Post-Trump America

A Republic, if you can keep it.”

* The FBI vetted all of the 25,000 National Guard troops brought in to secure Washington for the Inaugural. The reason: concerns about an insider attack or other threats from service personnel actually involved with security. Beyond sobering.

* Throw the figurative, as well as the literal, book at all Capitol insurrectionists—from blatant anarchists to GOPster collusionists. Domestic terrorism warrants no less. Such a Trump-era precedent is critical if we are to truly go forward as a viable, democratic republic. Making a high-profile example of the worst among us is best for America.

* “Hang Mike Pence.” It’s what happens when upholding the Constitution becomes a traitorous act to the worst of the Trump base. Even Mike Pence deserves better. Probably.

* Who will be among those representing Trump at a Senate impeachment trial? Pam Bondiagain? Only if it looks self-serving.

* No longer in residence at the White House, Trump has pondered where he would be most comfortable. We know about MAGA-Lago for now. Two other options: The Villages and Moscow.

* The false equivalence of BLM protests and “Stop the Steal” insurrection is an all-too-familiar, disingenuous, partisan refrain. Riotous behavior–and all its collateral damage–is always wrong. End of equivalence, however, when one is steeped in infamous, societal racism that includes police brutality and the other is steeped in–and stoked by–white grievance, fraudulent claims of a stolen election and seditious entitlement.

* Judas” update? “These 10 (Republicans), from (Trump’s) own party joined in the (House impeachment) feeding frenzy. It makes you wonder what the 30 pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for his betrayal. … After all he has done for our country, you would turn your back and betray him so quickly.” That was evangelist Franklin Graham.

After all that Trump has wrought—including insurrection incitement in our Capitol—he’s the one who has been betrayed? What would Franklin’s dad, Billy, have said? More to the point, what would Jesus say about fealty to one who is the avatar of immorality, racism and misogyny as well as the antithesis of what Jesus died for? But maybe it will help the sale of those Pray for 45” T-shirts that Graham is promoting.

* Trump has stated that he should not be compared to Richard Nixon, who resigned the presidency in disgrace to avoid impeachment. Trump’s right; he shouldn’t be compared to Nixon. It’s not fair to Nixon, who–however dark and duplicitous–was at least qualified to be president and never fomented an insurrection against his own country.

* If impeachment and/or the 25th Amendment were not applied to Trump, they would be, in effect, inapplicable. In short, if inciting insurrection isn’t sufficient cause, what is? What an unconscionable precedent that would be–even for such an unprecedented presidency.

* “In 2022, we’ll be faced with the Trump pitchfork crowd, and there will need to be an effort to beat them back.” That was Scott Reed, the former chief political strategist for the Chamber of Commerce, in predicting a ferocious, internecine GOP brawl next year.

* “It’s just destroying the party to go out and try to censure people. It doesn’t show that they’re trying to attract new people to the party.” That was Jonathan Lines, a Trump-supporting, former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. Arizona, a historically red state, flipped into the Biden column and is now a center of Republican retribution, as Liz Cheney well knows.

* Profiles in Courage” should not be an oxymoron.

* Trump reportedly is telling supporters and donors he wants to collect $2 billion for a presidential library and museum in Florida. Begs all sorts of questions, including whether a hotel will be part of the scenario. And how many copies of “The Art of the Deal” will be included? How about love letters from Little Kim and Vlad? Maybe a copy of the tweet that fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? Tanning tips? SAT scores? Golf cards? MAGA hats? Trump University catalogues? A replica of the “Trump Baby” balloon? Stormy Daniels memorabilia?

Dem Notes

* It’s imperative that President Biden have a united party—as he tackles the unification of this country. That means Dems on the progressive far left need to be part of the pragmatic healing. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the liberal avatar,helped out with her high-profile endorsement of Biden’s America Rescue Plan. “I carefully read President Biden’s America Rescue Plan,” she stated. “It’s full of many things I’ve been fighting for. Hazard pay. Rent and utility assistance. An eviction moratorium. Extended and expanded unemployment (relief). Paid leave. A $15 minimum wage.”

* No Florida Republican representative voted for impeachment. Not actually voting was Rep. Daniel Webster, who was not there. He doesn’t believe in proxy voting. Thus, he declined on “principle,” he explained. How hypocritical. If principle were truly involved, it would have been a proxy “yes.” Inciting sedition that cost lives requires more than an absentee non-vote. Some principles are more important than others.

* “Voter turnout is the best remedy to voter suppression.”–Stacey Abrams.

* Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is making history. But that could be superceded, as we know, in 2024. Imagine a Kamala Harris-Nikki Haley presidential scenario. Historic—and then some. But the bottom line would still be the same. A Democrat vs. a Trump enabler.



