that could cause Him to withdraw His Jehovian mandate from Donald — is the deaths of Christian Kurds who have helped U.S. forces fight ISIS. Because ISIS threatens Christians. And others, I assume, are good people. Don’t get me wrong: Fighting ISIS and protecting Christian (and other) Kurds who have helped protect us is a good thing. I’m just glad that Pat (and God) draw the Trumpian heavenly mandate line somewhere.]
(10/3/2019) Impeachment Train Has Sailed [The beans have been spilled, amazingly, by the White House itself. President Trump authorized the release of the rough transcript of his July 25, 2019, call to Ukraine’s new president, expecting the call’s contents to exonerate him. Donald’s corruption is so ingrained, such a part of his DNA, that he thinks his own wrongdoing is acceptable, and that everyone else does, too. Pundits across America, including independents and Republicans, are awestruck at the clarity of Trump’s crime: He extorted Ukraine for political gain, he covered it up, then he admitted it.]
(9/26/2019) Impeachment Just Got Real [[DONALD TRUMP]: “There was no quid pro quo! Wait — ‘quid pro quo’ means video of prostitutes peeing on a bed, right?” September 24, 2019, is the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a really official-looking address to the nation to announce that an “official impeachment inquiry” was now underway in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now we have Donald extorting a foreign leader from an allied nation. “Nice little Eastern European country you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.” OK, President Trump didn’t use that kind of mob code. He used this kind: “The United States has been very, very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal. … I would like you to do us a favor.”]
(9/19/2019) GOP: Champion of States’ Rights, Except When They’re Not [We are intellectually exhausted. Either that or, as they say, not paying attention. Any new Trumpian outrage or corruption investigation is simply another teardrop in an ocean of patriotic discouragement and fear for our country. Few are listening anymore as the outrages — and crimes — accumulate. This is how the president has inoculated himself against impeachment and conviction so far. Simply look to this (typical) week’s headlines to contemplate the Sisyphusian task of keeping track.]
(9/12/2019) Sharpie-Gate: Trump Is the “Scarface” of Presidents [Mr. President, did you draw the black Sharpie half-circle on the weather service map to cover up your earlier tweet-mistake that “Alabama will most likely be hit (much) harder [by Hurricane Dorian] than anticipated”? And did you order your chief of staff to order your Commerce secretary to call up NOAA brass and order them to disavow their scientists’ correction of your tweet-mistake or heads were gonna roll? Mr. President, wouldn’t it have been better simply to admit your tweet-mistake early on instead of making a one-day non-story into a week-plus yuge story about your incompetence, mental state, and ego preoccupation? [DONALD TRUMP]: “(subdued) I don’t know. (quieter) I don’t know. (almost imperceptible) I don’t know.”]
(9/5/2019) It’s Literal: Trump Shoots Someone on Fifth Avenue, Loses No Voters [Last Monday, President Trump exited the front of Trump Tower with a Lady Bushmaster semiautomatic pistol borrowed from his daughter Ivanka. He insulted the doorman on his way out, stating the guy’s hair looked fake, then stepped into the middle of Fifth Avenue. He was looking for a non-employee to shoot. Donald had a point to prove. The first person he saw happened to be an African-Mexican American who was Muslim, transgender, gay, a Democrat from California, and an undocumented immigrant. The president aimed, closed his eyes, and squeezed the pink trigger.]
(8/29/2019) MAGA Christians Can Never Again Argue Character Matters [Donald, the conning salesman, launched a full-blown infomercial to pitch his Miami resort for 2020’s G7 summit. The only thing missing was the PowerPoint presentation and the timeshare hard sell after dinner when you and your spouse try to escape saying, “Thanks, but we’ve really got to get home to relieve the babysitter.” But wait, Donald says. “Doral is only five minutes from the airport. … We have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 rooms. They have magnificent views. … The ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida, and the best. Each country can have their own villa, or their own bungalow. … It’s got ample parking.” Finally, Trump, the closer, leans in for his last, best timeshare pitch: “I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money … It’s not about me, it’s about getting the right location [for you, Mr. and Mrs. G7].”]
(8/22/2019) Anti-Trump Curious [There are many Republican Anti-Trumpers. Unfortunately, none of those currently are serving in the U.S. legislature. I keep an ongoing list, which grows weekly. Some entries are Never-Trumpers, those who can boast they never supported the president and never will. Then there are the Anti-Trumpers who supported Donald in 2016 but decided later that he’s no longer fit for office. To those brave souls, who were willing to endure the derisive grade school nicknames and tweet-hominem attacks, you have my deepest respect. So what’s it take for Republicans to start questioning their support? What finally drives the “Anti-Trump Curious” to explore their conscience, to reevaluate their values? If it’s a final (camel’s back) straw scenario, what is the last dry coarse stem of a cereal grass (— thanks to Merriam-Webster) that puts any given Republican over the edge?]
(8/15/2019) “There’s Never Been a President Like President Trump” (— DJT) [The irony of this self-admission is almost too overwhelming to take in. It’s like seeing the northern lights or Grand Canyon for the first time. The juxtaposition of universal vastness and personal smallness takes your breath away. In this case, it’s the galactic lack of self-awareness abutting the prodigious paradoxicality. (Now THAT’S alliteration.) That Trump is so separated from reality (narcissistically boasting he has abilities like no other) and so absolutely correct at the same time (inadvertently stating the superlative that, yes, there never has been a president as corrupt, amoral, and incompetent) — now that takes your breath away.]
