Open Letter To House Democrats

18 June 2019

Dear Representative ____________________________,

Today I read an article in the New York Times that said many democratic members of Congress believe impeachment is not what their constituents want.  I beg to differ.  In May, polls showed that 60% of democrats favoured impeachment, and a bit later, in early June, polls showed that 76% favour impeachment.  I am certainly among those who do.  If you claim your constituents overwhelmingly do not favour impeachment, and if 76% of democrats do favour it, then I’m unclear as to who you think your constituents are.

I understand that even if impeached by the House of Representatives, there is no possibility that the Senate will vote to try, convict, and remove Trump from office.  I further understand that he is likely to become even more unstable than he already is if the impeachment process is begun.  And, I also understand that at this juncture, you likely do not have the support of enough republicans in the House to gain a 2/3 vote for impeachment.  However …

If you begin the impeachment process, you will be able to pursue your inquiries and investigations that now seem dead in the water because of Trump’s obfuscation and cover-ups.  If you do your job properly, there can be no doubt that you will be able to build a case for impeachment, for Special Counsel Robert Mueller already did most of that work for you.  Starting with the obstruction of justice incidences that Mueller laid out, if you follow those leads, verify and confirm what you must, then I believe that you will be able to convince enough of your republican compadres that impeachment is the only recourse.

There are a few things I would like you to consider.  The first is that if Donald Trump is not held accountable for his crimes … and make no mistake, he has committed crimes against the citizens of this nation by both his actions and his inactions … then future presidents will feel they have carte blanche to act in a similar manner without reprisal.  This is an untenable situation and undermines the very foundation of our government.

Another thing to consider is next years’ election.  If Trump is successfully impeached in the House, even though not convicted in the Senate, his reputation will nonetheless be tarnished, hopefully to the point that he will not stand a chance of winning the election.  However, if he is not held accountable for his actions, his base will applaud, he will gloat, and quite possibly his base will actually expand.  Another untenable situation.

Along those same lines, you all worked hard last year to gain a democratic majority in the House.  It is my opinion that you will be putting that majority at risk by your inaction, for whether you believe it or not, the majority of democrats do want to see Trump held accountable, and the mechanism for doing that is impeachment.  If you fail to impeach, if you do not even try, I think you will lose many democratic voters who are disappointed and disgusted.  I, for one, feel very unrepresented at the moment, and I think you will find that I am far from being alone in this.

If you still believe that impeachment is not popular among your constituents, then get out there and talk to them.  Hold town hall meetings in your districts, talk to people, ask them what they think.  And I’m not saying talk only to the doctors and lawyers, the wealthy 1% of your constituents, but come down to our level, talk to people like me, my neighbors.  Talk to the average Joes in your district.  If you fail to do this, you may not be sitting in your office in the Capitol two years from now, and we may no longer have a participatory government.  Think about it.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter

Seeing Is NOT Believing …

The Associated Press (AP) has begun a weekly feature titled Not Real News: A look at what didn’t happen this week.  The purpose is to cull the fake news that has become widespread in this day of political corruption, video-doctoring, misinformation and more.  I find it a sad, frustrating statement of today’s world that we need such a column, but am glad that someone is stepping up to the plate to try to call out the liars and cheats.

The first story in this week’s roundup is about a doctored video with the intent of discrediting 2020 presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.  From the AP piece …

CLAIM: Video shows Joe Biden making a “shocking admission.” Biden’s speech also appears to be impaired in the video.

