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.

Fraudulent voter fraud claims suffer more setbacks

Well, it is has been two weeks since the election in the United States. A week ago Saturday, Joe Biden was declared the winner and is now president-elect. At the end of last week, Arizona and Georgia were called for Biden, while the president won North Carolina. So, that brings the electoral college tally to 306 to 232.

Note, this is the same margin as Trump had over Clinton in 2016, which he defined as a landslide, even with 3 million fewer votes nationally. In 2020, this victory is more significant as it is with the winner getting over 5 million votes more than the president. But, the president has continued with his orchestrated voter fraud claims case which he has been staging for many months. Yet, his fraudulent claims of voter fraud is not going very well.

Per a Bloomberg piece by Erik Larson called “Trump and Allies Dial Back Voter Fraud Claims After Defeats,” the fraudulent fraud claims continue to suffer defeats.

“President Donald Trump’s legal campaign to overturn his 2020 election defeat shrank further with the narrowing of a key Pennsylvania lawsuit and the retreat of supporters who had sued in four battleground states.

The Trump campaign on Sunday revised its highly touted suit to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s projected Pennsylvania victory, abandoning its most extravagant claims of widespread voter fraud. On Monday, four suits associated with a conservative group that also sought to block election certifications based on broad voter-fraud claims were dropped in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.

The broad pullback follows several major courtroom defeats last week and highlights the difficulty lawyers are having in backing up Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ election.”

Americans need GOP Senators and other Trump sycophants to start recognizing what is going on and stop this fraud being perpetrated by the president. Trump lost because he got fewer votes than Biden in key swing states. Of course, where he got more, there was no fraud claims. It is amazing how that works.

Americans and global watchers this is what a conspiracy looks like. This is what fraud looks like. Yet, the person leading this charge is not some group that must include duly appointed Republican election officials who have vehemently supported their processes against the president’s claims. It is being led by the president of the United States whose ego cannot stand losing. This is not leadership, it is petulance.

Yet, be forewarned by the president’s niece who said her uncle will “burn it all down to avoid losing.” He has already harmed America which prides itself on a peaceful transfer of power. Is this corrupt and deceitful president going to be the first to buck this extremely important trend?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-and-allies-dial-back-voter-fraud-claims-after-defeats/ar-BB1b3STY?ocid=msedgdhp

Former Trump National Security Director tells GOP to acknowledge the reality

John Bolton urges Republicans: “‘Acknowledge the reality that Biden is the president-elect’” in an article with his title by Quint Forgey of Politico. Here are a few paragraphs below:

“Former national security adviser John Bolton urged congressional Republicans in a new interview to ‘acknowledge the reality’ that Joe Biden is president-elect — predicting GOP lawmakers would survive any potential backlash from President Donald Trump if they broke with him over the 2020 election results.

In an interview with NPR that aired Friday, Bolton said Republicans ‘may not like’ recognizing Biden as the winner of the White House race, ‘but the country deserves to give him the preparation he needs. A gracious president who kept the country’s interests first would acknowledge that.’

‘All I’m saying is that showing disagreement with the president is not fatal to your political future. I’m not asking anybody to climb Mount Suribachi and plant the American flag on top of it,’ Bolton added, referring to the iconic photograph of U.S. Marines raising the flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.”

Yesterday, the president-elect was declared the winner in Arizona and Georgia, while the president was declared such in North Carolina. The electoral college count now tallies 306 votes to Biden and 232 to Trump. Ironically, this is the same margin of victory that Trump had in 2016. The key in 2020 is Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin went for the Democrat candidate this time.

On the legal front, the Trump campaign efforts are waning. Two law firms representing Trump are seeking permission from judges to back out of cases. A case in Arizona was withdrawn as it will not change the result and the Trump campaign has lost several others in Pennsylvania and Michigan while winning one small case that threw out some ballots in PA. A hand recount is occurring in Georgia, as per state law due to the closeness of the election.

Sadly, with the orchestrated manner in which the president claimed victory, tried to stop the counts, noted voter fraud was trying to steal the election and with his lawsuits, his base believes something is amiss. The fact some spineless Senators have gone along with the Trump charade is frustrating. Trump lost because Biden got more votes in key states.

Four Republican Senators (Romney, Collins, Murkowski and Sasse) have publicly acknowledged Biden as president-elect. Many others have done so privately to Biden. Senators Langford and Grassley have been vocal about Biden getting intelligence briefings. As they note, it is a national security risk for him not to be up to speed.

