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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Fiddles Around While The 'Rona Burns

[ Posted Friday, November 13th, 2020 – 18:50 UTC ]

OK, that subtitle is a bit of a stretch, we fully admit. It's supposed to be a pun on "Nero fiddled while Rome burned," but we know it kind of falls short. Hey, some weeks it's easy to come up with these, and some weeks it is harder, what can we say?

Bad puns aside, though, the dereliction of duty shown by President Donald Trump this week should stun us all. It doesn't, of course, because: he's been derelict on so many duties over the past four years already; he's been especially out to lunch on the coronavirus pandemic; and most people are paying more attention to his extended tantrum about losing the election to Joe Biden. But we should be paying a lot closer attention to what Trump is failing to do right now -- and our guess is that we will, very soon now.

Over 10,000,000 Americans have now been diagnosed with COVID-19. The last million of these happened in the first 10 days of this month. The infection rate is going through the roof, topping 120,000 a day... then 130,000... 140,000... and now 150,000. That was yesterday -- today might top 180,000 (final numbers were not in, as of this writing). At this rate, the next million new cases will appear in only a week's time... or even less. Some experts are now predicting that this will rise to a jaw-dropping 400,000 new cases a day by Inauguration Day. That will mean adding a million cases will only take two-and-a-half days, come January. This is what exponential growth looks like, folks.

The first wave topped out at around 30,000 new cases per day. The second wave hit 70,000 at its peak. We are now over twice that, but the truly frightening news is that the slope of the chart's rise is steeper now than it ever was in the first two waves -- and it shows no signs of flattening out at all. So as staggering as the numbers now are, they are almost guaranteed to get a whole lot worse before they get any better.

Throughout all of this, Donald Trump has been whining endlessly about all the non-existent voter fraud in his head. He's been petulantly refusing to let Joe Biden have intelligence briefings or even talk to people like Dr. Anthony Fauci. The State Department has raised such pettiness to what should be an embarrassing level by refusing to even forward foreign leaders' messages of congratulations to Biden. When Trump got bored with ranting and raving about all the non-existent voter fraud, he began an all-out war on Fox News to lift his spirits. Throughout all of this, he has not once addressed the frightening numbers of the third wave. According to him, please remember, the whole third wave was a Democratic/media hoax, and everyone was going to just stop talking about it after the election, since it was all nothing more than fake news specifically designed to make Donald Trump look bad. Of course, this was always a sick fantasy, but it perhaps explains why Trump has been so reluctant to admit the reality we're all now in.

In the past week, it was revealed that 130 Secret Service agents on the presidential detail have been forced to quarantine, while over a dozen people in the White House tested positive, as well as some of Trump's top political aides. The White House isn't just a pandemic hotspot, by travelling all over the country to give rallies, it also ranks as the biggest superspreader around.

Republican governors are, with some exceptions, also blindly following Trump's denial. Something like 16 of them have indicated that they will not be taking Biden's advice to institute mandatory public masking orders in their states. This includes both North and South Dakota, which, on a per capita basis, are now the hardest-hit two states in the country. This is nothing short of dangerous. Even some Democratic governors are only saying they'll tighten up restrictions and close things down "in a week" or maybe even two. This is almost as dangerous. Drastic action is needed right now, and even then it might not be enough. There's a raging pandemic sweeping the land, but sadly Trump has politicized it so fully that each governor has to face political backlash for taking rational and necessary mitigation measures designed to slow the spread -- which is right now fully out of control.

We are on the brink of seeing people needlessly die for lack of I.C.U. bed space or doctors to treat them. Some states are already full up, and they're sending patients to hospitals out of state. But this could soon become impossible, as all the other states also hit full capacity. This is deadly stuff, which is why Trump's dereliction of duty is so disgraceful.

We had to pause our writing here to watch Trump's first public address in over a week, but it was a giant nothingburger. There was no real news, and Trump spent the entire time patting himself on the back for how wonderful his coronavirus response has been. In other words, he is still a long way from reality. Cracks in his facade briefly appeared, when he stumbled around discussing "the next administration," and walked right up to admitting that it just might not be him in the White House next year. Unless Trump returns to the podium and actually answers questions (which is doubtful), this will be the clip you'll see on the news tonight.

Although he stopped short of admitting it, this week all the remaining states were called. Joe Biden will win the Electoral College by a vote of 306 to Trump's 232. The American people had a gigantic message for Donald Trump at the ballot box: "You're fired!" This being Trump, there's even a Trump tweet for this, from 2014: "What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate." Or, according to himself, Donald Trump is now a two-time loser, for losing the election and then for how he has handled it. As he might say (about someone else, of course): "SAD!"

Trump's loss was historic in many ways. Trump is the first sitting president to lose re-election in 28 years. He now joins the ranks of one-term presidents like Jimmy Carter. Biden not only received the most votes in history, it was during an election with the highest turnout (two-thirds of all eligible voters voted) since the year 1900. Biden's majority, which now stands at 50.8 percent of the vote (but could rise a bit further) is the largest percentage of any challenger to an incumbent since Franklin Delano Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover in 1932. Trump's not just a loser, in other words, he's an epic loser.

The truly ironic thing is that Biden beat Trump by the exact same Electoral College count that Trump should have won against Hillary Clinton -- 306. In the end, Trump only got 304 Electoral College votes, because of two faithless electors, so Biden will actually beat Trump's winning margin. This is important because of all the lies and bluster from Trump about what a gigantic landslide his election was. It wasn't -- it was indeed one of the biggest "come from behind" wins of all time, but it was nowhere near a landslide and it was far, far down the list of presidential winning margins. But now, any time Trump whines that Biden didn't beat him by all that much (when he gets to that stage, of course), we'll all have his own grandiose claims about his 2016 win to point to.

Trump began his political career riding down an escalator. His political career's end may have been what can only be called a "clown show" put on by Rudy Giuliani.

The first person Rudy Giuliani, the attorney for President Donald Trump, called up as a witness to baseless allegations of vote counting shenanigans in Philadelphia during a press conference last week is a sex offender who for years has been a perennial candidate in New Jersey.

"It's such a shame. This is a democracy," Daryl Brooks, who said he was a GOP poll watcher, said at the press conference, held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Northeast Philadelphia. "They did not allow us to see anything. Was it corrupt or not? But give us an opportunity as poll watchers to view all the documents -- all of the ballots."

