Bearing Witness to Trump Month 44 Sept 6-12

Excerpts from a new book “Rage” by Bob Woodward are released along with audio recordings of his 18 on-the-record interviews with the President. Trump admits to Woodward he knew early on how dangerous and more deadly the coronavirus was but chose to downplay the risks to the public. He did more than play it down to avoid panic; he purposefully misled and lied to the country time after time. And in doing so he kidded himself, thus failing to lead and mobilize the nation to confront it early enough that would have saved tens of thousands of lives.  Presidential candidate Joe Biden called it a dereliction of duty, a disgrace, and life-and-death betrayal of the American people. I would ask why isn’t the President guilty of negligent manslaughter and having committed a crime against humanity?

The next day White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnanny claims the President never minimized the virus. Did she not listen to the audio tapes where the President said that is exactly what he did and continued to do thru the summer? She continues to lie to the American public like everyone else in this corrupt shameless administration.

While many people are no longer surprised or shocked, it does raise the question of why the President would agree to speak to Woodward that many times, with some of them initiated by the President’s late night phone calls to the author. Trump has so drunk his own kool aid that his hubris and narcissism must have led him to believe he could outwit and con Bob Woodward into writing a flattering book about his presidency. And that, along with all the other revelations in the book,  suggests as the author concludes and as others have said that Trump is truly unfit for office and a danger to the nation.

The Washington Post this week reported over 100 times that President Trump has downplayed, misinformed, or lied about the coronavirus threat.  It starts in mid January when he said he was not worried at all about it as it was totally under control. He kept saying it was under control, not a threat, was going to go away soon, would disappear soon, that the country was prepared, things were going well, he’s done a fantastic job, the problem was with the testing not the virus, that the county is doing very well, and finally it is what it is.

After reports surface of a cash crunch within his campaign, President Trump said he was ready to spend whatever it takes of his personal fortune to win a second term in the White House. I am more concerned he will do whatever it takes to stay in office no matter the outcome. News reports have put the number he might spend at close to $100 million, while other’s doubt this will happen as Trump is notorious for always using other people’s money. Trump’s campaign and the RNC have already spent some $800 million this cycle. Most of that is going to buy TV and digital advertising in swing states. Please tell me, how after these four years could there possibly be swing states or even undecided voters? Our democracy is so broken from the poorly informed or misinformed or apathetic voters at the start, to the corrupt politicians who manipulate them in the middle, to the undemocratic electoral college at the end that favors a few of the same states election after election.

Trump’s Vice President Pence may not be willing to do everything needed to win as he cancelled a campaign fundraiser event in Montana hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy group. Trump himself is continuing to defy local and state authorities, as well as the guidance of his own federal health agencies and pandemic task force, by holding public campaign events in Florida, Nevada, and other states in the coming weeks.

Trump’s belittling of and bickering with “his generals” continues as this week he blamed the US military for advocating war so that all those companies who make their weaponry would stay happy. It was suggested that the President was mad that his defense chiefs did not come to his defense from recent claims that he had called veterans losers and suckers during a visit to France in 2017 when he decided not to attend ceremonies at a French cemetery honoring WWI dead. In Woodward’s book “Rage” the author says that Trump once told his adviser Peter Navarro that his f____ generals were a bunch of p____ and who were suckers for defending South Korea and caring more about alliances than trade deals. How do so many rightfully proud members of the armed services who have served the country put up with this man as their commander in chief? We owe our military so much better than this president.

Another week and another 880,000 file for state unemployment. Yet, the labor department claims that the unemployment rate continues to fall and is now around 8%. With over 60 million having filed for unemployment since the onset of the crisis, plus the millions of gig and contractors out of work, no one believes this number or much else coming from the administration. Some sectors of the economy like restaurants, travel, entertainment, and hospitality report unemployment rates of at least 25%, and even that much higher numbers seems low

Congress continues its stalemate and has yet to pass the next round of relief aid to feed an economy that is running on fumes. The original enhanced weekly unemployment checks of $600 have stopped as well as additional loans and grants for businesses. Despite this pause in new spending, the Treasury Department confirmed what we knew was coming that the US budget deficit surpassed $3 trillion dollars for the 11 months of the current fiscal year. The year is expected to end at a record-breaking $3.3 trillion.

A whistle-blower claims that the acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, has been muzzling reports on the threat to the US of Russian interference and disinformation campaigns. The official who was demoted said that the administration had asked him to distort then stop reporting on Russian activities but instead focus on China and Iran. Meanwhile, the White House has stopped intelligence officials from routinely briefing Congress on election threats. Of course, the biggest threat to the election is from Trump himself and he testifies to his own criminal intent out in public with encouraging voters to vote twice and then asserting the election will be rigged if Biden wins.

In an extraordinary abuse of the Justice Department, the White House has gotten AG Barr’s agency to intervene and defend the president in a defamation suit brought by a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by the president long before he took office.  The victim sued Trump due to his defamatory statements about her after she came public with her story. So this means US taxpayer’s money will be used to defend Trump in a personal lawsuit brought against him. The Justice Dept. claims that because Trump was in office when he denied the woman’s claims that it is proper for them to come to the defense, of King Trump I would add.

Just two years after the President expanded offshore drilling he has issued a prohibition on new offshore drilling in, you guess it, the electoral battleground state of Florida. That state is also home to his vacationing White House residence at Mar a Lago and we hope will soon be his full-time home after he leaves the White House.

A report from the Social Progress Index says that the state of the nation in the US is only one of three countries in the world that is worst off than in 2011. The US has fallen behind nearly all measurements of well-being including health, nutrition, education, environment, freedom, safety,  homicides, inclusion, and mental health.  Rising levels of distress and despair have become the norm instead of the exception.

Then is it any wonder that while the west burns in wildfires, so many communities across the nation are political tinderboxes close to being ignited. Violence between armed right-wing groups and left-leaning activists and protesters is being reported all across the country. Police are struggling to contain the violence in some locations or are allowing it to happen in others. All being edged on by a President who admits that civil unrest, violence, and the lack of law and order during his term will help him win the next term. God bless, no God help, America.

The above news items have been taken from a number of local, regional, national and international news media  including print, broadcast, and digital sources, but no social media. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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