Discord & Dissension – Part II – “How did we get here? – Part 2”

We proudly present the second part of this week’s ‘Discord and Dissension’ project … please feel free to comment and make any suggestions you may have … we want this project to make a difference! Thanks to all of you!

On The Fence Voters

Note to readers: This week’s post on our ‘Discord and Dissension’ project ended up being too long for a single post, and so it will be presented in two parts. The first part was presented earlier this morning, which you can read here. The following post is the second part. 

Bush v. Gore

The 2000 election was extremely close. In the end, it came down to the state of Florida. George W. Bush had a lead of only 500 votes over Al Gore, and a recount ensued. It was during this period where the partisan divide between the two parties was on full display. One of the closest and most contentious elections was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court when they settled in a 5-4 decision to halt the recount—a split decision which also reflected the conservative versus liberal ideological makeup of the court.

The fact that Al Gore ultimately…

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Discord & Dissension – Part II – “How did we get here? – Part 1”

As we promised last week, here is the first part of our project. We welcome all comments and suggestions and we hope you find this to be of value!

On The Fence Voters

Note to readers: This week’s post on our ‘Discord and Dissension’ project ended up being too long for a single post, and so it will be presented in two parts. This is the first part, the second will follow this afternoon. It seems we have a lot to say, and this is likely to happen from time to time. 😉

As my good friend Jill over at Filosofa’s Word pointed out in her excellent intro to this project last Friday, Wake Up America! 2020 is here, and if you thought 2016 was bad, buckle up your seat belts. Campaign 2020 promises to be one of the most divisive in history. As we speak, the current president of the United States is about to go on trial in the Senate for two articles of impeachment.

And he’s not happy about it.

But beyond the current chaos in Washington, our political…

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Snarky … grrrrrr … Snippets

I thought I had gotten rid of most of the snarky yesterday afternoon, but it turns out I had more.  And one of my beloved readers said that yesterday’s snarky snippets were too mild and asked if I was coming down with something.  So, let me see if I can do better today …


Send Lindsey to Siberia … please!

Lindsey-Graham-2-facesYesterday, after Nancy Pelosi appointed the seven impeachment managers who will prosecute the case against Donald Trump, the seven hand delivered the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.  Weasel Lindsey Graham, he who cannot remember which side of the fence he sits on, had this to say …

“The best thing for the American people is to end this crap as quickly as possible, to have a trial in the Senate, bipartisan acquittal of the president. And on Feb. 4, when the president comes into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, he will have been acquitted by the Senate.”

Lindsey-Graham-2NOT SO FAST, you little jerk!  The president having already been impeached, this is serious business and you get paid to take it seriously.  Obviously, Lindsey is not qualified to sit on the jury, for he has already shown bias.  Can you imagine during jury selection for a murder trial, if a potential juror said “let’s just end this crap quickly and acquit him”?  Get him out!  Send him … and Moscow Mitch along with him … to Siberia … without winter coats!

Now, there isn’t much hope that the Senate will ultimately convict and evict Trump, but there is now some ray of hope that they will be forced to allow witnesses and testimony, which Mitch had initially said he would not allow.  Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Lisa Murkowski appear to be willing to call witnesses, including John Bolton.  Two other senators have indicated that they are not willing to rush the trial just to have it done with before Trump’s State of the Union on February 4th.


Lies, lies, and still more lies …

Trump and his tweets … don’t believe a single thing that comes out of his mouth or his tweety-thumbs.  A few examples from yesterday …

Trump: I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare.

False. In fact, Trump has done everything he can to undermine protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, from spending two years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections, to authorizing the sale of short term health plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions so Americans unknowingly lose their protections.

Trump: …if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Representatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far.

False. The Trump Administration is currently in the courts trying, yet again, to get the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, which would mean 20 million Americans lose their care and all the protections put in place, including protections for pre-existing conditions, would go away — immediately.

Trump: I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!

False. Trump STILL hasn’t put forward a health care plan that would do anything other than make millions of Americans lose their care and mean worse health insurance for millions more. He’s had three years to do it.


