They Aren’t Even Pretending Anymore

As it has begun to dawn on the Trump criminal enterprise that it is in danger of losing in November, it’s ramping up its efforts to destroy federal agencies and the rule of law–and in its haste, abandoning efforts to be subtle about it.

The Republican National Committee and the Trump Campaign has budgeted twenty million dollars to fight efforts to expand voting by mail.  Wouldn’t want to make it easy for people to vote…..

Congressional investigators are asking for information about loans and other bailout funds that the Trump Organization has tried to get from Britain, Ireland and other foreign governments, to cover the wages of employees who’ve been furloughed from the company’s golf properties in Europe due to the pandemic–setting up a conflict-of-interest that probably violates the Constitution.

Then, of course, there’s the astonishing move by Attorney General and Trump lackey William Barr, who has petitioned the court to drop the Justice Department case against Michael Flynn. Tellingly, the filing was signed only by Barr’s hand-picked US Attorney for the District of Columbia–not by a single career prosecutor.

In order to understand how stunningly improper this request is, it may help to remember the behaviors for which Flynn was prosecuted–and for which he twice pled guilty–and why, after the election, President Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn.

Flynn was evidently being watched because he had suspicious connections to Putin. When the Obama administration announced retaliatory measures for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he immediately made five phone calls to the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. When the FBI interviewed Flynn, he lied about those calls, prompting the famous warnings from Sally Yates to the White House that Flynn was compromised and vulnerable to blackmail.

Trump ignored Yates’ warnings, and when Comey wouldn’t drop the investigation into Russia–focused largely on Flynn’s activities– he fired Comey.

Flynn subsequently offered to testify about the campaign’s connections to Russia in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution, but was turned down. When it became obvious that Mueller had enough evidence to bring criminal charges against both Flynn and his son, he began to cooperate with the investigation. He subsequently pled guilty to lying to federal investigators. (Evidently, he was not sentenced at that time because he had not yet finished cooperating with the special counsel’s office.)

These are hardly the actions of an innocent man, but when Mueller’s investigation ended–and, presumably, heartened when the Senate GOP supinely refused to convict Trump despite evidence of impeachable offenses– he moved to withdraw his guilty plea.

Barr’s pleading (it would be a mistake to attribute it to the professional Justice Department since none of the career prosecutors would sign on) is based on an astonishing assertion: any investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election was unfounded and illegitimate. It’s a flatly dishonest assertion, one clearly dictated by Trump, who is talking about rehiring Flynn.

We learn something new–and appalling–about this horrific administration every single day.

The fossil fuel lobbyists currently dismantling the EPA are continuing their assault on the environment–the number of regulations they have rolled back or eliminated is approaching one hundred. Betsy DeVos continues her efforts to gut public education and to funnel our tax dollars into private and for-profit schools. The Interior Department is busy giving away public land. Etc.Etc.

And Trump, of course, is barreling ahead with his insistence on “opening” the economy, in an effort to salvage his re-election prospects– despite universal warnings from health officials that we are not nearly ready and that many people will die unnecessarily.

His administration is already killing people with increased pollution, so I’m sure a few thousand extra deaths won’t bother them.

If the voters don’t throw this crew out in November–and by “this crew” I very much include the Republicans in the Senate, whose partisanship and lack of patriotism have enabled it all–we can just bid farewell to the America we thought we knew.






51 thoughts on “They Aren’t Even Pretending Anymore

  1. Trump’s appointment of a donor buddy to Postmaster General means we can kiss good-bye any hope of vote-by-mail-for-all. We also need to question the provision of continued Absentee Ballots for those in the military, hospitalized or in rehab, employment which takes them out of state, seniors and disabled? Trump has stated no loans for the USPS unless they raise the cost of mailing packages and he singled out the increase to effect Amazon.

    Consider this, if you can remember through the many changes; openly racist Jeff Sessions was the most honest of Trump’s appointees for legally recusing himself from any and all issues regarding Russia…and Sessions was one of Trumps first to be be ousted due to Trump’s disfavor for legally recusing himself. He has openly stated he would gladly accept another Trump appointment if offered.