THE FACTS: Democratic presidential candidate Biden did not make any sort of admission. Rather, in the video, he was referencing comments made about him by President Donald Trump. The source footage was slowed down and two clips from it were cut and spliced together to produce this altered video. A social media user who uses the handle @CarpeDonktum posted the altered video to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit on Wednesday and Thursday, calling it a “shocking admission” and saying it forced him to question Biden’s mental health. @CarpeDonktum, whose Twitter bio says he creates “doctored” videos in support of Trump, told The Associated Press that he had slowed down the video and cut the two clips together. On Reddit, he labeled the video as “doctored” because he said users on Reddit may not be familiar with his parody style videos. “All I do is make parody and funny videos,” he said. “No ill intent behind it.” The manipulated footage taken from ABC News video of Biden at Iowa Wesleyan University was uploaded following President Donald Trump’s remarks this week that Biden was getting slow and referring to him as “Sleepy Joe.” @CarpeDonktum inserted a person walking in front of the camera to hide a cut he made in the video, where he removed part of it and spliced the remaining footage together, so Biden appears to say, “Joe Biden shouldn’t be president. I think I’m either low IQ or slow or I don’t know what I am. Slow Joe Biden.” The editing of the video makes it appear to depict an uninterrupted quote. The deletion of that middle section and the omission of other, earlier parts of the original ABC footage removed context that’s critical to understanding what’s being seen — namely, that Biden was describing what Trump, as well as North Korea’s official news agency, have said about him. The Associated Press reported in May that North Korea’s official news agency had called Biden a “fool of low IQ.” ″He embraces dictators like Kim Jong Un who is a damn murderer and a thug,” Biden says in the original ABC News clip. “The one thing they agree on, Joe Biden shouldn’t be president.” He goes on to reference some of Trump and Kim’s characterization of him as “slow” or having a “low IQ.”

Carpe Donktum’s claim that there was “No ill intent …” is wrong.  Of course there was ‘ill intent’, and even though the discerning viewer, upon seeing this would at the very least question its authenticity, there are many out there who would accept it at face value.  How many people voted for Donald Trump for the sole reason that they didn’t like Hillary Clinton?  A good percentage, based on what I’ve heard and read.  Why didn’t they like Hillary Clinton, who was well-qualified and had an excellent platform?  Because they saw her as unbending, as cold.  Because they were told, falsely, that she was responsible for the loss of life in Benghazi.  Because they believed Trump and the false news who said she had secret emails that had shared information with foreign powers that breached our national security.  Because James Comey said the FBI was considering re-opening an old investigation.  Because … because … because of what they had seen or heard about her, not from her, but about her, most of which was manufactured by the GOP and the Trump campaign with the assistance of Russian trolls.

Most everyone reading this post is smart enough, savvy enough to check sources, double check the veracity of what they see and hear, especially on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, both of whom allowed Russian trolls to disseminate false information on their sites in both 2016 and 2018.  The illicit dirty pool has already begun for next year’s elections, though they are still 17 months away.  And a large number of people are ignorant enough, or lazy enough to believe everything they see and hear on these platforms.

The upcoming election is in grave danger of being the most unfair, dishonest election in the history of this nation, thanks to a corrupt GOP, a corrupt president, and technology that enables such things as doctored video.  Add to that, the largely republican gerrymandered district maps that dilute the votes of the poor and minorities, states that are trying to pass laws making it harder for young and old people to vote, and it is a recipe for disaster.

What can we do about it?  I wish I had an answer for that question.  Personally, I think that Carpe Donktum’s identity should be discovered and he or she should be tried in a court of law for attempting to rig an election, but I’m sure that’s not going to happen.  We must start holding social media sites accountable for ensuring their integrity by rooting out the faux news and blocking them.  If that’s an assault on free speech, then so be it.  I want an honest election … I want everyone to know the truth, not what the GOP and Donald Trump would like them to believe.

GOP Supporting ‘Rule of Law’ Have Sponsored Ad To Push US Senate To Secure US Elections

If you think that we are not in the midst of a Constitutional crisis, if you believe that somehow it will all work out fine … you need to read this post by Gronda. We are on a dark path headed to … the destruction of fair elections, the demolition of law and order, and the shredding of the U.S. Constitution. Thank you, Gronda, for your hard work and for so much valuable information.

Gronda Morin

“This ad from Republicans for the Rule of Law calls on Congress to act, as the president clearly won’t, on the urgent matter of protecting our elections from foreign interference. It will air Monday on cable news networks. If you agree, do forward it to your member of Congress.”

