Plus, Military Concerns, Gov. DeSantis, Fox
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
* Legacy update: Not that it much helps, but we all saw the narcissist-in-chief’s temper tantrum coming. Early on it was the General Services Administration refusing to process paperwork needed to release funds for President-elect Biden to begin the transition process. That was classless and dangerous in a fraught world. But, as insiders and GOPster incumbents know, the vile egotist that is Donald Trump needs groveling enablers and political grief counseling after losses in the electoral and popular vote affirmed his “loser” status. “(Biden) only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” claimed Trump in another Twitter-flagged tweet. “This was a rigged election. I concede nothing.”
Also conceding nothing (and unmoved by electoral ambulance chasing): the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency. “The Nov. 3 election was the most secure in American history,” notably declared the CSISA. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
Then there was the recent Trump motorcade that cruised down Washington streets lined with sign-toting, mostly maskless, cult-leader supporters–before rolling on to the outgoing president’s Virginia golf club. How incongruously fitting that there are still post-election, “stop the steal,” de facto campaign rallies during a post-election, pandemic-preying, presidential transition.
* “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration.” That was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo somehow equating transition smoothness with the narcissistic avatar of self-serving chaos.
* (Un)friendly fire: “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.” That was the demander-in-chief thanking, as only he can–via tweet–his defense secretary. Esper may have stayed longer had he not indicated that the military should remain an apolitical institution and that he opposed invoking the Insurrection Act to place active-duty troops on the streets to quell possible post-election protests. It’s also a reminder that Joe Biden’s defense secretary will have a damage-control and morale-agenda at the outset.
* Speaking of the military, it knows that President Biden will not be prioritizing the partially-built U.S.-Mexico border wall that has cost $15 billion so far. The military also knows that this means no more money diverted from the military budget to compensate for Mexico not paying for it.
* Still speaking of the military, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, was hardly nuanced about presidential “fealty.” “We are unique among militaries,” he underscored. “We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual.”
* Timing matters: The Trump Administration is advancing plans to auction drilling rights in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the inauguration of Joe Biden. The president-elect has vowed to block oil exploration in the Alaska wilderness.
* Yo, Philly: Pennsylvania turning blue was critical to Trump’s loss. The Philadelphia vote count went to Biden by about a 4-1 margin. Still wonder how many “Iggles” fans are Trumpsters.
* Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is one of 10 Republican attorneys general calling for a Pennsylvania election ruling on late-arriving absentee ballots to be overturned by the Supreme Court. Pam Bondi would have done no less.
* “I do believe the election is over–and we do have a new president.”–That was Ted Olson, who successfully argued for George W. Bush in the 2000 Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case.
* Advisers have tried to persuade Trump to drop the “fraud” talk. It has obvious legal implications that his team has been unable to back up. So Trump has dialed back; the election, he’s now asserting, was, uh, “rigged.” Whatever.
* Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is fawningly supportive of Trump’s efforts to avoid conceding defeat. Hypocritically ironic that when he won his gubernatorial race by 0.4 percent, he declared victory four hours after the polls had closed.
* “A matter of weeks.” That, according to the prevaricator-in-chief, is the time frame until a vaccine is shipped to vulnerable populations.
* More than 130 Secret Service officers who helped protect the White House and the president have been ordered to quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers.
* The rationales for questioning the electoral college are more than manifest. The ultimate bottom line: Without it, there would have been no minoritarian Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.