Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

Trump Campaign is Dead Broke and Headed for Defeat

You know how I know Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election is fucked? His actions. I don’t need to see the veritable bevy of polls that have him down by twice as many points as Hillary Clinton enjoyed as she slept-walked through 2016 to ignominious defeat. We’ve already covered that once-in-a-billion fluke that straddled us with this nightmare. Nope. All you need to do is ask yourself, why would the president appear on ABC television, a vastly left-leaning network news organization for a town hall with actual voters, not dead-eyed Fox News MAGA drones, and in the greater Philadelphia area, hosted by a former Bill Clinton communications director? Six weeks before the election? In a state he carried in 2016? When he never ever does this?

Needless to say, Trump was eaten alive. He looked like a chipmunk before any of my three cats turn it into a gore-fest and sounded as if he wandered off a space ship into an alien world beyond his comprehension. He rolled out his standard lying thing and was met with anger, derision and tears. George Stephanopoulos tried in vain to hold back the chuckles while failing to appear concerned for what was happening to his “guest”.  It was so bad that Laura Ingram, dead-eyed drone #4357, wined on her rodeo-clown review the next evening that the president of the United States, a self-proclaimed “very stable genius” that will fix everything “only I could fix”, was somehow sandbagged by middle-class moms and college students. Who could have possibly allowed this to happen?

This is similar to last week’s uproar from the president’s defenders, who blamed the man currently sleeping with Trump’s daughter on the granting of seventeen rambling interviews to Bob Woodward, an entrenched and vengeful reporter who has spent the last half century laying waste to subjects far more capable than The Donald. Predictably, Trump buried himself by openly dreading a pandemic that he then publicly mocked and downplayed to the tune of nearly 200,000 American deaths, on tape. The vilified Jared Kushner, who comes off as a sycophant in the book could, not be reached anywhere for comment.

Trump took his flaying on ABC because he is losing Pennsylvania, like he is losing Michigan and Wisconsin and also Arizona, and not as badly, but bad enough, North Carolina, and although close, yeah, fucking Florida. I know it’s only mid-September, but a Republican president is ahead in Texas by a percentage point. Texas!

“If you listen closely you will hear that familiar sound; the bottom of the barrel being scraped.”

But more important than all that nonsense is that Trump is out of money. And when you think of Trump before he became one of the most failed presidents of the last one-hundred years, you think of money. And grabbing pussy. But mostly money. He wants you to think of money. Giant gaudy buildings with his name in gold. Casinos. Hotels. A big show of money. This hides the six bankruptcies or scuttled ventures or losses in court to pay millions to people he conned. He has always been a failure with money. Money his daddy gave him. Money he stole. Money he borrowed and had no intention of paying back. Money he has syphoned in and out of Russia that forces him to defend Vladimir Putin against his own country’s interests. Money. The Trump campaign has none of it now. It is bankrupt. Going on ABC is free advertising. Except Trump is a bumbling moron who is working with a broken nation of which he is in charge.

At the time of this writing, the Trump Campaign, defending an abysmal incumbent purported “billionaire”, has gone belly up. And the word on K Street is that’s the last of it. Big money donors don’t hand over cash to a lost cause. That’s how they gained and kept it in the first place. The money people know Trump is a fraudulent drunken-sailor on a spending binge, whose betting window is closed. Apparently, all those high-priced hookers, and top-shelf liquor, limos, private jets, and bootleg Trump merchandise the executive portion of this shit-show has sold on the black market has ripped through what was once considered an impenetrable war chest. These are the same assholes who embezzled money from what was the most expensive inauguration ever in January of 2017. One former Trump donor told me in confidence this week, “If you listen closely you will hear that familiar sound; the bottom of the barrel being scraped.”

Campaign spending is an excruciatingly boring and annoying subject, but to put it bluntly, right now former VP Joe Biden’s campaign is currently outspending Trump three to one in battleground state ads, and in some cases the president has already conceded the airwaves in Michigan, another state he carried in 2016, and for some reason Ohio, which no Republican since the last presidential fatty, William Howard Taft has failed to win and end up in the White House. The twenty-seventh president was not welcome even in his place of birth, Cincinnati, something his biographers still have trouble explaining. This has happened to Trump in New York. He had to decamp to Florida. Not even Taft was as shunned as the president in his own home town. He will, of course, lose the state by nearly thirty points.

But explaining the last gasp of this political abortion is far easier. Trump is acting like a man in the rear, as he acted like he was already guilty before the private investigator ever made his way into the Russia Investigation. Less than twenty-four hours in the president was calling it a “hoax” and a “witch hunt”, as he repeatedly charges that mail-in voting, something as common as his lying and will be all the rage in our pandemic year, is corrupted. It is not. Of course, he says this, because he is about to get smoked.

Let me just say, even someone as stupid as Trump would not be bashing tried-and-true voting methods if he and not Biden were up by seven points nationally and well outside the dreaded “margin of error” that dumped his last sorry excuse for an opponent.

Woodward’s infamous Deep Throat once presciently counseled him to “follow the money” when tracking Nixon’s crimes. He and his buddy Carl Bernstein, who told me years ago at a Mets game in Trump’s hometown of Queens, “Nixon wanted to get caught, because he was finished as a serious statesman” worked that axiom to its rightful conclusion; the president tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. And if Woodard’s latest tome on this absolutely criminal administration, Rage, which I am nearly done with and require a shower to recover from, tells us anything, is that everyone who worked with the man, EVERYONE, thinks he is an insane idiot and goes on the record to express this. Loudly.

The jig is up for Trump. He tells you this with every tweet and speech he gives about voter fraud and secret silent vote and other things that still has him underwater nearly everywhere. And now his war chest is bare. And no one wants to sink anymore of their hard-earned money into this car wreck. Not even him. He says he will spend one-hundred million of his own money to win. He won’t. He said that in 2016, and actually embezzled money from his own campaign like he did with his fake charities. That figure comes as a result of his buddy, Michael Bloomberg, who despises Trump like few others, pumping that much into Florida to see the president humiliated.

The president has six weeks to make something happen. And that should make you shudder, because he clearly has zero regard for public safety, health, the constitution or anyone other than himself and the three or four people left in the White House whose gig now is to tell him what he wants to hear. If this were Elvis, he would be face down off the toilet with his head buried in shag carpet.

Trump is bankrupt.


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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

President Withholds Vital Info on Pandemic, Leading to Nearly 200,000 Dead

This is more deadly. This is five-percent versus one-percent, and less than one-percent. So, this is deadly stuff. 
– President Donald Trump on the dangers of Covid-19 to Bob Woodward, February 7, 2020

It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.
– Trump at a White House coronavirus task force briefing, February 27, 2020

There is now a recording of the president of the United States admitting to celebrated author/journalist, Bob Woodward that he was fully aware of the deadly severity of Covid-19, which he cites as five-times as dangerous as normal flu on February 7 and that its transmissions through the air makes it an imminent threat to the health of Americans. Donald J. Trump then spent the next six months not only saying the opposite of what he knew to be true, but outwardly combatted attempts by states and its governors to enact rules to curtail it, then refuted his administration’s scientists and doctors’ repeated dire warnings of its risks, many of whom received death-threats as a result. He is doing it right now as you read this. And, in the most naked expression of evil in a political leader, Trump hosted six campaign rallies in packed indoor arenas for an entire month until he was forced to stop on March 2. And during those rallies, he mocked the virus as a “hoax” that would “disappear miraculously” with weather.