Trenton political insiders watched with bemusement as Brooks took the podium.

Brooks was incarcerated in the 1990s on charges of sexual assault, lewdness and endangering the welfare of a minor for exposing himself to two girls ages 7 and 11, according to news accounts.

Brooks has run for various offices, including U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

"I started watching it and all of a sudden I was like, 'there's New Jersey's perennial candidate claiming to live in Philadelphia and Giuliani claiming him to be a poll watcher and Philadelphia resident," Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said in a phone interview.

James Gee, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), also said he immediately recognized Brooks.

"Yeah, I know Daryl. It's so fitting that he would be there," Gee said.

The most amusing thing about this whole spectacle was that while Trump learned he had lost the election on a golf course (naturally -- as one pundit put it: "The man who said he wouldn't play golf as president learned that he would no longer serve as president while he was playing golf. An almost Shakespearean coda."), Rudy Giuliani learned about it during his clown show.

When news broke Saturday that Donald Trump's reign was ending, the president was on a golf course that he owns in Virginia, playing his last round as a non-loser. In Washington, about 125 of his worshipful supporters gathered on the stoop of the Supreme Court to "stop the steal," then circumnavigated the U.S. Capitol seven times, because that's how the Israelites conquered Jericho, according to the Book of Joshua. And a pair of Trump's most loyal surrogates made a defiant stand on the gravelly backside of a landscaping business in an industrial stretch of Northeast Philadelphia, near a crematorium and an adult-video store called Fantasy Island, along State Road, which leads -- as being associated with Trump sometimes does -- to a prison.

. . .

Giuliani stood in the landscaping company's dusty parking lot with campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski, in front of a garage door plastered with Trump placards, flanked by a few disgruntled GOP poll observers, facing a gaggle of journalists. He claimed there was fraud; he also said GOP observers were prevented from witnessing fraud. About 30 minutes into his show, Giuliani was informed that the race had been called for Biden on television. He stretched out his arms, looked to the heavens and seemed to mock-crucify himself on the notion.

"Come on, don't be ridiculous," Giuliani said. "Networks don't get to decide elections. Courts do."

Um, actually Rudy, it's the voters who decide elections. Of course, this whole sad spectacle was resoundingly mocked far and wide, as it so richly deserved to be. Alexandra Petri, the resident humorist at the Washington Post, was especially scathing:

Hi! I saw you were having a credible press conference about President Trump's serious allegations of voter fraud, led by a serious person, at the Four Seasons. I'm at the Four Seasons. I don't see you.

Ah. Yes. Well. I understand the mix-up! You just have to keep going a little bit down the highway. We're actually at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping, by the adult bookstore. If you get to the prison, you have gone too far.

Does it look nice?

Absolutely not. We are standing in front of some very sad-looking signage in what I think is a parking lot? Lot of peeling green paint. It looks like a garage sale that someone is having as a last resort, where everything they are trying to sell you is broken.

That will go down in history as the end of Trump's political career. Hopefully, at the least, because it was so tawdry -- and so entirely fitting. Even a newspaper owned by one of Trump's biggest supporters, Sheldon Adelson, had to admit that the race was over and Trump had lost, calling his claims of non-existent voter fraud "a disservice to his more rabid supporters" and "simply false." It brought up one very important point, as well:

In fact, rhetoric from Trump surrogates alleging widespread illegal activity has been devoid of detailed evidence supporting the charge that there was a concerted effort to "steal" the election through corruption. An electoral system that involves the participation of 150 million Americans will have its share of issues, but it's an insult to reason and logic to argue that isolated irregularities constitute proof of a grand national conspiracy.... Why, if there were some orchestrated Democratic attempt to rig the balloting, did the party underachieve in congressional and statewide balloting across the country?

In fact, the only widespread conspiracy to cast fraudulent votes came from the Republicans in Pennsylvania, when they urged Republicans to vote after Election Day. All the other "evidence" has been laughed out of every court to date. And the only people arrested so far were two armed men in a Hummer travelling to Philadelphia to unleash violence on the people counting the ballots, with "QAnon" decals on their vehicle.

And that wasn't even the worst report of violent threats from Republicans. A police chief in Arkansas posted on social media such cheerful thoughts as: "death to all Marxist Democrats," "take no prisoners," and "leave no survivors." Another post featured a photo of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama in prison jumpsuits with the comment: "I pray all those in that picture hang on the gallows and are drawn and quartered!!!! Anything less is not acceptable." He was quickly fired by the town, thankfully.

On the brighter side, it seems that Trump and his enablers are getting downright desperate to prove all of the non-existent voter fraud somehow magically exists. They announced a hotline for people to call who might have seen any such voter fraud, and it was quickly overwhelmed with pranksters. The funniest of these: "One woman said she met the devil at her Georgia polling place and he challenged her to a fiddle contest, but if she lost, Biden would win."

To date, there has been no solid evidence of any widespread voter fraud at all. Republicans thought they might have some when a postal worker claimed he had seen a postmaster in Erie, Pennsylvania backdating ballots, but he later recanted his claims in a sworn affidavit, so that one went up in smoke. Trump's lawyers are still valiantly trying to prove there was massive fraud in court, but they're mostly just getting laughed at by all the judges for the non-existent nature of their "evidence." Here's just a sample, from a court filing in Michigan:

Inside Detroit's absentee-ballot-counting center, one Republican poll watcher complained that workers were wearing Black Lives Matter gear. She thought one of them -- a "man of intimidating size" -- had followed her too closely.

Another Republican poll watcher complained about the public address system. Workers were using it to make announcements. It was loud. "This was very distracting to those of us trying to concentrate," he said.

That's their "evidence" of widespread voter fraud, folks. This is why two of the three big law firms Trump was using in these cases have, in essence, fired Trump as a client. Well, that and the fact that the Lincoln Project was about to unleash some scathing advertisements against the big law firms, for participating in an unfounded effort to undermine our democracy.

Today, the first post-election interview with Trump ran in the media, which shows just how delusional Trump's perceived chances of success truly are:

In his interview with [Washington Examiner correspondent Byron] York, [President Donald] Trump argued he was still competitive in several key swing states where Biden had already emerged victorious, saying he was "going to win Wisconsin" -- a state called for Biden last Wednesday where Trump is currently trailing by more than 20,000 votes.

