As the United States prepares for the end of a nightmarish one-term presidency that seemed to drag on forever, Americans continue to unpack the January 6 insurrection that now even soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell admits was “provoked” by President Donald Trump. On January 16, NBC political analyst Mehdi Hasan tweeted, “#whereweretheyradicalized is a question we’re going to be asking of GOP lawmakers at federal and state/local levels for many, many years to come, sadly,” adding that the answer would lie primarily in “a combo of Fox/OANN/Newsmax and Facebook.”
As I like to say, however, the Christian Right has been doing “alternative facts” since before it was cool. It would be remiss of us to approach the “where were they radicalized” question without addressing how the Christian schooling and homeschooling movement, along with many white churches and other evangelical, LDS, and ‘trad’ Catholic institutions, fostered the subcultures that created the demand for hyper-partisan “news” outlets like Fox News.
Recent rules changes lock into place weaker environmental, workplace safety, and labor standards, and escalate the assault on legal immigration.
In the frantic scramble toward November 3, there’s a huge amount of Noise distorting the Signal. There are the flashback-inducing idiotic “lock her up!” chants at Trump rallies, this time aimed at Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—who was recently the target of a kidnapping plot hatched by pro-Trump militia members. And there’s Trump’s chilling response, “Lock ’em all up,” the “all” presumably being everyone in the political arena who doesn’t fall into lockstep with Trump’s worldview. There’s Steve Bannon urging Trump’s “troops to back him up” and protect whatever “victory” an embattled No. 45 may try to declare before all the votes are counted. And there’s Rudy Giuliani, who continues to disseminate whatever propaganda tidbits the Russian intelligence agencies care to send his way.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to filter out all this Noise. For, if anything, the closer we get to the election, the faster the pace of real change in the political arena will be. The Trump administration is doubling down on its assault on America’s regulatory infrastructure. The New York Times recently reported on a crescendo of rules changes that lock into place weaker environmental, workplace safety, and transportation protections; that eviscerate labor standards; and that escalate Trump’s assault on the legal immigration process.
While it’s standard operating procedure for vulnerable incumbents to try to secure their agenda while they still can, this administration has taken that practice to an extreme. It is essentially bypassing the public-comments period required for major alterations to existing regulations and rapidly implementing fundamental regulatory changes without adequately studying their likely impact.
Who doesn’t love BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN? A brilliant performer and writer, Bruce has musically chronicled the “runaway American dream” for nearly five decades. From 1972’s Greetings from Asbury Park to his new releaseLetter to You, Bruce has shown why he is known as “The Boss.” In the genre of American Rock ‘n Roll, he clearly is that.
And “The Boss” really hates “The Donald.” Infact, The Boss wants him fired.
”There’s no art in this White House. There’s no literature, no poetry, no music. There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat. There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation: no Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or the Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. Where’d that country go? Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go? We used to have a president who calmed and soothed a nation, instead of dividing it. We are now rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that have always made America great. We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others— the shared experience of humanity that makes it all worth it. We need to reclaim that country once again.” -Bruce Springsteen (10/30/2020, SiriusXM)
Not only does Bruce endorse Joe Biden, but Biden once somewhat-jokingly endorsed Bruce! “The middle class would have the best chance with Bruce Springsteen as president,” Biden said in a 2016 interview. “He understands issues facing working Americans.”
Wow! That’s probably just how Trump feels about Ted Nugent.
TED NUGENT has none of Springsteen’s compassion, honesty, or artistic talent. As well as performing music, Nugent serves on the Board of Directors of the NRA. “I own many guns,” he says proudly. “I carry many guns. I shoot many guns. I fondle many guns. I caress many guns. I worship many guns.”
Nugent once had some disgusting words for the father of a gun violence victim at one of his rock concerts, calling the grieving dad a “piece of s–t” and a “dumb f–k.”
An unapologetic racist, Nugent once called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
Like Donald Trump, Nugent was a draft dodger. In interviews, he has boasted about “defecating and urinating in his pants” at the draft board office to avoid service to his country. The con-job was a success, though probably a bit messier than faking bone spurs.
One of Nugent’s songs is entitled “Jailbait.” Here’s the lyrics:
“Well, I don’t care if you’re just 13 You look too good to be true I just know that you’re probably clean… Jailbait you look fine, fine, fine… It’s quite alright, I asked your mama Wait a minute, officer Don’t put those handcuffs on me Put them on her, and I’ll share her with you.”
Nugent has played his music at many official Republican events and Trump rallies, and was even invited to the White House. Imagine that.
Oh yes – as well as being a degenerate, his records also really suck.
** WRESTLING **
I must admit, I stopped watching pro wresting since my hero, the legendary George “The Animal” Steele retired in 1990, but I’ve long admired Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock.” He was a WWF champion and wisely moved on from the steroid-rotten WWE to become a very successful TV-Film actor. “The Rock” recently said, “I’ve voted for both parties in the past. In this critical presidential election, I’m endorsing Joe Biden.” I bet George “the Animal” Steele chewed-up a padded turnbuckle in heaven to celebrate “The Rock’s” endorsement. Bravo!
