FIRST FULL DAY OF THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY(1/21/21): In a sea of memorable moments, I really had not realized that capitol police officer and national hero, Eugene Goodman, who led Trump's rioting marauders away from the Senate chamber was firstly promoted to acting deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms - and yesterday, January 20th, 2021, he walked Vice-President Kamala Harris to the inauguration. Sometimes, some of the people in this government get things right! Congratulations to Eugene Goodman!
Of course, Amanda Gorman, our youth poet laureate, who challenged Americans to unify with her poem "The Hill We Climb" and said, "leave behind a country better than the one we were left" in a stirring and uplifting inauguration poem. And where the need for social change is concerned, she said this: "We learned that quiet isn't always peace, and the norms and notions of what 'just is' isn't always justice." This singular appearance has rocketed her two books, in advance of their official release, to the top of Amazon's Best Seller list. How about THAT?!?!
And so, finally we have arrived, as a nation, at the 1st day of a kind of restoration of norms and decency and a hope that we can be so much better than what just was! I hope so! And with that, finally we have arrived, as a nation, at the 1st day of a kind of restoration of norms and decency and a hope that we can be so much better than what just was! I hope so!
DAY #78 - INAUGURATION DAY(1/20/21): This will be the last entry on this topic because, at about 8 A.M.(EST), for the last time, Donald Trump will slink off in the morning mist of Washington, DC and will leave the White House - FINALLY!!! It will be over!!! A 5 year nightmare will be over, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will become the president and vice-president of the United States of America facing the daunting task of trying to quickly and s-l-o-w-l-y put the nation on a path to recovering from the Trump presidency which almost brought the country to its knees.
As I sit here and await this malevolent charlatan board Marine 1 to leave the White House, I recall, that during June of 2016, when Trump declared his candidacy, and during the months that followed, I said repeatedly to anyone who would listen, he is behaving like a spoiled brat - someone who WANTS TO be expelled from school (removed from the race) - because he DOES NOT WANT TO BE PRESIDENT!!! And somehow, the worse that he behaved, the more millions of Americans, on the other side of this divide, liked it. And then, horror of horrors, he actually got elected - and we've been paying for it ever since. He never changed, he never "grew into the office." He has behaved, right to the end, in exactly the manner that folks here in New York KNEW that he would. He leaves as the most disgraced president in U.S. history - a fitting place for him!
As I have been presenting at Facebook these past months, on this day, I share today's work by political cartoonist Serge Chapleau(La Presse) from Montréal, Canada which depicts what President Joe Biden is walking into when he enters the fabled Oval Office. The image hardly needs a translation from my 4 years of high school French. I have to thank my friend Daniel Rheault for sending me all of these cartoons, they have made me smile amidst all of this darkness. The views that M. Chapleau presents from our neighbor to the north is a window into how the USA, under Trump, has been viewed the world over. We have become an international joke - sad as it is, that's what Trump did the USA. THAT is his legacy!!!
I want to wish Joe and Kamala the best of everything, knowing that they will do a great job - and, at the very least, a completely competent job with all the demands that the office necessitates.
DAY #77 AFTER ELECTION DAY(1/19/21): THIS is now, finally, THE LAST FULL DAY of the Trump UNPRESIDENCY!!! Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, January 20th @ 8 A.M. he is due to be at Andrews Air Force Base where he slink away in the morning mist and be flown on Air Force 1 to Florida where he can await his fate. A flood of criminal charges, civil lawsuits, and the city and state of New York coming after him - at the very least - for unpaid taxes, unpaid bills and debts, etc.! But, before he is finally gone - it is feared that he will certainly issue a flood of pardons and sentence commutations that will, no doubt, sicken many of us. For 5 years we've had to put up with this inveterate liar, carnival barker, and clown who has humiliated and embarrassed this nation on the global stage - and that period of time runs from the day he announced his "candidacy" to the present. Every day of this has been torture. Again, all of this was foreseen by so many, and completely predictable - perhaps, NO ONE could have imagined that it would have been, in the end, THIS BAD! In most cases, the weight and responsibility of the office humbles all of those who enter it, but in this case? It all meant nothing to him, NOTHING!
The image bidding a not-so-fond farewell to Trump, seen in miniature was designed by Sally Rumble. Click on the link and view some of her very vibrant and often politically oriented creations. I remain a fan!
The House of Representatives of the USA voted in a bi-partisan manner voted to impeach Donald J. Trump for a 2nd time - this time for "INCITEMENT TO INSURRECTION" - with the support of these 10 Republicans, who crossed party lines and voted with the Democrats: Adam Kinzinger(IL); Liz Cheney(WY); John Katko(NY); Fred Upton(MI); Jaime Herrera Beutler(WA); Dan Newhouse(WA); Peter Meijer(MI); Anthony Gonzalez(OH); Tom Rice(SC) and David Valadao(CA) Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was absolutely letter perfect yesterday - mostly because she was invisible for almost all of the speeches and the process - then, she appeared to gavel down the final vote count and to sign the impeachment document. No statements from her, no cheerleading, no nothing - just the serious, very serious business of the nation. She's 80 yrs. old and held all of this process together - no doubt with the help of her incredible staff. They were all valiant yesterday.
