Usually the subject of my Sunday article is the biggest political story of the week just ended. Selecting a single story in the Trump era has become increasingly difficult. This week it is a select a scandal situation. A comprehensive article covering all of the scandals is impossible. I’ll try to combine a few and conclude with a lesson. Let’s explore.
It’s a slightly overcast day outside my window as I pen this but the skies are still blue and white. Along much of the west coast they are orange. That’s right, shockingly orange. The cause is a series of wildfires of historic proportion. Why of historic proportion? The answer is climate change, which President Trump and his sycophants claim is a hoax. (Am I the only one who finds it interesting that anything Trump deems inconvenient immediately gets labeled a hoax?)
Currently the big concern is the coronavirus pandemic. That is understandable because it is the big immediate threat. Much like mass incarceration the rough figures are that we have 5% of the global population (it’s actually a little under 5%) and 25% of the COVID-19 deaths (or prisoners if you use the mass incarceration example). America is neither the most dangerous place in the world nor the country with the least medical resources; therefore both situations are unacceptable.
Trump is not to blame for the mass incarceration problem; he inherited it. Of course he has done nothing to improve it. To a degree, likewise he is not to blame for COVID-19 in America. He certainly didn’t cook it up in the White House basement. However this week we got proof positive of what we already suspected: he did a lousy job of addressing it and as a result tens of thousands of Americans have already died with many more premature deaths to come. In a February 7, 2020 recording of a conversation with the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward Trump admitted the disease was much worse than a regular flu, was airborne transmitted and that he was downplaying it with the American people. The downplaying a serious threat by a national leader to his people is in plain language lying.
Trump has a history of lying. As a candidate he lied about the size of his hands and in the process implied that another body part was also very large – Stormy told the truth on him on that one. In his first full day as president he sent out his press secretary to lie about the size of his Inaugural crowd. In his first physical report he lied about his height – he is a tall man but not 6’3”. He lied about affairs. He is not the first president to do so and in my opinion that is a family, not public, matter. The bottom line here is that these lies (and they are but a few examples) really don’t matter to the American public.
I have long written that I feel ballots should carry a warning label reading: Warning: Voting for a Republican may be hazardous to your health. This year’s ballot should also carry the warning: WARNING: Voting for Donald Trump IS hazardous to your health.
If I wanted to write about election interference and disinformation I’d be commencing writing a book. For the sake of brevity I’ll cover just a bit over a few paragraphs.
We currently have a whistleblower report in process that alleges Trump preemptively buried intelligence information regarding Russian interference in the 2020 election. Is this part of a “hear no evil” campaign of willful ignorance? We already know Trump basically doesn’t read so any written reports he gets are useless.
The Hartford Courant broke the story of Assistant US Attorney Nora Dannehy resigning from the “Durham Investigation” because the team was being pushed to get a report out before Election Day. This investigation was ordered by Attorney General/Consigliere Bill Barr and is an inquest into the origins of the investigations into the 2016 Trump campaign. Whether or not a full report is ready before the election we can certainly expect Barr to give his book report to the nation before November 3rd. Do you think it might be favorable to Trump like his book report on the Mueller Report? I expect Barr’s synopsis to please the White House while playing fast and loose with the facts.
The sky is orange as much of the west coast burns.
In the Civil War traitors were released with a yellow stripe painted down the back of their uniform. That is the origin of yellow being associated with traitors and cowards; the current occupant of public housing on Black Lives Matter Plaza is both.
These and other scandals should have America’s alarm systems blaring red as our Gross Domestic Misery (yes, I stole that phrase from Paul Krugman) worsens with almost every passing day under Trump.
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