Monday, January 25, 2021

Pathocrats Against Covid Cash Relief

 The one factoid that gives me the faintest glimmer of hope that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will do the right thing and not make a filibuster-protecting deal with Mitch McConnell is that the former is up for re-election next year. Fear for his own political hide is the only antidote to his life-long disease of slavish fealty to Wall Street. The wrath of New York voters is the only thing that can or will ultimately nudge Schumer in a direction more favorable to the masses of American people who already were immiserated by 40 years of bipartisan neoliberal austerity before the Covid-9 pandemic delivered the coup de grace.

Chatter about a primary challenge to Schumer, possibly by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. only adds frosting to the hope-cake.

But, but, but...  Enter the useful idiot/bad cop of the ultra-slim new Democratic senate majority, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who won't have to face the voters again until 2024. He, not Schumer,  is actually now the most powerful Democrat in the upper body of  Congress, because he wields the power to stymie the so-called nuclear option that the Dems can use to ram through a new pandemic relief package without one single Republican vote. He, along with McConnell, wants to retain the filibuster to ensure that the Senate doesn't become "just another House of Representatives."

Manchin is especially opposed to sending $1400 in new direct cash aid to Americans. Before his party won those two Georgia seats earlier this month, he opposed ending the filibuster because doing so, he said, "would blow up the Senate."

The maintenance of this arcane institution inhabited mainly by millionaires is more important to Joe Manchin than the care and maintenance of the 330 million citizens of America.

To take the cruel sting off the sadism of Manchin's thinking, other useful idiots of the plutocracy are only too glad to lend their own expertise to Austerity In the Time of Plague. Economist Larry Summers, chief architect of the Clinton-era deregulation of the finance system that led directly to the meltdown of 2008 - but who nonetheless remains a respected "expert" and serves as an informal but powerful adviser to President Joe Biden, preposterously warns that direct cash aid to struggling people would "overheat the economy" in tandem with the tragic possibility of blowing up the Senate. What he really means is that billionaires would start to sweat profusely at the prospect of poor people pocketing the equivalent of a car payment, almost a whole month's rent, or a pile of paid heating oil receipts.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and other centrist pundits parroted the neoliberal talking point that direct cash aid would come at the expense of the unemployed - who are conveniently counted in statistics only when they have lost a job or been laid off fairly recently and/or continue to actively look for work. The non-working or the disqualified working poor, who include retirees on Social Security, the disabled, and underpaid, part-time, gig and otherwise precarious workers, are simply not counted in this manufactured, divide-and-conquer category of the "deserving unemployed." They are deemed disposable elements of society, because they are either unwilling or unable to sufficiently boost the profits of the owning class through their labor.

Joe Manchin is incensed at legislation calling for a new round of $1400 checks, sputtering that not only would such bare-bones cash assistance "blow up the Senate," it would even have Franklin Roosevelt himself spinning in his grave.

“I don’t ever remember F.D.R. recommending sending a damn penny to a human being. He gave ’em a job and gave ’em a paycheck. Can’t we start some infrastructure program to help people, get ’em back on their feet?” he seethed.

Manchin ignores the fact that there was no pandemic during the Great Depression, and that Congress was just recently and physically stormed (if not quite blown up) by a mob, at least some of whom had lost businesses and other income as the direct result of the relief-absent pandemic lockdowns imposed by state and local governments.

Perhaps the most ridiculous argument against the direct cash aid is the accusation that people don't even need the money. They'd only selfishly save it, the narrative goes, instead of "stimulating" the economy with it.  Plus, even though they might need the cash now, they might not need it in another couple of months. So says "moderate" Republican multimillionaire Senator Susan Collins (not up for re-election until 2026) who wants to take a wait and see approach as to whether people will actually follow through on their impolite threats to starve to death.

The thought of desperate people holding on to part of their ill-gotten relief money until the next time that the kid needs a doctor, or an unexpectedly high utility bill arrives in the mail, is sending the reps of the obscenely wealthy into their own epidemic of conniption fits. The way these pundits and politicians moan and groan about it, there are millions of potential recipients out there who already are so flush with cash they won't know what to do with these sudden windfalls. Some of these unsuspecting and unwilling recipients will even be made to feel too guilty about getting money that they neither want nor need!

