The Republican Party no longer exists, it is the Trump Party

I like to keep it simple. The Republican Party did not pass a platform at their nominating convention. A reporter noted on NPR that the platform is whatever Donald Trump wants. This was the ceremonial anointment of the Trump Party and the official demise of the Republican Party. So, what does it mean to be a member of the Trump Party?:

– truth is a commodity only to be used if it works in our favor; lying is perfectly acceptable
– conspiracy theory is permissible if it helps to win seats
– retrenching from global leadership and relationships are fine
– protecting our planet and environment is secondary to short term profit
– civil rights matter more for some than others
– competence in governance is secondary to loyalty to the leader

As conservative SE Cupp noted, what is being passed as journalism on Fox Primetime and other places is actually “fan fiction.” For some reason, the fact the outgoing president and his supporters have lost 55 out of 56 court cases, is truly lost on the MAGA crowd. If the outgoing president was a baseball player, he would have been sent to the minors 30 lost cases ago.

I encourage folks to call their Republican Senators and Congress people. Thank the ones who are pushing back on the outgoing president. Tell the ones who are silent to speak up as people are getting death threats and some were stabbed Saturday. And, the ones who are supporting the outgoing president’s efforts, remind them that he has lost those 55 cases. He had his chance and he lost. It is hard for him to lose more than he is losing.

The question that must be asked, is it easier to believe there is a vast voter fraud conspiracy which would include more than several Republican (even Trump appointed) election officials, governors, secretaries of state, judges, the US Attorney General, head of election cybersecurity and election leaders OR is it easier to believe a person well documented as being untruthful, long before being president, is lying yet one more time?

Let’s hope the Electoral College is permitted to and does their jobs. The Trump Party is very riled up by their deceitful figurehead, so I am certain more death threats will occur.

One Republican Senator chastises other Republicans for their “madness”

There are a few voices in the Republican party who feel the need to speak out against the corruption of the outgoing president and those enabling him. In an article called “Mitt Romney tears into Republicans who are threatening to protest the Electoral College vote that will confirm Biden’s election victory” by Salar Shani of Business Insider, the Senator dies just that.

The article can be linked to below. Here a few paragraphs.

“Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said it would be ‘madness’ for Republicans to protest the Electoral College vote set to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

‘Trying to get electors not to do what the people voted to do is madness,’ Romney said, according to NBC News.

Since the election, President Donald Trump’s campaign and some allied Republicans have waged lawsuits in multiple states seeking to overturn the results.

‘This is madness. We have a process, recounts are appropriate, going to the court is approp & pursuing every legal avenue is appropriate, but trying to get electors not to do what the people voted to do is madness,’ Frank Thorp V of NBC News quoted Romney as saying.

A representative for Romney confirmed his statement to Business Insider.”

It should be noted Romney uses the word “madness” twice to emphasize his point. I also liked that his representative confirmed the Senator’s statement.

Let me add that it is also a danger to our democracy and people who are getting death threats from the zealous members of the Trump base. These election officials, judges, governors, secretaries of state are the real heroes here, not the corrupt and deceitful person in the White House who has planned this cheating for six months.

Since Trump supporters will discount Romney’s opinion, how about the opinions of two attorneys who worked for Mr. Trump? Before the 2016 election Thomas Wells wrote “Donald Trump lies every day, even about things of no consequence.” And, his fixer Michael Cohen said under oath “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.”

I agree. Man-up Mr. Trump and admit you lost.

Mitt Romney tears into Republicans who are threatening to protest the Electoral College vote that will confirm Biden’s election victory (msn.com)

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 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

Take it to the bank – Trump will sue to prevent losing the election

In a Politico article by Anita Kumar called “Trump readies thousands of attorneys for election fight,” it documents what many fear the US president will do to avoid losing an election. The first four paragraphs tell you all you need to know, but the whole article can be linked to below.

“A year before President Donald Trump alarmed Americans with talk of disputing elections last week, his team started building a massive legal network to do just that.

