Suck it Up, Electoral College: Do the Right Thing

Our Founding Fathers were not stupid. They knew that it was entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that voters at some point would put a person in the White House who was totally unsuited to lead the country. (In 2016 , not even a majority of voters voted for the winning candidate.) That is why they came up with the idea of an Electoral College, which was set up to be a deliberative body to review the election results and approve the winner if the president-elect did not present a serious and dire threat to the United States.

That time has now arrived. The president-elect is totally unsuited to hold this office and represents a serious and dire threat to our country and to the world.

There were many who admitted that Trump was outrageous and irresponsible during the campaign but argued that he would mellow if he were elected and would make an effort to be presidential. He would move toward the center. Some of my Republican friends have suggested he would turn out to be another Eisenhower. Aside from a comment or two here and there about not locking up Hillary, Obama being an ok guy, and wanting to bring our country back together again, he has confirmed–even exceeded–the fears of many, if not most, of the voters who did not vote for him. He is a disaster. Let’s review what he has done since the election:

  1. His cabinet appointments–with one or two exceptions–are the worst in history. For the most part they are extremists and people with an agenda centered on rolling back anything and everything even remotely progressive.
    • His Chief Strategist is a Nazi sympathizer and a champion of the alt-right.
    • His Labor Secretary is fiercely anti labor and anti worker, notorious for taking advantage of his workers at Hardees.
    • His Commerce Secretary has an ax to grind with China and has promised tariffs, which according to economists would  lead to higher prices at Walmart (and most everywhere else) and trade wars.
    • His Homeland Security appointee is anti immigrant and supposedly wants all the eleven million illegal immigrants out including the children protected under Obama’s American Dream action.
    • His National Security Advisor is avidly anti Muslim and makes little distinction between ordinary Muslims and extremists. It is akin to saying members of the Ku Klux Klan are legitimate Christians. He is also one of the perpetrators of the Pizzagate, the fake news story that motivated the maverick vigilante who armed with an assault weapon entered Comet Ping Pong Pizza in search of a non-existent, child sex ring run by Hillary.
    • His Attorney General has been a lifelong opponent of civil rights.
    • His Secretary of Education is anti public schools who advocates  taking massive amounts of money away from traditional public schools to be used for vouchers and charter schools.
    • His Secretary of HUD is anti “handouts” and is already threatening to roll back these programs, which could include public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, the two principle programs standing between the very poor and homelessness.
    • He has already appointed two Goldman Sachs executives to major positions. Their mantra is likely to be more tax breaks for the rich and a roll back of regulations affecting big business.
    • Several of his appointees are multi billionaires, hardly the kind of people who are going to stand up for the little guy.
    • He has appointed three generals, all with distinguished military records but all apparently leaning toward guns over butter, suggesting we could be inching closer to another Cold War–this time with China. At least one general wants to revoke the Iran nuclear deal.
    • The Secretary of Human Services is fanatically anti Obama Care and has promised to kill it without articulating an alternative that makes any sense.
    • His EPA head is a climate denier who has pledged to roll back environmental regulations and get the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal.
    • His anticipated Secretary of State, the head of Exxon Mobile, has a long history of doing business in Russia and is described by The Washington Post as  a friend of Putin.
  2. He continues to tweet and say all sorts of outlandish things such as that he really would have won the popular vote were it not for massive voter fraud, that his win is unprecedented, and that he has a mandate to do whatever he wants.
  3. He continues to be a bully, last week tweeting against a local labor leader in Indiana who had the gall to question how many jobs were actually saved at Carrier.
  4. He has upset Asian relations by talking to the president of Taiwan.
  5. He continues to take victory laps in states that he won using the same inflammatory rhetoric that got him elected.
  6. According to the Washington Post, the Energy Department has been ordered to provide the names of all officials who have attended conferences on global warming or climate control. A friend of mine at the Energy Department confirmed this and said that everyone was terrified with many looking for new jobs in the private sector.
  7. He has refused to give up his business interests and stated that he will stay on as executive producer of The Apprentice.
  8. And last and hardly least, Trump has aggressively denied that Russia had any connection with interfering with the election. He has ridiculed the CIA and doubled down on his support for Putin, including his likely nomination for Secretary of State, a Putin apologist.

Is this enough to cause concern? If it isn’t, then the Electoral College is a sham and irrelevant. It should be abolished.

So Electoral College, suck it up. Show some courage. Save us from the looming catastrophe. Save the Republic!

The only plausible, but chilling, argument that I have heard against the Electoral College dumping Trump  is that if the Electoral College were to do this, his most avid supporters would rise up in armed rebellion, and  we would find ourselves in another civil war. Sounds extreme to me, but then I think of Pizzagate and the Comet Ping Pong Pizza incident.

However, I am not holding my breath for a reprieve by the Electoral College.

Looks like we are in for some very trying and terrifying times. What are we to do? Any ideas?


This is my last post of 2016. I am giving you a break. Get some rest. Enjoy the holidays. Try not to think about Trump.

The holiday season  is a special time of the year. We now refer to the Winter Solstice timeout as simply “The Holidays,” because the U.S. is now multicultural, and a lot of people who are not Christian celebrate other religious holidays this time of year. This is the way it should be. But those of us who call ourselves Christian should not forget how the holiday began and what it is all about. It is not all about parties and having fun. It is about remembering that at a certain time and place on the Planet Earth, a child was born who led a life that many people believe gave us a glimpse of the nature of the Divine. It is all about love and acceptance and our relationship with our fellow man and the illusive spirituality that we hard-wired humans long for but experience too infrequently. It is a time for thanksgiving and celebration and reflection as to what it means to be human on our planet at this time in human history.

Best wishes to all for a blessed holiday season!

Second Trump Press Conference

Reader Alert: This is fake news.


The second Trump press conference was held on December 9, 2016, in the auditorium of Liberty University where journalists from the various religious evangelical publications were invited. Here is how it went:

Trump: Great to be here at Liberty, the greatest university in the world! I will be having most of my press conferences here in the future along with invitations to the best journalists—those representing evangelical Christian newspapers. You surely aren’t going to see representatives of those fake news organizations like the New York Times or the Washington Post at one of my press conferences.

I first would like to thank you for supporting me. I understand that some 80% of you voted for me, and many think that I am the Second Coming of Jesus himself, so I say thank you. And I am not going to deny that your opinion is correct. I have so much respect for you. I will not let you down and will keep doing what I have been doing, which is why you voted for me. I won’t let you down or my working class supporters down, who voted for me overwhelmingly. Beautiful, just beautiful and really, really big. Unprecedented and a mandate, a mandate for change, and believe me, you are going to see some changes. I am draining the swamp. Day One, 12.01 pm, January 20.

Now the first question.

George, Salvation Press, Lubbock, Texas: Mr. President Elect. Tell us how your Cabinet appointees will promote Christian values.

Trump: Well, I have selected a lot of good Christians, who can and will kick ass, excuse me, bring Jesus to the masses. I’ve got three generals, and they do not fool around, let me tell you. You will be able to sleep at night for a change. Those no good, infidel Muslims. They will be history– at least in the U.S. and we will track them down wherever they are. Very fast. Flynn, National Security Advisor, he can’t stand these people and will head this up. This will happen very fast. Starting 12:01 on January 20. Now if they want to become Christian and behave themselves, then we might be talking another story.

Trump: Next Question.

Bill, Good News Radio, Gunther, SC: What about them other immigrants, the illegal ones?

Trump: Same story. Gone, starting Day 1. Big, really big. Unprecedented. My Homeland Security guy hates these people. Eleven million, can you believe it? All the jobs they have stolen from hard working Americans—house cleaning, car washing, landscaping, grape picking, baby sitting, bus boys, janitors, dish washers, house painters, delivery boys.

Sally, Praise Jesus Radio, Dog Ear, Alabama: What about your Supreme Court appointee?

Trump: Haven’t got there yet but don’t worry. I know why you voted for me.

Jim: Holiness News, Akron, OH.: Is it true that half your cabinet members are multi billionaires, like you?

Trump: Absolutely and you know why? God helps his special people and these people are special, believe me, really special. There is a reason they are rich, and there is a reason I am rich. We are all rich because we started with nothing and showed what we can do. God is impressed. Believe me, he is. That is why we are so rich and I mean really, rich. Some fake news reporters have said I am not worth $11 billion, only five or six billion, but I tell you I am worth a lot more than $11 billion and I did it all by myself.

George, Salvation Daily News, Geezer’s Gulch, Idaho: Could you describe your church experience and current spiritual life?

Trump: Next question.

Billy, Sanctimonious Press, Cloudy, Arkansas. And what about your working class supporters?

Trump: Love ‘em. Without them I would not be president, and believe me, they will get their reward. First, my Treasury guy, who is worth several billion, I don’t know exactly, maybe five or six billion, not anywhere near as much as I am worth, he is going to cut taxes big time. Day one. 12.01pm January 20, and it will be great. Now the tax breaks will go mainly to the billionaires like me and him–and that is good and will help my loyal, working class followers. The billionaires are the job creators. These tax  breaks will create jobs for janitors and housekeepers and car washers. But that is only the beginning. My Labor guy, Mr. Fast Food, he is going to kill the minimum wage and get rid of job protections. Those are job killers. America is going to be free again. And my Commerce guy, hey, he hates China and is going to kill Chinese imports. That will bring American factory jobs back, Day One. Maybe you will pay a buck or two more at Walmart, but it is all junk anyway, and this is nothing compared to what you get in return. Big, really big. More jobs. And the EPA guy, well, he is going to kill clean energy and bring back all the coal and mining jobs, and all this nonsense about global warming? That is in God’s hands. If he wants to warm it up, let him do it. Hey, it’s his planet, right? So what I am really going to be known for is what I will do for working people. You think they love me now, just wait a few years.

Fred, Prayerful News, Paducah, KY. What about civil rights and that sort of thing.?

Trump: I told you America is gonna be great again, and all these politically correct things and hoops you have got to jump through to satisfy some dimwit judge? Well, Day One that is over. My buddy, Jeff Sessions the Attorney General, has been working against this his whole life. We love minorities in the U.S.– the few who work hard and earn a decent living, but welfare has ruined them. And Ben Carson at HUD, he hates all these giveaway programs as much as I do. Public Housing, Vouchers? Gone. Day One.

Final Question.

Jennifer, Praise the Lord Press, Grinders Switch, Tennessee: But can you really do all this on Day One?

Trump: Don’t know. Really have not had time to look at the Constitution. Thank you all for coming and God bless my evangelical and working class friends.



Jump NOW!

Picture this: You are alone in a canoe, gently drifting down a wide river. The sky is blue with white cloud puffs. Kingfishers dip into the water, and egrets, and ospreys soar overhead. Towering oaks and sycamores on shore hang out over the sparkling water. It could not be more beautiful.

Then you notice that the river starts to narrow, and the current begins to pick up. In the distance you hear the muffled sound of what could be a very big rapid or even a waterfall. You don’t think too much about it, then suddenly your paddle slips into the water. By this time the current is actually getting pretty strong, and the muffled noise is becoming louder. You lunge for the paddle, which is swept away out of reach. There is no way now to steer the canoe.

Then on shore to your left you see a large crowd, some of whom you recognize as friends. They are very much aware of what is happening to you and holler and scream for you to get closer to shore. They seem to sense that disaster is about to happen. Many are waving American flags. You are lucky that an eddy has allowed the canoe to move closer to shore, perhaps even within swimming distance.

The river has continued to narrow considerably, and you notice on the opposite shore another large crowd, also waving American flags. This crowd is angry and upset about something and is shouting obscenities and shaking their fists. You notice a few posters but can’t make out what they say. “Stay the course,” this crowd is yelling, “Stay the course!” Some have guns and are shaking them in the air.

You can’t figure out what to do or what is going on. The sound you hear now is a deafening thunder, and you know it is a waterfall. You have got to make a decision. Someone shouts from the opposite shore . “Stay the course! We own that canoe now. It belongs to us!”

“Jump now,” your friends are yelling. “This is your last chance!”

You have no choice. You jump. You are a pretty good swimmer and are making headway toward the shore where the friendly crowd is beckoning and cheering, “You can do it! You can make it!”

Then you hear something pelting the water like rain drops. Could it be bullets falling from the sky from guns fired from the angry crowd on the opposite shore? You begin to tire and struggle. You sense your life depends on making it to shore but feel like you are in limbo, swimming hard but stalled out. You struggle and fear you aren’t going to make it as you begin to feel yourself being dragged slowly by the current toward the waterfall….

And then you wake up. In a cold sweat.

You breathe a long sigh. “Thank God,” you say out loud, “just a nightmare, a really, really bad dream.”

At breakfast you read the news headlines, and you understand. You know.




Ominous Signs

Having been accused of being a perpetrator of fake news (Hey, the title “Fantasy Tale” should have been a tip off that the Trump press conference was not real.), I am calling your attention to the story below, which is true, as anyone who lives in the Washington area will confirm.

At 3:00 pm yesterday, Sunday, December 4, a 28-year old man from Salisbury, NC, armed with an assault weapon entered a popular pizza restaurant called Comet Ping Pong, few blocks from where we live. He pointed the weapon at an employee, who fled out the front door and called the police. At that time of day the restaurant was not crowded, and customers managed to flee before he started shooting up the place. It was a miracle that no one was shot. The owner of the restaurant had received hundreds of death threats during the preceding few weeks and had alerted the FBI and police. The owners of at least two other restaurants in that retail complex had received similar threats as had the owners of Politics and Prose, a popular independent book store.