The way the austerian concern trolls insanely spin it, millions of people finally getting enough to eat for the first time in months will not send another group of people back to work. Therefore, we might as well let them starve if they can't serve capitalism. Never mind that the checks would not even go to people earning six figure incomes.

When it comes to the wealth-hoarding plutocratic class, this projection of their own greed onto hordes of straw-men is all they've got. Their arguments strain credulity, even among the normally credulous.

"I think those checks are an abomination," the conservative American Enterprise Institute's Michael Strain hysterically kvetched to the New York Times.

You may remember Michael Strain as the pathocrat who once was given a platform by the Times's David Brooks to suggest that if people are poor and they have no money and no job, then they should just hop on a bus and move to wherever the nonexistent jobs are. And then employers should be allowed to pay them sub-minimum wages until they can "prove themselves." And if sub-minimum wage isn't enough to live on, the middle class refugees can always take out a loan.

They don't care how ridiculous they sound, because idiocy in high places is such a lucrative, all-American enterprise. Just ask Donald Trump.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Unbearable Rightness of Bipartisan Being

I don't know what was worse about the latest inauguration: the shameless display of plutocratic preening among the honored attendees, or the corporate media's fawning coverage of same. I hesitated even to open the New York Times this morning for fear of all the sugary projectile vomitus hitting me in the eye.

The church-attending, the candle-lighting, the cemetery-visiting, the coy mask-slipping and the glad-handing among the wealthy and powerful leaders of our country looked, from my vantage point out here in the sticks anyway, like nothing less than one of those notorious Covid super-spreader events for which the Trumpies were so soundly and rightly castigated when they were in power. Michelle Obama was hugging everybody in sight, while Barack went right for his cohort's ears in order to whisper whatever sweet nothings these people whisper to one another when they reunite. And why not? They all probably completed their own vaccine regimens weeks ago.

I wasn't actually paying very close attention to the spectacle and Joe Biden's speech because I was on the phone with my son, who'd just tested positive for Covid-19 on the very same day that he got his first vaccination. He had finally been designated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a deserving front-line worker/first responder. It's a relief that, for now anyway, he seems to have a mild case. And that's doubly good because although he contracted the virus in the line of duty, he has been allotted only seven days to quarantine and recover, and to use his own sick time to do so. 

So if I'm not offering my traditional analysis of the latest president's latest overpraised maudlin speech, it's because it's the least of my worries right now. I suspect it is also the least of the worries of 330 million of my fellow citizens, one in three of whom have been directly affected by the pandemic.

When I finally clicked on the New York Times this morning, it did indeed resemble a big puddle of sugary vomit floating in a giant gold-plated toilet bowl. All the celebrities were there in an interactive map, and so was their designer fashion. Michelle Obama wore a silk face mask, color-coordinated with her royal magenta coat and high boots. Bernie Sanders was decked out in such adorable mittens to go with his signature scowl and cheap face mask. It took two whole Times reporters to broadcast this particular bit of earth-shattering news to the truth-starved readership.

Democratic boss James Clyburn, meanwhile, went full Jesus Christ and bragged that unaccountable war criminal George W. Bush, flouting social distancing in this grand new era of bipartisan being, approached him right on the inaugural dais  and praised him for destroying the Sanders candidacy and for pushing the faltering Joe Biden down the throat of America.

“George Bush said to me today, he said, ‘You know, you’re the savior, because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today,” Mr. Clyburn told reporters on a call after the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday. Mr. Clyburn’s endorsement of Mr. Biden in the Democratic primary in South Carolina in February was credited with rescuing a campaign that had faltered badly in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“He said to me that Joe Biden was the only one who could have defeated the incumbent president,” said Mr. Clyburn, who chatted with Mr. Bush on the inaugural platform before the ceremony and took a selfie with the former president.