At the time of Trump’s comments, there were less than twenty cases in the U.S. There are now 6.5 million. He then went onto share in the same interview that the dangers to young people were just as severe, before announcing in a Coronavirus Task Force Briefing days later that young people are hardly affected, if at all. This utterly indefensible cover-up of vital health information during the first weeks of the deadliest pandemic in a century is the smoking gun used to kill 192,000 (and counting) of our fellow citizens.

No matter how you parse this; it is systemic murder. Plain and simple. Tantamount to the worst example of government-sanctioned killing of Americans in my lifetime; Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon’s blithe disregard for the facts on the ground in Viet Nam from 1966 through to 1974 when tens of thousands of American kids died for a completely fabricated war, for which the strategic framework for achieving victory was long gone. Both of those presidents quit in shame.

The president should be summarily removed from office for this. But he will not be. Instead, he will continue to lie, run ads, and make rally appearances to scores of people with no protective masks to strive to be re-elected. He disparages his opponent, former VP Joe Biden for wearing one. He dismisses the deaths of Americans as “It is what it is,” as he said during an Axios interview last month. This immoral dereliction of duty is a hideous scar on the body politic and a permanent stain on the American character. Trump is scum. And he must be expunged from office this November, because only we can stop this.

Of course, Trump’s lies on the severity of Covid-19 is another glaring example of the abject failure of his presidency, which has been defined by his incessant dishonesty to protect his ego. If news is bad for him, he claims it is fake. If a member of his inner circle or administration official blows the whistle on his criminal activities or is convicted of said crimes, he claims to have never known them – including two of his campaign heads and a private lawyer. He wanted his inauguration to dwarf his predecessor’s. It did not. So, he sent his minions to lie about it. He wanted to hide the damaging information in his tax returns as far back as 2015 when he began to run for office, so he lied they were being audited and said when the IRS was done he would release them. He did not and has yet to do so. When Russia interjected itself into our 2016 presidential election that ended with his winning, he downplayed its effect, denied it happened against his own nation’s intelligence, and then obstructed the investigation to get to the bottom of it. He even committed treason on foreign soil by siding with Vladimir Putin against the U.S. in Helsinki, Finland in July 2018 to perpetuate these distortions.

If you have contracted Covid-19, suffered, lost a loved one, blame Donald Trump.

Trump knowing the dangers of this disease and working against the nation he has sworn to protect is what he does again and again. He ran on protecting the border from deadly invasions, but he allowed a lethal combatant (he called himself a war-time president this past spring) to enter our country and run roughshod. Replace Covid-19 with ISIS, how does it look now? I write this on the eleventh day of September. Think if al-Queda had killed 192,000 Americans. We lost 2,779 Americans that day. How do we remember it? How will we remember our 2020 bin Laden; Donald Trump?

Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned the president as early as January 28 in an intelligence briefing, ten days before the Woodward interview, that the virus would be the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency, while O’Brien’s deputy, Matt Pottinger informed the president it had the very real potential to be as bad as the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed an estimated fifty-million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans.

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward of the growing deadly pandemic in late February, nearly one month to the day of these official warnings. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Trump clumsily seized on the last part of the above statement as a specious defense the day after the revelations by claiming he was attempting to be a calming influence. This man, who has based his dying campaign for re-election on stoking fears of suburbs being overrun by angry blacks and anarchists, who embraces conspiracy-theory propaganda about Antifa and grade-school level QAnon madness, who tried to stop the eventual Blue Wave that acted as voter condemnation of him in 2018 by creating a phony caravan of marauders attacking the border, wanted us not to be panicked.

Then Trump had the audacity to compare his withholding of vital information from Americans by evoking FDR, who in December of 1941 quite forcefully expressed to the United States and the world of a “day that would live in infamy” after Pearl Harbor. He did not tell people we are having some boat issues and that the Japanese attack was a hoax and that the reports from Hawaii were fake news to keep the life-and-death facts from injuring his image. He was a real leader, an actual president, not a game show host huckster real estate cheat, whose fragile self-esteem has destroyed the economy and killed citizens.

In less than two months we can wipe this virus called Donald Trump out. Then go about facing the truth about what has devastated this country over the past six months, while he worked hard to help it. We know now, for sure, from his own mouth, that all of it could have been avoided. If you have contracted Covid-19, suffered, lost a loved one, blame Donald Trump. He could have done his job, but he played his games instead, as always.

Systemic murder.

End it on November 3.

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

A Week in the Opening Political Death Throes of Donald J. Trump

We of the craft are all crazy. Some are affected by gaiety, others by melancholy, but all are more or less touched.
– Lord Byron

With the weird virtual party conventions in the rearview and the tolling bell of Labor Day upon us, the crucial final sixty days of campaigning for president has begun. Down in the national polls by twice as much as 2016 to former Vice President Joe Biden and bleeding in swing states – mired in a national pandemic, as the rest of the world goes back to school, attends sporting events and rebuilds economies, while thousands of Americans die daily, countless others are evicted from their homes and dozens of doomed businesses shutter – Donald J. Trump has taken his perpetual campaigning routine and ramped it up this week in a bizarre series of spastic flailing the likes of which the electorate has rarely seen. It is a show for him; a perpetual geek-fest of name-calling, monosyllabic gas-baggery  and wild lies. And this is just the beginning.

Seeing how the president has spent his first term incessantly campaigning – against the press, the Left, his enemies, both real and imagined, and whatever floats his boat at five am on a Tuesday morning before tweet-storming – one’s mind boggles at the notion that he is actually doing it for real now. All those crazed Nuremberg-style rants in front of slobbering sycophants chanting “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” – neither of which has happened, has it? I missed that – starting six weeks into his presidency should have been a sign that a manic obsession with competitive battle overshadowed governing. The latter means nothing to Donald Trump. His friends in New York would say of him; “Donald wrecks stuff and then looks around for the culprit.” He has wrecked America. And now finds himself actually campaigning to keep this botch-job; a tough gig for a fat, coddled rich kid used to getting what he wants when he grimaces like a four year-old. And this time he actually wants to win, instead of playing at a daily fuck-around to jack-off the media and try mightily to convince his fellow elites that he is worthy of their attention.

This first true week of re-election campaigning for Trump has been a glimpse into unflinching desperation and, predictably, it was not pretty. Or as an already exhausted White House correspondent Stephen Collinson wrote the morning I pen this; “The outrages, conspiracy theories and drama have come so fast that it’s almost impossible to believe Donald Trump can keep this up for another eight weeks until Election Day.”

The president began the week trying to stay on the flimsy please-don’t-pay-attention-to-this crippled-economy-and-failures-on-our-raging-pandemic campaign strategy of predicting that the common-place racially charged riots under his watch will be common place under the watch of his opponent. But, as usual, he could not focus. Within hours of this, he returned to the two issues that are killing him in the polls – no viable plan to combat Covid-19 and ignoring the shifting support against systemic racism.

Trump ceremoniously dragged out some hack to pitch a “herd immunity” concept, which could have been something to consider when the infection numbers were under one-hundred thousand in March, not currently over six million. A day later, filching from the Trump playbook, the hack denied everything he said into a microphone. Looking to disguise this farce, Trump floated ideas that there will be a vaccine by Election Day, like there will be a wall paid for by Mexicans and Hillary Clinton would be locked up and he would repeal-and-replace Obamacare (On day one!) and manufacturing jobs would return to the Rust Belt. This is despite every living scientist denying such a claim is remotely possible and nearly seventy-percent of Americans already deciding not to take any vaccine offered by this fraudulent administration.