In Arizona, which was also called for Biden as early as last Wednesday, the race will "be down to 8,000 votes," Trump said, even though he is behind by more than 11,000 votes there. "If we can do an audit of the millions of votes, We'll find 8,000 votes easy. If we can do an audit, we'll be in good shape there," he said.

Trump went on to say he was "going to win" Georgia, which has not been officially called but where Biden has a lead of more than 14,000 votes. Georgia's top election official announced Wednesday that the state would conduct a hand recount of every ballot cast in the presidential race.

"Now we're down to about 10,000, 11,000 votes, and we have hand counting," Trump told York, incorrectly stating his vote deficit in Georgia. "Hand counting is the best. To do a spin of the machine doesn't mean anything. You pick up 10 votes. But when you hand count -- I think we're going to win Georgia."

Trump also asserted that he would win North Carolina, an uncalled state where he is ahead of Biden by more than 71,000 votes, and said his campaign's litigation could result in him picking up both Michigan and Pennsylvania -- two states that were called for Biden last week where Trump trails by more than 146,000 votes and more than 60,000 votes, respectively.

Since that was written, North Carolina was called for Trump while Georgia was called for Biden. Even Karl Rove is now admitting that it is over, writing in the Wall Street Journal that: "the president's efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden's column, and certainly they're not enough to change the final outcome."

Rove's not the only prominent conservative saying it's over for Trump. Others are waving red flags and sounding alarms as well. Here is Ben Ginsberg, a lawyer who was at the center of the Bush v. Gore fight, warning how dangerous it is for his party to blindly follow Trump's rabid post-election litigation:

This is as un-American as it gets. It returns the Republican Party to the bad old days of "voter suppression" that landed it under a court order to stop such tactics -- an order lifted before this election. It puts the party on the wrong side of demographic changes in this country that threaten to make the GOP a permanent minority.

These are painful words for me to write. I spent four decades in the Republican trenches, representing GOP presidential and congressional campaigns, working on Election Day operations, recounts, redistricting and other issues, including trying to lift the consent decree.

Nearly every Election Day since 1984 I've worked with Republican poll watchers, observers and lawyers to record and litigate any fraud or election irregularities discovered.

The truth is that over all those years Republicans found only isolated incidents of fraud. Proof of systematic fraud has become the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn't exist.

. . .

All of the [law]suits include the mythical fraud claim. Many are efforts to disqualify absentee ballots, which have surged in the pandemic. The grounds range from supposedly inadequate signature matches to burdensome witness requirements. Others concern excluding absentee ballots postmarked on Election Day but received later, as permitted under state deadlines. Voter-convenience devices such as drop boxes and curbside voting have been attacked.

Texas Republicans even thought it was a good idea to challenge 100,000 ballots already cast at a Harris County drive-through voting center that they want retroactively declared illegal. Perhaps they forgot the Republican expressions of outrage in Florida in 2000 when Democrats sought unsuccessfully to exclude 25,000 absentee ballots in GOP counties because of administrative error, not voter fault.

I was there, and I haven't.

. . .

How sad it is to recall that just seven years ago the Grand Old Party conducted an "autopsy" that emphasized the urgency of building a big tent to reach communities of color, women and young voters. Now it is erecting voting barriers for those very groups. Instead of enlarging the tent, the party has taken a chain saw to its center pole.

My party is destroying itself on the Altar of Trump. Republican elected officials, party leaders and voters must recognize how harmful this is to the party's long-term prospects.

And here's a man nobody in their right mind would ever accuse of being some sort of secret liberal Democrat, John Bolton, striking exactly the same notes:

As of this writing, the Republican Party has not suffered permanent damage to its integrity and reputation because of President Trump's post-election rampaging. This will not be true much longer.

It is simply a truism that Trump has a legal right to pursue all appropriate election-law remedies to ensure an accurate, lawful vote count. To be credible, however, any aggrieved candidate must at some point produce valid legal arguments and persuasive evidence.

Trump has so far failed to do so, and there is no indication he can. If he can't, his "right" to contest the election is beside the point. The real issue is the grievous harm he is causing to public trust in America's constitutional system. Trump's time is running out, even as his rhetoric continues escalating. And time is running out for Republicans who hope to maintain the party's credibility, starting with Georgia's two Senate runoffs in January. Here is the cold political reality: Trump is enhancing his own brand (in his mind) while harming the Republican brand. The party needs a long internal conversation about the post-Trump era, but first it needs to get there honorably.

. . .

Republican passivity risks additional negative consequences for the country. Trump is engaging in what could well be a systematic purge of his own administration, starting with the utterly unjustified firing of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper this week and continuing through high- and mid-level civilian offices in the department. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, head of the National Nuclear Safety Administration, was forced to resign. Washington is filled with rumors that the CIA and FBI directors are next.

This is being done with just 10 weeks left in the administration. All transitions bring uncertainty, but to decapitate substantial parts of the national security apparatus during such a period for no reason other than personal pique is irresponsible and dangerous. Republicans know this.

Well, at the very least, they used to know it. But this intro has gone on for far too long, and we'd like to end on an upbeat note, today. [Perhaps we should have tried the segue: "speaking of blowing up rotting whale carcasses," but we thought that a bit too much, personally.]

This week was the 50th anniversary of one of the most hilarious pieces of video of all time, when Oregon state highway engineers in the town of Florence decided to dispose of a dead whale's 45-foot-long, eight-ton carcass by blowing it up with a half-ton of dynamite.

People gathered to see the spectacle, but they gathered just a wee bit too close. From the television news story which shot the timeless video:

"Here come pieces of... uh... whale," a woman said, her tone incongruously calm as the flesh came hurtling back to the ground, landing with a stomach-flipping squelch. [Paul] Linnman, in his news report, said "the blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds."

Bonus points for that alliteration, there, Paul!

Thankfully there were no serious injuries, although the crowd was showered with chunks of rotting whale. One car was crushed. But 50 years later, the town has realized the tourism potential of their claim to fame, and so: "Florence in June christened a riverfront park 'Exploding Whale Memorial Park' to mark the 50th anniversary." That's the spirit! And it's good news for Donald Trump, because even an exploding rotting whale can be turned into a solid revenue stream, obviously. He should keep that in mind, when planning his presidential "library."


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

For once, it seems our pick for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week is actually getting the lion's share of the credit -- which she completely deserves.

