Originally posted on October 4, 2020
Within a number of states the Republicans have an edge in their representation due to gerrymandering. Nationally the Republicans have about a 5% edge in representation due to each state, regardless of population, having two senators along with the subsequent electoral college makeup.
Right now in the Senate there are 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats (or independents who caucus with one of the parties). You might expect, in any reasonable democracy, that those 54 Republicans were elected by a majority of the voters. Almost needless to say, you’d be wrong.
I went through all 100 current senators and tallied up their vote counts from their last election. The 46 Democratic senators received 66,328,155 votes while the 54 Republican senators received just 54,938,938 votes.
So not only are the Republicans slowly making the U.S. a worse place to live, they are doing it with a minority of the population. I generally try to be optimistic, but at some point the majority will get tired of this. Whether it stays peaceful is an open question.
For the details, you can download my spreadsheet here.
Originally posted on September 10, 2020
By now the story is all over the news – Trump apparently knew that the Coronavirus was airborne and that it was a great deal deadlier than even the worst modern flu. Since he was recorded saying these things he hasn’t tried to lie his way out of it by denying that he ever said them.
Instead, he has tried the line that he didn’t want to “panic” everybody. Most of us (at least the adults among us) know that panic is most prevalent when there is uncertainty. There’s a problem, but you don’t know what to do, so you panic Most of us understand that Trump’s actions would do the exact opposite of what he claims he was trying to do. By denying (to most of us sentient beings) the fairly obvious conclusion that this virus was a nasty one, he added to the confusion.
But why? While he might have in fact thought that his assurances would lessen panic (especially in the stock market) I suspect there’s something else at play.
- Trump is a known germaphobe. I have to believe the virus had him in some sort of personal panic.
- Trump is convinced his personal traits are universal – that everyone else (aside from suckers and losers) is just like him. This leads him to do a lot of projection, accusing others of doing just what he is doing.
- It then follows that he would think that all of us are just as afraid of viruses as he is. That we are all subject to the same “panic” that he is.
- Trump apparently doesn’t really understand the difference between telling the truth and lying. Dan Coats is quoted by Woodward in Rage: “To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”
- So maybe he was trying to calm his own panic, kinda like whistling as you walk past a graveyard.
Unfortunately, that graveyard arguably includes tens of thousands of American who might still be alive except for Trump’s extraordinarily generous character flaws.
Originally posted on September 9, 2020
In a small but instructive incident, Trump again exposes how little regard he has for anyone or anything else. The diplomatic residence in Paris has quite the art collection. When Trump was there (the WWI cemetery no-show incident) he took a fancy to some of it. The result is sadly hardly surprising. Here’s the main paragraph from The Art Newspaper.
“Trump fancied for himself several of the pieces in the ambassador’s historic residence in Paris, where he was staying and which serves as the flagship for the State Department’s “Art in Embassies” cultural programme. Without notifying the ambassador, Jamie McCourt, the president and author of The Art of the Deal had a portrait and bust of Benjamin Franklin and a set of silver figurines depicting Greek mythological characters loaded onto Air Force One to bring them back to the White House. A bureaucratic nightmare ensued for the State Department and White House staffers, who worried that the $750,000 cache of art might not be legally transferable. Meanwhile, a flummoxed McCourt was told that she would receive the work back in six years—or 2024, when a second term of Trump’s presidency would theoretically end.”
He didn’t even bother telling the ambassador about it. What a creep! In a small irony the art objects he took were actually copies. Still, they were nice copies and worth quite a bit.
Originally posted on September 3, 2020
I recently read an article in The Atlantic entitled Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’. It recounts a 2018 trip to an European cemetery to pay respects to those who lost their lives in WWI. He cancelled the trip. He blamed the rain, and how the helicopter couldn’t fly, and the secret service couldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.
Apparently he was worried that his hair might become disheveled. Plus he wondered “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In other comments he has denigrated all soldiers as suckers, thus the title.
Is Trump really so callous to not appreciate the sacrifices that so many Americans have been willing to make? The Atlantic article goes on to postulate that Trump values nothing if it doesn’t yield some benefit for him personally. He simply doesn’t understand that many of us are willing to contribute something to the common good.
This is consistent with Trump’s treatment of John McCain and Humayun Khan. It is deplorable in anyone, but especially so in a president.
Originally posted on September 3, 2020
Yesterday, Wednesday September 2, Trump suggested a way to “make sure your vote counts”. Here’s the transcript of a radio call-in show.