Send Junior to fight the fires …

Much of Australia is being devastated by the bushfires that have been burning out of control for weeks now.  I hadn’t heard much news on this side of the pond about what the U.S. was doing, other than having sent firefighters, so I went in search of.  Now, between the Soleimani assassination, Iran’s missiles fired in retaliation, impeachment, and the downed Iranian jetliner in Iran, the Australian fires and most everything else have been relegated to the back pages, so I turned to sources outside the U.S.

What I found was that Trump had “sent love” to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison.  That was about it for Trump’s response.  Go figure.  But Junior had his say … a chip off the ol’ lying block, Junior falsely claimed that the fires were all a result of arsonists, not climate change.

After Junior’s tweet, conservative media outlets quickly picked up and amplified the story. They championed it as finally revealing the true cause of the catastrophe, not to mention undermining the legitimacy of climate change and adding that extra thrill of a conspiracy theory.

But Junior’s wasn’t the only conspiracy theory, nor even the worst of the lot.  One conspiracy bizarrely claims bushfires have been lit to clear a path for high-speed rail down Australia’s east coast. Others baselessly claim Islamic State is instructing its followers to wage war on the country with fire, that Chinese billionaires are using lasers to clear the path for new cities, or that eco-terrorists are trying to spur action on climate change by manufacturing a catastrophe.

Anything to keep from having to admit that climate change is a real threat and that if we don’t change our ways, we will destroy all life on this planet.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison, like Donald Trump, is largely a climate denier, always seeking other excuses.  Animals are dying by the thousands, people’s homes are being destroyed, and the only thing people can seem to think about is making up trashy conspiracy theories?  Some days I hate humans!


Well, I’ve got my blood pressure up and heart racing now, plus I’ve likely worn the lettering off another key or two on my laptop, so I think I shall stop snarking … there, was that snarky enough for everyone?  Oh, one aside … today is National Nothing Day.  According to the National Day Calendar people …

“The observance was created as a day to provide Americans with one National Day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.  While it may be a good day to celebrate nothing at all, we suppose putting nothing in a glass and setting it on a table might suffice for celebration. You might leave your diary page blank on every January 16th. Don’t mark anything on the calendar on the 16th, either. It would be interesting to see what would happen if you sent a blank email dated January 16th. How many replies would you get saying, ‘There’s nothing here.’ 

For people whose birthday lands on January 16th, wrap an empty box. That should elicit and a nothing response appropriate for the celebration.  When asked, “What are your plans, today?” your response should definitely be, “Nothing.” What else would your answer be on a day like today? Now that we think about it, “Nothing” works well as an answer when recognizing the day.”

So, have a Happy Nothing Day!

Good People Doing Good Things — Eva & Linda

Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means!  Time to look around at some of the good people in this world who are doing good things to help other.  I have only two today … not that I couldn’t find more, for I could … but I got a bit carried away with these two and ran out of time and space.  But, I think you’ll love these two women!


Eva Gordon of Seattle, Washington, lived to be 105 years old!  Sadly, Eva died last June, but … many will have reason to remember her for much longer.  Let me tell you just a little bit about Ms. Gordon.

She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and though she very much wished to attend college, it was the height of the Great Depression, and the money simply wasn’t there. Eventually she moved to Seattle where she took a job as a trading assistant at an investment firm.  She was a frugal woman, salting away whatever she could, saving for a rainy day.  Early in her career, she began investing in a small way, buying partial shares in oil companies and other industries; when Nordstrom went public, Ms. Gordon was one of the earliest investors. She also invested in Seattle utility companies.

In 1964, when she was in her 50s, she married Ed Gordon, a Navy pilot-turned-stockbroker.  They had no children, but were always close to Ms. Gordon’s godson, John Jacobs, a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley in Seattle.  In her early years in Seattle, Eva had shared a room with Jacob’s mother and the two became close friends.Eva-Ed-GordonEd Gordon died in 2008, and Eva continued just as she always had with her frugal ways.  And so it was that when Eva died last June, nobody realized the wealth she had amassed.  So much, in fact, that she left $10 million to be split among multiple technical and community colleges in King and Pierce Counties in Washington.  According to Jacobs, who represents her estate …

“A lot of people didn’t know the wealth she had. If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee’s, she was all about that. She liked seeing students working, earning and doing things. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for those folks who could ill-afford it, whether vocational training or an academic skill.”

Jacobs informed the schools that while there are no stipulations in Gordon’s will and testament for how the money should be used, she expressed her preference for the money to help the disadvantaged students of her adopted home state.