This was followed with whiplash imprecision by Trump insisting, after pleas otherwise from the governor of Wisconsin and mayor of Kenosha, to visit the volatile street-madness aftermath of the shooting of yet another unarmed black man by police – in this instance seven times in the back. Because, you know, the “Bible in front of the church photo-op” worked so well last time… for Joe Biden, who spiked from four-percent up to double digits a week after the stunt.

Another week of this Dali-esque surrealism mocked up in greasepaint political theater may finish the job for our game show president.

Trump’s visit to Kenosha included no mention of the severely wounded Jacob Blake or his family, replaced by a vehement defense of a chubby white supremacist seventeen year-old wind-fart charged with two counts of murder, who decided it would be a good idea to carry a semi-automatic rifle across state lines to kill whoever confronted him. Trying to force another ham-handed photo-op in front of a burned storefront, on which the owner of the place told Trump to go fuck himself, the campaign ran out and got the previous owner to stand there with the president and make like he cared.

There was the usual, weekly eerie Russian connection leaked again from the Department of Homeland Security, which reportedly withheld the foreign enemy’s attempt to besmirch Trump’s opponent with its signature parade of misinformation. This was followed swiftly with the removal of in-person congressional briefings on election security by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence at Trump’s request. Even Republican senators, usually bagged and carted for whatever pro-Russia ass-licking comes from the White House, were appalled.

Somewhere in the midst of this carnival folly Trump sat for what was supposed to be another softball love-fest interview on Fox News with whatever dead-eyed echo-chamber flotsam showed up that instead resulted in the president blurting out two year-old Facebook conspiracy theories about evil dark-shadowed marauders coming for the white “suburban housewives”, or whatever 1953-meets-1983 shit Trump heard at one of his piss-addled hooker parties with his sex-traffic pal, Jefferey Epstein.

In the midst of his ongoing campaign to stir up unfounded distrust in mail-in voting to soften the blow of his ignominious defeat in November, the president of the United States thought it a good idea to tell a mini-crowd of unmasked goobers in North Carolina to vote twice. When the N.C. Board of Electors was forced to send out a notice that such a maneuver was a crime, Trump went to New Hampshire and said it again. Then someone thought it was a better idea to send his lackey attorney general onto CNN to admit out loud that he was unsure that voting twice was illegal. Then the already disgraced William Barr continued to lay further groundwork on the Trump excuse for his soon-to-come beatdown by sowing doubt about voting.

Trump ended his first real week of Kamikaze campaigning sweating like Nixon on a D.C. tarmac bathed in darkness trying to defend some lunacy he told reporters, confirmed by officials from the Pentagon and his own administration, that he considers dead soldiers of foreign wars “losers” and “suckers”.

And this is only mere days into this. Another week of this Dali-esque surrealism mocked up in greasepaint political theater may finish the job for our game show president. He is on fumes, and by that I mean inhaling them. Either that or these rumors of his mini-strokes may provide further answers. No one, not even Trump, is this stupid. Or is he? It is getting harder and harder to tell where the act ends and the stupidity starts. Nevertheless, I advise Mr. Collinson and anyone cursed to cover this relentless grab-ass absurdity to get some sleep and drink heavily. But know this: It will all be over soon, and then we can get back to covering a real president.  

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

or The Truth Hurts & The Search for Real History

Big fan of history.

Since around 1976 when a wonderful giant of a mind began to percolate inside me a jones for civics. The late, great Mr. Thomas E. Antus – celebrated over the years in this space – was my Eighth Grade History & Social Studies teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower during the nation’s bicentennial, just two years after the president of the United States quit in shame and a year after the war that waged throughout my childhood ended in ignominious defeat for the U.S.A. It was then I became acutely aware that the bullshit in my history books was a dangerous lie and the education system had failed me and my generation and would continue unabated when I had a daughter thirty-two years later and had to eventually send her to swallow the same nonsense.

This is why I support Cancel Culture. It brings to light our failures to understand the basic tenets of American History. I seek the truth. You should too. This is part of the revolution that must be adhered to in order to save us from new monsters like Donald Trump.

And, by the way, failure is underrated. As a writer, I need to embrace this concept. Everyone should – corporate executives, starving artists, parents, politicians. There is failure in the pursuit of forming a “more perfect union”, which in itself is a sad grammatical error. Penned by New York Statesman and later Senator, Gouverneur Morris, a mad scribe for his times, when he was cobbling together the Preamble to the Constitution in a furious dash to put lofty aspirations into concrete. He knew his way around the written word. He above all should have known that there is nothing that is “more than perfect”, no matter how much flowery rhetoric you brush on it. It is our failure to achieve even a sniff of this that should be taught, not propaganda. That is different than history.

Of course, taking down statues or challenging their import is not the same as wiping out or rewriting history. This is also true of revisionist historians who try, for instance, to clear the stench from cretins like Andrew Jackson or Joseph McCarthy. That history exists. All of it: The massacre of Native Americans. The slavery. The ostracization of immigrants from the Irish to the Italians to the Jews to now those of Latino heritage. Hostile work conditions. Civil Rights battles. Unlawful, immoral wars. Denying women the vote for over a century. That history is there if you are exposed to it, instead of wishing it didn’t happen or putting a veil on it to assuage the fragile ego of exceptionalism. Replacing it with truth is is the correct action.

Take for instance Theodore Roosevelt’s appearance on Mount Rushmore – a more abjectly silly impression cannot be conjured. First off, sitting beside the father of the nation, the author of the Declaration of Independence and also a man who expanded the nation by a third during his presidency, and the greatest of all presidents who preserved the union and ended our greatest moral stain, is an abomination in itself, but when considering he wrote several published works dissecting the subhuman aspects of Asians and African-Americans, and his lies about heroic exploits in the Spanish-American War, among other blustery fuck-ups, it kind of pains the conscience. Can we cancel that mistake?

You, me and Thomas Paine, have the same amount of statues.

But Roosevelt is small potatoes. My daughter is still being taught Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. He did not. It was “discovered” – if one ignores the fact that people already lived here, like someone coming to your house to “discover’ you live there and then planting their fat asses on your couch is “discovering” – by the Vikings five-hundred years before any such voyage, which, incidentally ended up in the Bahamas. Christopher Columbus never set foot on this continent. It is a fucking sick joke that it is 2020 and this is still in history books. It is a lie, not history. Do we want our children to be lied to? Do we need them fed the kind of falderal that leads to voting into office completely unqualified buffoons who promise a wild list of shit they have no constitutional authority to propagate?

This whole Cancel Culture thing started with the weird celebratory nature of the South’s fascination of the Confederacy as some kind of cultural right. This is completely ignoring, forgetting or failing to care that these men were treasonous enemies of the state; the equal of say Nazis or Evangelicals. Wiping it out in 1860 was as fine to me as it is in 2020. That one is a slam dunk. What I would like to know is why is it so terrible that we come to grips with the truthful legacy of our founding fathers; mostly slave-owning revolutionaries who stole this land from indigenous peoples, practiced rampant genocide, then stole more land from Mexicans, still more genocide, and then used free labor to build a powerful apparatus that would someday kick out our British landlords, warrant six-hundred thousand deaths to free slaves, and finally become the most powerful nation on the planet?