They’ll go out and they’ll vote and then they’re going to have to go and check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do. …
But send in your ballots, send them in strong, whether it’s solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine. We have to work to get them. It means something. And you send them in but go to vote and if they haven’t counted it, you can vote. So, that’s the way I view it.
Any number of people who know about these things have said that trying to vote twice is illegal, and even suggesting the idea to someone (like Trump just did) is also illegal.
I guess in Trumpworld, election fraud isn’t really fraud if it favors him. Meanwhile in the rest of the world, going to the polling place probably wouldn’t work the way Trump thinks it would. Any number of states don’t even count the mail-in ballots until the election closes, so they’d have no idea if someone had voted or not. And it would be unusual for a polling place to have this information even if it were available.
Eventually they find out that your voterid has been used twice. Then the cops show up.
Originally posted on August 23, 2020
Maryanne Trump Barry is Donald’s older sister – the now-retired judge. Publicly she’s been quiet about her younger brother. Her niece, Mary (the one who wrote the recently-published book about him) secretly recorded some of Maryanne’s private thoughts as part of the Trump family feud over the size of Mary’s inheritance.
If anyone is in a position to make comments about Donald’s character it would be Maryanne, aside perhaps from Donald’s several wives, who so far aren’t speaking. Probably a non-disclosure somewhere.
Several comments of hers stand out, and were published by the Washington Post. The first referred to Donald’s orders to put children at the border into cages. “All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”
And then there’s this: “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
And finally, something we already knew: “What has he read?” Mary Trump asked her aunt. “No. He doesn’t read,” Barry responded.
Originally posted on August 20, 2020
Earlier today 70 Republican former security officials released a statement: “We are profoundly concerned about our nation’s security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.“
They went on to list 10 areas where he has failed:
- Donald Trump has gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader.
- Donald Trump has shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis.
- Donald Trump has solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections.
- Donald Trump has aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for American values.
- Donald Trump has disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats.
- Donald Trump has undermined the rule of law.
- Donald Trump has dishonored the office of the presidency.
- Donald Trump has divided our nation and preached a dark and pessimistic view of America.
- Donald Trump has attacked and vilified immigrants to our country.
- Donald Trump has imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team.
Pretty strong stuff, especially coming from former REPUBLICAN administrations. Roughly the same group put out a warning in 2016 that Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.” It seems that they were right way back then. Let’s hope more Americans pay attention to their warnings in 2020.
Originally posted on August 20, 2020
Earlier today Steve Bannon, the architect of Trump’s victorious 2016 campaign, was arrested. He is accused, along with 3 others, of siphoning money from a GoFundMe campaign that collected about $25M to build the wall with Mexico. When arrested he was on the superyacht of a Chinese fugitive billionaire, living the good life. Pretty strange for a man who purports to be a populist.
Of course, it could be that Bannon is a fraud, milking the populist teat for as much money as he can. His type does seem common in Trump’s orbit. He is now the seventh significant member of Trump’s campaign to face legal problems: Stone, Manafort, Flynn, Cohen, Gates, Papadopoulos all preceded him.
Biden’s campaign had a nice comment on the arrest: “No one needed a federal indictment to know that Steve Bannon was a fraud… Donald Trump has run the most corrupt administration in American history. He has consistently used his office to enrich himself, his family and his cronies. Is it really a surprise that another one of the grifters he’s surrounded himself with and placed in the highest levels of government was just indicted? Sadly, it is not. The American people deserve better.”
Originally posted on August 20, 2020
August 18 was the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment, the one that gave women the right to vote. In a transparent effort to pander to women he pardoned Susan B. Anthony of her conviction for voting when voting by women was against the law. I’m guessing not many women were impressed by his pardon of someone who died in 1906.
Like a lot of things Trump does, he apparently didn’t study this one enough to fully understand it before he acted. While she was alive Anthony refused any idea of a pardon because it would lend an air of validity to her conviction.
The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House responded with a tweet that mocked Trump’s pardon. Among the museum director’s comments was Anthony’s support for “sex education, fair labor practices, excellent public education, equal pay for equal work, and elimination of all forms of discrimination.”
Of those five items, which ones is part of any Republican agenda? Until they are, empty gestures like unwanted pardons are just insulting.
Originally posted on August 18, 2020
In nosing around the internet I came across a very powerful site where republican voters tell their stories of why they are voting for Biden. It’s called Republican Voters Against Trump. They come from a variety of backgrounds and locations, and their stories last anywhere from roughly 2 to 5 minutes. One of them, Miles Taylor, worked in the White House and his story about dealing directly with Trump should scare you.
So, if you are still thinking of voting for Trump, take a look and listen to these stories from ordinary, decent Americans. Please.