(8/8/2019) Dog Bites Man: Gun Violence Won’t Change Under Trump’s GOP [Much of the El Paso shooter’s online diatribe tracks closely with language President Trump has used since he launched his first campaign in 2015. Many observers submit that if you delete the blatant references to killing, Trump’s and the shooter’s rhetoric are virtually indistinguishable. Donald made a “unifying” address to the country days after the dual mass murders in El Paso and Dayton. “Hostage video” has become a tedious cliché for describing a politician or celebrity making a scripted televised statement he clearly does not want to make and doesn’t agree with. But there is still no better metaphor to describe Teleprompter Trump in his appearance Monday. His communication lackeys placed a galactically cynical collection of words on a screen reader to make the president look human. It didn’t work.]
(8/1/2019) “Rat AND Rodent Infested Mess” [At first glance, it appears Donald doesn’t know rats are rodents. But he’s smarter than you. He wants his detractors to think he’s an incompetent, corrupt, cretinous, amoral con man from Queens who found himself rocketed into the high-dollar New York real estate market by daddy’s money, only to be shunned by the Manhattan intelligentsia he so desperately wanted to like him. And he wants you to think he doesn’t know that rats are rodents. Trump supporters heard loud and clear. When he called Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-Md.) Baltimore district a “rat AND rodent infested mess,” he was disparaging all the decent, hard-working squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, chinchillas, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and capybaras — not just the rats. MAGA followers hate the entire furry lot of government-handout-loving, reparations-demanding, equality-seeking, reverse-racist rodents. And Mr. Trump knows exactly how to play to his supporters’ fur-free supremacist fears]
(7/25/2019) “I Hope This Is Not the New Normal — but I Fear It Is” [Mr. Mueller was referring in his testimony to the practice of seeking, accepting, and welcoming foreign election help, even if it falls (just) short of criminality. Yeah, Mueller was shaky. He “juddered.” But because Mueller’s performance was juddering, we should ignore what he said? The points he confirmed? The message was a damning indictment of the president’s criminality, corruption, and betrayal of America. The messenger juddered a bit. But 40% of the country WILL ignore the facts and literal content of the message. This is a major component of the new Trumpian normal: Slam the messenger so hard and so long with ad hominem attacks that 40% of the country ignores or disbelieves solid evidence — facts. Or worse, they believe the evidence, the facts, and don’t care.]
(7/18/2019) GOP: All Truth Is Deniable [“Go back where you came from” is one of THE most well-known racist things someone can say to members of a minority group. There is nary a teenager alive in America who doesn’t know this. But most Republicans are denying it. And the Pope is NOT a Catholic. And a large brown furry mammal belonging to the family Ursidae (of the order Carnivora) does NOT defecate in a woodland area supporting an understory of shrubs, herbs, or grasses. Donald has come along and told the GOP they don’t even need to fake disguising their lies anymore. All truth is deniable no matter how obvious the whopper. Trump has freed them from their principles and ethical shackles and shown them the secret: Keep piling on the prevaricacious outrages.]
(7/11/2019) Mad About Trump [If the phrase “end of an era” ever meant anything, this is it: As of October 2019, iconic “Mad” magazine will no longer produce new content after 67 years of publishing cutting-edge sardonic, sarcastic, satiric social commentary and plain old — as numerous parents, spouses, and teachers out of the loop across America have called it — “stupid humor.” “Mad” was aimed at adolescents: the literal kind and the virtual kind, i.e., adults (granted, mostly males) of all ages with one foot remaining in their teenage years.]
(7/4/2019) “It’s a Good Way to Get Kids to Skool” [Donald clearly did not know what “busing” is, as referred to in the question from NBC’s Kristen Welker. You could just see the wheels turning in Trump’s head, his mouth spewing gibberish to stall while his brain tried to manufacture a fake answer. The best he could do? Some mumbo-jumbo about states requiring public school districts to get all kids to school one way or another: even if it means using buses. Where is the embarrassment? Where is the outrage? “Where is the bar?” said a nation who has been suffocated with Trumpian embarrassments and outrages for three years.]
(6/27/2019) If Weakness Is Provocative, Stupidity Is Suicidal [How stupid a commander in chief do you have to be to order a military strike on an adversary without a casualty estimate from your generals (“… great people these generals”)? And if it was a bluff — a crazy-like-a-fox attempt to scare the pants off Iran, only to spare it significant collateral damage at the last minute out of some phony Trumpian humanitarian streak — how stupid do you have to be to think the world believes your story: that you didn’t ask about casualties (and your generals never informed you) until minutes before the strike was to occur, with planes “in the air”?]
