Thursday, December 31, 2020

Reflections on the New Year

December 31, 2020

I think there is nearly universal agreement, here in the US and everywhere, that 2020 was — on the whole — a very challenging year.

As we sit perched on the threshold of a new year, I am hopeful that 2021 will be better. Much better. It could scarcely be worse.

Exactly how things go from here… well, we just can’t say. If I may be allowed to prognosticate just a bit, I’m thinking that the first half of this nascent year will be rough. Very rough, in all likelihood. And then, it will get better.

How’s that for a prophetic look into our shared future?

Well, Nostradamus I am not. But I am a hopeful human, a hopeful citizen and I stand ready to do what I can to pull in the same direction as my fellows who want to help. To help to get us pointed in a positive direction and to begin to make some progress.

I am hopeful — cautiously hopeful — that we’ll be in a better place 12 months from now as we compose our thoughts about what kind of year 2021 will have been.

And I’m content with being able to say that tonight.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Electoral College makes it official

 Joe's Biden's victory in the Electoral College became official yesterday evening a few minutes after 7 o'clock. Hawaii's votes were the last to be recorded. That pushed the total to 306 votes for the Biden/Harris ticket to 232 for Trump/Pence.

There will be a joint session of Congress on Jan 6th where the results will be counted. There is a strong possibility that the results in some battleground states will be challenged by butt hurt Republicans but because the results in 49 of 50 states were certified by the Safe Harbor Day, it will not be possible to overturn the final results.

There is a considerable number of Republican members in both chambers who have made public statements accepting the Biden win. In addition, there are at least four Senators who are on the record as plainly saying that they would not go along with any stupid and seditious scheme to flip the election in trump's favor, so getting a majority in either house to flip the results in even one state is not possible.

The odds that any ill-fated legal stratagem to get a second term for Mango Mussolini could ever have succeeded were very, very slim; the odds that one could succeed on Jan 6th are exactly zero.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated on the 6th of January. That's 35 days from today. 

Undoing the damage done to our Nation by four years of trump's venality, incompetence and hateful behavior will be a long and arduous process. And it begins, officially, on January 6th.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Post-election madness, who's to blame?

Reich Wing whiners are out in force, still saying that Dear Leader and his supporters are the virtuous Patriots, upholding our Constitution and struggling mightily to safeguard our Republic, yada, yada, yada...

The way the Trumpkins explain it, those lying, cheating, conniving Dems are the real culprits in the story of the 2020 Election and there's no justification for trying to blame those virtuous and patriotic trump supporters for any issues, any bad stuff happening in the aftermath of the Presidential race.

The truth is that trump supporters -- both elected officials who should know better, and ordinary citizens who are true believers -- have put extraordinary time and energy into their futile and seditious campaign to overturn the results of the Nov 3rd Election. All of this even though the Electoral College met today and trump's fate was decisively sealed after California's votes were tallied. 

The evidence of their treachery is crystal-clear.  Yet they deny that their deliberate, well-planed actions have been harmful to the United States in any way.

They call the evidence we cite "fake news" and maintain they've done nothing wrong. Well, they've got some explaining to do. Let's go down a partial, very incomplete list of some of the sins committed by the President's supporters:

The threats of violence directed at elected officials would a good place to start. The Secretary of State in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, is a life-long Republican and supports trump 100%. And yet, trump turned on him and said things that have prompted his supporters to repeatedly make death threats to Mr. Raffensperger and other election officials and workers. Raffensperger and several others have had to get Security details to keep them from being harmed.

Trump's attacks on Michigan's elections led to the same thing happening to Michigan's Gov and Sec of State. The fact that they're Democrats made it no surprise but he's giving the same treatment to supporters of his if they won't enable his corrupt and democracy-killing schemes!

So I ask you, what legit reason is there for trump to do that to his own ardent supporters? To Republican officials who merely refuse to back up his baseless and never-ending claims of election fraud.

Can it be denied or explained away that trump and his lackey Louis DeJoy, sabotaged the USPS for five solid months in hopes of keeping Democrats' ballots from getting in in time to be counted? They didn't even try to hide what they were doing.