    This entire administration has learned it does NOT have to pretend or hide its illegal, immoral, undemocratic, ignoring Rule of Law and dismantling the Constitution; it seems to work much better out in the open. They are now “grandstanding” to maintain their Republican White Nationalist government base and reelection campaign foundation. But the Covid-19 Pandemic has now worked its way into the highest levels of White House staff members; coronavirus is not politically inclined.

    America no longer has a government; it has a Republican mafia with its own personal “Don”.

    “If the voters don’t throw this crew out in November–and by “this crew” I very much include the Republicans in the Senate, whose partisanship and lack of patriotism have enabled it all–we can just bid farewell to the America we thought we knew.”

  2. When news about Flynn’s phone calls to the Russian ambassador was first published, one story mentioned that the intelligence agencies considered the ambassador as recruiter for spies.

  3. Twenty five percent of the judges on the Federal Bench are appointees of the current administration. That means that we will have to put up with incompetence and right winged zealotry in our judiciary for decades to come. If this isn’t enough to convince reasonable people to vote blue, I don’t know what is.

  4. Look, I guarantee you, if it looks like the current POTUS will not win re-election, there will not be an election.

    Everyone knows the consequences for a lot of these individuals if the election is lost! They know that there’s going to be prosecution’s and prison time for quite a few folks.

    So, let me pose this question. If, criminal organization had the ability to prevent any sort of prosecution, would they take advantage of it? Why do you think the current POTUS was asking the question about pardoning himself even a couple of years back?

    We are not in a democracy anymore! And, there really is nothing anyone can do about it because the sycophantic co-conspirators are laced throughout the government, the Senate, the attorney general, and all of the Court appointees, the road has been made much wider and smoother.

    I remember way before the election when the Senate refused to allow Obama to appoint a supreme Court Justice, right there, everyone should have seen what was on the horizon! now, the supreme Court can basically green-light anything this administration does, whether it’s constitutional or extra constitutional. Declare martial law? No problem! Cancel the elections? No problem! Dismantle healthcare in the middle of a pandemic? No problem! Encourage poisoning the environment, water, air, soil, and such? No problem! Accepting bribes and extorting foreign governments? We are open for business!

    As I pointed out yesterday, there is no cohesion involved in any of this anymore. Complacency and procrastination are ugly taskmasters, and now recompense is being paid.

    The government is printing money at an unprecedented rate, money is being doled out and thrown around and such large amounts, no one knows where it’s all going. There’s constant terrible news in the financial markets every day, but the stock market keeps going up! Why? Because the government is giving money to these corporations, they will supposedly go with negative interest rates next year. this in itself is not sustainable, it cannot be sustainable! By that time, they will have increased the deficit so much that it can never be managed. The crash that everyone will witness is going to be devastating and fatal!

  5. Geraldine,

    “Democracy in America as we knew it is already gone.”

    That’s for sure. All we can do now is to stand up against the Trump regime before it is totally firmed up.

  6. We’re becoming FROZEN just like the Jews in Germany before the “roof fell in.” Why not, since Trump/Pence/Bannon are using an up-dated NAZI PLAYBOOK.

  7. Well, for all the dark days on this blog, this is the darkest – so far. The election…. The question is how is the criminal enterprise going to justify cancelling the election? Are the right-wing state governors going to just throw up their hands and say, “No election this time.” because the orange hairball declared some sort of emergency? Will the gun-toting idiots from Redneck Nation all get out there are parade in front of the voting booths in those places where the elections DO happen? How long will it be before somebody steps up to do the right thing?

    The vast majority of people in this country WANT an election…for many reasons – even those passing themselves off as Republicans. I agree with Jon that the election is in great jeopardy of happening. Will that kick off the long-awaited civil war? Isn’t that what Putin wants to see here? Trump is clearly Putin’s bitch and Mike Flynn has been and will be again the intermediary those two evil bastards want to have in charge of making Trump king of America and a vassal of Russia.

    That all said, it might be the only silver-lining in the COVID-19 misery: Everyone in the White House is now susceptible to infection in view of their need to defy the necessary controls over interaction and protection. Trump, Pence, et. al. refuse to wear masks, for example. That’s so unmanly, you see.

    This blog is undoubtedly being monitored by some sort of investigating agency, private or government. They’re looking for conspiracy theories or people advocating the breaking of laws…at least the ones they’re guessing are valid. But the virus doesn’t care about laws, politics, or conspiracies. It’s just a strand of RNA bundled up in some fatty membrane. It has no brain. It has no mission. Its chemical. It messes with the body chemistry of mammals.