President-Elect Joe Biden has carefully fashioning his administration, and in short order all of the important cabinet positions will have been filled. The immediate road ahead will be difficult, but I'm certain that he, Kamala Harris and the cabinet are up to the task and will do their level best to solve problems and try to right this ship that has been so greatly damaged by the storm of Trump and his incompetent people. And, as we always must conclude, PLEASE STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY above all else!
DAY #64 AFTER ELECTION DAY(1/6/21): The Georgia state run-off election for 2 Senate seats took a most unexpected but joyous turn during the overnight hours, and it now appears that both Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have won their seats, and will bring a majority of 50-50 - plus the tie-breaking vote of Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris - and, in a sense, the horrid obstructionist reign of Mitch McConnell will, in a sense, finally come to an end. Above all, President-Elect Joe Biden will have a chance to get some basic pieces of legislation through - including confirming his cabinet choices without too much difficulty. Amazing!
In any story of this election there are some heroes, truly heroic and exceptionally hard-working principled people and here, in the case of Georgia, we have the great, the fantastic Stacey Abrams and just like Representative James Clyburn was for Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams becomes the 'kingmaker' for Joe Biden in Georgia, and now, she has accomplished the Herculean task of helping Warnock and Ossoff to ascend to the U.S. Senate - both firsts of the highest order: the 1st African-American Senator from Georgia (Raphael Warnock), and the 1st Jewish Senator from Georgia(Jon Ossoff). How about that? I also have to continue to mention all the efforts of everyone who is and has been a part of The Lincoln Project, these very high-minded and principled Republicans have worked tirelessly to put an end to the Trump presidency and all the serious damage that it has done to us all and our nation.
The Stacey Abrams "Georgia" Poster you see in miniature here was designed by Sally Rumble. Click on the link and view some of her very vibrant and often politically oriented creations!!! I'm a fan now for sure!!! The 2nd image, a very vintage "WE CAN DO IT" poster, was done by editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett from the "Chattanooga Times."
Now, with some 1 day remaining until the odious Donald Trump leaves the White House, or will have to be forcibly removed! Today, Wednesday, January 6th, both houses of congress were supposed to have gathered for the final step in the confirmation of Joe Biden as President-Elect. It should have been a rather pro forma event - passing without incident. But, a large mob of Trump-supporting fools, stoked into a frenzy by their poor, pathetic and abused "hero" tried their level best to make a small but nauseating 'statement' by storming the Capitol to violently obstruct the process - and once again, in the Age of Trump, taking a wrecking ball to all democratic norms and processes. So take names, use the photos of their images and remember them, because these acts, amongst countless others, must never be forgotten. What a day of shame this has been, but just another one during these 4+ years of Donald J. Trump. This was all completely and totally predictable and preventable - and yet, it happened, and the whole world saw it. And they all wondered, "What the hell is with the USA?"
But on this night of this day, there still remains some 6 days until this heartless bastard Donald Trump leaves the White House or will have to be forcibly removed. His usual untethered foolishness will continue, and we are all forced to put-up with it. President-Elect Joe Biden is carefully fashioning his administration, and in short order all of the important cabinet positions will have been filled. The selections might not please everyone, but they will all certainly be very well-qualified and supremely able to execute the responsibilities of their particular department. That will be a welcome change from the utter incompetence of everything that Trump has done. And, as we always must conclude, PLEASE STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY above all else!
DAY #41 AFTER ELECTION DAY(12/14/20): The Electoral College finally met and voted and the results, once again were the same. Joe Biden is still the President-Elect and Kamala Harris remains our Vice-President-Elect. And that fool in the White House, Donald J. Trump is still one of the greatest "sore losers" of all-time and continues to make a mockery of standards of decency and classy behavior. But even these results from the Electoral College do not get 'certified' until early January. good energy that we can all send their way.
Last Thursday(12/10/20), in the late evening hours here on the east coast, TIME magazine presented its annual "PERSON OF THE YEAR" cover issue which featured a beautiful photo portrait of selections President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris. Given the ongoing conditions here in the USA, it could easily be stated the they, along with some 80+ million of citizens helped to save America from itself - and, in doing so, perhaps save democracy in the process. I am wishing them both the best of everything during these coming 4 years, they're going to need every ounce of cosmic
Now, with some 14 days remaining until Trump leaves the White House or will have to be forcibly removed, generally speaking, there's not really too much new to report on a daily basis. Trump's usual untethered foolishness continues, and we are all forced to put-up with it.
President-Elect Joe Biden is carefully fashioning his administration and in short order all of the important cabinet positions will have been filled. The selections might not please everyone, but they will all certainly be very well-qualified and supremely able to execute the responsibilities of their particular department. That will be a welcome change from the utter incompetence of everything that Trump has done.