Joe Biden's victory in Georgia did not just magically happen. It was the direct result of the efforts of Stacey Abrams and all who joined in her years-long effort to register every person of color in the state that they could find. She's been at this for the past 10 years, in fact, and it has finally paid off in the biggest way possible.

As Joe Biden opened a narrow lead in Georgia on Thursday, Democrats across the country couldn't quite believe it was happening.

But Stacey Abrams and a network of activists had been planning for the moment for nearly a decade.

The people leading the effort to flip the state -- a group composed of Black female elected officials, voting rights advocates and community organizers -- understood why Democrats had often fallen short in the South the past decade. Topping the list of reasons: the region's long-running conservative bent, voter suppression tactics by the right and the failure by Democrats to mount a sustained voter outreach program.

But something changed in 2018. Abrams' razor-thin loss in Georgia's gubernatorial election made clear to her and other liberals in the state that demographic shifts in the suburbs had reached a tipping point. Their argument to the national party was simple: Democrats could win more races by expanding their coalition to include disengaged voters of color, as opposed to continuing the focus on persuading undecided, moderate, often white voters.

Abrams had come close with the strategy: Her campaign and its allies registered more than 200,000 new voters in the run-up to the 2018 election. When Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project, two organizations founded by Abrams, tried again this year, they quadrupled their gains, registering more than 800,000 new voters.

We first met and heard Abrams speak at the 2017 Netroots Nation conference, which was held in Atlanta. She laid out what she was trying to accomplish and how far she'd come in achieving her goal. At that point, she was still running for governor.

She is an impressive politician all around. She has oodles of energy and optimism, which are almost requirements for a progressive in a red state. She swore that Georgia could be competitive, and this year she was proven right in the best way possible.

During the same conference, we also heard Jon Ossoff speak, but we were nowhere near as impressed by him we were by Abrams. Ossoff is now one of two Democrats in runoff elections for the Senate in Georgia, and control of the chamber hinges on these two contests. The race will be bitterly fought, and we have to admit that if history is any guide, neither Democrat really has much of a chance of winning. But then again, history might not be a good guide, because of what just happened there.

Runoff elections typically see only about half the turnout as the general election. The election will be held the first week in January, so it will be a question of which side can convince enough of their voters to make the effort to get out and vote one last time. Nobody knows what the outcome will be -- perhaps the turnout will be a lot higher this time around, seeing as how the state is now the center of the political universe. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent from now until the new year on ads for both sides.

But win or lose, the fact remains that even the possibility of winning is largely due to the efforts of Stacey Abrams and everyone who worked with her on her massive voter registration drive. For that, she really deserves more than just a weekly award, but it's what we've got, so we'll gladly give her this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week for her efforts. Thank you, Stacey, for making all of this even possible.

[Stacey Abrams is a private citizen, and our policy is not to provide contact information for such persons, so you'll have to look it up yourself to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We're not going to hand out any individual Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards this week, instead we're going to give a blanket award to all the progressives and moderates -- mostly in the House -- who are now engaging in a grand game of finger-pointing.

The moderates say the progressives are the reason moderate Democrats lost House seats. The progressives say the moderates are blaming progressives for their own losses. Both sides have their points to make.

From the moderates' point of view, phrases like "defund the police" and "socialism" were what gave the Republicans ammunition during the campaign. From the progressives' point of view, Joe Biden was the nominee and even he got called a "radical socialist lefty," which he most assuredly is not. The GOP is going to use this slam no matter what the progressives say, in other words, and no matter how believable it is.

All of it has played out in the media, because everyone's leaking their side of the story. But this giant blame game is decidedly not what Democrats need right now. It just allows the media to fall back into their lazy "Democrats In Disarray" storyline, once again.

Perhaps we'll get over this, and Nancy Pelosi will be able to move forward. She's going to have a tougher time in the next Congress, because she'll have a smaller majority to work with. So it's going to be hard enough for her to get some good things done. Moderates and progressives are going to have to bury the hatchet to some degree for this to happen. We'll see whether this turns out to be a tempest in a teapot or whether it becomes a real defining divide in the next House, but it is spectacularly unhelpful right now. Which is why we say a pox on both their houses and are giving the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to them all.


Friday Talking Points

Volume 596 (11/13/20)

Now that the election has been called, we're back to our usual format once again. Here are our seven talking points Democrats should be using this week, in no particular order. As always, use responsibly!


   A threat to national security

We've all given Trump a week to get over his hissy fit. But that's long enough.

"Donald Trump has not only refused to admit the reality that he lost the election -- which is dangerous enough -- but he is also forcing the rest of the executive branch to buy into his delusion as well. He has told his cabinet not to cooperate with Biden's transition team, the G.S.A. -- supposedly a nonpartisan office -- has refused to certify Biden as the president-elect, and his State Department is acting like a petulant toddler by not even forwarding congratulatory messages to Biden from other world leaders. But what is truly dangerous is that Biden has also been blocked from receiving the top-secret Presidential Daily Brief, which outlines all national security threats against the country. Perhaps Trump's team is just so embarrassed by what passes for a P.D.B. these days -- lots of colorful maps on single pages, with no in-depth text whatsoever -- that they're hastily trying to put together what every other president has gotten instead. But for whatever the reason, this is a danger to the national security of this country. President-Elect Biden needs to see this information so he can hit the ground running in January. To deny him access is not only petty and childish, it is downright dangerous for the entire country."


   Speaking of dangerous...

In a different sphere, but just as disconcerting.

"And another thing that's equally as dangerous is that Joe Biden is being denied access to government scientists and experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci so they can coordinate Biden's new pandemic response efforts. Biden's first step in forming his transition team was to announce his own coronavirus panel of experts to help guide his policy decisions. But they need access to both all the current data and to the government scientists and departments responsible for handling the crisis. Denying Biden access is almost as dangerous -- for a completely different reason -- than denying him the P.D.B., and it needs to end right now."


   Tell the truth, get fired

This one hasn't happened yet, but it may only be a matter of time until Trump notices the guy.

"Over at the Department of Homeland Security, there is an office called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The head of this office is Chris Krebs, and he has overseen their 'Rumor Control' website, which has done an admirable job of shooting down internet rumors and conspiracy theories about the safety of the election and the ballot-counting. Krebs has done a stellar job of keeping on top of and totally debunking all these conspiracy theories, and he has publicly stated that this was the most secure election ever in America. Telling the bald truth in this fashion, however, has sadly meant that he now expects to be fired by Donald Trump any day now, for informing the public what is real and what is fantasy. Thank all that's holy that this sort of thing will stop when Joe Biden takes over, because it is nothing short of a disgrace."