    We all see that a flat line has more than one meaning.

  8. All of this has happened before. You would think we might have learned something. You gotta laugh. We haven’t learned a damn thing.

  9. Based on the old theory of “skating to where the puck is gonna be,” I’ve been re-reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Les Miserables” the past couple of days.

    As an old Boy Scout, I’m also reminded of our motto: BE PREPARED.

  10. If there’s no election that means the terms of all Representatives and 1/3 of the Senators end on January 3rd, 2021 and the Article 1 branch ceases to exist as a functional body. Sounds like an opportunity for mischief to me.

  11. Vernon,

    Me either. I’m not going to wait around for the guillotine. Sorry, I must be a coward, as I have a serious aversion to pain.

  12. I was with you, John, until this: “By that time, they will have increased the deficit so much that it can never be managed. The crash that everyone will witness is going to be devastating and fatal!”

    Money printed by the Fed doesn’t end up as debt, nor does it contribute to the deficit. Case in point, after the global financial collapse in 2008/09, the Fed went to quantitative easing (QE) or easy money to prop up the financial sector. They printed an estimated $14 trillion to clean up balance sheets of banks and provided plenty of liquidity to let the financial industry prop up the stock market.

    The Fed told the market when it crashed over COVID-19 fears that the presses would be open 24/7 for the Banksters. We’ve got the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression, and many businesses are folding, yet the stock market rebounded nicely.

    Now, what did add to the deficit/debt was the congressional and presidential approval of bailout dollars. Whether Trump cancels the election or Joe Biden wins, we’ll have trillions more in debt and politicians crying for cuts in the budget.

    Do you think the military budget will get slashed? LOL

    The Koch family has wanted to undo FDR’s social programs since its inception. Which one of our capitalist-controlled political parties will oppose slashing the social safety net?

    In case you missed it, Nancy Pelosi called for the bailing out of the influence peddlers (lobbyists) who have suffered during the pandemic. You can’t make this shit up if you tried.

    By the way, AOC wants to use Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to fund the Green New Deal and pay off Student Loans, but the media has been silent about her ideas. Instead of the DNC embracing her progressive ideals and people-centered use of MMT, she is shunned and has to contend with a Wall Street-funded DNC moderate running against her.

    Yes, voting matters, but just voting blue isn’t enough. The goal might be to end the Trump Family criminal enterprise in the short-term, but we are five decades behind in turning the government to “We the people…”

    And as others are pointing out, Trump just appointed a complete idiot sycophant to run our IC so they’ll be misused to help Trump by crushing any opposition.

  13. Vernon,

    I just renewed my URL: TRUMPCARD.VIDEO, which I purchased 7 days after Trump announced he was running for President. It just might be the right time to move forward.

  14. Todd, LOL!

    My point being, not that long ago the Fed was supposed to help the central banks in Europe by guaranteeing a certain amount of dollars. Now Powell said that they didn’t have the amount of dollars on hand that they could send all of these central banks to keep them afloat by guaranteeing their currency with dollars. So, it was kind of like a rolling blackout that they came up with, LOL! They would pick different banks for a certain amount of time and guarantee those loans until they moved on to the next Bank. That way they could pick and choose who and what to guarante and not just flood every bank with dollars.

    Now it seems that there are unlimited amounts dollars available! They are available for bailouts and loans and what have you. So as they are printing this money and making loans, and bailing out these corporations by buying junk bonds, when does it become unsustainable? That was my point on that issue Todd. And I’m wondering, eventually the money is not going to be worth anything. Because the amount that’s being lent, has to be paid back, and if it can’t be paid back because the guarantor can’t afford to do it, to me it’s like every nuke on the planet in countdown.

    I suppose, if it gets to a certain point and the virus IE pandemic resurges in the fall, either they go back into lockdown or just let everyone die off, who knows! To me that’s the perfect opportunity to stop elections and declare martial law, and well, you know, here we go.

