Bearing Witness to Trump Month 47 December 1-5

Countdown to sanity: only six weeks left in the Trump presidency! And five weeks after the election, did President Trump finally concede his loss this week? Of course not. Did Republicans in Congress acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden? Of course not. They are showing Americans who they are, a party of cowardly anti-democratic power-hungry sycophants that would sell out our democracy to help their dear leader remain in office. All while wrapping themselves around the flag honoring veterans who fight and die to protect American democracy. Have they no shame? Of course not.

In what one newspaper called the most petulant 46 minutes in American history, President Trump posted a social media video this week that was a meandering summary of his grievances, rants, allegations, accusations, and lies concerning the presidential election.  He again repeated that “the election was rigged” and it “was stolen from the American people” and that “we already have evidence and it’s very clear.” Many speculate that Trump is just milking the turmoil for all the donations he can get from duping his supporters one last time before he leaves office. It is said that he has raised nearly $200 million dollars for his “election defense fund” while spending only what is estimated in the low millions in lawsuits without merit that are being thrown out of court as quickly as they are filed. It is clear that when we are done with Trump in the White House, he will not be done with us.

Not surprising, the President has turned his ire on Georgia’s Republican Governor Kemp and Secretary of State Raffensperger for not doing more to root out voter fraud, and thus overturn the election. As Trump loyalists ratchet up the pressure on state officials to disavow the vote of their population, at least some have had enough. A Georgia elections official, Gabriel Sterling, called out his fellow Republicans, Trump supporters, and the President himself for inspiring people to commit threats of violence where “Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going o get killed.”  He said those who have sat by quietly without  saying “a damn word are complicit in this.” Election officials across the country have been intimidated, harassed and threatened by Trump supporters. Some have been given police protection while others have gone into hiding. A Trump attorney said one election official should be “taken out at dawn and shot.” A Republican legislator in Arizona asked if others were willing to give up their lives for Trump. This is Trump’s made America. This is who we and our nation has become under Trump.

In a mostly maskless rally in Georgia for the state’s Senatorial runoff election, Trump spoke and remained defiant spouting grievances, falsehoods, lies, and attacks in his attempt to subvert the results of the presidential lection. He again repeated that the election was “stolen” from him, working up the crowd into chanting “fight for Trump.” Before the event Trump was reported to have called Governor Kemp to ask him to order the state’s legislators into a special session to overturn the results of the election by awarding Trump their electoral votes. There have now been three counts of votes in the state, each time resulting in Biden’s win.

Even the President’s personal attorney and fixer – no not Rudy Giuliani, but the other one, Attorney General William Barr – said publicly this week there was no proof of widespread voter fraud. He would then be called to the White House for a three-hour meeting. It was later reported that Barr told associates he may depart the administration early. When the President was asked if he still had confidence in his Attorney General he responded “ask me that in a number of weeks from now,” meaning after the inauguration. Should anyone be surprised, or do we care anymore who he fires?

COVID has exploded across the country in a third wave, now having infected over 15.5 million Americans and taking the lives of 285,000 at the rate of 3,000 new fatalities on some days of last week. Twenty million are receiving unemployment benefits, some that will expire at the end of the year. But the President is too busy to be bothered with the nation’s needs while he is preoccupied with contesting the election, spreading lies, inciting insurrection and violence,  and executing a slow-moving coup in a homeland domestic attack on our democracy. To read more news of the pandemic from the 2nd to last month of the Trump presidency and his failure to protect the country and its citizens from harm, visit Bearing Witness to the Pandemic November 2020.

As more pardons are expected from the White House, the Justice Department opened an investigation in a bribery attempt for a presidential pardon from a Trump campaign donor now serving time in federal prison. The President tweeted it was “fake news.” Shortly afterwards the Justice Department banned a White House aide from entering its offices out of concern they were pressuring staffers for information about investigations. It is reported that Rudy Giuliani discussed with Trump issuing a preemptive pardon for himself. Yes, Trump’s attorney, a Officer of  the Court, was asking for a pardon because he was concerned about prosecution for who knows what criminal behavior. Trump was also said to have discussed granting pre-emptive pardons to his children Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and son-in-law Kushner. What crimes might they have been guilty of that are worthy of a pre-emptive pardon?  Ivanka Trump was deposed for more than half a day in an investigation of improper spending by Trump’s inauguration committee.  By the end of the week it was said that even the President was asking about giving himself a pardon. He had previously claimed he had an “absolute right” to pardon himself which no other president has tried to do while in office.

The GAO finally reported this week what many suspected; that the Trump’s Labor Department collecting and reporting of unemployment data is fundamentally flawed. During most recent months of the pandemic over 1 million Americans filed each week for new unemployment benefits from either their state’s program or the federal government relief program which extended state programs and added the self-employed. That’s 4 million a month, all while the administration tried to take credit for a rapidly improving economy with falling unemployment rates. We cannot believe anything from this administration.

Trump continues his post-election rage by threatening to veto a defense appropriations bill that does not contain provisions to repeal protections of social media companies he no longer likes and claims are biased against him.

Despite four years of trade wars, Trump has not improved the country’s trade deficit. The commerce department reported it grew to $63B in October due to an increase of 9% of goods imported from China and Mexico.

A Federal District Judge ordered that Homeland Security reopen applications for the DACA program that protects undocumented children of illegal immigrants, or dreamers, from being deported. Dismantling DACA was another target of the Trump administration. If only we could find a way to deport Trump once he leaves office.

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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