Breathe in, breathe out, repeat

Not much to do these days, but let conscientious election officials do their jobs and complete their counts. A key way out of this mess is to follow procedures. The minute procedures are not followed, then it becomes chaotic (and more political). It should be noted one of the contenders has a modus operandi of sowing chaos and not being very truthful in the process. I will let you determine which one.

So, follow me. Find a reflective, meditative pose. Or, do your normal workout routine, be it Yoga, Pilates, spinning, walking, running, etc. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. The only thing to deliver us from chaos is doing normal things that we enjoy doing.

Back to that chaos sower, quite simply, counting people’s votes is essential to our democracy. The folks on the ground in the election process are dutiful, conscientious and trying to get it right. Stopping the count serves no purpose and gains no new knowledge.

If the president (or the former VP) do not like the results that are close, there are measures in each state to follow to ask for a recount. Some small margins may dictate a recount per state law. If at that time, the president or former VP want to bring lawsuit, then that is their right.

Senator Mitch McConnell noted that lawsuits are not uncommon defending the president’s efforts. That is true, but what McConnell failed to mention is the president is suing to stop the process. This is after he has staged this course for over six months. What the president is doing is not a surprise at all and was expected. I wish the president would take this much effort to actually govern than campaign.

At the heart of the stopping push is the president does not want the tallies to indicate he lost. My guess is his fragile ego cannot handle that and he feels like his legal battle is more uphill if he is on the bottom. No judge worth any salt will stop a normal process from occurring. Of course, we do have a president who acts abnormally.

So, what can we do about? Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

Keep calm and be patient

The election for president is still being determined, so anyone declaring victory at this point is premature. I was hoping to avoid a situation where the president did what he did early this morning – declare victory, insist the counting be stopped and crying foul in the process.

This is the worst outcome that could have occurred, giving a window to the corrupt and deceitful president to be, well, corrupt and deceitful. The people on the ground are trying to get it right, doing what the president fails to do – their job in a competent and honest fashion.

It should be noted Fox News host Chris Wallace and former Republican governor Chris Christie have both chastised Trump for his premature celebration. The outcome is still unknown, with Michigan and Pennsylvania having around 25% or more of their counts outstanding. Wisconsin is leaning narrowly Biden’s way, with absentee ballots in two Democrat leaning towns left to count.

Nevada is also leaning Biden’s way, but still has more counts left. In fact, if Biden carries Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan, that will put him at 270 votes, without counting Pennsylvania. I don’t know the hold-ups in North Carolina and Georgia, but those look like Trump wins.

Frankly, I was hoping to avoid this being so close. I am disappointed in my home state of North Carolina and surprised how Ohio and Florida went. Trump is doing what he was expected to do, even after lying and saying he would not until the votes are counted. His illicit actions over the last six months having been staging for this very moment.

So, if he ends up winning after the votes are all counted then he wins. Yet, we still are in the fourth quarter of this election, so we need to stay calm and be patient.

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

The sleaziest of campaigns – per Max Boot, respected journalist

An editorial piece today in The Washington Post by Max Boot is worth the read. It is entitled “Opinions | Trump may be running the sleaziest presidential campaign ever.” A link is below. Here are few select paragraphs, but please read the entire piece.

“I’m old enough to remember when the Republican Party was known as the “party of ideas.” That was in the 1980s. Since then it has become the party of pseudo-scandals…

Since then, the Republican Party, in cahoots with media partners such as Fox ‘News’ and Rush Limbaugh, has manufactured one pseudo-scandal after another: Vince Foster’s suicide, Whitewater, Mena airportJohn Kerry’s Swift Boat service, Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s emails, among others.

The process has been turbocharged under President Trump, who is even more ruthless and unscrupulous than (Newt) Gingrich. The former reality-TV star won the 2016 election by defaming a former secretary of state and first lady as “Crooked Hillary” and demanding that she be locked up for unspecified offenses. Now he is trying to run the same playbook on Joe Biden.

Trump got himself impeached by trying to blackmail Ukrainian officials into accusing Biden and his son Hunter of wrongdoing. That didn’t stop Trump’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, from working with shady Ukrainian contacts — including a lawmaker described as a Russian agent by Trump’s own Treasury Department — to produce dirt on Biden. Until recently, this had resulted in a few audiotapes of interest only to One America News Network. Our Democracy in Peril: A series on the damage Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term

Then Giuliani turned over to the New York Post the supposed contents of a laptop supposedly belonging to Hunter. The alleged emails have never been authenticated, and the New York Times revealed that the New York Post’s own journalists had so little faith in the story that the lead reporter refused to put his name on an article he had written. The Washington Post reported that Trump’s own national security adviser told him that ‘any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia,’ and more than 50 former intelligence officers warned that the emails have ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.'”