Dozens of lawyers from three major law firms have been hired. Thousands of volunteer attorneys and poll watchers across the country have been recruited. Republicans are preparing pre-written legal pleadings that can be hurried to the courthouse the day after the election, as wrangling begins over close results and a crush of mail-in ballots. Attorneys from non-battleground states, including California, New York and Illinois, are being dispatched to more competitive areas and trained on local election laws.

A 20-person team of lawyers oversees the strategy, which is mainly focused on the election process in the 17 key states the Trump campaign is targeting, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In total, it means the Republican Party will have thousands of people on hand to shape every element of voting — both on Election Day and in the days after.”

Let me be frank. Donald Trump has known for some time he is trailing in the election. When the Democrats nominated Joe Biden, that was his worst fear. He knows he is underwater on public satisfaction with his job, so he has to game the system. His modus operandi is to use whatever means necessary to win. And, do not be surprised by anything he does to try to win, because his fragile ego cannot handle criticism or losing.

So, Trump began an unheard of and unsupported effort to claim mail-in votes would be fraudulent, even though Republicans have disagreed with him on that point. Yet, I have noticed Republicans who are in tough campaigns are echoing some of the president’s rhetoric on this. That is shameful. My educated guess is he will get some of his base to make it look like fraud is occurring (or they may just do it on their own, as winning is everything).

So, if he is ahead election night with many uncounted mail-in votes, he will sue to stop or disrupt the count. Or maybe he will just drag it out to make it look like something fishy is going on. The impact on other elections is very secondary to his winning. The impact on our country’s democratic process is irrelevant. He has already shown that process does not matter.

If this sounds cynical, let me add that Donald Trump, per his biographers, was mentored by famous attorney Roy Cohn. Cohn was an advisor to Senator Joseph McCarthy, of the communist witch hunt fame, so we know truth is not a valued attribute of his. Cohn advised the young Trump of two major themes – never apologize and sue everyone. By the time of the 2016 election, Trump was measured as having over 4,000 lawsuits, which averages out to about 1 1/2 per week of his adult life. Litigious does not do justice to describing Trump’s modus operandi. He would sue big and little people and businesses to avoid paying them for services.

So, take it to the bank, Trump will sue to avoid losing. The Democrats need to be prepared for this, but there is one way to make the plan fail. Go to the polls en masse and vote this most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime out of office. Trump needs to be soundly defeated to make it not worth his while. People in all of the battleground states need to vote to oust him. And, we all need to make sure he goes away come January.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-has-spent-a-year-building-a-legal-network-to-fight-the-election/ar-BB19te2n?ocid=uxbndlbing

Well, what do you plan to do about it? – you must VOTE

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a hero to many, especially women and the disenfranchised. Her career must be celebrated. Like Thurgood Marshall before her, her record of success in arguing cases before the Supreme Court, justified her inclusion in this institution. She served America well.

As for the indicting language directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over holding a vetting process and vote of a new SCOTUS nominee before the election, this is the normative process. Yet, we must also understand when McConnell conducted his treachery. It was in 2016 when he chose to not follow normal process to vet and vote on a pretty well respected candidate named Merrick Garland, who won near unanimous consent for his current position. When a politician does not follow normal process, take it to the bank it is political. And, McConnell cannot go to the bathroom without it being political.

Now, we are faced with his pushing the process he is supposed to follow, but it is in direct contradiction to what he did in 2016. Yes, McConnell is a hypocrite. Where I get mad is those crying foul today, who chose not to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 – she had flaws, they were unfair to Bernie, and she ran a poor campaign. She also was one of he best prepared candidates for the office we have ever had.

Trump won because he got folks to stay home, vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, or even vote for him. Now, this unsavory, deceitful and corrupt person (who was all of those things before the election), will pick one third of the Supreme Court in four years. If you did not vote, remedy it by voting in 2020.

