Differences

A view from across the big pond. Why is it that our friends outside the U.S. can so often see our situation with far more clarity than we can? Thank you, David, for an open-eyed view of what is happening here.

The BUTHIDARS

Kevin McCarthy’s statement

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In response, representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted the legal code: 18 U.S. Code § 1505: “Whoever…by any threatening letter or communication…endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any…investigation is being had by either House…Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned…”

My Response.

Kevin McCarthy, Marjie Greene, Matt Gaetz, and even Mitch McConnell’s attempts to gag private companies with undisguised threats puts every American at risk of not knowing the naames and degree of involvement certain politicians had in the attempted insurrection of January 6th 2021. Without this information American citizens are in danger of becoming subjects of a new form of dictatorial Government possibly under an already failed leader Donald Trump where a large part of the population would not even be allowed to vote. The words Surveillance State are used with the purpose of scaring the…

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The Games People Play

I titled this post as I did for a very good reason … our lawmakers at every level are playing games … with our lives.  They are playing with our right to vote, with the bridges that just waiting for a heavier-than-average rush hour to collapse and kill thousands, they are playing with the rights of Blacks, Hispanics and those of Asian descent to … well, to live, actually.  And they are playing with numbers … how they can profit the most from the 98% of us who live from paycheck to paycheck.  Oh yes, folks, our lawmakers are great games players, just not very good representatives of We the People.


For the People …

Over the past 2 weeks, I have spent hours pouring over the For the People Act, the legislation that is currently collecting dust in the United States Senate.  This is legislation that, in addition to much else, would guarantee every eligible person age 18 or over the right to vote.  But the Senate seems to think … wait, let me amend that before I go any further … the Republicans and two Democratic members of the Senate … seem to think that We the People should not have a voice in the government we support financially!  The more I study this bill, the more I am growling, for there is literally NOTHING in it that should give rise for concern.  If, that is, we had legislators who put country above party, who truly cared about the future of this nation, who treasured integrity and honesty above profit and power.  Sadly, we don’t.

I will have a post, more likely 2-3 posts, summarizing this bill, what it would mean to you and I, and the Republicans’ objections to it within the next week or so, but for now, suffice it to say that as long as our elected officials care more about themselves than about us, as long as they are tethered to the former guy’s wagon, and as long as there are enough uneducated people in this nation who will fall for their lies, this bill is likely to be burned at the stake before it gets a chance to see the light of day.  It’s a damn shame that we will almost certainly end up trashing the democratic principles on which this nation was founded so that the likes of Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy can stay in power and keep the money rolling in … to their bank accounts.


Now about that infrastructure bill …

There has been much hassle over the infrastructure bill while bridges and roadways further erode, while people are still drinking water that is proven unsafe, but hey … let’s thank those bloody Republicans for keeping our tax dollars safe, shall we?  Oh yeah … rather than spend them on our safety, they can spend them to build and buy more military hardware, better guns, even more nukes that will someday in the not-so-distant future destroy us all!

Today, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) announced that the infrastructure bill, often touted as a bipartisan bill, though I question this, would add in excess of $250 billion to the already bloated federal deficit over the next decade.  Well duh … bridges, roadways, water & sewer systems … they cost money!  They also save human lives, but hey … no biggie, right?

Now, since the CBO is so happily crunching numbers … I have another request for them.  How about calculating the amount of additional revenue this nation would garner if every single person with a net worth over $1 million was forced to pay a fair share in taxes as the rest of us have been doing for all our lives?  Yeah … I want to know how much of that money required for infrastructure could be covered if the likes of Jeff Bezos, Exxon Mobile, Smith & Wesson, and every other corporation or individual worth millions paid the same rate in taxes as the rest of us do.  I’m betting these assholes could more than cover the infrastructure, upgrade our schools, and cover Medicare for All if they just opened their wallets and paid … the same progressive income tax that the rest of us pay!  How ‘bout it CBO … you game for calculating this one?

During my career years, ages 13-57, I never once begrudged Uncle Sam the amount I spent on federal income taxes.  I am a CPA and for years have prepared clients’ tax returns, but I refuse to lie or cheat on their behalf.  But I admit that I see red when I see that certain corporations paid zero income taxes, or that a multi-millionaire, nay billionaire, paid somewhere around 1% – 2% while the average John Doe is paying 12% – 25%.  C’mon, Congress, close the damn loopholes!  Tax the wealthy … they can afford it … I can’t!


On April 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke these words in his infamous Gettysburg Address …

“ … that these dead shall not have died in vain– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

That government of, by, and for the people is perishing from the earth.  It has had a dagger thrust into its heart and is just now gasping its last breaths.  Are you content to let it die?  Will we sit back and watch as those with money take power unto themselves and subjugate the rest of us?  Sigh.  And on that note, I bid you a good night.

A Bombshell That Few Noticed

Last week, we found out that the former guy had instructed then-acting-attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.”  I saw this headline in numerous news sites that I visit daily, and like most of the rest of you, I growled a bit, called him a few choice names, then moved on to other stories.  But as Robert Reich points out … that was the wrong move.  This is THE story that is most important in its implications.  I’ll let Mr. Reich explain …


A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all

Robert Reich

A newly released memo shows that Trump told the acting attorney general: ‘Just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen’

We’ve become so inured to Donald Trump’s proto-fascism that we barely blink an eye when we learn that he tried to manipulate the 2020 election. Yet the most recent revelation should frighten every American to their core.

On Friday, the House oversight committee released notes of a 27 December telephone call from Trump to then acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, in which Trump told Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.” The notes were taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, who was also on the call.

The release of these notes has barely made a stir. The weekend news was filled with more immediate things – infrastructure! The Delta strain! Inflation! Wildfires! In light of everything else going on, Trump’s bizarre efforts in the last weeks of his presidency seem wearily irrelevant. Didn’t we already know how desperate he was?

In a word, no. This revelation is hugely important.

Rosen obviously rejected Trump’s request. But what if Rosen had obeyed Trump and said to the American public that the election was corrupt – and then “left the rest” to Trump and the Republican congressmen? What would Trump’s and the Republicans’ next moves have been? And which Republican congressmen were in cahoots with Trump in this attempted coup d’état?

Make no mistake: this was an attempted coup.

Trump knew it. Just weeks earlier, then attorney general William Barr said the justice department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.

And a few days after Trump’s call to Rosen – on 2 January – Trump told Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” votes to change the election outcome. He berated Raffensperger for not doing more to overturn the election.

Emails released last month also show that Trump and his allies in the last weeks of his presidency pressured the justice department to investigate totally unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud – forwarding them conspiracy theories and even a draft legal brief they hoped would be filed with the supreme court.

Some people, especially Republican officeholders, believe we should simply forget these sordid details. We must not.

For the first time in the history of the United States we did not have a peaceful transition of power. For the first time in American history, a president refused – still refuses – to concede, and continues to claim, with no basis in fact, that the election was “stolen” from him. For the first time in history, a president actively plotted a coup.

It would have been bad enough were Trump a mere crackpot acting on his own pathetic stage – a would-be dictator who accidentally became president and then, when he lost re-election, went bonkers – after which he was swept into the dustbin of history.

We might then merely regret this temporary lapse in American presidential history. At best, Trump would be seen as a fool and the whole affair an embarrassment to the country.

But Trump was no accident and he’s not in any dustbin. He has turned one of America’s two major parties into his own cult. He has cast the major political division in the US as a clash between those who believe him about the 2020 election and those who do not. He has emboldened state Republicans to execute the most brazen attack on voting rights since Jim Crow. Most Republican senators and representatives dare not cross him. Some of his followers continue to threaten violence against the government. By all accounts, he is running for president again in 2024.

Donald Trump’s proto-fascism poses the largest internal threat to American democracy since the civil war.

What to do about it? Fight it, and the sooner the better.

This final revelation – Trump’s 27 December call to the acting attorney general in which he pleads “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” – should trigger section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection” against the US. The current attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, should issue an advisory opinion clearly stating this. If Trump wants to take it to the supreme court, fine.

Trumpism Is Not Over

I don’t typically do a re-blog of a re-blog, for I do understand that it’s tedious to have to click once, read a small bit, then click again to read the rest, but in this case, I make an exception, for our friend Jerry (aka Grumpy) has written a post that I think is worth both your time and that extra ‘click’. Our other friend, Jeff, over at On the Fence Voters has re-blogged Jerry’s post and I am re-blogging Jeff’s reblog of Jerry’s … confused yet? Yeah, me too. So, just read it because Jerry offers remarkable insight that we all need to be aware of. Thanks Jerry! Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

Our friend Jerry over at Grumpy’s Grumblings has another excellent post detailing the continued capitulation of the white evangelical community toward the disgraced former president. I’ve included a link at the end to continue reading. Thanks Jerry!

In my wildest dreams and worst nightmares, prior to November 2016 I never could have imagined Donald J. Trump being elected as President of the United States. The mere thought of it seemed like an outrageous joke. But it happened.

Then, I was sure that in only a matter of months, the American people—including those who voted for him—would see Donald Trump as the vicious, mean-spirited, self-serving dunce he really is. (Although, I was shocked that any person, much less millions of Americans, couldn’t see that right from the start.) But it didn’t happen.

I felt certain that at some point, most of the evangelicals who voted for the world’s greatest grifter would…

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The Rise of the American Left and Nina Turner: What Her Win Would Mean

Today I would like to share another post by our new blogging friend Quentin over at WeTheCommoners.  Quentin talks a bit about some of the up-and-coming new faces in the Democratic Party, or the ‘Left’, and then he posits that the new blood in the party needs to stand firm, that they aren’t being forceful enough and have been afraid to utilize their power.  Now, up to this point, I fully agree with him … the Democratic Party as a whole needs to be more forceful, not allow the ‘other side’ to walk all over them as they are so often doing these days.  But he takes it a step further and there is a point where I’m not quite 100% in agreement with him.  However, I want you to read this post with an open mind, for he makes many excellent points that should be given thought, so I won’t express my reservations just yet … perhaps later on in comments.  Thank you, Quentin, for a very thought-provoking, well-written post!


The Rise of the American Left and Nina Turner: What Her Win Would Mean

The American left has slowly risen in power. Would Nina Turner’s potential win in Ohio give them the energy they need to fight their own party?

By Quentin Choy

July 27, 2021

If you’ve paid any attention to American politics over the last five years, you’ve noticed several upstarts on the political left.

An unknown Senator from Vermont almost defeated Hillary Clinton and the Democratic machine in the 2016 primaries.

A young bartender in the Bronx defeated a 10-term Congressman. Over in the north Bronx, a high school principal defeated the chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee just two years later.

Please read the rest of the post by clicking on the link!

What if…

Last night, I read Brosephus’ latest post shortly before going to bed — warning: do NOT make this post your bedtime reading! Brosephus paints a chilling scenario, one that ten years ago I would have laughed off as fiction, but one that today … I’m no longer laughing. We must do everything in our power to ensure that there is no possibility of this happening, and the first step is to protect voting rights … hear that, Congress???

The Mind of Brosephus

Screenshot of the WSBTV app @ 3:21pm 7/11/21

After watching the GOP evolve (devolve depending on your perspective) into a hard right authoritarian party, I’ve convinced myself there are two types of conservatives. There are the puppeteers consisting of groups like the Federalist Society, Fox News and others. Then, there are the puppets which is basically everyone else. This specific grouping is a topic for another post, but kinda relevant to the scenario that just popped into my head.

While sitting on my back deck and enjoying a summer breeze, I logged into the app pictured above, and that’s the image that greeted me. Notice the top 3 stories AND the red banner? Yeah, I did to. That got the gears in my head to spinning at about 12,000rpm, well beyond the redline of 10,000rpm. *(Just glad that I didn’t burn my brain down in the process…)

Anyway, travel with…

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I Still Care, Dammit

I’m tired, folks.  I’m sick and tired of fighting to try to make people care about their own lives, their own future.  I’m tempted to say, “To hell with you all!  You want to die of COVID, then go right ahead.  You want to be a racist, a homophobe, to hate people you don’t even know based on a single characteristic – then go ahead, limit your world to a handful of white bigots like yourself.  You want to live in a country where chaos is the norm, where no laws benefitting you or anybody else ever pass, then fine … enjoy your petty, shallow life as a tool in the Republican toolbox!”  I’m tempted to say that, and I can afford to, for my own life is in its twilight hours, but what stops me is that the majority of us have children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren who deserve better than the ignorant among us would subject us to.

With every passing day, there is more and more wrong in this country.  The causes are two-fold:  the greed of our politicians and the ignorance of the voting public.  The majority of us still use our brains, still understand that the current situation is untenable, and are looking for reasonable solutions.  But therein lies the problem … reasonable solutions to unreasonable problems simply don’t work.

The personification of this is a statement by a right-wing shock jock the other day …

“If you tell people you can’t have a Twitter account, you can’t have a Facebook account, well, what else is there to do but actually walk into the Capitol and go all insurrectional? If you can’t talk about it, you can only act.”

Wow … so, next time I get banned from Twitter, I should go into the Capitol with my gun and face-paint and threaten people’s lives?  What rocks do these people come out from under???  Worse yet … how many people agree with his statement?  How many people believe that if you don’t like something, you should simply shoot it, blow it up, or otherwise disable it?

Among my former ‘friends’ are a number of people who are simply giddy … yes, giddy … about the current state of affairs, the chaos and drama perpetuated by politicians on the Republican side of the aisle.  It’s excitement in their boring little lives … to them it is akin to watching an exciting shoot-em up movie.

Folks, this is not a game, this is not a movie, this is not some country in the undeveloped world … this is the United States, once a respected republic, but now … now the laughingstock of the Western world.  We are no longer respected, we are no longer trusted among our allies.  Why?  Need you ask?

While citizens in other nations are still under lockdown, still waiting for the vaccine to become available to them, the people of the United States are stubbornly proclaiming the vaccine to be akin to some nefarious plot by government, comparing it to Naziism, to Apartheid.  Obviously, these people have no sense of history, do not understand either concept, and have no concept of how many innocent people died as a result of both.  Ignorance, again.

I have to wonder … since we are obviously not teaching our children history, such as the history of South Africa or Germany and Europe before and during World War II, and since we have obviously NOT taught them to THINK for themselves, what the Sam Hell are we teaching them in school?  Which leads me to another pet peeve … the Republicans denial of Critical Race Theory, which is not much more than the fact that racism is carefully embedded in our systems as a result of the racist history of this nation.  The Republicans claim none of this is true … or, if it is, they don’t want the next generation to know about it.  Let’s hide slavery, Jim Crow, police killings, the removal and murder of Native Americans, the Japanese internment camps, and more.  Yes, let’s bury the evidence, not let our children know what evil has persisted in this nation ever since well before it was even a nation.

I am, needless to say, disappointed in the people of this nation.  I am disappointed in any who can still believe in the Big Lie, who can support anyone affiliated with the Republican Party.  I am disappointed in friends who are too shallow to even pay attention to what is happening in this nation, but instead focus on “being happy” to the exclusion of all else.  If the people of this nation don’t wake up soon, it will be too late and this nation will find itself in the same situation as other nations under dictatorial regimes.  The ignorance of people in the United States is rapidly driving us into a descent from which there may never be a lifeline.  For my money, I am 70 years of age with likely only another year or two on earth, but I have loved ones who will survive me and for their sake, I still care.  Damn me … I still care.

A Basket Of Deplorables

Remember back in September 2016 when Hillary Clinton, while running for president, was speaking at a fundraiser when she made her world-famous gaffe …

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Not the smartest thing to say when you want these people to vote for you!  She wasn’t at all wrong, but her comment was likely the very thing that may have cost her the electoral college vote.  (Note to readers … she won the election by more than 2.8 million votes, but lost the electoral college vote, primarily due to gerrymandering.)  The reason her comment was a defining moment in her campaign is simple:  many people saw themselves in what she said and believed she was pointing her finger at them, calling them ‘deplorable’.  And, of course, her opponent had a field day with it, never let it out of people’s minds for a single minute, and at the end of the day, it was likely the single most important thing that cost her the presidency.  Twenty seconds, forty-five words, was all it took to doom her candidacy.  Sure, there was Comey’s October surprise, and the fact that Hillary was … GASP … a woman, but I think those could have been overcome had she not uttered those 45 words.

So, you wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Asking yourselves why I’m digging up nearly 5-year-old news.  Well, several things regarding Republicans in the news these past few days have immediately brought the word ‘deplorable’ to mind, and about the third time this happened, the light bulb came on and I remembered what Hillary had said, and I thought, “Y’know, she was spot on in her assessment, not only of Trump supporters, but today’s Republicans as a whole.”  Here are a couple of examples …


The glaring hypocrisy

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is considering a run for … wait for it … president in 2024.  Now, I respected Nikki as governor of South Carolina, but once she threw her lot in with the former guy, I lost any respect I had for her.  In my book, she sold her soul to the highest bidder.

