PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED.
IF THIS BLOG WAS FORWARDED TO YOU, YOU ARE NOT SUBSCRIBED.
Above is my happy crony Carolyn, in a photo taken by her husband Matthew right after Biden took the oath of office, swearing on that enormous bible. She's wearing pink and green in honor of Vice-President Harris's sorority, whose colors they are. If you remember, Harris's mask was pink-and-green, with the sorority's initials embroidered. Oh, and the pearls are in honor of Harris herself, who always wears pearls.
My friend Betsy, who creates videos for South Carolina Educational TV, told me that Black women were organizing groups to support each other even under slavery. So the history of black sororities is long and proud.
Vice-President Harris. I savor those words.
I love this photo. The light, the colors, Carolyn's joy, the fuzzy pink V, the fabulous Mexican apron...
It turns out that the heads of some on the extreme right are exploding. They truly believed -- not only that Trump DID win the election -- but that Trump would lead them in an armed revolt in order to prevent Biden from being inaugurated! I mean, that's what they really thought! This lazy, incompetent man whose cowardice is bonespur-deep.
The Proud Boys are VERY VERY UPSET. Now Trump is a "shill" and "weak."
According to the NY Times:
On social media, Proud Boys participants have complained about his willingness to leave office and said his disavowal of the Capitol rampage was an act of betrayal... The Proud Boys' anger toward Mr. Trump has heightened after he did nothing to help those in the group who face legal action for the Capitol violence.
"When Trump told them that if he left office, America would fall into an abyss, they believed him," said Arieh Kovler, who studies the far right. "Now that he has left office, they believe he has both surrendered and failed to do his patriotic duty." In the last two weeks of December, they pushed Mr. Trump in their protests and on social media to "Cross the Rubicon."
On Wednesday, the Proud Boys Telegram group welcomed President Biden to office. "At least the incoming administration is honest about their intentions, the group wrote.
So all along, the Proud Boys were just looking for an honest man. And they found him -- in President Biden!
That is why his followers believed he won the election -- because he HAD to win or the universe falls apart. It was easier for them to believe absurd conspiracy theories involving dead Venezuelan presidents than to get their brains around Trump losing.
So their universe started falling apart at the VERY SAME MOMENT that Matthew took Carolyn's picture! So many people's universe changed -- AT THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT!
It took courage for Garth Brooks to sing at Biden's Inauguration. Did you know that? I didn't. You see, he's a country music star. Actually he's THE country music star. Many of his fans felt betrayed and let the world know on social media immediately. Click the photo below to see MSNBC's take on Garth's bravery.
So thank you, Garth! And thank you for your performance at the Grand Old Opry in 2009. My sister Nancy and I were thrilled to hear you live -- AND that newcomer -- what was her name? Oh yeah -- Taylor Swift!
We conclude our "Good Stuff" with...
... And a Happy Fauci to YOU!
Well, Bloggelinis, it's a new day, ain't it! And we've even had a bit of RAIN here, which always washes away our anxiety -- temporarily. I suggest, if you're ever planning a visit to Nashville, you MUST get tickets to the Grand Old Opry in advance. It's quite an experience. You might even catch a future superstar, as Nancy and I did! Terry
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED.
IF THIS BLOG WAS FORWARDED TO YOU, YOU ARE NOT SUBSCRIBED.
I tell you, I just started crying the moment after Biden took the oath. The long nightmare is over. We survived the Presidency of a despicable human being, a narcissistic psychopath. May he get what he deserves in the future.
We made it.
The Insurrection of Idiots failed, no one was assassinated, no nuclear weapons were deployed. Iran wasn't even bombed!
Wow, can I set the bar any lower? I don't think so. Admittedly, we still have to deal with the virus, global warming, a growing movement of white supremacists, severe economic inequality, racism... What else? Surely I've forgotten something. Oh yes. A right-wing very Christian Supreme Court. Oh there's more. I know I know.
BUT WE NO LONGER HAVE TO DEAL
WITH A PRESIDENT WHO IS AN EMISSARY OF EVIL!
SURELY, THAT IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.
And even if I wasn't totally crazy about Biden's speech, the whole Inauguration was a class act.
Lady Gaga conquering our impossible-to-sing national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner -- and J-Lo singing This Land is Your Land/America the Beautiful weren't too shabby, either. I heard that Trump was particularly pissed at Lady Gaga appearing.....
... as well he should be. Turns out she's been a BIG supporter of Biden's.
The classy inauguration, combined with Biden's promise to stop that fucking XL pipeline -- it all bodes well for the future.
