Mad As Hell! (Part II)

Last week I wrote a post titled “Mad as Hell!”, and then after some thought, I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be more to come, so I added “(Part I)” to the title.  Lo and behold, I was right.  I can only wonder how many parts I will end up with.

The word of the day is … well, actually there are several words of the day:  stonewall, injustice, dishonesty, and I could think of more, but why bother?  Yes, I am talking about the Mitch McConnell Dog-and-Pony show happening as we speak in the Capitol building in Washington D.C.  McConnell and his cronies seem to be programmed to say one word only:  NO.  No, you can’t subpoena documents from the White House.  No, you can’t call John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney or Robert Blair or Michael Duffy or virtually any other witness.  No, you cannot subpoena documents from either the Department of Defense or the Office of Management and Budget.  What a SHAM this trial has already, after only one day, turned into.

My question … at least my first one … is this:  If McConnell and the other 52 republican fools in the Senate truly believe that Donald Trump is NOT guilty of any wrongdoing, then why the hell are they so afraid of any witness testimony or document review?  It seems to me that if they believe he is innocent, they would welcome such witnesses and evidence, to show the American public once and for all that Trump did nothing wrong.  So … all this subterfuge, all the games that McConnell is engaging in … they point heavily to the fact that McConnell and the entire rest of the right side of the aisle in the Senate are altogether too well aware that the defendant, Donald Trump, is guilty as charged … and then some.

And if you thought that Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts presiding over the trial would bring even an element of fairness, then think again, for he is proving himself to be naught more than just another of Trump’s hired goons.  History will not be kind to him, nor to any of the actors in this dog-and-pony show, but they don’t seem to think past the nose on their faces.

Granted, we all knew that at the end of the day, Trump will be acquitted because … for some reason that as yet eludes me, they seem scared shitless of Trump and will throw their very careers in the trash to bow to his wishes.  However, one would think they would at least … at the very least … give the appearance of a fair trial.  But nooooooo … they might as well stand up and say, “Trump is guilty as hell and we therefore find him innocent.” 

The thing that disturbs me most about this is not that Trump will remain in office until he is (hopefully, fingers crossed) voted out in November … I already had that one pegged from the first time the word “impeachment” was mentioned.  No, what is most disturbing and should scare the hell out of us all is the precedent this sets.

At just over 8,000 words, the U.S. Constitution does not cover all bases, but merely lays the foundation for a government based on democratic principles.  Specifics are left to two things:  laws and precedent.  Both, once set, are difficult to reverse.  If a fair trial, at least on the surface, is conducted and Trump is yet acquitted, it would be no different than when Bill Clinton was impeached but acquitted at trial.  However, if this trial continues to be a sham, a circus according to the wishes of Mitch McConnell, the precedent it sets is that no president is ever likely to be impeached again.  But … even that is not the worst of it.

The very worst is that in using his office, his power, for personal gain and political purposes, Trump effectively tore down any constraints or barriers to unlimited power.  Checks and balances?  Where???  Congress is tasked with overseeing the executive branch, and yet they have handed him the keys to the kingdom and said, “Do whatever you wish … we won’t stop you.”  The judiciary has largely said the same.  Where, my friends, do you suppose that leaves us … the 330 million people of this nation whose voices have been stifled by the very people we voted into office and whose salaries we pay?

We have laws in this country … laws that are not being enforced today, laws that are being laughed at by the very people we have entrusted to enforce those laws.  Imagine if you vandalized your neighbor’s car and ten people were standing on the street and saw you.  One of them finally calls the police while you continue to use your baseball bat to break every window in the car.  Now imagine that at your trial, not a single one of those ten people are called to testify.  A neighbor’s home security camera caught the whole incident on video, but that is not allowed at your trial, either.  That is exactly what this impeachment trial is.  There is no doubt that what Trump did was wrong, nor is there doubt that he did attempt to use the leverage of assistance to the Ukraine in order to force them to publicly announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  There’s not a shred of reasonable doubt.  But … if no evidence is allowed to be presented, if no witnesses are allowed to tell what they know … where’s the damn justice???

