Tequila Sunset Edition
A SPECIAL APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where, with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our commander-in-chief.
So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:
The week of our Trump — Oct. 31, 2020: And so, the end is near.
Still awaiting final counts in several states, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads impeached President Donald Trump both by popular vote — by more than 4 million — and in the Electoral College 264 to 214.
With media outlets too scared to make history by our press time, the former vice president led the incumbent in the key states of Georgia, where he led by 4,000 votes; Pennsylvania, where he led by 29,000 votes; and Nevada, where he led by 23,000 votes.
Biden has been named the projected winner in Arizona since as early as Election Night, when Fox News called the Grand Canyon state in his favor. The Associated Press agreed and also called the state for Biden a day later.
Major media outlets seemed to be awaiting the end of vote-counting before declaring Biden — currently just six votes short of earning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to be president — the winner.
But here at The Shinbone Star, we’ve decided it’s time to declare a “Tequila Sunset” for Donald Trump. The cocktail is orange in color, just like the president, and is named for the rising of the sun. However, our sunset cocktail has a dash of grenadine to give it more of a “red mirage.”
Last night, Biden addressed a weary nation during a 10:50 p.m. speech from Wilmington, Del. Stopping short of claiming victory, Biden, the ultimate statesman, called for patience, a commitment to unity and a return to American values. Standing with his running mate, Kamala Harris, Biden said:
“Look, we both know tensions are high, they can be high after, a tough election, one like we’ve had, but we need to remember to remain calm, patient and let the process work out as we count all the votes. You know we are proving again what we have proved for 244 years in this country — democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen.”
Biden’s cool-headed approach, steady hand and call for patience and unity were a sobering difference from the chaos of the current president, who has spent the last three days spreading lies, falsehoods and conspiracy theories that suggest our national election was corrupted by what he called the “Biden crime family.”
Unlike Biden, it was Trump who set the nation on edge by claiming victory in states that had yet to be decided, then sulking like a child when he couldn’t stop ballot counting in states where he was ahead or increase counting in states where he trailed.
In his best strongman imitation, Trump attempted to declare victory at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4 and thereby desecrate the entire election process:
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election, frankly we did win this election. We have won Georgia — we’re up by 2.5 percent or 17,000 votes with only 7 percent left. They’re never going to catch us, they can’t catch us. Likewise, we’ve clearly won North Carolina — where we’re up 1.4 percent or 77,000 votes with approximately 5 percent left — they can’t catch us.”
Trump’s ignorant defiance, which was hardly a surprise to anyone, seemed to explode after Fox News called Arizona for Biden. The Rupert Murdoch-owned station that is Trump’s media of choice was first to make the early projection for Biden. The president did not take news of his defeat in the Sunbelt well. It hit Team Trump like a sledgehammer.
As Trump loyalists noshed on sliders and fries, the unwelcome news was a real party pooper in the East Room of the White House, where they’d gathered to witness what they thought would be Trump’s triumphant march to a second term.
Trump and his sycophants were suddenly left to ponder the very real possibility that all was not well, and that whatever happened in Arizona would be repeated elsewhere. What followed were angry calls from Trump and his team to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and a call to Fox News urging a retraction of the projection.
The network refused to change that projection and was later first to suggest that Biden’s path to the presidency was just six Electoral College votes away.
Trump’s reaction would serve as a harbinger for things to come. His disappointment with Fox News and the prospect of losing Arizona fanned the flames as the president and his lawyers filed lawsuits tied to election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. Trump has also already called for a recount in Wisconsin, another state he won in 2016 but apparently lost this time around.
Trump’s blatant attempt to usurp democracy by questioning legitimacy of the election did not go unnoticed and was condemned by observers around the world.
The leader of an international team of election observers monitoring the 2020 election called Trump’s demand to end the counting of ballots “disturbing” and a “gross abuse of office.” The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) visits countries around the world to assess whether elections respect fundamental freedoms. The OSCE has monitored U.S. elections since 2002.
In a press conference the day after the election, the OSCE stated that allegations by Team Trump were unfounded and that the “legal uncertainty and unprecedented attempts to undermine public trust” threaten to tarnish the outcome and undermine the democratic process in America.
“Despite legal and technical challenges and deliberate attempts by the incumbent president to weaken confidence in the election process,” Urszula Gacek, lead of the OSCE’s long-term observation mission said, the U.S. system still managed to work.
Regardless of the lawsuits and bluster, it appears a Biden presidency is a foregone conclusion, even though ballots are still being counted in a number of states. With a projected win that includes more popular votes and Electoral College votes than Trump, it is only a question of when.
Some have questioned whether Trump would participate in the customary peaceful transfer of power and concede if he were to lose.
A spokesman for the Democratic candidate for president said that if Trump loses, he will ultimately have to leave the White House. “The United States government is capable of escorting trespassers from the White House,” he said.
Art of the Squeal
Donald Trump’s wild-eyed, Adderall-fueled claims about mainstream pollsters inflating Democratic numbers to suppress Republican votes and other such myths touched off a wild week in the effort to elect a new president.
Faced with the reality that he might actually lose the election to “Sleepy Joe” Biden, a man he has attempted to defame by calling him a criminal, senile, a shadow of former President Barack Obama and the head of a crime family, Trump was flying out of control.
He had two tantrums, the first at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4 after his evening festivities had been interrupted by Fox News’ call in Arizona, and a second tantrum Thursday evening when he gave a 7 p.m. presser to attack democracy.
The panicked president‘s assertions touched off protests from his supporters and more wild conspiracy theories that Biden was somehow fixing ballots in multiple states.
Things began to noticeably unravel for The Donald on Election Night when he assumed that positive early returns in states he had won in the past suggested he had already salted away a victory, but before the blizzard of mail-in ballots — largely from Democrats — were counted:
“We were getting ready for a big celebration, we were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off. We won states and all of a sudden I said: ‘what happened to the election?’ It’s off! I had all of these announcers saying what happened?”
The president’s lies fueled conspiracy theorists to chirp on social media and morphed into at least eight lawsuits against voting commissions in Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona,
The day after the election, members of the Trump Cult took to the streets with flags, hats and t-shirts to call for local election officials to stop counting mail-in votes in states where Trump’s lead was shrinking and continue counting votes in states where he was gaining.
Following his terrifying remarks on the morning after the election, Trump returned to the White House briefing room and launched into another pathetic, fib-packed assault on his opponent and against democracy itself.
Reprehensible and unprecedented, Trump suggested that the votes still being counted were somehow illegal, and that new ballots were being discovered to bolster Biden’s totals. As he had stated continually over the past several weeks, Trump said, without evidence, that mail-in ballots and absentee ballots are fraudulent.
Though aware the spread of COVID-19 would cause a surge in mail-in ballots, he said that counting them was proof of a coordinated Democratic effort to steal the election.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
Trump made it blatantly clear that he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the election and further pervert the democratic process by taking the vote away from citizens and having his fate settled in the courts:
“It’s going to end up, perhaps, at the highest court of the land.”
Trump’s false claims were welcomed by many of the sycophants still on the bandwagon, but were rebuffed by a few who sensed blood in the water and left their hiding places to feed.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has sucked up to Trump enough to avoid direct fire but has also been marginalized by the Republican leader, said the president is free to request recounts and present valid evidence of fraud, but cautioned against lying.
In a written statement, Romney said:
“It is wrong to say that the election is rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so weakens the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”
Romney was joined in his criticism of Trump by fellow Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), who characterized Trump’s blathering speech as “disturbing” and made “without evidence.”
Toomey told CBS This Morning:
“The president’s speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it. I am not aware of any significant fraud, any significant wrongdoing.”
Sen. “Moscow” Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky), fresh off a victory in his Senate race, oozed out from under his rock and plopped his fleshy wattle squarely on the fence.
McConnell wrote on Twitter:
“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R- Ca.) left the warm area inside Trump’s anus to appear on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show, where he urged anyone observing the imaginary illegal voting activity to not be silent.
Then there was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who started begging people to send money to Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire. Cotton tweeted a link for the president’s defense fund with a headline that read: “The Democrats Will Try to Steal This Election.”
But the support from the likes of butt-buddies like Cotton and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who said he does not trust Philadelphia, the birthplace of the republic, paled in comparison to the pathetic bleatings from Trump attorney and “Borat” co-star Rudy Giuliani and the president’s middle son, Eric.
