Now what?

Once again, our friend Brosephus is spot on with his assessment of the U.S. today. Would MLK be appalled? Probably, but then he’d jump in and get to work trying to help fix this mess. Thanks, Brosephus, for this accurate summation of where we are today.

The Mind of Brosephus

Now what

Yesterday morning, I opened up the WordPress editor to begin writing a column. The words that were bouncing around in my skull didn’t seem appropriate for a day honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so I left the page blank. I didn’t want to sully his memory with the things in my mind. In hindsight, yesterday was probably the most appropriate day of the year to let those words and the message they convey flow freely like water leaping from a waterfall.

America is a broken country. It’s been that way for a long time, but the false sheen of good (or greatness) has been rubbed away by the abrasiveness of modern politics. Instead of working towards the idea of E Pluribus Unum, we’ve been guided by a principle best described as “I’m getting mine, f**k yours”.

CoVID-19 exposed the shortcomings for American health care. Many already…

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A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

Thirty-six hours left until we once again have a president, a vice-president, and sanity in the White House.  Just 36 hours until we kick the imposter who has been illegitimately occupying our White House, using our money to buy food, to travel all ’round the globe, and to line his own pockets, while destroying this nation with his ignorance and cruelty.  Still … 36 hours … he could still do a lot of damage.  It is said he plans to issue some 100+ pardons today, and I still don’t trust him any farther than I can throw a feather.  But soon, my friends, we will be shed of him … hopefully forever.  My angst level is at an all-time high tonight, even knowing that 36 hours, only 2,160 minutes, and the source of much of my angst will head to Florida where hopefully he will be eaten by a shark!  The angst I feel I know is shared by  many of you, so feel free to add your own bit of snark here!


Domestic terrorists – some you wouldn’t expect

An Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Klete Keller, was one of those arrested for the January 6th terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol.  His friends and former teammates noticed his picture in the footage of the attack and reported him to the FBI.  After being arrested, Keller spoke with his former coach and according to the coach …

“He kept repeating, ‘You’ve done so much for me, and I let you down.’ He kept saying over and over, ‘I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.’”

Then WHY THE SAM HELL did he go there in the first place?  Every single person who was involved in that mob in any way, shape, or form, was there in an attempt to destroy the government, the Capitol, and some even intended to kill our elected legislators.  No, he isn’t to be pitied, for he is a terrorist, a fool, he is the enemy and I hope they lock his ass up for at least a decade.

Among other terrorists who perpetrated the attack on our government on January 6th were a number of law enforcement officials – people whose salary is paid by We the People, people who are hired for the sole purpose of protecting the people of this nation!  I demand they return the last decade’s worth of their salary, for we damn sure lost out there!  Among them are a New Hampshire police chief, a Philadelphia detective, and two Seattle Police Department officers.  These people wanted to kill those members of Congress who we elected.  They hoped to overthrow the government, overthrow the November elections, and install Donald Trump as a dictator.  And to think … we pay them to stab us in the back!

Also represented on January 6th were that group that call themselves the “Proud Boys”, though from their pictures and behaviour, I would say they’ve got nothing to be ‘proud’ of … they look like what they are … a bunch of bigoted, redneck, jobless, slobs with beer bellies, scruffy faces, and guns.  Lots of big guns.  Turns out they have gotten some portion of their funding for such events as the storming of the Capitol from a so-called ‘Christian’ fund-raising site.  In fact, when Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in Washington on January 4th, he was given more than $113,000 from 2,359 donors on this ‘Christian’ website to help with his bail and legal fees.

I hope that ultimately, every single person who entered the Capitol is arrested and imprisoned for a very long time, for these are not simply protestors, they are domestic terrorists … every one of them … and need to be treated accordingly.  No bail, no plea deals … just orange jumpsuits and prison bars (no, not the kind that serve Canadian Mist).


In other news …

Donald Trump is throwing himself a going away party at Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning.  Attendance is by invitation only and the event starts at 8:00 a.m.  He is planning an ostentatious military parade and an official armed forces farewell as the commander-in-chief, as well as a large crowd of supporters, selected backers and current and former officials in his administration and their guests at a huge red-carpet affair. On our tax dollar. However, senior Pentagon officials say that it ain’t gonna happen like he wants.  Awwww … pobre Donnie.

My immediate concern is … this ‘event’ is to be held just a few miles from the Capitol Building where four hours later Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office to become the president and vice president.  Remember January 6th, where Trump used a speech to rile the masses, to incite violence, to urge them to ‘fight’?  Is a repeat performance part of the plan for his ridiculous ‘ceremony’?  It is said that attendance is by invitation only … who is he inviting?  White supremacist groups like the Proud Boys and others?

Any other president who had just been impeached for the second time, would be tucking his tail between his legs and slinking out of town with as little fanfare as possible, but not Trump.  Nope, he has to leave with a big bang … I’m just concerned that the big bang might happen four hours later and a few miles distant.  Federal security officials should shut his event down … throw him on the plane bodily if necessary (it will take a few of them to lift his 330 pound girth) and send him on his way!  Good riddance to bad rubbish!


And speaking of spreading conspiracy …

Remember how Parler, the website frequented by Trump-fanatic, right-wing domestic terrorists, was virtually dead in the water after being dropped by Amazon, Apple, and Google?  Well … they’re baaaaaaack.  And guess who helped them make a comeback, just in time for the inauguration?  DDos-Guard (no, I didn’t stutter), a Russian-owned technology company.  Put that one in your skillet and let it simmer for a while.


Since this post is mainly a rant, I’ll leave you with a bit of humour … dark humour, as it were, but humour nonetheless …

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Honouring Dr. Martin Luther King …

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States.  I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says exactly what I wish to say.  Given the increase in racism in the United States over the past four years, and particularly last year with the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and with peaceful Black Lives Matter protests being assaulted by law enforcement and white supremacists, I think the above quote seems more apt today than ever before.  So please, take just a minute to, if nothing else, listen once again to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  In these troubled times, it is good to be reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

mlk-3Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 1929.  He would have been 92 years old last Wednesday, had he lived. On this day, we celebrate not only his life, but also his legacy. Martin Luther King Day celebrates not only Dr. King, but the movement he inspired and all those who helped move forward the notion of equal rights for ALL people, all those who worked tirelessly during the civil rights era of the 1960s, as well as those who are continuing the good fight even in this, the year 2021.  Dr. King’s fight lives on, for we have moved further away than before from his dream.

Dr. King, along with President John F. Kennedy, was the most moving speaker I have ever heard.  To this day, I cannot listen to his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech without tears filling my eyes.  If you haven’t heard it for a while, take a few minutes to watch/listen … I promise it will be worth your time.

This post is both a commemoration and a plea for us to carry on the work that was only begun, not yet finished, more than five decades ago.  Today we should remember some of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, those who worked tirelessly, some who gave their lives, that we could all live in peace and harmony someday: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Roy Innes, Medgar Evers, Stepen Bantu Biko, Booker T. Washington, John Lewis, Percy Julian, Marcus Garvey, Desmond Tutu, E.D. Nixon, James Meredith, and so many more.  I am willing to bet there are some on this list of whom you’ve never heard, or perhaps recognize the name but not the accomplishments. If you’re interested, you can find brief biographies of each of these and more at Biography.com .

Yet, while we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and the others, there is still much to be done. Just look around you, read the news each day. Think about these statistics:

  • More than one in five black families live in households that are food insecure, compared to one in ten white families
  • Almost four in ten black children live in a household in poverty, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Among prime-age adults (ages 25 to 54), about one in five black men are not in the labor force, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Although blacks and whites use marijuana at approximately the same rate, blacks are over 3 and a half times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession
  • For every dollar earned by a white worker, a black worker only makes 74 cents
  • Black families are twice as likely as whites to live in substandard housing conditions
  • Black college graduates now have twice the amount of debt as white college graduates
  • The likelihood of a black woman born in 2001 being imprisoned over the course of her lifetime is one in 18, compared to 1 in 111 for a white woman
  • Similarly, the likelihood of a black man being imprisoned is 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 17 for a white man
  • Of black children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, about half of them will still be there as adults, compared to less than one-quarter of white children

Data courtesy of the Brookings Institute – for charts and supporting details of above date, please click on link. 

And of course the above data does not even touch upon the recent spate of hate crimes, racial profiling, and police shootings against African-Americans.  There is still much of Dr. King’s work to be accomplished. But who is left to do this work?  Most of the leaders of yore are long since gone. There are still noble and courageous people out there carrying on the programs and works of Dr. King and the others, but their voices are perhaps not as loud, and there are none so charismatic as the late Dr. King.

In the current environment of racial divisiveness, we need more than ever to carry on what Dr. King only started. Instead, the past four years have found our nation backtracking on civil and human rights in a number of areas, ranging from discriminatory travel bans against Muslims to turning a federal blind eye to intentionally racially discriminatory state voter-suppression schemes, to opposing protections for transgender people, to inhumanely separating children from families seeking to enter the country.  I think Dr. King would be appalled if he returned to visit today.

In a speech on April 12th, 1850, then-Senator and future President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said:

“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, but by white men for white men.” [1]

That was wrong then, it is wrong today, and it will always be wrong.  That is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought against, that is what I rail and sometimes rant against, that is why we need activists and groups dedicated to fighting for equality for all people … today, tomorrow, and forever.

Here is a bit of trivia you may not know about Dr. King …

  • King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
    The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15.
    King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.


  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
    Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.


  • King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
    According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.


  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
    On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.


  • King’s mother was also slain by a bullet.
    On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.

Dr. King fought and ultimately gave his life for the values I believe in, the values that should define this nation, though they often do not.  Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero of his time … thank you, Dr. King, for all you did, for the values you gave this nation, and for the hope you instilled in us all that your dream will someday come true.

[1] (Kendi, 2016)   stamped

Note:  Our friend TokyoSand has written a post with ideas for how each of us can help carry on Dr. King’s legacy … I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

Republican Senator warns against being the party of conspiracy theory and talk show hosts

With no less than two newly-elected Republican members of Congress being followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory group, one wonders what the Republican Party is becoming. Turns out, at least one Republican Senator has an answer and it doesn’t bode well for the future of the GOP. Our friend Keith tells us the story …

musingsofanoldfart

One of the three key reasons I left the Republican Party over twelve years ago is its tendency to make things up. Aided and abetted by radio talk show hosts and the Fox prime time line-up, whose primary mission was misinformation not news, the party became more distasteful to me. I have noted before that the outgoing president did not create this untruthful bent, but he has certainly shown how to use to leverage it more.

Now, with social media allowing less fettered information to proliferate, conspiracy theories have found an accepting home. This is not just my opinion. In an article in Business Insider by T. Porter called “GOP Senator Ben Sasse warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the Republican Party,” he rakes the now-Trump Party over the coals. Here are a few paragraphs, with a link below.

“Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned in…

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Unfit For Office — Lauren Boebert

I have a list as long as my arm of people in Congress who are unfit and unqualified for the offices they hold, but one in particular stands out as being the most heinous of the bunch.  Lauren Boebert was elected by the people of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district last November and took her oath of office on January 3rd.

I first wrote about Boebert last July when she crossed my radar after winning the Republican primary in Colorado.  Ms. Boebert has not a single qualification to represent her district in the United States Congress, not even a high school diploma, for she dropped out of high school when she became pregnant in her teens. I sincerely doubt that she has even read the U.S. Constitution – that document she took an oath to protect and defend. But that is not even the worst of it.

Boebert is a supporter of QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy theory group that believes a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles—mainly consisting of what they see as elitist Democrats, politicians, journalists, entertainment moguls and other institutional figures—have long controlled much of the so-called deep state government, which they say seeks to undermine Trump, mostly with aid of media and entertainment outlets.  This, coupled with her lack of education, lack of knowledge of the law, should have been enough to disqualify her from even running for office.  It really is past time this nation set higher requirements for holding public office, but that is a topic for another day.

Lauren-BoebertMs. Boebert is a gun lover who owns a bar called Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle, Colorado.  She encourages her staff to openly carry guns while serving the public!  True to form, Boebert started her tenure with a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking that members of Congress be allowed to carry guns into the Capitol.  The letter was signed by some of the other congressional misfits such as Mo Brooks.  On her 3rd day in office, she set off the metal detectors while entering the Capitol and refused to allow security officers to inspect her bag and the same happened the following day, January 6th, that fateful day of the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Congress.  Why they even allowed her into the building is beyond my comprehension.

There is speculation, to say the least, that Boebert was involved in the terrorist attack, that at the very least, her rhetoric supporting Trump’s false claims of massive voter fraud had helped fuel the attack.  On January 5th, Boebert said January 6th would be Republicans’ “1776 moment”.  She was one of the republicans who objected to counting Arizona’s ballots, saying …

“The members who stand here today and accept the results of this concentrated, coordinated, partisan effort by Democrats—where every fraudulent vote canceled out the vote of an honest American—have sided with the extremist left.”

So, is she saying that I’m not an ‘honest American’ or that my vote was fraudulent?  She fully intended to vote to illegally cancel the votes of every single voter in Arizona because she didn’t like the results.  And it is said that she revealed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location to rioters during the siege on the 6th by tweeting: “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”  Now, a group of 68 elected officials in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking for an investigation into Boebert’s actions.  The letter condemned the lawmaker, saying …

“There is deep concern about her actions leading up to and during the protests that turned into a violent and deadly mob.”

On Friday, Boebert’s communications director, Ben Goldey, resigned his position, citing his discomfort with the way Boebert reacted to the insurrection and its aftermath.

The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, Clause 2) provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

As I said at the start of this post, there are a number of members of the current Congress who are undeserving of their seats, including Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Ted Cruz, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Tommy Tuberville, and others who either directly or indirectly played a role in the events of January 6th and who must be held accountable for their seditious behaviour.  We the People deserve better than what we are getting from this group of elected officials whose salary we pay.  I most certainly hope that Lauren Boebert is removed from Congress, for this woman does not belong there, does not represent the majority of people in this nation, and is highly unqualified to be a lawmaker at any level.

Two Men Sans Conscience

I fully intended to do a Saturday Surprise post for this morning, knowing that we could all use a break from the news of the moment, but try as I might, I was not able to do one.  Sure, there were some funny cat pics, a few humorous stories, but … sorry, my friends, maybe next Saturday.  For today, I am just not able to switch gears.  I hope you’ll forgive me.


Guess what?  Yet another lie … a BIG one

Alex AzarSecretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has handed in his resignation, claiming that, “The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power.”  However, lest you think Alex has suddenly found a conscience, he hasn’t … it’s a symbolic move only, for his resignation is effective at noon on January 20th, the moment of Joe Biden’s inauguration, at which time he would be out of a job anyway.  But there’s more here than just Alex Azar’s resignation, for he dropped a bombshell yesterday when, in an interview with NBC News, he said that the ‘stockpile’ of the coronavirus vaccine that Trump has promised exists, actually does not exist at all.

Funny that just three days prior, on Tuesday, Azar himself said that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses that had been held in reserve for second shots.  There was no reserve.  Alex Azar knew there was no such reserve when he said that barefaced lie.  Is there any single member of the Trump administration who isn’t a consummate liar?  Was that one of the job requirements, that candidates must be able to tell whopper lies while keeping a straight face?  Or was there a ‘Trump School of Lying’ where they learned to emulate the Oaf in the Oval?

So, what does this revelation mean?  It means that states, believing the lie of the reserve, expanded the groups eligible to receive the first dose of the vaccine, and now … there is no second dose.  If it weren’t so damn tragic, you’d almost have to laugh at the name of the group responsible for distribution of the vaccine to the states:  Operation Warp Speed.  Warp speed, I thought, meant fast, but like everything else Trump and his cronies have touched, this has been a disaster from day #1, and far fewer people have received the vaccine than should have.  And now, we find they bungled the procurement and there are no second doses to be had.

Way to go, Trump, Kushner, Pence, Azar, and all the rest.  Obviously, our lives are naught more than pieces on a chessboard to you.


And speaking of idiots and the coronavirus …

Tommy Tuberville is a newly elected Senator from the state of Alabama.  Tommy is 66 years of age … most people would be using Tom or Thomas by now, but Tommy is a good ol’ boy and he likes to be called Tommy.

tommy-tuberville-2Now, ol’ Tommy took his seat in the United States Senate on January 3rd, and within days, he joined a group of Republican senators attempting to overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election based on Trump’s outright lies of voter fraud.  Wouldn’t you think he’d try to learn his job before trying to overthrow the government???  And while most of the Republicans who planned to contest the election results in various states on January 6th backed off after the horrific attacks on the Capitol that evening by Trump supporting terrorists, not ol’ Tommy!  He stuck to his guns and contested the election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania.  He showed us what he is made of – sawdust.

And yesterday, Tommy got himself in the news again.  I should think it would be a requirement that every single member of Congress should have read the U.S. Constitution at least once, for Pete’s sake!  On Friday, Tommy had been touring hospitals in Alabama … supposedly to get updates about the coronavirus, which he could have done from his office, but whatever.  After one of the tours, he gave an interview to an Alabama television station where he said that he thought the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should be postponed until “a little later on after we got this virus behind us a little bit.”

Say WHAT???  First of all, MR. TUBERVILLE … the United States Constitution, a document that you obviously have NOT read, directs the exact time and date of the inauguration:  noon on the 20th day of January.  Second, MR. TUBERVILLE … Donald Trump has bungled the federal response to the virus so badly that half of our population may be dead by the time the virus is “behind us”!  For the past year, Trump and his cohorts have not done a single damn thing to stem the surge of this virus, and as a result the U.S. has the highest number of cases and the highest death rate on the planet, despite the fact that we have only about 4% of the world’s population!  Donald Trump has no plan, has never had a plan to either control the virus or to distribute the vaccine.  Furthermore … he has begged people to risk their lives by not wearing masks … he has called the pandemic a hoax, has lied so much that nobody even listens to him anymore!  Joe Biden has a plan to help stem the surge and to distribute the vaccine.  He HAS A PLAN, which is far more than Donald Trump has ever had!  Why in hell would you want to delay inaugurating Joe Biden … are you really so stupid?

I honestly believe we need to amend the U.S. Constitution to say that every person elected to or appointed to a federal office MUST pass a test on the U.S. Constitution.  The entire document, including amendments, is just over 8,000 words.  I have read it more times than I can count, and I still have to consult it on occasion to answer a question.  Consider this … an immigrant applying for citizenship to this country knows more about the document that is the foundation of our government than half of our elected representatives, and that includes the ‘man’ who has been calling himself ‘president’ for the last four years!


Since I wasn’t able to give you a nice humorous Saturday Surprise post, I do have a few ‘toons for you that I nabbed from our friend Scottie’s post yesterday

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Something To Ponder …

Our nation has become a frightening place in the last two weeks since domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol on January 6th with the intention, it is now known, of doing bodily harm or even killing some of our elected officials such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.  And now, only five short days from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, we know that the terrorists have even more mayhem planned for the days before, during, and after the inauguration. 

While I am not an alarmist, this situation has me frightened for the lives of Biden, Harris, and members of Congress, but also for the continuity of our government, for the future of this nation.  Law enforcement dropped the ball last Wednesday and I cannot help but wonder if they will be able to keep our lawmakers and our new President and Vice President safe next week.

Ryan Cooper, writing for The Week, has written a well-researched column outlining some of the threats and possible solutions, both immediate and long-term.  It is well worth spending a few minutes to read …


Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?

ryan-cooperRyan Cooper

Democrats, already rattled by nearly falling into the hands of a violent mob during the attempted putsch at the Capitol on January 6, are facing the possibility of worse happening soon. Democratic members of Congress were briefed on three different additional conspiracies to overthrow the government on Monday, and at least one member has faced harassment by Trump loyalists out in the wild.

One has to wonder: Are Democratic leaders able to face how much danger they and their party are really in, or what it might take to preserve their lives?

As I’ve written previously, the fascist mob was within yards of seizing members of Congress on several occasions during the January 6 putsch. If the guns, pipe bombs, flex cuffs, and literal gallows they carried are any indication, many members would have been hurt or murdered by the putschists — as they did murder one Capitol Police officer, as well as seriously injuring some 15 others. Now the extreme right is plotting new conspiracies to overturn democracy during the Biden inauguration, including by assassinating Democratic members of Congress or President-elect Biden, according to the new leadership of the Capitol Police. One plot “would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government,” writes Matt Fuller at HuffPost. One Chicago man has already been arrested for allegedly threatening violence against President-elect Biden.

What’s more, law enforcement agencies are clearly less than trustworthy. There were many off-duty cops and members of the military involved with the putsch, and already several Capitol Police officers have been suspended for fraternizing with the putschists. Meanwhile, a Secret Service agent is under investigation for unhinged social media posts accusing Democrats of treason and stealing the election. For every member of law enforcement dumb enough to get caught doing that, it’s probably safe to assume there are several more with similar views but who keep such thoughts to themselves.

Even if we think it is comparatively unlikely that the vast security apparatus will fail to protect the new president at least, there is still a major danger to the Democratic rank-and-file. Backbenchers get no Secret Service protection, and a pack of Trump supporters — who have been constantly whipped into a frenzy with inflammatory lies from half the Republican Party elite — were reportedly on the verge of violently attacking Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) at Dulles International Airport before security intervened (though Correa says those same security officers failed to even take down the names of his assailants).

What is most urgently needed right now is for elected Republicans and conservative media to tell their constituents the truth, and deescalate the situation — admitting that Biden won the election fair and square, and telling conservatives to go home and try to win the next election instead of threatening violence. This would be far too little, far too late, but it might avoid major bloodshed. Unfortunately, it is also exceedingly unlikely given that President Trump has gone back to doubling down on his rhetoric that incited the mob in the first place, and many Republicans are now whining about impeachment and the lack of unity they themselves created, so more unilateral options are needed.

Luckily, there are a great many legal and regulatory actions Biden and the incoming Democratic Congress could do to crush right-wing extremism. For instance, the far right runs on a flood tide of oligarch money — the app Parler, on which much of the putsch was organized, was funded by the notorious ultra-wealthy Mercer family — which could be taxed and regulated. As Alex Pareene suggests at The New Republic, “Rigorous audits and reclassification of 501 nonprofits would do more to disrupt right-wing organizing than any new domestic terror law as interpreted and enforced by our current security state.”

Perhaps most effective immediate step would be squelching the spread of extremist propaganda, which genuinely appears to be driving much of the nutcase behavior we see around the country. Look into the history of the putschists, and in virtually every case one finds someone who melted his or her brain watching conservative YouTube, or people who are themselves conservative media personalities. I have argued that rolling back Section 230 (which protects internet companies like Facebook from being held legally liable for the material that is posted on their sites) would expose the social media behemoths to titanic legal liability, and force them to remove all extremist content — probably causing them to shrink drastically in the process, which would be its own benefit.

Finally, Democrats could conduct a purge of all the right-wing extremists in law enforcement and the security apparatus. Rather than passing a new domestic terrorism law, they could excise the fascist sympathizers from the FBI, Secret Service, NSA, and so forth, and use existing legal authorities to smash far-right political structures. The Capitol putsch was already a massive crime spree, all is needed is to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

On the other hand, it is worth noting how the space of possibility shrinks if anti-democratic extremism is allowed to metastasize. Eventually, meeting force with force becomes the only option available. This was the case by 1860, just after the Republican Party had been formed to combat slavery, when a small group of men calling themselves the “Wide-Awakes” took to protecting a Republican campaign in Connecticut. Soon there were copycat organizations springing up across the North, and the Wide-Awakes became a sort of paramilitary wing of the Lincoln campaign — serving as security for Republican events, conducting big marches through towns and cities, and recruiting thousands of young people to the anti-slavery cause. (As historian Matt Karp argues in a big article for Catalyst magazine, the Wide-Awakes were just part of a massive organizing campaign that united the Northern working class under the Republican anti-slavery banner.)

Few historians believe that the Civil War could have been avoided without splitting the U.S. in half. But today, untrammeled violent conflict could still be avoided — if the Democrats are willing to mobilize the vast powers of the American state to protect democracy and freedom from the fascist threat. It seems like a long shot, but let’s hope that being in literal physical peril motivates them to get over their usual timidity.

Filosofa Is Grrrrrrrrowling

Some days, you look at the news and you just want to punch something.  The ‘grrrrrrrrrr’ started this morning when I read that we the taxpayers are paying $3,000 per month for the Secret Service people protecting Ivanka and Jared to rent a bathroom in the house next door, because Jared & Ivanka don’t want them dirtying their house!  My first thought was that then they don’t deserve the protection of the Secret Service … and they don’t, for they are a couple of entitled snobs.  And then, the ‘grrrrrrrrrrr’ got louder as the day progressed.


Has he learned nothing?

rittenhouse-3You remember Kyle Rittenhouse, right?  He’s the young white supremacist punk who killed two and wounded a third with a gun at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  As I wrote a while back, some influential people with more money than sense posted Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail last November.  Rittenhouse was arraigned January 5th on two felony charges of homicide in the deaths of two men and a felony attempted homicide charge in the wounding of another man.  Pretty serious stuff, yes?  You’d think a 17-year-old kid would be on his best behaviour, quaking in his boots at the thought of what could happen to him.  But not Kyle!

rittenhouse-2

Just 90 minutes after leaving the arraignment, Kyle and his mother were seen in a bar where he was drinking beer (the legal age limit in his home state of Illinois is 21) and flashing white supremacist hand signals to other people in the bar. What kind of mother takes her underage kid who has murdered two people to a damn bar???  Prosecutors have asked the Kenosha County Circuit Court to modify Rittenhouse’s bond conditions. 

rittenhouse-1The office is requesting that Rittenhouse be prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol or being in any establishment that serves it; be prohibited from making any public display of any “white power” or “white supremacy” signs, symbols, or hand gestures; and not have any contact with any known militia members or members of any violent white power/white supremacist groups including the group identified as the “Proud Boys.”

This kid needs to be locked up for life, and his mother along with him!  And yet, to some he is considered a ‘hero’ … oh yeah, folks, don’t tell me racism isn’t alive and well in the United States … you need look no further than this little punk and those who applaud him.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Franklin Graham once again proves his lunacy

More than a few times, I have criticized (that’s putting it mildly) various evangelical leaders, and Franklin Graham is the one who seems to cross my radar most often.  Now, let me state in advance that I am not a Christian, not religious at all, however I respect other people’s right to their beliefs as long as they don’t try to inflict them on others.  Franklin Graham is an idiot extraordinaire, and once again he seems intent on proving my point.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Graham wrote, in part …

graham“Shame, shame on the ten Republicans who joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in impeaching President Trump yesterday. After all that he has done for our country, you would turn your back and betray him so quickly? We have never had a president like him in my lifetime. He gave us lower taxes, a strong economy, and low unemployment. He made NATO take notice and pay their own way. He had the guts to take on North Korea and meet with their leader personally. He didn’t let China walk all over us. Just his Mideast peace initiatives in the last couple of months deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. He has defended religious liberty like no president before him, and that matters to all people of faith. He has worked to bring prison reform and secured our southern border. He defeated the ISIS caliphate in Syria, and he strengthened our military. He was also the most pro-life president we have ever had. But the House Democrats impeached him because they hate him and want to do as much damage as they can. And these ten, from his own party, joined in the feeding frenzy. It makes you wonder what the thirty pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal.”

Well, I wonder if Mr. Franklin has been living in some alternative universe?  The hell of it is, though, that with over 9.5 million followers on Facebook, some will undoubtedly buy into his trash talk and some will no doubt join the planned insurrection next week, fully believing that they are doing ‘god’s work’.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


And speaking of religious freaks …

brandon-burdonBrandon Burdon, pastor of Kingdom Life church in Frisco, Texas is less well-known that Franklin Graham, but no less a lunatic.

During a long rambling sermon just days after the Capitol coup, he told his (maskless) congregation to stock up on weapons, celebrated a God-ordained siege of Washington, spoke in tongues to give his statements added oomph, claimed Apple would create a national blackout, railed against FOX News and Mitch McConnell for not being conservative enough, urged everyone to stock up on generators and food, and said with absolutely certainty that Donald Trump would be president for eight straight years.

“We are locked and loaded at the Burden house.  We have an executive order — not from Congress or D.C., but from the desk of the CEO of heaven, the boss of the planet. He said from his desk in heaven, this is my will; Trump will be in for eight years.”

Is it any wonder that I often say religion is the cause of most wars and most hatred in the world?  I wonder how many people from Frisco, Texas will be among the gun-toting nuts planning to converge on D.C. next week?

A Peek Into Trump’s Future

Given that I have a serious case of mind bounce today, I have not been able to focus on any one thing for more than 20 seconds, so instead I will share with you Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s view of what Trump’s life may be like after he leaves the White House next week.  I take some satisfaction in knowing that it won’t be any bed of roses for him, and knowing that he brought it on himself with no help from anybody else.


Trump’s future looks rotten

Jennifer-RubinOpinion by 

Jennifer Rubin

Columnist

Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. EST

President Trump faces a horrid future. He is the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice; he lost the popular vote twice; he lost both the House and Senate for his party; and more than 383,000 Americans have died from covid-19 on his watch. He has clearly sewn up the title of “worst president ever.” If found guilty by a soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, he will be unable to run for office again and may lose his post-presidential benefits (e.g., salary, travel allowance). But that is far from his biggest worry.

Trump may be sued civilly or charged criminally for tax avoidance or other financial crimes that state prosecutors in New York are investigating. Depending on the charges, he could face significant fines or even imprisonment. (Trump has maintained that he has done nothing improper.)

Speaking of finances, Trump reportedly has more than $400 million in loans coming due. However, his banks are cutting ties. Deutsche Bank, which holds about $340 million of the debt, and Signature Bank do not want to do business with him. It is far from clear what lender is going to take him on as a client. He might need help from his overseas authoritarian friends.

Trump may also face a federal criminal investigation for seeking to change election results in Georgia during two phone calls with state election officials — one of which was recorded. In addition to potential federal crimes for election offenses, prosecutors will need to look at whether his vague threat of criminal liability in his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger qualified as extortion.

That was all before we got to his Jan. 6 activities. Federal investigators and the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., as well as senior Justice Department officials will need to determine whether there is a basis to charge Trump with incitement to riot or conspiracy to commit sedition. They will look not simply at Trump’s remarks that day, but also his tweet calling for “wild” protests in the capital, his rhetoric after the election and his conduct during the siege, when he failed to issue a clear, unequivocal directive for his people to stand down. (That the president managed to issue a statement on the day of his second impeachment proactively calling for “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” makes his hours-long silence on Jan. 6 look even worse.)

Beyond criminal liability, Trump could surely be sued by the relatives of those killed or injured in the siege, or to cover the costs incurred to repair damage. He cannot be sued for “official conduct,” but leading a riot to overturn an election will be difficult to slot into the category of “official duties,” to put it mildly. It was a continuation of his campaign intended to give him a second term, not to effectuate any policy or interest during his existing term.

Even on the slim chance that Trump is never charged with any crime and manages to escape all civil liability, he will be deeply in debt (his original debt plus any costs to defend himself in court). He will also be a social and business pariah, banned from social media and unwelcome in most democratic countries. It is not clear how many people are going to pay to belong to a seditionist’s Mar-a-Lago Club or stay at any of his properties.

One can surely understand why the prospect of losing was so terrifying for him — aside from the humiliation. Quite simply, he faces a miserable post-presidency.

Snarky Is Baaaaaaack!

My snarky side took a bit of a break after the events in my own life on Monday night, but suddenly it has returned with a vengeance!  No point in holding it back, now is there?


Delusional bimbo

I had to laugh when I read that Kellyanne Conway said …

kellyanne“From the time the electors certified the results to the time the president leaves office should have been spent reviewing and reliving the policy accomplishments of his four years and reminding Americans we are more peaceful or prosperous.”

We are neither more peaceful nor prosperous by any stretch of the imagination than we were before Donald Trump took office.  We are more divided than at any time in at least the last 150 years, as evidenced by the events of last Wednesday and the aftermath.  And prosperous?  All time record high unemployment numbers, people who cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, and between 3,000-4,000 people dying every day of a pandemic that was so poorly handled by the Trump administration that the world looks on in disgust. 

Sorry, Kellyanne, but your ‘hero’ is a big-time loser who has done more damage to this nation and its people than any other president in the history of the United States.  His ‘legacy’, such as it is, will be one of death and destruction.


Republicans and impeachment

I was pleased to see that 10 republican members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of impeachment.  Mind you, it’s too little too late, so I’m not going to propose that perhaps they’ve found a conscience and regret their prior sycophancy to Trump, but for this time anyway, they managed to do the right thing. 

I’m also pleased to read that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has condemned Trump’s actions of last week and said he ‘might’ even consider voting to convict Trump on the impeachment charges once the charges are presented to the Senate and they conduct a trial.  I’m not holding my breath, and again, it’s way too little far too late for him to redeem himself.  Best thing he could do after the impeachment trial would be to resign from the Senate … he’s way past his “best by …” date.  However, McConnell holds a great deal of sway with other republicans in the Senate, and if he votes to convict Trump on the charges, I believe that other republican senators will follow suit, which could result in the necessary 17 republican votes needed to convict Trump, thus ensuring that he can never again hold public office.  Not even as sanitation worker or dogcatcher. 

It’s interesting how some of the republicans are appalled by what Trump did, inciting a terrorist rebellion against the United States from within, but yet refuse to condemn him, saying that impeachment or any form of punishment would only further divide the nation.  WTF???  How can we get any more divided? 


As if

I hear Trump released a video of himself yesterday reading a statement that was obviously not written by him …

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Right, Donnie.  I read that Ivanka, Jared and others begged him to read the statement and record the video telling him that it would boost his image among republicans who were turning against him.  I actually wonder, reading those words, if somebody wasn’t off to the side with a gun pointed at his head, for this is a far cry from his words of a week ago when he said he would never concede and urged his terrorist supporters to ‘go to war’ for him.

If I had to guess, I would guess that through some other venue, perhaps one of his children’s social media accounts, he is talking out of the other side of his mouth, encouraging another terrorist riot similar to last Wednesday’s next week. 


Congratulations, Donnie …

Ol’ Trumpie always declares he is first, best, and any other superlative he can think of, like covfefe.  Well, he’s got his wish … he is the FIRST president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice!  Way to go, Donnie … we knew you could do it! 


Two worthwhile reads …

Two of my blogging buddies, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and Keith at Musings of an Old Fart, published excellent posts last night.  I wanted to re-blog them both, but had already started this post and … well, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to expend, so instead I am including a link to both here and I really hope you will check them out … you won’t be sorry!

If You Still Think The Election Was Rigged  by Keith Wilson

The Big Lie(s)  by Jeff Marzick


Last but not least, Don Lemon hits the nail on the head with this one …