Friday, January 8, 2021

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#19)

The rats are abandoning the sinking ship of state. It’s a long list, so I won’t begin to record them, but newspapers will print their names. As dolts say, the list is long. Well, I’ll mention one of the worst, good old Lindsey Graham, the changeling from South Carolina, who is such a collection of unpleasantness I won’t catalog that either. Mitch McConnell took it upon himself to lecture the Senate at how un-American Hawley/Cruz’s play was and his wife, the Transportation Secretary, that marriage of many conveniences, resigned in lofty and last minute umbrage at the unsightliness of it all (the riffraff marauding in the Capitol, that is.) Those who are surprised at the invasion by the lumpen of the seat of government are either naive, uniformed, or hapless co-conspirators, expressing surprise, that is, at the violent denouement of the Trump Administration, its first act at least, as it approaches its final flame out. Ah, all that broken glass. It looked like Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, or in any number of Wisconsin towns, after the right-wing vandals started smashing windows. There’s still time and worse can happen, but the attack on the U.S. Capitol should come as no surprise. What was surprising was the mixed reaction of a minority of the participants as they found themselves wandering around the various sacrosanct chambers, the stunned expressions on their faces. From the multiple video sources, digital phones, in-place cameras, a viewer could see an approximation of awe on some, or, at least, wonder, something approaching amazement, not necessarily feelings that have often overtaken them. I presume those were people who don’t frequent many monumental buildings of government. That was the strangest reaction, but those poses quickly faded, and others took over, the kid-in-the-candy-store look, especially from the dozen, or so, who were milling about in the Senate chamber in various patriotic costumes. I’ve been saying Trump the Terrible is terrible from the start and those who thought he was the rabid dog that could be tamed, the useful idiot who could be used, are now quickly backtracking – Republican office holders, especially. A bit late in the game. As the sprite Lindsey offered, quoted by the Boston Globe, “it breaks my heart that my friend, a president of consequence, would allow yesterday to happen.” Ah, yes, a president of consequence. There are all sorts of consequences here. Lindsey’s heart, I take it, is, or has been, often broken. We still have a dirty dozen of days left wherein more Trump chaos can be generated. The odious GOP Senators, the too long serving and disliked Cruz and the new-be Hawley, need be shunned, but will their voters do so? Even I find it hard to believe that nearly 150 House Republican representatives would vote in the affirmative for the hogwash they were being sold about the Pennsylvania election. Among them was my “representative”, Wacky Jackie Walorski, the Trump sycophant, who knows little and repeats it often. Thanks to the usual tortured gerrymandering in Indiana she keeps her seat. Now that the Hawley/Cruz fiasco is being denounced by some Republicans, the GOP House representatives who went along should be forever branded as seditious lunatics, or worse, but, of course, they won’t be. The only illuminating surprise in the last few days has been the Democrat Senate sweep in Georgia, Georgia on my mind. I thought maybe one seat (swapping out the skinny appointed gal for a guy) was possible, but to win both races. Hallelujah! Trump was a laughingstock when he ran and won the presidency. Now the United States is a laughingstock. Even though some Republicans see what their dark bargain has brought us all, it will not be a rehabilitating tonic. It’s been well known for decades that we get the president we deserve and Trump has been no different. The Donald was not so much an aberration as a culmination. I don’t know what kind of rabbit Biden/Harris can pull out of their hat, but, thanks again to Georgia, they have at least, best, 24 months to wow us.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#18)

When I think of old people – now that I have become one – I recall as a youth the various literary puzzles I was presented with in grammar school. They all pointed out that one goes from being a child all the way to the end of one’s life becoming, once again, a child. Shakespeare, Grimm’s fairy tales, literature throughout the ages, many things point to this paradox. As the year tumbles to its end, it’s clear how politics has aged us all and how those, in positions of power, are in the main terribly old, on both sides of the aisle, capping this ignominious year. Death from Covid (like the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court) kills off a lot of old folks, with a sprinkle of the young, the middle-aged, here and there. Mitch McConnell, The Donald, the new president-elect, Joe Biden, are all very long in the tooth. Stephen Breyer is the oldest member of the Court at 82, followed by Clarence Thomas at 72. But it has been the method of modern presidents to pick younger