DAY #21 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/24/20): Three weeks to the day, finally, the GSA(General Services Administration) administrator Emily Murphy sent the "letter of ascertainment" which allows the President-Elect Joe Biden to officially begin his transition in earnest.
It is already apparent that the president-elect is going about staffing his administration in an orderly and most intelligent manner choosing the department heads with great care for their experience and expertise. The polar opposite of how that idiot Trump approached the same tasks. Small wonder that his presidency and administration were disastrous from inception to the bitter end - and it has been bitter. Now, of course, how will all of these choices be met by that other bastard Mitch McConnell. One has to expect the worst - and be hopeful of something a bit better.
Meanwhile the countdown to January 20th continues, only 44 days left until this jackass will be removed from our lives, politically and otherwise. That moment can't come soon enough!
DAY #19 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/22/20): On this quiet Sunday here in New York City, I wanted to express something that I have been thinking about for almost 3 weeks now when Trump apologists comment that he, President Trump, should be thinking about "his legacy"! Each time that I hear that word or phrase, I ask myself: "What f&%king LEGACY could these people possibly be talking about?!?!?!?
Initially, I wanted to make my own partial list of all of the things that Trump has done these past 4 years, continuing right up to this moment, that were particularly abhorrent and horrifying to me. I did not want my list to be much longer than 10 events or moments. In order to aid the accumulation of my list and make it a bit more scholarly, I sought to see perhaps what others might have written. I went online and typed in the following phrase: "Trump's worst moments as president....." I could not believe what I read in just the first two entries that came back to me. I was stunned by what I saw and read, the utter scope of it all and so, as part of my humble presentation, I will also give you, those who are interested, the links to these most erudite pieces and you can investigate them for yourself, and come to your own conclusions.
The political cartoon that I offer here is from the great Serge Chapleau of La Presse in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Even with my 4 years of high school French, I can still understand that the caption basically reads: "The Pyromaniac-in-Chief." A good friend, in that same great city, has been sending me these wonderful cartoons during the past 4 years, and I have collected and treasured them.
Firstly, from Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, and his brilliant staff of The Atlantic magazine came an article entitled: "50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency." In his prelude to their list, he wrote the following: "In an October 2016 editorial, The Atlantic wrote of Donald Trump: "He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar." We argued that Trump "expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself." Trump, we also noted, "is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America's nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read." - In retrospect, we may be guilty of understatement."
Goldberg concluded the introduction by writing this: "Our 2016 editorial was a repudiation of Donald Trump's character as much as it was an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. It was not meant to be partisan. The Atlantic's founders promised their readers that we would be 'of no party or clique.' This remains a core governing principle of the magazine today. What follows is a catalog of incidents, ranked - highly subjectively! - according to both their outlandishness and their importance. In most any previous presidency, Democratic or Republican, each moment on this list would have been unthinkable." So, if you care, click on the link above, and just scroll through this list of 50 moments, and think about THAT as your LEGACY!
As if that was not enough, then in the next entry response to my Google query I found from McSweeney's a piece that bears the extensive title: "LEST WE FORGET THE HORRORS: A CATALOG OF TRUMP'S WORST CRUELTIES, COLLUSIONS, CORRUPTIONS, AND CRIMES: THE COMPLETE LISTING (SO FAR): ATROCITIES 1- 995. The presentation in ALL CAPS was from them, NOT from me! it was compiled by John McMurtrie various other terrific writers. But imagine if you will, we went from an extensive list of 50 misdeeds to now, 995. Think about that, PLEASE! In a brief commentary before the list begins, they wrote: "Early in President Trump's term, McSweeney's editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of Trump's cruelties, collusions, and crimes, and it felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors - happening almost daily - would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it's never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them." Again, I implore you click on the link above, and scroll through this list of 995 moments in chronological order, and think about THAT as this bastard's damn LEGACY!
How can I, one small person, come up with a reduced list that would do justice to the horrors that we've been subjected to these past 4 years? Undaunted, I will try, and in no particular order:  The complete and total mishandling of the Corona Virus pandemic;  Charlottesville, VA after a rally featuring neo-Nazis and former Ku Klux Klan members carried tiki torches and shouted slogans including "The Jews Will Not Replace Us." Trump comments that there were "fine people of both sides"!  During the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium where Trump visibly pushed Montenegro's Prime Minister out of the way so he could to stand in front for a picture with other world leaders.  the Muslim travel ban.  Comments on Mexicans: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."  Referring to Kamala Harris, Biden's choice of running mate, 'nasty.' "She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing," the president said, referring to her questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearing. Trump added that Harris "was the meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate."  On the killing of George Floyd: calling protesters "THUGS," a racially loaded term. For the second time in a week, Twitter attached a warning label to his tweet, in which the president seemed to condone violence, writing, "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."  Referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and nations in Africa as "shithole countries."  Leaving the Paris Climate Accord, damaging NATO and the United Nations - concluding with the entire General Assembly laughing at Trump!!! He made the United States the laughing stock of the world.  Separating small children from their parents at our southern border and placing them in cages. How can any one person, one administration be that cruel?