In my view, this yet one more series of examples of the incumbent focusing on himself rather than the country. As his niece Mary said, her uncle will “burn down everything to avoid losing.” That is evident and a scary premonition of what could come. A person who acts corruptly and deceitfully will stoop to just about anything to win.

Yet, one question seems to evade Trump and his supporters that evokes Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor notes the simplest explanation is the more obvious reason. Trump is asking us to believe there is a massive voter fraud effort against him, which would have to include the collusion of many Republican election officials and Secretaries of State.

Is it is easier to believe that a massive voter fraud scheme was undertaken, or a president, who is known for being untruthful, who hired attorneys over the summer, who defamed the mail-in vote process, who hobbled the post office and who told his voters to vote in person knowing those votes would be counted first, is perpetuating a fraud on the American public?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bolton-urges-republicans-acknowledge-the-reality-that-biden-is-the-president-elect/ar-BB1aZck0?ocid=msedgdhp

If you don’t add value…

Just because someone is in a leadership position does not make them a leader, in and of itself. We are witnessing in real-time what leadership looks like and does not look like.

On the former, the president-elect has been inclusive, hopeful and unifying in his speeches. He said the major issue of the moment is the pandemic noting we cannot recover our economy without addressing the increasing cases and deaths. He has already announced a team to address these issues and given Americans straightforward advice about masks, social distancing and doing what is needed in advance of the vaccine.

On the latter, we have an incumbent president who I have never concluded was a leader, given his self-serving, untruthful, demeaning and bullying actions. After saying we should give him a chance after the 2016 election (as we should do with any president), it took less than a week for him to start burning that misplaced trust. A democratically elected leader does not act that way – an autocratic one does. Long ago I wrote that if the president cannot add value when he talks or tweets, he needs to stop talking or tweeting.

When a person in a leadership position does not add value or is untruthful, they start getting ignored. When you say inane or untruthful things, the speaker turns people off. Since the 2020 election, the incumbent is doing what many (including me) expected him to do – claim victory early on, claim fraud when the votes come in, and contest the election. He has been setting the stage for these actions for many months.

It should be noted that major news networks have cut away twice, once from the president and once from his PR person, when they started saying unsupported claims of wide-scale fraud. Think about what that says. Cutting away may be one of the biggest insults a president could get. In essence, the networks are saying if this is what you are going to talk about, then we have better things to do. It is like the crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving table – you just stop listening to him.

On the night of the election when the president claimed victory, he was vilified by more than several news people saying he cannot make that claim and is inflaming the situation. Chris Wallace of Fox News was one of those people. Even Republican leaders called the president “reckless and irresponsible.” Yet, he still has his sycophants who support this incredibly untruthful narcissist.

Now, I read that foreign leaders are giving the president the cold shoulder. That speaks volumes as well. The difference between these two candidates is staggering. One is being a leader, while the other is being, well whatever he wants. The story on the latter has gotten real tiresome. And, people are voting with their feet.

And, the beat goes on – more Republican defections

I have written several pieces about the groups of and individual Republicans who have come out against Donald Trump in support of Joe Biden. The Lincoln Project, Republicans for the Rule of Law, and Republican Voters against Trump are a key few.

Per a CNN report by Chris Cillizza called “There’s a historic insurrection against Donald Trump happening within the GOP,” the following few paragraphs reveal a few more Republican voices are speaking out. The full article can be linked to below.

“The latest sign came Sunday, when former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge penned an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer making clear his intent to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in November.

‘He lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead,’ Ridge, who also served as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration, wrote of Trump.

Ridge joins fellow Bush Cabinet secretaries Christine Todd Whitman (EPA), Ann Veneman (Agriculture), Carlos Gutierrez (Commerce) and Colin Powell (State) as Biden endorsers. Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, and Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska Republican senator, both of whom served in the Obama Cabinet, have also backed Biden.

And that’s just Republicans who served in a presidential Cabinet! There are a slew of other prominent GOP elected officials — from former Ohio Gov. John Kasich to former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina to former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — who are on record as either planning to vote for Biden or leaning in that direction.

Then there are the staffers. That group includes the former chiefs of staff at the Department of Education and Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration! More than 70 national security officials from various Republican administrations are backing Biden. As are more than 150 alums of the George W. Bush White House.”

The incumbent and his supporters downplay these Republican voices. The president, of course, labels these critics as “losers” a favorite name calling rebuttal. I read a piece from a Trump supporting pundit who dismissed these folks as being played up by Democrats.