Image result for images of helsinki trump russia summit

It’s a sad state of affairs when the experts who surround the President Donald J. Trump can’t discuss Russia having successfully launched a full throttle cyber and propaganda attack in 2016 on our US elections system, and that Russia plans a repeat performance during the 2020 US elections cycle; and to review plans about what’s being done by the US government regarding this issue, without fear of ‘poking the bear’s’ wrath. With this background, it’s hard to justify the US House’s avoidance of it doing it’s…

View original post 1,234 more words

Note To Democrats: It Wasn’t Just Issues That Helped Dems Win In 2018/ Try Black Voter Turnout

I admit that I am still on the fence about whether or not the House of Representatives ought to begin impeachment proceedings. That said, more and more I am leaning toward it, for every day I see more and more damage to this nation being done by the person in the Oval Office. I listen to both sides of the issue, and both sides make a compelling case. Today, I share with you Gronda’s post that makes a compelling case in favour of at the very least opening an impeachment inquiry. What are your thoughts? Many thanks, Gronda, for this enlightening post and for permission to share it.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos rallies for impeaching trump

Dear Democrats, as per the historian Jon Meacham, “If I were in Congress, I’d want to hold Trump impeachment hearings;” and “If you raise the bar for an impeachment inquiry to impossibly high standards, you then lower the bar for what the country will have to tolerate with future lawless presidents.”

According to a new CNN poll,”Democrats are increasingly in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, with 76 percent saying they support the move.” Ignoring the will of the party’s base of voters is in itself, a risky political calculation.

Our Black brothers and sisters have become an important/ crucial voting bloc for Democratic Party candidates. They also represent a bloc of voters who don’t get why the US House Democrats have failed to at least commence an impeachment inquiry which doesn’t have to result in an actual impeachment vote against President Trump, based on his numerous felonious acts…

View original post 1,532 more words

The Myth About Congress …

The United States Congress.  A diverse body of people from every state in the nation who take an oath to uphold the Constitution, to represent the people in their state/district, right?  Maybe on paper, but the reality is that these days I think most of us have the feeling that we are misunderstood and misrepresented not only in the executive, but also the legislative branches of our government. CongressI speak from my own experience with the ‘representative’ for my district, Warren Davidson.  His values and priorities are so far away from my own that I wonder how he ever got elected.  He annoys me on a daily basis, and I let him have it back, tit-for-tat … not that he likely ever reads my tweets or emails, but I try.  Now, I do realize that within any district, not everyone will have the same views, however an elected official is supposed to represent ALL the people, and in truth, far too many represent only the people who have a lot more money in the bank than anybody reading this blog.

Our friend Scottie posted something interesting yesterday and threw out a bit of a challenge for me to follow up on it, take it a step further.  Never one to turn down a challenge, I took the bait.  The question:  How demographically representative is Congress of the nation as a whole?  Turns out, not very.  This is the chart Scottie posted that piqued my interest:Scottie-chart

The 116th U.S. Congress took office in January, with Democrats taking control of the House while Republicans maintain an edge in the Senate.  The current Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse ever.  The number of women in Congress is at an all-time high.  The share of immigrants in Congress has ticked up but remains well below historical highs.  Seems a step in the right direction, but …

Before I get into the demographics comparison, I found this cool interactive that will take you only about 20 seconds to see how well, based on five simple criteria, you are represented in Congress today.  Check it out and see where you stand.  My own result was that there are 0 people in Congress like me.  Hey, I’m unique!!! I’m also unrepresented in Congress. So, how did you fare?

Let’s start with women.  There are currently 131 women in Congress, an all-time high.  131 out of a total of 535 is 24.5%.  So, 24.5% of Congress are women, but 50.8% of the population are women.  See the problem here?  Granted, one does not have to be a woman to understand women’s issues, but it helps, especially today when more and more male-dominated state legislatures are passing laws stripping women of the right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Men-women-dem-rep Interestingly, among democrats in Congress, there is a significantly higher number of women, but among republicans, only 10% are women.  Think about that one. women-blacks

Next let’s look at African-Americans.  There are 58 African-Americans in Congress, comprising 10.8% of the total.  Comparatively, African-Americans make up 13.4% of the population.  The disparity here is, perhaps, not as wide as the gender gap, and is much less than it once was, but is still there.  Again, note the difference between democrat and republican.women-blacks

What about age?  The average age at the beginning of the 116th Congress was 57.6 years for Representatives and 62.9 years for Senators.  How does that compare to the population as a whole?  13% of the population are between 55-64, and 16% are over 65.  Seems rather like younger people are under-represented, wouldn’t you say?  On the upside, however, the average age of incoming members of Congress this year was 47, so we are seeing some younger blood … perhaps it’s time for some of those crotchety old men (Mitchell McConnell) to retire?

