Saturday, December 3, 2016

Maybe a Trump Presidency Is What God Intended

President-elect Donald Trump. (photo: Jabin Botsford/WP)
President-elect Donald Trump. (photo: Jabin Botsford/WP)
It does seem like the very thing God might do. Put an idiot in charge and cluster his clueless children around him and a coterie of old hacks and opportunists and thereby teach us haughty journalists a lesson.

By Garrison Keillor, The Washington Post
01 December 16
o many Trumpists have written in since the election, and I am grateful for their interest and also impressed by the sheer variety of their profanity. I never learned to swear that well because by the time my mother died, at 97, it was too late for me to learn. I gather from the letters that these people’s lives were devastated by the advent of gay marriage, political correctness, the threat of gun control and the arrogance of liberals, and now a champion rises from Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and God forbid that any dog should bark when he speaks or any pigeon drop white matter on his limousine.

What the letter-writers don’t grasp is that cursing is highly effective in person — someone kicks his car in rage, forgetting he’s wearing flip-flops, and flames pour from his mouth, and it’s impressive. But you see it in print, and it’s just ugly. It makes you pity the writer’s wife.

It’s not good form to curse at someone you’ve just defeated. That is why the president-elect made it clear he would not be waterboarding Hillary Clinton or sending her back to Mexico. He was gracious in victory and said the Clintons are “good people.” Several of his biggest applause lines seem to have been put back in the box. And his base is faced with the possibility that they may have elected a Manchurian. They know that he was a Democrat for most of his life and that the sight of Adam and Steve holding hands does not fill him with loathing. He is, after all, a New Yorker; he’s not from Tulsa. He likes drama. Maybe he’ll appoint his sister to the Supreme Court. Maybe he would rather row than wade. Maybe the Republicans will privatize the Pentagon, and maybe the Chinese will be the low bidder. Why not run the Marines like a business? Put the “deal” back into “idealism.”

Meanwhile, Chris Christie waits for the prosecutor to call and summon him to a low-ceilinged room with fluorescent lights and ask him pointed questions for the good man to answer under oath and say the same things he’s said in public, that he had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with those orange highway cones. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani waits for his phone to ring, the mayor who put his emergency command center on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center, over the objections of the police department, and later started his own security consulting company. This is a new level of chutzpah. This is like the captain of the Titanic, had he survived, writing a book about the art of navigation.

My first election was 1948, when we stayed up late listening to returns on a Zenith radio, in our basement home in the cornfields north of Minneapolis. Mother was content with Harry Truman’s victory, believing that he cared about the poor, and Dad was dubious of politicians in general and Democrats in particular. It was interesting for a child to sense this division, though my parents were gentle people and evangelical Christians who refrained from voting, on the assumption that the Lord was in charge and would put into power whomever He wished. If you voted, you might vote against the Lord’s Will.

Their reasoning seemed shaky to me — it seemed to argue that one should not get out of bed in the morning lest you eat the wrong cereal for breakfast — but I’ve inherited some of their fatalism. Maybe God did choose this bloated narcissist and compulsive liar and con man to be president, and maybe He will send a couple of Corinthians to light his pathway.

I have my doubts. You grow up to be skeptical of the hormone treatment that eliminates wrinkles, the metal detector that will locate buried treasure, the school that will teach you the secrets of getting rich, the great leader who will make the country great again.

But it does seem like the very thing God might do. Put an idiot in charge and cluster his clueless children around him and a coterie of old hacks and opportunists and thereby teach us haughty journalists a lesson. God made Balaam’s donkey open its mouth and say, “Quit hitting me, stupid.” And if He could do that, He could make this moose a halfway-decent president.