Yet, neither the president or pundit have addressed why these folks are risking backlash from a vindictive person. The same “why” question can be asked of the president’s firing or transferring of the inspectors general who were critical and folks who testified under oath over concerns about the president’s actions

Why indeed?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/there-s-a-historic-insurrection-against-donald-trump-happening-within-the-gop/ar-BB19vw1b?ocid=msedgdhp

Dig beneath the sales schtick

It was Bill Maher who mentioned this first, but the words aligns well with what Donald Trump does. Maher, being from New Jersey, said he grew up hearing this kind of talk, so he recognized it early on. Donald Trump is all about “New Jersey schtick.” In his mind, it is a constant banter to make truths better and tell lies to sell anything, including your reputation. In all fairness to folks from New Jersey, this kind of “schtick” can be found everywhere.

From the Free dictionary, the word schtick, which is also spelled shtick, means: A characteristic attribute, talent, or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention Salespeople use schtick, but it is unfair to paint all salespeople with this brush. The ones who focus on relationship selling will tend to use less of it, while those who focus on transactional sales, will tend to use more of it. What do I mean by that?

Relationship sellers want to work with you long term, building a relationship. Transactional sellers want to get a sale to maximize profit in short order. The latter represents Trump’s approach, which is one reason he is less concerned with long relationships with other countries. And, since he does not care to be a student of history, he does not place a value on the relationship. So, he focuses on transactions.

To do that, he looks for props to sell from. He needs a very short, bumper sticker solution to a problem. The fact the problem is more complex or the solution won’t really solve it is irrelevant. His transactional focus is to win. It is a zero-sum game – I must win, you must lose. “Build the wall” fit nicely on a bumper sticker. Getting folks to chant it and the response to who is going to pay for it is all about sales schtick. The fact immigration is down the list for why folks are disenfranchised matters not – technology gains and offshoring jobs were the main culprits.

Props work best when they can be used to placate fears that are stoked. The Black Lives Matter movement gave Trump two props that he is using today. The handful of folks who are creating violence is one prop. The “defund the police” is the other. Now, defunding the police does not mean take all of their money away. That would be ludicrous. But, repurposing funding to hire licensed social workers and train police to deescalate crises is important. So, Trump and his sycophants are playing this up just as Richard Nixon did in 1968, the year MLK and RFK were assassinated that led to rioting and violence.

Let’s be clear. Donald Trump will say anything to get elected and to be liked by his base of followers. This is a key reason he does not know where the truth stops and the lies begin. Paula Reid of CBS News noted to Trump at a press conference after he just repeated what he has often said that he signed the VA Healthcare Protection Act, that was not a true statement. He likely had no idea he was lying. The act was signed in 2014. He just signed an amendment to it.

Financial reporters, who have covered Trump for decades, note he is not the best of managers. He does not have the emosthy, patience, temperament or time for it. What he is good at is selling. Make the deal and leave a way to get out when the cookie crumbles. He started selling his name for building developments, but he left himself an out when problems surfaced and he could bail. This was a transactional sales person’s dream – get your revenue without any responsibility.

Unfortunately, this is how he approaches the White House. Get the accolades, take credit for all things good regardless of your role and blame others for any problems, even if your failures contributed to them. He and his sycophants spend a lot of tax payer dollars trying to erase or re-write history to absolve him of any accountability.

So, the way to beat Trump is to define truthful props that can be pounded like a drumbeat.

– Trump admitted to lying about the pandemic and now 200,000 (and growing) Americans have died
– America is less trusted because its president is untrustworthy
– Trump does not even try to unite Americans
– It is hard to put out racial fires when the president is carrying a gas can
– Trump is making it easier for China to ascend to number one in economic clout
– Trump is making it easier companies to pee in your water supply
– America is only one of three nations to not support the Paris Climate Change Accord
– The ACA may be ruled unconstitutional after the election by SCOTUS due to changes made by Republicans
– How does a president take credit for building an economy with 7 plus years of growth when he took office?

There is little hope of changing the mindset of someone wearing a t-shirt that says “Jesus died for you – Trump lives for you.” That is just a load of BS. But, that is the base’s mindset. His one genius is to get people to buy his schtick and not believe anyone else. And, he knows they won’t as, if they start to question him and heed the uncomfortable truths, the cognitive dissonance would be overwhelming. This is why the words of Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney and fixer fell on deaf ears, when under oath he said “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.”

Responsibility and blame

Former Vice President and Senator Joe Biden has a couple of very positive TV commercials on what he will do as president. In the middle of one, he says the definitive line. Paraphrasing, he says:

I will take responsibility and not blame others for my actions.

That is a powerful differentiator between Biden and the current incumbent, who is unaccountable for any decision, action, statement or tweet gone awry. The lack of responsibility and accountability is not new to this president having acted this way all of his life.

