Shouldn’t the president fire the guy in the mirror?

The outgoing president just fired Sidney Powell, an attorney, for doing what he wanted her to do and is doing himself – making ridiculous claims of wide-spread voter fraud without any proof. Truth be told, her claims were no more outlandish than Trump’s or his other rock thrower, Rudy Giuliani, both whom have been criticized for their fraudulent claims.

So, my question is shouldn’t the president fire himself for being as fraudulent and frivolous as his counsel? Matthew Brann, a Pennsylvania judge raked the Trump campaign over the coals for frivolous voter fraud claims as he threw out the case. The judge noted that the case was like “Frankenstein’s Monster,” all stitched together.

It is interesting the term Frankenstein was used, as the ghost writer of the outgoing president’s biggest seller called “The Art of the Deal,” was called Dr. Frankenstein by his publisher, as his book created a monster with all of its over-the-top bragging on its subject. It should be noted, more Republican voices have joined the fray criticizing the outgoing president..

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Trump’s legal team was a “national embarrassment.” He noted that Fox’s Tucker Carlson was correct asking for the campaign to show us some proof. So, it did not take a rocket scientist to know Trump had to find a fall guy (or woman) in this case.

Current Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey applauded the credentials of the Judge Brann who made the ruling.and congratulated president-elect is Joe Biden. Toomey asked Trump to concede, so we can move on.

Republican Michigan Congressman Fred Upton said the following per Raw Story, “‘It’s all said and done’: Michigan GOP congressman calls on Trump to concede the election.” He joins Senators Toomey, Mitt Romney, Lamar Alexander, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins in the recognition of Joe Biden as president-elect.

Current Governor Larry Hogan beseeched Republican leaders to lean in on the president with his fraudulent claims saying curtly to the outgoing president, “Stop golfing and concede.”

Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton said the outgoing president is like a “rioter in the street” who is “throwing rocks through windows.” Former Trump official HR McMaster agreed with the above sentiments, but was not as colorful with his metaphors.

Truth be told, these fraud claims have been orchestrated for over six months by the president. He has long set the stage for these actions, hiring 1,000 attorneys, defaming in the mail-in voter process, hobbling the post office, and telling his voters to vote in person as they are counted first.

So, if the president is going to fire Powell, he must also fire Giuliani who has been cartoonish in his fabrications of fraud. (Sidebar – what happened to Rudy?). Yet, they are taking their lead from the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime, including Richard Nixon who resigned before he was removed from office. If the outgoing president fired Powell, he should also fire the guy in the mirror when he shaves.

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.

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.

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/

Conservative pundit David Brooks – How Democrats Won the War of Ideas

As an independent and former Republican (and Democrat), David Brooks is one of my favorite conservative pundits and authors. He is a regular participant on PBS Newhour’s Friday recap show with the more liberal Mark Shields. Like other key conservative pundits, MIchael Gerson, George Will, Ross Douthat, Eric Erickson and Max Boot, he is hoping that America votes out the incumbent president.

In his usual articulate and even-handed fashion, Brooks penned the following editorial last week called “How Democrats Won the War of Ideas.” The link is below, but I will highlight a few paragraphs for your review and comment.

“Over the last 100 years, Americans have engaged in a long debate about the role of markets and the welfare state. Republicans favored a limited government, fearing that a large nanny state would sap American dynamism and erode personal freedom. Democrats favored a larger state, arguing that giving people a basic economic security would enable them to take more risks and lead dignified lives.

That debate ebbed and flowed over the years, but 2020 has turned out to be a pivotal year in the struggle, and it looks now as if we can declare a winner. The Democrats won the big argument of the 20th century. It’s not that everybody has become a Democrat, but even Republicans are now embracing basic Democratic assumptions. Americans across the board fear economic and physical insecurity more than an overweening state. The era of big government is here.”

Brooks cites a few survey facts from last week’s New York Times/ Siena poll.

2/3 of Americans support allowing people to buy health insurance through the federal government

2/3 support Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to increase renewable energy and build efficient infrastructure

72% of likely voters and 56% of Republican voters favor another COVID-19 relief package

59% of Americans think government should do more to solve problems

2/3 think government should do more to fight climate change

60% support increasing the minimum wage and providing tax credits to low income workers

82% of voters and 70% of Republicans would like to expand requirements for paid family medical leave

Brooks also cites a study by the Mercatus Center which notes that Republicans are also moving left, just not at the pace of Democrats. This is contrary to what is believed by the media.

I have long said that more than 1/2 of the Republican voters are voting against their economic interests and do not know it. This survey indicates many do favor policies that would help them, but are sold a bill of goods packaged to woo their votes, but mask the purposeful deterioration of rights and opportunities.

A great example is the Affordable Care Act. When people are surveyed about the features of the act, the features receive high marks from all, including Republicans. The only feature that did not was eliminated – the mandate to buy coverage. Ironically, this elimination is the basis for 25 Republican Attorney Generals who have case to declare the ACA unconstitutional in front of the Supreme Court after the election, which should not occur as the case is not solid, but one never knows with these things. Sadly, the White House chose not to defend the law, which affects expanded Medicaid, exchange and employer-provided benefits.