The party of “pseudo-scandals.” The “sleaziest” campaign. It should be noted Republican pollster Frank Lunz has noted these attacks on Hunter Biden are not the way to go. Lunz said Trump is so far behind Biden, people just do not care.

I care. Calling anything the president does as “sleazy” or “sleaziest” is not a bridge too far. The president has operated in this manner well before his presidency and that is without diving into his alleged sexual misconduct from over twenty women. Some may be surprised that Trump has operated in corrupt, deceitful and sleazy manner as president, but I am not. On occasion, he may go lower than I think he is capable of, but to say I am surprised is the wrong reaction.

We deserve a truthful, decent, empathetic and even-tempered president. I would use none of those attributes to define the incumbent And, that makes me sad.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/opinions-trump-may-be-running-the-sleaziest-presidential-campaign-ever/ar-BB1alX3r?ocid=msedgdhp

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 Republican Senator is less than kind in his remarks about the president

Senator Ben Sasse has been a troubled Republican Senator for the last few years. Of course, his words have gotten him on the president’s “naughty list” when he has dared utter inconvenient truths. In an article yesterday republished by MSN (see link below) called “GOP Sen Sasse unleashes scathing attack on Trump TV obsessed narcissist,” Sasse continues to share his concerns. Here are a few paragraphs.

“During a telephone town hall, a constituent asked Sasse about his relationship with the president and why he has to criticize him so much, according to an audio clip that was first obtained by The Washington Examiner and has been posted on Youtube.

‘I’m not at all apologetic for having fought for my values against his in places where I think his are deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American,’ said Sasse, who then began ticking off a number of things he dislikes about the president. ‘The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers.

‘The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor,’ Sasse continued, adding that Trump ‘mocks evangelicals behind closed doors…has treated the presidency like a business opportunity’ and has ‘flirted with white supremacists.’

There is truly nothing to add to this comments other than I share his concerns and more.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-sen-sasse-unleashes-scathing-attack-on-trump-tv-obsessed-narcissist/ar-BB1a5Z23?ocid=msedgdhp

Two weeks later – the debate disaster still impacting Trump

I did not need a presidential debate to understand the nature of the beast who is the US president. His corrupt, deceitful, bullying and childish behavior over years has show us who he is. Yet, sometimes, there needs to be a clear reminder. The presidential debate a few weeks ago may have served that role.

In an article called “Trump hasn’t recovered from tailspin set off by raucous debate performance, poll shows” by David Lauer of The LA TImes, the following paragraphs frame this story. The entire article can be linked to below.

“With three weeks left until election day, President Trump has not recovered from the self-inflicted wounds of his first debate with Joe Biden and, instead, has sunk farther behind his challenger, a new USC Dornsife poll shows.

The encounter in Cleveland, dominated by Trump’s repeated interruptions and his cryptic statement that seemingly welcomed a right-wing extremist group, appears to be the exception to the usual rule that the impact of debates fades quickly.

The damage the debate did to Trump’s standing has persisted through his bout with COVID-19, leaving him with a deep deficit and little time to recover. (Trump’s refusal to participate in an Oct. 15 virtual debate led to its cancellation; the final debate is set for Oct. 22.)”

Last Saturday, I watched a replay of “Real Time with Bill Maher” from the night before. The guests made two interesting observations about Trump’s debate disaster. For all of those viewers who were are troubled by Trump and his behavior, they were fully reminded of who Donald Trump is with his rude and overbearing behavior as he repeatedly interrupted both Joe Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace.

That would have been enough, but for a US president to swing and whiff at an easy lob by not condemning a white supremacist group, was mind-boggling. Then, to give tongue-in-cheek support to a white supremacist groups was beyond the pale. I am not surprised the racist president feels this way, but I am surprised he said what he did. It was truly an unforced error, but an actual window into his nature.

On this same Bill Maher show, a female guest added something interesting about the Vice Presidential debate. She noted that even though Mike Pence is not as rude as Trump, he still talked over Kamala Harris and the moderator, Susan Page. The guest noted many women have used (or thought of using) the line Harris said, “It is my turn to talk.”

Being overbearing is not restricted to men. But, when men are overbearing, people think less of it. When a women is overbearing, they are labeled with harsher words. The exception is when a man is over-the-top overbearing. The president does not study facts or history, so his way of arguing is to name-call and raise his voice. As my grandmother said, those who name-call and shout usually have a poor argument.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-hasn-t-recovered-from-tailspin-set-off-by-raucous-debate-performance-poll-shows/ar-BB1a0Qcy?ocid=msedgdhp