When is Dandy Don going to sing his song?

When Monday Night Football began airing in the 1970s, one of the broadcasters was a colorful former quarterback named Don Meredith. Near the end of the game, when the outcome was no longer in doubt, “Dandy Don,” as he was called, would sing an old country song.

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over. They say all good things must end. Turn out the lights, the party’s over. I am so glad we a parted as friends.”

The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris survey finds that nearly two out of three voters believe the election was fair and that Biden won. Fifty-eight percent of all voters said it’s time for Trump to concede. The result would be higher, but the outgoing president’s hold over his party is still strong and two-thirds of Republicans believe Trump won. That truly is mind-boggling.

Yet, Michigan was certified for Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris yesterday and Pennsylvania is certifying county by county as we speak, in spite of the outgoing president’s gamesmanship. And, more importantly, the GSA claimed Biden/ Harris as the winner and is moving forward with the transition.

While the outgoing president relented to the GSA decision after getting pressure from the business community and Republican Senators, he still did not concede. Will those two-thirds of Republicans ever come around or are they destined to continue to believe the orchestrated fraud claims, in spite of two dozen lost court cases (vs only one small victory) and Republican election officials pushing back saying there was no wide-spread fraud?

Maybe some will, begrudgingly, but others will carry this torch and be consistently reminded by the untruthful and corrupt bent former president over the next four years. That is the sad situation for out country caused by Trump and abetted by his sycophants too scared to call the vindictive outgoing president on the carpet for his unproven claims.

So, Mr. Trump, Dandy Don is starting to sing. “Turn out the lights, the party’s over…”

To the point

The petulant acting president has told his people to not share COVID-19 data with the staff appointed by the president-elect. We are talking about people’s lives and the president is still throwing a tantrum with unfounded claims of wide-spread fraud, claims which he has orchestrated and staged for several months.

Let me come right to the point. This is the first president to not put country first to facilitate an orderly transition. It matters not if the president is still contending the election with or without merit. You still plan ahead to help people. It is that simple.

But, let me be brutally frank. Watching this president over the years, during his first campaign, and during his presidency, his interests have invariably superseded those of the country’s. He cannot help himself as it is in his narcissistic nature. So, doing what is necessary to help people is not in his thought pattern.

As conservative pundit David Brooks said the past year, “the president does not have any empathy or sense of decency.” There are many negative metaphors to draw from, but to me, having pep rallies with his most ardent fans in February without warning them of the risk (after admitting to knowing of the dangers of the coronavirus), is beyond the pale. He put his most loyal followers in danger without their knowledge.

Yet, if that is too subtle, picture Trump tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans ravaged by a hurricane following his relative disdain to helping them. It was condescending as if it were a king throwing food scraps to hungry people.

What a real hero looks like

I have written before about this hero primarily for her book gifting program for young kids, which is now an international program called “Imagination Library” (see second link below). Her name is Dolly Parton. I heard she could write songs and sing, as well. Yet, Parton just received some new acclaim for helping fight COVID-19.

In an article in The Hill by Judy Kurtz (see first link below) called “Dolly Parton among donors behind Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine,” her efforts are revealed. Here are a few paragraphs from the article.

“Dolly Parton can add another achievement to her résumé: helping to fund research for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

The ‘9 to 5’ singer was one of several donors listed Monday as part of the announcement that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate was 94.5 percent effective in an interim analysis. The ‘Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund’ was named as a supporter in the footnotes of a New England Journal of Medicine report.

Parton, 74, announced back in April that she was giving $1 million to researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center toward finding a vaccine to fight against COVID-19.

In an April Instagram post announcing her contribution, the Grammy Award winner said she was donating in honor of her longtime friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad, a researcher at Vanderbilt who informed her ‘that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure.'”

Parton will be remembered many years from now for her Imagination Library where 147 million books have been provided to young children. Currently, there are 1.7 million children signed up for the program. Yet, seeing her do things like the vaccine funding adds to her legacy.

Seeing her interviewed on multiple occasions, the depth of her kindness, integrity, and approachability is heart warming. Her ability to laugh at herself (both the stage personality and at home one) reveals a very smart woman that disarms people. She does not need to solicit attention for her good deeds, it just spreads.

Well done, Ms. Parton. You are a credit to the human race. Thank you for your music and big heart.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/dolly-parton-among-donors-behind-moderna-s-coronavirus-vaccine/ar-BB1b6aIj?ocid=msedgdhp

Trump appointed Election Official blasts Trump’s false election claims

An article caught my eye yesterday called “Federal election official blasts Trump’s false election claims as ‘laughable,’ ‘baffling’ and ‘insulting'” by Alex Marquardt of CNN. The article can be linked to below. Here are a few leading paragraphs.

“A senior federal election security official who was appointed by President Donald Trump has blasted the President’s false post-election claims, calling them ‘baffling’, ‘laughable’ and ‘insulting’.

