7.23 Trillion Reasons Why Trump Should Not Be Re-Elected

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The Covod 19 deaths and infections continue to rise. I am not blaming Trump 100% for these numbers but he is not being given a pass. He reacted slowly to the spread of the virus to the United States and he has been cavalier about the latest rise in covid cases across many states.

Hopefully unemployment rate will drop but will still stay high for the next few years.

Not sure if or how much of Trump’s campaign rallies or golf outings are reimbursed by RNC or Trump.

Doanld Trump Jr’s secret service expenses and charges to taxpayers for use of Trump properties have recently been reported in the media.

The Trump Slump

2020 poll

A few observations about the CNN and other political polls:

1.  It’s way too early for the Democrats to celebrate. We still have close to five months before election day (hopefully). I don’t think that these polls represent a pro – Biden sentiment as much as it does an anti-Trump revulsion. There are ways that Biden could lose this lead and it’s not impossible that Trump could regain additional standings in the polls. As an incumbent, Trump can cause all sorts of mayhem and  boost up his base.

2. There are arguments that Biden should be more vocal and that his campaign should be more aggressive given Trump’s latest difficulties. However Trump is his own worst enemy and the more he tweets and the more he preens, the less support he gets. He’s worn out the American public.

3. It’s hard to believe that Trump still has the support of 40% of Americans. He has horribly mismanaged the coronavirus and his (to put it charitably) clumsy statements and behavior after the George Floyd killing has embarrassed most of the country, even some of his Republican supporters.

4. What does surprise me is that there is not more talk about removing Trump from the top of the Republican ticket. What are they waiting for? The convention is still a few months away and there should be more consideration to dumping Trump and going in a different direction.

Hydroxychloroquine is the Cure and Other Delusions

Beautiful day so I went for a walk. So did many other walkers, bikers and joggers…I was like Roger Staubach and Fran Tarkenton (sorry for the 1970’s sports references) scrambling around to keep six feet away.

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I am willing to follow just about every reasonable government guideline but prohibiting bikers and walkers from using a walking path makes little sense. Doesn’t the walking path carry the same social gathering risks as walking in the streets but you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car?

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Whatever business plans, budgets, dreams, goals, promises, career paths, and financial projections that were made prior to March 2020  are largely extinct. If one is not starting over, one is certainly moving forward from a much different space or perspective. 

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What Shake Shack, Harvard University, AutoNation and other public companies did in applying for and receiving government loans intended for small businesses was the economic equivalent to the rich passengers dumping the less fortunate off lifeboats and into icy waters on the sinking Titanic.

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Q. Who is more dangerous than an individual with a high fever, persistent cough, and extreme fatigue?

A. A Trump voter with a ballot. 

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For clarity, I am not a diehard Joe Biden supporter either. What worked in 2009 or in his days in the Senate aren’t relevant here. The next President has to be conversant on technology, science and medical issues. There is only one issue for 2020: SURVIVABILITY. If I am a 30 year old parent, do I trust my future or my children’s future to a 70+ year old man or woman as President who does not understand science?

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Turns out Bernie Sanders is right. Andrew Yang may be more right (UIC).

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Coronavirus is the Berlin Wall coming down moment for capitalism.

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Sarah Palin is a seer. In 2008, she warned about “death panels.” 12 years later, her prediction comes true. (But not during a Democratic administration). Unfortunately the primary targets for death panels were nursing homes. So many nursing homes served as the concentration camps for those elderly afflicted with coronavirus. Poorly attended, poorly serviced, and many left to die alone without the solace of friends or family, we will carry this shame throughout our history. The elderly and infirm were viewed as collateral damage on the war on coronavirus.

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As a political aside, no support or outrage by the Right to Life group for those seniors?

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I no longer carry the fantasy that if a meteor was to hit the Earth that nations of the world would coalesce, cooperate and come up with an allied plan to save it based on this experience. There seems to be very little scientific cooperation and coordination among countries. Let’s face it, whoever comes up with the cure will be very wealthy and powerful. I have to admit I thought there would have been more progress in developing an effective treatment against coronavirus by now.

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Sad to say, I have very little confidence in the data, statistics, math, analysis and projections that are being offered by various news, government, scientific and business sources during this crisis. Just about all these sources have reasons to lie and mislead the public (political, business, economic). If the numbers don’t support the “narrative” that a government official or CEO is promoting, the numbers can be changed, presented differently or interpreted with a specific spin or slant.

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Directives about social distancing is similar to the warning to Adam and Eve about not eating the forbidden apple. So far, most Americans are abiding by the directive. My sense is that by Memorial Day, Americans are going to want a “bite of the apple” and social guidelines restrictions will be loosely complied with or ignored.

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Wit of the staircase moment. I wish I had used these lines when I was working with certain bosses and corporate prima donnas. This may also come in handy for political arguments as a finisher. Taken from a Dilbert cartoon…

Critic: “I have to disagree with you, Dilbert

Dilbert: Actually you don’t disagree with me.

Critic: I don’t?

Dilbert: No. You think you disagree with me, but you’re mistaken. You’re simply experiencing an illusion caused by the limits of your comprehension. If you were able to fully comprehend both the problem and my recommended solution, you would agree with me. So what appears to be a difference of opinion is just you wrestling with your own defective brain.”

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Kudos to these nurses staring down a crowd of rabid protestors…Those protestors should have left very embarrassed especially the one carrying the “Hydroxychloroquine is the Cure” placard.

heroes

Michael Chow, The Arizona Republic

 

 

 

 

Ruminations II

As I write, 667, 878 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus with 33, 534 dead.

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The Trump Administration needs to show patience on how and when businesses can reopen and social isolation guidelines can be lessened. Today Trump offered a Powerpoint instead of a well thought out plan. I think Trump wants to avoid leading on this effort. He wants to distance himself from any blame if things go south and a second wave to this pandemic develops.

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I’m reading End of a Berlin Diary by William Shirer which provides his notes at the end of the war with Germany and its immediate aftermath. Shirer noted that Hitler was still popular and supported by many Germans even at the end of WWII with their cities and homes bombed, food shortages, Russians at the door and defeat inevitable. I make the parallel comparison to Trump whose indecision on testing has led to tens of thousands of deaths and a national shutdown that has cratered the economy. Yet I still see support for Trump in the polls and I read it on social media.

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Nursing homes are the concentration camps in this pandemic war. So many elderly have died.  No care, little concern for patients. Many died alone. Families were unable to provide any consolation or solace when the end came.

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Dr Oz suggested on Sean Hannity’s show that it may only cost 2-3% of student lives if universities are open. So we may have moved beyond having just older people over 65 as willing victims to re-open the economy. I see more and more right wingers make the same argument. These are the type of people who would be sitting on the shores of England during D-Day and letting front line people get killed who actually storm the beaches.

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Just like any war or crisis, some heroes, some cowards. Wonder why the First Lady has not gotten involved, for example, doing visits to hospitals to show support and boost morale like Eleanor Roosevelt did in WWII.

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The Battle of Midway was the turning point in our war against Japan. We desperately need a turning point which would consist of a drug or treatment that is effective against the disease and saves lives.

Could Not Say It Any Better

I have posted excerpts from a Frank Bruni NYT article. He expresses my rage better than I am able to.

Has Anyone Found Trump’s Soul? Anyone?

In Trump’s predecessors, for all their imperfections, I could sense the beat of a heart and see the glimmer of a soul. In him I can’t, and that fills me with a sorrow and a rage that I quite frankly don’t know what to do with.

Americans are dying by the thousands, and he gloats about what a huge, rapt television audience he has. They’re confronting financial ruin and not sure how they’ll continue to pay for food and shelter, and he reprimands governors for not treating him with adequate adulation.

He’s not rising to the challenge before him, not even a millimeter. He’s shriveling into nothingness.

But what has taken me by surprise and torn me up inside are the aloofness, arrogance, pettiness, meanness, narcissism and solipsism that persist in Trump — that flourish in him — even during a once-in-a-lifetime emergency that demands something nobler. Under normal circumstances, these traits are galling. Under the current ones, they’re gutting.

I don’t take responsibility at all.” “Did you know I was number one on Facebook?” To bother with just one of those sentences while a nation trembles is disgusting. To bother with both, as Trump did, is perverse.

Frank Bruni

How to Reason with a Die Hard Trumpster

You can’t.

I am somewhat sympathetic to those Never Trumpsters who try on social media, news show, tweets, Facebook posts or in private conversations to convert their family, friends, fellow employees or others to convert from the Darkside. I sense your frustration but you are largely doomed to failure. Unless you can magically transform yourself into a Fox talk show host wearing a flag pin and/or the obligatory crucifixion on a cross, your message will not get through.

Now you could try various arguments to convince a Trumpster that DJT is incompetent, ineffective or worse. For example, you could point out that our self professed “war president” has inflicted over 433,000 casualties on his troops and over 14,000 deaths (as of 4-8-20) by his refusal to act over warnings provided by members of his own administration. Regrettably the numbers will become much larger. You might also point out that our “war president” has sent many of his troops out to war without the necessary armament and protection that they need to stay alive. Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel have treated coronavirus patients without the adequate protections of masks, gloves and protective gear. Not surprisingly many of these front line soldiers are being infected and some have died. Imagine FDR before committing troops to Guadalcanal in World War II sending soldiers out without rifles, helmets and and other needed armaments to fight a battle. Or imagine FDR saying that the nation’s governors, not he, have the responsibility to ensure that our frontline soldiers are provided adequate gear. You could point out that our self professed “war president” measures his success in this war by his television ratings from his daily banal news conferences, how the stock market goes up in a given day or if he can keep deaths below a certain projected number. For him that’s “winning.”

Convincing argument? Not to the Trumpster!

You could change your strategy and suggest that the overall economy will probably not recover under DJT. There are no magic bullets left to combat a deep recession much less a potential depression. At Trump’s insistence, interest rates are already near zero. Many companies took advantage of the low interest rates to borrow but now they are over-leveraged and unable to pay. Regrettably this is also the fate of many American consumers. Businesses can’t pay their rents, consumers can’t pay their rents so the mortgages supporting these properties can’t be paid either. Delinquencies rise and banks begin to suffer. Credit markets close suffocating the abilities of mostly small businesses to recover. Trump does not have a record of success in bringing back failing companies or industries. (USFL, Trump University, Trump casino’s etc.) The government does not have the luxuries of defaulting or declaring bankruptcy. The Chinese have outmaneuvered him on trade talks and are becoming closer financial partners with our once friendly allies.

Convincing argument? Again, not to the Trumpster!

You might offer as an argument the horrendous chaos, lies, inabilities to deliver on promises, senseless fights with the press, rampant corruption and mediocre appointees that pervade the Trump administration. When you take time in a news conference in a middle of  national health crisis to bring up a pillow huckster pumping the Bible and prayer instead of Dr. Fauci offering science and possible solutions, you have demonstrated that you have no feel for the moment. When a reporter provided the President an opportunity to address Americans who were fearful and needed reassurance, Trump lambasted the reporter. FDR provided soothing Fireside Chats for Americans suffering through depression and war. Trump promotes his sagging re-election campaign to those who have not tuned out his meandering news conferences replete with misinformation on coronavirus treatments, testing capabilities and actual results.

Convincing arguments? Again, not to the Trumpster, but to everyone else who wants to see this nation and its citizens become healthy, economically secure and whole again, they are.

Thoughts from the Bunker

As I write, I am reading stories of people unable to get needed medical care. A 73 year old woman has been sitting in a chair for over 29 hours with a high fever, coughing and experiencing breathing issues in  a New York City hospital emergency room. Hospitals are overrun with patients like her and do not have the beds and staff to help her.

At 67, I can’t promise wisdom but I can offer perspective and a little history. I remember times before computers, cell phones, the Internet, 24 hour news, cable TV and e-books. Back in 1960s, our biggest fear was an atomic war with Russia. School children endured air raid drills which was basically huddling under your desk and closing your eyes. I wax nostalgic as I now huddle at home and my worry is not radiation from an atomic bomb from Russia but catching a virus from China. Unfortunately this is not a drill and casualties are rising every day.

In 1960, I remember a young President who suffered some early growing pains like The Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba but grew steadily competent in the job. Even though I was only 10 at the time of the Cuban Missile crisis, I understood how his leadership and good judgment pulled us out of a major nuclear confrontation. He was assisted by a number of very smart people like his brother, Bobby Kennedy. Donald Trump is now being assisted by his inept son-in law Jarrod Kushner, who inspires as much confidence as Barney Fife in a fire fight. From JFK to Trump, how did this country deteriorate this fast in sixty years!

How did we slide downwards from a President who pushed this country to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade (and succeeded) to one whose major campaign promise (other than a tax cut for the rich) was to build an ineffective wall? Kennedy’s program landed astronauts on a target 238,900 miles away. Trump can’t deliver masks, breath equipment and other needed medical supplies to a battered New York City 225 miles to his north.

In our current crisis, we have a President more concerned about his television ratings than the number of people suffering and dying from coronavirus. His press conferences are replete with self praise, false information and dangerous life and death advice that his medical experts are forced to quickly disavow. He uses press conferences as replacements for his public campaign appearances in front of fawning audiences. At a recent news conference, he had a pillows huckster lecture the press instead of using the time to have a doctor or scientist provide guidance to a fearful public. Trump describes himself as a “war time President.” Trump is, like Mussolini.

Though Trump has garnered and deserved most of my ire, there are also too many in the public disregarding social isolation guidelines. Maybe if they can imagine themselves, their parent or other loved ones in a desperate plight like the 73 year old woman above, maybe they will act responsibility and Americans can start to move out of their self imposed bunkers and into the Spring sunshine.