(6/20/2019) “You’re Being a Little Wise Guy, OK?” [Last week, Donald Trump made the mistake of submitting to an interview by a legitimate, objective reporter. The journalist, George Stephanopoulos, and ABC News retained full editorial control per journalistic standards and ethics. This was confirmed when Donald demanded a do-over after his chief of staff coughed during one of the president’s responses. Trump abruptly ordered germ-spewing Mick Mulvaney out of the room, directed the camera crew to re-position, and started over with his answer to George’s question. Viewers saw the whole thing. But in his biggest dissing, “Celebrity Family Feud” beat out Donald’s interview by about 2 million viewers. Americans were 50% more interested in “The Feud” than Trump’s Greatest Hits, even with the added excitement of Stephanopoulos calling him on his lies.]
(6/13/2019) Trump Lists: Pro(-removal) & Con(victs) [Confounding principled conservatives — and virtually all Democrats — is how currently serving Republicans have thrown their reputations out the window to support Trump. For most of them, their malfeasance is based wholly upon tweet-attack-a-phobia and self-preservation. Any daylight between a sitting GOP legislator and President Trump’s base of support spells a primary challenge in his (or much less likely, a Republican “her”) next election. So active Republican politicians are a lost cause for now. Donald fires his six-shooter near their feet, yells “Dance, partner!” and they dance. But we have an unprecedented number of nationally known political thinkers, operatives, and former elected officials who have gone on record with the belief that a sitting president of their own party is a danger to our democracy.]
(6/6/2019) Trump Supporters Are People, Too [I have no patience for Trump supporters at this stage of his presidency. If a pro-Trumper repents, however, even now, I will welcome her into the congregation, with complete absolution. I will support her. I will comfort and forgive her. But in my mind, continued backing for The Donald involves such toxic rationalization, bitter selfishness, hardened hatred, utter cruelty, and such a corrupt ethic that I cannot comprehend it.]
(5/30/2019) “If the President Clearly Did Not Commit a Crime, We Would Have Said So.” [Robert Mueller spoke publicly for the first time in two years. Some observers were disappointed that he only reiterated certain points made in his written report. Some observers were disappointed that his voice was pitched higher than many expected. But once his nine-minute statement sank in, it became powerful in what was said and not said. Donald is right about one thing: “Nothing changes from the Mueller Report.” Trump is still guilty of massive collusion (over 140 mostly unexplained contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia) and at least a half-dozen instances of provable-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt obstruction of justice. And Russia still interfered in our election, in sweeping and systematic fashion, to help Donald win by 78,000 votes total — about 0.5% or less — in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.]
(5/23/2019) First Sitting Republican to See the Light [My vote for top story of the past week is Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) coming out as the first GOP U.S. legislator to call for the beginning of presidential impeachment hearings. Amash is known as a libertarian Republican of integrity. He’s ultra-conservative (a founding member of the Freedom Caucus) but occasionally has bucked his party on principle. He also loves keeping his constituents apprised of his decision-making reasoning on social media, as illustrated by his nine-part, comprehensive tweet May 18 explaining why impeachment hearings should proceed.]
(5/16/2019) Mentally Exhausted [I’m mentally exhausted this week. I try to come up with an angle for each article to illustrate the extent of looming danger to the rule of law, Constitution, and American psyche. But the doomsday train keeps rolling, with every new presidential offense being lost in the sea of Trumpian corruption, criminality, and amorality. Republicans, as a once-Grand Old Party, have succumbed to group-thinking mob mentality — willingly sacrificing their reputations for a man they once loathed. They blindly buttress the president no matter his crime nor the continuing deterioration of their souls. If they fall out of rhythm, even once, from their lockstepped support of Trump policies and boorish behavior, they risk being primary-ed by his rabid, 90%-of-GOP base of supporters.]
(5/9/2019) What if It’s Simpler Than We Thought? [What if Donald Trump — now known to be a billion-dollar loser, bush-league businessman, and bogus deal-maker — has been kissing Vladimir Putin’s a** simply to protect and enhance his chances for future money-making schemes in Russia. We know that no Russian business venture has a prayer without Putin’s blessing. Imagine ex-President Trump sitting across from the dictator being able to say, “Remember that Ukraine policy I fixed for you? Remember those sanctions I lifted? I’ll make a billion dollars and you get 10%.” Then Putin says, “Remember that Golden Showers video? Remember how I kept my mouth shut when you said you had no business in Russia? You’ll give me 50% and you’ll like it.”]
(5/2/2019) Absolutely Nothing Matters Anymore? [Attorney General William Barr lied in his April 9, April 10, and May 1 appearances before Congress. There is no way around this. Have we really gotten to the point at which Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che — playing NBC News anchor Lester Holt during the infamous Donald Trump interview, upon hearing Trump admit he fired FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation — exclaimed the following: “Wait! So did I get him? Is it all over?” Then Holt (Che) repeats the producer’s response coming through his earpiece: “Wait, no, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore?”]
(4/25/2019) Mueller Report: Highlights and Lowlifes [President Trump has been vindicated: The special counsel’s team was unable to procure a copy of the infamous 2013 Moscow Ritz-Carlton “Golden Showers” video allegedly featuring Donald watching Russian prostitutes urinate on each other while cavorting on the presidential suite bed that Barack and Michelle Obama once slept in. Other than that, Donald is guilty as hell of a slew of really bad, much of it illegal, stuff. Trump World would like you to view the report’s release as the end. It is the beginning. There will be congressional investigations of criminal and otherwise unethical presidential activities. There also will be determinations that we expect more from a president than simply avoiding provable-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt criminal culpability.]