   It wasn't that bad

It wasn't the greatest night, but it wasn't the worst night either.

"Democrats obviously wanted to do much better in the election than they did. But not only did Joe Biden decisively win the biggest race of the night, but several very progressive initiatives won as well. Florida voted for Donald Trump, but it also voted for a $15-an-hour minimum wage -- making it only the most recent red state to do so, over the wishes of the Republicans who run these states. Recreational marijuana legalization won in four states, only one of which can truly be called a blue state: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. This now makes marijuana available to all adults in 15 states in all. Oregon decriminalized possession of all drugs. Colorado passed family leave, becoming the ninth state to do so, and it also defeated a strict abortion ban for the fourth time in a row. One county in Oregon passed universal preschool for all, and Washington state will now require schools to teach sex education. So all around, some very progressive initiatives were passed in both blue states and red alike."


   Also, some history was made

Some firsts were chalked up, as well.

"The most Native American women in history -- three -- were elected to the House of Representatives in this election. Cori Bush, a Black woman, was elected to the House from the district which includes Ferguson, Missouri. All four members of The Squad coasted to re-election. The first gay Black/Latino House member was also elected from the South Bronx. Three transgender candidates made history by winning seats in their state legislature, including one in the Delaware state senate who will become the highest-ranking trans officeholder in the entire country. So while Democrats overall didn't do as well as they had hoped, there were more than a few who made history in this election."


   Too funny

Many have commented about John Lewis looking down from above as his former district provided the crucial votes to hand Georgia to Joe Biden. But there's another one celebrating up above as well.

"Meghan McCain posted a hilarious photo of her dad John with a caption specifically designed to get under Donald Trump's skin: 'I like people who don't lose Arizona.' Couldn't have said it better myself...."


   A week late...

And finally, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

"Eric Trump tweeted out a message urging the people of Minnesota to go vote on Tuesday. The only problem was he tweeted it out this Tuesday, not last Tuesday when it could have done his father some good. Nothing like being a week late and 240,000 votes short!"

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


67 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Trump Fiddles Around While The 'Rona Burns”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Re: It wasn't that bad and Some history was made.

    I got the $15 minimum wage thing, but I'm not sure that some states passing marijuana legalization or electing transgender candidates, etc., makes up for, um, not taking the Senate. Democrats are as bad as Republicans when they confuse appearances for substance like this.

    Say it: IT WAS THAT BAD. The odds of electing Dems to those two Georgia seats are poor to horrible. McConnell and the Republicans will almost certainly castrate every Democratic initiative led by Pres. Biden for the first two years of his administration - except the ones he can, undemocratically, almost autocratically, use executive orders to accomplish.

    This blows. Good for the first gay Black/Latino House member from the Bronx, but the House Dems already outrank the Republicans in every demographic category possible. What they don't have despite said new member from the Bronx, is the political power to deliver anything progressive on a national front, period.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    yikes, i think i know where that landscaping business is. i'm pretty sure i used to drive by that area a decade or two ago.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M from Ct. -

    Yeah, I know. But hey, today's spin day, right?

    Silver linings...

    As for legalization and $15 and family leave, I would argue, that is substance, not just appearances. The rest of it, you're mostly right, though.


  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    on the way to the prison, or...?

    Heh. Couldn't resist.



  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    nah, on the way from my place to my folks, or vice-versa.

    hey, isn't the rona the RNC chair or something?

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    Nah, that's Romney's niece. Totally separate thing.

    One is toxic and spreads pestilence, and the other's just a microscopic virus...




  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Man, did ANYbody make it all the way through, this week? I gotta start making those intros shorter, although I did have two rather notable weeks to cover...


  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It was very suitably Bidenesque. :)

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just wait until you see my first post here. Which will probably come some time around Saturday night. Heh.

  10. [10] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris[7]: Yes, I certainly did. You did a fine job of mixing humor with bathos, righteous celebration with an undercurrent of danger. Well done!

    As has been the case since 2015, Trump and company have managed to pack a years' worth of news into a week, so there were many possible avenues to pursue. I think you chose a good one.

    A technical issue: I checked my bookmark this morning and there was no new FTP:
    I was relieved to find it, but wonder if I should delete the bookmark.

  11. [11] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, I can't tell you how satisfied I am with this week's MIDOW. I feared you would award it to Joe Biden. Of course, his victory is historic and, without exaggeration, has perhaps saved America.

    But to me, there is nothing that more clearly demonstrated the results than Biden's win in Georgia. A quick glance at the election map says it all: a sea of red in the Confederate states, with Georgia the lonely one "dressed in blue".

    I am also cautiously hopeful that Democrats in the other Southern states will quickly flood the "Fair Fight" organization and create homegrown versions. Will I get my hopes up? No, because Democrats across the land have proven time and time again how readily they surrender ground and even turn on their allies.
    For example, I had a conversation with a Democratic "operative" in Arkansas last week. He dismissed this suggestion out-of-hand; I hope others in his state will NOT allow their myopic view of their fellow citizens prevent them from at least TRYING!

  12. [12] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Another nomination for runner-up MIDOW is a "blanket" one, which you touched on in Talking Point #4.

    We will assume that a large majority of the those who wrote the progressive ballot initiatives, gathered the signatures to get them on the ballot, and cast their ballot to make these ideas into law were Democrats. In the process, they overcame the resistance of state legislatures, both Republican- and Democratic-controlled.

    I hope that progressive are paying attention, especially in such heartbreakingly-red states as Florida. For the next 2 years, they must concentrate their energies on copying the successful ballot measures from other states into their own.

  13. [13] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Two more notes about ballot initiatives:
    You neglected to mention Arizona's Proposition 208, which is HUGE progressive victory - and so of course MUST be co-opted in every other state.
    'The measure, also known as the Invest in Education Act, will raise revenue primarily for educator salaries by adding a 3.5% tax surcharge on taxable income over $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. A small fraction of taxpayers would be affected.
    The measure would send money to the following areas:

    50% of the money would go to hiring and raising the salaries of teachers and other certified employees, such as counselors and nurses.
    25% would go to hiring and increasing the salaries of student support staff, including classroom aides and bus drivers.
    12% would go to career and technical education programs.
    10% would go to programs dedicated to retaining and mentoring teachers.
    3% would go to scholarships for the Arizona Teachers Academy, which waives college tuition for teachers-in-training who commit to work in Arizona schools after graduation.'