Take Thomas Jefferson. How come he gets a pass? He owned humans. He raped a child slave that produced children. We rightfully had a fit when Bill Clinton got a hummer in the Oval Office from an intern. How many people would be okay with a statue of William Jefferson Clinton in their town square? Oh, and recently I heard Bill Maher making jokes about how “that’s the way things were in those days, so maybe we should get over the horrors of the past.” All right. But not every founding father held slaves. Three of our finest patriots, the man who first challenged the Stamp Act and coordinated the Boston Tea Party, a writer who single-handedly convinced illiterate farmers to take up arms against their king and the mightiest army in the world, and one other who in my estimation was the most important member of the Continental Congress, our first vice president, and our second president.

Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and John Adams never owned slaves. Never. Ever. In fact, all three vehemently opposed it and John Adams even tried to have it expunged before the Revolutionary War. These men were arguably three of the most important figures in the birthing of this nation. You know how many statues of these men there are in Washington D.C.? None. Not one fucking statue. And since I was thirteen and became aware of this I have openly discussed this obscenity with those who make those choices and have proposed replacing the Jefferson Monument with one of John Adams.

I would like a little cancelling on this, please.

Oh, and in case your history books failed to teach you about Paine and his brilliant and seminal Common Sense, the most important document in the history of this republic – because without it, no revolution, no victory, no constitution – Paine was deported as a pariah because of his open refute of Christianity. He died a despised man. No statues. You, me and Thomas Paine, have the same amount of statues. The guys who seceded from the union to keep humans as property get a lot.

I say tear it all down, and let’s set the record straight. And while I know my arguments here are mainly built on semantics and mostly historic in nature – bypassing the horrors enacted on the African-American community that had to endure the lies and deceit of the European culture for centuries – I only mean to celebrate truth. For it is beauty, and, as the man said, it will set you free.

Set us all free. One truth.

Because, you know, out of many… one.

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

A Stroll Through The Difference Four Years Make

You’ve heard it: What about 2016? Everyone thought Donald Trump would lose and he won. Yes, this is true. And after four years of sober reflection, for reasons that are varied and somewhat complicated, and still others that are blatantly obvious and should have been then, Trump became the forty-fifth president of the United States. But with the advantage of hindsight, there are factors this time around – not the least of which is Trump being an incumbent presiding over, and the underlying cause, of two national crises instead of a tweeting troll tossing stones at the guy in charge – that makes 2020 a very different election year than 2016. But that is only part of the story.  

My colleague and friend Bill Roberts of Conservatively Speaking – a column that shared space in this paper with me some years back in the aughts and currently a staunch Trump supporter – co-wrote the post-mortem of that election with me the week after. The conclusion of Mr. Roberts, which explains one aspect of Trump’s victory, was the uncharted vote not understood in polling and mostly ignored by both parties that pushed Trump to a narrow electoral college victory, specifically in the Rust Belt. Trump’s opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, although up by 2.5 points on Election Day, teetered in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan; all states that had traditionally voted for Democrats for decades. This time they swung to Trump, who won them by a razor-thin margin of approximately seventy-seven thousand votes. There are more seats in Met Life Stadium a few miles down the road from where I am writing this.

What I added to Bill’s analyses, which I have maintained for four years, is Clinton’s embrace – along with every previous presidential candidate whether Republican or Democrat – of international trade deals. Many of these deals had done damage to the Rust Belt lower-middle class high school educated voters, who had heard for years about how jobs and factories going abroad could be returned. This was always a lie, and one Trump, a champion liar, latched onto. With Steve Bannon (just arrested for fundraising fraud as I write this), the architect of the last six weeks of the campaign in which he actually disciplined Trump like never before or since, the candidate visited these states time and again, while Clinton never went to Wisconsin or Michigan, an unconscionable fuck-up that led to Trump – an outsider that wasn’t really a Republican or Democrat – to seem like an alternative. In classic Clinton fashion, she started hedging her bet on trade when she saw it was a 2016 loser, but it just fed into her phoniness and entrenched political image. That, in a nutshell, is why Trump became president.

Of course, there are many nuances to this – racism, fear of foreigners, Russian interference, Trump’s free TV time due to the interest in his clown show, his wild claims and name calling – all contributed to the upset. In the summer of 2020, as mentioned above, Trump is the status quo, and the status quo is historically shitty right now. The nation is suffering its worst economic collapse in my lifetime because of a deadly pandemic the president still does not admit is even happening. He no longer gets to say “I alone can fix it” when he is in charge and clearly can’t.

Before we leave Hillary Clinton. She is the worst candidate for any civic position I have every witnessed. Her losses to a then neophyte Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries and later to a game show host who didn’t even want to win and would have lost if not for Bannon, are epic. Hubris and stupidity are what doomed the heavily favored Clinton, not FBI Director James Comey reopening the investigation on her emails or Russian hacking into DNC emails. That assisted, sure. But if Clinton had not avoided the press for eighty-six days that summer and actually went to states that were teetering on flipping on her, then she would be president. Hillary Clinton is not running this time.

What Obama people argued in 2016, and I ignored, was it should have been Joe Biden, who was dealing with the death of his son, Beau, not Hillary Clinton to run. But that was never an option for Biden, who was steamrolled by a Democratic Party showing its old-world idiocy (the outed emails revealed this) to get their hands on “the first woman president” angle. The party then slanted the table against Bernie Sanders when he started piling up delegates. Ironically, the Vermont Senator shared much of Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric without all the racism, sexism or queer TV performances.

But even the Sanders Movement was bullshit. For four years I had to hear about the Sanders’ youth coalition, this burgeoning progressive voter-base inside the Democratic Party. Where was it during the 2020 primaries? They didn’t show up. Sanders’ numbers were precipitously down from 2016. The whole thing is a myth. The 2016 Sanders vote turned out to actually be anti-Hillary, because many of them made Joe Biden the 2020 nominee. This adds to the notion that without Clinton on the ballot this time, this ain’t 2016. And it also skewers the Republican’s weak argument that a centrist forty-year veteran of D.C. is somehow a radical. There is a progressive wing of the Democratic Party, sure, but it is much smaller and less active than reported. The primaries settled that score. And Biden’s VP pick of Kamala Harris and not Sanders or ultra-progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren underlines this.

Hubris and stupidity are what doomed the heavily favored Clinton.

The idea of a 2016 coronation for Clinton was a death knell because it ignored the Obama collation that had triumphed like no Democratic candidate in fifty years. Joe Biden was part of that coalition. Without President Obama’s VP on the ticket, 2016 could not be a referendum on his legacy. It was more of a referendum on the 1990s and the Clinton years. Biden connects more with the numbers in 2008 and 2012; both winners. And now with a woman of color on the ticket he has galvanized the very vote that would have bested Trump in 2016. Clinton received eighty-nine percent of the black vote in 2016. Biden is hovering at nearly ninety-one. His Latino numbers also dwarf Clinton’s, and most importantly for Biden, white suburban women, that abandoned Clinton, have returned with a vengeance. The 2018 mid-terms numbers that created the Blue Wave have increased during the meltdown of the past six months. Those three factions are enough to overcome seventy-thousand votes.