Once I got started, I could hardly stop - but those things just came immediately to mind. Meanwhile the countdown to January 20th continues, only 58 days left until this jackass will be removed from our lives, politically and otherwise. That moment can't come soon enough! So, when some people will want to talk about his LEGACY, there will be nothing positive that they can say because whatever that might be, it will be dwarfed by either of the two great lists presented above from The Atlantic and from McSweeney's.
DAY #10 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/13/20): Finally, the state of Georgia has been called!!! With the earlier call of Arizona, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris now have the full and complete total of 306 electoral votes. Now, in this one crucial area of the election, it's really OVER!!! At least, for a moment, we have some small additional sense of relief.
Meanwhile, as a nation, we've had to endure two more days of Trump being an invisible spoiled child, refusing to concede or acknowledge that he lost the election. This buffoon is supposed to speak to the nation at 4 P.M.(EST) and, unless his personality flaws have disappeared - it is doubtful that he will say anything of merit, nor anything that resembles any acceptable reality or truth.
It remains that critical information and services are being denied to Biden's transition team and this will soon put the country at risk. As people have noted, Joe Biden doesn't a polite "guided tour" of the White House! He knows where the bathrooms already. Trump and 'his people' were totally unprepared to move into the office, and now, 4 years later, they are totally unprepared to exit. The rest of us are just going to have to continue to exercise great patience. Meanwhile the countdown to January 20th continues, only 67 days left until this jackass will be removed from our lives politically and otherwise. This can't come soon enough!
DAY #8 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/11/20): It looks like I'm losing track of how many days have now passed since election day, November 3rd, 2020, but finally there was an update to the electoral vote count and, in this case, a gain for Trump with the state of Alaska being called in his favor, giving him 3 more, arriving at a total of 217. Arizona and Georgia with 98%-99% of the votes tabulated, those states have still not been formally given to President-Elect Joe Biden.. Patience, patience, patience!!! Meanwhile, Trump continues to act like a spoiled little kid - I can't believe that I hear reputable news people actually saying that he's harming his "legacy"! What legacy? It would all be filled with stories like this and, in essence ZERO accomplishments - NOTHING!!! Unless you count the complete gutting of the all government departments as an "accomplishment." Meanwhile, Team Biden continues the daily work of assembling his transition team and laying the groundwork for filling all of the positions that Trump has allowed to go empty for basically his entire 4 years. Hopefully, in the coming days, something will change for the better - but, with Trump - that is highly doubtful.
What a complete and total jerk!
DAY #6 & 7 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/8-9/20): I have been waiting to update, this page with the final results from both Georgia and Arizona but so far, neither of these states has been called. As we knew would happen, professionals that they both are, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have 'hit the ground running' and have chosen the members of their own Corona Virus Team. And, as we also expected, that petulant pig Trump is still pouting and ranting like the 2 year old that he is and has always been - while not allowing a normal 'transition of power' by making certain that the Biden transition people will have proper access to getting the wheels of government moving in the right direction again. This will show, at least to people paying attention, just how much Trump had hollowed out the government. That's what he thought that he could do because, as he told the nation: "I ALONE CAN FIX THIS!" Well, that's complete and total B.S.! And still, 70 million fools voted for this clown. And so, in that spirit, here's a political cartoon from Bill Bramhall that paints an excellent portrait of how Trump will be remembered by most of us!
DAY #5 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/7/20): I'm writing this morning with, at the very least, one huge sense of relief that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won the election and that, on January 20th, 2021, Donald Trump will be gone from the White House! Whether or not he leaves peacefully, or is dragged out kicking and screaming is yet to be known - but with him, anything is possible. Even the worst in human beings is possible.
Last night's speeches marked a return to a certain kind of civility and dignity that has been sadly missing for the past four years. I only watched Kamala Harris' speech because whatever she was going to say and how she would express it was a great meaning to me. Some of you might recall, that Kamala Harris was "my candidate" to be the president, but her candidacy failed to connect with enough people. Perhaps I was wrong that she could have beaten Trump? But, we'll never know the answer to that. Her speech was, for me, very moving and filled with hope for the possibilities that America is, at its best. Once again, I had tears in my eyes during several moments. For me, that's a good feeling. Seeing and hearing her speak renewed my sense of fragile pride in my own country - that sense had been severely damaged by four years of Trump.
I have been watching the world and world leaders respond to Biden's victory and ascent to the presidency with a great sense of relief and optimism. That, for me, is most welcome - and should be obvious. Biden, in his address, has stated that he wants us to, in fact, restore our place in the democratic world by being a more active part of both N.A.T.O. and the United Nations, Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and the World Health Organization. And here at home, removing Trump's Muslim travel ban, and also reinstating the D.A.C.A. program for all of our Dreamers!!! These are all steps that are most welcome to me.
