Get Ready to Vote

It’s hard not to get political these days as 24-hour news channels, with nonstop talking heads, argue for their side of the political spectrum.  So a certain amount of political partisanship is expected over issues like healthcare, the national budget, gay marriage, abortion, and social security. But political partisanship over a highly contagious virus that infects people with no regard to party affiliation sounds counterintuitive to me.

I’ve stopped watching the White House coronavirus briefs because I can only take so much of an insecure narcissistic patting himself on the back for a job well done, as 81,199 Americans have died from COVID-19, and these are just the numbers from people who died in hospitals. There is no count of people who are dying at home from this virus.

Donald Trump has politicized every aspect of this virus. He has blamed lack of testing on Barack Obama, even though COVID-19 wasn’t around when Obama was president. He has blamed the lack of medical stockpile, like masks, ventilators, and PPE on Obama, even though in February of this year, the State Department sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China. But even if it were true that Obama left the stockpile bare, why didn’t Trump do anything to replenish it? He’s been president over three years. Seems like that should be sufficient enough time to order ore supplies, I mean, he certainly found time to golf.

Trump has encouraged this country to become even more politically divided over this virus. He has used his Twitter account to agitate his followers. As Democratic governors have issued shelter-in-place orders, Trump tweeted for those states to “liberate” themselves, and people protested with guns, nooses, and Confederate flags.

Just a few days ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the Democratic Governor’s shelter in place order, and within hours bars were packed with patrons crowded close to each other, sans masks or any kind of social distancing.

What could go wrong?

Back in April, Trump estimated the death total by August could be 80,000, and here it is mid-May, and we’ve already surpassed that.

I wonder how differently this pandemic would have been handled if we had a competent President, with an uncorrupted administration, in charge.

But we don’t have that, so all we can do right now is wonder, at least until November. Then we can vote.

 

trump-what-say-is-so-dumb

 

Our Idiot President is Dangerous

Other than walks with my dog, today was the first time I left my house in eleven days.  I drove my mother to get a blood test. We pulled up to the facility, and a nurse wearing a mask and gloves came to the car door. After taking my mother’s name, the nurse pricked her finger. She secured the sample, thanked us, and walked away. The whole process took less than five minutes.

I then went to the post office for stamps. There was a sign at the entrance instructing all people to stand at least six feet apart. Only four people stood in the wrap-around line that would normally fit at least twenty people, yet I couldn’t move much past the door. The person in front of me stood at about six feet. No one tried to enter the post office as I stood there, but if they had, they wouldn’t have been able to come in. They would have had to wait outside the door until the line moved up.

These are the times we’re living in. Staying home, drive-thru blood tests, closed bars and restaurants, and six feet of separation are the new normal. But it’s all worth it. People are dying and it appears things are going to get worse. We’re not even at our peak of infections and death, and already the idiot president in charge is talking about opened business and packed churches—in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

Being home twenty-four hours a day, with twenty-four hour news channels of constant Coronavirus coverage, as well as social media, can be overwhelming. I am overloaded with news, and most of it fills me with anxiety. I no longer watch Donald Trump’s news conferences because I’m sick of being lied to.

Here is a president who was briefed on the severity of Coronavirus in January, yet spent two months publicly downplaying the virus’s threat in the States. Trump refused test kits offered by the World Health Organization in January because he didn’t want to know the numbers for fear that they’d hurt his re-election chances. So he spent two months lying to the American people (he’s actually spent his entire presidency lying to the American people) while telling us that the virus was contained and it would all go away in April with the warmer weather and in two weeks we’d be down to zero cases.

The lies continued into March, even as Trump finally decided to take this virus serious. He told us everyone who wanted a test could get a test. That wasn’t true. Then he said there’d be a millions tests available at the end of the week. That wasn’t true either. The next week he said there’d be over four million test kits available. There weren’t. Hospitals were running out of masks. Trump said there were millions available. Yet another lie.

The next three weeks will deliver us more deaths, but Trump’s main concern will be the Stock Market and his re-election.

God help us all.

 

 

 

Here Comes Mueller

Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify in front of Congress this week. I just finished reading the Mueller Report a couple days ago. I started the report July 3, and continued through the 4th of July holiday weekend. As I read about an American presidential campaign having so many contacts with Russians, and Russians trying so hard to infiltrate the US in order to influence an American election, I thought solemnly to myself, Happy Birthday, America.

This is where we’ve come.

The polls show that most Americans haven’t read the report. Hopefully it’s because of lack of time – family, work, school, life – and not for a lack of interest because what’s in this report should concern us all.

According to the report, the Russians’ attack on the U.S through social media to sow discord on our democracy was “sweeping and systematic.” There were hundreds of thousands of fake accounts on Twitter and Facebook of Russians posing as Americans and smearing lies about Hillary Clinton.

I remember those lies. I got nowhere trying to convince a man I know that Hillary Clinton was not heading a child sex ring in a pizzeria in Washington, DC. But he believed the conspiracy theorists that told him there were tunnels trafficking children into the basement of the pizza parlor. Another man believed it too because he showed up with a gun demanding to see those tunnels. Luckily the owner was able to talk the delusional man down until the police came.

But there were more lies. So many lies. Social media was run amok with Russian bots spreading those lies, and Americans didn’t know the difference.

We know from the report that the Trump campaign welcomed the support of the Russians. It should make every American shudder that an American presidential campaign did not notify the FBI once during the hundreds of contacts between the Russians and those in the Trump campaign or associated to the campaign.

In 2000,  George W Bush’s debate prep book was stolen, and Al Gore received the book while he was preparing for a presidential debate with Bush. Gore and his team immediately turned the stolen materials over to the FBI. Yet not one peep from the Trump team to the FBI about the Russian interference. That should infuriate every person who calls themselves an American.

The report found collusion with Russia, but Mueller couldn’t determine conspiracy, mostly because those questioned had lied, or had communicated with each other through apps where texts disappeared, or they simply destroyed evidence.

I hope Mueller is very clear about this part because Donald Trump has falsely claimed too many times that there was no collusion.  I hope Mueller is blunt about every pointed question he is asked, especially those questions about obstruction. Trump obstructed justice on multiple occasions.

I laughed out loud as I read a part of the report where Donald Trump tried to get then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation and order the FBI to limit their scope to include only future elections. This made me laugh because I remembered as a child when I did something bad and got caught and knew I was going to be punished, I’d yell “Starting now! Okay? Starting now! You can punish me starting now.” I wanted a do over. I wanted my bad behavior from just minutes ago to be forgotten and only my future behavior be judged for punishment.

Donald Trump wanted a do-over too. It’s funny when children try to get away with bad behavior, but when it’s the President of America it’s abhorrent.

America deserves better.

 

American flag on cracked brick wall

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net