    Or, maybe it’ll get to a point where there could be world forgiveness for every debt on the planet down to the last rascal! But we know that won’t happen and that’s extremely implausible, but if everyone was on board with it down to the last rascal, it could work. But I doubt like something of that nature ever crossed their minds in the first place. So the weight of debts and guarantees and other obligations is going to sink all ships, just the opposite of the rising tide lifts all boats? This is going happen quickly kind of like when they found those mammoths Frozen in Siberia with fresh plants in their stomach, that cold air hit in a matter of hours and froze them to death. Like I said, it’s going to happen quick.

  15. Hey Marv and Vernon,
    I need to brush up on my Morse code, I think the only thing I remember is SOS.

  16. I’m so damned depressed about this. I’m not sure even if we can keep the faith and elect Joe Biden and a Democratic Senate this fall that there will be an America left to save. So sick that I’m having to limit my news intake for the sake of self-preservation.

  17. Not to mention the millions or billions to paint his ridiculous wall BLACK. UGH

  18. John Sorg
    “Look, I guarantee you, if it looks like the current POTUS will not win re-election, there will not be an election.”

    The rationale for suspending the election will be hot war with China. US weapons surrounding the China Sea are already in place in Guam, Japan, Philippines, and S. Korea. The demonization of China is constant in MSM.

    Starting with Obama’s “pivot to China,” the Naval fleet is now in position and popular opinion is being vigorously cultivated to support war against China, and our “Wartime President.”

  19. Gordon,

    Yes, the naval fleet has moved into position just like a bully gets in your face. What possible reason could Trump justify military action against China?

    Talk about disrupting the supply chains…the American economy would come crashing down within days of China halting all exports. It would cause global chaos and what in the world would the Walton family do? Where would Walmart get their product since they forced all their suppliers to move into China years ago?

    In this case, China could crush the USA with the stroke of a pen.

  20. Do we really need to argue anymore about Trump’s intention to forego the Constitution, if need be? Why don’t we discuss how we might go about saving out future from this sick monster? Or is there something more important to attend to? However, I don’t know what that could be.

    Please clue me in, if I’m missing something.

  21. Todd
    “What possible reason could Trump justify military action against China?”

    …which is the way empires die, by military overreach.”

  22. Trump is committing suicide. So let’s all go down with him. He can’t succeed. He screwed-up and now he’s attempting a TRANSITION to FASCISM without making the necessary TRANSFORMATION, which he has failed to do.

    I would rather have been on the Titanic than on this ship of state that’s about to explode.

    I’ve mentioned this before.

    See: “The Apartheid State in Crisis: Political Transformation in South Africa 1975-1990” by Robert M. Price (Oxford University Press, New York, 1991).

  23. Give me a break – War with China. China has ICBM’s and Nukes an attractive target would be Japan and South Korea where the USA has bases. Do you really think Japan and South Korea would go along with a War against China??? Also Russia is next door to China, South Korea and Japan. As has been mentioned above China holds all the economic cards. They also hold part of our debt. Steroid Capitalism will not permit a shooting War with China.

    More likely but also fraught with danger would be an attack on Iran. The Gulf Oil States and Israel would pay a steep price for an attack an Iran.

  24. Monotonous,

    The point is that he’s going to make a move somewhere. What are we supposed to do? Wait around like the biggest group of FOOLS that have ever inhabited Planet Earth to see what he’s going to do.

  25. Here’s an extreme overview scenario that may offer a thought experiment about how long gone our Democracy is. The Americans who count, to the oligarchs and gatekeepers, are voting every day, but via the stock market, which now functions as our free market-based government. That the stock market hasn’t crashed confirms the hijacking. This is due to the greed, fear and conditioning of our middle and upper middle classes added to the traditional greed of the upper classes and those who will do anything to be billionaires. If there is no democracy, perhaps only stakeholders in the stock market are citizens in today’s economy. Voting would seem irrelevant.

    Essentially, if elections have been transferred over to the stock market now, beyond any political or governmental system, there are no functional political parties, nor have there been for many years. Most of the money our “leaders” give to corporations via the Fed and Congress is going to enrich corporate power through buy-backs of corporate debt, not investment, not growth, not workers, not innovation. Plundering is the best description. The greatest, perhaps only, return on investment comes from influence peddling, lobbying, acquisitions and campaign contributions.