Can it be denied that trump and Moscow Mitch moved heaven and earth to get Amy Coney Barrett approved so that she could rule in trump's favor when their pitiful court cases and appeals came before the Supreme Court to be adjudicated? Their campaign to game the election and steal it if they did, in fact, lose was in place way before Nov 4th. It had been planned many months in advance.

But, as we all now know, his hand-picked, nakedly partisan Justices refused to sing his tune; they didn't, they did the right thing. They upheld Justice and quashed his ridiculous gambit. And three of them were put on the Court by trump!

Why did the Republican Sec of State and State Supervisors of Elections in Georgia not give him what he wanted? They were trump supporters and said so in public multiple times! Why didn't they go along?

Because they wouldn't corrupt themselves, that's why. They upheld the laws of their State, rather than help the candidate they liked and supported blow up our democracy just to keep his grip on power.

Why did multiple attorneys working on those absurd cases answer "no, your honor" when judges asked them, point-blank, if they were alleging fraud in the cases they brought? Because they had not been able to find any evidence of fraud, and they knew that lying to a Judge could cost them dearly and blow up their careers.

Lying in a court proceeding is a little more serious than lying to the public in a surreal, hastily-called press conference in a dingy Pennsylvania office park. 

Why did AG William Barr -- who was chosen for the top job in our DOJ by trump himself -- refuse to play along? Why did he look into trump's ridiculous claims of fraud and then publicly say that there was no fraud? Why did he do that when he's spent the last two years kissing trump's ass and doing his dirty work for him?

He refused to go along with trump's corrupt game because he was smart and experienced enough to know that he'd end up disgraced, disbarred, convicted of a crime and locked up.

Why have State, Federal and Appeals court judges in four different states -- many of whom were appointed by trump -- throw out his lame suits more than 50 times?

The bad things done in this election were done by trump and the GOP. The voter suppression, the right-out-in-the-open operation to hamstring our Postal Service, the lawsuit to throw out ballots from our troops overseas because they arrived after election day... it just goes on and on.

The dirty tricks and the futile, false-on-their-face, evidence-free lawsuits are all because trump and the GOP know they can't win free and fair elections. They know that as the number of voters goes up, their chances of winning go down. That's why they planned to do all this crazy shit well before election day and told the press and the whole country exactly what they were doing.

Is all of that fake? Why do life-long Republican trump supporters and the people he personally put in their positions consistently quash his silly and corrupt schemes? Why does that happen?

Yeah, I know what they're saying. They're throwing out that "C Word"! 

It must be one hell of a big conspiracy there, right?

Late breaking development: it has just been revealed in the last 60 minutes that trump's hand-picked Attorney General, William Barr is leaving his post, 36 days before Dear Leader's term is over. 

It's not clear at this time whether he resigned of his own free will or was forced out by the Thug-in-Chief.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, December 12, 2020

We're not going to do it anymore

Yeah, the ship of state has sailed. Joe Biden is going to be the 46th President. The post-election shit show made no difference. None at all.

Don the Con and his band of loyal trumpkins are embarrassing themselves by pretending otherwise.

Trump is not merely trying to "have his day in court". He's waging a conscious and deliberate campaign to overturn a legitimate election. He's admitted that in a tweet.

There are many reasons why he's doing this. One is that he's raising shitloads of money from this, about 1/4 of a billion so far. Only a fraction of that is actually going to the legal maneuvering happening now. He has the discretion to spend this windfall in almost any way he wants as long as he declares any withdrawals as income or applies it to his considerable campaign debt.

Another reason is that he's a hateful, spiteful prick and he wants to make his cult followers believe that Biden's election was not legitimate. All in an attempt to sabotage Biden's administration before he's even inaugurated.

Trump and trumpkins will not be forgiven for waging a deliberate campaign to subvert democracy. It's disgusting, it's unamerican and it puts all of us and the Nation as a whole in peril.

Trump is a demagogue, a con man, a rank opportunist with no principles, a man who doesn't have the slightest inclination to safeguard the interests of the country he's supposed to be leading.