(4/18/2019) Swedish Penis Enlargers, Trump, WikiLeaks, and the Mueller Report [When Donald Trump said WikiLeaks is “not my deal in life,” every thinking person who consumes news in America immediately thought of Mike Myers’ spy character in his famous (and cerebral) cinematic trilogy about hapless, sex-crazed, James-Bond-caricaturizing Austin Powers. We all instantly flashed to the scene in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” during which Powers had just been unfrozen by Britain’s intelligence agency after several decades of frigid suspended animation. Austin and the beautiful Vanessa were reclaiming Austin’s possessions, in repository for 30 years, from the clerk reading off the inventory of belongings. [QUARTERMASTER CLERK]: “One Swedish-made penis enlarger.” [AUSTIN POWERS]: “I don’t even know what this is! This sort of thing ain’t my bag, baby.”]
(4/11/2019) Inextinguishable Stench of Association With Donald Trump [DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had been in hot water with Trump last year but appeared to have saved her job. Nielsen is an immigration hard-liner, but she drew her tough policy line at illegality. Trump decided she had to go. She’ll forever be tainted by association with The Donald. Another administration official hurtling headlong toward perennial Trump-stink is the new attorney general, William Barr. Barr also served as AG during the George H. W. Bush administration. Trump liked that Barr facilitated several Bush pardons for important Iran-Contra scandal players. These pardons were credited with sparing then-President Bush from any public culpability for his involvement. Some might call this dénouement a cover-up. Trump also liked that Barr said a president cannot obstruct justice. So Trump hired him.]
(4/4/2019) Adam Schiff Says It All [“You might say that’s all OK. You might say that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic, and, yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion. … I don’t think it’s OK that [President Trump] advocated a new and more favorable policy toward the Russians, even as he was seeking the Kremlin’s help to make money. … I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say, that is the day America lost its way.” (— Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.)]
(3/28/2019) Trump-Russia Obfuscation Continues [If you relish Trump being cleared of criminal conspiracy, and you have any claim to critical thinking, you also must accept that he’s been lying to you about a national security issue of tectonic significance, to protect his ego and future business interests. He’s been doing Putin’s bidding. Though not technically a crime, it is certainly a betrayal to the country — and to you, his supporters. Sure, you wanted a president who would come in, blow up the place, and be rude to his opponents. Did you want someone who literally would jeopardize our nation’s safety and democracy for selfish financial gain? Trump supporters, I hereby give you permission to admit your mistake of ever backing him. I will not tweet-trash you. I will not give you a derogatory adolescent nickname. I will not sue you. And I will not say, “I told you so.” I will revere you.]
(3/21/2019) New Zealand Needed Humanity — Trump Has None to Give [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the American president that if he wanted to best support New Zealand during this time of tragedy, she urged him to express “sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.” In a classic Trumpian say-what-you-gotta-say-in-the-moment response, to get the prime minister off the phone, Donald agreed to do it. But I guess he forgot about his throwaway line, “Whatever they need. We will be there.” Trump couldn’t do it. He couldn’t even fake it. New Zealand needed humanity. Donald has none to give.]
(3/14/2019) N.Y. Indicts Manafort on 16 Counts — Start Spreadin’ the News [“He’s lived an otherwise blameless life” should be memorialized on His Honor’s tombstone. Virginia Judge T. S. Ellis forever will be remembered in infamy for that sentiment, juxtaposed with Paul Manafort’s long career of traitorous work for dictators, serial tax evasion, and abundant, massive fraud. Legal experts were appalled by the light 47 months sentence, some calling it “absurdly low.” Sentencing guidelines called for between 19 ½ and 24 years. Many considered this to be a shocking bow to rich-white-guy privilege by rich-white-guy Judge Ellis. Then D.C. Judge Jackson spoke. Then New York state roared.]
(3/7/2019) Who Among Us Hasn’t Fudged a Few Million Dollars on Tax Returns? [Donald Trump would like to convince you that these crimes weren’t that criminal. For starters, Donald says the Manafort crime is 12 years old. He lied about that, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume he’s right. In his mind, there is an inherent statute of limitations if one gets away with it for a period of time, say, a few years. The law says the offense was within the time limit for prosecution. But if you’re from Trump’s world, hey, if you got away with it for this long, you should be home free.]
(2/28/2019) Second Michael Cohen Congressional Appearance [Michael Cohen has nothing to gain and everything to lose by misleading Congress again, now that he is beginning his long road to redemption. First, between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Southern District of New York U.S. attorney’s office, they already know virtually everything to which Michael will testify. If he lies again, they will nail him. Second, while Cohen still has a chance to mitigate his sentence in return for further cooperation with the SDNY, his testimony before Congress has no chance of helping in this regard.]
(2/21/2019) What if Even a Fraction of all This Is True? [It is maddening that Republicans don’t have enough humanity to wonder for a moment, “What if even a fraction of all this is true?” Clearly, they all would be busting veins in their necks if these same reports were about a President Hillary Clinton. But put aside their suffocating partisanship and Himalayan hypocrisy: Don’t they care enough about their country and their families at least to consider the overwhelming mass of evidence that says their president might have betrayed our country?]
(2/14/2019) (Climate Change) Denial Is Not a (Dried-Up) River in Egypt [The self-serving myopia is staggering. These old farts won’t be around to experience the ultimate damage to Earth, so they simply don’t care about the future. Donald has very young grandchildren, and he is unconcerned that they will have to wear hazmat suits to go to the beach when they grow up. They will have to wear scuba tanks to breath outside their homes — their oceanfront mansions in Kentucky and Ohio.]
(2/7/2019) Trump SOTU Is So Bad [In the President Donald J. Trump era, the State of the Union address has become almost meaningless, except to examine stakeholders’ reactions — and to see if Donald’s speech-reading skills have improved. He offers no policy specifics. He offers only trifling, hypocritical sentiments of compromise. Words from the mouth of Trump have lost all credibility, especially Teleprompter Trump.]
(1/31/2019) There IS Education in the Second Kick of a Kentucky Mule [Mitch McConnell is big on that old “second kick of a mule” Kentucky saying. I’m guessing we could find him invoking it even before 2013. With his leadership gone AWOL over the past month’s government shutdown, he has become famous (infamous?) for it. But has he really learned from it? Does he really know what it means? Mitch’s latest publicly acknowledged mule kick came from an orange-haired ass in the White House.]
(1/24/2019) Man-Child Amendment [The Founding Fathers did not plan for a man-child president with a complete lack of empathy, propped up by a supporting political party of invertebrate, hypocritical sycophants. Oh, but the president has backbone. This man-child has the ability to stand up, hurl grade-school insults, and insist upon getting his own narcissistic way or he’ll blow up government, damn the rest of the country. A man with strong backbone but no empathy, foresight, or morality, however, is one dangerous animal, the likes of which we’ve never seen before (to use one of The Donald’s favorite lame superlatives).]
(1/17/2019) GOP Is a POLINO (“poe-LIE-no”): Party of Lincoln in Name Only [Kevin McCarthy averred Rep. Steve King’s latest racist remarks are “not the party of Lincoln.” The implication is, other than King, today’s Republican Party is Lincoln’s party. The GOP loves to say this. But that is hogwash, to use the “language of Lincoln.” If Honest Abe were here today, he would be chastising his former party. I say “former” because if he were here today, he would have withdrawn from the GOP in an Illinois second. Today’s Republican values are antithetical to Abraham Lincoln’s values.)]
(1/10/2019) Ballad of Manafort and Veselnitskaya [The Manafort-Kilimnik connection clearly constitutes collusion. The Don Jr.-Veselnitskaya connection clearly constitutes collusion. Were the actions of Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. part of an illegal conspiracy to steal the 2016 presidential election? Did Donald Sr. know about it? Did he sell out America to enrich himself? Does a large brown furry mammal belonging to the family Ursidae (of the order Carnivora) defecate in a woodland area supporting an understory of shrubs, herbs, or grasses? (PS: Was there something about an Oval Office address this week? I got distracted.)]
(1/3/2019) President Trump: Leading “With His” Behind [This week, three enlightening articles were published about President Trump. All three sets of authors purport to know the real Donald. Do the profiles give us insight to the man and his policies? Well, two out of three ain’t bad. “The Apprentice” producers give us Trump history. Mitt Romney gives us his opinion of the president’s character. And Jerry Falwell Jr. shows us what Jerry Falwell Jr. is made of: amoral mush.]
(12/27/2018) Jeb, Donald, and Competing Predictions [Trump’s prescient prediction of presidential investigations was otherworldly. He was right about “Director Comey and the great, great special agents … will be able to collect more than enough evidence”; he nailed his forecast of “efforts to disparage them and to discredit them.” The candidate told us “we could very well have a sitting president under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial.” Except the subject of his prophesizing turned out not to be Hillary. Only Donald could subconsciously project his own presidential future. That’s because only Donald knew, at that time, that his life philosophy comprises inherent criminal and amoral behavior. Priceless.]
(12/20/2018) Wheels Are Falling Off [There are ongoing criminal investigations into every major component of Donald Trump’s universe, including the campaign, transition, inaugural committee, presidential administration, Trump Foundation, and Trump Organization. There are seven different prosecution teams pursuing 17 separate court cases. It is breathtaking. This week, the metaphor of “the wheels have fallen off” the Trump presidency has been cited ubiquitously, and not only by Democrats.]
(12/13/2018) Wile E. Coyote Has Overshot the Cliff and Road Runner Has Dropped the Anvil on His Head [Trump appointed AG Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. Sessions appointed Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the SDNY. Berman is a former law partner of Rudolph Giuliani, a prime-time Trump sycophant. Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller, George W. Bush’s long-time FBI director, after President Trump fired then-FBI director James Comey. All these men are lifelong Republicans. Trump could not have ensured more fairness to him had he installed Tiffany and Eric at the Justice Department.]
(12/6/2018) Festival of Contrast [President Donald Trump has become such an ethical and moral wrecking ball on the presidency that any celebration of any American political leader’s life — no matter that leader’s political persuasion nor the ordinariness of that leader’s civic contributions — becomes a singing baritone sax at a funeral home viewing, blasting the contrast to our current White House occupant. Without meaning to be, the funeral of George H. W. Bush was a festival of contrast.]