One of the big dividers is religion.  While there is a disparately higher number of most every religious group, it is interesting to note that not one single member of Congress is ‘unaffiliated’, while nearly a quarter of the nation’s population are unaffiliated with any organized religion.  I fall into that category, as do many readers of this blog … we are not even a blip on the radar of Congress.  To me, this is a problem, for in the past two years, many of the barriers between church and state have been breached and we seem to be on our way toward a theocracy of sorts, which would leave nearly a fourth of the population out in the cold.  More than 99% of republicans identify as Christian, compared to 78% of democrats.religion

While there are many more categories we could look at, I will wrap it up with one very important one, a group of people who are frequently misunderstood and subjected to discrimination, even state-sanctioned discrimination, the LGBTQ community.  This category is the most misunderstood of any, and they are the most likely to face discrimination.  Of late, even our own government, thanks to Mike Pence and the evangelicals who have a hold over Don Trump, are passing laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people.  There are a total of 10 LGBTQ people in Congress today, as compared to an estimated 4.5% of the total population.  A disclaimer is in order, however, for the number of LGBTQ people is likely underestimated, since many choose not to make public their gender orientation.  The fact that there are more men than women in Congress is disturbing, as is the fact that minorities are under-represented.  But LGBTQ is one group whose problems and issues are unique, and frankly if you aren’t a member of that group, you don’t understand.  Period.  You may empathize, but you cannot possibly understand.   And if you and I cannot understand, what makes anybody think our illustrious members of Congress understand?  They don’t.LGBTQ

One other area in which Congress has little, if any, connection to the real world of the U.S. is wealth, as you saw in Scottie’s chart.  It is a pertinent topic, but one that I must save for another day, as I have already spent some six hours doing research, double-checking facts, creating charts, and writing this post.  Suffice it to say that the members of Congress are far ‘above the madding crowd’ when it comes to wealth, and I think this may be one of the most relevant reasons that they cannot possibly relate to “We the People” in any meaningful way.  I hope to do a separate post within the next week assessing the wealth of various members of Congress, how they came to be millionaires, and how that may be influencing their decisions.

I note, overall, a disturbing trend regarding democrat vs republican.  Democrats have nearly 5 times as many women in Congress as republicans.  Republicans have a measly 2 … count ’em … two African-Americans, compared to more than 50 of the Democratic Party.  Republicans have zero diversity in religion, and there is not a single LGBTQ republican in Congress.  People tell me that I shouldn’t judge all republicans on the basis of what some do, but … as far as Congress goes, they seem to be a fairly narrow-minded group of old, white, Christian, straight males.  Think about it.

I end where I started … thank you, Scottie, for throwing me this challenge.  I think it is a worthwhile topic, and I learned quite a bit tonight, including why I sometimes feel that I am left behind by those men & women we think are looking out for our best interests.

By Hook or By Crook …

There are a couple of ways to win an election.  One can work hard, put together a sincere platform that addresses the concerns of the people, talk to the people, make sure your name and platform are well advertised and hope for the best.  Or … you can spread lies and ‘disinformation’, pick and choose your audience, take money from special interest groups to bombard the airwaves and social media with your ads, and if all else fails, make sure those who wouldn’t vote for you don’t get to vote.  It is my opinion that if you have a viable platform and reasonable ideas for improving the welfare of the nation and its people, your best bet is the first method.  However, if you have no real platform for your plan is to profit from the office you seek, if you care not a whit about the ‘average Joe’, then you will likely choose the second path.