Each of 17 colleges will receive approximately $550,000.  This isn’t the case of some wealthy philanthropist sharing some of his wealth … this is a woman who lived frugally, clipped coupons, and saved her money so that when she died she could help others have the education she was denied.

Thanks to Scott Lawlor for sending me this story!


Linda Herring is a spring chicken at age 75, as compared to Eva Gordon, but Linda gets to share this week’s ‘good people’ spotlight because in her 75 years, she has been a foster parent to … wait for it … more than 600 children!

Herring and her husband Bob began taking in foster children some 50 years ago …

“My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.”

As a foster mom, Herring ran a home daycare for local families and worked as a night custodian in a nearby high school. If that wasn’t enough, she also volunteered as a first responder for nearly 50 years.

Herring was known by everyone in Johnson County, Iowa, for never turning away a child, no matter their age, gender, or special needs, and would regularly travel to pick up foster children who needed a home.

Linda and Bob adopted three of their foster children, adding to their five biological children.  Two of Herring’s adopted foster children have severe medical and special needs. One of them, Dani, is fully dependent on others for care. While Dani wasn’t expected to live long after her birth, she is now 29 years old.

Herring passed on what she likes to call her “foster care trait.” Four of her biological children have fostered children, and three of them followed their parents’ footsteps and adopted kids of their own. Three of her grandchildren fostered children as well.  This is the great thing about good people … they inspire others to become good people too!Linda-Herring-2.jpegAccording to her son, Anthony …

“She also worked hard to keep families together. Keeping siblings together. Helping biological parents make the changes needed to be able to keep their children. She always makes sure a new child in her home was given a professional photograph that was placed on the wall in the living room. That seems like a small thing, but it helps them feel like they’re at home.”

When it comes to Herring’s inspiration to foster children, she had one explanation: love.

“I would just love my foster kids just like they were my own, probably more than I should. I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”

Last October Herring chose to stop fostering children due to health concerns.  After announcing her decision to stop, Herring was honored by the Johnson County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors, with a resolution of appreciation.

“The Department of Human Services would call Linda in the middle of the night to take a child, and she would meet anywhere to get a child. Linda mostly fostered young children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender. No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they’re wearing.”

Linda-HerringWhile Herring’s time as a foster parent is over, she enjoys the photos and cards she receives from the children she fostered after they’ve been adopted. Her favorite part is when her foster children come back to visit after they’ve grown up.

I raised three children and I can tell you that alone exhausted me … I am in awe of this woman who gave of herself so selflessly and tirelessly.  Two thumbs up to Linda Herring!  👍👍


A bit of a bonus today … after I finished this post, I was trying to catch up on friends’ blogs, and came across two who had posted something about good people, so I am including a link to JoAnna’s and Bee’s posts!  Thank you both for adding to the good news of the day!


I hope the tales of Eva and Linda have brightened your day just a bit, helped you remember that there are a lot of people out there giving so much, whether money or time or just love.  And remember, folks, let’s all try to do our part to be a good people, ‘k?

Words of Un-Wisdom …

Trump held a rally in Toledo, Ohio, last Thursday, less than a week after ordering the assassination of a high-level foreign official, nearly starting a war, and indirectly causing the deaths of 176 people.  Tonight, I would like to share some of his words of wisdom with you, so you can see just what a brilliant leader this nation has.  And, of course I cannot resist an occasional snarky comment of my own.

  • “So, we have all forms of energy. We have every form of energy and we are doing great, but they want to cripple your state’s economy. And our air and our water right now is cleaner than it’s been in 40 years, and sadly, I can’t say historic because, you know, a couple of hundred years ago there was nobody here, right? So, I assume that 200 or 300 years ago was cleaner, probably. You never know, but our water and our air is as clean as it’s ever been, and I took us out of that horrible Paris accord.” A couple of hundred years ago there was nobody here?  According to the latest scientific journals, humans have been on earth for approximately 60,000 years, and on what is now known as the North American continent for some 17,000 years.  Dumb, Donnie, dumb.  And about that clean air … that you have made progressively worse in your vendetta against our last real president, President Barack Obama.