Police arrived on the scene in minutes and arrested the guy. Additional weapons were found in the restaurant and in the suspect’s car.

The reason for the incident? He was merely following up on a widely viewed “news story” on the internet which documented that Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager were operating a child sex ring in the back room of the restaurant and in the underground tunnels connecting the various business establishments. He was doing his duty to investigate and bring justice. For the record, Michael Flynn, Trump’s nominee for national security advisor, and who earned an F on the Trump scorecard, has posted similar stories of Hillary being involved in pedophilia.

As whacky as this is, this is not an isolated incident. A couple of weeks ago a multi cultural Episcopal Church in the Washington area was vandalized with swastikas painted on the walls along with anti immigrant and racist slogans. Similar incidents have been reported throughout the Washington region since the election. Others we know who have lived and worked in the Washington region for many years, but are not documented, live in fear that come January 21, an armed deportation force will haul them off in the middle of the night.

Our 13 year-old goddaughter, who lives in Iowa, a few days ago returned home from school in tears because her classmates told her she was going to be deported now that Trump had been elected. She is adopted from China and a full American citizen.

The Southern Poverty Law Center documents these “hate incidents” and ten days following the election posted that 867 incidents had been reported, a much higher figure than would have been normal. That translates to almost 90 hate incidents a day, and the number appears to be on the rise. Take a look at their website for current information:

Folks, these are early and frightening warning signs. Things could very quickly get out of hand. Our democracy and our civility are fragile. We tend to take both for granted. Trump with his tirades against “political correctness” and his anti immigrant and anti Muslim harangues has created an atmosphere where acting out in anti social and dangerous ways no longer carries the stigma that it should. We humans are herd animals. We tend to follow our leaders. We tend to do what is permissible within societal norms. When those norms change, behavior changes. We are entering unchartered waters in dangerous and very frightening times.




Introducing the Trump Score Card

Just what you have been waiting for—a surefire way to evaluate how our president-elect is doing. As new information becomes available, it will be updated and revised periodically ; and best of all, you will have a chance to weigh in with your own comments and evaluation in the comments section. For those who are interested in this amusing and, more likely, alarming exercise, and do not already follow the blog as a subscriber, I urge you to do so now by clicking the tab on the left where it says “enter your name to subscribe by email.” This way you won’t miss a thing, and it is looking like it is going to be quite a ride.

So here is the way the score card will work. There will be five possible grades and an overall average as noted below:


  1. A  Score   5 “Great, Keep it up!”
  2. B Score     4   “Not bad, but you can do a little better, keep trying.”
  3. C Score     3  “Not too good , but try  harder and change course.”
  4. D   Score     2   “ Pretty bad. Red alert. Change now before it is too late.”
  5. F   Score     0     “Catastrophe.”


It is permitted to give an extra .5 when this makes sense. The total scores will be added up to see where The Donald stands at the time of the analysis. For our purposes, scores that average 3 or “C” are considered a passing grade, probably where the majority of presidents have ended up. I would give W. a “D” and Obama an “A” though I am sure there will be lots of disagreement here. But we are not rating past presidents. We are rating Trump.

Now let’s get started. We don’t have a whole lot of information so far since almost two months remain before the nuclear code is handed over. So we will start with the appointments and the demeanor issue, which basically are the only things we have to work with. The way we will determine how well he is doing is rate his major appointments so far, add up the scores and see where Trump stands. Here are the appointments so far :