Finally, and most importantly, the difference between 2016 and 2020 is the undecided vote. While it had a volatile effect on polls in 2016, wherein anytime either Clinton or Trump became the main story there was a dramatic shift against them, is miniscule now. This is why Clinton’s 2016 poll graph looks like the blueprint for a rollercoaster, while Biden’s has been a steady hum. In 2016, nearly a quarter of the electorate was undecided into November. Trump received the whopping lion’s share of it. This time it is eight to ten percent. And without expanding his forty-percent base, Trump needs a Hillary Clinton with her forty-four percent base to leap her and win with the forty-six percent he garnered in 2016. Biden has consistently polled around fifty percent (As I write this it is an average of 51.2). Neither Clinton nor Trump ever sniffed fifty percent. Where exactly is Trump getting these secret votes?

Also, it should be pointed out that state polling, because of the anomalies apparent in 2016, has improved greatly. Those voters ignored last time are in the system and are considered. Unless some new middle-aged white guys have formed like pods all over Michigan and Pennsylvania, it is impossible for Trump to find the variables Mr. Roberts discussed in November of 2016 this time around.

So, what am I saying here? Is Biden a shoo-in? Nah, that was Hillary’s nickname and she lost and handed us this national nightmare on a silver platter. Trump, as covered here two weeks ago, is already trying to tamp down the vote with his usual bizarre rhetoric, because as he has rightly pointed out, “When people vote, Republicans lose.” But this time around the numbers are not three to four percent for a wildly unpopular Democratic candidate; they are a six, seven to ten percentage point lead for a fairly likable one. And the enthusiasm to vote against Trump, the incumbent with a terrible record, is higher than his opponent’s.

Throwing a Hail Mary touchdown pass in the final seconds worked swimmingly for Doug Flutie and Boston College once. Flutie was not asked to repeat that four years later. This is what is asked of the 2020 Donald Trump, morph back into an outsider, grenade-throwing grievance candidate. It is he who is the system now and that system is broken.

Change is in the air, and that change candidate is not the current president. The time, the numbers, the opponent, and the crises make 2020 very different from 2016.

But only the Election Day numbers can bear this out eventually, whether the president accepts them or not.

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

Gratuitous, Strategic, Historic VP Choice

There is no use debating this: California Senator Kamala Harris was presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s best choice for a running mate. He is ahead in the polls and his opponent is self-immolating. This was the safe, boring choice, despite its historic ramifications of a woman of color and daughter of immigrants.

Harris is an accomplished center-left former state persecutor and attorney-general and a recent addition to the U.S. Senate, as well as a fully-vetted presidential candidate who had just failed to gain the nomination and knows why. She is strategically pragmatic, spinning her ideology with how the political winds blow. She has media chops, an engaging personality and bulldog debating skills. Crucially, she is young. At fifty-five, Harris balances a candidate who will be seventy-eight when he is sworn in. Mostly, she fits the key element of Biden’s choice, since he put himself in a corner by narrowing his pick by gender. Harris is indeed a woman. And, most importantly for many political and cultural reasons, a black woman, specifically Jamaican/Indian. Harris checks off a bunch of firsts to be part of a major political party ticket for the presidency. She was the logical course of action to keep the wheels rolling to November.

But let’s get down to what kind of actual factor Senator Harris can be for the ultimate prize here: Getting rid of Donald Trump.

This is the sixth presidential race this space has covered and in each I have broken down VP picks. In almost all cases, even weird ones like Sarah Palin, it is difficult to pinpoint what they ultimately mean to the candidate’s chances for victory. There have been none that did a better reverse balancing act of age/experience than Dick Cheney for George W. Bush, since he was a stalwart Republican D.C. lifer that boasted foreign policy experience when everyone was worried Bush’s kid was a dullard who woke up out of a cocaine fog at forty and decided he wanted to run things. You only have to see Biden, another D.C. lifer, to see why Barack Obama made him his wise choice for a young black man who had been in the senate for fifteen minutes running for president in 2008.

However, Harris is interesting, beyond this historic, and for many Americans, inspirational decision. For one, unlike Hillary Clinton, who felt subjugating her rigid personality would make it more palatable for goofballs in the electorate to not think her a bitch because she was a thinking, aggressive woman – among many Clinton mistakes – Harris does not have this problem. Her general demeanor is confrontational and no-nonsense. She loves being tough, telling you she is tough, and fighting you if you’re not buying it. She is smart, articulate, and well-versed in law and politics, something missing in the current VP. I would feel sorry for Mike Pence, if he wasn’t such a vapid ass-hat.

Personality and gender are all well and good, but let’s take a look at what pundits in the black community are warning against – the token pick.

Having a prosecutor on a ticket running against a criminal is another good call. 

Of course, VP picks are always “token picks”. Take JFK tapping a man he hated, Lyndon Johnson as his running mate in order to unify the party and gather southern support he needed. Or Ronald Reagan choosing a man he called a wimp, George H. W. Bush, who in turn called the Gipper’s tickle-down economic theory “voodoo” to appease center-right and independent voters. Bill Clinton was accused of, and in some cases bragged about fucking everything in sight, so he chose a prude in Al Gore who spent much of the late 1980s leading pogroms against rock music.

It is just plain racist and sexist to suggest Biden is doing any less pandering by picking Harris. He absolutely had to choose a woman of color, but beyond balancing age, gender and race, it is for two other essential reasons: Getting elected and giving due props to those who put him in this position in the first place.

Firstly, this decision goes beyond the current climate of racial reckoning in this country. The current president is pandering to the ultra-right and more racist elements of America when he embraces confederate symbols, calling black protestors terrorists, and making 1950s-style warnings to white suburban “housewives” that their neighborhoods will soon be invaded by minorities. This enables Biden a contrast to this, yes, but let’s face it, African-Americans are the second most consistent voting-block in this country. The first is senior citizens. But unlike older voters, they are mostly loyal to the Democratic Party. Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 – the most impressive for a winning candidate since 1988 – and 2012, in which Biden, of course, was a part, brought out record numbers of black voters, many of whom stayed home for Clinton and ultimately cost her states like Pennsylvania. If Harris helps this even a little, she is effective.

And because this is politics, and politics, like business, life and everything else, is about contacts, assistance and deal-making, and Joe Biden has been doing this for a long, long, loooonnnng time, the former VP has some debts to pay. If it were not for the African-American vote, inspired by an African-American congressman from South Carolina, there would be no Joe Biden candidacy. It is the voice and work of one man, Jim Clyburn that allowed Biden to now be leading in national polls by nearly ten points and looking like an eight-five percent gambling bid to take the White House in a few months.

Covered in this space in the first weeks of March as something of a political resurrection, Biden gathered nearly fifty-percent of the vote in the SC primary – remarkable considering the packed field. This after having never in three attempts at presidential candidacy winning one, including the first three held in early 2020. Following a stern lecture from Clyburn on his shitty organization and tepid stump speeches, the congressman went to the mat to endorse Biden and strongly prompt the African-American community, for whom he is a trusted staple, to save Joe’s ass.

Biden won, gave the speech of his life that evening, and since has been the leading contender to oust this bleating lout in the White House.

Now he adds a woman who Reuters is already calling, due to recent polling, a more popular figure than the former VP among registered voters. And that helps. Her acceptance speech this week also helps. She tore Trump and Pence newly efficient butt-holes on everything from trying to kill us all with this Trump Virus to owning the worst economy in more than a century. It was a cold, hardcore slam. Let’s see more of that. Hell, having a prosecutor on a ticket running against a criminal is another good call.  

Choosing the senator from California was a no-brainer for Biden. He needs Kamala Harris, but he also needs to, as they say, “dance with the girl who brung him.”

