Point of View Columns

One More Week in the Worst Year Ever

December 15, 2020

16,519,628-300,493 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Today sees Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulating Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States. Over 120 House Republicans continue to refuse to do so.

Today seen Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulating Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States. Over 120 House Republicans continue to refuse to do so.

This political dissonance worries more than a few Americans as to whether a true assault on Democracy is taking place in real time. Katy McAneny, the White House Press Secretary and a fountain of lies made reference to “a transition or a second term” without further explanation, but it doesn’t sound good for so-called democracy.

Leave it to right wing of the right wing thought leader John Bolton to provide some words of comfort, to wit “Trump isn’t smart enough to be a successful authoritarian”, and Bolton knows enough about authoritarianism to know it when he sees it.

Whew!

December 16, 2020

16,725,039-303,867 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Trump is holding up U.S. funding of international vaccine initiatives, keeping to his America First doctrine. As if the COVID-19 virus respects international boundaries.

Meanwhile Congress continues to stumble and fall on the path to providing stimulus money for Americans who have lost their jobs, for Americans who are losing their homes and for Americans who are hungry – right now. Although the senators and representatives will not be fasting in solidarity with the suffering of Americans, and while these members of Congress will not be worrying about where they will sleep tonight and they certainly don’t have to worry about whether or not they are going to get paid – they are moving at a glacial pace that seems horrific under the circumstances.

This is a bipartisan atrocity – Democrats and Republicans should be ashamed.

But, of course, they are not.

December 17, 2020

16,980,842-307,512 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Yesterday almost 4,000 Americans died from the pandemic – in a single day. The daily death toll is staggering almost to the point of anesthetizing the American public. The bright shiny object of an April or May vaccination has distracted the country from the fact that our friends and neighbors and family members and people that we will never know are dying all around us.

December 18, 2020

17,213,887-310,792 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Madness in America. Sadness in America. Disgraced – but pardoned – former general Michael Flynn has gone public with the idea that Trump should declare martial law in the swing states that voted for Biden and redo the elections.

We should be clear – while these are the ravings of a madman (and the creator of the “Lock Her Up” chant in 2016 – he is not standing on a park bench howling at the wind. Flynn was on the NewsMax national television network and millions of Americans are listening and believing.

Flynn would be easy to ignore.

And that makes him even more dangerous.

December 19, 2020

17,466,226-313,669 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

And because the Age of Trump is the gift that just won’t stop giving, Flynn – and others – are calling for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 in order to force a repeat of the November 3rd election. Presumably the same result would result in yet another forced election until the American people finally figure out that Trump is President for Life.

It is important to note that the Insurrection Act has been invoked to quell the barbarous activity of the Ku Klux Klan in the 19th century, and more recently during urban riots when federal troops were requested by the governor and mayor, not imposed by the president.

And while all this noise would be easy to ignore……we ignore it at our own peril.

When people tell you who they are we should listen.

December 20, 2020

17,722,193-316,932 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The news of the day that finally, finally, Congress has decided to ease the pain and suffering of the people just enough so that no one can say that Congress did nothing. The Stimulus Bill is certainly too little and it is certainly too late for Americans who have already lost their jobs. It is certainly too little for Americans who have seen the dreams of their own businesses evaporate. It is certainly too late for thousands of Americans who are being evicted daily. And it is most certainly too late for the millions of Americans who are already living with The Beast Called Hunger every single day.

Definitely too little.

Definitely too late.

December 21, 2020

17,847,629-317,684 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Under the heading of…just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse…. there is now a new strain of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the world. It is more infectious than the original and it has already shut down the U.K. There can be no doubt that COVID II is already in the U.S. And there can be no doubt that this country and its people are not ready for the challenge.

Meanwhile, it appears that Trump spent the weekend in lengthy meetings regarding the mechanics by which martial law could be imposed in the swing states in order to reverse the results of the election. Trump is playing with fire and does not have any idea how much damage he is causing by even giving serious thought to such a destructive thought.

Of course, Destructive may actually be Trump’s real middle name

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Point of View Columns

An Excerpt from An American Journal – Awake in a Dream or Asleep in a Nightmare?

November 29, 2020

13,246,771-266,074 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Over the weekend the Supreme Court ruled that state public officials could not put restrictions on religious gatherings in temples, churches, mosques, etc. as that would be a violation of the First Amendment rights of worshipers. And so we begin to see that the iron hand of the religious right being revealed as Amy Coney Barrett, no longer restrained by confirmation concerns or bad publicity, made it clear that the most right wing interpretation of the Constitution will be the indelible mark that she will make on any case that comes her way.