Asked in an interview what he would say to Trump about the election, Ben Hovland said ‘these conspiracy theories that are flying around have consequences.’

Hovland runs the Election Assistance Commission which, in part, tests and certifies voting machines. He was nominated by President Donald Trump last year and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He works closely with other federal agencies that oversee elections, like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

‘At a minimum, it’s insulting to the professionals that run our elections and hopefully that’s the worst that comes of it,’ Hovland told MIT Technology Review. ‘Our people, they’re doing their jobs but they don’t feel safe doing it. That is a tragedy. That is awful. These are public servants. This isn’t a job you do for glory or to get rich.’

The only comments to add to Mr. Hovland’s interview are several Republican election officials and Secretaries of State in places like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, to name a few, have said on the record there is no widespread voter fraud in their states. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security said it was the most secure election ever.

It should be noted the president’s lawsuits are not faring well in the various courts, as he has only one won in Pennsylvania, which got a few votes thrown out and has lost about a dozen. It is also telling that two of the law firms representing Trump’s campaign have asked judges to allow them to withdraw as counsel. The reason is their own lawyers are critical of their firms’ efforts to harm our voting integrity.

The hard truth is the president has lost the election as his opponent got more votes in the states where it mattered. Ironically, the electoral college victory of 306 to 232 is the same as Trump won over Clinton, which he called a “landslide.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/federal-election-official-blasts-trump-s-false-election-claims-as-laughable-baffling-and-insulting/ar-BB1aZS6m?ocid=msedgdhp

Sample letter to Senators and Congresspeople

Whether Americans voted for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket, the two speeches given by Biden and Harris were powerful and unifying. Words of unity, healing and working together were emphasized. Seeing an African-American, Asian-American, and child of immigrants woman in the Vice-President role offers hope to young girls of all colors. By itself, that is a big deal.

Of course, the president has the right to bring litigation, if he feels his claims of voter fraud have merit (more than a few legal experts and Secretaries of State say they don’t). And, per several Republican Senators and Congress people, claiming a wide-spread fraudulent election is both “reckless and irresponsible.” This is especially true when the president has been staging this course for over four months with his unsupported push back on mail-in votes and hiring of attorneys around the country over the summer.

Our nation must heal and work together. The song lyric “united we stand, divided we fall,” has pertinent meaning. As an independent and former Republican (and Democrat) voter, I strongly urge you to ask the president to think of our country first and cease the unsupported allegations. In my simple view, the president stands in the way of this healing.

Two great speeches – words of unity, healing and working together

Whether Americans voted for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket this week, the two speeches given by Biden and Harris were powerful and unifying. Words of unity, healing and working together were emphasized. Seeing an African-American, immigrant woman in the Vice-President role offers hope to young girls of all colors. By itself, that is a big deal.

I was planning to write more on the topic, but my friend Jill wrote an excellent piece called “Hope, Unity and Patience.” I encourage you to read it with the link below. The only words I will leave you with is our nation must heal and must work together. The song lyric “united we stand, divided we fall,” has pertinent meaning.

Even Senior Republicans speak out against Trump’s election claims

Courtesy of the US News article link below as well as other sources like Business Insider, The Guardian and The Hill, here are a few quotes from several senior Republican leaders regarding the election claims of the president.

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania “I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch. The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here,” Toomey said on “TODAY.”

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah – Per The Hill, Romney, in a statement posted to Twitter, said the president was “right” to “exhaust legal remedies,” including asking for recounts and that alleged voting irregularities be investigated, but “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen. Doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions,” Romney added.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida – Per US News, Rubio, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential primaries and campaigned for for the president in recent weeks, tweeted ‘The result of the presidential race will be known after every legally cast vote has been counted. Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud,” he wrote. “And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression.”

Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska –  The Senators echoed the sentiment in the same US News article below, saying the votes should be counted. Lee asked people to “allow the vote counters to do their job.”  We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. It’s that simple,’ Portman said, while Murkowski urged “everyone to be patient.’

Congressman Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisPer US News, “We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote (of course). But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation,” tweeted Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Congressman Will Hurd of Texas (and former CIA officer) – Per US News, Hurd of Texas, who is retiring, went further. He accused the president of undermining the foundations of the country. “A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon. Every American should have his or her vote counted,” Hurd tweeted.

German foreign minister Heiko MaasPer The Guardian: The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: “America is more than a one-man show. Anyone who continues to pour oil on the fire in a situation like this is acting irresponsibly. Now is the time to keep a cool head until an independently determined result is available.”

‘”In order for the result – which has not yet been determined – to be accepted, everyone must first show restraint. Decent losers are more important for the functioning of a democracy than radiant winners.”

