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this president over the years, during his first campaign, and during his presidency, his interests have invariably superseded those of the country’s. He cannot help himself as it is in his narcissistic nature.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

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.

Former Republican Attorney General notes Trump lawsuits are baseless and will fail

An op-ed written by Grant Wood for Fox News called “Ex-Arizona GOP AG Woods: Trump claims of election fraud are completely baseless — his lawsuits will fail” is worth reading. A link to the editorial is below. Here are a few select paragraphs.

“Stop counting the ballots — unless they will help me win. That’s the argument President Trump has been making since election night.

I say this as a legal matter, not a partisan one. I was the Republican attorney general of Arizona for two terms, but it was always the law — not my party registration — that guided my decisions.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans alike have made it clear that President Trump’s election lawsuits aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.”

I found the words of this former Republican Attorney General of impact, given their source. The lawsuits are frivolous, but in keeping with Trump’s modus operandi of suing people and entities. The greater damage is his calling the election into question, which was part of a plan he had been staging for about six months. In fact, Senator Bernie Sanders, with eerie accuracy, predicted what Trump would do on Jimmy Kimmel’s show about three weeks ago.

Speaking of another former Attorney General, Pam Bondi from Florida is on Trump’s legal team. We should recall she is there because she would not let Floridians be a part of the lawsuit against Trump University for fraudulent and aggressive marketing that Trump settled for $25 million before being sworn in.

The only reason I mention this latter example is Trump likes to use the word “fraud” but he has been accused of such on more than one occasion and has often settled the cases.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trump-election-lawsuits-grant-woods

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.

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.

Former Republican US Attorneys back Biden


There is yet another group of people with gravitas who have officially spoken out against the reelection of the incumbent president. In an article this week in The Washington Post called “Former U.S. attorneys — all Republicans — back Biden, saying Trump threatens ‘the rule of law’” by Tom Hamburger and Devlin Barrett, the hope to make their voice heard by people who will listen.

A link to the article is below. Here are the opening paragraphs, that give you the gist.

“Twenty former U.S. attorneys — all of them Republicans — on Tuesday publicly called President Trump ‘a threat to the rule of law in our country,’ and urged that he be replaced in November with his Democratic opponent, former vice president Joe Biden.

The President has clearly conveyed that he expects his Justice Department appointees and prosecutors to serve his personal and political interests,’ said the former prosecutors in an open letter. They accused Trump of taking ‘action against those who have stood up for the interests of justice.’

The letter, signed by prosecutors appointed by every GOP president from Eisenhower to Trump, is the latest instance of Republicans backing Biden. In August, dozens of GOP national security experts signed a full-page newspaper ad endorsing Biden over Trump.”

These two groups join the ranks of Republicans for the Rule of Law, The Lincoln Project, Republican Voters against Trump and others who had an alternate Republican Party Convention from Charlotte. Then there is the long time respected conservative voices like Max Boot, George Will, Michael Gerson, David Brooks, Ross Douthat and Eric Erickson who have spoken out against the president and favor Joe Biden.

Their voices used to mean something. Why are they risking their good names against such a vindictive and unscrupulous person? I can hear the words “losers” coming out of said person’s mouth to define them in his usual manner of rebuttal.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/former-us-attorneys-%e2%80%94-all-republicans-%e2%80%94-back-biden-saying-trump-threatens-the-rule-of-law/ar-BB1arxZr?ocid=msedgdhp

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.