  14. [14] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Ballot initiatives part 2:
    I nominate for MDDOW every Democrat in every state that has refused to expand Medicaid.

    Oklahoma voters in June and Missouri in August expanded Medicaid via ballot initiative. Why did Democrats in the remaining twelve states whose legislature refuse to do so NOT propose a similar ballot initiative?!?!?!

    Special mention goes to Florida Democrats for once demonstrating how to blow a perfect opportunity.

  15. [15] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, were you being generous or forgetful in pointedly ignoring the real winners of MDDOW: Every candidate for U S Senate who failed to unseat an incumbent.

    Collins, Graham, Tillis, Cornyn, Ernst, and of course "Moscow Mitch" are returning to Washington. The near-term consequences are Republican obstruction to each and every progressive idea that the House Democrats manage to pass. The long-term consequences are impossible to know, but these folks will have 6 years to provide us with examples in the future.

  16. [16] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And I'll end this string with an entirely personal nomination for MIDOW: Arizona Democrats, who not only found the winning candidate in Mr Kelly - the SECOND Democratic Senator going to Washington from this once deep-red State - but also handed the state to Biden/Harris.

    During the dark days after 3 November, my biggest consolation was the color of Arizona on the electoral maps. First light blue, then changing to solid blue, my heart fluttered with hope. I and the other Arizona voters (miracle of miracles!) gave 4 electoral votes to Biden ensuring that he would pass the finish line, even if the Republicans succeeded in undermining the democratic process in Pennsylvania,

  17. [17] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    An expected adroit summary of this week's shit.

    It's a wonderful 'coda' to the Trumpian regime to have its final gasp from the parking lot of a dildo emporium... Considering he rode into town on the largely undisputed 'dossier' of misdeeds.

    Trump's greyness compounded by his almost slip referring to 'the incoming administration' is pitiable, and expected.


  18. [18] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:


    The problem with trying to extract proportionally larger income taxes from the highly successful is that it creates interstate competition for attracting the highly successful as residents. Witness the migration of rich people and corporations from CA to TX.

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    good point about interstate competition undermining fair business practices. state taxes are just one of many vehicles driving this issue, however.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    there's sort-of an equilibrium point, a "sweet spot" for taxes and regulation, that permits investment and innovation but discourages a race to the bottom in externalities and labor practices. Before the second world war, low taxes and relaxed standards brought us the great depression, which spurred a pendulum swing in the other direction. By the 1970's taxes and regulation had been so extreme for so long that they stifled competition and brought shortages. starting in the 1980's we swung all the way back toward another wild, robber-barons era. the markets are ripe for another major correction.

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    One is toxic and spreads pestilence, and the other's just a microscopic virus...

    they should start calling her "the ronna," as in, moscow mitch, poor donald and the ronna

  22. [22] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:


    There have been a great many things blamed as causes of the 'great depression' of the '30's, but far as I'm aware, "low taxes and relaxed standards" have heretofore never been among them.

    And it would be generally agreed I think that it was the ensuing world war that "spurred a pendulum swing in the other direction".

    And in spite of being a student of the 'dismal science', I've never heard of "taxes and regulation stifling competition". Definitely stifling business and entrepreneurial effort in general, but NOT "competition"!

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    Are you frakkin kidding me? Of course there were not "relaxed" regulations. There were practically no regulations to speak of. Rapid expansion and reckless speculation could not have crashed the economy of there had been.

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If the had been

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Autocorrect how I hate thee!

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  27. [27] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    C.R. Stucki #18 -- Trust me there is no shortage of rich people here where I live (San Francisco). I hope many more leave, although I doubt they will. I am sick of $18 cocktails and $50 hamburgers. Since the beginning of time economics has been the study of allocating scarce resources. This is the first time on earth where all our (local) problems are caused by too much money! They keep promising they will all leave soon but right now we are suffering from a plague of millionaires. They are as thick as flies and a lot more obnoxious as they skate up and down the sidewalk on their computer controlled skateboards. Mr Stucki, if you have some sure fired way to get rid of them I would sure like to hear it.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What can the US learn from countries in Asia, South Asia and the Western Pacific in terms of shutting down the virus?

    The following is my attempt to transcribe part of a WHO virtual press conference where Drs Mike Ryan and Maria Van Kerkhove explain in detail what needs to be done to bring the virus under control and how successful countries have managed to do this. The topic of masks and mask mandates was conspicuous in its absence from this discussion, interestingly enough ...


    The idea is to crush the curve down to a very low level of transmission and number of cases and then extra effort is needed to keep pushing that number down, relentlessly, until you reach enough control so that other measures and restrictions on peoples' lives and livelihoods can be released and so that the public health action linked to community action is enough to keep the disease under control. This is the goal.

    More waves and peaks of cases are not inevitable. We have the systems that can bring the virus under control: active case finding. isolation of cases, tracing contacts and quarantining contacts, testing with a rapid turnaround time, using hospitals for optimal clinical care. Once numbers are down, use the time wisely to prepare and stay ready for more transmission and for dealing with clusters.

    It is critically important to isolate cases and quarantine contacts. Ideally, this should be done outside of the home in an isolation and quarantine facility. But, this is rarely possible and so isolation and quarantine in the home must be taken seriously. This means 14 days of not going to work, not going to the grocery store, not socializing with friends, not inviting people over to your home. And, people need to be adequately supported through their isolation/quarantine.

    This is what will break the chains of transmission. Without isolation of cases and quarantining of contacts it will be virtually impossible to bring this virus under control. But, there is nothing inevitable about the next peak of transmission - getting the virus under control is completely within our hands to do - as individuals and with strong government leadership, clear national plans implemented with targeted control measures at the local level, we can prevent additional subsequent waves of transmission.

    There are countries that have been successful in bringing transmission down to low levels and in sustaining those low numbers - China, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea. Each country has had to adapt its strategy to its social contract with their populations. They have had to determine what are the country's powers under public health law, what are the community expectations and what are the trade-offs on the socio-economic side in terms of being able to crush the curve and sustain low levels of transmission. But, there are common elements to a successful strategy to control the virus.