Throughout history, there have been crooked politicians in both parties, and that will likely never change.  However, in this, the 21st century, corruption runs rampant mostly in the Republican Party.  It is republicans who are in the pockets of the NRA.  It is republicans who deny climate change and instead support the fossil fuel industries, for that is where they get their large donations.  It is republicans who aim to cut social safety net programs and who fight against subsidized health care in any form or fashion. And it is mainly republicans who have redistricted their states in order to minimize the effect of the minority vote.  It was the republican candidate running for president in 2016 who encouraged the tapping into private information of his opponent and making it public.

There is an all-important election coming up in just over 17 months, and the republicans are already hard at work.  Not, mind you, developing strong ideologies and working on plans to help the poor and working classes be successful in their lives.  Not working on a plan to improve our failing education system.  Not working on plans to develop renewable energy sources or clean up the environment.  But rather, among other things, they are working on ways to keep ‘the other side’, the democrats, away from the polls.

Texas is one state that has a two-week ‘early voting’ period, and in the past, mobile polling stations have been used in areas where residents might not otherwise be able to access a polling place.  Elderly, poor, and college students are among those for whom access is often difficult, so these mobile polling stations would set up shop in places like assisted living communities, food banks, college campuses, and even office buildings.  However, this week, a bill has been passed by both chambers of the state legislature that would ban the mobile polling stations.  Initially, the bill would have exempted nursing homes and retirement homes from the ban, but the state senate blocked the exemption.  The bill is now on Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desk awaiting his signature.

The ‘justification’ for this bill … “Supporters of the bill say it keeps authorities from giving some people an easier way to vote, while excluding others from that opportunity.” Is that not the biggest crock of you-know-what???  The true reason can be none other than to keep the elderly, disabled, poor, and college-students from voting.  Those groups tend to be more likely to vote for a democrat, for their interests are more closely tied to humanitarian causes than republicans.  I call foul on this one.

I now turn from Texas to Florida …

In 2018, after years of the Republican-dominated state legislature’s resistance to the idea, Floridians included a referendum measure, Amendment 4, in the statewide midterm ballot that would automatically restore voting rights to convicted felons once their sentence has been served (except those convicted of murder and sexual offenses).  The people of Florida overwhelmingly approved the measure with a 65% majority.  In fact, Amendment 4 received more “yes” votes (5.1 million) than any single candidate in the state last November.

However, the state legislature has now passed a bill that is only awaiting Governor DeSantis’ signature, that would place an additional requirement on those returning to society … they must fully pay any and all restitution and court fees before being allowed to vote.  Think about this one … they’ve been in prison, so they have no job and it will be difficult for them to get one, but in order to restore their rights as a citizen, they must come up with sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.  First, it was likely their poverty that led them to whatever crime they committed, and now they are even poorer with no means to even rent an apartment or buy food, but they are expected to pay fees that they may not have even known existed.  Again, just like the Texas law, this law would disproportionately affect the poor and minorities.

Those are just two of the current attempts to disenfranchise the people who are most likely to vote for a democrat.  Restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering, closing or reducing the hours of polling places in poor and minority neighborhoods are happening all around the country.  I can only conclude that the Republican Party has no viable platform on which to run honest campaigns, thus they must resort to all manners of trickery.  GOP once stood for Grand Ol’ Party.  No longer is there anything ‘grand’ about them.

They Walk Among Us …

I stopped doing my Idiot of the Week feature around the end of 2017, for a few reasons.  It was fun, but rather irrelevant.  There were so many idiots that it was difficult to keep up.  And a few people felt it was in poor taste, an insult to idiots everywhere.  But I have to say that looking at the news every day, I’m thinking about starting it back up!  They are everywhere you turn!  Three in particular stand out today, and if I were still doing the IotW feature, these would be the first three I would choose.


Da Godfather wannabe?Matt-GaetzIt really does seem that Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida has a problem.  I wrote about him just a few weeks ago (February 7th) for making an utter fool of himself at a House Judiciary Committee meeting on gun regulation whereby he piped up and said we need to build a wall.  This left most of us scratching our heads.  And now, he has opened himself to an investigation by the Florida State Bar Association.  Is he begging for an Idiot of the Week award or what???

What did he do this time, you ask?  He tweeted the following to Michael Cohen on the day before Mr. Cohen was scheduled to begin his testimony before Congress …

“Hey @MichaelCohen212 — Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?  Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot.”

I’m beginning to think Mr. Gaetz works for Don Corleone!  Sounds like “tough mob” talk, except from an amateur.  His excuse was … wait for it … he was “witness testing”.  Where I come from, it is called witness intimidation and witness tampering, both of which are quite illegal.  But then, as I wrote earlier this month, Mr. Gaetz has, like his hero in the White House, never been particularly a fan of the law and follows it only when it suits him, hence the picture on the right (above) in prison orange!


Wah wah wah …

kellyanneIf Kellyanne whines as much at home as she does in the media, it’s a thousand wonders that George (Conway) hasn’t sent her packing already.  All she ever does, it seems, is complain and point her knobby finger of blame … most always toward people who have a bit of good sense.

“There’s no question the Republican House failed, and they failed us in securing the border, but they also failed to make good on the promise to him that we would get that money for the wall They completely lied about that.”

Can’t you just hear that nasal whine in her voice?

No, Kellyanne, the republicans who did not support the building of Trump’s ego-wall, finally realized that for once they better listen to the people of this nation.  The people of this nation … at least the large majority of the people in this nation, do not want a stupid wall on the southern border that would be inhumane and also interfere greatly with the economies of the border states.  You, madam, need to study a bit and learn some facts before opening that mouth of yours!  Ask your husband … he can enlighten you!


From bad to worse …

Earlier this week, in light of election fraud committed by a member of Mark Harris’ campaign staff who went about the ninth district of North Carolina collecting people’s absentee ballots, destroying the ones that weren’t for Mr. Harris, Mark Harris removed himself from the upcoming repeat election.  At first, I was pleased by this, but then I started wondering who would replace him as the republican candidate.

Remember Georgia’s own idiot, Brian Kemp, who liked posing for campaign ads with a gun, and in one case with a rifle pointed at his daughter’s boyfriend?  Well … I guess that in the South, every state, by law, must have at least one such idiot!

Meet Mr. Stony Rushing, the new republican candidate replacing Mark Harris …Stony-Rushing

Mr. Rushing is, as you might guess from the above campaign poster from when he was running for Country Commissioner, yet another gun nut.  Even better, he has fashioned himself after Boss Hogg from that ol’ television show, The Dukes of Hazzard!

See the resemblance?  Note the white costume and the cigar?

Rushing owns a gun store and shooting range, and is an advocate for keeping the Confederate flag flying.  It is likely that ol’ Stony will have to share the stage with at least two other republican candidates, and let us hope that at least one of them is sane!  Think about it … this guy could be sitting in the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in just a month or two!  {shudder}


Where do all these people come from? I’m not sure, but there is one common denominator, in case you haven’t picked up on it yet – they are all members of the Republican Party. Need I say more?

It Can’t Happen Here …

sinclair lewis.jpgA few days ago, Robert Vella commented on one of my posts that those who think I am over-dramatizing my take on Trump & Co., might be well-advised to read Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here.  Why hadn’t I thought of that comparison?  It has been around 50 years since I read the book, although I do remember the general premise.  Still, I went to Wikipedia for a brief synopsis, and I thought it apropos to share with you what I found:

“It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt.  Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a demagogue who is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.”

Anything in that paragraph sound familiar?

“In 1936 Senator Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a charismatic and power-hungry politician, wins the election as President of the United States on a populist platform, promising to restore the country to prosperity and greatness …”

Power-hungry … populist platform … promising prosperity … greatness …

“Though having previously foreshadowed some authoritarian measures in order to reorganize the United States government, Windrip rapidly outlaws dissent, incarcerates political enemies in concentration camps, and trains and arms a paramilitary force called the Minute Men, who terrorize citizens and enforce the policies of Windrip and his “corporatist” regime. One of his first acts as president is to eliminate the influence of the United States Congress, which draws the ire of many citizens as well as the legislators themselves. The Minute Men respond to protests against Windrip’s decisions harshly, attacking demonstrators with bayonets. In addition to these actions, Windrip’s administration, known as the “Corpo” government, curtails women’s and minority rights, and eliminates individual states by subdividing the country into administrative sectors. The government of these sectors is managed by “Corpo” authorities, usually prominent businessmen or Minute Men officers.”

Want to know more?  Read the book.  But here’s my thought.  All of us have at least one or two friends who are still supporting Trump, whether because they truly believe in his lies, honestly think something he’s doing is right, or are just too ashamed to admit they were wrong about him.  The book isn’t expensive, so I say we should each buy one in paperback to give to each of our wayward friends or family members.  And if you really need a lot of copies, you can download it for free from the Project Gutenberg, or you can download the .pdf file, also free, then email it to your friends and relatives.

I just wish I had come up with this idea a week or two before Christmas, and we could have given a copy to those ‘in need’ of reading it for Christmas!

 

The Top 50 Trumpaus From The Atlantic

The Atlantic has done a series that I found to be both comprehensive and interesting.  What they did was … well, I’ll let Jeff Goldberg, Editor in Chief tell you …

In an October 2016 editorial, The Atlantic wrote of Donald Trump: “He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar.” We argued that Trump “expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself.” Trump, we also noted, “is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

In retrospect, we may be guilty of understatement.

There was a hope, in the bewildering days following the 2016 election, that the office would temper the man—that Trump, in short, would change.

He has not changed.

This week marks the midway point of Trump’s term. Like many Americans, we sometimes find the velocity of chaos unmanageable. We find it hard to believe, for example, that we are engaged in a serious debate about whether the president of the United States is a Russian-intelligence asset. So we decided to pause for a moment and analyze 50 of the most improbable, norm-bending, and destructive incidents of this presidency to date.

Our 2016 editorial was a repudiation of Donald Trump’s character as much as it was an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. It was not meant to be partisan. The Atlantic’s founders promised their readers that we would be “of no party or clique.” This remains a core governing principle of the magazine today. What follows is a catalog of incidents, ranked—highly subjectively!—according to both their outlandishness and their importance. In most any previous presidency, Democratic or Republican, each moment on this list would have been unthinkable.

There are 50 articles in the series, and while I have not read them all, the ones I have read are spot-on.  I list them here, with links, so you can decide which, if any, you would like to read.  Click on any title to go directly to it … all links will open in a separate tab:

  1. Children are taken from their parents and incarcerated
  2. “Very fine people on both sides”
  3. The president still hasn’t released his tax returns
  4. Putin and Trump talk without chaperones
  5. James Comey is fired
  6. Trump declares war on black athletes
  7. Trump picks the wrong countries for his travel ban
  8. The president calls his porn-star ex-paramour “horseface”
  9. Covfefe
  10. “I have the absolute right to pardon myself”
  11. Trump throws paper towels at Puerto Ricans
  12. A new term enters the presidential lexicon: “shithole countries”
  13. Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford to a cheering crowd
  14. You know you’re in a constitutional crisis when…
  15. The CIA dead become a TV prop
  16. Public humiliation comes for everyone in the White House
  17. Trump threatens to press his “nuclear button”
  18. The president lies constantly
  19. The president learns about the Justice Department
  20. The president learns about separation of powers
  21. Rain stops Trump from honoring the dead
  22. The UN General Assembly laughs at the president
  23. America gets a first daughter
  24. The president can’t stop talking about carnage
  25. “We’re gonna have the cleanest air”
  26. Trump helps the Saudis cover up a murder
  27. Turkish agents assault protesters near the White House
  28. Trump tweets the wisdom of Mussolini
  29. The president tries to kick transgender service members out of the military
  30. The buck stops over there
  31. The White House punishes a CNN reporter for asking questions
  32. Trump disseminates Soviet propaganda
  33. The chief justice of the United States corrects the president
  34. Trump leads the country to the longest government shutdown in American history
  35. Mueller’s “witch hunt” is good at finding witches
  36. Trump threatens to strip security clearances from his critics
  37. The president just wants to go home
  38. Trump holds a top secret confab on the Mar-a-Lago dining terrace
  39. A White House economist creates facts for the president
  40. The president’s most trusted adviser is his own gut
  41. Trump waits 19 months to pick his science adviser
  42. The first president to complain about an election he won
  43. The nation loses its consoler in chief
  44. The WikiLeaks president goes silent
  45. A name-calling feud ends with the secretary of state’s ouster by tweet
  46. Trump tells the Boy Scouts about a hot New York party
  47. An overcompensating press secretary lies about crowd size
  48. The president praises the congressman who body-slammed a reporter
  49. A Cabinet officer likes private planes too much
  50. Donald Trump touches the magic orb

