Diary 301

Diary 301

Wednesday, January 13th

I’m delighted to say that my former student (and a former Curry College Rugby player of great daring and skill) Thomas P. Athridge, has published yet another book – this time on the Rollings Stones’ Brian Jones. Full disclosure: he quotes me in it.  It’s his second volume.

I love it when my students take what they know and use it to explore what they love.  I also have had parts of my life shaped by the Stones – those formative years will always be, in part, remembered to the sound track of their songs. Good work, Tom.

Diary 300

Tuesday, January 12th

I had hoped that the 300th entry milestone would see some relief from Covid, but … Here’s an aerial picture.  Can you guess what it is?

The good news is that we are, most of us, holding up pretty well under difficult circumstances. We’re still strong – stronger than we thought we were capable of being.

Still – if we want good news Kinzinger and Cheney (Republicans) have said they’ll vote to impeach. That gives the resolution a real chance to pass. 

Diary 299

Monday, January 11th

Impeachment is going ahead. If it succeeds then the lame duck ‘president’ will not be able to occupy any office ever again. If it fails then we know exactly what we’ve got in the Republican party (as if we weren’t already aware). We have accomplices to treason.

Bill Belichick (the NFL’s most successful coach ever) has refused the ‘president’s’ offer of a Presidential Medal of Freedom. At least he shows he has guts.  And sense, too.  Hint: Never accept a present from a gangster boss.

Diary 298

Sunday, January 10th

A second Republican senator has said the so-called president’ must go. Just two. What about the other 48?

Good question….  What this shows us is that the Republican party is in its famous lock-step mode. It adopted this way of being during the Clinton administration, and its sole purpose was to block anything coming from the Democratic side.  Anything and everything, no matter whether good, bad, or helpful. Any Republican politician deviating from this orthodoxy would (and will) suffer terribly at its own party’s hands. It’s career death if one breaks ranks, even with a ‘president’ who is certifiable. [My sources for this background include Obama’s latest book, in which he describes the financial melt-down of 2008. Start at page 270.]

This method of stymying the opposition achieves only one thing: the consolidation of power. It does not help to govern the country, in fact it ensures the country will not be governed at all, as just about all protections for individuals not in power are fair game.

There are almost no moderate republicans left. There is practically no bi-partisan action at all. It is purely adversarial. These are some of the reasons they cling to an unhinged ‘president’.

This has to change. Now is the time. Perhaps the ‘president’s’ madness will be the catalyst we need.

Diary 297

Saturday, January 9th

The lame-duck former ‘president’ is still in the news. After four years of waking up each morning dreading what that allegedly human being had done in the previous 8 hours I find I’m not quite so stressed as I once was. But the sense of watchfulness won’t end until he’s in jail, I suspect, neither for me nor for many people in this country.

There’ll be plenty of mopping up to do even after he’s locked up.

Diary 296

Friday, January 8th

Despite the things said at the Capitol about two days ago the Republicans seem reluctant to trigger the 25th Amendment, which would incapacitate this treasonous “president’ until the end of his term. Bear in mind this is the man who has access to the Nuclear Codes.

Republicans may talk about how they’re shocked, but they still won’t oppose this ‘president’. Don’t let us ever forget that.

The death toll for this coup attempt currently stands at 5.  Covid deaths this week: 4000 each day. That’s more people than died on 9-11, if you want some perspective, and the squatter in the White House is actually withholding distribution of vaccines. When will the Republicans DO something?

I shall remember this inaction for the rest of my life.

Twitter has suspended the ‘president’s’ account permanently. What took them so long??

Speaker Pelosi is pushing ahead with the second impeachment, which may be launched on Monday. She’s saying that unless the ‘president’ resigns immediately that this is what he’ll face. Action at last.


Thursday, January 7th

Some awkward questions are emerging about the Capitol siege, such as, how come it was so easy for the rioters to get in? Were they deliberately let in? (It certainly looks like it) This, after all, is supposed to be one of the most secure sites in the US, and without any special equipment a rabble of paunchy rag-tag nut cases were able to breach security? Why did it take so long to call out the National Guard?

Once the rioters were in, I’m impressed at how the new influx of guards were able to de-escalate the situation and take control again. Had they come out with guns blazing I have little doubt the proud boys would have broken out their automatic weapons. The lame duck ‘president’ could then have declared martial law, and that would not have helped democracy. 

The law is slow, but it will catch up with these people. If they were to be convicted tomorrow the former ‘president’ would probably pardon them. Let us wait and charge them properly under a new regime.

A tweet, issued late today, was a flagrant backing away from the former ‘president’s’ support of the rioters. It used complex sentence structures, real syntax and polysyllabic words.  Clearly it did not come from him, but from his handlers. Ha!

Diary 294

Wednesday, January 6th.

I will not dignify the events of today with a picture.

This was a black day in our history.  ’Supporters’ of the ex ‘president’ – incited directly by him – stormed the Capitol and attempted to overturn the ratification of the election. 

The good news is that the rioters were ejected after only a few hours and the confirmation of president-elect Biden went ahead successfully. The good news is also that both Democrat candidates in Georgia won, giving Democrats control of the Senate, and returning Georgia’s first black senator.  The good news, furthermore, is that the rioters were only a few thousand in number and seemed to melt away in front of a strong police presence.

The lame-duck ‘president’ and his enablers are a real problem. The crowds that stormed the Capitol were overwhelmingly white, mostly older, mostly bearded men, some waving confederate flags.  Many of those arrested seem to have been from out of state thus flouting the Covid travel ban.  Quite a few were armed. This is the lunatic fringe.  

In other southern states, according to the Guardian, crowds of a few  hundred attempted to intimidate and storm other government buildings, but seem to have been too clueless to do much.

Can we say the words ‘domestic terrorists’ now?

Diary 293

Tuesday, January 5th

A big day today as the senate run-off elections in Georgia take place, while in DC the so-called proud boys gather to try and provoke yet another fight, thus asserting their baseless claims of electoral fraud.  The lame-duck ‘president’ refuses to condemn these kinds of demonstrations, which is about what we’ve come to expect from him.

Meanwhile three million postal votes have been received in Georgia already. People want to vote, they want their opinions heard, they stand in line for hours sometimes in order to do so — and because we’re Americans we don’t take kindly to anyone who tries to shut us up or shut us down.

The rumor is that the former ‘president’ seems to be planning to avoid, well, everything. He has a plane booked for a flight to Scotland the day before the inauguration. Poor Scotland.

Diary 292

Monday, January 4th

The lame duck ‘president’ is showing just how destructive he can be. Taped phone conversations have him asking the Georgia Secretary of State to forge the results to find enough votes to overturn the election he just lost.  On tape. Asking for fraud from a Republican colleague who, to his credit, refused to falsify anyone’s results. Thank you, Brad Raffensperger, for being an honorable man in this sordid instance. The White House is not issuing denials so far as I know

When Biden gets in we may want to frame a few laws about this kind of thing.