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

Forget the Excuses, Ignore the Noise, Bring the Pain   

Donald J. Trump has to go. Thus, I have spent and will continue to spend all of my energy in this space and beyond to help make that happen. So far, if the polls are to be believed, it is on its way to becoming reality. We have a couple of more weeks of this rancid shit show if we get it together and do that thing we must: Vote! And not only vote, but make sure other likeminded citizens who care about the future of this nation get to voting to oust this political inferno.  

These past few weeks, in desperation mode, the president has been trying to undermine the idea of voting. This makes sense. If enough people vote, he loses. He has never polled over forty-four percent. He has never been in the black. He is, as far as I can tell, the only underwater president, as he was the only ever underwater candidate. He won a plurality against a larger field to gain the Republican nomination with less than forty percent in most of the primaries and then he won the presidency with one of the most improbable inside-straights in the history of national politics.

I’ll give you an example of how goofy 2016 was – Trump garnered forty-six percent of the vote and won. Mitt Romney, the previous GOP nominee, won forty-seven percent and lost. Romney was more popular than Trump. Wisconsin, a state that helped put Trump over the top, voted less for him than Romney four years earlier. The difference being Romney went up against the most powerful candidate since the late 1980s in Barack Obama, who did get over fifty-percent of the vote and won the overall count, which Trump did not, crushing it in 2008 and 2012, while Trump beat the worst politician of my lifetime, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who sucked.

I wish to get into that subject another time, but I digress.

Where were we? Oh, right; Trump is fucked, and he knows it, so he needs to convince people that things are rigged and a fraud and all those things he says when he is fucked. Like the day before I sent this to press where he began spouting that his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, “hurts God” and would end religion. But by now we should know this crazy shit is coming. If not for being the leader of the free world, this nonsense would be ignored as the ravings of a lunatic. Like New England Patriots fans who keep trying to convince us they don’t cheat despite being fined almost annually for cheating.

Mail-in balloting seems to be a bugaboo for Trump. Not sure why. He votes by mail. Republicans do more mail-in voting than Democrats. Before Trump turned the party into a frat house, Republicans pushed for legislation to make it easier to vote by mail. The idea that one guy, and it is an important guy, no doubt, says something is illegal and fraudulent does not make it so. What it does tell you is that despite the brain bubbles Trump knows mail-in voting is going to be increased dramatically as the Trump Virus ravages the nation, so he makes this crap up for a built-in excuse when he gets his clocked cleaned.

Stand on line as long as it takes. Vote.

None of this has any bearing on anything. States run these elections. The system, while weird and screwy for centuries, works. Even when JFK had dead people vote and George W. Bush got lawyers together to make him president or a game show host suckered a few thousand people in the Rust Belt to buy his snake-oil, it works. Always has. This is why Trump floated the universally panned idea, even at FOX News, that maybe the election should be postponed. Why would he say such a thing? A president suggesting something this country performed during the Civil War, every other war, and a Great Depression?

Predictable. If you are going to lose, that is. And Trump is going to lose. He knows it. If Trump were ahead in these polls he keeps calling fraudulent, he’d want to have the election moved up to this weekend. Remember in 2015 during the primaries, the man brought pages of poll numbers into rallies. He talked about polls the way Christians talk about Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. He is obsessed with ratings. While Americans die of a pandemic he failed to contain, he cites his television ratings. Ratings are polls. He likes those, but he doesn’t like ones where he is getting beat. Thus, they’re fraudulent.

Now, I have been getting a quite a bit of worried correspondences from people in my line of thinking – Trump must go – that somehow the president’s fucking with the Post Office, which he is doing to essentially slow down ballots or some other shenanigans he is cooking up to make his rousing defeat look like something else, will do irreparable harm to the process. And while Trump has worked hard to destroy America, he won’t be able to kick this one to the curb. Elections have rules that have nothing to do with Trump or any president, because the founders put in fail-safes for knuckle-draggers. And once they go in effect, Donald Trump is a candidate, not president. The boxer doesn’t get to referee. He might want to, and says he is going to, but he cannot. There is a referee for that, the United States Constitution. We already know Trump doesn’t care about that, but this also matters none. We run elections in this country, despite mentally-challenged narcissists with a Twitter account.

And here’s the best part: If counting the votes this November takes five, even six months to accomplish – most likely it will be weeks, but to calm my friends, let’s have some fun – as of January 20, 2021 Trump’s term is over. Until someone is officially elected then Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, becomes president. Trump doesn’t just get to keep going as long as there is not a result in the 2020 election or he engages in his showbiz lawsuits or “refuses to go” like I have seen in more fringe scenarios. Someone has to be in charge and the Constitution says Trump is done with his first term at 11:59 on the nineteenth. So, if you want to finally see a woman president at the expense of a bloated, big-mouthed misogynist, then root for some crazy long counting.

Other than that, voting is fine – by mail or over long pandemic-related lines at the polls. There is zero evidence that mail-in ballots can be fabricated or manipulated. This is an excuse for being wildly unpopular and headed for defeat from a guy who lies about everything all the time.

But, just to be clear, I think people should suck it up and go out and vote the old-fashioned way on November 3. Go to the polls. Put on a mask or a hazmat suit, get out of your cocoon, stop Netflix for a minute, and hit the streets. If people can take to the streets to protest amidst tear-gas and rubber bullets and endure armed paramilitary forces, or if people can rush into the streets to tear down statues and burn the local Wendy’s, or if people insist on going to beaches and midnight rages in the face of a pandemic, then they can vote. Drive down the street or one-hundred miles. Stand on line as long as it takes. If they want you to get an ID, then fucking get one.

It is a few hours, one day out of your life to end this nightmare.

Donald Trump has to be stopped. To do that, you don’t waste your breath berating him or arguing with your friends and relatives, or march against him with homemade signs of him dressed as Hitler, or impeach him, or write stupid op-eds like this one. You get your asses out there in November and save America from this madman.


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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
The weird, bizarre and dangerous history between the current president of the United States and Russia, specifically its tyrannical president Vladimir Putin, took another odd turn this week after Donald Trump acted first aloof and then dismissive of intelligence reports from last month that Russians have been bankrolling terrorist fighters in Afghanistan and since late 2019 putting bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers. After a July 23 phone conversation with Putin of unknown original or subject – because Trump has been silent about these in the past anyway – there appeared to be no discussion of this rather grave information between the two “leaders”.

“No, that was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news,” Trump told in reporter Jonathan Swan, who has already conducted several revealing interviews with Trump in the past. Shockingly and quite embarrassingly for the craft of American journalism, Swan is the first reporter to press Trump on this. For some reason this has not been a high priority for the sleepy White House press that takes Trump’s click-bait nonsense about injecting bleach, postponing the election and V-shaped economic recoveries instead. This is especially egregious since, as covered in this space weeks ago, there is evidence the White House knew about what the official report registered as Unit 29155 of the GRU – Russia’s military intelligence agency – since it began and there have been actual military deaths allegedly associated with the allegations.

Oh, there were some chatter about it for a day or so a few weeks back when the NY Times published a deep-dive into the reports, but understandably while Trump is assisting in the death of hundreds of Americans a week by continuing his unconscionable battle against scientists, doctors, governors and everyone else concerned with the spiking numbers of this virus, not to mention his fascist deployment of secret police to jail protesters and fly spy planes over American cities gathering cell phone information from all citizens, whether they are dissenters or not, will distract the press. But then television personality turned “press secretary” Kayleigh McEnany told the American people Trump never saw the briefing. “He doesn’t read briefings,” went the excuse. Then the poor overwhelmed simpleton spent the next days trying to convince everyone Trump does and can read. Or some such. All of it effectively kiboshing the killing of American soldiers as the commander-in-chief has no idea or could not care any less. “Why doesn’t anyone like me?” Trump asked instead, and then tweets that social media is “unfair.”