Yet, the blaming of others is an equal recurring sin of the president. He must blame others. His fragile ego cannot tolerate criticism.

Whether it is Fauci, Tillerson, Powell, Mattis, Bolton, Obama, McCain, Pelosi, Romney, etc., blame must be heaped upon others, often with a large spoonful of name-calling.

Republican legislators running for office are realizing the weight of the Trump anchor. They are a tad late. In my view, he is the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime, including Richard Nixon. But, even if he was not, he is a poor excuse for a leader, taking credit for anything good and blaming others for anything bad. In business, we used the word “Teflon” to define someone who would not accept responsibility for mistakes.

Let me close with a pre-election story. Trump introduced himself as a possible political candidate by repeatedly beating on President Obama with this “birther” conspiracy. Even after Obama released documents confirming his US birth, Trump and the birthers persisted. This went on for a couple of years. After it became an issue in the campaign, Trump had a press conference to come clean – he then blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther issue because someone had raised the conspiracy in her 2008 campaign, which she dismissed. So, the person who ran with the birther issue for a couple of years, weaseled out of responsibility and blamed Clinton,

There is a TV commercial of a little boy saying “I didn’t do it” throughout. When the over-70 year old president blames someone, think of this little boy.

Fauci speaks volumes in a few words

The modus operandi of the incumbent president is simple – say whatever is necessary to make himself look good, when the storyline no longer works, change the narrative, and blame others for failures and take credit for any successes. Perception matters more than reality, so actually solving problems is secondary to looking good.

In the past few weeks, with 67% of Americans not approving Trump’s handling of COVID-19, he has blamed the doctors who advise us, in particular, Dr. Anthony Fauci. His sycophants have joined him. Advisor Peter Navarro wrote a hatchet job on Fauci, but the push back was so severe, even the president did a little backstroke.

Yesterday, Dr, Fauci offered the correct response. The title of an article in Reuters, along with the first paragraph are all that is needed:

“Dr. Fauci: ‘Let’s stop this nonsense’ and fight the virus

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci called the White House effort to discredit him “bizarre” and urged an end to the divisiveness over the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To be frank, the US has a rudderless ship on the COVID-19 handling. Back in January and even early February, after being briefed several times by US intelligence leaders about the risks of the pandenmic, the president made a choice. Instead of being presidential forewarning us and planning ahead, he chose to naysay and misinform us about COVID-19.

In short, the ball was on the tee to lead us and the president whiffed. And, the misinformation continues to this day. Last night, on PBS Newshour, a report on the success of San Francisco’s China Town in keeping a lid on the virus was noted. The hospital and community leadership began planning the first week of February communicating needed preventive actions.

And, it has been successful. China Town leaders heeded mission one in a pandemic – tell people the truth. Pandemic or not, the truth is a commodity to the president. In short, taking the president at his word is a fool’s errand.

President claims others are lying

The following letter was forwarded to my local newspaper yesterday. I hope they print it. Please feel free to adapt and use.
****************

I find amusing the headline “President says everyone else is lying.” This headline involves a president and his sycophants attempting to blame others for his misinformation and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to this day. Per an ABC/ ISPOs poll, 67% of Americans disapprove of his handling of the pandemic. Until he focuses on helping Americans instead of how it makes him look, he will continue to misinform us and more Americans will get sick and die. Pandemics do not care about optics.

From the mouth of Steve Schmidt, Republican presidential campaign manager

This is courtesy of a CNN article called “This is the most succinct — and brutal — Republican rejection of Donald Trump that you will ever read,” which transcribes Steve Schmidt’s comments. Schmidt is a lifelong Republican, who was the campaign manager for John McCain in 2008 and Lamar Alexander in 2000. He is one of the founding members of The Lincoln Project, which is organized to help defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And I don’t say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical and very worried about what a Trump presidency would be. But this is a moment of unparalleled national humiliation, of weakness.

“When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don’t use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We’ve never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities.

“It’s just astonishing that this man is president of the United States. The man, the con man, from New York City. Many bankruptcies, failed businesses, a reality show, that branded him as something that he never was. A successful businessman. Well, he’s the President of the United States now, and the man who said he would make the country great again. And he’s brought death, suffering, and economic collapse on truly an epic scale. And let’s be clear. This isn’t happening in every country around the world. This place. Our place. Our home. Our country. The United States. We are the epicenter. We are the place where you’re the most likely to die from this disease. We’re the ones with the most shattered economy. And we are because of the fool that sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk.”

There is nothing to add or refute. Your comments are welcome.