America’s Wake-Up Call — Our Final Thoughts …

The election is just four days away and this will be the last pre-election post that Jeff and I will likely be doing.  We were pondering what our final words to you should be, what one last thought we wanted to leave you with before this momentous election.  The one thing that weighs heavily on all of our minds is what our country will look like four years from now, for we are at a turning point in many areas and how we respond going forward to such things as the pandemic, climate change, income disparity, healthcare and more will have a dramatic effect on whether this nation thrives or fails in the coming years.

With that in mind, we want to leave you with our thoughts on what the U.S. will be in four years under each of the candidates for the presidency.  We will not engage in hyperbole or wild fantasies but will try to imagine in our own minds what each of these candidates will realistically be able to accomplish … or destroy.


2024 Under Donald Trump

It’s 2024 and Donald Trump has now been president for seven years and a few months.  At the beginning of his second term, back in 2021, the pandemic ravaged the nation.  With more than one million dead by the end of 2021, there was not a single family that hadn’t suffered the loss of a loved one.  Worse yet, the job market tanked as most every state, with the exception of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas imposed strict lockdown measures in order to try to save lives.  Chaos reigned, especially in the cities where bands of gun-toting marauders roamed the streets, making it unsafe for people to go about their business.  Fortunately, by the summer of 2022, a reliable, safe vaccine had been widely distributed and the pandemic was downgraded, with fewer and fewer people becoming ill.  Although the vaccine was created and manufactured at Oxford University in England, Donald Trump took full credit and told us we should get on our knees and thank him.

So many things have gone seriously wrong in these past four years that I don’t know where to begin.  It’s almost impossible to remember when the EU, UK, Canada, Australia and many other countries were our allies, and there was mutual respect between us.  Today, it’s safe to say that no nation on the planet respects the U.S.  Trump’s foreign policy is non-existent and changes on a day-by-day basis.  The only constants are that he is on the friendliest terms with Russia’s Putin, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, North Korea’s Kim Jong un, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman … all of whom are autocratic, despicable leaders.  Our former allies watch us closely with suspicious eyes and there has been talk of a wide-scale full trade embargo if we do not take drastic steps to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as plastic waste.  Trump, meanwhile, scoffs and like a schoolboy, taunts the European leaders.  There will be a price to pay … one that we will all pay — are already paying.

As a result of Trump’s trade deals and ridiculous tariffs, our cost of living has increased significantly … a trip to the grocery store is now approximately 40% higher than it was four short years ago … and yet wages have barely risen in most industries.  Time and time again, Trump has refused to sign into law a $15 an hour federal minimum wage law, and today the federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, as it has been since July 24, 2009 – some fifteen years!  In 2020, nearly 46 million people in this country lived below the poverty level.  Today, that number has nearly doubled to 89 million people, with women who are single parents being hit the hardest.

Perhaps the most heart-breaking thing over the past four years is the way in which Trump has openly promoted racism and other forms of bigotry.  While he still has managed to build only a few miles of the abominable wall he promised 8 years ago, immigrants have largely stopped trying to come to this country, for in 2021 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) shot and killed hundreds of asylum seekers attempting to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  This they did with Trump’s approval, and though lawsuits were filed, while some courts found ICE guilty, the Supreme Court, now with a 7-2 conservative bench since the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, ruled that ICE was only doing their job.  Police departments across the nation are aware that there will be no repercussions for harassing people of colour and immigrants. Last year in Portland, Oregon, a gang of white supremacist thugs murdered eight Black men on their way home from a bachelor’s party and last week, every one of the white supremacist murderers were awarded a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

The suicide rate last year doubled from just a decade ago, and such things as drug use and alcoholism are, according to the experts, at an all-time high, not surprisingly.  People are tired, they are hungry, they are struggling just to put food on the table, while the wealthy corporate executives now pay almost no taxes, and Trump has undermined such social programs as housing assistance, medical assistance and food stamps such that many see no alternative but death. Today, Social Security … the government-mandated pension plan we all paid into for our entire lives, is on the Supreme Court chopping block, leaving seniors wondering how they can survive.

The day that Trump was re-elected in 2020 was the darkest day in this nation’s history, and the darkness has not yet lifted … won’t lift until he … and his family … are out of office.