Of course it would be respectful to wait and McConnell deserves every bit of criticism he got in 2016 and his hypocrisy now. What bugs me is I want good jurists on the Supreme Court. We could have had a Garland, who Obama knew would also appeal to Republicans as well as Democrats. Yet, he did not get a fair (or any) hearing and that McConnell let the country down.

So, we can bitch all we want, but people need to get out and vote. And, vote for a decent and good public servant in Joe Biden. Climate change, women’s rights, healthcare, civil rights, the environment and our global standing are on the ballot. Plus, the incumbent’s modus operandi is self-serving, untruthful, bullying, and authoritarian in nature. As conservative David Brooks noted, the president has “no sense of decency or empathy.” Yet, Michael Cohen, Trump’s long time attorney/ fixer said it well under oath, “Donald Trump is a racist, his con-artist and his a cheat.”

Corruption must be called out regardless of party

We must call out corruption regardless of party affiliation. While the names Donald Trump, Duncan Hunter, Brian Kemp, et al deserve scrutiny over their alleged (and documented) corrupt actions, the GOP does not have proprietary ownership of the the topic of corrupt behavior. Rod Blagojevich, the convicted Illinois governor, was a Democrat, for example.*

From an article in Poltiico by John Bresnahan, “Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia allegedly improperly spent more than $90,000 in official funds and campaign funds on personal expenses, including ‘fuel, golf expenses, meals, travel, tuition and entertainment,’ according to a newly released report from the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The independent watchdog agency said much of the total went to paying expenses at golf clubs where Bishop is a member. And more than $16,000 in congressional funds were reportedly spent at annual holiday parties at one club for the staffs of Bishop and his wife, Vivian Creighton Bishop, a Georgia municipal judge.”

This is wrong. We cannot tolerate elected or appointed officials using tax or campaign dollars for their personal benefit. We cannot tolerate them gaming the system in their favor. We deserve better. Period. Full stop.

Bishop needs to come clean. He should either be suspended, sanctioned or resign. When the incumbent dishonors the office, some action is needed.

* Hunter was convicted of fraudulent use of campaign funds, Trump settled court cases on fraud by Trump University, the Trump Foundation (which was ordered to be disbanded), discriminatory housing practices, and has been accused of other malfeasance, Kemp was used accused of cheating to win the Georgia governorship as Secretary of State (by even Republicans), and Blagojevich was convicted of corruption for peddling a vacated Senate post.

A few thoughts from the 1st Homeland Security Director

Former Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Ridge was asked by President George W. Bush to be the first Director of Homeland Security. Witnessing the president’s sending in unrequested and unmarked federal agents to Portland and Chicago, Ridge had some comments worth noting.

Here a few exceprts from an editorial analysis called “Trump’s Portland crackdown is controversial. The man spearheading it might be doing so illegally” by Aaron Blake of The Washington Post. The editorial can be accessed below.

“In Portland, Washington and other U.S. cities shaken by protests in recent months, the Trump administration has leaned on the considerable authority and assets of the Department of Homeland Security — an agency formed to prevent another Sept. 11, 2001, attack — to spearhead the federal response.

Images of militarized Border Patrol agents clubbing protesters and stuffing them into unmarked vehicles have alarmed civil liberties advocates and administration critics, and the displays of government power echo tactics long associated with authoritarian rule.
Legal analysts say that while the department has broad authority to enforce federal laws, officers’ actions — especially in Portland, Ore. — seemed to be pushing the boundaries and pulling DHS into a domestic policing role.

Tom Ridge, who served as the first Homeland Security secretary under George W. Bush, said Tuesday that DHS ‘was not established to be the president’s personal militia,’ and added, ‘It would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to a unilateral, uninvited intervention into one of my cities.’ Former DHS official Paul Rosenzweig called the operation, which has come to be known as Operation Legend, ‘lawful but awful.’

On PBS Newshour the other night, Ridge was interviewed. He noted several key points – he worked in “partnership” with the cities and states to solve problems after they were “invited in to help.” He also noted what happened in Portland was a “reality show” exercise to garner votes. That action will not solve anything, as it was not designed to.