    The first is a focus on case detection, case isolation and, most especially, quarantining of contacts and on providing support to those who must go into isolation or quarantine such as food, financial support, physical support and a place to quarantine. People need to be supported through this process and not just told to go home.

    For example, in a community transmission environment at any given time, one person in 400-500 people may be actively positive for COVID-19 or for SARS-COV-2. If you imagine that one case has an average of ten contacts and if you isolate that case and the ten contacts, that is eleven people impacted by the health measures as opposed to a lockdown where 400 or 500 people are affected by the measure. The success that Asia has had in bringing the virus under control was all about their ability to find these eleven people - find the cases and their contacts - maybe not ALL of the cases but enough of the cases to begin breaking the chains of transmission and continue doing that.

    Secondly, communities in Asia have higher levels of trust in government and community compliance with various health measures and so they've tended to be able to implement some of these measures longer in terms of the behavior that is required from individuals.

    And, third, there was serious follow-through in these countries. Once they got the numbers down, they followed through. They didn't start reducing testing centers, they increased them. They didn't reduce clinical capacity, they increased it. They ran through the finish line and beyond and kept running because they knew the race wasn't over, that it was a false finish line. Too many countries operated on the idea of an imaginary finish line and when they crossed it they may have decelerated some of their activities to keep the virus under control.

    The countries in Asia, South Asia, and Western Pacific that have been successful have continued to follow through with their key control activities. They haven't stopped, they've kept at it, all the while preparing for more cases.

    Finally, successful countries have implemented multiple measures in a comprehensive strategy to control the virus. These countries have taken advantage of ALL of the tools and determined how to apply these tools within their territories and their social and societal contracts and then they have followed through on these actions even when the numbers have been brought down very low. And, they have managed to sustain community commitment to the actions taken.

    So these countries have been able to open up and reduce restrictions to lives and livelihoods because the measures in place affect only small numbers of people - the cases and related contacts. The rest of life had returned to normal and so these countries now have an advantage of being able to sustain the effort to keep the virus under control.

    Dr. Ryan went on to describe the situation in Europe and in North America as very tough. It's hard to go back into a phase of potential lockdown as people are tired and exhausted. While it is not an easy situation that faces Europe and NA, there is always hope and a chance to turn things around and a chance to learn. As the DG, Dr. Tedros always says, it's never to too late to start implementing a comprehensive set of measures and national strategy to get this virus under control!

    The one thing that was stressed over and over again, in this presser and others, is that we must, must, must be able to test and trace and in the situation of intense transmission it may not be possible to trace every case and we accept this. There are times when testing and tracing is not the most efficient way to proceed. But, you must be able to know where the virus is and, as the numbers of cases drop, you must be able to re-engage in tracing, quarantine and isolation. If there is one thing that differentiates the responses to this pandemic in Asia and Europe and NA it is the ability to follow through on these health measures and that goes especially for contact tracing and quarantining of contacts.

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    after the rise of the robber barons (first gilded age) and before the great war, the first roosevelt and the progressive era instituted the first legit attempts at federal regulation of business. the war interrupted the process, and the inter-war period saw a conservative backlash against economic progressivism, which freed up capital and led to consumerism and the "roaring twenties." the parallels between that era and today are pretty hard to miss.

    the easy answer is a market correction, i.e. another great depression, and a major contraction of our economy, which thanks to trump and covid seems a pretty good bet to occur. as to how we can avoid that sort of massive economic collapse, i'd say we need to start closing loopholes and put some teeth in enforcement, so as to remove the incentives for the investor class to send jobs and money offshore, then let that top-heavy economy filter downward to those middle and lower class individuals who are willing to work for it.


  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    the challenge inherent in trying to trace and isolate a virus is exacerbated by the US deep-rooted ethos of individualism and freedom from government restraints. we have issues with anybody telling us what to do, ostensibly for our own good. even if it really is for our own good. and our economy isn't set up to accommodate that enforcement even were it to occur.


  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Yes, I do understand that uniquely American individualism.

    But, the fact of the matter is that your country is going to be in for a whole lot of hurt if Biden can't change the course of the US response, or lack thereof.

    And, I would disagree that it has a lot to do with enforcement. What it has to do with is leadership. It's about the art of persuasion and the ability to communicate with people, empower them with the knowledge they need to do their part in the overall national strategy and comprehensive package of health measures that will protect both lives and livelihoods.

    If enforcement becomes necessary, then the battle is already lost.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It sounds like the NYTimes editorial board is listening as closely to the WHO virtual press conferences as I am!

    Most important message: there is still hope and a chance to get the virus under control!

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's be clear - lockdowns are the bluntest instrument when it comes to getting this virus under control and nobody thinks they are the ideal way to go.

    But, when the virus is so out of control across a country and when hospital capacity and health workers are stretched so thin and on the brink of not being able to keep up with the positive cases that need hospitalization, let alone other non-related but equally essential medical care, then something has to give.

    I think lockdowns, whether they are targeted or national, need to be clearly communicated as to why they may be necessary and how long they may be required. Most importantly, it needs to be made clear that during the lockdown, time won't be wasted like it was before.

    Lockdowns will get you to a place where transmission is manageable through the implementation of proven health measures - isolation, contact tracing, quarantining of contacts. This is the ONLY way to shut down the virus.

    People need to be persuaded to buy into this strategy and to do everything in their power as individuals to stop this virus - for the sake of their own well-being and for the well-being of everyone around them. They need to know that while they do their part, the president, governors and mayors are doing their part as well.

    In the case of the US - and Canada may get there, too, if we are not careful - a lockdown may be the only tool in the tool box right NOW that will save lives and save the economy. Health and the economy have never been so inextricably linked. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing all of the other activities that will help to break the chains of transmission and prepare to be able to successfully manage the virus as the lockdown is released.

    It's not enough to just wears masks and wait for herd immunity through vaccination. You must "do it all!"

    And, as the WHO DG has always said, the antidote to this virus is national unity and global solidarity. No one is safe until everyone is safe.

    Good luck to us all!

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and our economy isn't set up to accommodate that enforcement even were it to occur.

    Well, your economy isn't set up for unrestrained exponential growth of the number of positive cases, hospitalizations and death that will surely occur if your country doesn't act.

    You will remember that during the last pandemic, the economy fared much better only when the virus was brought under control by first initiating responsible lockdowns that paved the way for managing transmission through proven public health measures.

    We just can't separate the economy from getting the virus under control.

