Friday Reads: It came from the Sewers of Queens (2020)

Creature from the Black Lagoon  (1954)

Good Day Sky Dancers!

This headline at the NYDN couldn’t say it any more plainly. “Say it plainly: The president is a psychopath”.  He’s not just a reality show host. He’s one of those monsters found in Horror Shows.  

The president is a poo poo platter of pathologies and chief among them is that he is a psychopath.  This op ed piece is written by ALAN D. BLOTCKY and SETH D. NORRHOLM.  I’m adding to the outrage that BB wrote about yesterday and upping the volume to 11.  We’re being run by some one who should be under psychiatric care and placed in some place where he can’t hurt any more people.

“Get rid of the ballots” and “there won’t be a transfer,” said Donald Trump on Wednesday. This comment is a direct and dangerous expression of his anti-democratic intention. If unstopped, Trump may well destroy our 244-year-old democracy.

It is time to stop pulling punches. It is time to stop relying on political pundits to weigh in on Trump’s behavior, which they often soften and even normalize.

We are psychologists, and we are convinced Donald Trump is a psychopath. His malignant behavior over the past four years is growing and escalating right before our eyes. Trump’s psychopathy will change us forever if he is not stopped.

This is not hyperbole. This is not an expression of “a left-wing agenda.” This is a mental health opinion based on thousands of hours of documented behavior by this president.

He breaks norms, rules, and laws with impunity.

He lies, on average, 15 times a day.

He peddles fake conspiracy theories and irrational magical thinking.

He has been accused of sexually predatory behavior by at least 25 women.

He blames, scapegoats and gaslights as easily as he breathes.

He undermines the vital role of the free press because he abhors oversight and accountability.

His lies and anti-scientific advice and intentional downplaying of the coronavirus pandemic has led to countless American deaths.

He is callous and cold and unfeeling because he has no conscience.

He denigrates and humiliates anyone and everyone in his path.

He has no respect for military heroes or renowned experts.

He is racist and xenophobic.

He incites violence and culture wars.

He is obsessed with power and adoration.

He is a greedy opportunist.

He is corrupt to the core.

House on a Haunted Hill with actress Carol Ohmart (1959)

Can’t argue with any of that.

Politico describes “‘Everyone sees the train wreck coming’: Trump reveals his November endgame. After more than four years of nonstop voter fraud claims and insinuations that he might not accept the election results, the president isn’t keeping his intent a secret.”

After more than four years of nonstop voter fraud claims, insinuations that he might not accept the presidential election results and at least one float about delaying the November election, it’s no secret. Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power this week — and his choice not to walk back his remarks Thursday in the face of widespread unease — merely broadcasts his strategic intent in terms both parties can understand.

As a result, Republicans can no longer truthfully deny that Trump may be unwilling to leave officein the event he is defeated. And Democrats must now confront the possibility they may not have the power to stop him.

It’s an unprecedented backdrop for a modern presidential race, one that could stretch the electoral process to its limits, almost guaranteeing a chaotic, divisive finish to the campaign.

“We are super alarmed,” said Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way, which released a primer this week on how Trump is laying the groundwork to dispute the election results in the event of a defeat. “I now think it’s very, very likely that Joe Biden will win the election if the votes are counted, but it’s not clear that the votes will be counted.”

Recalling the 2000 election, in which the Supreme Court prohibited further recounts of the Florida vote, awarding the presidency to George W. Bush, Bennett said, “We’re a lot more organized than in 2000. A lot … But I don’t know if it’s enough.”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is the first woman to lie in state in the US Capitol.  She is also the first Jewish person to do so. This is via USA Today.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began the day’s events with a formal arrival ceremony in National Statuary Hall, in which eight military pallbearers carried Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket up the Capitol steps as lawmakers stood in somber observance.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer led Ginsburg’s family into the large hall before her casket was carried inside. Lawmakers and guests, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, held their hand over their hearts as Ginsburg’s casket was placed on the Lincoln Catafalque, which first supported President Abraham Lincoln’s casket in the U.S. Capitol after his assassination in 1865.

“It is with deep sympathy to the Ginsburg family that I have the high honor to welcome Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state in the Capitol of the United States,” Pelosi said in brief opening remarks.

Many female lawmakers were in attendance, including vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. The bipartisan, masked group honoring Ginsburg’s legacy and 27 years on the high court remained safely distanced in the approximately 100 seats. But the two highest ranking Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, did not attend.

“Justice Ginsburg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness,” Pelosi said in a statement Friday. “Her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who strive to build a better future for our children.”

In a nod to Ginsburg’s passion for opera, American soprano Denyce Graves – a friend whom the justice saw perform many times – sang “Deep River” and “American Anthem” before lawmakers and other guests filed past her casket in small groups to say their goodbyes.

“America, America, I gave my best to you,” Graves belted out in the marbled hall.

The She Creature (1956)

The DOJ continues to do weird things to undermine the confidence of voters in the election probably paving the way for an endless Trump Court battle which he hopes to win as he continues to pack the court with simply temperamentally, professionally, and mentally unfit people.  This is from NPR: “Feds, In Unusual Statement, Announce They’re Investigating A Few Discarded Ballots.”

The FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said Thursday that they are investigating “potential issues” with nine military ballots in one county. They believe the ballots were opened improperly, though they have not filed any charges or taken official action.

U.S. Attorney David Freed noted that the investigation remains active but said he is releasing the news publicly “based on the limited amount of time before the general election and the vital public importance of these issues.”

Voting rights experts and Justice Department veterans, however, said that proximity to the election and the preliminary nature of the investigation make Freed’s announcement highly unusual.

The announcement comes as President Trump continues to baselessly claim that voting by mail will lead to widespread fraud and as the Justice Department is under scrutiny for allegations that its decisions under Attorney General William Barr are increasingly directed at boosting Trump’s reelection efforts.

Trump’s campaign immediately seized on the announcement of an investigation to conclude that it was evidence Democrats were trying to “steal” the election.

The potential voting irregularities in Pennsylvania came to light after President Trump mentioned them, offhand, in an interview with a Fox radio host Thursday.

“We have to be very careful with the ballots,” the president told reporters later, according to a news pool report. He described what he called a “scam” where ballots had been found in the trash. The president has been criticizing the integrity of this year’s election for months.

“We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be,” Trump continued.

And, don’t forget we have this and a Pandemic to deal with.  Over 200,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19.

Mnunchin has announced that he and Speaker Pelosi will once more try to get something done in terms of economic relief. But where are the Republicans in the Senate? (From the Hill)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have agreed to revive negotiations over a stalled follow-up coronavirus relief bill.

“I’ve probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days on the CR,” Mnuchin told the Senate Banking Committee during a hearing with Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell, referring to a continuing resolution to extend government funding, “and we’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act.”

Pelosi also said Thursday that she expected negotiations with the White House to resume shortly, telling reporters at the Capitol, “We’ll be hopefully soon to the table with them.”

Mnuchin and Pelosi’s comments come amid a months-long partisan stalemate over a follow up to the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed by President Trump in March.

While there is broad bipartisan support for certain components of a stimulus bill, Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over the size and scope of another package. Spiking partisan tensions driven by the looming November elections and the battle over the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have also made a breakthrough unlikely before Election Day.

Democrats have insisted that the federal government must approve trillions in further aid to renew a lapse in enhanced unemployment benefits, bolster state and local government budgets, send another round of direct relief payments to struggling households and expand housing and eviction protections.

Republicans, however, are wary of adding to the national debt and prefer a targeted package intended to help schools and day care centers reopen and bring Americans back to work as quickly as possible.

Mnuchin, one of Trump’s two chief stimulus negotiators, urged Democrats to come back to the table for a bill built around areas of wide bipartisan agreement such as revamping the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses and relief payments.

The Monster that Challenged the World with Actress Audrey Dalton (1957)

This is all nice and well but none of these businesses will hire people if they don’t have customers buying their stuff and holding them open on a thread of funds seems unkind given the incredible botched job of getting the pandemic under control. How long are they going to bleed taxpayer and their own cash before we release that customers who can’t buy anything are the ones that sink businesses.

So, I’m not sure how long this little horror show called the Trumpist Regime wrecks the US Economy and Democracy while killing tens of thousands of people, but Gee I’m ready for the cartoons.  I’m ready for some America Heroes to return the Monster from Queens to his sewer.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?