With just 72 days remaining until January 20th, 2021, inauguration day for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris there is no telling what damage Trump can do to this democracy prior to his exit. There is speculation that he will give himself and members of his family and closest allies all executive pardons, even though to this point in time, they have not been charged with any crimes - yet! But this absolution, of sorts, will only free them from federal crimes. State crimes? They all can still face those charges - and likely as not, surely will face them - or at least, I hope so - and that Trump is fitted with a nice orange jumpsuit and reserved 'room' at Lewisburg Penitentiary! He faces tax evasion, tax fraud, and a mountain of debt from which he has just walked away! Who can respect anyone who does such a thing? In the end, the sword of justice will come after people like that!
Back to New York City for one moment. The city is E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C, it's alive - I don't need to be reminded of what it felt like here at the same moment in 2016. The city was as quiet as a funeral - the city felt it. I know that feeling all too well. It was horrible, impossible to sleep - harder to face the next day, the next four years. But we faced them, and as brutal as they have been, we have survived, and not lost our own fighting spirit. But today, November 7th, 2020, is another day. This city really does FEEL these things - and anyone who is here can FEEL it, and will long remember this day, and that feeling! Now? There's work to be done!
DAY #4 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/7/20): And now? JOE BIDEN has been elected to be our 46th president!!!
Here at home in New York City, at about 11:40 A.M.(EST) I suddenly began to hear people/women screaming for joy in the streets of my neighborhood, cars honking for joy everywhere!!! I hadn't heard the news myself because I had been taking a break from the TV coverage - but I knew what that screaming meant. It meant that Pennsylvania, the state of Joe Biden's birth, had finally come through and Joe Biden is our president-elect and now, "for joy, for joy" [Maynard G. Krebs voice!] I can say that that big, ugly, fat bastard Donald Trump has been voted OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Back to New York City for one moment. The city is E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C, it's alive - I don't need to be reminded of what it felt like here at the same moment in 2016. The city was as quiet as a funeral - the city felt it. I know that feeling all too well. It was horrible, impossible to sleep - harder to face the next day, the next four years. But we faced them, and as brutal as they have been, we have survived and not lost our own fighting spirit. But today, November 7th, 2020, is another day. This city really does FEEL these things - and anyone who is here can FEEL it, and will long remember this day and that feeling! Now? There's work to be done!
I have tears in my eyes as I am writing this, tears of joy. because this was so difficult to do. Maybe this is the way things have to be at times? But, to be able to feel like this when, at times, it seemed so very far out of reach, is such a relief. Getting ourselves, as a nation, out of all of the horrible things that Trump, and those who have blindly followed his bidding, has done and said is going to be a long and very difficult process. I believe that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can do so much after taking office to repair our international relationships with our allies, our standing in the world - our roles in N.A.T.O. and the United Nations - our renewed participation in the Paris Climate Accord. These things will all get done. But domestically? We are a country in two huge pieces - each side filled with rage at the other. Donald Trump lost the popular vote by some 4 million votes - but, he still got 70 million votes himself. I don't understand any of those people who voted for him!!! Not at all. They could not have seen and listened to the same things that I saw and heard for the past 4 years, and before, and come to a conclusion that this cruel man should be our president!!! But they did, that's what they believe. They are Americans just like me and all the people who think and believe like me - they are going to be here - and for a long, long time. Thinking that they, in large part, could ever be swayed from their stance is foolish.
The damage that Trump has done to our rule of law to our justice department, and to the Supreme Court, the latter is pretty irreparable and will affect our children and grandchildren for decades. It's horrible to think about. But, come January 21st, Trump will be gone!!! Not silenced, but gone!!! And yes, he could become some kind of Republican "kingmaker" but his voice will have been greatly silenced and the rest of us will no longer be forced to listen to his lies and racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic comments and rants. He can buy a TV channel and talk on it all day for all I care. And, let us not forget, that the Southern District of New York is coming after him for countless misdeeds - taxes, tax fraud, and who knows what else? Do not be surprised if Trump follows his own words and leaves the country, rather than face jail!!!
So, as a nation, what are we? What have we become? I am not profound enough to really express it. But, as horrible, as brutal as these past 4 years have been, the USA, and a majority of its people, slight though it might be (if 4+ million votes more can be slight), did what our constitutional safeguards, like impeachment and a Senate filled with Republican cowards, could not do!!! Trump had to be voted OUT by the people themselves - and we did it. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy, but the people made a Herculean effort, and came out to vote in numbers never seen before. And here we are - close to the dawn of something a little better, hopefully much better. We will have a more civil discourse at the highest levels once Trump is ushered OUT of the White House. Do you remember what he said when he moved in? He actually described the White House as "a dump"!!! And yes, 70 million people voted to give him another 4 years.
As the late and very great John Lewis so passionately said on December 18th, 2019, when bemoaning our apparent fate, "Our children and their children will ask us what did you do? What did you say? For some this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history." Well, a goodly amount of us can now say that what we did was that we got out there, VOTED and made our voice heard and now felt!!! I might have lost hope in this country for these 4 years, but now, some of my faith has been restored. I have already received countless phone calls, e-mails, and messages from friends all over the world, different languages, cultures - but it is a beautiful feeling, because it took me decades to build all of these friendships. I'm so grateful to everyone for their good vibes, and yes, even prayers! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
DAY #3 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/6/20): Yes, it has been agonizing waiting for the final results and projections of a winner, but let us not forget that decisions by state governments had to be made for the safety and good health of its people. And so, this is where early voting, mail-in ballots, absentee ballots became essential during this election cycle because people's lives are more important than having immediate results. Yes, perhaps all of the states could have adopted a uniform policy as to when these non-election day votes would be counted, but they didn't, and so, here we are! The counting goes on. I'm sorry that the expression of my thoughts and feelings at this moment might be a bit scattered, but I'm trying my best.
While there remains some uncertainty in Arizona, somehow during the overnight hours, Joe Biden flipped Georgia and finally went ahead. If only by some 1,000+ votes, for the first time, Biden had the lead. This was, needless to say, a huge development. And then, in the morning hours of this day, finally, Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania. What many savvy political observers had seen as 'what would happen' - has now happened. As a Democrat, as a lifelong liberal thinker and believer, I am not going to have the complete and total rejection and repudiation of everything that is Donald Trump - a horrific carnival barker that somehow he received some 70+ million votes. Imagine that! Joe Biden will have received some 73+ million votes - beating Trump, again in the popular vote, by 4 million votes! One million more votes than Hillary Clinton beat Trump by in 2016.
The should the voting trends hold and Joe Biden becomes our 46th president, with Kamala Harris as our vice-president, I will only be 'thrilled' because Trump will have been removed from the White House. The last line of defense had to be US the people! Perhaps that's the best way, but it was the ONLY way - and, in a bitterly divided country, who could be certain of that? Not me. Joe Biden is uniquely qualified to, at the very least, repair certain things that Trump came close to destroying, but couldn't actually do it. I'm speaking of our relationships with our allies, repairing our place in NATO and the United Nations - and, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. However, fully repairing the damage that Trump has done to the office of the presidency, to our civil political discourse - that will be much more difficult to fix. It's going to take time, and I, for one, am certainly willing to give him whatever time he needs.
It is not for me to be thanking the people who helped so much to make this all happen, but, in my mind, we will never be able to underestimate the contributions and courage of people and organizations like: Jim Clyburn, Stacy Abrams, all the members of The Lincoln Project, even Lebron James for mobilizing athletes across all of our pro sports teams, and getting NBA owners (most of whom are probably Trump supporters) to make their arenas available across the nation so that people could come safely and vote early or drop-off their ballots with confidence - even as Trump undermined the integrity of our postal system, not to mention our judicial system. It was so gratifying to see that yesterday MSNBC immediately cut away from Trump's insane address, full of falsehoods. Again, an act of great courage to cut off the remarks of a sitting president. In some countries, you would never have seen this!
And so, we will continue to patiently wait for a result.
DAY #2 AFTER ELECTION DAY(11/5/20): Yesterday was a day, also unlike any other, when the presidential election turned around and suddenly, with all of the COVID-19 affected early and absentee votes finally being fully counted, Joe Biden pushed ahead of Trump in key states giving him a clear pathway to 270 electoral votes. As the day dawns here, 3/5th of that pathway have been confirmed, and we're just awaiting a final count from both Arizona and Nevada, with Biden leading in both them. It appears that we might not know something conclusive until around 9 P.M.(EST). Meanwhile, the counting continues in Pennsylvania and Biden has cut Trump's lead from 700,000 votes down to just above 100,000 votes with 89% of the votes counted. So, that state is still possible. But, as I was saying, the path through Arizona and Nevada gets Biden to exactly 270, and Pennsylvania won't be necessary. So, it will be a long, long day, but hopefully, when bed time arrives, we'll know something - perhaps even something conclusive? Let's be patient, calm and hopeful.
Election day(11/3/20), night, late night have all happened, the day(11/4/2020) has dawned here in New York City, and, though we may not have a final result on our presidential election, one thing has become very clear - at least to me - I don't understand anything about my own country! As a lifelong liberal, a "hippie" and Democrat - one who has never voted for a Republican candidate - NEVER - I just don't see how anyone could have possibly wanted Donald Trump to have another 4 years in the White House. Win or lose, what strikes me as so very, very sad is that we have ended-up seeing that these past 4 years were NOT an aberration, this is, in fact, who and what we are as a nation. Long ago, I learned that New York City is like a country unto itself, what we, most of us, think and feel here does NOT reflect the nation as a whole. Most people, once you have crossed into the real America via our bridges and tunnels, they would want us to just be swallowed-up by the Atlantic Ocean and never be seen or heard from again. Believe me, I understand this.