justices-to-be, so as to lengthen their stay and influence. RBG, of course, was the oldest, 87, till replaced by the youngest, ACB, 48. Who is likely to be president in 2025? Someone middle age? Or aged? I guess we’ll see. Now we’re in the last gasp of gerontology. Two things, I suppose, have forced these musings. The end of the year and the end of the hideous Trump administration, which, of course, may not yet have done its worst. New Year’s is always represented by an infant with a sash (2021!) and the departing year a unisex crone with a cane. Out with the old, in with the new. Well, with Biden/Harris we have a two-fer. The old and the new, combined. It’s not yet known whether the Senate will flip, but there’s not a lot of confidence expressed on the airways by those in the know, the Democrats, that is. Trump, of course, never disappoints. His kind of intelligence, if he has any, is reflective, meaning he does the opposite of what people with sense want. And, given his history, he has some proof of such behavior’s efficacy. Never concede. Say you won over and over for weeks on end. Some generous portion of the public will believe it if said often enough, broadcast by one and all, over media, in every form. If an individual says such things to his or her small circle of friends s/he will be a candidate for a rest home, or worse. But have the means to say it to everyone, day in and day out, and it becomes something else. Not madness, but food for thought. What’s clear, shown over and over the last four years, is that the responsible folks never wanted to admit how bad things have become, admitting to having a semi-lunatic, or, rather semi-literate know-nothing, as president. Republicans, orchestrated by Mitch McConnell, could do their dark work and it would be worth the embarrassment, especially if the culture had reached the point where the populace no longer could be embarrassed. Speaking of old saws, as I was in the first paragraph, another comes to mind: The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen, producing a slogan which devolved to the emperor without clothes. There never was a universal chorus of disapprobation for The Donald, only, especially early on, scattershot shouts of the fabled child’s insight: No clothes! No clothes! Republicans had too much to lose. Trump knew he just had to reprise his role on The Apprentice. Often, that task turned out to be too difficult. The Legislative Branch continues to be an embarrassment. The two GOP Georgia Senate candidates, Senators Loeffler and Perdue, are poster children advertising the many representatives of no redeeming social value in the Congress. Given their lack of virtue in any area, except economic, they could be a cat and a dog, merely symbolic Republicans to fill their respective seats. Could they have drudged up more shocking examples of the species, corruptable nobodies filling space? And then there is the new Senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley. Hawley and I share a past. We went to the same high school in Kansas City, MO, though decades apart, an all-boys prep school run by the Jesuits. (Hawley's two winning races were against women, not an insignificant fact.) I got a good education there in the early 60s. Its campus is on the state line, moving there the year I graduated, so across the street is Kansas. I don’t think Hawley and I would have been friends. I presume he had friends there, but I’m not sure. Hawley understands the virtue of propinquity. He clerked for John Roberts. He mimicked, in a strange way, Barack Obama’s career: as a youth Hawley won an attorney general race in Missouri – which, as usual, was in the midst of governmental scandals all around – served only a year and then ran for the Senate. He realized that it is easier to win in chaos rather than calm and he faced an 11 person primary, but, like Trump, he survived the clown show. (See above remark about women opponents. Note Trump's opponent the year he won.) Biden, too, survived the Democrat primary, but Hawley had it easier. Like the Catholics Trump has appointed to the Supreme Court, Hawley clings to the faith’s hottest margins. Well, Biden is a Catholic. Catholics everywhere these days. Now, of course, Hawley has volunteered to get as much publicity as possible, posing as a Trump toady, to object during the Electoral College Senate vote count. See Josh run. Obama jumped quickly from one election to another, the Senate to the Presidency. All of this just points to the fact that we aren’t leaving the politics-as-asylum show any time soon. And Trump, for whatever terrible reasons, has abandoned Mar-a-Lago today to return to the White House, forgoing the gaudy New Year’s eve party held there. Happy New Year, though the new year won’t actually start till January 20th.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#17)