I get that it is hard to concentrate in a circus. But no way should this have gone unchecked for this long, especially when considering this presidents proclivity to defend and prop up the myth of Putin, even against his own country’s intelligence, as in 2018 when he stood on foreign soil and committed treason refuting American intelligence, defending the Russian president, and brazenly siding with our enemy. 

His feckless, damaged psyche makes it easy for him to subjugate his fragile ego to strongmen – Putin being the Mac-Daddy.

After using his prerequisite “hoax” routine with Swan, which is our president’s running “Take my wife, please” bit and has worked like a charm with the original Russian investigation that got him impeached and this Corona virus which he said would disappear magically in a few days and be gone when it warmed up in April, Trump said, “I have never discussed it with him.”

This is odd for any president, even one as dumbfounded as this one. I mean, Trump consistently re-tweets nonsense that teenage racists post on the dark web with absolute zero vetting. His constant knee-jerk reactions to the slightest criticism by Hollywood celebrities, political opponents, cable news network pundits are legendary. Shit, in 1990 Trump took out a full-page newspaper ad asking for the death penalty against five black teenagers for a crime they did not commit. But a foreign enemy that has used cyber-attacks to interfere with our elections, along with aggressive international military moves in the middle east and all the rest, is a “hoax”?

“I have never discussed it with him.”


And what exactly does “discuss other things” entail?

Again, the Trump-Russian “thing” as Trump liked to call it when the president unceremoniously sacked the head of the FBI investing Russian interference that began to close in on him because a laughable preponderance of his campaign staff and people he tabbed for his cabinet had been busted talking to, making deals with, and having shady connections with Russian that began to surface as early as late 2016 and into 2017 when he was president, has been a consistent part of this presidency. It never fails to pop up. Why was Trump bragging to Russian diplomats about firing Director of the FBI James Comey hours afterwards in the Oval Office? Why did Trump make a deal with Russian ally and American enemy Turkey to pull troops from Russian stronghold Syria? And why did the United States pull 1,200 troops from Germany a few days after this mysterious July 23 call between Trump and Putin?

Now, to use a Trumpism, many say it’s because Putin has “something on Trump.” The infamous Steele dossier that has been proven mostly correct over years of scrutiny makes allegations of Trump’s sexual exploits during Russian visits. Of course, there is the money-laundering and ties to the Russian mafia, some of which came out during the Mueller investigation and has his personal lawyer, the demented troll Rudy Giuliani, in hot water. But I tend to dismiss these as too conspiratorial. I have always thought Trump too stupid to actually hatch this kind of clandestine plan. I have maintained, and Trump has shown this to be true on several levels during his public career as a conman, that his feckless, damaged psyche makes it easy for him to subjugate his fragile ego to strongmen – Putin being the Mac-Daddy. “Daddy” being the operative word here.

Think of Trump’s support for macho “domination of the streets”, as he commanded mayors during the first weeks of the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests, using force as the first resort. His praising of China’s use of tanks to murder students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square and the bombshell from former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s best-selling book, The Room Where It Happened about a private meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, wherein Trump advised Jinping to “go ahead with building concentration camps for Uighur Muslims” because it “was exactly the right thing to do.”

Whatever the reason, Trump has been and still is very much in the back-pocket of one of the most despotic leaders on the planet who has been at cyber war against the U.S. for the entire time he has been president. Blessedly, that time is coming to an ignominious close. The American health system, its economy, its democracy is in ruins. Planned or not, Trump has succeeded in helping Putin weaken America. As I wrote years ago, Trump is our greatest threat, a terrorist that must be stamped out this November to return us to a sovereign nation that holds our enemies accountable. Whatever issues Trump has with Putin or the Russians then becomes private. Let his hidden tax returns be someone else’s concern.

But make no mistake, something is going on with Trump and Russia, since the very beginning of this garbage-heap presidency. The latest actions of a president soon to be defeated is enough evidence. Listen carefully when the president questions our free and fair elections, our system, calling it “fraudulent”. Listen as he undermines the democracy and the nation he was elected to “lead” and see with your own eyes how the lives of American soldiers and our safety must take a backseat to the whims and wishes of a madman Russian.

“I have never discussed it with him.”

“That was a phone call to discuss other things.”

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

The Final Vestige of a Fascist Game Show Host President

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’
               – President Ronald Reagan, Aug. 12, 1986

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
                 – Mario Savio, Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley, Dec. 2, 1964

Donald Trump is doomed, and he knows it, and he is aiming to spend these last months of his repellent presidency to take us down with him. He has shredded the constitution, flouted the rule of law, lied about everything possible while surrounding himself with Russian operatives and criminals, lining his and his family’s pockets for nearly four years. He is impeached, humiliated, beaten, and now he is coming for your cities. He is coming for your right to protest. The secret police paramilitaries the goober militias have warned us about has come to pass. The president of the United States had waged war on us – not the press, not the liberals, not his political opponents, everyone. We are his enemies. Donald J. Trump is against foreign wars, so he has invented one here and right now as I write this there are armed forces in Portland, Oregon, and soon they will invade Chicago, Illinois and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not Bagdad. Not Berlin. Not Pyongyang. Not Khe Sanh. American cities.

Unmarked, fully armed agents tossing citizens into vans, macing and tear-gassing mayors and bystanders, arresting journalists and beating on middle-aged Navy vets is an excellent way of distracting the nation from the disease the president’s incompetence has let run amok, his inexplicable defense of the Confederacy, and thus, slavery, and his diving poll numbers, but while he can use his nickname attacks, damaging trade wars, his commuting of convicted felons, and his daddy-didn’t-love-me rages on Twitter to prop up his fragile, childlike ego, this end game – the final throes of a madman – shall not stand.

If I may be so bold to paraphrase; First they came for the media, but I’m not media, so I did not speak out, then they came for the progressives, but I’m not progressive, so I did not speak out, and then they came for the protestors, and I am not protesting, so I did not speak out, and then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

t’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Memphis, Tennessee in 1968 days before the daylight slaughter of Martin Luther King, in 1970 at Kent State, which took the lives of four unarmed students, and in 1999 on the streets of Seattle. It is a craven, ham-handed political move. It is only happening in Democrat-run cities. Trump is not even trying to hide it. In fact, it is the logical offshoot of the president’s fascist, racist Fourth of July speech in which he called protestors terrorists, and keeps doing it every day in these deranged, rambling political rallies dressed up as press conferences or Covid-19 updates. Trump clearly does not care anymore, if he ever did. He is a lame duck and his days are numbered and he is taking it out on the majority of Americans who have deemed him an abject failure, a stain on the America esthetic. We who mourn decency and coherent, functional leadership from a president are under attack.

Not Bagdad. Not Berlin. Not Pyongyang. Not Khe Sanh. American cities.

This is a president who cares more for statues than human life. He cancels his convention but demands you send your children back to school. He is apparently fine with four million Americans infected and over 140,000 dead. Its overrated, a hoax. He did a great job. This is our president.

