The Sham Trial Begins

I gave you my take on the impeachment trial, the dog-and-pony show yesterday, but I thought it would be interesting to read Jeff’s perspective as well. He and I think a lot alike, and even use some of the same verbiage, but since he is actually listening to the trial (what a way to spend your vacation, eh?) he has a bit better view of the participants. Thanks Jeff … good work!

On The Fence Voters

Reflections from the car

So here we are my friends. Finally, the President of the United States is being held to account. The impeachment trial is in progress and it’s heartening to see the Republican Party stepping up to the plate to make sure he answers for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. My sarcasm vein is ready to burst!

Seriously, though,  I wanted to quickly share some thoughts from yesterday’s sham trial in the United States Senate. And I’m going to do it from a different perspective. Yesterday, my better half and I departed on a vacation to Southern California. The trip is a long one from the Pacific Northwest, and we’re driving.

Instead of watching it on TV, we listened to the proceedings on the radio, in the car for over six hours. To some, that might be considered torture. To me…

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History lessons on sham justice

Blogging friend Brosephus doesn’t post daily, and in fact today’s post is his first this year, but when he does post, his words are memorable and wise. In today’s post, he compares what is happening in the impeachment trial to certain events in the 1960s … history does repeat itself. Take a close look at the picture at the top of his post – it captures this moment in our history perfectly. Thank you, Brosephus, for this prophetic post.

The Mind of Brosephus

It’s my first post of 2020, and I have a ton of stuff on my mind. We’re only 23 days into the new year, and I’ve already hit life highs and lows that will be hard, if not impossible, to surpass. This post, however, isn’t about me or my personal life. This post is about what America is about to experience and to question how Americans will respond in return.

As we know, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is underway in the Senate as I type. As some have prognosticators have pronounced, most Americans know “the fix” is in the works to acquit Trump for his crimes. Indeed, there may not be much that we Americans can do to stop the acquittal, but there is a lot we can do as a result.

I chose the cartoon at the top for an explicit reason. There are many of us…

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The bushfires and climate action

The Australian bushfires continue to burn. Last I heard, some 14 million acres had burned or were burning. The devastation and loss of wildlife are simply heartbreaking. Our friend Anne Lawson has written a highly informative post about it that I ask you to take a look at. There are several links to additional information, as well. Thank you, Anne, for this excellent post and for all the information. Keep safe, my friend.

Anne Lawson Art

You know that there are mega-fires burning in Australia.

You know that fires have been burning for months now.

You know that lives have been lost, many houses burnt and huge areas of bush land scorched. If you would like to read more depth about the fires, including the background to the extended fire season and the extent of the fires and scary videos, read this article and/or this one. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones and their worlds. And a huge amount of gratitude to the fire fighters who have done such an incredible job, sometimes sacrificing their lives.

You know too that the generosity of people from around the world has been overwhelming. More about donations later.

So, read elsewhere for the facts and figures; I want to give you my opinions.

There have been horrifying images of injured and dead…

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There is a reason the US president does not want people reading evidence

There have been new developments in the impeachment case against Donald Trump, and our friend Keith has summed them up nicely for us. It is to be hoped that the testimony of Lev Parnas will be heard in the trial and that perhaps it will open the eyes of some of those republicans who have been wearing blinders. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

In an editorial by Neal Katyal and Joshua Geltzer yesterday in The Washington Post called “Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani have demolished Trump’s claims of innocence” (see link below), it lays bare false reasons of the US president using strong-arm tactics in Ukraine. Per the editorial:

“Americans who have been wondering why President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of trying to block every document from being released to Congress in his impeachment inquiry need wonder no longer. The new documents released Tuesday evening by the House Intelligence Committee were devastating to Trump’s continuing — if shifting — defense of his Ukraine extortion scandal, just days before his impeachment trial is likely to begin in the Senate. These new documents demolish at least three key defenses to which Trump and his allies have been clinging: that he was really fighting corruption when he pressured Ukraine on matters related to the…

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Lock HER Up?

I saw this a week or so ago and meant to write about it, but with everything that’s happened in the past 10 days, it fell off my radar. Our friend Jeff, however, has a better radar tracking system than I do, and he has written an excellent, passionate piece about Trump’s near-constant attempts to demonize Hillary Clinton, who has once again been found innocent of any wrongdoing. Thanks Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

So in the middle of being on the cusp of war, impeachment, and God knows what else, the Trump administration’s Justice Department has meekly announced that their investigation into Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation has found the following: NOTHING.

Oh, you didn’t hear the news? Buried under all the other scandals of the Trump regime, the findings barely got a mention by the mainstream media. And why would it? It pales in comparison to all of the other misdeeds of this administration. But the fact the Justice Department didn’t even have a press conference speaks volumes about where we are in the political environment in Washington, D.C.

For those of you who didn’t even know about this investigation into the Clinton’s, you’re not alone. This inquiry is the one that Attorney General Bill Barr, who also moonlights as Trump’s lawyer (sarcasm alert) , started several months ago. And by…

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The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/11

I hadn’t done a ‘toon post for a while, as events of the past week or so kept me busy, but last night I came across this one by our friend TokyoSand, and it seemed a perfect recap of recent events. Thank you, TS, for this collection of some of the amazing talent that helps put the events of our time into visual satire!

Political⚡Charge

By Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator

Alarming. Insightful. Devastating.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

Iran

ByJimmy Margulies, King Features

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Walt Handelsman,The Advocate

By John Cole, The Times-Tribune

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Ed Hall

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByDavid Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star

By Ed Wexler

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Ed Hall

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christopher Weyant

Impeachment

By Lalo Alcaraz

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune

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True Believer Pompeo Drives Iran Policy

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

On The Fence Voters

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

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

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

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Saturday in the park (a muddy one to ponder muddy agreements)

Our friend Keith has invited us to join him on his Saturday afternoon muddy stroll as he ponders this ‘n that. Let’s take him up on his offer, shall we?

musingsofanoldfart

The weather report for Saturday is better than our rainy Friday. Even if the sun emerges through the morning clouds, it may leave very muddy walking paths. So, as I take a muddy stroll, join me as I ponder a few muddy things.

Agreements between multiple parties are hard and take work. They are not perfect, but they provide opportunities to improve them. Leaving them when your co-signers ask you not to must be for very important reasons. Under the tutelage of the current US president, previous agreements are “disasters,” primarily because he did not work on them. Another key reason is multiple party agreements require give and take and focus on relationships.

Early on, the US pulled out of an agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership with Asian countries, the US, Australia and Canada. It was an imperfect agreement, but was defined to better enable competition with China. What…

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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…

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A few Republican voices

One of my biggest concerns for the future of this nation has been that the republicans in Congress, whose duty it is to serve the nation … ALL of its people … pretend to be blind to the atrocities committed by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office. To that end, they are doing a disservice to us all, and putting this nation in danger of being ruled by an authoritarian. So, I find it encouraging when republicans begin to find their voices and speak out. Our friend Keith has written a post that I think you’ll find encouraging about a few of those republicans with conscience. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

In a New York Times article today (see link below), co-authors George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson penned “We are Republicans and we want Trump defeated.” Here are three paragraphs from the article:

“Mr. Trump fails to meet the bar for this commitment. He has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden.

But this president’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans. They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities.

Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack…

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