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Category: Politics

Just a Heads Up
First, an apology: I am really tired of writing about Donald Trump. Also thinking about him, listening to him, watching him, and having him be my President. Last week was an exception because I felt it was important to point out that he is a second degree murderer tens of thousands of times over. Sorry, but that needed to be said. And now, this week, I feel it’s vital to public safety that I speak out again. Therefore, I am sorry once again, but I have to sound the alarm. So…

Just a heads up. Donald Trump is not taking hydroxychloroquine (pronounced hydroxychloroquine — or, if you like, HCQ). He says he is, but that is a lie. Big globs of plaque are accumulating inside his blood vessels from eating all those Big Macs with extra fries. Plus, he’s morbidly obese. The FDA says that people in that condition are in the high-risk group for whom taking HCQ could lead to cardiomyopathy, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation.

Okay, I don’t know what those are either, but I do know something about the other possible side effect mentioned by the FDA: death. Do we really think an all-in narcissist like him (much less an ordinary sane person) would take such a risk? No, but you see, your president wants to prove that Dr. Rick Bright is a stupid-head. Bright is the whistleblower — and our top-line expert on vaccines until he was demoted for refusing to promote HCQ before it was properly tested. And here’s the proof, Trump is saying: I’m in the high-risk group, and I’m taking it. And I’m fine. So this guy’s wrong, and I’m right. So don’t believe anything he says. Believe me.

Except don’t, because Trump is lying, and he’s lying just to score a bogus rhetorical point against someone who had the temerity to disagree with him. The larger question, though, is why he is promoting HCQ in the first place. It is likely to be ineffective and dangerous. What’s the point in flogging it after the FDA has already weighed in?

My answer to that is a bit more theoretical, but hear me out. In addition to being a compulsive liar, Trump is a fantasist. He spins fantasies to gull his audiences and please himself. The liar in him, however, wants to take those fantasies a step further. Trump insists that the stuff he makes up is actually true. He likes the HCQ fantasy because it would lift him out of his current fix by providing a cure for COVID-19. It’s not true, but wouldn’t it be great (for him) if it were?

All he needs is some proof for his claim. His lie about taking it himself might provide a little, but he needs more. He’s not really taking it, as we have said, because that would be foolish and arguably courageous (neither of which he is). But he doesn’t mind if you think he’s taking it…or even if you take it yourself, plaque-lined arteries or not. He’s not the test subject who is voluntarily taking HCQ, but he wants you to be. You know, in case it could actually work. Without killing you…and that’s what he demands to be true.

So just a heads up, because we have to keep reminding ourselves. Trump is lying because that’s what he does. He’ll risk your life to win an argument or to turn his followers into guinea pigs or simply on a whim.

You’ve been warned. Again.
Donald Trump, Mass Murderer
Okay, that may be a little misleading. Yes, I think Donald Trump is a murderer, and yes, I think he is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths (so far). But the term “mass murderer,” at least in common parlance, is more appropriate for someone who plans and executes multiple killings. That’s not what we’ve got here. With Trump, it’s a case of murder in the second degree.

Accordingly, I will not place our president in the same category as Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Son of Sam. Those murderers killed their victims intentionally. They acted with the specific aim of killing other human beings. Trump does not. His actions are intentional, he does what he does on purpose, but he is not trying to kill someone. On the other hand, he doesn’t really care if someone dies, either. It’s just not part of his calculations.

Simply stated, he is indifferent to human life. He does things that cause the deaths of others — many others — and appears to be fine with it. All that matters to him is how he is affected. My evidence for such a claim? Well, there’s plenty, but let’s go back to March 6 and the incident that first launched the coronavirus into our American consciousness. The Grand Princess cruise ship, with 3500 passengers and crew on board, was idling off the California coast. Twenty-one of those people had tested positive for the virus, and they were awaiting instructions for how to proceed.

Trump was stunningly clear in his preferences. “I would rather (they stay on board) because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.” He did not mention the welfare of the people on board, nor the danger to people on shore. In fact, he had nothing to say about other human beings at all. His only thoughts were about how these events might reflect on him.

Which, it turns out, is not very well. Those 30-odd cases in March have ballooned to nearly 1.5 million, and the death count will hit 100,000 very soon. In order to turn that perception around, he has had to really pick up the pace with his lying. He has lied about everything from the beginning. That is not news, of course. But even though we might shrug off the petty grandiosity of the lies he tells about himself, when it comes to matters of life and death it’s a little harder to be forgiving.

He hides the truth about the virus. He says that he knows, but knows that he doesn’t. He misleads and fantasizes and and gives false hope and shines us on and yanks our chains…while knowing that people are depending on him for the truth. Oh, I do not, and you may not, but many others do…and we are all together on this whether we like it or not. He is the angel of death for the faithful and the heretics alike. He may not be trying to kill us all, but he’s good with it either way.

That makes him a murderer. A second degree murderer. The classic example of that crime is recklessly firing a gun in a crowded room. He hasn’t done that, but his lies are just as careless and dangerous. I suppose his defense attorney might suggest that his client is insane. I’m not sure that malignant narcissism, however, is enough to keep someone from knowing right from wrong. His narcissism would only make right and wrong irrelevant. That alone would not be enough to get him off the hook.