* 2 million: the global death toll from COVID.

* Herd immunity requires at least 70 percent of the globe to be vaccinated.

* 5: The number of anti-vaccine groups that received more than $850,000 in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

* The per capita COVID-19 death rate in Florida is 23rdin the country.

* 11%: Percentage of Florida’s hospitals that are reporting a staffing shortage.

* “Ultimately, we are dependent on the federal release of vaccines to the states for distribution.”–Dr. Bob Keenan, Chief Medical Officer of Moffitt Cancer Center.

* 14,000: The number of Hillsborough School District distance learners expected to return to in-person instruction for the second semester.


* The seditious rampage in Washington—and resulting deaths—is a sobering reminder that other capitols might also be in jeopardy from the mayhem and menace of the worst of Trump disciples. We now remind ourselves that Florida still allows citizens with concealed weapons permits—about 2.2 million Floridians—to carry guns INSIDE the capitol in Tallahassee.

* “Allowing the general public to bring firearms into a Capitol building is asinine.”–Florida Senate Minority Leader Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale.

* “I carry everywhere I go.”–Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Clermont.

* The Sunshine State still produces only about 3 percent of its energy by solar power.

Media Matters

* Don’t bet the ranch on it, but many media experts think that “Trump TV” now seems less viable in the aftermath of all that went down in the storming of the Capitol—and his abandonment by certain allies and donors.

* There was a prime time “Celebrating America” TV special after the Inauguration. It was carried on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC. Any network missing the celebration?

Sports Shorts

* What Tampa Bay doesn’t want: a Super (Spreader) Bowl.

* So Urban Meyer has returned from another retirement to take over as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. He’s certainly got the collegiate resume. But it’s no guarantee of success. Just ask Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz and Nick Saban.

* USF women’s basketball: Nine wins in a row, which ties a school record–and a #14 national ranking. Go, Bulls.

* For now, the Rays plan to open the season with fans limited to approximately 7,000 per game.

* It’s probably the first time that Mexico City and Bradenton have appeared in the same sentence. The context: The World Golf Championship (Feb. 25-28) is moving from Mexico City to Bradenton because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.


* “Science has succeeded, but solidarity has failed.”–U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

* “I believe that ethically everyone needs to receive the vaccine.”–Pope Francis.

* “We’ve changed the narrative dramatically.”–David M. Friedman, outgoing U.S. ambassador to Israel.

* “U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to pour $1.9 trillion into a hobbled economy could lay the foundation for a surge in jobs and spending that many economists say is needed to avoid long-term damage from a record-breaking pandemic recession.”–Reuters.

* “The single most depraved betrayal of the U.S. Constitution ever committed by a president.”–Florida Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

* “It is shocking that Trump didn’t act when Congress could have faced a mass hostage-taking, or worse. It is not surprising.”–Michelle Goldberg, New York Times.

* “Incitement isn’t a single act; it’s a process.”–Former Richard Nixon attorney John Dean.

* “At his own inauguration, (Trump) pledged to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Two weeks before the (Biden) inauguration, he contributed to a violent attempt to stop the Constitution from working. (His) conduct is about the clearest violation of his constitutional oath one could imagine.”–Stetson law professor Louis J. Virelli III.

* “A clear and present threat to our nation.”–Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist.

* “(Trump) will be judged harshly by history.”–Nikki Haley.

* “(Trump’s) capable of starting a civil war.”–California Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

* “Donald Trump had the foresight to not be black.”–Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald.

* “Now (Lindsey) Graham calls for unity. I agree. Let’s unite in removing Trump from office and disqualify him from (ever) holding a public trust again.”–California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff.

* “Pelosi and the House Democrats invited busloads of Antifa to riot.”–Facebook post of Hillsborough County Republican Party Chairman Jim Waurishuk.

* “There is no excusing Trump. There is no sympathy that should be wasted on this pathetic parasite.”–Marina Hyde, U.K. Guardian.

* “The rest of us—and this is the key—will still be here. We’ve got nowhere to go.”–Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

* “The First Amendment limits only government actors, and neither social media company nor a book publisher is the government. Indeed, they enjoy their own First Amendment rights not to have the government require them to associate with speech when they prefer not to do so.”–University of Utah law professor RonNell Andersen Jones.

* “We are living Orwell’s ‘1984.’ Free-speech no longer exists in America.”–Donald Trump Jr.

* “Every movement has a lunatic fringe.”–California Republican Congressman Tom McClintock.

* “Throughout this expedited spree of executions, this Court has consistently rejected inmates’ credible claims for relief. This is not justice.”–Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

* “What for more than 200 years (‘e pluribus unum’) has meant ‘out of many, one,’ Trump has transformed into ‘Follow me. I am the one.’”–Darryl Paulson, USF St. Petersburg emeritus professor of government.

