Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Blood Sporting

Tom Freeman’s painting of the August 24, 1814 burning of the White House by British troops during the War of 1812. (White House Historical Association)

In the fall of 1989, the world watched the Soviet Union begin to crumble, as its various satellites in Eastern Europe started breaking free from the decades-long grip of the terrorist state.  The seminal moment came in November when the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the democratic west joined with the communist east to form the New Germany.  That edifice had been both literal and ideological; a true line between freedom and tyranny.

A month later came another equally stunning and even more sanguineous event; one that gained plenty of international attention, but seems to have faded into history.  Shortly before Christmas gangs of angry Romanians stormed the central palace and captured President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena.  The duo was subjected to a trial and sentenced to death; afterwards they were garroted.  Their demise was similar to that of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, as World War II came to an end.  Bands of anti-fascist citizens captured them after ambushing their convoy and rushed them through a trial, before stringing them up like wild animals.

I imagine the mobs who invaded the U.S. Capitol building this past Wednesday felt equally aggrieved and outraged by what they perceived to be an unfair presidential election.  Spurred on by the vitriolic rhetoric of their dear leader, Donald Trump, they amassed in Washington from all over the country and launched their angry assault.  In behavior similar to that of developing countries, these renegades overwhelmed Capitol Hill police and managed to enter the arena where lawmakers had convened just moments earlier.

That January 6 was a critical day.  That’s when elected officials gathered to certify that Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidency two months ago and would be sworn into office as the nation’s 46th president on January 20.  The gangs of right-wing ideologues who disrupted that stately process demanded otherwise.

This is the first time since 1814 that the U.S. Capitol had been invaded.  And that was in the midst of the War of 1812; during the early days of the American republic.  Great Britain was still trying to regain control of its former colony and succeeded in burning down the capitol.  That was over 200 years ago.  Last Wednesday came during a war of ideology and political differences.

I have never seen anything like it in my life.  Indeed, it is something more emblematic of nations around the world struggling through the growing pains of a new democracy or any new regime change.  It’s similar to what happened in Cuba on New Year’s Day 1959, when Fidel Castro led a ragtag band of rebels into the presidential palace in Havana to overthrow the brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista.  Like Ceausescu and Mussolini, Batista had held onto power for many years through bloodshed and terrorism.  He suppressed free speech and sought to annihilate anyone who dared to disagree with him.  Unlike Ceausescu and Mussolini, however, Batista was able to leave Cuba and live out his life in peaceful exile – and wealth – in Spain.

The people who stormed into the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday aren’t freedom-loving patriots.  They’re domestic terrorists; redneck hooligans supported and agitated by a psychopathic narcissist who didn’t fairly win the U.S. presidency in 2016.  They weren’t the least bit upset over the blatantly fraudulent elections of that year and 2000.

For decades conservatives have lobbed conspiracy theories about mobs of left-wing anarchists swarming into American homes to seize firearms and bibles and force everyone to love Muslims and queer people.  That has never happened.  It didn’t happen after the raucous turmoil of the 2000 presidential elections and it didn’t happen four years ago.  As upset as liberals were then, groups of enraged tree-loving abortionists and pot-smokers didn’t invade Washington and trash lawmakers’ offices.  The biggest threat came from within the bastions of conservatism.

I hope devout Trumpists are happy with themselves.

One Capitol Hill police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, has now succumbed to his injuries.  Four protesters also died; one of them shot to death.  I’m saddened by Sicknick’s death, but I don’t give a damn about the others.  Like people who drink alcohol heavily their entire lives and develop cirrhosis, they brought this upon themselves.  The Capitol Hill police chief has resigned, and – as of this writing – nearly 20 people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem.  Insurrection is a federal offense, and treason is technically punishable by death.  The legal machinations over this debacle will play out for years.

And Donald Trump will go down in history as a president who fomented a riot and placated the rioters.

The nation will move forward, as time does – whether anyone on the far left or far right like it or not.  The spirit of a truly democratic society can’t be quashed.  It never has and it never will.

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Most Conciliatory Quote of the Week – December 19, 2020

“Many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20.  The Electoral College has spoken.  So today, I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, in a speech on the Senate floor

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Worst Quotes of the Week – December 19, 2020

“A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child.”

Joseph Epstein, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece urging Dr. Jill Biden to drop her title because she is not a medical doctor

Epstein began the piece by addressing Biden as, “Madame First Lady – Mrs. Biden – Jill – kiddo,” before concluding, “Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.”

“Now, I do know that there are smart, informed people who are saying that Joe Biden is the president-elect.  Now, I disagree with them, and it’s not just a hunch that I’m going on, it’s the Constitution.”

Greg Kelly, host of “Greg Kelly Reports” on Newsmax

In a statement to The Hill on Tuesday, Newsmax said: “As a result of the Electoral College vote Joe Biden is the president-elect and will be referred to as such on Newsmax.”

“We’re going to continue to press for these critical investigations and I’m happy to see, you know, that Michigan, and Georgia, and other states, and Arizona are starting to make some moves in their state legislatures.  We would encourage them.  You know, this is not a partisan issue.  This is something that every American should be concerned with, so we’re going to continue to fight that battle.  We’re gonna fight regardless of what happens come January 6, and I hope that we do rectify the correct results of this election.”

Jenna Ellis, lawyer for Donald Trump, on Newsmax

The Electoral College voted on December 14, with Democrat Joe Biden receiving 306 votes to Trump’s 232. Both chambers of Congress will meet on January 6, 2021 to count the Electoral College votes.

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 19, 2020

“Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.”

Dr. Jill Biden, in response to an editorial by Joseph Epstein

Biden earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame.”

– President-Elect Joe Biden, on the Electoral College decision

The Electoral College had cast 306 votes for Biden and 232 for Trump, cementing Biden’s win.  The votes will now be sent to Congress to be counted formally next month.

“He has lost and he has to let it go.”

Geraldo Rivera, on Donald Trump’s ongoing election fraud claims

“When evangelicals can speak on behalf of unborn babies, can speak on behalf of law and order when it comes to White people and White property, but are silent when it comes to banners that proclaim ‘Black lives matter,’ the moral silence is stupefying.  We’ve gone from having to say ‘Black lives matter’ to now having to say ‘Black churches matter.’”

Cornell William Brooks, former president of the NAACP and a member of Metropolitan A.M.E. and professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School graduate program, regarding vandalism at 4 Washington churches following Donald Trump rallies

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Tweets of the Week – December 12, 2020

My home state of Texas has become a central figure in Donald Trump’s ongoing and losing battle to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.  Once again, Texas has made a fool of itself, courtesy of Attorney General Ken Paxton who – by the way – has plenty of his own legal troubles.

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Most Threatening Quote of the Week – December 12, 2020

“She’s decided to completely ignore all of the credible, credible, fraudulent evidence that has been continually pointed out.  We’re out here in front of the secretary of state’s house and we want her to know we will continue to be here.”

Genevieve Peters, a Trump supporter, condemning Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for confirming Joe Biden’s election win

Carrying American flags and guns, about two dozen protesters, including Peters, marched up to Benson’s Detroit home at night, while chanting “Stop the Steal”.  They accused Benson, a Democrat and Michigan’s chief election officer, of ignoring widespread voter fraud.  Peters, a corporate trainer who lives in California, live-streamed the protest on Facebook.

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Most Dramatic Quote of the Week – December 12, 2020

“Literally the survival of our nation and our rights as Americans and as Christians is on the line with these two races on January 5 in Georgia.”

Ralph Reed, political activist and former head of the Christian Coalition, on the need to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election win

Reed warned that unless “something happened” to reverse the certification of votes in the election, “we’re looking at the possibility and the prospect of a Vice-President Kamala Harris being able to break a tie and turn control of the U.S. Senate over to Chuck Schumer, AOC and the squad, and the far left,” Reed said.  (Reed was referring to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 3 other female members dubbed as “The Squad” (all non-White) who serve in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.)

“The country that we have known for over 230 years will be gone, and there will be no protection for our rights as believers or of the minority rights of the conservatives in the Senate,” Reed added.

Cue the violins.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“This is what they do to Trump.  It’s not going to work with me.  I won’t back down because I am very religious and I know God is watching over me.  This started with COVID.  The Obamas funded that Wuhan lab to make COVID.  Then the impeachment process.  They’ve used every avenue possible to cheat, they used Dominion. Dominion software was created to cheat. I have a binder from Dominion that proves this.  There’s so much more that will be exposed.”

Mellissa Carone, former IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems in Michigan, on SarahPalin.com

Carone worked on Election Night last month in Detroit and claims the amount of fraud at that one vote-counting center alone should be enough to overturn the election in President Trump’s favor.

“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law.  Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences.  This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable.  This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic.  Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

Allen West, Chairman of the Texas Republican Party, responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

To non-Americans, the term “Union” is basically a reference to the 19th century U.S. Civil War, which long-time conservatives still describe as a states’ rights issue, when in reality, it was about the right of southern states to keep human beings enslaved.

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process; they’re only hurting it.”

Geoff Duncan, Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, responding to Donald Trump’s relentless claims the elections were “stolen”

Two runoff elections for senator in Georgia on January 5 will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

“I personally think my company should pay me workers compensation for brain damage for having to read that lawsuit and related filings.  It really is one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years. These attorneys general are willing to beclown themselves and their states all to get in good with the losing presidential candidate.   The suit is absurd on its face.  These states seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states when those states are not actually electing the president, but allowing their voters to choose members of the Electoral College.  Were this to succeed, which it will not, the states will start suing each other at every election as a bit of theater.”­

Erick Erickson, far-right social conservative and evangelical Christian fundamentalist radio host, in an essay on his blog

Erickson endorsed Trump’s reelection campaign, but criticized a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, denouncing it as “one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years.”

“We believe our Jewish community needs to be able to join and partner in solidarity with communities of color like Arab Americans, Black Americans, Indigenous people who are facing systemic injustice and be able to listen to their narratives just as we expect other communities to listen to our narrative as Jews.”

Ellen Brotsky, a volunteer leader for Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to combating all forms of ethnic and racial bias

JVP and their supporters are concerned recent changes to school curriculums about ethnic inclusivity in the state of California are overlooking people of Middle Eastern extraction.

“The allegations in the lawsuit are false and irresponsible.  Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen.”

Jordan Fuchs, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, responding to a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden

In the suit, Paxton claims pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.

“I feel so privileged to be the first.”

Margaret Keenan, age 90, upon becoming the first person in Great Britain to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot outside of clinical trials

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 5, 2020

“Just 100 days to mask, not forever – 100 days.  And I think we’ll see a significant reduction.”

President Elect Joe Biden, urging Americans to wear masks to help stop spread of COVID-19

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

– U.S. Attorney General William Barr, confirming that various complaints by the Trump Administration of voter fraud in the recent elections are unfounded.

“Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some.”

Gabriel Sterling, the Voting Systems Manager for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, during a press conference Tuesday afternoon after weeks of harassment, threats, and division

Sterling called out President Trump and Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for not condemning ongoing threats made against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his wife, and numerous elections officials and contractors.

Sterling said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” occurred when a 20-something contractor discovered a noose in front of his home with his name on it after an online video claiming to show him “manipulate data.”

“He just took a job,” Sterling said, adding he chose to have a high-profile job, but the young man who was threatened was just doing his job.  “People started accusing him of treason.”

“I am not going to be intimidated by these threats from telling the truth to the American people.”

Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in an essay for the Washington Post

Donald Trump had terminated Krebs via Twitter on November 17 after CISA rebuked the President’s claims of rampant voter fraud in the November 3 elections.  Trump campaign lawyer Joe di Genova had suggested Krebs should be shot.

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