We might also imagine that he’d defend himself against our charges by saying that his actions — and failures to act — have been simple misjudgments, the kind we are all heir to. He could argue that everything he has done was designed to save lives, and that he simply screwed up. In other words, it was just an accident.

But that argument is not available to someone who must be seen as infallible. And since his claim of infallibility demands that he double down on every failure, he cannot learn from his mistakes. The result will surely be even more deaths. Nor will there be any apologies, nor mea culpas, nor appeals to mercy. We can expect nothing but brazen denials right up to sentencing and beyond.

Ah yes, the sentencing. What would be appropriate in this case? He’s no Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot or Adolph Hitler. They murdered millions, after all. President Donald Trump has only murdered tens of thousands, and only in the second degree. So there can be no death penalty, if that was your pick. Those victims are still dead, though, and it is his fault. So how about life in prison as an appropriate sentence? And just to make him an example for future presidents, why don’t we make it 10,000 consecutive life terms?
No Time for Thinking
Okay, the holidays are behind us now. As warm memories of family recede and the trappings of celebrations are put away until next year, this time in our lives would normally give way to sober reflection.

Normally, that is. This January, we just don’t have time for that stuff. We are on the cusp of what promises to be the most consequential year in our nation’s history. If you like politics, you are in for the thrill ride of a lifetime. If you don’t, you are about to enter Hell. Either way, our options for deep contemplation will be sorely limited. So hang on, citizen.

Most of the pieces are in place already, of course, and moving swiftly. The Articles of impeachment will be sent to the Senate next week. The Democratic field is pretty much set. Global warming is an indisputable fact…except to those with the power to do something about it. Putin has us by the ballot box. The rich are still getting richer and the poor are still getting poorer. And everyone is at least a little spooked.

So right out of the gate, we’ll be going full tilt in 2020. First up: the possible conviction of a U.S. President for high crimes and misdemeanors and his removal from office. It’s hard to imagine higher political stakes than that. And just to crank up the drama even higher, several contenders for the Democratic nomination will not only be taking on a high profile in that trial, but will be called upon to vote on the question. In addition to front runners Warren, Sanders, and Klobuchar, we’ll have Cory Booker and Michael Bennet, all doing one of the jobs they get paid to do —on national TV in prime time. Dropouts Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand will also be in the mix, no doubt itching to make a mark.

Assuming the Republicans stay true to form, however, the trial and verdict will go through the chamber at warp speed. While the outcome is all but assured, however, we’d be foolish to rule out the possibility that Something Entirely Unforeseen will take place. Such events, after all, are a common occurrence in our daily lives. The only question is whether or not they will affect the imagined outcome.

Even if nothing gets settled in the Senate, February will come anyway, and with it a flurry of votes by actual citizens. The Iowa caucuses arrive Feb. 3, followed by the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11, the Nevada caucuses Feb. 22, and the South Carolina primary Feb. 29.

Not hectic enough for you? If we don’t have a clear favorite by the end of February, we just might get one on March 3. That’s Super Tuesday, when 14 states, American Samoa, and Americans abroad all go to the polls on the Democratic side. That adds up to 1358 pledged delegates chosen on one day. If, after that, we still haven’t got anyone near the 960 needed to win on the first ballot at the convention — which could easily happen since nearly all those states allocate delegates proportionally — then things could really get hairy.

You can count me, by the way, as a vote for hairiness. I like the idea of the system flexing all its muscles here at this turning point in history. If it does get hairy, I can see 4 or 5 candidates still in the running by the time the convention rolls around on July 13. If we get to a third or fourth ballot and still don’t have a nominee, then anything could happen.

And the year would barely be half over! By that time, the number of unforeseen events will really be piling up, including those generated by Drump himself. There has even been talk of more Articles of Impeachment rolling off the House’s production line. And why not? The various court cases that have been grinding quietly along will surely free up more evidence of wrongdoing, and those revelations will have to be addressed, election or not.

Beyond that wild prospect, there will surely be some October surprises cooked up by contestants from both parties, and we can count on Putin turning up in a few headlines before November 3rd. Come November 4th, we’ll either be contending with a colossally sore loser who refuses to vacate the White House or a sore winner who has been taking names.

Either way, we won’t have time to pause and reflect. For that, let's set the timer for January, 2021. 2020 will have given us plenty to think about.
Dear Hillary
Dear Hillary:

It’s been good to see you back in the news again in the last few months. It seems like ages since the 2016 campaign (even though you-know-who can’t stop talking about it), and I’m glad you haven’t just gone into your shell. I was a little surprised, though, to hear your most recent comment that “many, many, many people” had been trying to convince you to run again.

That is a lot of manys. More than I would have thought, really, and it got me to thinking about our last conversation. I hope you didn’t misunderstand when I asked you if you would ever run again. That was more of a, you know, rhetorical question. I didn’t mean to imply that I actually wanted you to run. Honestly, Hillary, that was the furthest thing from my mind.

Also, I don’t know if you see Michael Bloomberg very often around New York, but if you run into him, please tell him for me that it’s not that I don’t trust rich people. It’s the money itself that can’t be trusted. All it ever seems to do is cause trouble for everyone.

Anyway, I just want to say I don’t regret voting for you in 2016. And I want to make sure that I don’t have another opportunity to regret voting for you. So let’s not push our luck, okay? If you were including me as one of the “many, many, many,” then I’m sorry for the mix-up. With that one qualification…

All the best,

Tim
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon