As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.
Catherine Rampell has the legacy of Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump by the numbers:
261,000 (and growing): If anything is “sacred,” it is human life. This number is the minimum tally of U.S. lives lost to the novel coronavirus as of Wednesday night. By the time Trump leaves office it will be higher. Even by Thanksgiving morning, it will be higher.
$750: The amount Trump reportedly paid in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. He paid the same amount his first year in the White House, too.
14.7 percent: The unemployment rate in April 2020. Also the highest unemployment rate on record since modern statistics on joblessness began in 1948 and likely the highest rate since the Great Depression.
$421 million: The amount of loans and other debts for which Trump is personally responsible,
with most of it reportedly coming due within four years — that is, a
period when Trump had hoped to serve his second presidential term. [snip]
$130,000: The amount Trump paid an adult-film actress with whom he had an affair; this bought her silence ahead of the 2016 election.
Those numbers belong in the Trump Presidential Library.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., writes about the craven Republicans unwilling to defend democracy:
Almost three weeks later. Trump retreats ever deeper into his
delusions about election fraud — the resemblance to Hitler in his
bunker, ordering non-existent armies into action, cannot be denied — yet
it is still news whenever some lonely Republican musters the guts to
refer to the president-elect as the president-elect. Even more so when
some still-serving party member rebukes Trump.
New York Rep.
Peter King said it was inexcusable, in the summer of 2014, for President
Obama to wear a tan suit. Yet about Trump’s subversion of democracy, he
has said nothing. Monday, on Twitter and CNN, respected reporter Carl
Bernstein named 21 GOP senators — including McSally, Grassley, Cornyn,
Collins, Rubio and Rick Scott — who in private, he says, “have
repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump and his fitness to be
Yet almost none has been willing to say so publicly. Why?
Well, they’re scared Trump might tweet at them. That could even cost
them an election. But if fear of losing your job keeps you from
defending your country, you don’t deserve the job. Frankly, you don’t
even deserve the country.
Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article247403315.html#storylink=cpy
Here's the insanity they're complicit in. "20 Days of Fantasy and Failure: Inside Trump's Quest to Overturn the Election" is, as they say, the first draft of the history of this inflection point:
The facts were indisputable: President Trump had lost.
Trump refused to see it that way. Sequestered in the White House and
brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at
times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the
telling of one close adviser, like “Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won.
I won. I won.’ ”
cleareyed Trump’s aides may have been about his loss to President-elect
Joe Biden, many of them nonetheless indulged their boss and encouraged
him to keep fighting with legal appeals. They were “happy to scratch his
itch,” this adviser said. “If he thinks he won, it’s like, ‘Shh . . .
we won’t tell him.’ ”
ICYMI, here's a small part of the "60 Minutes" interview last night with lifelong Republican Chris Krebs, former head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the DHS (you can view the full interview here):
Infidel 753 has an interesting, and hopeful, essay about deprogramming the Red Hat Cult, and the significant role that mass pop culture, among other forces, could play. Here's a brief excerpt:
It's a slow process. It has to be subtle, because people react to being
preached at by putting their guard up. Any hint of explicit politics
or argumentation would kill the effect. It works because pop culture is
light, fun, colorful, entertaining, and non-political. And its reach
is nearly universal. Fundies and Trumpanzees actively avoid MSNBC, CNN,
liberal blogs, or anything else that explicitly reminds them of the
reality outside the bubble -- but except for those few who are in
literal cults, nearly everyone consumes some kind of pop culture. The
global reach and popularity of American (and Japanese) mass culture has
even helped foment such changes in attitudes in regions like the Middle
East, Latin America, and parts of East Asia. [snip]
I believe the people who create and shape mass culture know exactly what they're doing
and have a fairly consistent agenda, even if there is no overall
leadership or coordination. It's not a conspiracy; shared values and
aesthetics make a conspiracy unnecessary. Dismantling the wingnut
alternate-reality bubble hasn't been a priority, but now that the Trump
episode has made clear the magnitude of the danger lurking in the
hinterlands, I expect that we'll start to see the same kinds of
influences and imagery that have been eroding homophobia and
fundamentalism brought to bear against the various delusions and
attitudes which comprise that threat. It won't be fast. It won't be
obvious. It will hardly be noticeable. But over time -- not with all
of them, but with many -- it will work.
While you're there, check out his link round-up for great leads to interesting posts from around the Internet.