Now about this Unity business -- by the end of his speech, I admit I was a bit swayed by the hazy dream.
But what the hell does "unity" mean?
For the Democrats, it has meant moving to the right, moving to the right, moving to the right in a desperate attempt to grab the coattails of the GOP and beg them to accept a deal.
Thus I fear that what unity actually means to Biden is trying to meet the GOP in the middle. And as Obama saw when he moved to the "middle," that middle just kept scuttling to the right.
That is NOT what FDR did. He was willing to fight HARD for bold change. The truth is that legislative progress toward freedom and equity is always very hard won. I mean, it was a lot of WORK to pass Social Security and Unemployment Benefits and the Civil Rights Act and the Emancipation Proclamation and the Affordable Care Act (half-assed though it may be). To bring any of these manifestations of social justice to fruition took intense and skillful WORK.
And it wasn't about unity. It was about finding your allies, organizing your allies, persuading those who might become allies, pressuring, even twisting metaphorical arms.
What about getting the vote for women? I mean, that took a RIDICULOUSLY long time. Seventy-one years from the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 to the first time women could vote in 1919. Were the suffragists interested in "unity" with the misogynists? What, pray tell, would have been the point of that?
And Biden didn't seek "unity" with the pipeline people. He just stopped the pipeline.
Now, maybe all this unity talk is a TACTIC to get the Right to open up a bit. Did Biden crack open many Trumpers, a few, or even one with his inaugural address? Maybe he did. If so, then Okay. It was good that he blathered about unity.
Let the President and the Democratic Congress find UNITY in executing a legislative program that truly changes people's lives in the next two years!
Now, THAT'S the kind of unity I can get behind!
Two blogs in one day, Bloggelinis! Well, I would say this is a two-blog day if there ever was one. It is hard for me to comprehend that the nightmare --- which was so much worse than we ever imagined it could be and CONTINUED to get worse until the very last moment -- is over. A bleak gray cloud has hovered over my head for four years. It's gone. Terry
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED.
IF THIS BLOG WAS FORWARDED TO YOU, YOU ARE NOT SUBSCRIBED.
On this joy-and-dread fraught Inauguration Day, I summon the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In his first Inaugural Address, FDR invoked a vision of healing through economic transformation. Biden has taken a bold step by appointing Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury. She has spoken out for strong action to lift those who are suffering. And Bernie Sanders will become Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. After a truly degrading four years, this is not a time for placating the enemies of change.
Joe, take the leap into history! GO JOE!
Today, it behooves us to recall President Roosevelt's powerful words.
FDR's Inaugural Address
Saturday, March 3, 1933
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.
Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.
The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States--a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor--the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others-- the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.
If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.
With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.
Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.
It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.
I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.
But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis--broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.
We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stem performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.
We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.
In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.
Okay, okay, Bloggelinis --- I admit that 1933 is not an exact parallel to us. We DO have things to fear besides fear itself -- the Coronavirus and a surging white supremacy movement. Still, these things make it even MORE important that we act fearlessly! Terry
When last heard from, I was just the tiniest bit concerned about the Orange One, Der Toddler, Trumpty-Dumpty -- has any human being had so many nicknames? -- anyhow, I was worried about our POTUS leaving office while giving us the parting gift of a nuclear holocaust. I just couldn't figure out how he would find a place where he would feel a sense of belonging, of HOME, ya know? And that might lead him to destroy EVERYONE's home.
That was before I read an article in the Washington Post about Trump's forthcoming immediate transition to his beloved private club, Mar-A-Lago. Here's a quote from it:
Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican strategist in Florida who is a senior adviser to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, explained the state’s appeal to Trump — including that Florida’s Republican base is especially “Trumpy.”
“It fits in with Florida’s overall character of being the magnet for all insanity in the universe,” Wilson said. “We are what we are in the great state of Florida, and that is a state of lives restarting and second-chances and reboots and low property taxes and liberal bankruptcy laws and a fairly casual approach to public ethics. Florida, in some freakish, horrible way, is the Trumpiest of states. This is the logical place for them to come.”
Now I no longer have a care in the world
about a nuclear holocaust before Wednesday!
Everyone who's anyone in the Trump Family is already there or moving soon! Don Jr. and Kimberley already have a house. Ivanka and Jared are buying a homey mansion 15 miles away. I'm certain that Giuliani will find a room in some seedy hotel somewhere. Florida will welcome him rather than disbarring him, like grouchy old New York State!