Despite the ballot counting being overseen by the regular paid election officials, Eric Trump and Giuliani said the inability of private citizens who are Trump supporters to monitor the proceedings constituted “fraud” and “rampant corruption.”
Eric Trump and Giuliani said ballots mailed to local boards of election are prone to fraud and said they believed that because private citizens were not allowed to observe the processing of all mail-in ballots, it suggested that Trump’s losses are due to illegal activity.
“It’s not just here in Philadelphia, but happening all across the country. Not a single Republican has been able to look at any one of these mail ballots. They could be from Mars as far as we’re concerned, or they could be from the Democratic National Committee. Joe Biden could have voted 50 times as far as we know, or 5,000 times.”
Neither gave any actual evidence to to back up their assertions.
Making COVID Great Again!
With the nation transfixed on the election, impeached President Donald J. Trump traded in his standard lies about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and went whole hog on trying to secure a second term.
Both efforts fell painfully short.
Holding his last mask-less, non-socially distanced, super-spreader event on the Monday before the election, Patient Zero-in-Chief finally stopped helping COVID-19 spread across America by stepping off the campaign trail to prepare for his East Room jammie-jam.
While everyone knows how that raucous party ended with a 2 a.m. whine and cheese fest proclaiming a premature victory, COVID-19 also crashed the party and created a new White House hot spot.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has reportedly tested positive for the contagion just days after the fateful East Room party. He is just the latest member of the White House to contract the virus after a White House event where face masks and social-distance precautions were not followed.
Last month, Meadows informed the American people that the White House would no longer attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus has been spreading across the globe with renewed vigor.
In Europe, where the contagion has predictably resurfaced for second or third waves, lockdowns were introduced in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece and the Netherlands.
In the UK, which was slow to embrace a lockdown back in the spring, leaders said infection rates in their country were stabilizing at about 50,000 per day after ballooning to 60,000 per day in the past couple of weeks.
Trump had told his followers and anyone else who would listen that coronavirus was in the past and we had “rounded the bend” on ending the pandemic. Just more lies.
The United States, which leads the world in number of infections, number of deaths due to infections and the number of daily infections, continued the kind of record-breaking pace that has made America the greatest with more than 100,000 daily infections at least three days in a row. At press time, the country was set to break another daily record with 127,500 new cases yesterday for an astonishing 10 million total infections since COVID-19 first hit our shores.
There have been more than 240,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S., and cases have spiked in states the president visited. Yesterday in Michigan, the site of his last rally before the election, 4,000 new cases were reported. Wisconsin, which he visited on Nov. 2, reported more than 6,000 new cases, and in Pennsylvania, another stop by the Trump Train, more than 3,500 new cases were reported.
Despite the staggering numbers, Trump grew more reckless and continued his theme that COVID was a ginned-up media creation. He lamented that the Fourth Estate was unreasonably keeping it central to the national discourse even as cases hit record highs every day.
He mused that he was considering firing top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci once he’d won back the presidency. His claims were met with chants from his rally crowd of: “Fire Fauci!. Fire Fauci!” Trump giggled during the chants and pantomimed waving them off.
Trump routinely mocked Biden for wearing a mask and falsely claimed he was hiding in his basement to avoid infection.
Fauci, who is director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the nation might need to implement a mask mandate to quell the current surge. The face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said the nation is “in for a whole lot of hurt” if it does not make an abrupt change in policy from the current “roundin’ the corner” approach:
“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
At that time, the nation had set a daily record for infections of a mere 98,000 cases. America has now broken that record every day for a week, with no end in sight.
While more and more Americans get infected and sometimes die, the president has falsely claimed that the special treatment he received during his own infection and hospitalization is available to everyone and that a vaccine is forthcoming.
Meanwhile, Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser and current snake in the grass, had his show permanently suspended from Twitter and another removed from YouTube after he suggested violent actions should be taken against FBI Director Christopher Wray and Fauci.
Bannon, during this week’s episode of “War Room,” said he wanted to not only kill the two, but would like to murder Wray and Fauci in a medieval fashion.
In a now deleted video, Bannon said:
“I actually want to go a step farther. I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put the heads on pikes, right — I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.”
FOX Business quoted a Twitter spokesperson as saying the social media company has permanently suspended the @WarRoomPandemic account for violation of its rules. The Bannon video was also removed from Facebook.