2024 Under Joe Biden

Well, here we are … another election year.  Joe Biden has been president for just over three years now, and overall, I believe the nation is better today than it was four years ago.  The first two years of his administration were rocky, mainly because it was a time of trying to reverse course from the Trump years, and so many who had given Trump their support tried to throw every possible obstacle up in front of Biden’s attempts to repair the damage.

I well remember the winter of 2021 when Biden ordered the shutting of non-essential businesses for a period of 60 days in order to try to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  There were riots in the street, people claiming their ‘rights’ had been violated, and every day Trump was on Fox News, further stirring the masses.  But, Biden’s plan ultimately worked, and by the end of March, new cases were less than 100 per day, and deaths were down to 20-30 per day.  The masses began to see that there was method to the madness.

And then the great fossil fuel debate, after Biden almost immediately re-joined the Paris Climate Accords, setting off the oil, gas, and coal companies.  But, by early last year, there were far more jobs available in the renewable energy fields than there had been in 2019 in the fossil fuel industry, and even the most devoted climate deniers had to admit that this was a win-win.  Not, of course, before windmills and a couple of solar energy facilities were blown up by said activists, but even that didn’t stop us from moving forward.

We still haven’t quite managed a Universal Health Care plan, but we’re a step or two closer than we were four, or even eight years ago.  Joe Biden did as he had promised, built on the Affordable Care Act that had been established under President Obama, made sure that nobody could be denied health insurance at an affordable rate, and that nobody would be left out due to a pre-existing condition such as heart problems, diabetes, chronic lung problems or any other condition.  Prescription drugs are still more expensive than in most other countries, but the costs are coming down, slowly but surely.  I believe that in the next four years, if Biden is given a second term, we will achieve something very close to Universal Health Care, but I am not holding my breath.

As we feared four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court did, in fact, overturn Roe v Wade and women’s rights took a hit.  However, 42 of the 50 states have passed laws allowing a woman to have an abortion up to 22 weeks into her pregnancy in most cases, which has taken the teeth out of the Supreme Court reversal.  On a brighter note, though they tried, the Court was unable to overturn Obergefell v Hodges, and same-sex marriages are still legal under federal law.  Unfortunately, the evangelical churches continue to stir antagonism against the LGBT community.

In addition to re-joining the Paris Climate Accords, President Biden has invested a great deal of time in becoming more involved in the United Nations and NATO, has re-joined the World Health Organization (WHO), and has brought the U.S. back into the Iran nuclear agreement, although by this time, Iran had already increased its supply of plutonium and was well into the testing stages of their nuclear program.  Most importantly, though, President Biden has reassured our allies that we consider them to be highly valued friends, and he has taken steps to ensure that Russia and other countries will not have access to programs that would enable them to interfere with this year’s election.  Although, since Vladimir Putin’s assassination last year, Russia has been less concerned with our affairs.

Mind you, everything hasn’t been a bed of roses.  The first two years were rocky, to say the least, and it wasn’t easy for President Biden to earn the trust of the people of this nation, particularly those who still felt cheated and left out by our government, those who had blindly supported Donald Trump and his loss felt as if the rug had been pulled out from underneath their feet.  But Biden didn’t give up, he kept his promises, he truly represented ALL of the people, not just democrats or republicans, but all of us.  By his third year, people were getting used to his sometimes-hesitant speech, to his infamous opening line, “Now here’s the thing …” People were starting to see that with the new federal minimum wage of $15 per hour they had more money left over at the end of the pay cycle, were even able to save some for a rainy day.  They were grateful to be able to take their child to the doctor without worrying about how to pay.  And, they were grateful, whether they admitted it or not, for the peace, the lack of chaos.  There has been very little turnover in this administration, agencies like the EPA and Health & Human Services have been brought back to do the job they were initially intended to do.  Domestic terror events have decreased, though groups like the Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups are still around, but just not as prevalent since this administration has taken domestic terrorism threats very seriously.

Racism is still with us, and perhaps it always will be.  The number of racist incidents by police has been reduced since the Biden administration’s renewed efforts to screen and train police officers around the country, however just last month a black teen was shot and killed by police in Dallas, Texas, as he was walking home from a high school sporting event after dark.  The officer was immediately terminated and now awaits trial.

Four years ago, when Joe Biden was elected, I think we had hopes that the rifts, the things that divide us … democrat vs republican … would heal quickly, but sadly they have not.  They are healing, but ever so slowly.  There are those who would still welcome Trump and his plans to build a wall, and they are among the most vocal of all.  And there are those among the democratic ranks who haven’t forgotten Trump and all the damage he inflicted on this nation … in fact, I think it’s safe to say that this nation is still very much divided by Trump and his radical views almost as much today as we were four years ago.

I’d like to say that this has returned to being a nation I could look at with pride, but it has not.  I wonder if it ever will?  Yes, things are better today, at least in the view of the majority of us, but I feel that there is always a threat out there, that disaster is always just a day away.  I’m not sure this nation can ever heal completely.


This concludes mine and Jeff’s project.  We hope that what we’ve done over the past 10 months has helped clarify some of the issues, the candidates’ positions, and the importance of this election.  Just four more days, though the results may not be known for another week, possibly even two.  Thanks for bearing with us, for joining in our conversation, and I hope that we all get our wish next week.

America’s Wake-Up Call — Table of Contents

Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

The Pressure Builds.

A couple of days ago, our friend David wrote a piece on his blog, The Buthidars, about our upcoming (in 4 days!!!) election, the confirmation of Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court, and other current issues. Interestingly, his post coincided with the thoughts I was having about asking some of our non-U.S. readers for a guest post regarding their views on our election. Often I find that our readers from Canada, Australia, the UK and EU have a better perspective than we do about our situation. I shall start with David’s post this morning, and invite any and all from outside the U.S. to email me if you are interested in writing a guest post sharing your own views. Thank you, David, for sharing your views, and for allowing me to share them with my readers/friends.

The BUTHIDARS

In Wales we are under a Firebreak Lockdown. That’s new rules on top of the Lockdown I mentioned in my last post. It was set to last 17 days and if the Gods are smiling it should end on November 9th. That of course is going to depend on how bad the Coronavirus is in the areas that were spiking. one of which would appear to be mine. I certainly don’t mind about these rules for the sake of our health, after all I’m high risk in a high risk area and may not survive a bout with this illness. What both surprises me and annoys me in equal measure is the number of people who are happy to walk around without masks, If they want to infect themselves well and good, it’s their choice, but why take a chance on infecting me.

Another little niggle is that what they…

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Trumpism on Full Display in Omaha

This, my friends, is what it takes to be a supporter of Donald Trump.  This is the level of blind ignorance and devotion that the megalomaniac requires of his foolowers (new word, courtesy of David Prosser).  And this is what the United States is turning into.

On The Fence Voters

One of my earliest posts on this blog site wasTrumpism, Explained. In that post I gave my rather long but comprehensive definition of Trumpism:

Definition: Trumpism is a movement made up mostly of willfully ignorant traditionalists whose self-centeredness makes them oblivious to the oppression or neglect of anyone outside themselves and their closest companions and willing to defy historic ethical norms to achieve their desired goals.

Loyal Supporters Abandoned

The Trump re-election rally in Omaha on Tuesday evening, flawlessly illustrates and validates that definition. In case you have not yet heard what occurred there, here’s a report from Newsweek:

Backers of President Donald Trump were left stranded overnight, with several taken to hospitals for hypothermia after an Omaha campaign rally ended in chaos.

Hundreds were bused in to the Eppley Airfield site, leaving their cars in parking lots, but were left wandering up to four miles in…

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I Couldn’t Have Said It Better

This morning’s OpEd by Frank Bruni in the New York Times took the words right out of my mouth.  I think most everyone who reads Filosofa’s Word will be able to relate to his words, will find themselves nodding and saying, “Yes, that’s it exactly!”  His piece won’t change any minds … at this late date, just 5 days before the most consequential election of our lifetime, minds are already made up, votes already cast.  But Bruni gives us food for thought, and that’s all most of us can do.


How Will I Ever Look at America the Same Way Again?

Oct. 29, 2020

bruni-2By Frank Bruni

It’s always assumed that those of us who felt certain of Hillary Clinton’s victory in 2016 were putting too much trust in polls.

I was putting too much trust in Americans.

I’d seen us err. I’d watched us stray. Still I didn’t think that enough of us would indulge a would-be leader as proudly hateful, patently fraudulent and flamboyantly dishonest as Donald Trump.

We had episodes of ugliness, but this? No way. We were better than Trump.

Except, it turned out, we weren’t.

Never mind that the Russians gave him a boost. Or that he lost the popular vote. Some 46 percent of the Americans who cast ballots for president in 2016 picked him, and as he moved into the White House and proceeded to soil it, most of those Americans stood by him solidly enough that Republicans in Congress didn’t dare to cross him and in fact went to great, conscience-immolating lengths to prop him up. These lawmakers weren’t swooning for a demagogue. They were reading the populace.

And it was a populace I didn’t recognize, or at least didn’t want to.

What has Trump’s presidency taken from us? I’m reasonably sure that many Americans feel the same loss that I do, and I’m struggling to assign just one word to it.

Innocence? Optimism? Faith? Go to the place on the Venn diagram where those states of mind overlap. That’s the piece of me now missing when I look at this beloved country of mine.

Trump snuffed out my confidence, flickering but real, that we could go only so low and forgive only so much. With him we went lower — or at least a damningly large percentage of us did. In him we forgave florid cruelty, overt racism, rampant corruption, exultant indecency, the coddling of murderous despots, the alienation of true friends, the alienation of truth itself, the disparagement of invaluable institutions, the degradation of essential democratic traditions.

He played Russian roulette with Americans’ lives. He played Russian roulette with his own aides’ lives. In a sane and civil country, of the kind I long thought I lived in, his favorability ratings would have fallen to negative integers, a mathematical impossibility but a moral imperative. In this one, they never changed all that much.

Polls from mid-October showed that about 44 percent of voters approved of Trump’s job performance — and this was after he’d concealed aspects of his coronavirus infection from the public, shrugged off the larger meaning of it, established the White House as its own superspreader environment and cavalierly marched on.

Forty-four percent. Who in God’s name are we?

I’m not forgetting pre-Trump American history. I’m not erasing hundreds of years of slavery, the internment of Japanese Americans, the many kinds of discrimination that have flourished in my own lifetime, all the elections in which we Americans made stupid choices and all the presidents who did “un-American” things. We’re a grossly imperfect country, our behavior at frequent odds with our ideals.

But for every abomination, I could name a moment of grace. For many of our sins, stabs at atonement. We demonstrated a yearning to correct our mistakes and, I think, a tropism toward goodness. On balance we were open, generous. When I traveled abroad, people from other countries routinely complimented Americans for that. They experienced us as arrogant, but also as special.

Now they just pity us.

How much of this can we pin on Trump? Not as much as we try to. And oh, how we’ve tried. This obsession of the news media and his detractors with every last eccentricity and inanity isn’t just about keeping a complete record, I’ve come to realize. It’s also a deflection, an evasion: If he gets the whole of the stage, then Americans’ complicity and collaboration are shoved into the wings.

And the freakier we make him out to be, the less emblematic he is. The more he becomes a random, isolated event. We emphasized what a vanquishable opponent Hillary Clinton was because that diminished the significance of the vanquishing and the vanquisher. We spoke of a perfect storm of circumstances that led to his election as a way of disowning the weather.

We cheered on Robert Mueller’s investigation not just because it might hold Trump and his wretched accomplices to account but also because it might explain him away, proving that he reached the White House by cheating, not because he was what nearly half of the country decided that they wanted.

We tried to make him a one-and-done one-off. But deep into his presidency, when his execrable character had been fully exposed, his Fox News cheerleaders continued to draw huge audiences for their sycophantic panegyrics.

Trump himself continued to attract big crowds to his rallies, like the one in Greenville, N.C., in July 2019, when he pressed his attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color, including Representative Ilhan Omar, who immigrated from Somalia. Egged on by him, his audience chanted: “Send her back! Send her back!” He stopped speaking to give those words room, and he soaked them in.

Or what about the recent rally in Muskegon, Mich., where he freshly assailed the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, despite the fact that his obsessive denunciations of her had possibly been a factor in an alleged plot by 14 men to kidnap her? “Lock her up!” many of the attendees bellowed, to Trump’s obvious amusement.

Again, how has his approval rating not fallen to negative integers?

I’m not saying that support for him is spun entirely of malice or bias. Keen economic anxiety and profound political estrangement are why many voters turned to him, as my Times colleague Farah Stockman explained especially well in a recent editorial that was set in America’s disheartened heartland. “Even false hope,” she noted, “is a form of hope, perhaps the most ubiquitous kind.”

The headline on the article was “Why They Loved Him.” But why haven’t more of them stopped loving him? And how did so many Americans beyond that group fall so hard for him, thrilling to his recklessness, applauding his divisiveness, indulging his unscrupulousness? He tapped into more cynicism and nihilism than this land of boundless tomorrows was supposed to contain.

He tapped into more conspiratorialism, too. And I do mean “tapped.” Trump didn’t draw out anything that wasn’t already there, burbling beneath the surface.

He didn’t sire white supremacists. He didn’t script the dark fantasies of QAnon. He didn’t create all the Americans who rebelled against protective masks and mocked those who wore them, a selfish mind-set that helps explain our tragic lot. It just flourished under him.

And it will almost certainly survive him. The foul spirit of these past five years — I’m including his hateful campaign — has been both pervasive and strangely proud. That’s what makes it different. That’s what makes it so chilling.

I could be overreacting. Maybe, just ahead, there will be moments of grace, enough of them to redeem us. Maybe I’ll look up on or after Nov. 3 and see that Biden has won North Carolina, has won Michigan, has won every closely contested state and the presidency in a landslide. Maybe I’ll have to eat my words.

Please, my fellow Americans, feed me my words. I’d relish that meal.

Character Matters? Not to This GOP

The majority of people in this country, including republicans, felt the confirmation and swearing in of Amy Barrett was improper and inappropriate, that a nomination should have waited until after January 20th when we have a new (please, please, please …) president. The entire confirmation process was rushed through, and Barrett is not at all qualified for the position, never even having tried a case! She can never fill the shoes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg … perhaps nobody can, but Barrett damn sure cannot. Our friend Jeff has put into words what I think the majority of us are feeling. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Back during the Clinton years, all you heard from the Republican Party was how important character was for a president of the United States. Now, of course, you’ll never hear that word in any shape or form from the current Republican occupants in Congress. Gee, I wonder why?

It’s a trend that’s been going on for a while now. Embracing the current president as they’ve done for nearly four years shows that the party could give a rat’s you know what about character. They parked themselves squarely in Donald Trump’s orbit, rarely a whisper or a peep of discontent, other than the occasional “privately, many Senators are appalled at the president’s statements.” Privately?

Cowards – every damn one of them.

And while we’re speaking about character, how about we address a certain newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice by the name of Amy Comey Barrett? Can we please talk about her…

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Voting Rights — CHAOS!

This is our only chance for the next four years to decide who will be the president of this nation, and the Republican Party and its representatives are attempting to curtail our constitutional right to cast our vote.  This year, because of a pandemic that is once again raging out of control, many of us cannot or will not spend an hour or more in line inside a building waiting to vote, nor should we need to.  A large number of us, myself included, requested mail-in ballots and will be voting by mail, or by dropping our ballots off in person at a designated drop box.

However, the United States Postal Service, now run by a man, Louis DeJoy, who has no experience, whose only qualification for the job was the large sums of money he has donated to Donald Trump, is so inefficient that it took ten days for me to receive a letter that was mailed from 15 miles away!  That could be a problem if someone mailed a ballot on, say, October 30th, or even today!  The girls and I took our ballots to the drop box at the Board of Elections, but some people, especially senior citizens, may not have that luxury.

There are numerous lawsuits in many states to expand voting rights, to allow ballots received after November 3rd as long as they were postmarked on or before that date.  Republicans are, naturally, opposed to anything that expands voting rights.  The good news is that people have been voting, despite the obstacles thrown in their way by the not-so-grand old party, and this morning I read that 51% of the number of people who voted in 2016 have already cast their votes this year!  That is truly inspiring … I think it quite possible that in spite of the GOP’s best efforts, we will have record turnout this year.

Here are some of the latest legal developments related to voting rights cases per the New York Times – some positive, others not so much:

Pennsylvania: The state’s highest court has ruled that election officials should count mailed ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day. Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to get the Supreme Court to reverse the order, so that only ballots received by Election Day will count.

North Carolina: Republicans and the Trump campaign have asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s board of elections from extending the deadline to receive mail ballots. The board has said ballots can arrive until Nov. 12, as long as they were mailed by Election Day.

Wisconsin: The five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court sided on Monday with Republican officials in Wisconsin, ruling that ballots must arrive by 8 p.m. on Election Day to count. (A lower-court ruling would have allowed state officials to count any mailed ballots postmarked by Election Day and received up to six days later.) In response, the state’s Democratic Party is urging voters to return mail ballots in person — to a drop box or clerk’s office — rather than mailing them.

Nevada: The Trump campaign has sued to stop the counting of absentee ballots in the Las Vegas area, evidently hoping to challenge the signatures on many ballots. Last night, the campaign and Nevada Republican Party filed a separate lawsuit, seeking detailed information on the vote-counting process.

Texas: The state’s top court yesterday upheld a policy announced by Greg Abbott, the Republican governor, which limits each county to a single drop-off box for mailed ballots. The state’s largest county — Harris, which includes Houston — is home to 4.7 million people.

Michigan: A conservative judge yesterday overturned an order by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and ruled that people could carry unconcealed guns at polling places on Election Day.

In many of these cases, Republicans have argued that changing voting rules because of the pandemic could lead to fraud (a claim that’s largely baseless) and that allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day leads to confusion and chaos.

Democrats have argued that protecting people’s right to vote, during a national crisis, should be top priority. Democrats have also pointed out that some Republicans have changed their position on the counting of mailed ballots: When late-arriving ballots seemed likely to help George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Republicans argued that the state should count them.

The Michigan decision is appalling.  Why the hell does anybody need to take a gun with them to vote???  This is possibly the most ridiculous judicial decision I have ever heard and can only lead to trouble.  In my book, anybody being allowed to take a gun into the polling place constitutes potential voter intimidation.  Now, given that the majority of gun-nuts in this country are republicans … does anybody else see a problem here?

If at all possible, my friends, take your ballots to an official drop box, or don your masks and hand sanitizer and vote in person, for I simply do not trust the USPS to get the ballots delivered on time.

USA Can’t Even Measure Up To One Of Trump’s Sh*tHole’s Country’s Leader In Tackling COVID 19

Hmmmm … seems like maybe the U.S. is lagging behind even ‘third-world’ countries in managing the pandemic! Thank you, Gronda, for this enlightening post! Meanwhile, the U.S. needs some real leadership — something that has been sorely lacking for almost four years!

Gronda Morin

Remember when Donald J Trump was spouting off about sh*thole countries in places like Africa and how his GOP cronies in the US Congress were mum as he vented on these racist leanings.

See below links to reports regarding how the leader Macky Sall of one of the president’s sh*thole countries, Senegal with extremely limited resources, has successfully contained the spread of the COVID19 pandemic within his country.  It has become evident that the White House can’t even begin to measure up to the leadership of one of his listed sh*thole countries to contain/ prevent the spread of a coronavirus within the USA.

Recently, President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in a CNN interview with its host, Jack Tapper, blurted out a truth many of us had been suspicious about for months, “We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we…

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ABOMINABLE!!!

The symbol for the Republican Party is the elephant, and for the Democratic Party is a donkey.  I think somebody got it wrong, for quite frankly every republican in the current administration and in Congress is a Grade-A Jackass, aka a donkey.  They wasted no time last night, not only confirming Amy Barrett to the United States Supreme Court, but also swearing her in right then and there.  The two most unconscionable moves that senate republicans have made this year were giving Donald Trump carte blanche to destroy lives when they failed to do their duty in February and refused to convict him at the end of the sham of an impeachment trial, and this, shoving through a closed-minded, religious freak on to the Supreme Court within short weeks of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

I echo the words of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer …

“The American people will never forget this blatant act of bad faith. They will never forget your complete disregard for their voices, for the people standing in line right now voting their choice, not your choice.” 

He is absolutely correct … we will never forget what the following jackasses have done to us:

  1. Alexander, Lamar — Tennessee (retiring at the end of this term)
  2. Barrasso, John — Wyoming
  3. Blackburn, Marsha — Tennessee
  4. Blunt, Roy — Missouri
  5. Boozman, John — Arkansas
  6. Braun, Mike — Indiana
  7. Burr, Richard — North Carolina
  8. Capito, Shelley Moore — West Virginia
  9. Cassidy, Bill — Louisiana
  10. Collins, Susan M. — Maine
  11. Cornyn, John — Texas
  12. Cotton, Tom — Arkansas
  13. Cramer, Kevin — North Dakota
  14. Crapo, Mike — Idaho
  15. Cruz, Ted — Texas
  16. Daines, Steve — Montana
  17. Enzi, Michael B. — Wyoming (retiring at the end of this term)
  18. Ernst, Joni — Iowa
  19. Fischer, Deb — Nebraska
  20. Gardner, Cory — Colorado
  21. Graham, Lindsey — South Carolina
  22. Grassley, Chuck — Iowa
  23. Hawley, Josh — Missouri
  24. Hoeven, John — North Dakota
  25. Hyde-Smith, Cindy — Mississippi
  26. Inhofe, James M. — Oklahoma
  27. Johnson, Ron — Wisconsin
  28. Kennedy, John — Louisiana
  29. Lankford, James — Oklahoma
  30. Lee, Mike — Utah
  31. Loeffler, Kelly — Georgia
  32. McConnell, Mitch — Kentucky
  33. McSally, Martha — Arizona
  34. Moran, Jerry — Kansas
  35. Murkowski, Lisa — Alaska
  36. Paul, Rand — Kentucky
  37. Perdue, David — Georgia
  38. Portman, Rob — Ohio
  39. Risch, James E. — Idaho
  40. Roberts, Pat — Kansas (retiring at the end of this term)
  41. Romney, Mitt — Utah
  42. Rounds, Mike — South Dakota
  43. Rubio, Marco — Florida
  44. Sasse, Ben — Nebraska
  45. Scott, Rick — Florida
  46. Scott, Tim — South Carolina
  47. Shelby, Richard C. — Alabama
  48. Sullivan, Dan — Alaska
  49. Thune, John — South Dakota
  50. Tillis, Thom — North Carolina
  51. Toomey, Patrick J. — Pennsylvania
  52. Wicker, Roger F. — Mississippi
  53. Young, Todd — Indiana

The ones in (red) are up for re-election next week … VOTE THEM OUT!  Meanwhile, if you have ever voted for any of the above people, you should first write a letter of apology to We the People, then go bash your head against a concrete wall 50 times to see if you can knock some sense into it!

Yes, I’m angry … no, wait … not angry … FURIOUS!

The ignoble Mitch McConnell plainly stated that they did not act in the interests of We the People, nor did they act out of any sort of values or conscience … they acted only because they could, because they had the majority.  Oh, in case you’re interested, Susan Collins of Maine was the only republican to vote “nay”, but don’t give her too much credit, for she has licked Trump’s boots enough times in the past, and by her own admission, she wasn’t actually against Barrett’s confirmation, just against the way it had been ramrodded through against the will of the people of this nation, some 70+% of whom supported waiting and letting the next president nominate the justice who would try to fill the shoes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Ms. Barrett damn sure cannot fill those shoes!

So, republicans … while we’ve all talked about working together to narrow the partisan divide in this country, you 53 people, and any who support a single one of these unconscionable asses, have just widened the gap even more … something I didn’t think possible.  I hold each and every one of these 53 people responsible for what happens in the future to our right to healthcare, to LGBT rights, and to women’s rights, for Ms. Barrett is against all of those and more.

Until tonight, I have had strong reservations about the next president adding justices to the court, but as of tonight, I do hope that Joe Biden adds a minimum of four more justices and nominates fair, impartial, honest justices, not narrow-minded bigots like Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and now Barrett.

Food For Thought …

Today it is likely that Amy Barrett will be confirmed by a majority in the U.S. Senate.  Unconscionable?  Yes, for many reasons, but nonetheless inevitable.  In yesterday’s edition of The Guardian, Robert Reich wrote about what needs to happen next, assuming that Joe Biden is the next president and that the democrats can keep a majority in the House and gain a majority in the Senate – once considered unlikely, but far more realistic today.


Trump assaulted American democracy – here’s how Democrats can save it

Amy Coney Barrett is heading for confirmation but supreme court and Senate reform is possible if Biden wins and acts fast

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

Barring a miracle, Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed on Monday as the ninth justice on the US supreme court.

This is a travesty of democracy.

The vote on Barrett’s confirmation will occur just eight days before election day. By contrast, the Senate didn’t even hold a hearing on Merrick Garland, who Barack Obama nominated almost a year before the end of his term. Majority leader Mitch McConnell argued at the time that any vote should wait “until we have a new president”.

Barrett was nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3m ballots, and who was impeached by the House of Representatives. When Barrett joins the court, five of the nine justices will have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.

The Republican senators who will vote for her represent 15 million fewer Americans than their Democratic colleagues.

Once on the high court, Barrett will join five other reactionaries who together will be able to declare laws unconstitutional, for perhaps a generation.

Barrett’s confirmation is the culmination of years in which a shrinking and increasingly conservative, rural and white segment of the US population has been imposing its will on the rest of America. They’ve been bankrolled by big business, seeking lower taxes and fewer regulations.

In the event Joe Biden becomes president on 20 January and both houses of Congress come under control of the Democrats, they can reverse this trend. It may be the last chance – both for the Democrats and, more importantly, for American democracy.

How?

For starters, increase the size of the supreme court. The constitution says nothing about the number of justices. The court changed size seven times in its first 80 years, from as few as five justices under John Adams to 10 under Abraham Lincoln.

Biden says if elected he’ll create a bipartisan commission to study a possible court overhaul “because it’s getting out of whack”. That’s fine, but he’ll need to move quickly. The window of opportunity could close by the 2022 midterm elections.

Second, abolish the Senate filibuster. Under current rules, 60 votes are needed to enact legislation. This means that if Democrats win a bare majority there, Republicans could block any new legislation Biden hopes to pass.

The filibuster could be ended with a rule change requiring 51 votes. There is growing support among Democrats for doing this if they gain that many seats. During the campaign, Biden acknowledged that the filibuster has become a negative force in government.

The filibuster is not in the constitution either.

The most ambitious structural reform would be to rebalance the Senate itself. For decades, rural states have been emptying as the US population has shifted to vast megalopolises. The result is a growing disparity in representation, especially of nonwhite voters.

For example, both California, with a population of 40 million, and Wyoming, whose population is 579,000, get two senators. If population trends continue, by 2040 some 40% of Americans will live in just five states, and half of America will be represented by 18 Senators, the other half by 82.

This distortion also skews the electoral college, because each state’s number of electors equals its total of senators and representatives. Hence, the recent presidents who have lost the popular vote.

This growing imbalance can be remedied by creating more states representing a larger majority of Americans. At the least, statehood should be granted to Washington DC. And given that one out of eight Americans now lives in California – whose economy, if it were a separate country, would be the ninth-largest in the world – why not split it into a North and South California?

The constitution is also silent on the number of states.

Those who recoil from structural reforms such as the three I’ve outlined warn that Republicans will retaliate when they return to power. That’s rubbish. Republicans have already altered the ground rules. In 2016, they failed to win a majority of votes cast for the House, Senate or the presidency, yet secured control of all three.

Barrett’s ascent is the latest illustration of how grotesque the power imbalance has become, and how it continues to entrench itself ever more deeply. If not reversed soon, it will be impossible to remedy.

What’s at stake is not partisan politics. It is representative government. If Democrats get the opportunity, they must redress this growing imbalance – for the sake of democracy.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 10/24

I thought it was time to lighten it up a bit, and while the political cartoons these days often aren’t exactly funny, they are brilliant in the way they can sum up a situation with few or no words.  How I wish I had artistic talent!  So, instead of the post I had planned for this afternoon, I am sharing instead TokyoSand’s weekly collection featuring the ‘best of the best’ cartoons from the past week.  Thank you, TS, for this excellent collection!


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