Meanwhile, blessings on all who cursed me. May you thrive and prosper. I hope you have not cursed your children.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton Catches Up by 23,700 Votes in Pennsylvania - Before Recount Even Begins

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former U.S. president Bill Clinton greet supporters during a primary night gathering on April 26 in Philadelphia. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former U.S. president Bill Clinton greet supporters during a primary night gathering on April 26 in Philadelphia. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Now we know why The Donald is scared and trying to stop the recounts

By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report

02 December 16

ith a recount effort now underway in the three razor-tight swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, it turns out Hillary Clinton has already moved closer to winning those states than had originally been announced. In the past two weeks Michigan and Wisconsin have both voluntarily revised the size of Donald Trump’s “win” downward by thousands of votes each. And now Pennsylvania has shrunk the size of Trump’s win by tens of thousands of votes.

It’s important to understand that these revisions have been made by the states before the recounts even got underway. These shifts in the vote totals have been based on precincts revising their own numbers, either because they caught errors of their own accord, or in some instances because internet gawkers spotted numerical impossibilities that forced those precincts to check themselves. But the sudden shift in Pennsylvania voting totals is dramatic, in that it wipes out around one-third of Trump’s lead in the state ahead of the recount.

Here’s what happened: according to this USA Today article and several other sources, the vote totals in Pennsylvania had Donald Trump winning by 70,638 votes – a number which was often quoted as a reason for why Hillary Clinton would supposedly have no chance of flipping the state in a recount. But earlier today, the respected Decision Desk HQ posted the newly revised totals from Pennsylvania, which have Donald Trump ahead by just 46,938 votes. That means Trump’s lead in the state has now shrunk by 23,700 votes, based on what it says are newly revised numbers out of Philadelphia.

Again, this massive shift in Hillary Clinton’s direction in Pennsylvania is coming before the recount, based on precincts making their own revisions. It’s notable that all three states in question have now revised their totals sharply in Clinton’s favor before any statewide recounting. Clinton has caught up by more than two thousand votes in Michigan, and caught up by more than five thousand votes in Wisconsin – and now by more than 23,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These were all due to initial errors in Trump’s favor, which have now been corrected. How many more such errors will the recounts uncover?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Donald Trump Claims He Won the Popular Vote, Which He Lost by More Than 2 Million Votes

Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and it wasn't all that close. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and it wasn't all that close. (photo: AP)

By Adam Peck, ThinkProgress
28 November 16
The president-elect baselessly claimed that millions of voters were illegal.

here are many things Donald Trump can say about this month’s election after beating expectations and claiming enough electoral votes to seize the White House.

One thing he can’t: that he won a majority of votes.

Despite a comfortable win in the electoral college, Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton in the popular vote by more than two million votes, a margin that is only growing.

But on Sunday, Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that he had in fact won the popular vote because “millions” of votes were cast illegally.

Donald Trump presented no evidence to support his outlandish claim, and that’s because none exists. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in this or any presidential election, and certainly not on the order of “millions of people.” One of the only documented cases of actual voter fraud in this election came when a Trump supporter tried to vote for him twice.

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has grown significantly since Election Day as large states like California continue to tally their votes. Her margin of victory now stands at more than two million votes, by far the largest gap by a presidential candidate who lost the election.

Trump supporters have pointed to fake news websites like InfoWars, which claimed that Clinton’s popular vote win was the result of three million illegal votes by undocumented immigrants and dead people. During the campaign, Trump himself repeatedly tweeted memes and fake stories from white supremacist websites as fact.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hey! Donald!! Let’s Make a Deal on Those 3 Million “Rigged” Votes and a National Recount

The cover of 'TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald' by Timothy O'Brien. (photo: Warner Books)
The cover of 'TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald' by Timothy O'Brien. (photo: Warner Books)

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News
29 November 16
onald Trump says there were 3 million fraudulent voters in a “rigged” election he lost by more than 2 million popular votes.

But he has no proof.

The solution is obvious: He should fund a 50-state recount.

He could pay for it with a tiny fraction of the windfall profits he may already have made by cashing in on his apparent title upgrade.

Trump is angry that thousands of citizens have sent $5 million in small Bernie-style donations for Jill Stein’s recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Contributions are still pouring in at

The Donald is also mad that Hillary Clinton will send lawyers (but no funding) to observe those recounts. Many are still urging her to do more via

But the burden is on Trump.

Of course he’s uncomfortable about losing the popular vote by such a large (and growing) margin. And this, of course, does not account for the thousands of black/Hispanic/Asian-American/Muslim and other citizens who were stripped from the voter rolls even though they were legally eligible.

So, Donald, here’s a win-win-win:

You’ve already made millions on the presumption that you will soon be president.

Mission accomplished.

But you’ve apparently lost the popular vote by a huge margin.

And the city of New York is now paying millions to protect you and your family at Trump Tower. You clearly don’t want the downgrade to public housing in DC.

So here’s an artful deal:

Take a tiny fraction of those profits to fund the national recount.

If those fraudulent “rigged” votes don’t really exist, and you really did lose the popular majority, just call it a day.

Take your short-term profits, concede the presidency to the popular choice, and stay a private citizen at Trump Tower, saving New York taxpayers millions in security costs.

That’s a win for Trump Inc., a win for popular democracy, and a win for New York taxpayers.

How about it, Donald. Do we have a deal?

Harvey Wasserman co-wrote THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 (with Bob Fitrakis), soon to become THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT at and, where SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH currently abides. He is Secretary of Energy in Jill Stein’s shadow cabinet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trump Picks El Chapo to Run DEA

Drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican security forces at Mexico's International Airport in Mexico City on Feb. 22. (photo: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)
Drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican security forces at Mexico's International Airport in Mexico City on Feb. 22. (photo: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
28 November 16
ust days after picking Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education, President-elect Donald Trump has tapped another wealthy outsider by naming Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzm├ín to head the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In an official statement, Trump said that El Chapo’s “tremendous success in the private sector” showed that he has what it takes to “shake things up” at the D.E.A.
Trump’s appointment of the former drug lord surprised many in Washington, in no small part because acrimony between the two allegedly prompted El Chapo, in 2015, to put a hundred-million-dollar bounty on Trump’s head.

But, appearing on CNN, the Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway said that the selection of El Chapo should surprise no one. “Mr. Trump always said that he would surround himself with the best people,” she said.

When asked why Trump had readily offered a job to El Chapo while still mulling the fate of another former adversary, Mitt Romney, Conway said, “El Chapo might not have voted for Mr. Trump, but that’s because he’s Mexican and in jail, and Mitt Romney is neither.”

The appointment of the former drug kingpin is far from a done deal, however, as associates of El Chapo report that he is “concerned” that being a member of the Trump Administration would be bad for his brand.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Now Is the Time to Remain Standing

Dan Rather. (photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty)
Dan Rather. (photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty)

By Dan Rather, Dan Rather's Facebook Page
25 November 16
ow is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent. We must all stand up to be counted. History will demand to know which side were you on. This is not a question of politics or party or even policy. This is a question about the very fundamentals of our beautiful experiment in a pluralistic democracy ruled by law.

When I see neo-Nazis raise their hands in terrifying salute, in public, in our nation's capital, I shudder in horror. When I see that action mildly rebuked by a boilerplate statement from the President-elect whom these bigots have praised, the anger in me grows. And when I see some in a pliant press turn that mild statement into what they call a denunciation I cannot hold back any longer.

Our Declaration of Independence bequeaths us our cherished foundational principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

These truths may be self-evident but they are not self-replicating. Each generation has to renew these vows. This nation was founded as an opposite pole to the capriciousness of an authoritarian monarch. We set up institutions like a free press and an independent court system to protect our fragile rights. We have survived through bloody spasms of a Civil War and a Civil Rights Movement to extend more of these rights to more of our citizens. But the direction of our ship of state has not always been one of progress. We interned Japanese Americans, Red Baited during the McCarthy era, and more. I feel the rip tide of regression once again swelling under my feet. But I intend to remain standing.

In normal times of a transition in our presidency between an incoming and outgoing administration of differing political parties, there is a certain amount of fretting on one side and gloating on the other. And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started - a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times. This is not about tax policy, health care, or education - even though all those and more are so important. This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption.

But as I stand I do not despair, because I believe the vast majority of Americans stand with me. To all those in Congress of both political parties, to all those in the press, to religious and civic leaders around the country, your voices must be heard. I hope that the President-elect can learn to rise above this and see the dangers that are brewing. If he does and speaks forcibly, and with action, we should be ready to welcome his voice. But of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise.

To all of you I say, stay vigilant. The great Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that even as a minority, there was strength in numbers in fighting tyranny. Holding hands and marching forward, raising your voice above the din of complacency, can move mountains. And in this case, I believe there is a vast majority who wants to see this nation continue in tolerance and freedom. But it will require speaking. Engage in your civic government. Flood newsrooms or TV networks with your calls if you feel they are slipping into the normalization of extremism. Donate your time and money to causes that will fight to protect our liberties.

We are a great nation. We have survived deep challenges in our past. We can and will do so again. But we cannot be afraid to speak and act to ensure the future we want for our children and grandchildren.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

'Vote Shaming' Trump Supporters Is Fair. What They Have Done Is Shameful.

Mike Pence leaving the Broadway show 'Hamilton,' where cast members urged him to respect the rights of minorities, women and gay people. (photo: Andres Kudacki/AP)
Mike Pence leaving the Broadway show 'Hamilton,' where cast members urged him to respect the rights of minorities, women and gay people. (photo: Andres Kudacki/AP)

By Jessica Valenti, Guardian UK
24 November 16

rump voters sure are sensitive lately. They’re upset that the cast of the hit play Hamilton made a statement to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, and that the audience booed him. They’re displeased that their vote is costing them relationships with family and friends. And for some reason not entirely clear to me, they’re unhappy with Starbucks and decided to demonstrate as much by … buying lots of coffee at Starbucks. 

The same people who wear shirts that read “fuck your feelings” and rail against “political correctness” seem to believe that there should be no social consequences for their vote. I keep hearing calls for empathy and healing, civility and polite discourse. As if supporting a man who would fill his administration with white nationalists and misogynists is something to simply agree to disagree on.

Absolutely not. You don’t get to vote for a person who brags about sexual assault and expect that the women in your life will just shrug their shoulders. You don’t get to play the victim when people unfriend you on Facebook, as if being disliked for supporting a bigot is somehow worse than the suffering that marginalized people will endure under Trump. And you certainly do not get to enjoy a performance by people of color and those in the LGBT community without remark or protest when you enact policies and stoke hatred that put those very people’s lives in danger.

Being socially ostracized for supporting Trump is not an infringement of your rights, it’s a reasonable response by those of us who are disgusted, anxious, and afraid. I was recently accused by a writer of “vote shaming” – but there’s nothing wrong with being made to feel ashamed for doing something shameful.

I suppose I should not be surprised by this reaction; people are taking cues from Trump himself, a man who feels so entitled to universal adoration that he whines about protests being “unfair”. Indeed, after Pence’s uncomfortable evening at Hamilton, Trump tweeted that the quite respectful statement from the cast was “harassment”. This from a man who has mocked a disabled reporter, encouraged violence at his rallies, and spent a lifetime denigrating women.

The president-elect even wrote that the theater should be a “safe” place. Apparently “safe space” is politically correct nonsense when women don’t want to get raped at college, but vitally important when a powerful man who advocates conversion therapy wants to enjoy a Broadway musical.

Since Trump won the election, hate crimes are being reported at a rate higher than right after 9/11. Just a few blocks from my home in Brooklyn, a woman was punched in the face by a Trump supporter and a swastika was drawn in a nearby children’s park. We have a president-elect who just settled a class-action fraud case for $25m. But yes, by all means, let’s talk more about your hurt feelings and “civility”.

Whether it’s Pence at a play or your Trump-voting uncle at Thanksgiving, there are people right now who should be made to feel uncomfortable. In a time when there is so much to protest, so much work to do, the booing is necessary – shame on us if we ever stop.