With him -- and his followers as a whole -- it's all about getting and keeping political power.

Add to that the fact that he spends most of his time watching TV and golfing, spending very little time actually doing his job and you've got to wonder how he got elected in the first place. His stunning, thorough incompetence is on full display. He has no idea how to actually do his job and has no interest in learning.

The fact that he wants to act as a dictator and stay in office at any cost is right out there for anyone to see. He's said so in plain English on more than one occasion.

Yet he still has rock-solid support from the vast majority of his followers. We can all plainly see that he feels he should continue as President even though he can't get reelected. Why do his followers still support him?

For him to rule as a dictator and stay in office indefinitely -- like his man-crush, Putin -- is fine with the faithful because he'd be THEIR KIND of dictator? What?

Trump and the rest of his followers want to overturn an election and snuff out our democracy just so someone will be carrying out their divisive, right wing agenda?

So he can "own the libs" and make the majority of the country -- who do not support his hateful, extremist agenda -- bend to his every whim?

Well, it's not going to happen. We resisted this unqualified, uncaring con artist, we beat him in a fair election and we're done coddling him and his followers.

It's over. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President on January 20th and trump will be a private citizen again.

We know that trump and trumpkins will be hateful after the Biden Presidency begins. We're expecting it. We know that trump, Mitch McConnell and the majority of elected officials in the GOP will lie, sling shit endlessly and do everything they possibly can to keep Biden from being able to actually govern.

We know that they've consistently chosen to elevate the needs of the Rethuglican Party and the needs and whims of one man over the needs of the country as a whole.

They can go ahead; the rest of us are expecting it.

It's causing unthinkable and possibly irreparable damage to our Republic. But we know they're not going to stop.

Of course, they could choose to stop believing outlandish conspiracy theories, take in news from sources other than Fox, Newsmax, OAN, QAnon message boards, Breitbart and conspiracy peddlers like Alex Jones, get their heads on straight and actually try to do things that make our Country better.

They could do something to try to repair -- or at least mitigate -- the damage done to the US by trump's petty, hateful and mendacious actions. And his utter, complete failure to discharge the duties of his office.

But we know they won't do that. They're too busy joining in with Dear Leader in his efforts to keep the wanna-be dictator in power, give the finger to all of our closest allies and hand Comrade Vlad everything on his wish list.

They can go ahead. But they need to know this: we're done coddling trump supporters who're actively trying to harm our Nation.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, December 11, 2020

SCOTUS Thwarts trump's Last Gambit

It's over. The Supreme Court has put the last nail in the coffin of the movement to overturn the results of our election.

To Americans -- including some of my friends -- who wanted to see that ill-fated suit be successful, I say that I hope at some time they'll realize that they've been lied to. 

Lied to by QAnon believers, assorted conspiracy freaks and other extremists who have consistently chosen fruitless and destructive efforts to hold onto political power even though it meant letting go of or actually destroying our democratic institutions.

The Nation as a whole has been manipulated, gaslighted and lied to by people who made deliberate, conscious and on-going choices to elevate their own interests and the interests of their political party over the Nation's interests.

We've been lied to by a party and a cadre of power-hungry Americans who use gerrymandering and voter suppression techniques to nullify the votes and the political aspirations of well over 50% of the citizenry.

They tried -- and tried hard -- to strangle American democracy and impose minority rule. One party rule. And we thwarted that campaign to snuff out democracy's sacred flame.

Our democracy is safe. For now, at least. Trump is turned out of office and will have to face American Justice now that he will no longer have the protective cloak of the presidency to shield him from accountability.

It's over. True patriots who love their country more than they desire political power and domination over their fellow citizens can rest easily at night.

Lead on, Mr. Biden. You'll be scorned, vilified and resisted by a lot of Americans, obsessed as they are with setting aside the will of the majority and thereby propping up a would-be dictator. 

You'll be subjected to a constant stream of lies and threatened with violence on a regular basis by people who want to impose their dark vision of America on the country as a whole.

Nevertheless, you do, in fact, have the majority of the Country behind you.

Lead on, Sir.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile