Words of Un-Wisdom …

Trump held a rally in Toledo, Ohio, last Thursday, less than a week after ordering the assassination of a high-level foreign official, nearly starting a war, and indirectly causing the deaths of 176 people.  Tonight, I would like to share some of his words of wisdom with you, so you can see just what a brilliant leader this nation has.  And, of course I cannot resist an occasional snarky comment of my own.

  • “So, we have all forms of energy. We have every form of energy and we are doing great, but they want to cripple your state’s economy. And our air and our water right now is cleaner than it’s been in 40 years, and sadly, I can’t say historic because, you know, a couple of hundred years ago there was nobody here, right? So, I assume that 200 or 300 years ago was cleaner, probably. You never know, but our water and our air is as clean as it’s ever been, and I took us out of that horrible Paris accord.” A couple of hundred years ago there was nobody here?  According to the latest scientific journals, humans have been on earth for approximately 60,000 years, and on what is now known as the North American continent for some 17,000 years.  Dumb, Donnie, dumb.  And about that clean air … that you have made progressively worse in your vendetta against our last real president, President Barack Obama.

  • “We are finally putting America first. But while we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the Washington Democrats are wasting America’s time with demented hoaxes and crazy witch hunts. Think of it. From the day I came down that escalator, it started. Who the hell else could have taken this stuff, right? Do I get some credit for that? Most guys would have been in the corner with their thumb in their mouth. Saying, mommy, mommy take me home. These are bad people.”  Why should “America” be first?  We are among the most arrogant, greedy, bigoted people on earth!  Really, Donnie?  You who whines like a toddler whenever anybody criticizes you?

  • “Last year alone, ICE officers, who by the way, are heroes. These are brave people. I don’t want to do it. You don’t want to do it. Let’s see if you could do it? You could do it over there, you could do it. Mostly, you would not. I mean, I’ve seen it. They have these people, they like are killers and our guys are here and they run and they call them nets, they have nets, and they run and they’re swinging and punching.” Do what, Donnie???  Chase poor refugees with butterfly nets?  Do you know what you’re talking about?  I sure as hell don’t!

  • “Democrats stand for crime, corruption, and chaos. Republicans stand for law, order, and justice. That’s really the way it is. I have to tell you, a lot of things are happening.” Um, yeah, like the illegal assassination of an Iranian general that has no justification, like nearly starting a war, like destroying our reputation in the Western world, like …

  • “But see, I don’t like doing this too soon. I did it with Pocahontas. I came up with this great name. I came up with a lot of different stuff. I said she was a total fraud and everybody believed me, and she went down.” The leader of one of the largest western nations bragging about his bigotry and misogyny, and about making up childish names to taunt an opponent.   Just wow.

  • “Virtually, every top Democrat also now supports late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth. That is why I’ve asked Congress to prohibit late-term abortion because Republicans believe that every child is a sacred gift from God.” Um, Donnie? “Ripping babies from the womb at the moment of birth”?  That’s called “childbirth” and it is a natural process … the same one by which you, unfortunately, came into the world.

  • “Now, you have a President who is standing up for America. Great. At stake in our present battle is the survival of the American nation. If you want your children to inherit the blessings that generations of Americans have fought and died for, and fought so hard to secure, then, we must devote everything we have toward victory in 2020. We have to win. Only this way can we save the America that we love and drain the Washington swamp once and for all, and I have seen that dirty, rotten swamp better than anybody else in America, a lot of crooked people.” YOU appointed all those crooked people, Donnie! YOU filled the swamp! “Who would’ve thought that’s possible? Who would have thought that’s possible? We will defend privacy, free speech, religious liberty, and the right to keep and bear arms. And above all, we will never stop fighting for the sacred values that bind us together as one big beautiful America. We support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  Would that be the same Constitution you have trampled, spat on, and lit afire?

  • “I am such a smart guy. I said this is the most brilliant thing ever and I went back to my people and I said, you know, I have an idea.” Mark the day on your calendar folks.

  • “And we have Bernie and Nancy Pelosi, we have them all.” All two of ’em, Donnie?  Let’s just count and make sure, shall we?

  • “We got to get lined up, Adam, you little pencil neck, nine inches.” If he has nine inches, he’s got you beat by five, Donnie.

And this is the one that takes the cake, my friends …

  • “I’m going to tell you about the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ll tell you about that. I made a deal. I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country. I said, what — did I have something to do with it? Yeah, but you know that’s the way it is. As long as we know, that’s all that matters, OK? I saved a big war, saved a couple of them, but under my administration, we will never make excuses for America’s enemies. We will never hesitate in defending American lives, and we will never stop working to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, never.” The winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.  Mr Abiy has introduced massive liberalising reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was a tightly controlled nation.  He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. He has also allowed the media to operate freely and appointed women to prominent positions.  I fail to see what Trump believes he contributed … 🤷

Well, there you have it folks … as they say in poker … “read ‘em and weep”.  These are the words of the person who holds our lives in his tiny hands.  Think about that one for a minute.

Letter To Senator Re: Impeachment Trial

letterBelow is the letter I have sent to both of the senators for my state.  


Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing today about a matter that is of the utmost importance to the people you were elected to represent, and in fact to the entire nation:  the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

As I’m sure you are aware, Donald Trump has grossly abused his power during his nearly three years in office, has literally trampled the U.S. Constitution – that document you swore to uphold when you were last sworn in on 03 January 2017.  We currently have the single worst president this nation has ever had, and my fear, along with some 60% of the people’s, is that he has already done irreparable damage to the nation.

Last December 18th, Donald Trump was impeached, only the third president in the nation’s history to have been so.  My understanding is that Speaker of the House Pelosi will be sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate next week, and that an impeachment trial will begin sometime thereafter.

Now to the purpose of this letter.  Your colleagues, Mitchell McConnell and Lindsay Graham, have announced that they do not intend to conduct a fair and impartial trial, but rather plan to hastily acquit Trump without reviewing all evidence, and without hearing from any witnesses.  This is plainly against the intent of the Constitution, and is against the Senate rules, as you no doubt realize.

I am writing to ask you to please use your conscience and your integrity to demand your colleagues treat this impeachment with the seriousness that it warrants.  It seems that some members of Congress are intimidated by Trump, or by the 40% of the people in the U.S. who support Trump, but that is politics, not governance.  You were not hired to look after your own political interests, but to govern fairly and honestly, and in the best interest of the country as a whole, not a select few.

Mr. McConnell claims he wishes to simply finalize the trial, acquit Mr. Trump, and “get on with the people’s business”, but … the Senate has not been doing the “people’s business” for a very long time now.  How many bills have been passed by the House of Representatives that the Senate has not even reviewed or considered?  More than 400 at last count.  What about the election security bill that would help prevent the foreign influence that changed the landscape of our 2016 election?  In 2019, the Senate passed, I believe only 70-some bills into law, many of which were non-essential, such as the re-naming of a post office or federal building.  What about the universal background check bill, that is supported by more than 80% of the people in this nation, including gun owners?  Or what about the net neutrality bill that would force internet service providers to provide access to all sites, content and applications at the same speed, under the same conditions without blocking or preferencing any content?

I agree that the Senate needs to conduct the business of the people, but they have been deficient in this for the entirety of 2019, and even before that.  The impeachment trial is the business of the people. We the People see our nation being placed in grave danger by the antics of the madman in the Oval Office.  I could provide you with countless examples, but you already know where you and your colleagues have let us down, you know what you should do.  The question now is … are you man enough, are you human enough, do you have enough integrity to do what you know is right?

We the taxpayers, the voters, the people of this nation, will be watching over the coming weeks, and our pleasure or displeasure will be reflected in our votes.  You have almost three years left in your term, but in many ways, that is a very short time, and if you fail us, if you let us down and swear your oath of fealty to Donald Trump instead of the people of this nation, you will not be returned to the Senate on January of 2023.  Do the right thing, Senator Portman.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter


I would strongly urge everyone to write to your senators, both republican and democrat, and let them know that you expect them to do their job, to do what is in the best interest of the nation and its people, not their own pockets.  Feel free to use any or all of this letter, or to compose your own.  Thank you for making your voice heard!

Nightmare

Well, the day has finally come … we will be leaving first thing in the morning to find our new home.  It has been a nearly two-year process, trying to find a nation that would accept refugees from the U.S., so hated in the world is this nation.  Who would have believed a short ten years ago, when Master Trump won the 2016 election, that it would come to this?  Sure, we knew he was inept and inexperienced, but we all thought he wouldn’t last the first four years, let alone stay in office for ten full years!

We applied for asylum first in the UK, for we have many friends there, but after Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to assassinate members of the royal family there, all Americans are persona-non-grata in the United Kingdom.  Next, we tried Australia, but ever since those fateful fires in the early 2020s, their economy has been suffering and they simply cannot afford to take on refugees, for they struggle to feed their own people.  We tried Mexico but were told “¡Vaya con el Diablo!” We petitioned France, but they stopped accepting refugees from the U.S. after Master Trump had the Statue of Liberty re-carved with his image in place of Lady Liberty’s and renamed it after himself.

And just last week, when we had lost hope of being able to flee the terror that is now our waking nightmare, we received a letter from the Canadian government telling us that we would be welcomed in Canada. We will have only 90 days to prove ourselves useful by finding gainful employment, else we will be sent packing. I am not worried, for I think we will be able to find jobs, even if only in some fast food restaurant. The alternative would be unthinkable and would almost certainly lead to our execution, or at least mine.  Now our only concern is getting across the border tomorrow night.

thought-policeMany have criticized my comparisons of the U.S. today to Germany of the 1930s, but in many ways, this is even worse.  Technology and the age of electronic spying have led to a complete loss of privacy.  Remember Orwell’s 1984 when he wrote of the ‘thought police’?  That is exactly what today’s world is, at least here in the U.S.  So far, I have been arrested four times for my writing that was critical of the government.  The last time, what I wrote was in a private email to a friend, and within 30 minutes of sending that letter, the police were pounding on my door.

If only people had listened back in 2016, or even 2020 … if only people had voted the madman out back when we still had a chance.  We no longer have elections, no longer have a voice in government.  We no longer have an independent media … all information, such as it is, is now disbursed by state-run media outlets and carefully censored.

In nearly every city, new prisons are being built to house the political dissidents, those of us who remember what it was like to have freedom of speech and who continue to speak out.  There are near-daily executions … very public executions, intended to serve as a lesson for those of us who still think we are allowed to have a voice.  “Master Trump” as we must call him now, allows for no differing opinions, and all privileges are only for those who wholeheartedly support him.  Our grocery stores are state-run and one must show a valid state ID to even buy food.  Many of us have taken to growing vegetables in our small yards in order to survive, for the amount and quality of food available to those of us who are not wealthy is poor.

Thankfully, I don’t have young children or grandchildren, for the schools are now segregated by level of wealth, with the average person’s children receiving only the barest of education, and by age 16 being expected to enlist in the military.  For a time, I was teaching the neighborhood children in my own home, the lessons of history and government, but once I was discovered, I was no longer allowed to have children in my home.  The history books that are used in the schools are all new … history has been revised by Master Trump – a ‘man’ who has never read a history book in his life.  It is whatever he says it is on any given day.

Well, I must go pack the meager bit that I will be able to carry to cross the border tomorrow night.  We will be driving up to the Canadian border during daylight, find a place to rest for a few hours, then crossing the border on foot with only a backpack each to carry our belongings.  I hope it is a good sign that tomorrow starts a new year – 2027 – and hopefully a new life for me and the girls.  Wish us lu – who is that pounding on the door at this hour of the ni …………………..

thought-police-2

Discord & Dissension – Part I – Intro

The year is 2020.  Ten days into the new year, and so much has already happened that we cannot keep up.  The world is teetering on the brink, and all thanks to one ‘man’:  Donald Trump.  Yes, that Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who sits in the White House, in the highest position of leadership in the nation, despite the fact that he lost the election by nearly 3 million votes.

The year is 2020, and the United States will be having an election on November 3rd, in just 298 days the people of this nation will head to the polls to cast their vote for their representative, some for their senator, and all for the next president.  Or will they?  In 2016, between 58% – 59% of eligible voters actually voted.  WHY?  Because …

  • Hillary Clinton was a woman
  • Hillary Clinton was not “warm and fuzzy”
  • Hillary Clinton was blamed for her husband’s indiscretions
  • Donald Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the lives lost in Benghazi, though that myth was long since de-bunked
  • People who had hoped that either Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein would gain the Democratic Party nomination were disappointed and thus stayed home, rather than vote at all
  • People claimed they were “making a statement” by not voting

There are many more reasons, of course, but folks … think about it … barely more than half of the people who could have voted, did.  Throughout the relatively short history of this nation, men and women have put their lives on the line to protect our right to have a voice in our government, and some 40% of the nation’s citizens threw that right away.

Because of that … mainly the apathy and ignorance of people in this nation … we are currently facing a number of crises in this nation, not the least of which is that an impeached president, trying to distract the public from his own crimes, is leading us down a path of destruction.

The year is 2020, an election year, possibly the most crucial one in the 233-year history of the United States of America.  If we lose this one, we may well be responsible for ending life on this planet as we know it today.

The year is 2020, and here in the U.S., the two parties, Democratic and Republican, are more divided than at any time in history.  There are strong ideological differences, as there have always been, but it goes even beyond that.  We are almost two separate nations without a line of demarcation, and the sheer antagonism between the two is toxic.  How did we get to this point?  How can we ever reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable differences? Where do we go from here?

The year is 2020, and we are determined to make our voices heard, to do our part to put an end to the madness that has overtaking the U.S.  Who are we?  We are Jeff and Jill – you know us from On the Fence Voters and Filosofa’s Word.  We are going to spend part of our time and some of our voices in the coming ten months trying to make a difference. We will be in your inbox most Fridays screaming WAKE UP, AMERICA!! We are all, democrat or republican, Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist, black, brown or white … we are all in this together and in order to make this nation whole and healthy again, we need to start … somewhere!  We hope you will join us in our little project, and we look forward to your input and suggestions.

Next Friday, 17 January, Jeff will begin with a bit about each of the two parties, the origins and how they got where they are today, then Jill will follow up with where we go from here.  After that, we are going to be considering ways we can make a difference in this year’s upcoming election, how we can get voters engaged, make them see how important their vote is, etc. We will also be discussing things like religious liberty, the long-term effect of judicial appointments, and whatever else seems relevant in any given week.  We want you to feel free to jump in with comments or even a guest post if you feel so inclined!  That’s our plan for now, at least, but with the landscape changing daily, sometimes hourly, our focus could change over time.  That’s the fun part … we have no idea where we’ll end up!  So, until next Friday …

Elmo

True Believer Pompeo Drives Iran Policy

The United States is a secular nation, one that welcomes people of all or no religions, but does not govern based on the beliefs or principles of any religion. At least, that’s the intent as laid forth by the U.S. Constitution. Today’s “leaders”, the people driving public policy, seem painfully unaware of this principle. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written an excellent post about this, the greatest hypocrisy. Thank you, Jeff …

On The Fence Voters

It’s an open secret that the evangelical community has forged a somewhat uneasy alliance with the current president of the United States. He gives them the judges they want, gives them lip service supporting ‘religious liberty,’ and does a travel ban on Muslims. All of this overrides the fact he’s perhaps the most un-Christian president in history who’s a pathological liar and who publicly bullies people he doesn’t like.

To them, while he’s an imperfect leader, he’s the ‘chosen one’ who might get them the ‘end days’ they so desperately crave. And while that’s enough to make me grab a shot of whiskey (even though I’m a beer drinker), even more frightening is that the two men driving his Iran policy are Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both consider themselves proud members of the evangelical community.

I’ve known about Pence for sometime now. He’s a pretty…

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The Monsters Under My Bed

Some nights, of late, there are monsters under my bed, just like when I was a child.  Some nights, the nightmares are vivid and I wake up thinking that I am screaming, but not a peep is coming out of my dry throat.  Given the things I write about, the things we all live with day-to-day, I suppose it’s no wonder.


Who knew a tweet …

Could cause such a stir?  Here’s how it started …

U.S. Representative Paul Gosar from Arizona, a republican, posted this tweet

rouhani-obama-tweet-2.jpgThe image purports to show President Barack Obama shaking hands with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

Trouble is, other than the obvious, that a) the photo was photoshopped – Obama never met Rouhani in person, and b) Rouhani is still in power, still the president of Iran.  The purpose?  Well, as best as anyone can figure, Mr. Gosar was, as many republicans have been scrambling to do over the past several days, attempting to find some justification or purpose for Trump ordering the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s second-highest ranking government official. The name of the game is “blame Obama”.

But Mr. Gosar’s response, when it was pointed out that this was obviously a fake picture, is what I find interesting.  His response was basically of the “yeah, so what?” sort …Gosar-tweetI guess that makes me a dimwit, eh?

Y’know, folks, Trump & Co, the Republican Party as a whole, have an unnatural hatred of President Obama and seemingly everything he stood for, but it has gone many steps too far.  Obama was a hundred times the man Trump is, and a thousand times better president than Trump.  It’s time for the republicans in power to start doing their jobs and stop finding ways to prove how much they hated having an African-American president, for that is what it really all boils down to.

Mr. Gosar has flown onto my radar a time or two before.  For one, he is a member of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus – a misnomer if ever there was one.  And for another, as a recipient of donations from the NRA.  He has engaged in conspiracy theories ala Alex Jones about such things as the fatal Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and has also supported Iowa Representative Steve King, who was removed from his congressional committees for his blatantly racist public remarks.  He has accused both the FBI and the Department of Justice of treason and has referred to Native Americans as “wards of the federal government”.  He claims that the 2nd Amendment is the single most important amendment set forth by the Bill of Rights, even more important than the 1st Amendment, freedom of speech, press & religion.  He has signed the Koch Brothers pledge promising to vote against any legislation to combat global warming.  In September 2018, prior to the 2018 elections, six of Gosar’s nine siblings actively supported his democratic opponent, David Brill, saying their brother had become an extremist.  And the list goes on … this is the face of our republicans in Congress today, my friends.  This is the sort of garbage that has been lured out from under the rocks in the past decade.  Thirty years ago, such a sample of pond scum would not have gotten even 1% of the vote.

Arizona … do not send this dolt back to Washington in November!  You dishonour the name of your favourite son, the late, great John McCain when you send your trash to Congress!


Tie his hands … please!!!

The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a resolution to force the president to halt any military action against Iran unless Congress authorizes it.  Nothing quite like closing the barn door after the cow’s already out, eh?

The measure would require that Trump cease all action against Iran unless Congress votes in advance to approve it, effectively tying his hands in the escalation of tensions between Trump and Iran.  We all see the handwriting on the wall, yes?  The House, with a democratic majority, will approve it and send it to the Senate where either it will languish along with a few hundred other House-passed bills, or rapidly be voted down.  There is a ray of hope, albeit a slim ray, because yesterday, two Republicans signaled they were inclined to support it.  Just need two more … any takers?  Doubtful, as most congressional republicans are still praising Trump for assassinating Iran’s highest ranking general.

In her statement yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said …

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. Our concerns were not addressed by the president’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the administration’s briefing today.”

The divide in Congress is representative of the divide in this nation … and it is a lethal divide.  Make no mistake … that old saying, “United we stand, Divided we fall” is apt.  We certainly cannot continue as we are … that much is clear.  There is a disconnect among the people of this nation, and it extends well beyond political parties.  Donald Trump and his minions are using that disconnect to widen the gap, to make this nation so dysfunctional that it is an easy prey.  Frankly, I am sick to the death of the “us vs them” mentality. Trump-fate

It Has Begun …

Just a short while ago, I received ‘breaking news’ on my phone that Iran has launched missile strikes aimed at US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani last week.  Reports vary, but at least 20 U.S. servicemen are left dead.  Their blood, as well as the blood of every man, woman and child, is on the hands of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.  It isn’t their children who will be coming home in body bags, but ours.

Trump was told to pull troops out of Iraq, but he was too stupid and too stubborn to do so.  This, then, is only the beginning.  Where is the ending?  I have no idea, but somebody better get rid of Trump before he gets us all killed.  And to any who still support Trump … stay the hell away from me!

The Playground Bully

Last Friday, Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.  Trump and his minions claimed they had solid evidence that Soleimani planned ‘imminent’ attacks on U.S. diplomats and troops.  Turns out, this ‘evidence’ may have been manufactured or at the least embellished by Trump & Co.

Since Iran, predictably, threatened retaliation, the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from the country, a move that is fully understandable.  U.S. troops abroad are the most likely targets for Iran’s retaliation, and the likelihood of massive collateral damage is high.

The U.S. said they will relocate some troops within the country, but that they will not leave Iraq.  Meanwhile, Trump was busily threatening Iran with the potential destruction of 52 Iranian ‘cultural’ sites, a violation of the 1954 Hague Convention.

Iraq wants U.S. troops gone.  Trump tells Iraq that if they expel U.S. troops, he will “impose harsh economic punishments” on the country.

Now, think about all of this for a few minutes.  Iraq and Iran are each sovereign nations in and of their own right.  We may not like some things they do, but frankly, they don’t like some things we do, either.  That does not give us the right to murder one of their leaders, it does not give us the right to force them to accept U.S. military troops within their borders, and it sure as hell does not give us the right to start bombing cultural icons willy nilly.

The United States is supposedly a civilized nation with democratic principles, but you couldn’t prove it by our actions in the past week.  When one nation sends troops into a nation uninvited, it is called an invasion.  Our troops were welcomed at one time in Iraq for one reason only … to help Iraq fight Daesh, also known as ISIS.  Trump claims that ‘he’ defeated Daesh, so there is really no longer any need for our troops to be in Iraq, unless they are invited.  Our troops pose a significant danger to Iraqis now, and they want us gone.

Nothing the U.S. has done in this situation makes one bit of sense.  We are bullying other nations … and for what?  To what end?  Trump’s “America First” policy has gone too far … it was a ludicrous policy to begin with, and what he fails to understand is you cannot have your cake and eat it too.  You cannot treat other nations poorly, place the lives of their citizens in danger, then expect them to come to your aid.  There is a price to be paid for being a bully, for stirring the pot that didn’t need stirring.

The headline in Business Insider reads …

Top US allies are abandoning Trump and warning ISIS will benefit following the assassination of an Iranian general

  • The US’ top allies, including the UK and France, have continued to back away from President Donald Trump following the US military’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassim Soleimani on Friday.

  • Some European allies argue the US’s dramatic escalation of conflict with Iran will benefit the Islamic State, increase the risk of terror attacks in Europe, and undermine global economic growth.

  • A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a conservative ally of Trump’s, said the US president’s recent threat to target “Iranian culture” sites would constitute a war crime.