Please read Brooks article below. It is very well done, as per usual.

Early votes are in for this family – please vote

Joe Biden has aired a commercial which encourages people to vote. He only appears at the end and he does not say vote for me, although that is tacitly implied. While Biden is ahead in several swing state polls, the lead is within the margin of error of the sample size and presumes the poll is unbiased and looks like the voter mix. It should be noted that these polls indicate a mean, so one standard deviation encompasses only 1/6 of a likelihood in either direction around the mean.

Biden has rightfully told his campaign team to assume we are losing and go out with vigor. Trump followers like to say the polls were wrong in 2016, but actually they were pretty accurate. Before the late Comey announcement to reopen the investigation, HIllary Clinton had a supportable margin of standard deviation toward a victory. After the Comey announcement, the standard deviation indicated Trump could win.

So, some lukewarm Clinton voters stayed home or made a protest vote for Jill Stein. A few Bernie Sanders supporters were so ticked off at Clinton, they actually voted for Trump. That was an insult to Sanders, but it mattered not. Clinton would have been a better president than she was a candidate, just as she was when she was a Senator. Yet, too many whacks at the Clinton pinata over the years left a negative impression in too many.

While Trump’s faults were obvious in 2016, he was expected to be better than he has been. Now, people have seen the divisiveness, the corruption, the incivility, and the lying that embodies the president. And, he has taken credit for things he had little to do with or not as much as advertised and blamed others for his faults.

So, I encourage every one to vote. Please do not mess around this time. To be frank, Trump needs to not only lose, he needs to lose convincingly. He has been overtly cheating for many months and will do so after the election if the margin is not convincing. He is a cornered animal and he will actually get worse as we near the election.

Please vote. My family has all voted now. My wife, daughter and I voted early yesterday. It was well done, safe and secure. It took us twenty minutes. Please invest that time. It is important.

A seventy-one old toaster (and marriage)

It is just a toaster, a Sunbeam T-20 model, which toasts two pieces at a time. Yet, it was purchased and given as a wedding gift in 1949. And, it still works. Two slices of toast are still needed each morning, because Frank and Gloria Witt are still married after seventy-one years.

Per the article by Nicole Brodeur of The Seattle Times called “After 71 years, marriage – and wedding gift – endures,” the 92 year-old Frank and 93 year-old Gloria, are enduring well. A picture accompanying the article reveals Frank, with his World War II Veteran ball cap, and Gloria, and her large smile, placing her head on his shoulder.

They met when Frank ventured to Tacoma after the war to attend college and went to the dentist. Gloria was the dentist’s niece and was working behind the desk. Frank said he made more appointments to find out who she was. Good dental hygiene can be a matchmaker.

Per Brodeur, “It’s not just about a toaster. It’s about marriage, and anything of value. It’s about taking care of something – or someone.” Their son Christopher adds, “‘if you treat something really well, then it will last.'”

Frank added, “‘we try to take care of everything and keep using it. We came from the Depression days. You used everything you could for as long as you could take care of it.'”

Frank said they had only purchased a refrigerator before they got married. Everything else was provided by others. They planned their purchases as well as when they wanted children, five years hence. They ended up with three Victoria (now 66), Christopher (now 62) and Margaret (now 56), but note the spacing in ages, which also looks to be the product of planning.

A vintage Sunbeam toaster like the one they have is worth about $300 today. This one is worth far more than that as a symbol. Yet, my guess is, if it goes before them, they will be practical and just go buy another one.

Commercial electric vehicle company opens microfactory near Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC

Per WCNC, a television news station in Charlotte, a report called “Electric vehicle microfactory promises to bring 240 jobs to Rock Hill” was aired. Rock Hill is part of the Charlotte Metro area just across the border in South Carolina. Here are the salient points per a MSN write-up of the piece:

Arrival, a company that produces electric vehicles around the world, announced Tuesday its plans to build a ‘microfactory’ in York County. The factory is part of a $46 million investment in the region and is Arrival’s first American microfactory. The company expects to bring 240 new jobs to the Rock Hill area. 

Arrival, which was found in London in 2015, creates zero-emission vehicles for commercial transportation. The South Carolina facility will utilize a new cell-based assembly method to produce vehicles, rather than the traditional assembly line. This will give Arrival the flexibility to produce any vehicle in its portfolio at the factory, according to a press release from the company.”

This is just more evidence of where future growth will occur. It is good to see our area embracing new technologies to make zero emission vehicles. The train (or in this case, the bus) toward renewable energy has left the station. Communities that are embracing this will see more growth and better cost models going forward, as well as help the environment.

This is is not an outlier story. Solar energy jobs have averaged annual double digit growth and dwarf coal energy jobs. Wind energy is also growing in the US, especially in the plain states with Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma combined getting more than 1/3 of their electricity from wind energy. And, Tesla has branched into electric delivery trucks on top of their cars.

These news stories should be more widely communicated to show the path forward is being taken by states, cities and companies.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/electric-vehicle-microfactory-promises-to-bring-240-jobs-to-rock-hill/ar-BB19ZdCG?ocid=msedgdhp