These voices are not alone. They speak for many. We need to be patience and trust the people, who appear to take their job with seriousness of purpose and try to get it right, to finish counting the votes. Recounts can occur if warranted per each state law. And, a candidate can bring lawsuit if he or she thinks there was a problem. Yet, disparaging a process before and while it is going on is beyond poor form. The word used a few times above is “irresponsible.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/senior-republicans-speak-out-against-donald-trump-s-election-claims/ar-BB1aLkPT?ocid=msedgdhp

The AMA calls out Trump on malicious and misguided statements

It came as no surprise when the president attacked more doctors referencing they were falsifying claims of COVID-19 to make money. This is after over nine months of continual misinformation and mishandling of the pandemic by the president. The presidents touts his efforts, but the few successes that have been achieved are in spite of the president, not because of him.

Trump keeps saying we are turning the corner, but that simply is not true. North Dakota now leads the nation in the rate of COVID-19 infections because of lack of adherence to the simple guidelines. This state is not alone.

From the attached article from The Washington Post called “Doctors, hospitals blast Trump’s baseless claims they inflate coronavirus deaths for money,” this paragraph speaks loudly.

“Without naming the president, the American Medical Association called Trump’s statement a ‘malicious, outrageous and completely misguided charge’ and defended front-line health care workers. ‘They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took,’ said AMA President Susan Bailey.”

Mind you, this is the president of the United States who continues to denigrate people on a daily basis as if it is some kind of national sport. People have been too cavalier with the pandemic because of this president. If they had gotten the truth and the president’s sycophants did not fall in line behind their untruthful leader, we may have not been the shame of the world in how poorly the US has handled this.

Trump may win, but he should not. Setting aside his corrupt, bullying, unempathetic and deceitful behavior, this president has endangered Americans. Folks, please do not take the president at his word – wear a mask, socially distance, wash you hands. It is not that hard.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-health-202-doctors-hospitals-blast-trump-s-baseless-claims-they-inflate-coronavirus-deaths-for-money/ar-BB1aEusb?ocid=msedgdhp

Please vote – if you do not you still have made a choice

As I pondered what to write about today, the answer presented itself to me as an old post was getting more than a few looks, not only this day but throughout 2020. Based on the lyrics from a famous Rush song “Free will,” “when you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

American voters, please vote if you have not done so already. To frame it simply, one party has gone out of its way to limit voting opportunities and counting, while the other party is encouraging the vote. The president has gone out of his way to call attention to unsubstantiated mail-in voter fraud (which some in his own party have frowned on) as well as hamstringing the postal service. Why?

Why is the president of the United States not encouraging people to vote? Why has he not gone out of his way to make sure the process safe and secure? Why has he consistently denied that Russians interfered in the election in open disagreement with his intelligence people? Why do people who disagree get reassigned, removed, forced out or fired?

Coming full circle, the president does not want you to vote if you plan not to vote for him. It cannot be said any plainer than that. Rather than be presidential, this president has consistently chosen a path of misinformation to manage perception.

So, please vote. It is obvious I am asking you to vote for Biden, but know this. Getting people to not vote in 2016 was a key effective strategy for the president. So, not voting is what the president wants you to do unless you have a fervor for him.

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/when-you-choose-not-to-decide-you-still-have-made-a-choice/

Four little windows

There is ad nauseum evidence of the corrupt, bullying, unempathetic and deceitful words and actions of the president. Yet, sometimes little windows offer clear insight into the nature of the president.

On the day interim FBI Andrew McCabe was packing up his office to retire, he was fired by the president to deny McCabe his pension. This may be  worse than firing people without telling them, which he has done several times. Who does that?

After informing two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Woodard in early February he was aware of the coronavirus risk and how it could be transmitted, the president chose not to inform Americans and had several rallies later in the month. He did not tell his ardent base they were being exposed and further downplayed the virus as a hoax. Who does that?

On a day which will be remembered as “sh**hole country” day, the president agreed to a deal in the morning with Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham for money for the infamous border wall (his main campaign theme) in trade for making DACA into law to help about 800,000 children born in America to illegal immigrants. By the time Durbin and Graham got there, the president had been talked out of the deal by hard line Senator Tom Cotton among others. The two Senators were none to happy with the president for reneging on the agreed upon deal. To top it off, Trump offended several countries by referring to immigrants therefrom as coming from “sh**hole countries.”

Finally, with his current pep rallies, setting aside the COVID-19 exposure, he insulted his base in Pennsylvania and Iowa regarding not wanting to come there, telling Iowans he hoped he would never be back. But, he saved his worst for Nebraskans who he made wait in the cold weather and trudge back to their cars afterwards. Again, these are his most ardent fans. Yet, we should not be surprised, as radio host Howard Stern noted after fifteen hours of interviews with Trump over the years, Trump does not give a hoot about those folks.

There are many other examples to draw from – the poorly planned travel ban which was so botched it was pulled after two days, the vindictive firings or transfers of Inspectors General and public servants who testified under oath, or the horrible separation of children from asylum seekers et al. This is the person who represents the United States.

After the failed travel ban, conservative David Brooks said the Trump White House is “equal parts chaos and incompetence.” About a year or so later, Brooks noted “Trump does not have empathy or sense of decency.” Agreed on all counts.