  35. [35] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    You've gotta be impressed with propaganda as stupid as this:

    So I ask, why were rules and procedures changed just before the election in Pennsylvania and Georgia because of COVID? - Fox talking empty head Jeanine Pirro

    Asked and answered in one sentence! The orange one should think twice about destroying that goldmine.

  36. [36] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    We're about to witness the formulation of the Trumpian effort/plan to rationalize his defeat. ('Illegal voters', 'Illegal ballots', 'Crooked vote counting', etc.)

    What the hell, he had the 2016 efforts of the world's greatest liar and her supporters ('Comey', 'Russiagate', 'Conspiracy', etc.) for an example. How could he possibly go wrong?

    Anyway, that's about his only option. After all, "I'm a world-class asshole" would be just too embarrassing.

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Well, your economy isn't set up for unrestrained exponential growth of the number of positive cases, hospitalizations and death

    i'd say that's precisely what it's set up for: don't get sick, and if you do, die quickly. the ACA managed to put a significant band-aid on the consequences of that structure, but it's still the overall way the country's apparatus is set up.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ah, let's just start the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party ...

    I'll start it off with new music from a classic artist, AC/DC just released their new album Power Up and new single, Shot in the Dark ... I like it!

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    April Wine is the Canadian band equivalent of the energizer bunny. They just keep on going ...

    Here's one of my favourites, I Like To Rock ...

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Canada loves to rock. How about Triumph with Lay It On The Line ...

  41. [41] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One more from April Wine becasue Rock 'n Roll is a vicious game ...

  43. [43] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is a real fun jammin' session as Tommy Shaw travels to Daryl's House ...

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, here's part two with Renegade.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A little more April Wine, please, live in Iowa!

  48. [48] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I know some others on here are fans of Glenn Kirschner, and today’s video was especially important for people to hear, I believe. In the video, he talks about the tweets he read from an ICU nurse in South Dakota. The nurse describes how she has patients screaming at her that COVID-19 is a hoax, wanting to know what disease the Democrats have actually infected them with, and wanting to know why she is helping to bring Trump down with these lies! That is horrific!

    I fear that we are going to be hurting for medical personnel right when things are at their worst if we do not find ways to help them. You cannot work 100 hour weeks for long without it having severe effects on a person. We are going to have a medical force suffering from PTSD and depression in staggering numbers if we do not address this quickly.

    Here’s the video

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wrong thread, Russ

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, everyone, don't miss the fun drum solo and encore in [47]!!!

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, Russ, this one's for you ... Enjoy! :)

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  54. [54] 
    James T Canuck wrote:
  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Saying Good-Bye Concert,

    One of the most heart-breaking impacts of this pandemic has been seeing families unable to be with their dying loved ones due to extreme restrictions on hospital and hospice visitation and knowing that so many loved ones have died apart from their families. Thank God for the medical professionals who have taken the place of families during these times.

    This concert sheds light on this sad state of affairs ...

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, JTC, that is my all-time favourite Rush tune!

  57. [57] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Without a doubt... resuscitation

    Jethro, not so dull, Tull.


  58. [58] 
    James T Canuck wrote:
  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd like to end my portion of the evening with something that's a little more, well, up-beat!

    Take care and stay safe everyone!


  60. [60] 
    dsws wrote:

    Wasn't there a guy elected as a state legislator who should have gotten a dishonorable mention? I don't remember what he was, NAMBLA or something, ran unopposed and the two write-in campaigns couldn't unify and organize enough to stop him.

  61. [61] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    There was a guy who was elected and then unelected...

    Named, Donald...

    Behold from the archives...



  62. [62] 
    TheStig wrote:

    'We don't take an oath to an individual - we take an oath to the Constitution.' - Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley. That is true for all Federal Employees.

    I'm surprised there hasn't been much comment about this "signal" from the top brass. The ultimate and very practical solution to a slow moving Trump coup is to turn the White House into a reverse "Roach Motel" (you can leave, but you can't re-enter) on the day Biden takes office. Hunger, thirst and cold should clear the building...even if Trump decides to take a few staff hostage. You can leave on your feet, on a stretcher, or in a body bag if you so choose. Dangle a few big macs in a sack to close the deal. Sic semper tyrannis, dumb ass.

    Biden holds the high cards.

  63. [63] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Dear Weigantia,

    Upon further review I decided to "yellow card" myself so as to practice some introspection.

    While I don't think it quite violated the Geneva Convention, my "pogrom" joke was in extremely poor taste. And I clearly went over the top in my reaction to MyVoice and nypoet22. The use of terms such as "Snowflake," "Adult's table" and the like is unacceptable. I really do hate Political Correctness but that's no excuse.

    I was consciously thinking of the Borat character when I threw in the "pogrom" bit. But of course I am not Sasha Baron Cohen and while you'd expect something like this out of Borat you'd not expect it out of non-Borats such as myself.

    As such, I want to apologise to my "family" here in Weigantia. For the record I am not unfiltered, but in this case my filters clearly failed me. I see the lesson here and I can (and will) be better than this.

    Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  64. [64] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [63] MtnCaddy

    I salute you, Sir, and look forward to your return.

    A fan.

  65. [65] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Thank you kindly, MyVoice

  66. [66] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Here's the latest from Glenn Kirschner.

  67. [67] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    "BTW are you an Agnostic? Or an Atheist?"

    James T Canuck wrote:

    A refreshingly intelligent question.

    There's no short answer to that other than 'we are all made of stars'. Literally.

    Look into Christopher E Hitchens. You'll find me standing right next to his anti-theist angle.


    Sir, I am familiar with Mr. Hitchens.

    As for myself I was raised Roman Catholic, became a "Militant Atheist" at college and, years later, came to find (through life experience) that there is a force/power out there that we can influence -- and, in turn, it influences day to day reality itself. However, I do not believe that this force is some sort of white-bearded thunderbolt throwing vengeful policeman in the sky. Buncha silly ass mythology and such.

    The only religion I've yet seen that reflects what I learned is called Religious Science (wiki Ernest Holmes or Science of Mind.) FYI we sometimes refer to ourselves as a "disorganized" religion, probably because we are undogmatic (our motto "open at the top" means that we encourage challenges and hard questions.)

    [Personally, I HATE folks that try to jam their religious beliefs down my throat, so the above is solely informational in nature. I don't proselytize anyone because, unlike America's Christofacists, I don't need everybody to agree with me.]


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