Nikki does, however, have a conscience somewhere under all the rot, for after the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and on Congress, she seemed to push away from the former guy, even outright criticizing him the next day …

“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

She went on to say in an interview a few weeks later that he had “lost any sort of political viability” and that she didn’t think he was “going to be in the picture” any longer, before adding: “He’s fallen so far.”

But, once she figured out that he IS still in the picture as far as the Republican Party and who they support, she changed her tune … not just a little, but by one hell of a lot!  Here’s what she said earlier this week when addressing a crowd at the Iowa Republican Party dinner …

“Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border.”

And that statement is so utterly ridiculous that I cannot even dignify it with a response.  She went on to heap undeserved praise on him, saying that she “saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first” and telling a humorous story about Trump’s decision to label North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” saying it showed how the former president had “a way of getting people.”

Oh yeah, she’s licking some big boots there, and there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to lick the stench off anytime soon, for the former guy rejected her request to visit him at Mar-a-Lago not long ago.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah … oozing from her pores.  Deplorable.


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … what have you done?

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, is another who I used to have tremendous respect for.  In the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks, Rudy held not only New York City, but the rest of the nation together.  But just like Nikki Haley, he sold out, he threw We the People to the lions when he cast his lot in with the former guy.  Rudy became one of many attorneys defending Trump in numerous legal areas, and he followed Trump’s lead … lie, cheat, and steal, do whatever it takes.

All Rudy’s lies finally came home to roost yesterday when a New York court ruled that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while fighting the results of the 2020 election on behalf of Donald J. Trump.  Rudy Giuliani was once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was once known as a law-and-order crusader and whose creative courtroom tactics against mob bosses turned him into a fixture on national television.

The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee after finding he had sought to mislead judges, lawmakers, and the public as he helped shepherd Trump’s legal challenge to the election results.  In part, the 33-page court decision read …

“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated. This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”

How low Rudy Giuliani has sunk.  I don’t expect he’ll ever have his law license re-instated, nor should he, for he is naught but a liar, a boot-licker, and a puppet.  Deplorable.


I could go on, for there are many more, such as Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis … so many deplorables all in one party.  So yes, Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head when she called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ … she paid the ultimate price for her honesty, but at least she was honest, something that is not to be found anywhere within the Republican Party today.

Trump’s Legacy: The Right to be a First Class Jerk

As always, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters is spot on … take a look for yourselves! Thanks, Jeff! As always, you da man!

On The Fence Voters


Boorish, idiotic, and rude behavior didn’t begin with the election of the disgraced former 45th president. In my nearly six decades on this earth, I’ve run across several of these types — present company excluded. However, what we see these days when it comes to a lack of basic decency and etiquette, I will lay a considerable, if not primary, blame at the feet of the failed blogger/president. When historians take a look back at his failed presidency, surely this will stand near the top of his already disastrous legacy.

Ever since the infamous ride down the golden escalator, we’ve been subjected to his insults, lies, and politically incorrect behavior. His command of the daily narrative, usually starting early in the morning before most of us had started sipping our coffee, ruled the media throughout his four years in office. They, and many in public, couldn’t wait to hear what he’d…

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A Brother’s response to Sen Manchin’s OpEd

I read Senator Joe Manchin’s OpEd in the Charleston Gazette-Mail and, like our friend Brosephus, under ordinary circumstances I would have agreed with most of what he said. However, these are anything but normal circumstances and even more so for Black people who are once again in danger of losing their rights. Please take a minute to read Brosephus’ post and think about what he says — it’s important! Thank you, Brosephus!

The Mind of Brosephus

Sen. Joe Manchin, I read your Op-Ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, and I have a few questions for you. You are well within your rights and responsibilities as a member of the Senate representing West Virginia with your concerns over the filibuster. In a perfect world, I think your arguments would have merit. In case you haven’t been paying attention for the past decade or so, we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, Black Americans have never been within an Apollo rocket shot reach of a perfect world in America.

You may or may not be aware of the particular struggles of Black Americans, but I can assure you life here for us is no Saturday morning picnic. Our right to vote in America was enshrined into the Constitution in 1870 by the Fifteenth Amendment. It wasn’t until the passage of the Civil Rights Act…

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