(11/29/2018) Hang in There [What did President Trump call the torture, murder, and dismemberment of a dissident critical reporter by the government at the receiving end of the criticism? A good start! The president lets the Saudi royal family get away with the blatant killing of a journalist so as not to jeopardize his history of huge business deals and colossal profits garnered from that country. One more outrage in the Trump era. Who cares?]
(11/22/2018) Worst “Baby Christian” Ever [Trump let the Saudis get away with murder — literally. Any evangelicals who ever swallowed the “baby Christian” crap in 2016 must now admit that Trump is the worst baby Christian since Paul’s brilliant marketing campaign saved a dying religion at the end of the first century. In 2016, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump; 19 percent did not. The 19 percent were not manipulated by the epic hypocritical campaign of evangelical leaders. It’s like the authoritarian Christian patriarch who goes to Bible college and learns to preach, only to be ridiculed behind his back by family who clearly see the colossal hypocrisy — the guy does not live Christian values at home, and the household is miserable. Nineteen percent of the American white evangelical family was not fooled. But they — like the rest of us — remain miserable under Trump.]
(11/15/2018) Like an Episode of “Maury,” Without the Paternity Test [This title would be one thing if it were describing your average American dysfunctional family in a particularly tumultuous period. For dark, mysterious reasons, many people enjoy the vicarious thrill of watching others’ relationship problems explode on national television while being refereed by Maury Povich or Jerry Springer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (— thanks to that other Jerry: Seinfeld). But the quote above is describing the White House.]
(11/8/2018) Quintessential A**hole [Donald is engaging in sore loser syndrome — as he always does when he loses. He actually berated certain losing Republican House candidates who put distance between themselves and the White House. Every other president understood their support was weak in certain geographic areas and that his party’s candidates had to adjust their strategy accordingly. No matter — the losing Republicans did not fully “embrace” Trump and Trumpism; therefore, they are dead to him.]
(11/1/2018) Donald: Mendacious Monger of Fear [It’s election crunch time, and Donald is desperate. A House controlled by Democrats will end his reign and worse. He has fabricated more misinformation and mongered more fear than ever before. He appears to have reached new ethical and moral lows. But we know it can always get worse. With Donald Trump, there is no bottom.]
(10/25/2018) Jesus’ Abbreviated Principles — 7 Do’s and 13 Don’ts [In the last few weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, Donald Trump has focused his evil rhetorical powers to promote fear, hate, and division like never before. This is his last stand and he knows it. Even if a GOP-controlled Senate refuses to remove him from office after an impeachment trial next year, Trump will be forced to resign in the face of massive corruption come to light.]
(10/18/2018) Cry, Baby, Cry! [On Sunday, President Trump submitted to a real interview with a real journalist, Lesley Stahl of CBS’ 60 Minutes. He felt compelled twice to declare, “I’m not a baby.” Donald spent the rest of the interview demonstrating that he is a baby. To cover for the Saudis, Donald is using the Kavanaugh defense: Something terrible obviously happened, but the evidence is pointing to the wrong party.]
(8/16/2018) Perspective [sic] Rolls [sic] Former Trump campaign Chair Paul Manafort has been on trial for the past two weeks. Last Monday the prosecution rested. The day after, the defense rested without calling a single witness or presenting a case. The day after that, President Trump tweeted. He never rests.
(8/9/2018) Lies, Damn Lies, and Swamp Metaphors [“Drain the swamp” was always an empty slogan that meant nothing — and I mean NOTHING — to Donald Trump. It was a phony sales pitch, a focus-group-tested bald-faced lie. And his supporters bought it hook, line, and metaphorical sinker.]
(8/2/2018) Wrap-It-Up Republicans [The key question to these Republican obstructers is this: Why would you want to stop an investigation that is 1) attempting to ascertain how our 2016 presidential election was attacked and by whom, and 2) producing serious evidence of corruption within our own government?]
(7/26/2018) President Trump Is an Addict [Ultimately, one day Donald wakes up in the White House, with his drug paraphernalia of choice — a smartphone and a Twitter app — and the entire world as his audience. Like the drug-addled guitar player whose band gets a hit and suddenly finds himself swimming in riches and rock stardom, Donald, the hopeless mendacity addict, has begun to lose all control.]
(7/19/2018) Hinky in Helsinki [“My people came to me — (DNI) Dan Coats came to me and some others — and they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia].” (— Donald Trump) ]
(7/12/2018) Trump’s Obsequious Factotums (— thanks Jake Tapper) [In what sane, democratic universe do U.S. SCOTUS nominees, Cabinet secretaries, and most other administration luminaries feel continuously compelled to heap artificial fawning praise on their chief executive? And what competent, confident democratic leader requires this of his people?]
(7/5/2018) “You Can’t Make a Difference” — Don’t Believe It [“Where was the point when it was too late? Where was the point where if we’d all just risen up, if we’d just done something?” (— Michael Moore, predicting future questions about the results of current presidential crimes)]
(6/28/2018) Man’s Inhumanity to Man [In Trump’s America, we’re living the inhumanity again. Where are the Mr. Eggens — the junior high school teachers — to prepare students to think critically as adults? Where is the soul of the GOP? Supreme Court “swing-vote” Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement. If ever there were a time for critically thoughtful, caring patriots to mobilize and stand up to an autocratic, plutocratic leader and his invertebrate, cowering congressional majority, it is now.]
(6/21/2018) Trump’s Zero Tolerance Exposes Zero Humanity [Steve Schmidt: “Today I renounce my [30-year] membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump. It is corrupt, indecent, and immoral. This [zero-tolerance] child separation policy is connected to the worst abuses of humanity in our history.”]
(6/14/2018) Jong Un, You Were Wonderful Last Night (signed Donald) [Putin could not have scripted this better himself: Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un stumbling into a love affair. Donald is like an infatuated teenage boy; his new crush can do no wrong.]
(6/7/2018) War of the Words (and the Worlds) [Think of the Trump administration and Steven Spielberg’s 2005 movie War of the Worlds. A massive campaign of galactic devastation carried out by foreign evildoers overwhelms the United States and Earth. The same thing happens in Spielberg’s movie.]
(5/31/2018) Racism-Lite Is ALSO Wrong [Roseanne Barr and others worked their way up to blatant racism after becoming emboldened by lack of pushback along the way. Each time nonracists didn’t speak up, bigots assumed the nonracists agreed with them, or at least accepted their behavior. Meanwhile, both groups’ kids were absorbing these attitudes.]
(5/24/2018) Galactic Mick Mulvaney Hypocrisy [Mr. Mulvaney, here is a brief list of the legislative initiatives Republicans were for before they were against. Apparently, it was simple coincidence that they turned against these policies only after President Barack Obama began supporting them.]
(5/17/2018) MAGA Good Ol’ Boys: “Wait — You mean we like Jews now!?” [Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem to promote peace. “Because nothing says ‘peace’ like 58 Palestinians killed, 2,700 wounded, renewed hostilities between Iran and Israel, the entire region aflame, and U.S. allies reeling” (— Dana Milbank).]
(5/10/2018) Another Republican (Near-)Deathbed Apology [Why does it take imminent mortality for GOP politicos to clarify their values and make amends? John McCain has put a toe in the water, but apparently he is not yet sick enough to admit that choosing the galactically inept Sarah Palin as his running mate was a dangerous mistake.]
(5/3/2018) Chronic Stress and the Love of a Good Dog [In the Trump era, all of us who care about good government and the state of American democracy are living with health-damaging chronic stress. One antidote is a good dog, the greatest stress-reliever known to humankind.]
(4/26/2018) Ronny Jackson: “But the President Gets to Do It!” [Note to managers in the Trump administration: Do your thing — toxic leadership, self-enrichment, extravagant government spending — but keep it hidden. Do not outshine the boss.]
(4/19/2018) Don’t Forget, Nikki: He’s Incompetent, Too [Yes, there is an ever-cresting tsunami of presidential corruption news. But this week, in light of Ambassador Nikki Haley’s run-in with presidential vacuity, I want to get back to basics: Donald Trump is incompetent.]
(4/12/2018) Trump’s Phony Victim Mentality (Though Comey Really Is out to Get Him) [Under President Trump’s “leadership,” America is an embarrassment. We come off as a poor-me, pitiful victim of all the other countries in the world.]
(4/5/2018) Outrage Fatigue and Trump’s Race to the Bottom [There are two new resources to refresh your memory when the time comes: Amy Siskind’s book The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year (3/27/18); and New York magazine’s “501 Days in Swampland” (4/1/18), a list of White House corruption.]
(3/8/2018) Credibility: Former Senator vs. MSD Students [Surprisingly, the adult-film actress and the students have it — credibility, that is — and the senator and the president do not.]
(3/8/2018) “DON’T CONGRATULATE, Bro!” [The phrase “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” is destined to take its place among other Top 10 American pop cultural catchphrases such as “Don’t tase me, Bro!” and “You know, I’m, like, a smart person.”]
(3/8/2018) Dear Rex, It’s Not You, It’s Me [Donald tweet-fired his secretary of state. Now it’s reported Mueller has subpoenaed Russia-related documents from Trump Tower. Karma is a bitch — and then your porn star mistress wants to return the hush money and cancel the NDA.]
(3/8/2018) Trumpism Lovers, Trump Haters [There are Republicans who love Trump’s policies but hate the man. They hope Trumpism will live on after Donald is ousted. Sorry, guys. Trumpism dies without the Trump con — which is almost dead.]
(3/1/2018) Security Clearances and Armed Teachers [With this gun-control satire, I do not disrespect shooting victims or their families. I revere them. My sardonic disrespect is aimed squarely at President Trump who stupidly, selfishly promotes only gun-violence remedies the NRA can stomach.]
(2/22/2018) “This Is Code Red” [I will take no joy in the fact that we came to this point. But I will celebrate Donald’s downfall as evidence that our government could withstand the pernicious forces of Trumpism and complicit Republicans.]
(2/15/2018) Constitutional Stress Test [Don’t let the intricacies of the Trump-Russia affair make your eyes glaze over; keep an open mind and when the time is right, pay attention — your country depends on it]
(2/8/2018) President Lies Again; Also, Dog Bites Man [It’s a testament to the president that journalists and news organizations of utmost integrity finally decided they had no choice but to say it: Donald J. Trump is a liar and a racist]
(2/1/2018) Paul Ryan Wants to “Cleanse” the FBI [Paul Ryan and John Kelly have squandered their last remaining traces of integrity by supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes in shilling for an immoral, unethical, criminal president]
(1/25/2018) Trumplicans: “Russia, Russia, Russia!” [As Special Counsel closes in on the president, Trump Republicans — Trumplicans — are going off the rails to defame FBI and Mueller]
(1/18/2018) Republican Diaspora [Anti-Trump Republicans are fleeing or being pushed out of the party’s new, Trumpian mainstream]
(1/11/2018) Republicans Complicit [Why does the GOP ignore and cover up likely criminal behavior and extreme national security lapses within the Trump administration?]
(1/4/2018) Jerry Springer: Presidential Edition [Everyone knew the Trump campaign didn’t expect to win. But who knew they didn’t WANT to win. Also, Steve Bannon: “Ivanka is dumb as a brick.”]
(12/28/2017) Revisiting George Orwell in the New Year [Analyzing Trumpist populism to defeat it; apparently, we have to think like his supporters]
(12/21/2017) Politicos of the Lie [GOP tax bill is the culmination of Donald Trump and company being able to lie blatantly to the American people without shame, guilt, or impunity (for now)]
(12/14/2017) Dignity and Respect [Doug Jones’ win hastens downfall of Trump and Trumpism]
(12/7/2017) Flynn Flips — and so Does Flake, Collins, McCain, and the RNC [As Russia probe threatens to suffocate White House, GOP Tax plan threatens to suffocate American middle and working class]
(11/30/2017) Traditional Thanksgiving: Turn on the Game and Please Pass the Nativism [President Trump’s racist appeal: Implementing discriminatory policies while denying they are discriminatory]
(11/22/2017) Sexual Harassment: Degrees and Patterns [And don’t give me that “locker-room talk” defense. Men don’t say those things in locker rooms or anywhere else unless they mean it.]
(11/16/2017) The Embarrassment Tour [World leaders do not respect nor trust President Trump; they are patronizing him while biding their time]
(11/9/2017) “Trumpism Without Trump”: Going Down Like Trumpism WITH Trump [After Democrats win big in Virginia and elsewhere: MAGA hats for sale — cheap]
(11/2/2017) Stupid or Sleazy? — Or Both? [President Trump tweets wild lie that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is to blame for Manhattan terror attack; but Donald really hurts feelings by saying “Democrat” instead of “Democratic”]
(10/26/2017) Who Will Be the Edward Brooke of the Trump Era? [He lies when it’s hot, and also lies when it’s cold. He lies to the young, and likewise lies to the old. He’s illegit. He’s unfit. (— apologies to Dr. Seuss)]
(10/19/2017) Two-Headed Washington Panderer [The art of the double cross. Also, hug an investigative reporter.]
(10/12/2017) National Review: “Between the Hysterical and the Lunatic,” and More Sen. Corker [The battle against not the “fake news” but using the term itself; false equivalency lives on and on]
(10/5/2017) That Whole “Unable to Discharge the Duties of President” Thing, and Bob Corker [The 25th and a ½ Amendment: presidential probationary period (just like McDonald’s)]
(9/28/2017) Nobody Knew That Repeal and Replace Could Be so Complicated [“The sick, the elderly, and the disabled will have to stand in front of Obama’s death panel so his bureaucrats can decide if they’re worthy of health care” (— Sarah Palin).]
(9/21/2017) Please, Please, Mr. President, Don’t Call Me Rocket Man [Kellyanne Conway is upset that some people are “easy with an insult … about our leader”]
(9/14/2017) Hillary Deserves Her Say [Now let’s expedite the inevitable. Contact your legislators and tell them a reasonable (Congress) person would be calling for President Trump’s resignation.]
(9/7/2017) Trump Administration’s Metaphor Offense [“Fire and fury,” “Locked and loaded” meet “Pissin’ in the wind”]
(8/31/2017) Comic Relief: Casual-but-Stylish Disasterwear [The president hawked merchandise at a disaster news conference. It’s time: Republicans should call for Trump’s resignation.]
(8/24/2017) Teleprompter Trump vs. Wing-It Trump [The only Trump inheriting a mess is Barron]
(8/17/2017) President Trump Has No Bottom; It Will Get Worse [After seven months of presidential gross incompetence and refusal to condemn neo-Nazis, Republicans must demand that President Trump resign]
(8/10/2017) Fire and Fury, and Frankly Power (Ooh, “FRANKLY” Power!) [President’s trash-talk toward Kim Jong Un carries little weight after years of lying con artistry]
(8/6/2017) No, Sen. Jeff Flake, You Did NOT Do Enough [But we still respect GOP never-Trumpers]
(7/26/2017) Second Continental Congress, 45th President, and IBATR [Aristotle: “The speaker or writer must be a person of good intentions, dedicated to truth, accuracy, and goodwill.”]