This is the big one.
I know that's what they always say, but this really is the big one. The upcoming elections will determine if we can preserve this nation's noble experiment in democracy or sink further into the man-made chaos spewing from the White House.
This is the final chance to put a check on the blatant corruption of Donald Trump because no one in his party dares stand up to him. No Republican confronts his ignorance, his cruelty, his self-absorption, his greed, his serial lying, and his disregard for the rule of law. It's imperative that these elections must flush the remnants of the Tea Party, aka the Freedom Caucus, from the body politic.
- Suzda | Dreamstime.com
Trump and his weaponized propaganda machine, Fox News, have poisoned the electorate as surely as the governor of Michigan poisoned the residents of Flint. We've had bad presidents before. James Buchanan sided with slave owners and was an ardent supporter of the Dred Scott decision. (Google it.) Andrew Johnson showed up intoxicated to Lincoln's second inaugural and three months later found his drunk ass in the White House. Then there was George W. Bush, the first American president to invade another sovereign country with the kinds of disastrous repercussions that we're still enduring. But this country has never seen a dangerous lunatic in the Oval Office before. Donald Trump may never have taken a drink, but he's most assuredly drunk on power. Let's put Baby in a corner and see what happens.
As his approval rating drops like the Hindenburg, the gaseous menace's conduct over the past two weeks has been particularly disturbing. First came his noxious tweet about the revised death toll from Hurricane Maria:
"3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico ... When I left the Island AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths ... Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3,000 ... This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars [sic] to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!!"
A study at George Washington University, financed by the government of Puerto Rico, placed the number of deaths related to the storm at 2,975, so at least Trump was correct in stating there weren't 3,000. Independent studies by The New York Times, Penn State, and Harvard all estimated deaths in the thousands. After being called "fake news," George Washington University responded: "We stand by the science underlying our study. This study ... was carried out with complete independence and freedom from any kind of interference."
Yet Trump continues to place blame on San Juan's mayor and the country's fragile infrastructure. Trump claimed it was difficult to get supplies trucked in to hurricane victims because, "This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water." Has he not been informed that we have jumbo cargo jets for that specific purpose? Three thousand dead is the equivalent of Puerto Rico's own 9/11, yet Trump actually said, "I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible unsung success." At long last, sir, have you left no sense no decency? Residents in the path of Hurricane Florence were warned by the chief executive that the storm would be "tremendously big and tremendously wet." No shit. The president has congratulated himself in advance for responding to this disaster even while area rainfall has set new records and flooding continues.
Speaking of rain, by the time you read this, you could have received a text from the new "Presidential Alert System." FEMA, in partnership with the FCC, has devised the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, which sends direct messages to anyone owning a cell phone. The FEMA homepage divides the alerts into three categories: Extreme weather or "other threatening emergencies"; AMBER alerts; and "Presidential alerts during a national emergency." FEMA states, "You can opt-out of receiving WEA messages for imminent threats or AMBER alerts, but not for Presidential messages."
On September 20th, at 1:18 p.m. (central), be prepared for your phone to sound a tone and start to vibrate twice. Your personal text will be headed "Presidential Alert." At any other time in history this might be a good idea, but does anyone doubt that the Infantile Tweeter might use the "Presidential Alert," for his own demented intentions? FEMA officials insist that the system can't be used for political purposes nor track your location.
Does it make you feel safer knowing that Donald Trump now has immediate access to every cell phone in the country? We already have warning systems in NOAA weather, the news, and that annoying Emergency Alert System that blasts out every week from television. The FEMA weather alerts include "Tsunami warnings, tornadoes and flash floods, hurricanes, typhoons, dust storms, and extreme wind warnings."
I've never been much of a conspiracy theorist, but I'll bet my iPhone that as the walls close in, you'll be receiving text messages from Donnie the Liar. And the walls are closing in on a president that historians might well call "The Great Aberration." That's why the upcoming election is The Big One. Certainly the biggest one of my life. Mad King Don's daily assaults on the free press and anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him must end. And the same goes for his cowardly enablers in the bankrupt GOP. The "Witch Hunt" has now snared Paul Manafort, whose plea deal puts Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Roger Stone, and the president himself in serious legal peril. This "fake Russher," thing has now produced eight convictions plus indictments for 26 individuals and three corporations. After Manafort does his Tony Bennett impression, an avalanche of indictments will be forthcoming. One morning, and it won't be long, we'll all awaken to hear Robert Mueller speak for the first time. Pandora's Box is fixing to open, and when it does, all the fraud, the money laundering through Trump properties, the Russian Mafia connections, influence peddling, graft, tax evasion, and whatever Putin has on Trump will come pouring out, and when that happens, it will be "tremendously big and tremendously wet."
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.