All the plutocrats, who so humbly and bipartisanly took their rightful mighty place on the Capitol facade of their own warped brand of democracy, sure showed those terroristic rioting deplorables who so brazenly defaced the sanctity of the institution last week, didn't they? The usurpers were suitably vanquished as a "palpable sense of normalcy and relief" enveloped Washington, itself encased by miles upon miles of razor wire and occupied by 25,000 National Guard troops.

 As Lady Gaga trilled, our flag was still there. 

Welcome back to "Trump: the Prequel."

Friday, January 15, 2021

This Is Exactly Who America Is

 Donald Trump's big mistake is that he did not delegate the authority to smash democratic norms to his lawyers and various underlings so as to achieve plausible deniability. Throughout history, United States presidents have largely escaped widespread public opprobrium both at home and abroad via their studied personal absences from the scenes of actual crimes.

Richard Nixon was done in by the smoking gun of his tapes. Trump was done in by the smoking gun of his big fat mouth and his Twitter feed. When the ultimate sacrilege of the storming of the Capitol by his supporters came down, his various partners - who include both his right-wing pals and the liberal enablers who have profited mightily by substituting their contrived shock and outrage at Trump for providing any meaningful pandemic relief for the masses of people - cannot rid themselves of him fast enough.

His right-wing pals in the oligarchic establishment are cutting off the money spigots, and the neocon wing of the GOP is cutting off their political and emotional support. His Democratic enablers are impeaching him for a second time and fund-raising like mad as they attempt to elicit public sympathy for the physical danger they faced sheltering in place, and for the bodily fear they say they still experience, This fear in high places is already opening the doors for more social repression and more liberal McCarthyism to take up where #Russiagate left off.

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested this week that Congress form a new commission to "rein in" the media in order to combat misinformation, the right erupted in anger. But there has been nary a peep from the establishment "left" about the censorship threat. If liberals and progressives think that our elected officials will stop at squelching the speech of Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and their ilk, they should probably think again.  Outlets (see, for example, this puff-piece in Jacobin) perhaps should also think twice about canonizing AOC the same way they once canonized Barack Obama, who later attained the dubious distinction of running one of the most secretive and repressive administrations in recent history.

Unlike Donald Trump, though, Obama did not make the mistake of tweeting and bragging about his right to target the very same perceived enemies, which include journalists, whistleblowers, immigrants, Muslims, and anti-police brutality protesters. When the nation's Democratic governors enforced a coordinated crackdown on Occupy camps in late fall 2011, Obama was conveniently out of the country on a trade junket. He did not unilaterally decide to assassinate thousands of people with his drones, but rather contrived a  Disposition Matrix with the CIA and enlisted his attorney general to write erudite legal opinions to give him the necessary cover for assassinating people. 

When the now fully rehabilitated George W. Bush gave his O.K. to mass surveillance and torture, he had his own team of lawyers write secret manifestos euphemized as "opinions." Thus do credentialed experts like John Yoo not only escape opprobrium and accountability, they are given regular platforms on cable news and the New York Times  from which to virtuously pontificate on Donald Trump's serial assaults on democracy and the rule of law, but at the same time "consult with" Trump on ways to skirt the law. No matter that declaring an atrocity to be legal doesn't miraculously make it morally right. They wear their historical precedents as shields.

Nevertheless, liberal interventionists and neoconservative warmongers alike are not only proclaiming themselves "woke" to the racism in this country, they are also congratulating themselves for the "courage" to label Trump and his base as fascists. Critics have pointed out, rightly, that American fascism erupted with a real vengeance during Reconstruction and the implementation of Jim Crow - under, of course, all the usual legal niceties and opinions written by the well-credentialed in order to give all kinds of inhumane horrors like lynchings and mob violence that all-important gloss of expert respectability.

Fast forward to 2021, and the newly Woke Elites are talking a lot about the Trump era being our own Weimar Republic. Fascism is suddenly all the fashion, but not the kind that they'd be caught dead wearing themselves, of course.

