While President Biden's face plant at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony garnered the most attention, a pair of unforced errors committed by Donald Trump raised some questions about his electability in the 2024 election.
Determined to damage his closest competitor for the Republican nomination, Trump assailed Gov. Ron DeSantis for his performance during the covid pandemic while simultaneously praising the performance of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The facts do not support Trump's claims. Accounting for age, the death rate from covid in New York was more than 300 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Florida, it was 245 per 100,000 inhabitants. Key contributors to the higher death rate under Cuomo were his rush to put patients on ventilators, which research now shows exacerbated bacterial infections that killed a majority of those put on ventilators, and an executive order requiring nursing homes housing the elderly and most vulnerable to take in persons known to be already infected with the virus.
Health wasn't the only damage done by Cuomo's policies. He also imposed a more severe and lengthy lockdown that sent unemployment up to 17%. In contrast, DeSantis ended Florida's lockdown after one month when unemployment surged by 14%. Since that time Florida's unemployment rate has dropped to 2.6%. New York's is currently at 4%.
A second unforced error was when Trump denounced his former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for citing a poll showing him leading DeSantis by 25% when a different poll showed him with 34% lead. Despite her loyal service during his presidency, this incident earned her a new Trump epithet of "milktoast" and an accusation of disloyalty, even though as a Fox News host her professional obligation would be to be fair rather than loyal.
After other Republicans suggested that he ought to be focusing on the damage Biden's policies have done to the country, Trump doubled down on his accusations of disloyalty for both DeSantis and McEnany, saying "I lifted them both up from obscurity. Without my endorsement DeSanctimonious would never have won his 2018 election for governor. Before I made Kayleigh my press secretary in 2020 nobody knew who she was and she never would've have gotten her current job at Fox News. They both owe me big time."
These unforced errors caused New Hampshire Republican state representative James Spillane to withdraw his endorsement of Trump, saying "I was hoping to see Trump focus on the issues, but he's got the whole covid thing backwards. Then there's the name-calling, vitriol, and disregard for others that Trump has been exhibiting." Spillane switched his endorsement to DeSantis. He is the fourth New Hampshire state representative to make this switch in the last month.
Children's Choir Censored
The Rushingbrook Children's Choir's rendition of the National Anthem in the Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol was interrupted mid-song by the Capitol Police on the grounds that singing this song is considered "an unauthorized protest."
Spokesperson for the choir Christina Chapman Heffernan's attempt to present evidence that the performance was authorized in advance by Reps. Russell Fry, Joe Wilson, and William Timmons was brushed aside by Capitol Police Officer Jack Boute who insisted that "some Capitol visitors might consider it offensive. It is our national anthem. Why should foreign visitors be subjected to it? On top of this, unlike many other national anthems, it is a very bellicose song. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It could frighten the children."
Boute also questioned whether "just any old congressman has the power to authorize a potentially offensive performance in the Capitol. The three congressman alleged to have approved this singing are all Republicans. The President has identified the Republican Party as enemies of democracy. So, I doubt he would have approved this performance if he had known about it ahead of time."
In related news, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) denounced the burning of an LGTBQ+ rainbow flag outside Saticoy Elementary School, calling it a "hate crime. Burning the American flag is protected free speech. Burning the rainbow flag is not. The key distinction is that the American flag is a symbol of freedom and as such is a fair target for those who disapprove of freedom. Whereas, the Rainbow flag is not a symbol of freedom and, therefore, is not a fair target for those who disagree with LGTBQ+ demands that everyone accept and celebrate their values and lifestyles."
Big City Woes
Over the Memorial Day weekend there were 53 shootings--eleven of them fatal--in the City of Chicago. It was the bloodiest Memorial Day weekend since 2015. Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) blamed this carnage on "the community disinvestment, poverty, and trauma that our city has struggled with far too long."
Interim Police Department Superintendent Fred Waller said "it pains me knowing that too many of our residents have seen or experienced this proliferation of gun violence. No one should fear for their own safety in their own neighborhood."
The first action of the Chicago City Council following these murders was to approve spending $51 million to support the more than 10,000 illegal aliens that have arrived in the city since August of 2022. Johnson applauded the spending, calling it "necessary to offset the population decreases caused by intractable crime and migration to other safer areas of the country."
The most vociferous opposition to this spending at the City Council meeting was a complaint that "this money should have been used to fund a Chicago Reparations Ordinance to compensate Blacks for the harms done to us by slavery and Jim Crow."
Meanwhile, San Francisco is facing similar problems due to similar governing policies by its Democrats. The once vibrant downtown is plagued by lawlessness, human feces pollution, and boarded up stores. San Francisco Travel, a local tourism boosting organization, released an ad asserting that "now is a better time than ever to visit the city by the bay. Crowds are the smallest they've been since the 1906 earthquake. There are more under-used porta-potties per square mile than ever before. And daily free family-friendly drag queen street performances. So come and like the great Tony Bennett song urges, leave your heart in San Francisco."
Is Corruption a Lesser Evil?
This week National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was surprised by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asking him "what do you say to the majority of Americans who believe that the president is himself corrupt?"
"Wow," Kirby replied. "First, I would point out that President Biden himself has repeatedly denied that he is corrupt or that his son has done anything wrong. Second, I would ask voters to consider whether Trump's treason might be worse than a little corruption on the part of President Biden. On the one hand, we have a former Republican president and current Republican candidate that instigated an insurrection against the peaceful transfer of power to a duly elected Joe Biden. Isn't this worse than taking a few million dollars in bribes in exchange for political favors?"
"On the other hand, corruption has been an ever-present companion of politics since the nation's founding," Kirby added. "Candidates routinely repay campaign donors with favorable votes on pending legislation. Members of Congress frequently support legislation that will enhance the value of stocks they own. Sometimes they even accept cash bribes in exchange for their votes. Yet, the nation has survived these transgressions. Can the nation survive allowing the enemies of democracy to take over the government? I think not. That's why I'm glad that the FBI took steps to undermine the candidacy of Republican extremists like Trump and others of his ilk."
In related news, in a bid to avert being held in contempt for withholding a document subpoenaed by Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray has offered to show the document to Rep. James Comer (R-Ken) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) providing they sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). "The way I figure it, as long as the general public itself never sees the document the issue will remain whether to take the word of the President or his GOP critics regarding who's telling the truth," Wray said. "I'm confident that the media will guide most people to the right opinion on the issue just like they did with the covid vaccines."
DNC Refuses to Hold Debates
Though there are currently two candidates--Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson--running against Joe Biden for the Democrat Party's presidential nomination, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) refuses to schedule any debates.
Actor James Van Der Beek objected to "this antidemocratic decision. Shouldn't voters have the opportunity to see the candidates and hear what they have to say about governing the country? Do we have a government by the people? Or are we the pawns of big banks, big business, big tech, big pharma, big government, big whatever?"
Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the "no debates" stand of the DNC, saying "why should President Biden, the leader of the free world, be forced to endure the jibes of these would-be usurpers of his power? Kennedy can barely talk and Williamson is a kook. Why should voters be subjected to hearing their nonsense?"
Jean-Pierre went on to point out that "Williamson is not a serious candidate. Remember she ran in 2020 but dropped out before the Iowa caucuses. Why waste time on her again. Kennedy, rather than appreciating how the President heroically led us out of the pandemic, has vowed to prosecute Pfizer for supposedly pressuring the government to force its vaccine on the public just so it could get billions of dollars in profits from the subsidies the President gave them in order to to make sure that everyone could get vaccinated for free."