    How long will it take for democracy “believers” and freedom “believers” to realize that, in the current system, humans as workers/employees/citizens exist to serve the corporate state? Unless and until we find ways to work with, and combine forces with, libertarians and conservatives, progressives and liberals will continue to be entrapped in the same downward spiral, along with those on the right who are slowly coming to realize that the Federal government no longer exists and the states, too, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the oligarchy/elites. Are the merger of government and corporate powers already complete?

    After all, what is the difference between the “coastal elites” identified by libertarians and conservatives and the “oligarchs” identified by progressives and liberals? Perhaps they are one and the same, except wearing different gang colors, adorned by different irrelevant labels and different pop culture celebrities.

  26. Yesterday, I was cruising through the Cable Channels. May have been CNN or MSDNC that caught my attention. They had a Wall Street-Stock expert on they were interviewing. There was happy talk and a bit of giddiness about how “The Market” has bounced back.

    Of course in the World of Cable News, “The Market” is the thermometer for all our well beings. Naturally, The Trumpet views “The Market” as his personal approval ratings. So, “The Market” rebound that has happened The Trumpet will gladly take personal credit for.

    Left out of all the Happy Talk about “The Market” was the crushing burden of unemployment, which is approaching depression levels. The states are now trying to unburden themselves from paying unemployment by “opening up” the economy. There are no provisions to protect the employees with PPE who must report back to work. Safe Workplace – HELL NO – Go to work you pond scum or lose your unemployment benefits.

  27. Earon,

    You’re right, except the libertarians and conservatives, when things start to crumble, will move toward Fascism, while the progressives and liberals will move toward Democracy, as things fall apart, since down deep it’s all about WHITE SUPREMACY.

  28. Monotonous,

    “There are no provisions to protect the employees with PPE who must report back to work. Safe Workplace – HELL NO – Go to work you pond scum or lose your unemployment benefits.”

    As I mentioned previously, ” I would rather have been on the Titanic than on this ship of state that’s about to explode.”

  29. It appears that I, neither a Good German nor a dreamer, am in the minority on the topic Sheila has presented today. I am comforted by history. Lincoln had an election in 1864 pursuant to the Constitution while we were in the midst of a civil war, a conflagration far in excess of what a few armed idiots could start today or in November even if Trump-blessed. I do not agree that our democracy is a thing of the past – not by any means – but possible if a majority agree that the noble experiment has ended, and I for one will never agree to such a view.

    Trump has not won and is not even winning, contrary to the view of some. We are by far the majority, electoral relief is in sight, and there are signs that even his base is beginning to see the light with dead relatives and joblessness. We have lived through similar debacles (though the pandemic does add a new dimension), and I have lived through two of them, namely, the Great Depression and WW II. I don’t recall hearing anyone during these two epochs suggesting that the Constitution was dead or on its deathbed; indeed before going to the South Pacific I took an oath not to FDR or any other politician but to the principles set forth in that hallowed document, an oath that binds me to this day.

    I understand that a brash and brainless cretin in the Oval Office and a Rasputin AG can openly attempt to destroy our democracy and thus create a sense of normalcy in the process, pretending, among other things, that lying, stealing etc. are to be the new normal, and that acquiescence in Trump’s Otherworld and authoritarianism is a prerequisite to (literally) enjoy citizenship, labeling those who disagree as fake, enemies of the people etc. I reject such framing, will not be a “Good American” as many Good Germans who allowed Hitler to ascend to the throne were, and expect to bring about a confirmation of our democracy this fall, followed, as usual, by Democratic cleanups of Republican messes (see FDR, Clinton, Obama) and indictment of cretins, Rasputins and their ilk not as a matter of revenge, but as a warning to future presidents that they were elected subject to constitutional restraints, none of which allow for rule by dictators (as Barr and his Article II nonsense would have us believe). So throw in the towel? As a famous admiral once said: “We have not yet begun to fight!”

  30. There is no one more dangerous in this administration than William Barr. Trump acting on his corrupt instincts is limited by a lack of intelligence and competence. Barr fills in Trump’s weakness and makes Trump’s corruption limitless. There is nothing Barr would not do. The man has zero ethics.

  31. ML “More likely but also fraught with danger would be an attack on Iran. ”

    Mr. Wolfowitz and the Rand Corp recommended attacking China before 2025; after that, China would be economically too powerful to defeat.

    China is the socialist.
    economic success story that threatens the hegemony and its capitalist economy.