Remember the caravan careening towards our borders before the 2018 mid-terms? There was no caravan. This was a tactic to scare people who clearly were disgusted and horrified by the first two years of this rancid, dysfunctional clusterfuck of an administration. And that was enough to wave into congress every leftist they could find to shove in Trump’s fat, orange face. The midterm landslide was the first repudiation. The final reckoning of the despotic state is coming. The only way to curtail it, to make one last gambit, is to use troops against us. Lincoln did it during the draft riots, Wilson used it to round up Germans during WWI, FDR used it to round-up Asian-Americans during WWII, Nixon used it to crush Vietnam protests. Each were during wartime, and it was unconstitutional then and it will always be, but this nightmare perpetuated by a bleating imbecile we handed the U.S Army over to, is an incredible new low.

In his monosyllabic, free-association word-diarrhea the other day Trump floated unleashing these thugs on New York City. Yes, please come. I live thirty-four miles from the island and it would be my pleasure to stand on the barricades and thwart the invading army, like Washington on the banks of the Hudson hunkered down against Mad King George’s forces that never came. The American Revolution would have been over in its first weeks had the British attacked, but they didn’t. They didn’t dare fuck with New York. Washington knew it. Trump? He doesn’t know anything. He may make his gravest mistake to come here.  

I propose we start to build a human ring, if we have to be armed, we do it, around the southern tip of Manhattan island and wait for Trump’s fascist invasion from DC. Our flag? Not American. That has been stolen, co-opted and sold to the Russians with the Trump logo on it. The only flag that ever mattered – Don’t Tread on Me. I shall take mine down from its honored perch above my writing nook and stand tall in front of the hordes denying this authoritarian act of aggression, because I love my daughter and my wife and my friends and my country. Fuck this racist autocrat. He does not stand for me. He is the terrorist. His time is coming in November. Three more months of this shit. But he will not get is dog-wagging moment on our watch. This ain’t Portland or Albuquerque or even Chicago. We already kicked Trump’s sad carcass out of the big city and sent him to Florida where everyone goes to die, like his presidency.

Our government is now at war with us.

We will win this war.    

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Douse the Flames, Save the Property, Worry About Politics Later
I have been confronted lately with concerns about former VP and Senator Joe Biden’s candidacy for president. From the left; he’s not progressive enough, has a checkered past with women, supported a ridiculous crime bill, too old, and from the right; he’s senile, somehow all of a sudden after forty centrist years in DC is a radical Marxist or puppet of anarchy, and, of course, he’s a Democrat. Here’s the thing about Joe Biden. He is not Donald Trump. The current president is presiding over a three-alarm fire. The entire country – domestic, health, economic, moral, legal and foreign affairs are a complete and utter disaster. He is responsible for most of it and where he is not directly culpable he has made far worse. He is as lost, angry and destructive as many feared.

Another four years of this and there will no longer be an America, just the burnt wreckage of another Trump Enterprise – like two marriages, Atlantic City, Trump University, the USFL, or pretty much everything Trump has had anything to do with. Have you seen his kids? See Back to the Future II and Biff Tannen’s dystopian Hill Valley for the best reference or maybe take a gander at these tax records he’s gone all the way to the Supreme Court to hide from us, because why see the tax returns of a guy who claims he’s a great business man as the reason he ran for president in the first place?

As a result, what I have been telling these fine fence-sitting, lukewarm and dubious voters is, “Put out the fire first, then worry about where to set the furniture later.”

Things have become beyond desperate around here. Not even I thought Trump was this bad. The most cataclysmic national event of my lifetime, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the president of the United States is not only denying it is happening, he is, as is his wont, lying openly about it. He tells us among many other doozies, “99-percent of Coronavirus cases are totally harmless,” while he never wears a mask and mocks his own administration’s scientists and doctors. It’s like a Bond villain is running things. Can you fathom FDR’s fireside chats centering around his big radio ratings during the Great Depression, never mind WWII? This is this generation’s WWII, and the president is telling us there are no Nazis and Pearl Harbor was a media hoax.

Now, I am no alarmist, but since March, over 130,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. We are the most infected country on the planet, and it’s not even close. Europe and Mexico won’t even allow us in. Forget about the argument I have already made months ago that this could have been abridged by mere competence and an embrace of science, but after waiting a month to do anything, the president spent six weeks paying lip service to the threat, turning “daily updates” into mini propaganda rallies. And never once during them did he ever show empathy for the sick and dying or their families or anything that didn’t feed his insatiable ego.

It got so bad for Trump and the nation, advisors shut these farces down. Then for the past two months, Trump officially announced the virus defeated and the threat over. He held rallies. No masks. No social-distancing. People on his staff got infected. Rally goers got infected. So, it is not over. In fact, on the whole, it is getting worse. The president is now quite literally killing civilians. To compound this madness, he and his Secretary of Education Betty DeVos are demanding states fully open schools this September and endanger our children. Remember when Republicans were so into states’ rights they would rather African-Americans be stripped of their rights to preserve them? Shit, during the Reagan Administration kids were everything, now it’s “Fuck kids.”

Let’s check out other parts of this raging blaze.

The Russians having been paying bounties to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq since last year and nothing is being done about it. In fact, this rather important breech of security and the safety of our troops has been kept from congress and the American people. Trump’s defense? He didn’t know anything about it. We have already covered the Department of Justice being run as if a mafia-like strong-arm of the White House. Dozens of former administration officials have left Trump and immediately put on the record his ineptitude, mental shortcomings, laziness, narcissism and general sloppy, careless behavior. He predictably denies all of this and then follows it up by swiping his phone like a teenager during an economic press conference while we endure the worst financial crisis in over a century. Almost no one that has been around this administration considers it anything less than a constant danger.

It’s like a Bond villain is running things.

It is also important that our next president not defend and embrace dictators. What the hell is this shit? I know it’s a daddy issue to worship strongmen and get their approval, but we’re trying to have a democracy here. And can we try and remember there are still children being kept in cages at the border? Detrimental Chinese tariffs and the gutting of the state department, demeaning and ignoring allies abroad, and campaign fraud to pay-off porn stars. The non-existent new border wall, the radical abuse of the emoluments clause, and the relentlessly insane tweets about nothing but his thin skin. Using the military for his own vanity and to teargas Americans enacting their right to protest. And what about all these criminals being tried and convicted all around him? His children and the people they are currently sleeping with are running half the government and a white supremacist, Stephen Miller is running just about everything else while Trump watches TV all day and plays golf.

Then there is this obsession with the confederacy and these stupid monuments. Trump’s Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore was by far the most divisive and inflammatory pile of authoritarian gibberish every uttered outside a KKK rally. It declared war on the American people, or at least a majority of them who have never supported him. Trump will be the first president to ever serve a full term in the age of polling to lose the popular vote when elected and follow that up by never having anything close to a positive approval rating. He has waged war on the free press, the FBI, the CIA, generals in the military, the Republican Party, congress, and even his own advisors for nearly four miserable years of failure.

Donald Trump is the third president in American history to be impeached. This happened seven months ago and in the face of this conflagration, it’s treated as a mere flesh wound.

This is a resilient democracy we’ve carved out. It has endured many hardships and ugly, horrible stains. Lunatics, racists, criminals and despots have held office on all levels and we’re still here. But we got rid of those assholes because there is a limit to the damage America can have inflicted upon it. Enough of Trump. This was an experiment that failed… miserably. It has to stop. And it has to stop this November. Period.

Complaining about Joe Biden is like whining about the rain at Gettysburg.

The house is on fire.

We need to put it out.

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