* “Our Florida Democratic Party is at a crossroads. While Democrats all over the nation made gains, we continue to lose ground. We continue to lose elections.”–Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, newly chosen chairman of the FDP.

* “I think she’s an emerging star.”–Republican media consultant Adam Goodman, referring to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

* “Learn to endure.”–Recently retired Hillsborough Clerk of the Court Pat Frank, 91.

* “We should be classified as essential workers and put to the (vaccination-priority) top, if they want schools open.”–Joanne McCall, executive director of the Pinellas County Teachers Union.

* We have to do something. I want people to come to Tampa and Hillsborough for the Super Bowl, but if our (rate of positive test) numbers are in the 15 to 20 percent range, there will be people who think twice about coming.”–Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman, who has stressed that the county should beef up enforcement of its existing mandate that face coverings be worn inside businesses—and that serious consideration be given to requiring masks be worn in outside service areas of bars and restaurants.

* “One of the challenges we have is that there is simply not enough space to have people cycling in and out, so this renovation is an opportunity for education in the galleries.”--Michael Tomor, executive director of the Tampa Museum of Art, on the announcement of TMA plans for renovations that will expand the education programs and gallery space—beginning in May.

Trump Is Still Trump

A Republic, if you can keep it.”

* A sizable chunk of the American electorate that is informed beyond self-validating social media and no longer in need of a white grievance, charlatan cult leader, plus a truly country-first Congress: Absent that, there is no vaccine for Trumpism.

* It’s a good thing that pitching $2000 checks isn’t a form of socialism advocacy.

* Par for the leadership course: Golfing while a nation struggles with vaccination logistics.

* Narcissistic-exit hit: The result of the GOP-controlled Senate overriding (81-13) Trump’s veto of the defense policy bill.

* “Far exaggerated.” That’s how Donald Trump still characterizes—as of Sunday—the number of U.S. coronavirus deaths, now officially exceeding 350,000.

* “There is no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes. … The people of Georgia know that this was a scam.” That was a recent White House rant by the de facto former president.

* Not unlike the president he is sycophantically loyal to, Texas GOPster Congressman Louie Gohmert doesn’t do nuance. So no surprise to his Newsmax response to unsuccessful legal redress over a lost election. After a federal judge threw out a lawsuit he was pushing, he said he had gone to court “so that you didn’t have riots and violence in the streets.” Sounds like a wink-and-nod to the Proud Boys.

* New Alabama Republican Senator—and former Auburn football coach—Tommy Tuberville: “Our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three branches of government—you know, the House, the Senate and the Executive.” Judge, you know, for yourself, Alabama.

* The narcissist-in-chief has often claimed to be a “very stable genius.” It still begs the question of why Trump ordered Michael Cohen to write to Trump’s high schools, colleges and the College Board, threatening them with legal action if they ever released his academic records.

Dem Notes

* “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.” That was President-elect Joe Biden, underscoring what’s at stake during this presidential transition like no other. National security chaos and compromises can’t be a trade-off in de-Trumping America.

* Empathy and unity reset: The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on Jan. 19—the day before Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the capitol. The Commission is also inviting cities and towns across the country to light buildings and ring church bells at the same time.

* The good news: a record number of women will serve in the incoming Congress. The context: This is because Republicans doubled their House ranks from 13. Additional context: Democratic women still (far) outnumber GOPster women in the House.

* 216-209: Margin by which California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was re-elected Speaker of the House. Pelosi is still the only female to be so elected.

* Shortly after the election, pundits were already wondering if any Republicans might be nominated for key Administration positions by a unity-prioritizing, across-the-aisle, moderate Democrat president. We’re talking the likes of John Kasich, former Ohio governor, and former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake. And if so, how would Dem progressives handle such outreach? Well, the pundits still wonder.

* Much has been made of what Miguel Cardona, if he is confirmed as the next education secretary, will face in theclean-up after charter school divaBetsy DeVos. From prioritizing civil rights protections and pandemic catch-up tutoring to no longer selling out to predatory, for-profit colleges. But even though so much about education is the purview of states, it could help if the White House education agenda included high-profile use of its bully pulpit by Cardona to make the case for educational changes that could help save our democracy from Trump sequels. Our schools need to prioritize meaningful, mandatory middle-and high-school classes in civics, history and media. Inshort, how our constitutional republic is supposed to work; how we got here as a nation; and how to avoid manipulation by contemporary partisan media in its various digital forms.

* Shortly after the Inauguration, President Biden is expected to push for another stimulus package. As in, climate change, health care, infrastructure and more. And soon after such a push, we can expect to see erstwhile Tea Partiers returning to their anti-deficit ideologies.