    Attacking Iran does nothing to stop the burgeoning Chinese economy.

    Attacking China offers the twin benefits of hobbling its economy by cutting off oil delivery through the China Sea and assuring POTUS re-election.

    There is no alternative for POTUS, China will be the target, and the scapegoat for the consequent economic collapse.

  32. Gerald,

    You were wrong on your prediction that Trump wouldn’t win and I’m afraid those same miscalculations are still prevalent with you. I said the other day, “I hope that you’re right.”

    I won’t say that again, as you’re willing to risk everything on your judgment, which has shown to be faulty before, when it comes to Donald Trump.

  33. Earon writes, “Are the merger of government and corporate powers already complete?”

    I’m not sure they were ever separated since our inception. We’ve made progress in some areas while we’ve given power gained back to our Fascist government in other areas.

    We’ve accepted the near-complete absence of unions among the working classes and we currently have no oppositional political party to offset the power gained by the Oligarchy.

    Capitalism is an extractive scheme and unsustainable to a planet with finite resources. And with a compliant capitalist run media kowtowing to the Oligarchy, as Marv would say, we have no credible defense to stop the scheme.

    Just for confirmation, we still rank 25th in the world on the Democracy Index, but I suspect that will drop further down the index after the last four years of Trump.

  34. A lot of history that nobody is in control of will still be written between now and November . The virus is not even half done. The economy has lost its foundation but hasn’t collapsed yet. Climate change is building up strength in its ability to remind us what unsustainable means. The buzzards of the world are circling waiting for the appropriate time to gorge. Trump’s rage is rising as the only antidote he is equipped with for his incompetence. Everyone is on the edge of sanity as all we know of to deal with a level of uncertainty that we have never experienced.

    One of the great frustrations that a lot of “entertainment” is based on is that police can’t act until after a crime is committed even though there may be a high level of certainty that one will be committed.

    This is the very definition of suspense (a state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen.).

  35. Gordon @ 12:37 pm , exactly how will be China be attacked??? Some kind of D-Day invasion??? Naval units like carriers would be sitting ducks, from missile attacks. Excluding the Nukes we have nothing.

    We have been stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq for almost two decades, not a real success story. We have not won a War since 1945, unless you want to count Panama or Grenada.

  36. Marv – Well, I will either be proven right or wrong irrespective of endorsements or lack thereof. Yes, I thought Hillary would win and I was right per gross vote but electorally wrong. I think the upcoming election presents a different picture what with three and one half years of exposure to the brainless one as president and an awareness of Putin’s trolls, among other then unknowns. We’ll see, come November 4, and I hope I am right.

  37. I read that the day the Justice Department dropped charges against Flynn, #3 was on the phone with Putin. Seems like a full circle. Flynn was taking directions from the president -elect to exchange favors with Russia while Obama was still Potus. Just because US is going into election doesn’t mean we should allow illegal means to go uncovered due to how it will look like interference in the election. A lot of us are tired of being had by all this corruption that’s trickling down & up.

  38. Gerald – I am with you.

    The real questions I have are about what happens next January and beyond. Trump and McConnell will do as much damage to this country as possible. Will a President Biden just say, “Let’s go back to how it was. I don’t want to look political. If Trump and company trashed the regulations and robbed the country, let’s go slow in restoring things. If Moscow Mitch stacked the courts, well we are above that sort of thing.”

    When Tom DeLay decided to do a second redistricting in Texas to steal Democratic seats in the House, Democrats said, “We are above that.” They were fools, but have they learned.

    I know that we can increase the number of judges and and justices to “unstack” the courts (if Democrats have the guts), but are there any laws that will let us go after the looters and self-dealers in our current government, and dole out some kind of justice to Barr (life imprisonment — or life working in a meat processing plant)?

  39. I agree Sheila, they are NOT pretending anymore. On the other hand, I grew up as a baby-boomer learning how to craw under my little desk at grammar school to, wait for it……survive a nuclear detonation! Pretending?

    I remember the good ol’ boy from Texas, LBJ, stating how he “hated war” while following the recommendations of JFK’s “policy intellectuals” to add hundreds of thousands of ground troops to an “agreed upon” failed policy known as Vietnam. Pretending?