 They're certainly not talking so much about the American Jim Crow laws against miscegenation being one of the main inspirations for Nazi Germany's own September 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripping Jews of most of their human rights.

The New York Times, even in its own contemporaneous coverage,  glossed right over the passage of those draconian edicts by headlining its article "Reich Adopts Swastika As Official Flag" and framing the Nuremberg Laws around Hitler's reaction to a group of anti-fascist protesters who'd torn down the swastika-emblazoned flag from a German ship docked in New York, and the ensuing diplomatic kerfuffle when a low-level New York City judge named Louis Brodsky dismissed all charges against the culprits. It was not the Nuremberg Laws themselves that the Roosevelt administration initially condemned. It was the fact that an upstart judge exceeded his job description and compared Nazis to pirates. Secretary of State Cordell Hull actually sent Hitler a letter of regret.

  A later New York Times article assured readers that the Nuremberg law forbidding Jews from hiring Aryan household help did not apply to Jewish-Americans doing business in the Reich.

But let's not totally pile on the Paper of Record, which did not yet even exist during the colonial era when the frenzy of corporate land-grabbing and extermination of native human beings proceeded, in tandem with the kidnapping and enslavement of African people, in full fascistic fashion.

Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report aptly calls last week's Capitol riot a "white settler uprising." Fascism has not sprung fully-fledged from the small brain of Donald Trump. Not by a long shot:

White mobs and armed groups have been inflicting violence against the non-white presence in their colonial settler state ever since their ancestors arrived on these shores. The Puritans – a colony-in-arms — had all but completed the mission of racially “purifying” New England within a century of setting foot at Plymouth Rock. Far more Native Americans were killed by massed, armed settler civilians than by uniformed armies of the British Crown or the young U.S. republic. Whites in the slave states of the U.S. South were a people perpetually in arms in “defense” against slave rebellions, with every able-bodied white man obligated to aid in suppressing real or threatened Black revolts. Hundreds of Blacks were massacred in the wake of Nat Turner’s 1831 rebellion. 

Speaking of presidents, let's not forget the dude on the almighty dollar bill, Father of Our Country George Washington.

Before he fought the Brits and won the revolution despite his own ineptitude in battle, Washington was a slave-owning real estate speculator with a sick hunger for more riches no matter what the human cost. He was every inch the precursor of Donald Trump, only with a powdered wig instead of a comb-over. He relied on his base of aggrieved white settlers and failed farmers and small business people fleeing the East coast for native American territory to do his dirty work for him as much as Trump has relied on his. Washington flouted British peace treaties with the Indians as much as Trump flouts the "norms" of our own neoliberal system. 

Extracting from written correspondence of Washington and sundry of his  plutocratic pals, historian Peter Cozzens writes about the pre-Revolutionary class system, circa 1774, in his biography of the great Indian leader Tecumseh: 

The royal governor of Virginia, the Earl of Dunsmore, who himself coveted Indian land for personal profit, had no expectation of peaceful denouement. Frontier subjects, he wrote the Crown, despised treaties made with Indians, "whom they consider but little removed from brute creation." So too did the Virginia aristocracy. With the spring thaw in 1774, surveyors representing George Washington, Patrick Henry and other Tidewater elites staked large claims along the Ohio River. Waving away the royal edict against land grabs as "a temporary expedient to quiet the minds of the Indians," Washington told his personal surveyor not to worry.

With the surveyors came settlers willing to wage their scalps on a scrap of land.

So the original meaning of Patrick Henry's clarion cry, "Give me liberty or give me death" seems to have been "Give me the liberty to plunder and get rich and I'll give you the freedom to sweep up my crumbs and kill and die for me in the process."

Some things never change.

Forget AOC's special commission on reining in disinformation. We need a commission on disseminating the truth and not hiding it, as officials and the aristocracy and ruling elites have striven to do probably since hominids first figured out how to get up and walk with two legs and developed the ability to think with autonomous brains.  We need a well-stocked library in every neighborhood. We need courses in history, philosophy and the liberal arts much more than we need STEM curricula to prepare us for the low-wage precarious jobs of the future.

Our ignorance is their greatest strength. Always has been, always will be. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Some Thoughts On the First Amendment

 The First Amendment only prevents the government from censoring speech. It does not require private companies to provide a platform for all comers to exercise their rights to free speech. Twitter, Facebook and other media firms and publishing outlets are well within their legal rights to kick Donald Trump and other bad actors off their platforms.

The danger occurs when these giant media monoliths partner with the government in order to impose this censorship. A case can, in fact, be made that our corporate ultra-consolidated media and and our corporate-captured and owned government are one and the same entity. At the very least, they are partners in the exact same oligarchic enterprise. Ironically, for all the talk of Trump being a fascist, one of the key elements of fascism is the melding of government and corporations. This true coup against democracy long preceded his election to the highest office in the land. In fact, this coup is what enabled his rise to political power in the first place.

Therefore, the expulsion of Donald Trump and his followers from these private platforms, these unaccountable platforms which have forged unhealthily close ties to the CIA and the Democratic Party, might feasibly lead to the silencing of any voice that the "establishment" or the "ruling class" or the "deep state" or whatever you want to call the permanent structure of money and power, decides that it doesn't like.

Never mind the spectre of "trickle-down" censorship. This censorship is already occurring. Google, for one, has been exposed as using its secret algorithm to suppress search results on the Internet. A secretive group calling itself "Prop Or Not" arose in 2016, publishing a list of some hundred blogs and media outlets purported to be under the control of the Kremlin. There's more than one way to suppress content other than imposing outright censorship. There are smear campaigns and intimidation tactics galore to get undesirable voices to shut up, be cancelled or just ignored.

The failed Trump-enabled putsch at the Capitol last week could be just the newest, niftiest incentive that these powerful people need to clamp down on unpopular or "divisive" rhetoric and protest movements in the name of "national security." They clamped down with a vengeance after 9/11, with the Patriot Act. How ironic that Trump cultists' favorite name for themselves is "patriots" who are trying to "take our freedoms back" from the very architects of the Patriot Act.

We have to stay vigilant, especially as it now appears that there are plenty more dirty hands than Donald Trump's involved in last week's massive breach. Latest reports indicate that forces within the Pentagon itself may have been involved, and that it was Congressional leaders who balked at National Guard troops guarding the capital as a preventive measure because of the "bad optics" such militarization of the halls of "democracy" would broadcast.

Even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moves in a high state of emergency to impeach Trump for a second time for inciting a riot, her lieutenant James Clyburn tamps down expectations for swift justice by calling for a hundred-day delay in sending the lone impeachment article to the Senate for trial. This delay would ostensibly allow President Biden to put the Senate to better use enacting his economic agenda.

We'll soon find out what that agenda will be. Early indications are that conservative Democratic senator Joe Manchin will be the party's designated fall guy, or bad cop, for continuing Democratic inaction on a sweeping pandemic relief package. The bright spot is that more and more of us can detect ass-covering whenever we see it.

The key word is vigilance (as opposed to the top-down orchestrated vigilantism in service to a billionaire we saw last week.) We have to keep covering the ass-covering and speaking out like there is no tomorrow. 

If our elected leaders really do care about the rise of right-wing extremism in the United States, they'll emulate FDR, who stopped American fascism right in its tracks in the 1930s with the New Deal legislation.

Give people money. Give people health care. Give people jobs. With their dignity restored, maybe they won't feel so aggrieved and so prone to fall under the spell of another cult leader charlatan like Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the private media companies arrogating to themselves the power to squelch speech should be broken up and the entire Internet should be made a public utility. That way, the entire public and its court system - not the billionaire tech CEOs - would be the final arbiters of the First Amendment.

Oh, and let's also consider restoring the Fairness Doctrine and legislate broadcasting in the public interest.

Tall orders for sure, but why stop at just one solution to the "friendly fascism" that's been operating in this country for most of our lifetimes?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Bright Side of the Breach

My observation here the other day that Donald Trump had two more weeks in which to wreak havoc turned out to be quite the understatement, huh?

Like many people I watched yesterday's events unfold on TV, in my case the free stream from CBS News, whose commentators made their own elite priorities absolutely clear right from the get-go. And those priorities were disgust at the destruction of "sacred" property and concerns about how "the rest of the world" would react to a mob storming the capitol, as though America were some kind of third world Banana Republic.

"This is not who we are," moaned many a bubble-encased pundit and elected official.

The sight of that Andrew Jackson throwback lounging in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, feet on her desk and scratching his crotch, did, I confess, elicit a little bit of schadenfreude. It would have been better if he posed eating some of her designer ice cream with his fingers. But as our betters always like to admonish us, you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

CBS personality Norah O'Donnell, bless her heart, did her very best to blame the siege on Russia. But to his credit, even former CIA official-turned-#Russiagate pundit Michael Morell wasn't having it. This, he proclaimed, was pure Trumpian homegrown terrorism. 

Not that I'm saying that these homegrown terrorists who are terrorizing both our elected officials and their media lackeys are therefore our friends. But at least somebody is finally striking unaccustomed fear into their self-satisfied cores.

Witness the inaction of the Capitol Police, who in at least one incident, literally seemed to invite the mob right into the Hallowed Halls, opening the gates and even posing for selfies when not being chased up the stairs by the teeming masses. No longer can our congress critters rely upon and trust their armed guards to protect them from... you know, actual people and their constituents. The only actual people that the Capitol Police have traditionally ousted from the building are climate activists, disability rights activists dragged out of their wheelchairs, Code Pink antiwar protesters and other social justice advocates. If the Capitol Police had seen crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters converging on the building, the tear gas canisters and sound blast cannons would have out in full force. It would have been over in five minutes instead of five hours.

Here's my theory. Security officials sympathetic to Trump thought the protesters they allowed into the building would have behaved a little bit better than they did. The storming got just a wee bit out of hand. The original plan might have been to let a dozen or so garishly costumed "patriots" into Senate chambers during the election hearing for a quick pro-Trump photo-op before security quickly moved in and pretended to drag them away.

So now that it's gotten totally out of their elite control, our elected officials face a choice. They can either tamp down social unrest by giving people health care, a guaranteed basic income, eviction relief and a federal jobs program. Or, they can declare all 300-plus million American citizens their sworn enemies and punish them with more austerity, more social media and press censorship, and more prisons. Right now they're flailing and still worried mainly about losing their precious - and very contrived and very tattered - global reputation as the bastion of democracy and human rights.

Even Donald Trump, who once infamously and pretty accurately claimed that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, might not get away with this latest stunt. For there's an unwritten rule among organized criminals of all kinds that you must never s--t where you eat. Trump just pooped all over the very same people who control the government's purse-strings, who bankrolled his military and his border wall while covering their own complicit butts by tsk-tskiing his boorish manners and pretending to punish him over his alleged romance with Putin. It's still up in the air whether they really mean it this time and will remove him from office (even ex post facto) thus denying him his retirement package, his life-long Secret Service protection and all the other perks enjoyed by former presidents.

Speaking of whom, it's a sad day indeed when unindicted war criminal George W. Bush, responsible for millions of deaths of innocents in his illegal war, can actually appear beside his fellow miscreants Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and condemn Trump for instigating domestic violence right in the elites' own back yard.

A page has turned, and we must look forward and not backward - but just not in the way that these presidents and congress critters mean whenever they exculpate themselves from accountability.

The tide has turned. For once, they are afraid of us. The only thing we have to fear is their fear itself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Trump Sees Dead People, Elite Hysteria Ensues

There's something kind of forlorn about Democrats threatening to launch Impeachment 2.0 when the Scoundrel-in-Chief has only a couple of weeks to go before he is: 

A) Dragged kicking and screaming from the White House on Inauguration Day after trashing the Lincoln Bedroom in a fit of evicted pique.

B) Spoiling Joe Biden's Big Day by shockingly adhering to Norms and actually showing up for the inaugural address, and proceeding to shock all that is decent by making his silly scowling eye-rolling faces and performing various hand gestures from his prominent front row seat, in a very successful attempt to steal all the televised media attention for himself.

C) Invisibly skulking off to Mar-a-Lago to no fanfare whatsoever, a scenario that will leave the establishment media howling about the restriction to their access of the usual staged poignant presidential departure photo-op of Marine One circling nostalgically over Washington.

With the terrifying void of having no Donald Trump to kick around, will the feckless Dems nonetheless bring new Articles of Impeachment against him?  Lacking any actual agenda to make people's lives better during the worst public health and economic catastrophe in modern times, they do have to justify their existence somehow. As far as the feckless Republicans are concerned, one subset of them are nihilistically posturing to deny the presidency to Joe Biden. The other subset, who are proclaiming themselves aghast at the "coup" attempt, are the same ones who hope to run for president themselves a few short years from now to bring the real corporate coup against democracy to a swift and total completion.

So with only a few weeks to go before Joe Biden finally dodders into the White House to go about his soul-restoring business, all the media attention remains riveted on Trump's latest attempt to overturn the election via strong-arming Georgia officials into "finding" him the necessary votes to achieve his desired outcome. These mobster antics are causing massive conniption fits among the more civilized and discreet members of the criminal ruling class, including virtually all the surviving US "defense" secretaries of War, Inc. and most of the predatory reigning moguls of Wall Street and corporate America. It seems that Donald Trump is once again single-handedly destroying the sublime stature of America as the world's bastion of superpower democracy, even as America can't even get its act together to protect its own citizens by giving them health care and a modicum of financial relief.

The narrative therefore has conveniently morphed from thousands of needless deaths from Covid-19 into Donald Trump starring as Haley Joel Osment in a remake of The Sixth Sense. 

Here's Trump talking to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger playing Bruce Willis this past Sunday on that blockbuster hit of a taped phone call:

The other thing, dead people, so dead people voted. And I think the, the number is in the close to 5,000 people. And they went to obituaries. They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number. And a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters. The bottom line is when you add it all up, and then you start adding, you know, 300,000 fake ballots. Then the other thing they said is in Fulton County and other areas, and this may or may not be true. This just came up this morning that they are burning their ballots, that they are shredding, shredding ballots and removing equipment. They’re changing the equipment on the, on the Dominion machines. And, you know, that’s not legal. And they supposedly shred. And I think they said 300 pounds of, 3,000 pounds of ballots. And that just came to us as a report today. And you know, it’s a, it’s a very sad situation.

On second thought,  Donald Trump is actually lost in a remake of the far grislier and darkly funnier Night of the Living Dead. Not only are thousands of corpses rising from the grave to vote, Trump makes it sound like they are reading their own obituaries and shredding documents the same way that George A. Romero's zombies shredded and devoured human flesh. They are also moving out of state, only to shamble back over the Georgia border to shred his chances of staying in the White House.

But here's where Trump is definitely mistaken: they couldn't possibly have burned any ballots, legally or otherwise. If he was paying attention, he'd know that the only thing that terrifies hordes of roaming homeless out-of-state zombie voters and stops them right in their tracks is fire. He is probably too shocked that he's actually been fired from anything for the first time in his long misbegotten life to pay much attention to the finer details.

The only "sad situation" is Trump's real or feigned dementia. Equally sad, as Trump fade-rages into the sunset, is that the media is still treating him as though he were a dire existential threat to American supremacy and imperialistic democracy, a/k/a global "standing." Sure, he has two more weeks in which to wreak havoc, maybe start a war after four years of not starting a new war, roll back a few more environmental rules that Biden can reverse on Day One, pardon a few more of his fellow hoodlums. But the over-the-top reactions to Trump's last gasp of run-of-the-mill buffoonery are simply the attempts of the war-mongering elites to foist their own toxic version of reality upon us.

They'll be scapegoating Trump, the undead monster that they themselves created, long after his funeral.