Too many times already in the past three years, Trump has gotten by with abusing the power of his office, with obstruction of justice, with endangering the nation and its people.  If he is not held accountable now, then folks, we have an autocrat, an “Imperial President” who has no bounds, no conscience, and no reason to honour his oath of office.  The republicans in Congress are in the process of creating a monster, one that will destroy this nation.

I have emailed the republican senator for my state, Rob Portman, twice within the past ten days and have not received a single response, which leads me to believe that as a citizen and taxpayer, I have no voice in my government.  And that leaves me mad as hell!

Mad As Hell! (Part I)

Okay, folks, I’ve had enough.  All day, there has been a slow burn building up and it’s just about to ‘splode, so hold on to your hats.

Today will be the first official day of the Impeachment Trial of one Donald F. Trump.  This is a serious affair, for Mr. Trump has abused the power of his office, has utterly failed to uphold the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, has used the office of president for his own personal gain, and in so doing has put the entire nation at risk.  He has already, and will remain throughout history, a dishonoured, impeached president, but now it is up to the U.S. Senate to decide whether the evidence is sufficient to convict him, thereby removing him from office and protecting the nation from further atrocities.

Now, if the Senate carefully reviews the evidence, listens to witness testimony, and then decides to acquit Trump, I will be disappointed, but I will not scream from the rooftops.  But, as of this writing, it appears that there will be no such thing as a fair and honest trial, as impartial judges, and We the People will not be served.  First, as I reported previously, Senator Mitch McConnell said he would conduct the trial according to the wishes of the White House, and Senator Lindsey Graham blatantly said he had no intention of being fair and impartial, but that he had already decided to acquit Trump.

The “White House” sent its first ‘legal brief’1 yesterday, all 171 pages, signed by twelve of the attorneys representing Trump.  171 pages!  Twelve lawyers!  I found it highly interesting to note the name of Jordan Sekulow as one of the signers of the document.  Jordan Sekulow is the son of Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer.  Both Jay and Jordan are talk radio show hosts, as well as lawyers.  The document begins with the Executive Summary that starts …

The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected.

Rigged???  Sounds just like something coming out of Trump’s mouth, doesn’t it?  A dozen lawyers and this is how they start a 171-page legal brief?  But more importantly are those last three words, “must be rejected”.  The document goes on to urge senators to “immediately” acquit the president of the charges that will be formally presented at his trial that starts in earnest this week, even before hearing evidence or testimony!  Trump’s legal team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, wrote that Trump “did absolutely nothing wrong” as it accused the House Democrats who impeached the president of attempting to overturn the results of the 2016 election and “to interfere in the 2020 election.”  SAY WHAT???

“The only threat to the Constitution that House Democrats have brought to light is their own degradation of the impeachment process and trampling of the separation of powers.”

Trampling of the separation of powers.  Now, isn’t that funny, coming from the lawyers representing the ‘man’ who has refused to allow congressional oversight time and time and time again.  This from the ‘man’ who ordered an assassination of a high-ranking foreign general without cause and without bothering to mention it to Congress.  This from a ‘man’ who forbade people both within and outside the administration from answering congressional subpoenas.

I am not a lawyer … I took a few Constitutional Law classes during my post-graduate studies, but I am in no way an expert.  Still, I know bullshit when I hear it, I know that these guys, under other circumstances, in a fair and honest trial, wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting their client off.  But, these are not other circumstances, and this is not at all likely to be either a fair or honest trial.

The seven House members who will be prosecuting this case submitted a 9-page response2 … nine pages to respond to 171 pages.  Tells you that a) most of the 171 pages were just what I said, bullshit, and b) the House members have better things to do with their time.  The response begins …

The American people entrusted President Trump with the extraordinary powers vested in his Office by the Constitution, powers which he swore a sacred Oath to use for the Nation’s benefit. President Trump broke that promise. He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit. In doing so, he jeopardized our national security and our democratic self-governance. He then used his Presidential powers to orchestrate a cover-up unprecedented in the history of our Republic: a complete and relentless blockade of the House’s constitutional power to investigate high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment. That is a chilling assertion.