What was I hoping for? What was I expecting? I suppose that you could say that I was hoping for a complete rebuke and rejection of everything that is and has been these past 4 years under Donald Trump. But that did not happen. Like many people, for news and politics, I watch MSNBC and CNN, all along both networks were extremely cautious, and I think that we all were told or warned that this election was going to be close, very close - and that, the full results might not be known for several days, even weeks. And yes, that's where we all sit right now. But, I do believe that we were told that there was a chance that Joe Biden could take states like: Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Ohio. If Biden could possibly take just 2 of them, his path to 270 electoral votes would be considerably easier. But NO!!! Trump won all 5 of those key 'battleground' states. And just as it was in 2016, Trump vs. Clinton, my hopes were dashed, step by step, moment by moment - all of these states were going to end-up in the column of Donald Trump. The 2020 election was not really supposed to come down to Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona and Nevada. We, the public, seemed to have been told that Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were going to be close, but they were all leaning towards Biden. There were moments throughout the night when I felt so completely beaten and despondent, because Trump was ahead in all 3 of them! If Pennsylvania was to be considered Joe Biden's "home state" (he was born in Scranton, PA) - I did not have to look any further than to remember that Al Gore lost his own "home state" of Tennessee to George W. Bush. "Home state"? What the fk does that mean? It is now 4:30 P.M.(EST) and the CNN Electoral College Map now shows: Biden: 253 and Trump: 213 with 270 being the goal for a victory.
I sit here and I absolutely can not understand how some 72+ million of my countrymen could vote for Donald Trump after what they have witnessed and heard for 4 years. HOW could that be possible - HOW could anyone want 4 more years of THAT? And yet, basically 1/2 of this country actually wants that. And even if Joe Biden should somehow eek out a win, and become our 46th president, we are now an even more divided and polarized country than we were just two days ago. The Democrats actually lost a few seats in the House of Representatives, while maintaining their majority, but they did NOT gain enough ground to take over the Senate. Status quo reigns - a really awful status quo at that. Bastards like Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham will return to the Senate for 6 more years. Some of us wanted to believe that there was actually "hope" that they could be defeated and turned out to the street. Yesterday afternoon, I watched an interview with the great representative Jim Clyburn from South Carolina speaking about Jamie Harrison and his campaign to unseat Lindsey Graham, and Clyburn said something like: "No matter what happens, Jamie Harrison is a winner!" That told me that Jamie Harrison was NOT going to win, he was going to LOSE - and they knew it. I was so miserable about this. I knew that Jim Clyburn knew exactly what he was saying in that moment. And Lindsey Graham will be back. I'm just disgusted by this.
Right now, I am exhausted, and I feel defeated and despondent that people, the ones who voted for Trump were told, bombarded with certain ideas - like "Joe Biden is a socialist." Anyone who has followed his life, his political life knows that he a centrist Democrat, yes a liberal, but hardly much further than just to the left of center. And yet, enough people believed that to create fear, not just in Florida, but all across the country - and here we are. Distract, distract, distract and Trump's people forget about everything that he has said and done - it becomes as if, these four years never happened. I'm going to continue to update this essay in progress as the day or days move along. I apologize that I can't be more clear or erudite here - but, being in a fog, this is the best that I can do right now. Thank you for reading this and for bearing with me. As I have said to many friends over the years, you can never underestimate the utter stupidity of the American voting public! This was never more true than right now!
It is getting close to 4:30 P.M.(EST) here in New York, and from what I can see, Joe Biden has ONE realistic PATH to 270, and that is that he hangs onto: Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine! That would put Biden at exactly 270. I don't believe that he can come back in North Carolina or Georgia, and he is still behind by 300,000 votes in Pennsylvania - it's hard to imagine that he can make up such a deficit solely by the mail-in and early voting tabulations in the Philadelphia area. But, we have to wait and see. And then, most likely Trump will contest everything in the courts.
VOTE!!!(11/3/20): Finally, it IS election day, Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020. It felt as though it has taken us forever to get here, but the moment is now at hand. Tonight, or perhaps shortly thereafter, we will learn just what kind of country we actually are. Hopefully, we can be what many of us aspire for us to be, and that we can relocate the path whereby we can be leaning more towards what is right, true and good.
Just this past Sunday, I watched the HBO documentary, "THE SOUL OF AMERICA" based upon presidential scholar and prolific author Jon Meacham's 2018 book of the same name. As Meacham puts it, we have arrived at a point where "it is our better angels fighting against our worst impulses." I can only say that I learned a great deal watching Meacham tie the present to the past - details and events that I had been overlooking as my faulty memory of history continues to fail me now and again. What is at stake here, if we cannot control the worst impulses of some of the people, will define just what "the soul" of THIS America is. Should we fail? I don't even want to think about what history is going to say about us as a nation!
Today, November 3rd, 2020 is likely to become one of those days, especially for younger people, when they will forever remember where they were, who they were with, and what they did and felt throughout the day, evening and late night hours - no matter what the result turns out to be. It will be a day that shapes and colors everyone's life - at least here, in the USA.