I myself can attest to Florida being the most freakish state I've ever visited. I went there for the first time long ago when I was obsessed with Aileen Wuornos, the lesbian who made a living as a prostitute on the highway and was in prison in Florida for murdering several of her customers. I was at the time a member of the one and only Aileen Wuornos Support Group.
See? Soliciting on the Interstate highway? Does this happen in any other state?
Anyhow, I hoped to actually talk to Wuornos, which never happened. I spent my days in the Orlando Public Library, poring over microfilm from the local paper, the Orlando Sentinel, reading all the articles about her, as the discovery of the crime, the search for the suspect and the trial unfolded. (No more about Wuornos now. That's another blog.)
In the process, I read many other articles and got a feeling for life in Orlando and Florida in general. And I was puzzled. As you know, I am a devotee of the daily newspaper. I was familiar with the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. And I felt there was something DIFFERENT about the news that the Sentinel was reporting. It just seemed that there were a lot more just plain WEIRD things happening under the gimlet eye of the Sentinel than under the purview of the other three papers.
I consulted with my friend, Rosemary, who I was staying with. And she confirmed what I perceived: "Look at the map, Terry! The answer to the question is Geography. Just think about it. People who are weirdos and pariahs have to move away from the center, farther from whatever civilization they find themselves in. They keep moving and moving and finally they find themselves on this gigantic peninsula that projects far out into the ocean. And they cannot go any further because they're surrounded by water! This is it! This is where all the strange ones end up -- Florida!"
If I still had any doubts about this (which I didn't), they would have been cleared up by Rosemary taking me to visit the little town of Cassadaga
Cassadaga is a small unincorporated community just north of Deltona, Florida. It is especially known for having many psychics and mediums, and has consequently been named the "Psychic Capital of the World". Almost everyone living there makes a living as a psychic, and when a Floridian needs or just wants to consult a psychic, that person drives to Cassadaga and does so. At that moment, Rosemary was drawn to Cassadaga and was happy to take me.
I don't know what it's like now. I think I visited in the late 1980s. Then, it felt like the 1930s in a small town caught in amber. Small streets with little wood-frame houses. Many homes had big front porches with a man or woman sitting in a rocking chair, peacefully rocking. Rosemary told me you just strolled around until you found some particular rocker or house compelling. I did so. There was no one on the porch, so I knocked. I went in and got a reading from a woman. I have absolutely no memory of the encounter, but I do remember she charged $35, which was a lot of money at the time.
Anyhow, it was a fun day trip to another world. That is where Trump is going, and I am certain he's looking forward to it and will not blow up the world.
Bloggelinis, all for now. I actually have a THEATRE project happening. Carolyn and Paula Barish, who is the voice of Eleanor Roosevelt on tape in my play HICK, and I are working on a live-streamed version of about a half hour of HICK. This is a project with Exit Theatre. I'm very excited about this, because I'm really looking forward to being in real time with Paula, rather than hearing her voice over a sound system. Admittedly, we won't be in the same PLACE, that not being possible at the moment. But it'll still be a thrill! It's happening Feb. 25, I think. I've got to start on Draft 5 of this very short script RIGHT NOW because we're meeting in a few hours. But I just wanted to tell you not to worry about Armageddon. Terry
NOTE: All the words in blue are quotes from other sources. Sorry, I've lost track of where I read what.
The International Crisis Group, which typically warns about instability abroad, wrote in a memo this week that “the extraordinary powers of the U.S. presidency, from the ability to call up armed forces to quell civil unrest to the unfettered power to launch nuclear weapons, rest with a president who fomented an act of insurrection against the legislative branch of his own government.”
When did YOU start worrying about Trump using the nuclear option? I started ... oh, about the time I realized he had won the presidency on Election Night in 2016.
I think a lot of people felt the same. I rarely spoke about it. It seemed so farfetched. But now here we are with FOUR DAYS TO GO, and many are more than a tad concerned our enraged and unstable President might go on a bombing binge in the short time he has left to do such a thing.
Nancy Pelosi, deeply concerned about that possibility, talked with Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to ask what could be done to prevent Trump pushing The Button. Milley said that the Constitution requires that an order from the President to the armed forces must be obeyed. In other words, if the President chooses to incinerate the world, so be it.
I must confess that I did not find that at all comforting. But Milley is not in the chain of command. He is the chief MILITARY ADVISOR to the President, but he would not be involved in carrying out that order. That made me feel a little more hopeful. Then I wondered, who IS in the chain of command?
U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard is in the chain of command. He said on January 5 he agrees with the American system that allows civilian control of the military, when asked if he would follow a Trump order to strike Iran in his final days.
“I get asked this question a lot,” he said on a Zoom media call hosted by the Defense Writer’s Group. “Bottom line, look, I will follow any legal order that I am given. I will not follow any illegal orders,” he said.
Certainly, I am glad many are asking Richard question. But how does he decide if an order is legal or illegal? He didn't say. That was on January 5. He might be thinking more seriously about this issue since January 6.
Then I read:
In the final days of Nixon’s presidency when he was drinking heavily, then-Defense Secretary James Schlesinger ordered military commanders to check with him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before executing a nuclear launch order, Schlesinger revealed years after the fact.
I was so relieved to know that, in a similar very extreme situation, the Secretary of Defense was ready to step in to prevent a catastrophe.
Representatives Lieu, Carbajal and Panetta also liked this idea and wrote a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, asking him to intervene in a similar way if necessary, in case Trump decides life isn't worth living and he'd like to take Iran or NewYork City or Georgia with him. Thank you, Congressmen, for taking the time to write that letter! So very few write actual letters nowadays.
This is the last paragraph of their letter to Miller:
"In the coming days, as Trump’s options for remaining in the White House all but disappear, there is a real danger that the President could turn to military action at home or abroad. We are well aware that in ordinary times, your role is to execute the President’s orders. Unfortunately, we do not live in ordinary times. We believe that critical moments, like that we face today, require us to think of every possible avenue to avert disaster. We therefore ask you to implement additional measures to ensure adequate checks are placed on the President’s nuclear authority at the earliest possible opportunity."
But then, it's doubtful if Miller WOULD intervene as Schlesinger did. In fact, Trump seems to have chosen him precisely BECAUSE he's inexperienced and presumably malleable!
AND when I explored this subject further on the websites of anti-nuclear organizations, like Global Zero and Ploughshares Fund, I learned that Schlesinger might have wanted to have power over Nixon but he had absolutely no authority. Presidents have sole authority to order a nuclear strike. They don't need the agreement or support of anyone else. Military commanders can -- they are even supposed to -- disobey "illegal" orders, but then we come back to the question of what is legal and who decides that!
“There are no checks or balances, no way for Congress or any government official to intervene, and the presumption of legality for such an order is overwhelming,” Derek Johnson, CEO of Global Zero, said in a statement after the Capitol riots.
Trump's Finger on the Nuclear Button is a very interesting interview with Former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina, Policy Director of Ploughshares. It helped me understand the history of this issue.
The nuclear missile response system is DESIGNED to happen incredibly fast and without consultation. WHY? It was set up during the Cold War, when this was the imagined scenario:
The Soviet Union is sending hundreds of nuclear missiles toward us. Many of their missiles are aimed at our nuclear silos (because they know where they are) so that the U.S. will not be able to respond in kind. SO the President has only minutes to use those missiles before they will be destroyed. This will not prevent our country from being devastated but at least it will assure that the Soviet Union goes down with us.
This is why the President cannot wait to think a while or consult with anyone. He MUST be able to act within minutes on his own -- not to save US, but to destroy our enemy.
And on the Soviet side, the same plan existed. If they found out WE were sending missiles to take out THEIR missiles (because we know where they are), they would use their own missiles immediately to take US out.
This is what is called Mutual Assured Destruction, aka M.A.D. Presumably this created a balance that kept the superpowers from incinerating each other. Yes, Bloggelinis, this is what the Patriarchy thinks of when it thinks of balance.
Obviously, M.A.D. is, as its acronym suggests, a totally insane idea. And if it ever did make sense, it doesn't make any sense now.
WHY IT NO LONGER MAKES ANY SENSE AT ALL
FOR THE PRESIDENT TO HAVE
SOLE AND UNQUESTIONED POWER
OVER THE NUCLEAR FOOTBALL:
ONE: The Cold War has been over for 30 years! The Soviet Union no longer exists, and neither does the scenario that requires Mutual Assured Destruction. I mean, come on! Putin, Russia's leader, is Trump's BUDDY!
TWO: The only time the missiles were ALMOST deployed were FALSE ALARMS! And now, with all the hacking going on, we can only look forward to more and more false alarms. And a false alarm, not caught soon enough, would cause an attack.
THREE: NOBODY can destroy all OUR missiles, because we now have nuclear submarines skulking around underwater all over the world. So there! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Enemy, whoever you are!
Needless to say, the real solution is to get rid of ALL nuclear weapons.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT
TRUMP FROM USING A NUCLEAR WEAPON
IN THE NEXT FOUR DAYS?
Former Secretary of Defense Perry feels that there is far less danger of Trump going nuclear precisely BECAUSE there has been so much public discussion about it. So everything that Pelosi and everyone else has done to expose the issue has made us safer, according to him. That being said, if Trump DOES make the attempt, then we are dependent on someone along the chain of command simply refusing to do what he has sworn to do, which is follow orders.
ONCE TRUMP IS GONE, WHAT CAN WE DO
SO THAT WE WILL NEVER FIND OURSELVES
IN THIS POSITION AGAIN?
ONE: Congress must pass a law saying there will be NO FIRST USE of nuclear weapons by the United States. Senator Warren has already submitted such a bill and we must urge her to submit it to the newly Democratic Senate.
TWO: Congress must pass a law demanding SHARED AUTHORITY TO LAUNCH a missile. That is, both Congress and the President would have to agree to it.
These are two things that must happen in the first two years of Biden's Presidency, when he has both houses of Congress on his side.
Then, if we end up with another crazy or drunken President who decides to blow up the world, the Football-carrying assistant can say, "I'm sorry, Mr. President. First of all, just in case you haven't noticed, nobody has attacked us with nuclear weapons. Second of all, even if they had, you've got to talk to Congress about it first. So I ain't giving you the Football! Stop it! Get your hands off!"
As former Secretary Perry said in the Ploughshares interview, "If you’re about to take an action to end our civilization, there’s no need to rush into it."
So Bloggelinis, please contact Senator Warren and ask her to submit her bill outlawing a first strike with nuclear weapons as soon as possible! And if you start worrying in the next four days, just calm yourself by sending calming thoughts to Trump -- "May Trump be peaceful." I just tried it. It felt good. Terry
Let us pause for a moment to savor what happened in Georgia. Very soon a Black preacher and a Jew will be walking into the Senate to represent that peach of a state, Georgia.
Raphael Warnock is the first Black elected to the Senate by the voters of a former Confederate state.
Jon Ossof is the first Jewish Senator elected by a Southern state since 1879.
Warnock has been working on social justice issues as a pastor for his entire career as a minister.
Ossof was an intern in the office of the great Congressman John Lewis. He is 33 years old, the youngest person elected to the Senate since Joe Biden in 1973.
Warnock's opponent, Kelly Loeffler, is half-owner of the WNBA team, the Atlanta Dream. Because of Loeffler's racist remarks, many team members campaigned against her...
...And they're now demanding that she sell her share of the team.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "Something is happening and you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Republican?"
I just love the expression on those women's faces. Usually people are SMILING when they're posing for a photo to show their support of a candidate. But these women mean SERIOUS BUSINESS. They are risking their careers by wearing those t-shirts. The WNBA has been out in front, leading other professional athletes to become politically outspoken, to use their public platform to fight for change.
I don't really have any bad news I want to talk about. But I just want to say that it is ridiculous to expect Vice-President Pence to lead in ousting his boss through the 25th Amendment. Not only is it not Pence's style or character or politics. But he would become a marked man. For the rest of his life, he would live in fear of the Trump crazies looking to take him out. I don't think you can ask/expect/push someone to put himself in that position. He might already be marked by refusing to do the impossible for Trump. You cannot ask him to go further.
And besides, the ONLY way to keep Trump from running for President in 2024 is to impeach him now and forbid him all future federal office. Really, don't you think it's worth it to eliminate that possibility, that PROBABILITY? Even if he's leaving the White House soon and it would be a distraction at the beginning of Biden's Presidency. We need to drive a stake through this vampire's heart.
And now for a couple of holiday photos:
First is Elizabeth and me on Christmas Day. Elizabeth said that Icelanders eat chocolate and read poetry aloud on Christmas, so we decided to do that. I regret that I look like I'm eating a turd.
A good time was had by all. People should read poetry aloud more often. Even if I don't understand a whole poem, there's almost always at least one line that evokes something in me.
And on New Year's Eve day, we climbed to the top of Twin Peaks, the highest point in San Francisco. It was clear and we could see Mt. Diablo, 60 miles away. I love the wonderful graffiti combined with the view.
Well, Bloggelinis, we were all wiped out BEFORE the insurrection. I watched it with friends, all of us alone in our apartments, on Zoom. I felt like I was having a party -- since I was Zoom host. And then it started getting scary. Jerry said it was GOOD that the shit was finally hitting the fan. I said, "From your lips to God's ear." It does seem like he's right. So sad it had to come to this. But there it is.