Every first year law student knows that none of the rights articulated in the Constitution are unlimited. You cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater or threaten the life of the President of the United States to name two pretty basic examples. The idea that public gatherings of any sort – religious or not – cannot be limited by public health officials in the middle of a vicious and totally agnostic pandemic – is offensive in its lack of concern for the safety and well-being of the entire public.

Obviously the restrictions on religious gathering have nothing to do with limiting anyone’s right to worship. But someone’s right to worship does not include the right to infect and kill anyone and everyone else.

Justice Barrett has shown her hand. And it is made of iron.

Her absolutist positions on issues related to religion – like gender equality, abortion and climate change, for example – will soon be on full display.

November 30, 2020

13,385,495-266,887 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Trump continues to rant and rave and rave and rant to whomever will listen, claiming and bellowing that he did not lose the election due to “massive fraud” that literally does not exist. He demanded that Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, a loyal lap dog if there ever was one, invalidate the recent election results, at least the part where he was concerned.

To his credit, Governor Kemp actually understands the importance of taking an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Georgia and its laws. And its laws state that Governor Kemp cannot do what Trump demands. Again, to his credit, Governor Kemp took the unpleasant but correct choice and told the emperor that he was nude.

There are reports from sources in the White House that Trump alternates between ranting and morose brooding, continuing to say, many time to himself, that he won the election. One staffer likened it to watching the Mad King George. So when, exactly, does the 25th Amendment actually get put to use before Trump does a slovenly sloppy version of “Thelma and Louise” and takes the entire country over the cliff of madness?

December 1, 2020

13,546,787-268,103 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

So November blends into December and more Americans are in hospitals than ever before and more Americans are dying by the day. Trump is totally ignoring the tsunami of death and destruction as he continues the madness of election denial. The sad fact that lurks behind everything this man is doing is the fact that over 73 million people voted for him knowing exactly who he is. The path to the self-immolation of a nation could not be clearer.

Of course, ever the hustling con man, Trump has raised over $170 million from MAGA Nation since November 3rd. Presumably donations are supposed to support his doomed legal fight to overturn the election results. But……read the fine print and Trump can use the money to pay campaign staffers, travel for himself and initial funding for his 2024 campaign.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to do everything he can to disrupt and destroy by demanding an acceleration of the release of the vaccines that are going through the final review process. Of course if he gets his way, the man who brought you Trump University will immediately destroy the credibility of the entire vaccination process thereby prolonging the pandemic needlessly.

Members of his legal team are issuing death threats against election officials, many of them Republicans, and it would seem that it is only a matter of time before further tragedy occurs. The mere possibility of this imperils the entire democratic process in a manner that typically proceeds authoritarian rule.

That may seem like an exaggeration. But the thought of 73 million votes for Trump seemed like an exaggeration thirty days ago.

December 2, 2020

13,721,304-270,642 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at t0he beginning of the day)

Yesterday Chief Trump Enabler William Barr, a.k.a. the Attorney General of the United States, stated that the U.S. Department of Justice had found no indications or evidence of any significant fraud in the recent presidential election. This should have put the nail in the coffin of Trump’s fake attacks on the election.

Needless to say, it did not, another Tweet storm ensued and now we have one more day in which 2,000 Americans died from the pandemic while Trump does literally nothing about it.

December 3, 2020

13,925,350-273,847 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a slow motion nightmare from which we cannot awake. The news in one day would be the horror story of the year in what used to be called normal times. Consider:

  • Over 3000 American COVID-19 deaths in one day
  • Former National Security Advisor and recent recipient of a Trump payoff pardon (and author of the “lock her up” chant) Michael Flynn calls for an immediate declaration of martial law and an order for a new election which must warm the hearts of dictators and autocrats all over the world.  
  • Meanwhile Trump ponders whether to fire Barr for finally telling the truth at least one time. One would think that Trump would give him some kind of credit for all the lies that Barr has told on his behalf.
  • What we are seeing is far worse than the scenarios that were imagined just a few months ago – millions of Americans are literally starving – more than 50 million voters believe that the election is a fraud – 73 million Americans voting for Trump in spite of……well, in spite of him being Trump for the past four years – millions of businesses evaporating, taking millions of jobs (and hopes and dreams) with them – clearly too many of us suffered from a failure of imagination

It is worse than it looks and it looks pretty bad

December 4, 2020

14,147,754-276,401 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

In the midst of an epic pandemic with spiraling death tolls and collapsing economic indicators, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris remind us of what sane used to look like during an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN.

Coming on the heels of what was even for Trump an epic 46-minute video rant on Facebook reminds us that Trump was prepared to wreak even further havoc on this country if he was reelected. Further proof can be found in the fact that even as a (soundly) defeated soon to be ex-president, he is looking to bring down the columns of the temple on all of us if given just a little more time.

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