Just one week ago, this past Monday, TIME magazine presented this beautiful cover, and it is the only time in the history of the magazine when "TIME" has not appeared at the top. The only word you see is "VOTE"!!! The striking and beautiful graphic art is by Shepard Fairey, who created the iconic Barack Obama "HOPE" posters long ago. Voting, let's face it, what else is there? I voted by mail some weeks ago, so on that score, I can rest easier knowing that I have done my small part - now? I'm counting on everyone else to do theirs. GO VOTE - don't leave the work to the rest of us!!! Be a part of it. Take nothing for granted, or to use a track & field metaphor, run right through the finish line! As everyone acknowledges and continues to say or write, this IS the most important/crucial election of our lives. There is NOTHING else but THIS!!!
We have endured 4 brutal and horrifying years under Donald Trump, and he has done his level best to defile and undermine every institution at home, and to alienate every single ally that we have ever treasured and sought to maintain. Trump has become our national shame and embarrassment. Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence, all in plain sight, it seems to be that, win or lose, Trump will still get some 50+ million votes. It's way past time to be asking HOW is this possible, or WHAT the hell is wrong with us here in the USA. But something IS very wrong.
To some, our constitution gave us certain protections against the appearance of a would-be autocrat like Trump. Perhaps the last line of defense was his impeachment? He was impeached - but a collection of Republican cowards would not vote to remove him from office. Representative Adam Schiff warned and shamed them all, when he said in his final address, "If you thought this was bad, it is only going to get worse!" and look what has happened. Now, the final guardrail or firewall is us, the people, it is all in our hands now, we have to do the work that our government refused to do.
In voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, in addition to the positives that they both bring with them - we are voting Trump OUT OF OFFICE. Should we fail in this monumental effort, heaven help us - those of us who feel this way are so weary and exhausted from all of this, and can't imagine that this country will survive another 4 years of this kind of boorish and loutish behavior from a president - and his blatant disrespect shown to all people. In the final analysis, will we all be able to say that these past four years were just an aberration, and that this nation was somehow strong enough to withstand such horrors? Or, have we become everything that many of us never would have thought possible?
Just yesterday, on MSNBC's MORNING JOE, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor of London's esteemed THE ECONOMIST, presented their endorsement of Joe Biden for president.
"In the past four years he (Trump) has repeatedly desecrated the values, principles and practices that made America a haven for its own people and a beacon to the world. Those who accuse Mr. Biden of the same or worse should stop and think. Those who breezily dismiss Mr. Trump's bullying and lies as so much tweeting are ignoring the harm he has wrought.
In this election America faces a fateful choice. At stake is the nature of its democracy. One path leads to a fractious, personalised rule, dominated by a head of state who scorns decency and truth. The other (Joe Biden) leads to something better - something truer to what this newspaper sees as the values that originally made America an inspiration around the world." - Zanny Minton Beddoes
On Friday, October 30th, Winston Churchill's granddaughter, Edwina Sandys penned an Op-Ed column for USA TODAY and wrote the following: "I'm an artist, but it's time for me to speak out on politics. Trump compared himself to my grandfather, but he's no Winston Churchill. I voted for Biden and today I'm joining Republicans and Independents for Biden." Then she continued...
"Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement was a serious matter. Trump doesn't believe, or chooses not to believe, in science or climate change. Selfishly, Trump thinks only of himself. Like a spoiled child, he wants to break up all the other kids' toys."
Staff writer Susan B. Glasser has penned a fantastic essay for The New Yorker. Here's portion of how she summed things up:
"In many ways, the whole Trump Presidency can be encapsulated in the past few days and weeks. It is self-dealing, denialism, dishonesty, and deflection. It is narcissism, recklessness, and disregard for the public good - and for democracy itself. There is nothing and no one he has not corrupted - or tried to. Even the remaining uncertainty about the election's outcome is a product of Trump's cynical, self-serving, and dangerous assault on the political system."
Some of you might recall that it was graphic artist, Shepard Fairey who also designed these wonderful posters in 2017 just after the inauguration of Trump - when the sounds of protest were heard nationwide. But, the damage had been done - or worse, it was just beginning. As Fred Hiatt wrote in teh WASHINGTON POST this past August, "Trump's primary motivations are spite, self-aggrandizement and greed." But I believe that it was the Lincoln Project's co-founder Steve Schmidt who said something like this: "Trump has 3 guiding principles: Spite! [Pause] Spite!! [Longer pause] and Spite!!!" I'm afraid that THAT says it all - because it's true. His own niece, clinical psychologist Mary Trump described him as "the world's most dangerous man." And he IS that!
Because of Trump's dismantling of our postal system, even if your ballot was postmarked before November 3rd, we can't be certain that it would still be counted! So now, you have to, at the very least, go and drop it off in person. Or, of course, vote in person!!! But don't leave this vital work to everyone else, YOUR VOICE MUST BE HEARD. Make the effort and VOTE!!!