It is, indeed, a chilling assertion. Any other president in the history of this nation would have been tried, convicted, and escorted out of the White House, probably in handcuffs by now for the many abuses of power Trump has committed, both before his election and since taking office.  Any other president would have been impeached and removed from office after the release of Robert Mueller’s report last year.  But, no other president in the past 233 years, not even Richard M. Nixon, has abused the office of the president in the many ways Trump has.  Since he has gotten by with it thus far, he seems to believe that he is invincible.

And maybe he is, since he has rid the government of those with morals and integrity, surrounding himself with characters who have little experience to qualify them for their jobs, but are slavishly dedicated and loyal to Donald F. Trump.

One more thing …

In the event that at least four republican senators vote to hear witness testimony, Trump’s lawyers and sycophants in the Senate are preparing a “Plan B” to ensure that John Bolton will not be allowed to testify, or that if he does, his testimony will be kept from the public.  Another abuse of the power of the office, another denigration of the separation of powers.  I hope … I sincerely hope that John Bolton has the cojones to give an interview to the New York Times or another credible media outlet and tells all.

If you have any remaining illusions that this is still, as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, you’d be wrong.  This is a government of, by, and for the wealthiest few people in this nation, including Donald F. Trump.  We the People are NOT being served, but rather are being royally screwed.

White House legal brief

House Prosecutor’s response

It Has Begun …

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

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

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of …

I thought I had said all I wanted to say, for the moment, in yesterday afternoon’s post regarding Trump’s ignorant decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.  I was wrong.  This is one that may occupy any number of posts here on Filosofa’s Word in the coming weeks/months.  Sigh.

Every time there is new “breaking news” on the topic, my growling escalates just a bit.  The latest?

“Trump says Iranian military leader was killed by drone strike ‘to stop a war,’ warns Iran not to retaliate”

Seriously???  The way to ‘stop a war’, especially one that doesn’t exist, is to kill people??? Is this more of that alternative facts stuff that Kellyanne so likes to spout?  He ‘warns’ Iran not to retaliate???  WTF???  Who does he think he is that he can shake his short finger, while saying “unh unh unh” and The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will just sit down, hang his head, and slink quietly away?  Not a chance, Donnie Boy!  Do you even remember 1979??? Go back to Georgia or Mar-a-Lago or wherever you came from, for you are so far out of your league that you don’t even merit the position of water boy!

Whew … puffa puffa puffa … this has been happening all day long …

So, Iran will retaliate … it isn’t a matter of “if”, but “where, when and how”.  Trump is an ignorant slob if he believes that him ‘warning’ them not to retaliate will phase the powers that be in Iran.  And nobody else thinks so, either, for cities around the U.S. are on high alert tonight, as are embassies around the globe. What then, once Iran retaliates?  Two choices … war, or back down.  I vote we opt, just for once, to put all human life ahead of the egos in Washington, tuck our tails between our legs, and go home peacefully.  But will Trump?  Not unless cooler heads prevail and tell him in no uncertain terms that they do not support any further action against Iran on our behalf.  Even then, he isn’t likely to listen, for remember … he claims to have “great and unmatched wisdom”.

So, what are the ramifications here?  Many.  For starters, lives will be lost, and soon, unless I miss my guess.  And those lives are on Trump’s shoulders, whether they are the lives of U.S. citizens, Iraqis, Iranians, or the people on the island of Gullah Gullah!

Next up … our allies have lost whatever little faith they still had in this nation, for we have put them in the line of fire, through no fault of their own.  And when I say “we”, make no mistake, I blame Trump first and foremost, but after him I blame all the jackasses in Congress who have been licking his boots, such as YOU, Warren Davidson, and Mitchell McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and many others.  YOU ALL have blood on your hands!  And I also blame all those average Joe’s in this nation who continue to support the megalomaniac in the Oval Office who has brought all this down on us.  That means YOU, Kitty Cline, and YOU, Lisa Connelly or whatever your name is now, and YOU Janet Klar!

Our allies have been struggling to keep the Iran nuclear agreement intact since Trump pulled out of it for no other reason than President Obama’s signature was on it.  They have worked hard to ensure that Iran would agree not to develop nuclear weapons that would make the world a lot less safe.  The agreement was working and by all reports from independent inspectors, Iran was keeping their end of the deal.  And then along came the bastard who couldn’t stand the fact that his predecessor had accomplished something remarkably good, and he tore it up and threw it in the trash, saying that he could get a ‘better deal’.  Only … he never even tried.  He left our friends – France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – hanging out to dry, struggling to keep the deal afloat without the U.S.

My heart broke this evening when I read a comment from one of my dearest friends in the UK that read, in part …

“I had not long finished reading about this before I saw your Snarky post. I was horrified. While the rest of your ‘allies’ are trying to keep the Nuclear Agreement alive, Trump does this and doesn’t even have the courtesy to inform us. I no longer consider America a friend to my country as long as this lunatic is in charge.”

I know he did not mean me or my readers, but our nation as a whole … still, it breaks my heart to think that some 40% of the people in this nation, some of whom I once called “friend”, have brought us to this point, the point at which we are no longer trusted, no longer respected.  And deservedly so.  It is not only our politicians who have brought the wrath down on us, but the average Joe who thinks Trump is “telling it like it is”, who says, “he’s one of us”.  He is NOT telling the truth about anything on any day!  And he is NOT “one of us”!  He is a spoiled brat jerk who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whose daddy bought his way out of trouble more than once, out of the military, and bought his worthless business degree from Wharton.  He has NEVER in his life been held accountable, has never missed a meal (obviously), and has a complete lack of conscience.

As it became clear that Trump would and should be impeached, I warned that if he felt trapped, he would respond like a trapped animal, he would do something so horrendous that it would take all eyes away from impeachment, away from his crimes.

The world now stands at a precipice … even the experts are not sure what will happen next, but the one certainty is that Donald’s taking matters into his own hands without consulting Middle East experts, without consulting our allies, and without notifying Congress has put every man, woman and child on this planet in danger.  My best idea yet is to send Trump Sr., Junior, Eric, and Ivanka all to fight on the front lines when war breaks out … they are more expendable than John Doe!

Thus concludes my rant for tonight … I shall go take a shower now.  My sincere apologies to Keith, for I could not stop the rant, no matter how I tried.  Stay tuned, for I’m fairly certain there will be more.  And my apologies that there is no Saturday Surprise this week … I think you can understand.

Wine Caves and Chandeliers

It is rare that our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters steps up on the ol’ soapbox and lets forth a rant, but when he does, he does it with far more grace than I do! Tonight’s rant is about how politicians finance their campaigns and what the ramifications are for We the People. Take a look …

On The Fence Voters

My good friend over at Filosofa’s Word, Jill Dennison, likes to warn when there’s a rant ahead. So, Jill, I hope you don’t mind, but I feel the need to notify of an impending rant.

Perhaps it’s the non-stop rain here in the Pacific Northwest, or maybe it’s the grey skies. Whatever the case, something got under my skin from the Democratic debate on Thursday night, and today it’s boiling over.

The whole thing started when Senator Elizabeth Warren went after Mayor Pete Buttigieg, bringing up a recent fundraiser he had in Napa Valley wine country at the lavish home of real estate developer Craig Hall and his wife, Kathryn. The property features a wine cave, with bottles selling for hundreds of dollars each. Photos of the event showed a long table decorated lavishly, with a large crystal chandelier hanging overhead.

But my rant isn’t about Warren going after Mayor…

View original post 1,045 more words

Seeking Justice …

On the evening of August 27th, in the county of Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, a young man was riding his motorcycle when he was struck head on by a car driving on the wrong side of the road.  The young man was 19-year-old Harry Dunn, and the driver of the car was Anne Sacoolas, wife of U.S. diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas.  The Sacoolas had been in the UK for only about three weeks when the accident occurred.

Harry-Dunn

Harry Dunn

The following day, August 28th, Northamptonshire police interviewed Ms. Sacoolas, who claimed to have diplomatic immunity.  The police applied for a waiver from diplomatic immunity later the same day.  Ms. Sacoolas was cautioned not to leave the UK, promised she wouldn’t, then promptly fled back to the United States on a US Air Force plane.

Understandably, people in the UK, particularly the parents of Harry Dunn, are not happy that Ms. Sacoolas was allowed to return to the U.S.  To add fuel to the fire, Donald Trump took a nonchalant attitude toward it, saying that driving on the wrong side of the road “happens to a lot of people.”

“You go to Europe and the roads are opposite. And it’s very tough if you’re from the United States, you do make that decision to make a right turn where you’re supposed to make a left turn. The roads are opposite.”

Stop and think for a minute … what if the tables were turned.  What if a British diplomat’s wife killed a person here because she was driving on the wrong side of the road.  Would we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well, our roads are the opposite, so what can you expect?”  I think not.  There is a certain responsibility when one steps behind the wheel of a car, whether that wheel is on the left or right side of the car, to understand the laws of the country they are driving in, and to, at the very least, understand which side of the road to drive on!

I was pleased to read that yesterday Anne Sacoolas was formally charged by Northamptonshire Police with “causing death by dangerous driving”.  In Britain, causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and a disqualification from driving for at least two years.

I was not pleased with the response by the U.S. State Department, whose spokesperson said …

“We will continue to look for options for moving forward. We are disappointed by today’s announcement and fear that it will not bring a resolution closer. We do not believe that the UK’s charging decision is a helpful development.”

anne-sacoolas

Anne Sacoolas

Not a “helpful development”???  What would they consider to be a “helpful development”?  I suppose they would prefer that the police simply forget the whole thing, let Ms. Sacoolas get by with taking a young life because of her carelessness?  Ms. Sacoolas’ lawyer has said that she would not voluntarily return to the UK to stand trial, and Trump certainly cannot be relied upon to do the right thing and honour the British request for Ms. Sacoolas to be returned to the UK.

It’s probably just as well that I am not a leader of a nation, for if I were Boris Johnson, I believe I would be sorely tempted to expel all U.S. diplomats from the UK, saying that if they do not take the lives of the citizens of the UK any more seriously than that, and if they cannot even manage to drive on the correct side of the road, they are not welcome here!

At the very least, Ms. Sacoolas ought to be willing to return to the UK to stand trial.  People in the U.S. would be demanding the same if the tables were turned.  At the very least, this should be a lesson for the U.S. … diplomats and their families are guests of the host nation.  They are emissaries, they represent us all.  When they act with such careless disregard for human life, they put a stain on the entire nation.

Just one more example of what I call “American Arrogance”.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

“I have no intention of doing the job for which I am being paid.  I have no intention of being honest.  I will shred my oath, even as I utter the words.  I am pond scum, but … I am in Congress and you aren’t … nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.”

Yep, folks, these are the words, almost verbatim, of two of our esteemed senators, Mitchell McConnell, Senator from Kentucky since 1985 (34 years) and Lindsey Graham, a Senator from South Carolina since 2003 (16 years) and before that, a Representative in the House from 1995 ‘til 2003.  They have plainly stated that they do not care one whit about the ‘will of the people’, about the best interest of the nation, nor about their oaths of office.  Both have made it abundantly clear that they will do everything in their power to ensure that Donald Trump is not convicted and thus not removed from the office he so wrongly holds.

Lindsey-Graham-2Lindsey Graham:  “I am clearly made up my mind. I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process. I think what’s best for the country is to get this thing over with. This thing will come to the Senate, and it will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

Mitch-McConnellMitch McConnell: “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There’ll be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this. Exactly how we go forward, I’m going to coordinate with the president’s lawyers. The case is so darn weak coming over from the House. We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office. My hope is that there won’t be a Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment.”

If you aren’t growling yet, you should be.  These are two elected officials, our employees, saying in a nutshell that they are going to do whatever Donald Trump wants, regardless of what is right and just.  Note to the good people in Kentucky and South Carolina … if you don’t get rid of these two jackals next year, then you deserve whatever you get!

Prior to an impeachment trial, according to Article I, section 3, clause 6 of the Constitution, the senators serving as a jury “shall be on Oath or Affirmation.”

“I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

IMPARTIAL justice.  Given what Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and others have said, it seems to me that they have broken their oath before even taking it!  It seems to me they should be disqualified to even attend the trial, let alone conduct it and then vote.  It seems they have absolutely zero intention of taking this process, this legal process defined by the U.S. Constitution, seriously, but rather plan to turn it into a circus!

It is likely that tomorrow, Donald F. Trump will become the third president in this nation’s 232-year history to be impeached.  This is a serious stain on his reputation that, regardless of what the Senate does or doesn’t do, will remain the most notable part of his legacy.  And yet, in the past 48 hours, Trump’s approval rating has jumped nearly 2% to 43.2%, the highest it has been since March 2017.  WTF???  Are the republicans actually proud of what this asshole has done?

Maybe the House should not send the impeachment to the Senate for a few more months, since the Bobbsey twins, Mitchie and Lindsey, are so eager to get it over with.  Let them cool their jets and cry in their beer.

Now, here’s the thing, folks.  We all either work for a living, else did until we retired.  We pay taxes, we are good citizens, we obey the law (mostly), and every November we do our civic duty by going and voting.  We vote for the people we believe share our values and will work for the best interest of this nation and all of its people.  We have been cheated.  We are still paying our dues, but they are going to support these corrupt members of Congress who could care less about ethics, who don’t give a royal damn about the people of this country, who have no values. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are poster boys for why we need term limits.

We the People of the United States of America have been robbed.  We have zero representation in our federal government, yet we are paying their salaries and paying for them to jet set all about the globe … on our dime.  Every time I hear somebody speak of “democracy” in the same sentence with the U.S., I scoff, for there is not so much as a shred of democratic principle left in our government if Donald Trump is not to be held accountable and our duly elected members of Congress think it’s funny.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sick and tired of the corruption and blatant disregard for the law in Washington, and I’m sick and damn tired of the people who still sing the praises of Trump & Co.  I’m sick and tired of being expected to obey the law and be held accountable for my actions, while our elected officials thumb their noses at us and treat us all as second-class citizens.

Just A Bill … Sittin’ Here On Capital Hill

Last Saturday night, a Police Sergeant in Houston, Texas, was killed when he responded to a call of domestic abuse.  The officer was Sergeant Christopher Brewster, he was 32 years old, and now he is irrevocably dead.  Just another statistic?  There is the danger, that with more than 36,000 gun fatalities already this year, each one becomes just another statistic.

But Houston Chief of Police, Art Acevedo, has seen enough and he is angry …art-acevedo

“We all know in law enforcement that one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are not … getting the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends who abuse their girlfriends.  And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend.”

H.R. 1585: The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, is one of more than 250 bills that have been passed by the House of Representatives and are now languishing in what has come to be known as “Mitch McConnell’s graveyard”.  McConnell has called himself the “grim reaper” of progressive policies in the Senate.McConnell-graveyardSome of the other bills that have not seen the light of day in the Senate …

  • H.R. 1: For the People Act – aims to require states to provide an online option for voter registration and allow voters to register the same day they go to the polls. It would also require states to automatically register citizens who don’t register themselves. To protect elections from any foreign meddling, the bill mandates that states use paper ballots and that the Department of Homeland Security evaluate threats to election systems 180 days prior to an election and inform states of their conclusions. The bill includes campaign finance and ethics reform measures, including mandating presidential candidates release their tax returns.
  • H.R. 5: The Equality Act – seeks to provide comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, education, federal funding, housing, public accommodations and more.
  • H.R. 6: The American Dream and Promise Act – would protect young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children — known as Dreamers — and establish a path to citizenship for more than 2 million immigrants without legal status.
  • H.R. 8: The Bipartisan Background Checks Act – seeks to expand background check requirements on private sales, including those at gun shows, on the internet or through classified ads.
  • H.R. 9: The Climate Action Now Act – would block the Trump administration from exiting the Obama-era Paris climate agreement.
  • H.R. 987: The Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act – seeks to lower prescription drug prices, bolster the Affordable Care Act and protect care for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • H.R. 1644: The Save the Internet Act – would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s party-line vote in 2017 to repeal net neutrality that prohibited broadband companies from blocking, throttling or prioritizing certain websites.

im-just-a-bill-6These and a couple hundred more bills have run into a brick wall named Mitch McConnell as they passed from the House to the Senate.  Now … as I see it, it is the job of the senators, including McConnell, to legislate.  That means, we are paying them $174,000 per year … except McConnell who, as Senate Majority Leader is being paid $193,400.  For. Doing. Nothing.

Chief Acevedo places Sergeant Brewster’s death firmly at the door of McConnell and others who are stubbornly and without purpose ignoring their duty.  I would agree, and I would also ask how many others have died because of the inaction of the Senate?  More than once, McConnell has said he will refuse to consider any legislation that does not have Trump’s support.  WTF???  Trump is not the employer of the U.S. Congress!!!  WE THE PEOPLE are their employers!

Now, we have an election coming up next year, and Mitch McConnell is up for re-election.  We can hope that the people of Kentucky have had enough by now and will vote him out.  Or …

Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution 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.”

Yes, I know it’s a longshot, for most of the republicans in both chambers of Congress have drunk Trump’s poisoned Kool-Aid and are too cowardly to stray from the party line.  In other words, my friends, they have set aside their oaths of office, have set aside their duty to We the People, and are intent only on pleasing the ‘man’ in the Oval Office and their big-money donors such as the NRA and fossil fuel industries.  And the ‘man’ in the Oval Office has also set aside his oath of office … well, actually he never had any intention of honouring his commitment to the people of this nation … and is about to be impeached for doing so.

Folks … our government is B-R-O-K-E-N.  We are on a rudderless ship that, as I have said before, is headed for a big iceberg (one of the few left).  How much longer are we going to put up with this?  We damn well better make some sweeping changes on November 3rd, 2020, else we WILL hit that iceberg.vote-animated

 

Damn … Just Damn

Yesterday I wrote about Devin Nunes suing everybody who offended him, who hurt his tender little feelings.  Shortly after putting that post on the schedule, I came across another very improper lawsuit that made my blood literally boil.

trayvon-martin

Trayvon Martin

You’ll remember that back in 2012, a white security guard named George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman claimed self-defense, using Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, although he weighed at least twice what young Martin weighed and was armed.  I have written about this case a few times, the first in 2013 when George Zimmerman was let off scot-free, though by all rights he should have been convicted, at the very least, of second-degree murder.

Then, in May 2016, Zimmerman popped back onto my radar when he attempted to profit from his misdeeds, from taking the life of a teenager, by selling the gun, the murder weapon, at auction for somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 — reports vary.  He made as much as a quarter of a million dollars from the murder he committed.  Let that one sink in for a minute.

But yesterday’s news will leave you speechless.  George Zimmerman, who murdered Trayvon Martin for no other reason than he “looked suspicious” as he exited the convenience store where he had purchased a pack of Skittles candy and a beverage, filed a lawsuit in the amount of $100,000 against Trayvon Martin’s parents and others.  That’s right … it’s rather as if Charles Manson had sued the family of Sharon Tate!  Or as if Ted Bundy had sued the parents of his first victim, Karen Sparks!

ben-crump-bookIn addition to filing suit against Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, he is also suing Ben Crump, who wrote a book titled “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People,” publisher Harper Collins, Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, and various members of the prosecution team and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The killer is suing his victim’s family.  WHAT’S WRONG with this picture???

The lawsuit claims all defendants “have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other related legal rights.”  WTF???  He killed an innocent kid, got off scot-free, made a cool quarter of a million selling the murder weapon, and he claims his rights were violated??? zimmerman-2And lest you have any lingering doubts about the character of George Zimmerman, let me tell you a bit about what he has been doing since he murdered Trayvon Martin …

  • In 2013, after being acquitted in the case of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault as well as domestic violence battery and criminal mischief, for pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, smashing her furniture, and shoving her out of their shared residence.

  • In 2015, Zimmerman was arrested by Lake Mary, Florida, police and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon after allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his ex-girlfriend.

  • In 2016, Zimmerman was removed from a bar by law enforcement after yelling at a waitress and using racial slurs.

  • In May 2018, Zimmerman was charged with stalking against a private investigator who had been working with Michael Gasparro and Jay-Z on the documentary series Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. According to the investigator, in December 2017, Zimmerman contacted him with 21 phone calls, 38 text messages and 7 voice mails in two and a half hours.

Really nice guy, huh?  But wait … there’s more …

zimmerman-1In late 2013, after his acquittal, apparently he decided to use his notoriety as a claim to fame, and he took up painting, selling his first one, a U.S. flag, for just over $100,000.  On the auction page for the painting, Zimmerman wrote:

“Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative way to express myself, my emotions, and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet, and allows me to remain indoors 🙂 I hope you enjoy owning this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. Your friend, George Zimmerman.”

Trouble was, he didn’t actually paint the picture.  It was later reported that the U.S. flag painting was copied without attribution from a stock image taken from Shutterstock.  And ol’ George made $100 grand off of somebody else’s work.

In addition, he has been involved in numerous scandals on Twitter and elsewhere.  In short, George Zimmerman is what was once known as a ‘menace to society’.  I suspect it is only a matter of time before he kills again, and the people who fell for his plea of ‘self-defense’ and let him walk, will wring their hands and claim they thought he was such a ‘nice man’.

Meanwhile, as if the loss of their son wasn’t enough, Trayvon Martin’s parents now have to face a lawsuit by the man who murdered their son.  Damn.  Just damn.

Snarky Snippets — Bah Humbug!

They say that ignorance is bliss.  If that is true, there must be a heck of a lot of really blissful people in this nation!


The height of ignorance?

Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to manufacture, let alone sell, Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments???  Has the Era of Trump, or the populist movement really made people so cruel, crude, classless, tasteless, and effing ignorant?

From an article in The Washington Post

Amazon has halted the sale of Auschwitz-themed products such as Christmas decorations, a mouse pad and a bottle opener, following an outpouring of disgust on social media led by Poland’s official memorial museum.

The items featured images from Auschwitz, a former Nazi concentration camp where an estimated 1.1 million men, women and children died during World War II. An Auschwitz-themed star holiday decoration was described as a “high quality snowflake,” with the seller, going by the name of Fcheng, describing the bottle opener as a “memorable gift, perfect for every festival.”

In 2018, a report from two watchdog groups found that Amazon was continuing to profit from the sale of white-supremacist propaganda such as books, swastika jewelry and baby onesies featuring an image of a burning cross — despite the company’s policy against selling products that promote hatred.

More than a few times I have noted that the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech is often too broadly interpreted, and that every ‘right’ comes with a corresponding responsibility.  Amazon shirked their responsibility in allowing these hate-themed items to be advertised and sold.  But, perhaps the bigger problem is the fact that there is actually a demand for such items, that people will actually buy this crap.


What the heck are they thinking???

Every now and then, it happens that a fetus will implant in a woman’s fallopian tube rather than the uterus.  Left untreated, this would ultimately result in the death of the mother, not to mention the fetus.  This is called an ectopic pregnancy, and the only viable treatment is to surgically remove the fetus from the fallopian tube.

The state legislature in Ohio, however, has decided that they know more than all the gynecologists in the world, and there is a bill before the legislature, HB413, that would require doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus, or be charged with ‘abortion murder’.

Lots of problems with this bill, but the main one is that reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy is medically impossible!  The procedure does not exist!  It cannot be done!  Are the lawmakers in this state really that effing stupid???

It is bad enough that Ohio and other states have passed some of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country … the world, for that matter.  Women’s rights?  HAH!  The bozos are spoon-fed by the evangelicals who have an unreasonable desire to ensure that women are given only the rights men see fit to give them.  But now, they are almost ensuring that every gynecologist in the state will be in prison for murder and women who need a doctor will have to go to another state to find one!  Might be a better idea just to sterilize all male babies at birth … there, problem solved!

Sorry … I got a little carried away there, but this is about the stupidest one thing I have seen come out of the state legislature, ever.

Under the bill, physicians who perform abortions would face 15 years to life in prison, and removing an ectopic pregnancy is considered an abortion in this bill.  The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists argues that pro-life physicians should end such ectopic pregnancies as “There is no chance for survival of the child, either inside or outside the womb, but there is a very real, imminent danger of death or disability for the mother.”

But, some people are apparently so appalled by the concept of ‘abortion’ that they would see the mother die in an attempt to save a fetus.  Too bad those same people aren’t equally appalled by children separated from their parents and thrown in cages.  Too damn bad they aren’t equally appalled by children going to bed hungry at night or living on the streets.

Needless to say, doctors aren’t too happy with the bill …ohio-doctor-tweetCommon sense says that the bill is for show only and cannot possibly pass the legislature and be signed into law by the governor, right?  Right?


Okay … I’m going to go do some housecleaning to work off some of this angst & ire.  Have a nice evening, folks!