  • Chief Strategist: Stephen Bannon. This may be the scariest appointment of all. The guy ran Breitbart News, the Alt-Right media company specializing in racist and anti Muslim propaganda and sympathizing with Neo Nazis. Grade: F.We all know that Trump is influenced by whomever he talked to last. If he spends any significant time with this guy, we are doomed.
  • Chief of Staff: Prince Preibus. An early concession to the Establishment Republicans and his reward for sticking with Trump during hard times when the Establishment were not saying nice things. He will be Trump’s lap dog. Don’t expect him to say “No, Donald, this would not be a good time to use the nuclear code. “ Given the other options available, Prince is not as bad as he could be. I will give Trump a C.
  • National Security Advisor: Michael Flynn. Retired general with a distinguished career of 33 years in the army and also a former Democrat. The problem is he appears to be a nut case. He has a reputation for being a loose cannon and was forced to retire early for verbally  abusing staff. The real problem , however, is that he sees the Muslim faith as the fundamental enemy, not radical Islam, and has said a bunch of outlandish and untrue things about Islam. It appears he sees the current conflicts in the Middle East as a sort of holy war between Christianity and Islam. He is generally pro Putin and has advocated for working more closely with Russia in Syria. For appointing someone with these views Trump gets another F.
  • Defense Secretary: Steven “Mad Dog” Mattis. Would anyone with the nick name “Mad Dog” be somebody you would invite over for a dinner party? But this appointment may be the big surprise. He actually gets high marks from pundits and experts for a distinguished military career as a Marine General and head of the U.S. Central Command. Though he is outspoken and says politically incorrect things such as enjoying killing bad guys, he is described as a smart, strategic thinker, tough, and independent. He may be the one Cabinet person who will stand up to Trump and keep him from pressing the nuclear button. He has said he is against waterboarding and against tearing up the Iran nuclear treaty. He is the best hope that we have right now that a contrary, strong voice might save us from the worst. I will give Trump an A on Mad Dog.
  • Health and Human Services: Tom Price. Price is a six term Republican congressman from Georgia, who is an orthopedic doctor, whose only contribution in the House seems to have been leading the charge to repeal Obama Care. His alternative is described as a windfall for doctors, which will result in most of the 22 million who have gained health care insurance being left with little or nothing. He is another fanatic with an agenda. Trump gets another F.
  • Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin, not to be confused with “Munchkin.” The guy is one of several billionaires on the Trump Cabinet and a Wall Street hack, the son of a Wall Street hack, and the last person in the world who would  stick it to the big banks. The only thing good you can say about him is that he does know his way around Wall Street and knows what he is doing. But so much for championing the little guy. Unlike other appointees, it does not appear that he necessarily has an ax to grind or an agenda he wants to accomplish except more tax cuts for the rich. Trump gets a very low C on this one.
  • Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao, the wife of Mitch McConnell and another tip of the hat to the Establishment. How much damage can she do? Trump gets another C.
  • Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross. Another multi billionaire with an agenda—heavy tariffs on Chinese imports resulting, according to most economists, in a likely trade war, which would be a disaster. Another F.
  • Education Secretary: Betsy DeVoss. Yet another multi billionaire, with no actual teaching experience but an obsession with school vouchers and charter schools. Married to the heir of the Amway fortune, and a Republican activist, this is another concession to the Establishment. I would give Trump a D.
  • UN Ambassador: Nikki Haley. She is the governor of South Carolina and has been more moderate than she could have been—at least with regard to the Confederate Flag incident, and she is an American of Indian (as in India, the country) heritage. He could have done worse. Trump gets a B.
  • CIA Director: Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is a congressman from Kansas and a leader of the tea party movement, who brings with him a dark agenda. He was obsessed with Benghazi and went after Hillary relentlessly. Right wing fanatic with a cause, not who you want running the CIA. Trump gets a F.
  • Probable Department of Housing an Urban Development Secretary: Doctor Ben Carson. Hey, the guy is weird but seems nice enough, and this is what he gets for coming around to support Trump at the end. How much damage can he—or anybody for that matter—do at HUD? I will give Trump the benefit of the doubt and give him a B.

While there are more appointments to come, most positions do not fall into categories that will make a huge difference except for Secretary of State, and this one will say a lot about where the Cabinet may be headed. The Director of National Intelligence is probably next in importance. Labor, Interior, Agriculture are also still open, and I will keep you posted.

So how well did Trump do on our exercise? Well, he got one A, two Bs, three Cs, one D, and five Fs. His total score was 24, divided by 12 positions, which equals an average of exactly 2 or a solid D. Sounds about right to me.

And now for the temperament part. The question is how presidential is Trump starting to look? He did say on more than one occasion that he wants to pull the country together and that he won’t lock up Hillary day one, but, alas, he is still tweeting in the wee hours of the morning and talking about how the popular vote was rigged against him, how he really won the poplar vote by a landslide, all the illegal immigrants voting in states that he lost in, and such things. And naturally he is opposing the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. It is unclear what he is going to do about all his real estate and conflicts of interest. And about the phone conversation with the President of Taiwan? Who knows? Maybe it was a wrong number. Maybe he did not know what Taiwan is or symbolizes. In any event The Donald does not sound presidential to me. Solid D. When he hits F, it is time to panic.

We are just beginning, folks. Who knows what we are in for?

What do you think?

Post Script:

My nephew, Alex, in his comment noted I left out Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. How could I have forgotten him? It must have been late last night when I put the blog post to bed. Sessions, of course, Sessions. He is the worst. He has spent most of his legal and political career fighting against civil rights and is a ghost from the days of Jim Crow. An F for sure, which brings the Trump score down to a D-.