    Not long after that was, of course, Tricky Dick who ran on “ending the war now” in 1967 primaries only to become one of the most psychopathic war and power loving cretins (Trump currently notwithstanding, or Bush Junior…) to enter The Oval Office. Naturally, Watergate, all by itself, is its own special kind of “in house” normalcy for the “political system.” Pretending?

    Then Reagan came and rolled out Friedman’s Chicago Economics (ironically called Supply Side), gorged the Military Budget, cut taxes for the wealthy and “job creators,” doubled the debt (which, until then, was a regular Conservative nightmare and mantra…see FDR as the “evil socialist,” “debt dictator,” “Constitutional Destroyer,” etc), attacked and dismantled Social Safety nets, went after Unions ( NATCA and others), and made War patriotic again (Granada). I could go on….Pretending?

    Then I (we) could list EVERY President of BOTH parties (and their “achievements”) since Reagan who have continued the great American Traditions of Pro-Military, Corporate “donations” (PACS), on-going dismantling of FDR laws/programs, endless wars, tax cuts and making them PERMANENT (thanks Obama!), bailing out financial institutions while letting working people fall away as cannon fodder (Savings & Loans, 2008 TARP, et al), Trade Deals (that enrich the stock holders and Corporate folk), etc.

    Yes, the “revolving door” between the Corporate/Wall Street world (per the infamous Powell Memorandum of 1971 who got a juicy seat on the Supreme Court from Tricky Dick) and our Federal Government seats and offices has been spinning consistently for the better part of 50 years and counting. No one has been pretending.

    In all honesty, I think the only thing Trump brings to the table is the bold transparency of claiming to do these tried and true political/corporate shenanigans and saying publicly, “So what?!!!” And he does it with a near circus-like gasp with every light, so-called reporters” and cameras in the world looking on with amazement…

    Yes, pretending, indeed. It has a long history through BOTH parties (if we are honest). I think it bothers us more so now because the curtain (which has ALWAYS BEEN THERE) has been pulled back and exposed the crook(s) at the helm of our Land of Oz. They have been there for DECADES. Indeed, “pay no attention to the man (men) behind the curtain!”

    Ah…but doesn’t the entertainment “news” media (another new entity since LBJ and used brilliantly by Reagan only to be surpassed by Trump’s masterful use of them….) love to show and “interpret” (ie talking head experts) the show now revealed daily, 24/7!!! Ratings and money flow through the coffers of the for-profit “news.”

    All to say, thank you, Sheila, for your work and love all the commentators who give their, well, great comments. Always interesting.

    So, lets all hunker down and REALLY pretend that there is a real “two party system” and a real choice between Biden and Trump when it comes to our poverty income based (Service sector) economy, carbon fuel pandemic (120 years and counting), endless war and war economy corporations and a Health Care (oxymoron intended) System that is still based upon the ability to “pay to play.” Yes, Biden would be a welcome change for those concerned about emotional stability. Duh.

    However, don’t be fooled into pretending that SOMETHING vital will change for the working peasant masses who have been living paycheck to paycheck DECADES BEFORE Trump and Covid-19 came across our Japanese made entertainment screens!!!


  40. “Democracy in America as we knew it is already gone.”

    “That’s for sure. All we can do now is to stand up against the Trump regime before it is totally firmed up.”

    The rub is that they have calculated that we won’t do a thing in regard to any of these moves they’ve done out in the open right before our eyes and they may be right. We do act like we are frozen in place, recoiling from the latest daily or multi-daily outrage and only grousing about them and looking on. As noted many are tuning this all out to preserve their sanitys and that’s also been figured into their overall equation and their ongoing strategy.

    We have to stand up and be counted and confront this monstrous thing we let be unleashed upon us all. If we don’t we might as well just roll over and play dead since we deserve what we will get. We can almost smell what’s going to happen and yet we sit, just sit. With all due respect to those that raised other issues that are running concurrent to this overarching threat, if we don’t target the source of this catastrophe the rest won’t matter at all.

  41. Tom,

    “With all due respect to those that raised other issues that are running concurrent to this overarching threat, if we don’t target the source of this catastrophe the rest won’t matter at all.”

    You’re absolutely right. Targeting the source, that’s the only chance we have left to stop this political disaster. It’s still doable.

    See: “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action” by Simon Sinek (Penguin, New York, 2011).

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