On Fox News, Judge Andrew Napolitano noted in Portland, actions of federal agents are unlawful, unconstitutional and harmful. To unpack this, he noted the federal agents are permitted to protect federal assets and travel to and from the asset. They are not permitted to do what local police does and arrest people without probable cause or warrant. And, they cannot wear clothing that does not identify who are they are and what they represent. A person being accosted has to know who is so doing.

Getting back to the issue at hand, civil protest is more than fine in our country. Yet, people who have taken a violent approach to protest are diluting their message and, are feeding into a narrative that allows a corrupt president to break the law and squelch them. Let me say this clearly – both the violent protestors and the president are in the wrong. Civil protest does not make the news like the violent ones, so the violent ones are overreported and the civil ones are underreported.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/07/22/trumps-actions-portland-are-controversial-man-spearheading-them-might-be-doing-so-illegally/

Tell me why (an underused question)

The Beatles sang, “Tell me why…., you cry and why you lie to me.” Why? A question we do not ask enough, especially of those who need it asked again and again. I witness politicians, business leaders, experts and regular people like us say things as if they are fact, but the comments are merely opinion or conjecture. And, in the case of one person in particular, any comment is likely untrue.

So, here are a few why questions.

– Why does a person who claims things that run contrary to his narrative are a hoax, actually made money off hoax strategies? We have heard words like Climate change hoax, Russian hoax, Ukrainian hoax, Coronavirus hoax, etc. from this person, but he made a lot of money off selling his name to developers for projects he had nothing to do with. The name was supposed to bring in more customers under the perception of quality. That is a hoax perpetrated on the unsuspecting buyer.

– Why would the White House change how data is reported on COVID-19 cases and deaths circumventing the CDC reporting? If you control the data, you can control the narrative, maybe?

– Why are sycophants of the president going further with their CYA efforts at this point? Congresswoman Liz Cheney sided with Dr. Anthony Fauci and the usual suspects in the House want her to step down as a Republican leader as a result. They want Republican legislators to be all in for this candidate regardless of the veracity of his narrative.

– Why has the Vice President, a self-professed devoted Christian man and husband, decided his reputation can be thrown out the window as he lies for the his boss? I think it was in Bob Woodward’s book “Fear,” based on 750 hours of interviews that noted how disappointed Republican leaders are in Pence not corralling the president more. Of course, why did they not do it?

– Why are British folks surprised about the lack of interest in pursuing then (and now), purported Russian involvement in the Brexit vote? A weaker EU is a help to Russia. Of course, Putin had his fingerprints on this issue, just as he had a hand on the 2016 US presidential election. Putin is a KGB trained expert on disinformation – social media is nirvana to him – so his use of such to gain advantage is not a surprise.

– Why do leaders try to rewrite history, even when it occurred just a few months ago? Governors who opened up their economies too early are saying how could they have known the pandemic could get worse? The president says often he did not say things he is recorded saying. He said the coronavirus was a hoax at one of his pep rallies at the end of February, the night of the first official US COVID-19 death. Note to these folks – the uptick in COVID-19 is not a surprise. Don’t act like it is and try not to make the same mistakes.

– Why are people surprised when a famous person, like Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, et al, get COVID-19 after being in very public settings with no masks or social distancing? I read there has been an uptick in cases in Tulsa after a recent presidential pep rally. I do not wish COVID-19 on anyone, but these cases are not a surprise.

– Why would one of the president’s people let him be interviewed one-on-one with Fox News Chris Wallace, one the more studious and tenacious interviewers around? In real time, Wallace corrected the president on several untruthful statements such as regarding the lowest death rate in the world on COVID-19 (not even close) and Biden supporting defunding of the police (not true as per his policy statements). The president was heavily perspiring not just because it was hot. He was thinking why am I here? In short, someone thought it was a good idea to put a president who does not command many facts in an interview with someone who does.

That is all for now. What are some of your why questions?