Well, who expected anything different? The cliche, Hope Springs Eternal, proves itself again. From the time The Donald came down his escalator, he has been a buffoon, just what he always has been, a huckster dying for attention. One still wonders about the singularity of his elevation to President. I have been writing about this phenomenon – the accidental presidency – for many years, how chance plays such a disproportionate role in our modern (all I’m claiming) history. I don’t want to go through a litany, but let’s start with LBJ. Lee Harvey Oswald, the president maker. Need I say more? I could, but let’s carry on. But Trump descending from a Trump Tower escalator, as a metaphor, has no bottom. Down, down, down we go, went. I don’t know if debased comes from the de-basement, the cellar, but it appears there is no basement to be found with Trump. How he began is how he ends – though, given that there are more than 30 days left, we most likely haven’t gone as low as we can go. I recall the beginning of his reign, when there was some faint hope expressed that the presidency would “elevate” his conduct. Ha, ha, ha. One end of Trump the builder is Trump the wrecking ball. Out with the old, in with the new, the new being chaos and destruction. Trying to discern his appeal, I did notice his narrow version of populism. There’s always a bit of attraction in that. And never appearing to be smarter than his audience. That accounts for a large share of his horde of followers. And being so dumb that the powers-that-be in the GOP, ensconced in DC, thought, for the most part correctly, that they could do pretty much what the party leaders wanted. Even the cable media giants are worried these days about the boring Biden/Harris administration to come. The Donald did manage to create a new outrage a day, which fit with the times, given the 24 hour, short attention-span public of watchers. Though I never watched Trump’s “The Apprentice,” I occasionally land on some prime time network television show these days and find myself appalled anew. And the so-called intelligent shows, what few still exist (has anyone noticed the steep decline of “60 Minutes”?) have abandoned all hope and become weird versions of “Dateline,” often hosted by NBC’s prime television’s news anchor, cheery Lester Holt. PBS, I suppose, still tries, but, really? So we have to resort to the growing thirst for documentaries, which show up here and there, series often, rather than one-shots, for information, but here, too, entertainment values dominate. But back to Trump. Again, by just being morbidly contrary, he manages to rack up more firsts. The first sitting president of the new era, to damn democracy and libel elections, chanting daily, often hourly, how the whole system, the one the country has used for centuries, is a sham and a fraud. You would think that would upset a few people. But the citizens who seem most upset are Trump’s legions, agreeing with him. The Republican establishment thinks all his blandishments are just fine. They are patient parents to the worst of children, thinking he will outgrow, or become exhausted, and eventually abandon his tantrum. January 20th? Television will still succumb to The Donald’s catnip and, after he exits, it will feature him and his scurrilous antics for the sake of eyeballs and ratings in the parallel universe he already occupies (and helped create), contrasting it with whatever the Biden/Harris administration can mount as competition. Given the demon Mitch McConnell, that won’t be much, I’m afraid. We haven’t left crazy time and, I suppose, once again, it’s because of technology over sense, and the lowering of all standards over time. Along with the lowering, is the paradoxical rise in “liberals” censorious control of culture, where, in the last decade or so, neo-neologisms have prospered. Not invented words, but older language that has been newly dressed up. Two examples: “curated” and “cancel”, the new C words. When I began to hear fellow academics use the word curated, or curate, I took an interest in the sociology involved. It was “privileging” the role, not of the creator, but of the already created, those who notice or claim value, not the progenitors. I thought that dangerous. It seemed to be an abandonment, but also an elevation. The cancel culture followed. Those who choose can also not choose, but cancel. I’ve always been a fan of choosing between good and bad, but this was something different, a corporatization of judgment. Why do I mention, or go on, this tangent? Oh, I suppose it has to do with why Trump won, when so many educated people didn’t vote, or didn’t vote for Hillary, voting instead for the ridiculous third- and fourth-party candidates, or, because of the dispatched Bernie, might have cast their lot with the rube Trump as a protest vote. Trump didn’t so much win the 2016 election as it was forfeited by those who should have known better. We have all gone through a terrible four years, topped off with a Pandemic (without which Trump might actually, probably, have won reelection). And now he, dare I say legitimately, has about half of the country’s voters on his side. And absent a post-Xmas Miracle of Georgia the next four years loom ominously. Trouble ahead.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#16)

Given what Amy Coney Barrett’s first case to garner attention turned out to be, one could think there was Divine intervention. It was one of those instant – in terms of the court’s usual mode – decisions responding to someone’s idea of a crisis, such as, how quickly can we make George W. president? – or, in this case, how many of the faithful, mainly Catholics and Jews, can we cram into a church or synagogue or temple, during a pandemic? It seems always to be an End of Days event. Since the Supreme Court itself is all Catholics and Jews (though Neil Gorsuch, the snob, became an “Episcopalian” when he reached early adulthood) it seemed like a family affair. Even Gorsuch’s decision, letting the-more-the-merrier attend, drips with his classic hoity-toity disdain: “...but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians....” Bret Stephens, in the Times, loved it. He would. The Chief Justice threw up his hands and joined the “liberals”, wishing it, the case itself being terribly premature, would just go away. Public health be damned. Anyway, I wonder what Justice Gorsuch would have said about the not-Kool Aid, but cheaper flavored sweetener, suicide-by-religion in Jonestown, Guyana. More the merrier, doubtless. Amy Coney Barrett did her duty to the Lord and fulfilled His Wish for putting her on the Court. She was the deciding vote. If the congregants want to dare potential death, let them. Again, I might seem obsessed with the makeup of the Court, all Catholics and Jews. I’ve been writing about it for years. I just find it peculiar that actual Protestants have so fallen in disfavor. This comes about since ardently religious Protestants tend to be zealots, perhaps not as extreme as ACB, but out there, evangelical-wise. Think of famous Protestants and you get the idea. Who knows? Will President-elect Biden appoint a protestant, if he gets a chance? (I’m talking about you, Clarence. Don’t you have better things to do?) Biden, of course, is our second Catholic President-to-be. Given the early evidence of Biden’s appointments, perhaps we’ll get a non-western religionist. Something a bit more exotic for the America First crowd, a stab at stepping free of ecumenicism. We’ll see. We have less than 50 days to go of the bottom-of-the-barrel presidency of Donald Trump. Some doubt that, but not me. I can’t imagine – whatever my powers in this regard – anyone worse. Yesterday’s news was the reported likelihood of a Trump 2024 run, to be announced on the same day as Biden is sworn in, another ratings bonanza for someone. Trump’s imagination equals or surpasses his IQ: just do the opposite of what the smart people do. He is the unsightly reflection of the sightly. The Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jekyll. One of my many objections to the man is that I, like many, never saw his “hit” TV program the years it ran. I wasn’t part of his demographic, the mob that makes up the bulk of his voters. It wasn’t a matter of politics, it was a matter of stupid. I avoid stupid. The new developing conventional wisdom is that Biden will be too old to run again in 2024. Maybe. And it does create a sour foreboding that will lurk over the White House for three years, given that The Donald will be the age Biden is now when Biden assumes the office, the Presidency. God save us all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#15)

Back in the old days, when I was a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times (2000-2005), I would often write a Thanksgiving or Christmas column, when my 700 word protestations ran on the appropriate day. This blog won’t run on Thanksgiving itself, but close. In some demented gesture to see all that has changed, I will reprint part of a Xmas day column, one that did run on the day itself, before I was detached from the Sun-Times, being one of many harbinger sacrifices that marked so much of journalism during the still on-going era of cutbacks: 12/25/01 My family (because of my wife's abundant frequent flyer miles) had planned to spend last Christmas in Israel, experience Christmas eve in Bethlehem, but the second intifada began and we canceled. Maybe next year, we thought. Well, not this year, either. Nor likely the next, or the next. The terrorism recession came early to Israel; last Christmas Bethlehem's hotels were empty. This year one of them is burnt and gutted, the Paradise Hotel, which is on a road leading to Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity, built over the stable where, legend has it, Christ was born. When the Paradise burned in October during a firefight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, I found the photograph I had taken of it, when, in '97, we had visited Bethlehem, under control of the Palestinian Authority since the '93 Oslo accords. Israel's cities were relatively calm then, though it is wrong to ever call Bethlehem's close neighbor, Jerusalem, "calm". Peaceful is less wrong, but still not correct. Quiet, perhaps. Jerusalem strikes many as one of the most exciting cities in the world. It is, though it pays a high price for its excitement. There is a tension there that is always pulsing, either below the surface, or above. And it is most especially intense in the Old City, since it is kept walled up there. Not quite twenty years ago, that. What has changed you may ask? My marital status for one. Be that as it may, Benjamin Netanyahu was spoken of back then, at least in my first visit to Jerusalem, as a crook, more or less, around the Clinton administration era. Out of office, to most everyone’s great relief. My how times have changed. Israelis aren’t known to forgive and forget, but Netanyahu seems to be the exception. Of course, back then, Donald Trump was the longest shot to become President of the United States. So long, very few – a handful only – ever gave it a thought. But Reagan had smoothed the way for a second TV huckster to become the top dog. Though redundant on my part, I have pointed out the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of this evolution before. No need for the gentleman when you have the beast at the ready. Times change. Netanyahu not so much. Why am I swimming in the past?, I ask myself. Because The Donald has been so spectacularly odious these past days that I resist chronicling his doings. And, again, because I am suffering the realization that none of this is over. No water colors for Trump, no books to write a la Obama, no grandchildren to dote on as per Hillary, and God Knows What Bill Clinton is actually doing now. Trump still insists on sticking his mug into our daily lives. Lord, he’ll be President for nearly two more months. What outrages are ahead? And the media, the television image-driven side, will help, I’m sure, keep him alive on the variety of screens, large and small. Ratings uber alles. The thirst for disruption has not abated for Trump’s disciples. He is his own version of a Pandemic. And I’m not at all sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will institute an Operation Warp Speed to eradicate this particular virus. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#14)

It’s seven days before Thanksgiving and there are a few things to give thanks for, as much as that might be a dubious claim. How about a vaccine sometime (probably late) in 2021? How about The Donald being ejected from the White House? That, unfortunately, still seems up in the air, maybe the same air where the vaccine resides. Now I completely believe Joe Biden won, as they used to say, fairly and squarely. By a lot. Nonetheless, Trump being Trump, madness continues. The clown show remains prime time, the latest iteration being Rudy Rudy Rudy, the rude, leaking dye, or hydraulic fluid, whatever, from both temples. Temples it is. The Church of Crazy, Giuliani and his two henchwomen, both lawyers, Trump's "legal team." In any case, who would have not have imagined anything different. Like most of the late Trump antics, his most recent forays are yet more exaggerated. Exaggeration is often cited as late life behavior, and Trump has no shortage of it. His adherents are the truly alarming throng. Trump is an old reliable show at this point. His wacky cronies will endure, in some form, longer than The Donald. He back to TV and Never Never Land. Until 2024, but not even me believes he will be on a ticket to run. From Sing Sing perhaps, if New York State officials have anything to do with it. I am not sure why the Secretary of State thinks Israel is the key to his acquiring the GOP nomination for 2024. Puzzling. Most of the answers reek of anti-Semitism, in the twisted way What’s His Name believes in their pervasive influence. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to dote on Secretary Pompeo (didn’t his namesake village, Pompeii, get covered in lava?) and Pompeo does seem to want to remake the world in similar Trumpian fashion (burn it down), but will the electorate still have an appetite for these fantasies after the Biden/Harris administration convenes? But back to the present. Trump is calling obscure functionaries in Michigan wanting their help in reversing that state’s election results, and summoning slightly higher officials to the Oval Office. I’m waiting for Trump’s various dyes to leak from his temples. But he has a better way with cosmetics than Rudy. But the Republicans and Democrats remain at high contrast. Biden doesn’t want to sue, he wants to persuade. His old GOP Senate friends! Good luck with that. Doubtless Las Vegas has odds on when Biden/Harris might get a chance to look at the government’s secrets. January 21st? Again, I expected no difference from Trump, to cling to his throne as long as possible. Graceful exit is, as they say, not in his vocabulary. Graceful is too long a word to fit. A foreign concept, in any case. The GSA woman (Emily Murphy!) is really a trip. For me, at least, one to the past, since GSA (General Services Administration) is the only serious typo in the first edition of my 1972 book, The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left. I called it Government Services Administration. Stupid me. The Congress is now on Thanksgiving “recess”. Who would know? What’s the difference? Covid is climbing its most virulent peaks. Warm weather is leaving the northern states. And one possible “vaccine” has to be kept colder than the moon. It goes without saying that the price of today’s turkeys matches the turkey in the White House. That’s not accurate. The turkey in the White House would get less pennies a pound. He did, though, get 70 million votes. What that says about the country is frightening, even though half that vote is for what remains of the “principles” of the Grand Old Party, and the never hotter hatred for Democrats.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Corona Jottings: Intermittent Speculations (#13)

Given the results, the number of voters, the actual count, it appears clear that the likelihood of a Biden/Harris victory was less than the faulty polls forecasted. It wasn’t a squeaker, but it took days to conclude and nearly a hundred million “absentee” votes. This is depressing on any number of levels. The Democrats lost a handful of things in early November of 2020, mainly, it appears, a half dozen seats in the House, and control of the Senate – the Georgia special elections could change that, but two wins may well be one Congressional district too far. Stacey Abrams may be a magician, but rabbits out of a top hat, if the hat be Georgia, may strain even her handy legerdemain. It would require a miracle of sorts. And how many miracles can we stand? The Corona Virus can be seen as an especially perverse miracle – insofar as it powered the defeat of Donald Trump. Biden/Harris won by close to five million votes, but the lion’s share of those came from California. What seemed to be the chief mover of the suburban ladies was Trump’s inept handling of the plague. Yet, luckily, the winning margins in the re-blued states, MI, PA, WI, were all in the five figures, as held true for the other new blue states, Arizona (barely) and, still perhaps, Georgia. Nothing like 2000's meager 537 in Florida, allowing Bush to beat Gore, with the help of the Supreme Court. The Donald wasn’t able to give the Corona virus his full attention: it’s often hard to imagine his “full attention.” That presumes a completeness Trump may lack in all things. Though Democrats aren’t as proficient in the spinning of conspiracy theories as the GOP is, here’s one, one that requires Divine Intervention: The Pandemic itself interceded. Evolution seems to require accident as well as design. Where’s Darwin when we need him? In any case, the election year commenced with Bernie Sanders on the way to seeming victory in the primaries. But two things happened before Covid took over the landscape. South Carolina became the dike keeping the Bernie Bros from swamping the Democrats. Mayor Pete and Senator Amy dropped out, anointed Biden right before Super Tuesday, and, with their abdication, cemented the anti-Bernie vote for Biden. The rest, as they say, is history, though history and everything else came to a halt for the Pandemic. Biden in the basement, Kamala made Veep candidate, millions affected, hundreds of thousands dead, Trump being Trump, his incompetency, now, shown to be fatal. Yet, nonetheless, he got 71 million votes to Biden/Harris’s 76. Though Biden’s main campaign pitch was that he would be the president for everyone, 71 million voters wanted The Donald to be theirs, and theirs alone. One could be forgiven for thinking half the country wanted even more Trumpism, though the other half wanted Trump disappeared. His loss of the Oval Office is apparent, his absence from the public’s attention is not. But, again, the luck of drawing to multiple inside straights in many districts came from the worried reaction to the virus. Trump retained more adherents than most commentators predicted, virus be damned. In the current eerie interregnum Trump is installing “loyalists” in every office he can get his hands on. One wonders why, though what he is doing has the putrid odor of a third-world would-be coup, the storming of the power centers, the Pentagon, etc. From Trump, none of this is surprising, though his core government power brokers appear – hard to believe – yet more odious. Secretary of State Pompeo (nomen est omen, since it’s harder to be more pompous than he) looms fat and crazy, staying away from the homeland, cultivating God Knows What as he plans his future. Mitch McConnell does his lesser vampire impersonation, his body getting transfusions of some sort (those bruised taped hands!) in order to do The Donald’s – the impaler – bidding. The rest of the GOP Senators, except for the occasional Mormon, continue to play the undead, mumbling that votes still need to be counted, as soon as they are manufactured. That wall may begin to crumble soon. Trump may be bad, but in a big-bad-baddest competition, he’s got rivals. Why does McConnell get to hold his members together, a solid block of awful, whereas Senator Schumer has uncontrollable outliers, such as West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin? I know, I know, one’s a minor vampire, the other is not. But the problem that still looms is all the voters Trump got, retained. Their allegiance, their solidarity. Our Fellow Americans, so to speak. Time may continue to be halted, certainly deformed, because of the Pandemic, but three years from now I dread the election that will be upon us. Given Biden’s age and the state of the Union, I only see a horror show ahead. Who expects the Republicans to have regained their souls, stolen from them all by The Donald. And his “base” – they, it, will still be here, the deluded and the corrupt and the profiteers. It’s a spectrum of foul smells, regions, income, and clearly nowhere to escape it.