In 2018, WWE chairman VINCE MCMAHON had a net worth reaching nearly $4 billion. Thank the Lord for illegal steroids, eh Vince? Trump is a longtime friend of McMahon, and once famously shaved McMahon’s head in stunt at WrestleMania event. Think anyone every paid a buck to watch Dwight Eisenhower shave somebody else’s head – or even his own? Nah.
In 2016, Trump nominated McMahon’s wife Linda to head his Small Business Admin. Linda has since stepped down from that post to work full-time on Trump’s reelection.
In 1992 WWE referee Rita Chatterton, accused husband Vince McMahon of rape.
Dozens of pro wrestlers have died, many from suicide, due to steroid abuse. Steroids is what made McMahon’s WWE a financial juggernaut.
Vince McMahon is a shameless parasite.
** COVID DOCTORS **
The distinguished Holy Cross graduate DR. ANTHONY FAUCI is the most trusted medical professional in America, and with good reason.
When asked recently who the public can trust during the pandemic, Fauci said Americans “can trust respected medical authorities who have a track record of giving information and policy and recommendations based on scientific evidence and good data.” Seems easy enough, right? Yet that same day as Fauci’s statement on trust, Twitter removed a tweet from Trump’s Covid task force that “sought to undermine the importance of face masks because it was in violation of the platform’s Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy.” Phew!
Meanwhile, Trump’s other favorite Covid doctor, Dr. STELLA GRACE IMMANUEL promoted hydroxychloroquine as a Covid miracle cure. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Ingesting hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous. DO NOT DO THIS)
Dr. Immanuel also alleges space alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. Hell, I don’t need a vaccine to skip church on Sunday, doc!
Dr. Immanuel was recently sued for medical malpractice over the death of one of her patients. “You don’t need masks.” She claimed. “There is a cure.”
Her dead patient no longer needs a mask, that’s for certain.
** CHEERS **
I still love watching reruns of “Cheers” and that show’s star TED DANSON continues to have a cracking career where “everybody knows his name.”(Check out Danson in both “The Good Place” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”) The same cannot be said for former co-star KIRSTIE ALLEY, who made a short tv comeback in 2005’s “Fat Actress.” Alley endorsed President Trump for a second term, because “he’s not a politician.” An avowed Scientologist, Kirstie illustrates just how easy it is to go from one cult to another. On “Cheers”, I always preferred Shelly Long’s Diane” to Alley’s “Rebecca”. Who wouldn’t? Ted Danson of course, is a Biden guy through-and-through.
** RAP **
I know next to nothing about Rap Music, however I respect the fact it holds an important place in American culture. The one rapper I’ve actually heard an entire song from (do we call them ‘songs’?) is EMINEM. He’s probably considered very old hat by now – but he was a VERY big deal in the 1990s. Eminem continuously trolls Trump for his racism, cruelty, stupidity, and especially for the lack of gun control reform. Eminem even says that Trump supporters cannot be his fans. So there!
Eminem’s lyrics are often vulgar and misoginistic, but hell – he’s a rapper, whaddayawant?
A more current rapper is LIL PUMP. He not only endorses Donald Trump, but really gives it to Joe Biden in one of his dumb-and-ugly video messages: “All I gotta say is Trump 2020 (expeletive). (Expletive) I look like paying 33 in taxes for Biden. (Expletive) sleepy Joe.” Not exactly Cole Porter, but message received Lil Pump!
Lil Pump is from Miami. I wonder if he knows Little Marco?
** COMEDY **
Comedy Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus just might be America’s favorite comedienne. The “Veep” and “Seinfeld” star hosted this year’s DNC and destroyed the Trump Crime Family with flawless comedic deliveries: “Just remember: Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he does not even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.” I so love Julia.
Then there’s Trump supporter ROSEANNE BARR. ABC promptly canceled her recent “Roseanne” show-reboot after she attacked former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, a woman of color, by comparing her to an ape. Remember when Roseanne infamously screeched the national anthem before a Padres baseball game? It was “a national disgrace,” said opera star Robert Merrill, who had sung the anthem in New York’s Yankee Stadium for 18 years. “It was to me like burning of the flag.” Some war veterans at the stadium that day were said to be actually crying. When Roseanne finished the anthem, she rose her middle finger to the booing crowd.
Bill Russell was my very first hero and his biography was the first book I ever read. I’m pretty sure he’s the only basketball player to win an NCAA championship, and Olympic Gold Medal, AND an NBA championship (11 of these for gawdsake!). Russell is dignified, always intelligent, very funny and deeply political still at age 86. The great Bill Russell calls Trump essentially “a coward.” He’s endorsing Biden.
Then of course there is BOBBY KNIGHT, former coach for the Indiana Hoosiers. In 2016, Knight said that he believed Trump would become “one of the four great presidents of the United States.” An impeccable judge of talent (note sarcasm), Knight was the coach that actually allowed Larry Bird to transfer out of his Indiana basketball program as a freshman. Knight was also the coach who cut Charles Barkley from the ’84 Olympic squad. Like Trump, Knight is essentially loudmouth jerk and narcissistic bully. He was fired from Indiana University in 2000 for harassing staff and students. I’ve aways hated him. He’s pathetic,
** BASEBALL **
Boy, do Red Sox fans miss PEDRO MARTINEZ these days! Pedro was not only the greatest pitcher in Red Sox history – he was his best during steroid-fueled era! Pitching aside, Pedro was soooo refreshing and hilarious in the clubhouse and front of the camera. Remember when Pedro had his teammates duck tape him head-to-toe in the dugout during a game for the NESN TV cameras? Today’s MLB stars are dreadfully tedious – without question the worst interviews of any of the major sports. Baseball needs more Pedros.
During Trump’s years in office, Pedro has donated and raised millions for victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma in Puerto Rico. “To me, it’s a blessing to be able to give back a little bit. I think it’s rewarding because of the opportunity I got through baseball, I’m able to give back a little bit,” said Martinez. Visiting the island after the catastrophe, Pedro never once thought to throw paper towels at the traumatized people. I wonder why?
“Giving back a little bit” is something blowhard CURT SCHILLING was forced to do to Rhode Island taxpayers after the former Red Sox pitcher defaulted on loans and (like Trump) slithered into bankruptcy court in the infamous 38 Studios scandal.
The whole sleazy financial affair was so very … well, Trump-like! It is no wonder Schilling endorses the current president as Schilling ran 38 Studios much like the president did with his Trump University and Trump Airlines. Grifters unite!
ESPN fired Schilling from his analyst job in 2016, after he shared a hateful post about transgender people on Facebook.
Curt Schilling collects Nazi war memorabilia. Really – just ask the hypocrite blowhard and he will talk about it.
[Get the facts about Curt Schilling and the 38 Studio scandal HERE ]
** RELIGION **
The beautiful and courageous Catholic POPE FRANCIS recently attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny.” His recent writings are seen as a pointed rebuke to Donald Trump in a number of areas, including immigration, systemized racism, and climate change denial. The Pope even criticized Covid response: “I saw the cruelty and inequity of our society exposed more vividly than ever before.”
And how about this one: “A person who thinks only of building walls and not building bridges is not Christian.” Who is he talking about here – Hunter Biden or Hillary?
Now, Francis’ interpretation of Jesus Christ’s message is NOT shared by REV. JERRY FALWELL JR. This fundamentalist Christian chawmouth and loyal Trumpist was recently fired from his billion dollar cashew Liberty University. Seems Falwell was having a sexual affair involving him, his wife and a pool boy. Mainly, Falwell liked to watch (and not the TV, Chauncy Gardner fans).
Falwell is mainly just another wealthy con man. If he ever had to really work for an honest day’s pay – he’d be totally lost and completely broke. Just like DonaldTrump.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., did not pose any questions to Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Using poster board displays, Whitehouse argued that Barrett’s nomination reflects a pattern by conservative special interest groups of using “dark money” to influence who sits on the court. It’s the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. The Oct. 13 hearing comes three weeks before Election Day. The second of four days of scheduled testimony gave senators an opportunity to ask Barrett about her record and approach to the law.
Shooting journalists, he says, is a “beautiful thing,” his fans have “good genes,” refugees are dangerous, and his political opponents should be prosecuted.
There is at times an extraordinary, almost deafening quality to silence; the absence of noise can be dignified and powerful. The jazz great Thelonious Monk once went so far as to claim that “the loudest noise in the world is silence.”
In that silence, that Signal, one often hears the rhythms of introspection; the timbre of careful thought and logic, the teasing out of ideas. Inside that silence, if one is thinking about a person recently deceased, one can ponder the philosophical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual values they embodied.
This is what the Ruth Bader Ginsburg vigils were like around the country: silent, calm, sorrowful affairs over which the jurist’s legacy hung, so omnipresent that it needed no amplification. I attended the one in Sacramento on Saturday night; hundreds of people, holding candles, walked quietly and mournfully around the perimeter of the capitol. There were similar events all over the country.
Imagine, by contrast, what a vigil for Donald Trump will look and sound like when he dies. It’s difficult to imagine that it will be calm or quiet, that it will be a time to ponder the caliber of his ideas or his humanity. Any silence at that moment would be a vacuum-like quiet, an absence of introspection, a void, rather than a seedbed of moral contemplation. Far more likely that his wake would be a rowdy, yahoo-esque affair, an excuse for bile and bigotry to flare up with wretched, final abandon. For there is no dignity in Trump, and no matter how much he craves the love of the crowd, there will be no dignity when pondering his absence.
Donald Trump is setting up a “Patriotic Education Commission” to promote a “pro-American curriculum” in US schools… Or a propagandist “Hitler Youth” programme, as many commentators see it. Elsewhere women protesters in Belarus and an anonymous website targeting Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, are both employing a doxing-style strategy.