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Rosenblum writes: "Reality is plain: we are in danger of re-electing a seriously sick man, who is capable of anything."

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer during a rally MBS International Airport in Freeland, Michigan. (photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty)
Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer during a rally MBS International Airport in Freeland, Michigan. (photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty)

With Just Days Left, an Unabashed Rant

By Mort Rosenblum, Reader Supported News

28 October 20


RACLE, Arizona — I’m mostly here for the dateline, but clear mountain air in this old mining town also inspires oracular reflection on impending doom. Screw my attempts to keep recent Mort Reports from excessive raving. This is a flat-out rant.

It was touched off by a clip of Mitch McConnell debating Amy McGrath in Kentucky. She evoked a nation in misery from a pandemic Donald Trump allowed to run wild. He just chuckled, laughing off an insignificant female who dared to call him out.

A totally sane and yet indescribably evil organ grinder has allowed his sociopathic King Kong primate to tear apart a democracy that successive presidents have held together for 244 years.

Roughly equal camps of Americans throng to the polls in record numbers. But another 20 percent remain in doubt, either clueless of what is at stake, confused by specious arguments, or simply not caring enough to cast a ballot.

There are a hundred reasons to vote out self-serving Republicans, all of them at every level, and hose down piles of toxic elephant droppings stinking up America. But three issues loom largest: Covid-19, the courts and climate.

We have only a week left to persuade the undecided to put aside partisan fiction and consider what Republican rule has done so far — and what it means to our future.

An international survey in October 2019 found the United States was the world’s best-prepared country to confront “high-consequence and globally catastrophic biological events.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health were the gold standard.

Today, Covid-19 is spiking in nearly every state. America’s death toll may reach half a million by the year’s end, with a quarter of the world’s cases. The reason can be reduced to a single word: not China, but Trump.

At his unhinged rallies, he shouts: “If a plane crash kills 500 people, no one talks about it. But now it’s Covid, Covid, Covid ...” He repeats the word a dozen times, mocking the scourge he let loose on America that he pretends is now over.

America talked a lot about its worst plane crash ever, 35 years ago in Chicago, which took 271 lives. That prompted stringent safety measures. The virus has already killed 1,000 times more people, and he is doing essentially nothing to stop it.

For verifiable truth, look at Britain’s prestigious medical journal, Lancet. China reported the new coronavirus on December 1 to the World Health Organization, which kept close watch. On January 30, WHO warned of a health emergency. On March 12, it declared a global pandemic.

Taiwan did the best. Its first case was on discovered on January 21, a woman just back from teaching in Wuhan. Authorities traced and tested those she exposed. In April, it eliminated Covid-19 after 548 cases and seven deaths, with no lockdowns.

America’s first victim, a day earlier, was a man in Washington state who had also been in Wuhan. Trump took no notice. When the virus infected a cruise ship off California, he tried to keep U.S. citizens from returning home for care. That alone defines him.

Every action he has taken since swearing to protect all Americans is focused solely on his own gratification and perceived glory. And McConnell allows him free rein as he achieves his life’s work of creating kangaroo courts to entrench a greed-based oligarchy.

Objective journalists, bound by tradition and good sense to report evenhandedly, too often go unheard in today’s tower of babble. But the old pillars of our vital Fourth Estate still stand, and they call out bullshit in no uncertain terms.

The Washington Post offered a short list of Trump’s actionable crimes:

  • Obstruction of justice. The Mueller Report alone links him to 10 instances of what prosecutors define as impeding an investigation for corrupt purposes; in at least four, it provides sufficient evidence for trial. Perjury and false statements fall into this category.

  • Bribery. Jurists say the Ukraine extortion is open and shut even though McConnell stonewalled the impeachment trial. Use of Trump properties to profit from people doing business with the government is also liable to bribery charges.

  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States. Sabotaging a federal agency, such as the Post Office, is a felony committed by those who give the order and those who carry it out.

  • Campaign finance violations. Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to spare his boss’s campaign bad publicity. “It appears that the Justice Department has already reached the conclusion there is sufficient evidence to charge Trump,” the Post said.

  • The Hatch Act. This one could fill a small book.

  • Pre-presidency crimes. A longer book.

Trump fends off serial charges of sexual abuse that would stand up in court. E. Jean Carroll, a comedian prepared to testify that he raped her in a department store dressing room, is hot on his heels. She, like Monica Lewinsky, has the semen-stained dress.

How can Americans accept this amoral self-described pussy grabber, tax dodger, serial fabulist, race-baiting bigot, who condones police murder and cheats at everything from a presidential election to golf as his personification to the world?

How can we let him dismiss our best scientists as idiots and cite incompetent quacks as he kills us off in droves, crippling our society and our economy, so that the one percent of Americans who own most stocks can get richer in a kited market?

Look around at what is left of our Bill of Rights. The other day, U.S. marshals hunted down a wanted protester – his alleged crime is unclear – and gunned him down like a dog. Just one example among so many.

FBI agents who still take their jobs seriously stopped a plot by Trump cultists to behead the governor of Michigan. Her offense was closing bars and such to keep people safe. The president, unmoved, makes her the villain.

At Trump’s super-spreader rallies, TV crews hire security guards to protect them from armed goons. Not long ago, a guard shot someone who threatened the cameraman. Reporters are supposed to cover news, not be forced into battle with those who make it.

Trump blames Democrats for the violence he foments. Under Biden, he says, streets would run with blood in a Soviet-style dystopia bound for collapse. Americans would be taxed into poverty. In fact, Biden would raise taxes only on annual incomes above $400,000.

I mean, what the fuck??!! This is insanity.

New Yorkers essentially ran Trump out of town; now he slimes the city he once exploited as a godless Gomorrah. He settled in tax-lax Florida, where the governor and top aides kiss his ring at Mar-a-Lago and play the old state game of election tampering.

Remember America of 2000, hardly without problems, but livable and lovable. Al Gore beat George W. Bush for Florida’s electoral votes. After a circus of “hanging chads” and recounts, the conservative Supreme Court sided with Bush. Gore, a man of honor, conceded.

Osama bin Laden was already plotting; who knows if there would have been a 9/11? But Gore would not have diverted into Iraq on bogus grounds because of neo-con fantasies and a lust for Middle East oil. He would have started to combat climate chaos.

Trump is a tool, likely to be chucked aside to await bad news from prosecutors in New York’s Southern District. But the Frankenstein monsters he created won’t go away. Neither, odds are, will McConnell. And fundamentalists like Tom Cotton are on deck.

An NBC reporter, sampling Florida voters, found a young blond near the beach. Stumped at questions, she just laughed and said, “Go Trump.” That recalled the spring-break kid whose response to the Covid threat went viral: Who cares, man? I’m partying.

But an older blond made my skin crawl. She’d watched the debate; Trump was terrific on all levels. Yes, she said, he outlined his platform. Asked about healthcare, she replied, “He’ll protect us!” Pressed for details, she abruptly walked away.

Later, speaking in Miami, Barack Obama set the record straight. He created more jobs in his last year than Trump did in his entire term, ending up with the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover.

“He wants full credit for the economy he inherited,” Obama said, “and zero blame for the pandemic he ignored.”

Republicans have no platform for the first time in memory. The “grand old party” said it would do whatever Trump and McConnell decide is in the oligarchy’s best interests, heedless of the devastating cost to the people they are sworn to serve.

The party just put out a stupefying tweet that sent me to Snopes. It’s real. Their top three next-term priorities, in order: a permanent moon base, a manned Mars trip, and “the world’s greatest infrastructure system.” No Covid, no climate, no healthcare.

This is killing us. Actual experts say Trump’s vaunted travel ban from China worsened the pandemic. Returning Americans and others waited for hours on end in jammed airports for useless temperature checks. We neither tested nor traced.

Covid-19 came to America mostly via New York from Europe, not China, but Trump forced Andrew Cuomo to jump through hoops, begging for resources. And now that Cuomo has brought the pandemic to manageable levels, Trump takes credit.

Here is a clear result of Trump’s self-proclaimed perfect response: After 10 months, America just recorded 84,000 cases in a single day, and it’s getting worse fast. There is no imminent vaccine for anyone, let alone everyone.

After the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March, the Senate has stalled on any new accord to use our treasury to alleviate national suffering. The House approved nearly $3 trillion in May, and Nancy Pelosi now proposes less than that needless $1.8 trillion tax cut. But no.

I never thought I’d appreciate the Mooch. On Bill Maher’s Real Time, Anthony Scaramucci said Washington is hardly an emptying swamp: “It’s a gold-plated hot tub with no drain.” And as for that metaphor, we need to protect wetlands, not drain them.

Former North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp stunned Maher to silence with one telling detail. CARES Act money in her state meant to help suffering families survive the pandemic was used to enable continued fracking.

Ex-lobbyists who run the Interior Department and the EPA have scrapped a century of safeguards. Water and air are poisoned. Millions of acres of natural splendor, our kids’ heritage, are now open to miners, drillers, ranchers and corporate land developers.

Some voters get emails that terrify the fearful: vote Trump or else; we know where you live. The new director of national intelligence, an unqualified Republican hack, held a dramatic short briefing with no questions to blame Iran. Think this through. Why Iran?

The Department of Homeland Security was set up to thwart foreign threats, which have now increased because of Trump’s senseless policies. Instead, it deploys stormtroopers without insignia or name tags who beat up peaceful protesters and reporters.

The Tucson daily paper splashed news that Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, part of the Middle East “peace plan” for which Trump demanded a Nobel Prize. That token transaction only cranked up the heat in terrorist-ridden Africa.

Arizona shows how far we have fallen. Barry Goldwater was so often labeled a paranoid schizophrenic, who shared pathologies with Hitler, Stalin and Mao, that the American Psychiatric Association declared the “Goldwater Rule.” Doctors can’t diagnose anyone they haven’t personally examined.

That made sense. Goldwater, mentally sound, simply expressed extreme views that are moderate by today’s standards. He compromised when necessary. But in March 2017, the APA expanded that. Members could not opine, whatever the evidence, even if a public figure threatens national security.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Mary Trump says that is “absurd on its face and has potentially serious consequences for the safety of the American people.” As a clinical psychologist who has observed her uncle all of her life, she ought to know.

She noted Courtney Fingar’s piece in the New Statesman. People watch Trump’s behavior “without translation or explanation by actual experts,” he wrote. “In the end, what was written as a rule to curb speculation has, in fact, allowed it to run rampant.”

Reality is plain: we are in danger of re-electing a seriously sick man, who is capable of anything.

The real damage is greater than any list of depredations at home and abroad. Bill Maher made the point. There is no reason to hate political opponents, he said, but our vote has a value. “If you steal that from me,” he said, “I hate you.”

Even more, Trump’s willful dismissal of Covid-19 is stealing our lives. McConnell, who blocked Congress from impeaching him, had refused to consider any new relief as businesses across America wither. That might make Democrats look good.

Now McConnell says he will approve a substantial package after the election. That is extortion. If Biden wins with a Congressional majority, Americans will see not only those stalled trillions but also a science-based assault on the pandemic. A year late.

And so here is the overriding question to which we’ll soon have an answer. After electing Trump once, are we (the people) really so fucking stupid that we’ll do it again?

Mort Rosenblum has reported from seven continents as Associated Press special correspondent, edited the International Herald Tribune in Paris, and written 14 books on subjects ranging from global geopolitics to chocolate. He now runs

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