  • On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called for “restraint and de-escalation” and said a new conflict with Iran “would be in no one’s interest.”

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at the Europeans during an interview on Friday and claimed the US strike against Iran “saved lives in Europe as well.”

It is past time for Donald Trump and his minions to be shut down.  Trump praises murderers like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and stabs our allies in the back.  These are not the actions of a sane man, they are not the actions of a world leader, but they are the actions of a madman!  This madman is going to get people killed all over the world, for he is ignorant of the ways of the world, has chosen not to become enlightened but rather to continue to act as the playground bully.

Meanwhile, Back At The Impeachment …

Donald Trump may believe that his warmongering, his assassination of a top Iranian general, his threats to Iran that he will destroy 52 of their cultural icons, and his attempt to start WWIII will cause us to all lose sight of his impeachment and looming trial.  It won’t.  Impeachment news may have taken a backseat in the press, but it definitely is not going away, as Trump had obviously intended.  A few things made their way into the news yesterday regarding impeachment.

So, former National Security Advisor John Bolton says he will be willing to testify before the Senate impeachment trial if allowed to do so.  At least 4 republicans and every democrat in the Senate will have to vote in favour of hearing Bolton’s testimony, and I’m not sure there are four republican senators who own a pair, much less remember where they keep them.

However, my question is this … why didn’t Bolton come through and testify during the House impeachment hearings?  His lawyer says he knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with impeachment investigators.  It is also said that he was “deeply troubled” by the campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats.  So, if all of that was true, and if Mr. Bolton has a conscience and wishes to do the right thing, where was that conscience in November and December?

And then, there was Lindsey Graham.  Good ol’ Lindsey who cannot remember from one day to the next who his friends are, and who one day wants to censure Trump, and the next day thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Lindsey Graham who stabbed his “best friend” John McCain in the back.  Now Lindsey has decided it is up to him to decide to change the Senate rules regarding Trump’s trial and (hopefully) conviction.

Nancy Pelosi, as you know, has not yet sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate, pending some indication from the Senate that they are prepared to hold some semblance of a fair and impartial trial.  To date, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have blatantly stated that they had no intention of being fair, that the trial would simply be a formality to be gotten through, with Trump’s acquittal the pre-determined outcome.  This is not acceptable, and Ms. Pelosi is holding back sending the articles, hoping for some reassurance that the Senate will do their proper job.

That is what has Lindsey and a number of other senators up in arms.  Why do they care?  Because, the closer it gets to November 3rd, election day, the less they want the publicity of an ongoing impeachment trial to be fresh on the minds of the voters.  The republican senators want the trial to be speedy and low-key, with few or no witnesses called, and to be over and done as quickly and early as possible.  Not, mind you, because it is in the best interest of We the People, but only because it is in their best interests for re-election.  People have short attention spans, especially in the current climate with war looking more and more likely, and if the trial were held in late January, by November a large percentage of people would have forgotten all about it.

What Lindsey is proposing is a change in the Senate rules …

“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary.

Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution. They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.

If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules, deem them to be delivered to the Senate so we can start the trial, invite the House over to participate if they would like. If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”

Get on with governing the country, Lindsey???  WTF are you talking about, for you and your ignoble buddies there in the Senate have refused to pass legislation sent over by the House of Representatives for over a bloody year now!  You haven’t done a thing but sit on your fat ass and run your ignorant mouth.  Govern the country, my foot!

The way I see it, the impeachment trial has now taken on an even greater importance, for in the last 5 days, Trump has proven that he is, indeed, the madman I’ve been calling him.  This nation absolutely cannot handle another five years of his presidency, and frankly I’m not sure we can survive another year and come out intact.  It is on the Senate to make sure his trial is by the book, that witnesses are called by both parties, that the evidence is seriously considered, and that he is convicted and removed from office.  Anything less than that is unacceptable and will cost lives … many lives.

A Rose By Any Other Name …

Edward Gallagher is a war criminal.  It matters not that Donald Trump issued a pardon in November … he is still a war criminal.

gallagherGallagher was found guilty of posing for a grisly trophy photo with the dead captive’s body.  He was initially charged with other war crimes, including charges that he shot at civilians and killed a wounded captive with a knife while serving as a platoon leader in Iraq.  I strongly suspect, based on what has been said by those who served with Gallagher, that he was at least complicit in the other charges that he was not convicted on.  Either way, Eddie Gallagher is a nasty piece of work.

In the videotaped statements of SEAL members, several broke down in tears as they recounted Gallagher’s behavior in Iraq. They told Navy investigators that Gallagher shot civilians without cause, bragged about the number of people he’d killed with his sniper rifle, including women, and went on “gun runs,” which means indiscriminately firing a heavy machine gun into civilian neighborhoods.  They said of their former platoon commander that he “is freaking evil,” “toxic,” and “perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving.”

Some of Gallagher’s former platoon members – who defied an unwritten code of silence within the Navy SEALS to testify against him – even said they thought Gallagher had purposely exposed their unit to enemy fire out of the belief that an increased number of casualties among his men would increase his chances of being awarded a Silver Star.

But, all that did not matter to Donald Trump, an equally nasty piece of work, as he not only chose to pardon Gallagher, but also demanded that his rank be restored.  He issued a direct order to the Navy that Gallagher was not to be demoted.

So, what has Eddie Gallagher been up to since his undeserved pardon?  Well, partying with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, for one. gallagher-mar-a-lagoYes, folks, Trump invited Eddie and his wife to his Florida resort to be wined and dined, and invited Gallagher and the other two war criminals he pardoned to join him on the campaign trail this year!  But wait … there’s more.

Eddie Gallagher has started his own line of clothing, called “Salty Frog Gear”.  He is also endorsing products of other clothiers that include t-shirts with the words “KILL BAD DUDES,” and websites that features t-shirts reading “Waterboarding Instructor,” which suggests that he’s perhaps a bit too comfortable with acts that fall into the category of war crimes.  He is, in other words, capitalizing on his war crime and ignoble presidential pardon.

I find it strange that Donald Trump, when he initially announced his bid for the presidency in June 2015, made a comment whereby he referred to immigrants from Mexico as “bad hombres”.  In my book, this Gallagher person is the ‘bad hombre’.  He has shown no remorse or introspection about the accusations against him.  He’s referred to the SEALs as “mean girls” and has consistently attacked them on social media.  He has also appeared on Fox News, though he has banned the New York Times from his Instagram page and refused to speak with NYT journalists, saying he only gives interviews to “legitimate media” … like FOX???

Eddie Gallagher calls himself a “patriot”.  Donald Trump praises Eddie Gallagher, calling him “one of the ultimate fighters”.  Perhaps I would have a bit more respect for Trump’s opinion if he had actually served in the military, rather than having his daddy buy his way out.  Trump’s pardon of Gallagher and two other war criminals in November is a slap in the face to the honourable men and women who put their life on the line every day for this nation.  Michael A. Cohen, writing for The Boston Globe, sums it up best …

“Having a president who appears to take no issue and even encourages the committing of war crimes certainly doesn’t help – and I fear for the impact on the US military, and good order within its ranks, when the president is so brazenly endorsing acts that violate the training that members of the military receive. I fear even more for the SEALS who bravely spoke out against Gallagher – and for future whistleblowers who will now have little motivation to come forward.

But worst of all, with the benefit of Trump’s support, Gallagher has become another weapon in America’s toxic culture wars – and I suspect that much of the support for him from conservatives is a result of the fact that liberals are so outraged by his actions and the president’s intervention on his behalf. Gallagher has become a heroic figure for far too many. It is yet one more example of how tribalism is overwhelming our national character and the extent to which America has become an increasingly divided and broken nation.”