As if we don’t have enough sadness, conflict, and crises in the country, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies after a long series of illnesses and cancers. Her death leaves a seat open on the Supreme Court less than two months before the next presidential election. RBG, who was only the second woman to serve on the high court, was widely respected by both sides for her devotion to advocating equal rights and opportunities for all Americans, especially women. Buy it did not take two days after her death before Republicans and the President began announcing that they would proceed with nominating a replacement, giving them a hearing, and seating a new justice before the end of the year all while Trump is still in office. What hypocrites they are who love power much more than they do the American Constitution. When Justice Scalia died in February of 2016 the Republican-dominated Senate refused to even hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. They argued that the next President should make such an important decision. The seat sat empty for nearly a year until Trump nominated his first of what will likely become three nominees, Neil Gorsuch.
President Trump took credit this week for the conclusion of a historic “peace” agreement between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE. It’s great to see some progress made in the Middle East, but these countries were never at war with each other so calling it a peace deal is just more BS from the President. Especially when tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have only become worse in the years of the Trump administration. We can hardly wait for the details to emerge of what the President promised, or more likely bribed, the parties with to give him and Netanyahu something to celebrate before the election.
Meanwhile elsewhere in the same Persian Gulf the Trump administration continues to sell weaponry being used by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition which are killing the citizens in Yemen. Legal scholars warn that the US may once again be guilty of war crimes since the current and previous administrations were aware of the alleged indiscriminate killings.
As the west burns, President Trump says forest management by states is to blame, not climate change. This despite the fact that the federal government owns most of the forests that are experiencing the worst wildfires. Trump continues to deny climate change, mock climate activists, dispute federal scientists, and rollback environmental protections across the board. Like downplaying the coronavirus will soon be over, Trump proclaimed this week that the planet will start getting cooler, just wait and see. Candidate Joe Biden called Trump out for what he is, a “climate arsonist.”
The Fed left interest rates at near zero to help a dire economy on life support. The central bank continues to buy massive amounts of bonds, commercial securities, and debt. The results are an artificial economy that is mostly rewarding the professionally employed and wealthy with cheaper money that allows them to buy more expensive homes, boats, and other luxury goods. All while their stock market portfolios fluctuate around record highs and income inequality across the two America’s grows wider.
Less than two months before the fall elections there has still been no new congressional deal for extending the next Covid relief package. Of all things the President is siding closer to the Democrats position by calling for a massive spending bill much larger than his Republican allies were seeking. Is this just another example of Trump’s business style that he mismanages a business into the ground by ignoring warning signs, load it up on debt, then leaves it in bankruptcy or ruin. Unfortunately, this time it is the United States.
Another organization supporting Trump, this time a conservative youth non-profit, has been discovered to be paying teenagers to post thousands of items on social media sites to influence the fall election. Many of the posts were used to seed doubt on the integrity of the upcoming election and claim the Democrats were planning to steal the election.
In something that resembles Hitler’s Nazi-indoctrinated youth corps of the 1930’s, the President is advocating a new program to provide children with a “patriotic education” and to “love America”. In a fear-mongering speech on Constitution Day that only further divides the country, Trump claimed that he was the protector of the American heritage that the radical Democrats are trying to destroy using Marxist doctrines. (These remarks on Constitution Day come just days before the President said he would not necessarily support the peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election.)
In one more step toward losing our civic rights in a democracy, as slowly happened in Nazi Germany, Trump’s Justice Department under AG William Barr is encouraging federal prosecutors to charge BLM protesters with federal crimes and consider using sedition charges to prosecute them. Yes, sedition, as in plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. The only person who should be charged with sedition and treason is President Donald J. Trump who has corrupted and destroyed the federal government, effectively staging a coup against our democracy.
The head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, testified this week that Russia is actively interfering with the election by spreading disinformation that will benefit the President against former Vice President and current Presidential candidate Joe Biden. And yet the President remains silent about Russia’s meddling, leaving America defenseless, and spends his venom attacking fellow Americans instead of the Russians. Wray was alone in his testimony as acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf refused an order to appear before the same House committee.
An ad running by the RNC and Trump campaign encouraging support of our troops features a silhouette of US troops on the ground as fighter jets cover them above in the sky. The only problem is that the jet profile is that of a Russian Mig-29, according to aviation experts. Even the gun a soldier was carrying was that of a Russian AK-74 assault rifle. This may be the closest the president has come to telling us the truth of what he really wants. Where is QAnon when we need their conspiracy making?
A whistleblower has come forward claiming that federal forces were seeking heat ray and acoustic weapons to use on protesters outside the White House in June. Such an unheard of abuse was being considered to allow the President to walk thru Lafayette Park for a photo op.
As the election tightens in states like Florida, the President does what he always does best: try to buy and bribe the results he wants using OPM. This time the White House announced it would release nearly $13B in hurricane-relief aid to Puerto Rico. It was one of the largest-ever FEMA grants for disaster relief. How convenient that Florida is now home to a large population of people from this US territory.
This week a federal court ruled in favor of Florida state legislation that felons must pay off any fines and court fees before they are eligible to vote. After nearly 65% of Florida voters approved a change to the state’s constitution allowing ex-felons to vote, Republican lawmakers nullified the will of the people by requiring that felons to pay back their court costs before they could vote. Something that would be difficult to do for anyone given the price of justice in this country. Just another reminder the Republican party from the top down is the one that by their actions shows what they really think of democracy.
The President threatens to shutdown a social media business legally operating in the US, TikTok, over the weekend if they don’t sell themselves to a new owner. Just how does the federal government have the power to shutdown any legal established business that has not committed a crime or fraud without due process? Just imagine the howls for impeachment if a Democrat President had threaten to close up a legitimate business. Let this be a warm-up warning of what Trump will do to other domestic social media sites and news media.
Trump’s Dept. of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been accused by a whistleblower of giving migrant women held at privately-contracted prisons in Georgia forced hysterectomies that sterilized them. Where oh where is the protest from the pro-life evangelical base of the President?
The President continues to disagree, bicker and undermine his own Pandemic Task Force Members and agency heads. This time it was CDC Director Robert Redfield who said that wearing a face covering was one of the best tools to combat the pandemic and might even be a better guarantee than a vaccine. Trump continues to forgo wearing a mast when in public. And of course he continues to hold rallies with thousands who are not wearing one nor practicing social distancing. In front of the same Senate hearing the CDC chief also said that a new vaccine would not be widely available until mid-2021. It only took a few hours for the President to respond by telling Americans that the head of the CDC was mistaken. Redfield is not alone in his forecast of availability of a vaccine as most experts agree with his assessment. Read more about the President’s mishandling of the pandemic this month at https://bearingwitnessheartland.com/2020/10/01/bearing-witness-to-the-pandemic-september-2020/. https://bearingwitnessheartland.com/category/pandemic/.
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.