September 19, 2020

NEVADA INFECTION

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

NEVADA INFECTION

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” How many times have we heard that one? It’s an assurance that the sins in Sin City won’t follow you home. Unfortunately, it’s also true that “What happens in Henderson definitely doesn’t stay in Henderson.”
Henderson, Nevada, is basically a suburb of Las Vegas, about a 20 minute drive away. It’s where President Donald Trump decided to have an indoor rally, attended by about 5,600 of his supporters. They were jammed together in a manufacturer’s auditorium, most of them not wearing face masks. They were willing to take a life or death chance with catching the sometimes lethal coronavirus, and Trump was willing to let them risk everything — to the point that he flouted Nevada’s crowd limitation rules.
When Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, charged him with taking “reckless and selfish actions,” the Trumpster responded in an interview that “I’m on a stage and it’s very far away, and so I’m not at all concerned.”
“This is typical Donald Trump,” the governor shot back on MSNBC. “He’s not concerned about all the folks who were there and who are going to go home. And their kids are going to go to school. He’s only concerned about his own health, not the health of anyone else in the state of Nevada.”
To put it mildly, this was another Super Spreader Event where, after screaming their devotion to Donald Trump, more than 5,000 people left and went home to their families and friends, some of them carrying Covid with them. As for Trump, he simply left and continued his campaign swing through the west, leaving behind his campaign spokespeople to respond to the accusations of selfishness.
And respond they did: “If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the president of the United States.”

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September 15, 2020

THE MORTIFICATION EFFECT

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

The MORTIFICATION EFFECT

I have a great idea for Joe Biden’s campaign slogan! I’m surprised no one has thought of it before. Are you ready? How about “Make America Great Again”?
Yes, I know, it has been Donald Trump’s war cry, but Trump’s first term as president has been a disaster. The U.S. stature at home and abroad under the Trumpster has become an embarrassment. So much so that he might be convinced that it’s kind of mortifying to use it, given how the United States has slid down the slippery slopes of history during his first term.
As a matter of fact, Biden may have to change it to “Make America Adequate Again.” We haven’t heard a lot lately about American Exceptionalism, which may have been national hubris anyway. Could that be because Donald Trump has squandered any claim to fame that we had? Where do we start?
How about Covid? Trump’s motto might have been “Do Something Even if It’s Wrong.” In pursuit of re-election. He has made so many bush league moves that it’s unclear how many thousands killed by the coronavirus in this country are a direct result of the mistakes made by him and his people — if not mistakes, absolute lies told in the name of his campaign. If you want to talk about American Exceptionalism, let’s discuss the exceptional death toll and spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.A. If Joe Biden wins, he will have a major job ahead to undo the public health damage. If Trump wins, it’s possible we are all doomed.
Moving right along our chagrin list ... how about race relations, which is not among our strong suits anyway? It’s hard to believe that President Trump has made it far worse with his blatantly racist actions and demagoguery.
On the international stage, he has managed to antagonize just about every one of America’s allies, although he wins popularity contests with the ruthless autocrat set. He had a NEAR dating relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, for example. He talks admiringly of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and even has an on-again-off-again bond with China’s President Xi Jinping. At the moment it’s off-again, because he’s demeaning China so he can exploit any vestiges of anti-Chinese racism in the United States.

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September 12, 2020

COVID AND OTHER TRUMP DISEASE

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

COVID AND OTHER TRUMP DISEASE

What is it about the all-importance of Thomas Jefferson’s “informed consent” in a democracy that President Donald Trump doesn’t understand? How about Abraham Lincoln’s “of the people, for the people, by the people”?
Compare that with Trump’s “I didn’t want to create panic” admission to journalist Bob Woodward as an explanation why he flat out lied to the American people from the very beginning about the severity of Covid-19, even though he knew full well early on that the coronavirus was deadly serious. Why did he declare that the organism would simply “disappear” at the first sign of warm weather?
“I always wanted to play it down,” he said to Woodward, and play it down he did ... from his reassuring initial public comments to his resistance to wearing a face mask, which persists to this day, to his whipping up outrage over efforts to contain the organism by shutting down the economy, to the lies he tells to supporters at every turn that things are getting better. All while the United States leads the world in cases of Covid at more than 6 million and approaching 190,000 deaths.
What possessed him to do 18 candid interviews with Bob Woodward? That one is easy. He honestly believed that he could charm Woodward into writing a favorable book about his years in office. Instead he got what he describes as “a political hit job,” a book that is scathing. Not only about the pandemic, but everything that Donald Trump has tried to do.
Lastly, why did Woodward wait seven or eight months to disclose the contents of this interview? Was he saving them for his profitable book? He did provide an opening for Trump to deflect the criticism now:
He “had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives?”
Good question. Whatever the explanation, Donald Trump wasn’t able to dismiss the journalism with his usual “fake news” and “hoax” denials. He is being done in by his real voice.
As for his explanation that he didn’t want to cause a “panic” or a “frenzy,” what is he doing right now trying to scare the daylights out of white people by casting Black protestors as a menace and suggesting “thugs” and “anarchists” will take charge if Joe Biden is elected? And move out to the suburbs and do heaven knows what.
Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger for re-election, jumped all over the Woodward revelations as evidence the Trumpster was guilty of “dereliction of duty.”

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September 9, 2020

SHATTERED CREDIBILITY

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

SHATTERED CREDIBILITY

Here is why I believe the gist of the Atlantic magazine article that President Donald Trump called American troops “losers,” “suckers” and much more: Trump denies it.
By now we have learned that Donald Trump is capable of lying. He does it all the time. About everything. His denials have gotten pretty meaningless, particularly when he uses terms like “fake news” or a “hoax,” or both. He usually responds on Twitter:
“You work so hard for the military, from completely rebuilding a depleted mess that was left by OBiden [sic], to fixing a broken V.A. and fighting for large scale military pay raises, and then a slimeball reporter, maybe working with disgruntled people, makes up such a horrible charge.”
It should be pointed out that since becoming president Donald Trump has told more than 20,000 lies, as documented by fact checkers.
That’s also why I believe the accusations in Michael Cohen’s new book “Disloyal: A Memoir.” Cohen was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, calling himself Trump’s “designated thug.” Cohen describes the president in the book as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.” Michael Cohen was imprisoned for various lies himself and was released to house arrest, so he’s not the most reliable of sources, he admits. And White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany describes Cohen as a “disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer who lied to Congress. He has lost all credibility and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.”
Donald Trump’s lying has become routine, and what’s that old saying ... “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”? What does it make the people he has lied to more than 20,000 times and still believe him and plan to vote for him again?
How about his performance in the Covid pandemic, where Trump has so frequently gone off on some misleading tangent that has resulted in the loss of so many Americans’ lives? It stated with his initial dismissal of the coronavirus and moved to his embrace of ineffective pharmaceuticals, like hydroxychloroquine, that he should have known were useless. It continues with his predictions that a vaccine “probably” will be created in October, which happens to be right before Election Day.
Ask yourself: Would you or your family take a vaccine that Trump and his pliant underlings have certified “safe and effective,” just before Election Day?

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