Bearing Witness to Trump Month 47 December 6-12

Countdown to reality and sanity: now only five weeks left in the Trump presidency! (Sorry the following reads like a broken record, but blame Trump not this blogger of history.) And six weeks after the election, did President Trump finally concede his loss? No, of course not. Did he stop his lying about voter fraud, and everything else? No, of course not. Did he get back to work in his few remaining weeks left trying to save American lives and jobs during the pandemic? No, of course not. Did he try to bring America together with words of comfort in one of the worst years most of us will ever experience? No, of course not. Did Republicans in Congress acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden? No, of course not. Their silence demonstrates a contempt for democracy that is second only to their fear of Trump and lust for remaining in power, despite the dishonor it brings to the graves of so many who died in wars protecting our democracy that they so profess to admire.

According to some counts, Trump has now lost over 50 court challenges to the election, but that did not keep Republicans from trying more antics to undermine the election. This week, just one week before the electoral college meets, a case brought by Trump allies in Texas and 17 other states was presented to the Supreme Court. It was a last-ditch effort to overturn the election in four key states that Biden won: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia.  How odd, they think there was only voter irregularities and massive fraud in these four critical states which they lost, but none that they won. The case if they won as these votes were thrown out would thus complete a coup under the guise of a decision from the nation’s highest court. We should call this for what it is; a seditious unpatriotic undemocratic act to overturn an election by people who took an oath to defend the constitution. Thank God and true patriots that the case was quickly rejected by the Court in a one-sentence statement.

Trump’s reckless behavior and divisive words about the election being rigged encouraged more slandering, threats and violence this week. The former head of national cybersecurity was reported to have received a wave of death threats since being fired by Trump. Election officials and electors around the country, along with their families, continue to be threatened with some taking up hiding.  The Republican Party of Arizona called for supporters to be willing to die for the election fight. Republicans in Texas and Florida socialized the thought of succession, falsely claiming they are the victims who are defending the Constitution. Hmm, when did we last hear that self-righteous treasonous rhetoric from Southerners? The rest of the world must look down on America in shock after nearly a century of the US being the beacon example of democracy.

Thousands of Trump supporters from across the country then showed up in the streets of Washington DC over the weekend. Trump flew over them in Marine One and egged them on by Twitter. Trump loyalist Michael Flynn, who had just been pardoned by Trump and a former military commander who should be supporting the Constitution and election results, spoke to the crowd as they chanted “stop the steal”. After dark, scuffles broke out between counter-protestors and Trump supporters, including his not-so-proud boys who are apparently no longer standing by. Later they tore down and burned a Black Lives Matter banner at the city’s oldest Black church. In other rallies across the county, fights between protesters were common and at least one person was shot. This is the broken America that Trump has created and now leaves behind. Just like his businesses which he bankrupted and left for others to clean up. He has now done that to the country.

The transition to the Biden-elect administration was reported to be hindered by Trump loyalists who are blocking some meetings and showing up in others to slow the transition by intimidating federal employees from speaking freely to the incoming administration. Some agencies are reported to have declined to make records and personnel available to the incoming Biden team. No, this is not something that both parties do.

The pro-life Trump administration picks up the pace with federal executions this week. Five more are planned before he leaves office, which will make a total of 13 to be put to death after a 17-year hiatus. Four of the five are Black and the fifth is a woman.  Attorney Genera Barr, who is rumored to soon be on the way out, said he is likely to schedule even more executions before he leaves office. I guess this is just Trump trying to play law-and-order using the deaths of federal prisoners as props. Trump must not be happy with the 300,000 who have died from COVID during his watch over our safety and wants a few more. President-elect Biden has pledged to suspend federal executions upon taking office.

More news emerges about Trump’s Justice Department investigating the son of incoming President Biden,  Hunter Biden. It is reported that he is the focus of a tax investigation and violation of money laundering due to his joint-venture dealings with China and Ukrainian businesses.  President Trump’s fundamental real estate business model is speculated to be based on money laundering schemes where wealthy Russians and other oligarchs from around the world buy multi-million dollar high-rise homes to launder money into the world’s banking system from who knows where it came. Will they investigate that when Trump is out of office?

Trump’s Treasury Department reported that the US Government’s deficit for just two months into the new fiscal year was almost $430 billion, an increase of over 25% from last year. That does not stop Wall Street from partying like it was an economic boom. Investing in high-flying IPOs is the rage with stocks of some newly-listed companies, like Airbnb, doubling on their offering day. This all while unemployment rates, like COVID death rates, spiked upward. Over 850,000 filed for new state unemployment benefits last week rising sharply from the week before.  Across many states, like my own Missouri, the unemployment rate is claimed to be going down. But that is likely because so many have given up looking for work or they have rolled off the eligibility period for being counted on official unemployment roles. Missouri has about 3 million workers but reportedly nearly 1 million have filed for unemployment at one time or the other this year. This is an ultra-conservative state where the state legislature reduced the normal period of unemployment benefits to only 13 weeks. Yet, they claim an unemployment rate of less than 5%. If you add back in the discouraged and those kicked off of benefits, the rate is thought to be closer to be nearly double that.

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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