Snakes Slithering From ‘Neath The Rocks …

Two stories in the New York Times’ race-related section this week caught my eye … and turned my stomach.

The first …

Arizona state legislator, Representative David Stringer, who represents the Yavapai County area of the state, attended a public lecture at Arizona State University, during which a history professor, Donald Critchlow, discussed the 2018 midterm elections.  After the lecture, Mr. Stringer met privately with a group of students.  Here are a few snippets of what he told the students …

David Stringer“Uh, the African American vote is probably over 90% Democrat, and it’s been that way for decades. The Asian-American vote, the Asian Americans are an educated culture, affluent, relatively speaking, and in our society are not an under-class, they vote overwhelmingly Democratic. The Hispanics, even middle-class Hispanics, they vote overwhelmingly Democrat, because the number one issue is immigration, and bringing more of their co-religionists and people like them, into the country.

Also, diversity in our country is relatively new.  [A student asks what he means, citing that his own grandparents were Irish and Italian] They were all Europeans. By the 2nd or 3rd generation, everybody looks the same, everybody talks the same, but that’s not the case with African-Americans or other racial groups because they don’t melt in. They don’t blend in, they always look different.

The difference between the Polack, I shouldn’t say Polack … the difference between the Polish-American immigrant and the immigrant from say, Somali, is that the 2nd generation Polish immigrant looks like the Irish kid and the German kid and every other kid. But, the immigrant from Somali does not.”

Lovely, huh?  67,023 people in the State of Arizona voted for this white supremacist, more than twice as many as voted for his opponent.  His racism can’t possibly come as a surprise to them, for back in the fall when he was running for re-election, he told a room full of people that immigration is an “existential threat” because “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” in public schools.  Not for the first time, Stringer faces calls for his resignation from a host of prominent fellow Republican leaders, but refuses to step down, claiming that the election results last month prove that the people in his district want him in office.

The second …

Three weeks ago, two swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur were spray-painted on the walls of a Jewish professor, Elizabeth Midlarsky’s office at Columbia University in New York.Columbia hate crimeAnd then last Sunday, a student dressed in a blazer and button-up shirt went on a racist tirade on Columbia’s campus, screaming …

columbia racist“White people are the best thing that ever happened in the world!  We are so amazing!  I love myself and I love my people!  We invented the modern world … Europeans invented the modern world!”


Since the October shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eleven people dead and six wounded, including four police officers (good guys with guns?), there have been multiple anti-Semitic incidents around the nation.  A Brooklyn synagogue was defaced with graffiti, including the phrase “Die Jew Rats”.  Two swastikas were found spray-painted onto a concrete outpost on the Upper West Side of New York City. two swastikasThe hate goes on … and on.  It escalates.  Where is the outrage?  Why don’t we see these items on the front page of the newspaper, on the nightly news?  Where is the condemnation by the nation’s leaders?  Instead, these are minor stories buried somewhere on the back pages, if at all.  I don’t deny that the hate has likely always been there, but since the king cobra slithered out from under the big rock in June 2015, incidents like the ones I mentioned have been on the rise.  Are we becoming inured?  Have we reached the saturation point where it’s just another shoulder-shrugging story?  I hope not.

Yes, folks, bigotry in all its forms is alive and well in this nation and not only that, but it is promoted every damn day from the folks in the White House.