  • “We are finally putting America first. But while we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the Washington Democrats are wasting America’s time with demented hoaxes and crazy witch hunts. Think of it. From the day I came down that escalator, it started. Who the hell else could have taken this stuff, right? Do I get some credit for that? Most guys would have been in the corner with their thumb in their mouth. Saying, mommy, mommy take me home. These are bad people.”  Why should “America” be first?  We are among the most arrogant, greedy, bigoted people on earth!  Really, Donnie?  You who whines like a toddler whenever anybody criticizes you?

  • “Last year alone, ICE officers, who by the way, are heroes. These are brave people. I don’t want to do it. You don’t want to do it. Let’s see if you could do it? You could do it over there, you could do it. Mostly, you would not. I mean, I’ve seen it. They have these people, they like are killers and our guys are here and they run and they call them nets, they have nets, and they run and they’re swinging and punching.” Do what, Donnie???  Chase poor refugees with butterfly nets?  Do you know what you’re talking about?  I sure as hell don’t!

  • “Democrats stand for crime, corruption, and chaos. Republicans stand for law, order, and justice. That’s really the way it is. I have to tell you, a lot of things are happening.” Um, yeah, like the illegal assassination of an Iranian general that has no justification, like nearly starting a war, like destroying our reputation in the Western world, like …

  • “But see, I don’t like doing this too soon. I did it with Pocahontas. I came up with this great name. I came up with a lot of different stuff. I said she was a total fraud and everybody believed me, and she went down.” The leader of one of the largest western nations bragging about his bigotry and misogyny, and about making up childish names to taunt an opponent.   Just wow.

  • “Virtually, every top Democrat also now supports late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth. That is why I’ve asked Congress to prohibit late-term abortion because Republicans believe that every child is a sacred gift from God.” Um, Donnie? “Ripping babies from the womb at the moment of birth”?  That’s called “childbirth” and it is a natural process … the same one by which you, unfortunately, came into the world.

  • “Now, you have a President who is standing up for America. Great. At stake in our present battle is the survival of the American nation. If you want your children to inherit the blessings that generations of Americans have fought and died for, and fought so hard to secure, then, we must devote everything we have toward victory in 2020. We have to win. Only this way can we save the America that we love and drain the Washington swamp once and for all, and I have seen that dirty, rotten swamp better than anybody else in America, a lot of crooked people.” YOU appointed all those crooked people, Donnie! YOU filled the swamp! “Who would’ve thought that’s possible? Who would have thought that’s possible? We will defend privacy, free speech, religious liberty, and the right to keep and bear arms. And above all, we will never stop fighting for the sacred values that bind us together as one big beautiful America. We support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  Would that be the same Constitution you have trampled, spat on, and lit afire?

  • “I am such a smart guy. I said this is the most brilliant thing ever and I went back to my people and I said, you know, I have an idea.” Mark the day on your calendar folks.

  • “And we have Bernie and Nancy Pelosi, we have them all.” All two of ’em, Donnie?  Let’s just count and make sure, shall we?

  • “We got to get lined up, Adam, you little pencil neck, nine inches.” If he has nine inches, he’s got you beat by five, Donnie.

And this is the one that takes the cake, my friends …

  • “I’m going to tell you about the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ll tell you about that. I made a deal. I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country. I said, what — did I have something to do with it? Yeah, but you know that’s the way it is. As long as we know, that’s all that matters, OK? I saved a big war, saved a couple of them, but under my administration, we will never make excuses for America’s enemies. We will never hesitate in defending American lives, and we will never stop working to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, never.” The winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.  Mr Abiy has introduced massive liberalising reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was a tightly controlled nation.  He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. He has also allowed the media to operate freely and appointed women to prominent positions.  I fail to see what Trump believes he contributed … 🤷

Well, there you have it folks … as they say in poker … “read ‘em and weep”.  These are the words of the person who holds our lives in his tiny hands.  Think about that one for a minute.

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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U.S. Fails Puerto Rico — Again

Last Tuesday, after ten days of experiencing earth tremors, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was hit with an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale.  Yesterday morning, after days of aftershocks, the island was once again hit with a 5.9-magnitude quake, and today they are experiencing more aftershocks.

PR-flagPuerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States; its 3.4 million residents are citizens of the United States who pay federal taxes and pay into Social Security and Medicare just as any other U.S. citizen.

If almost any city in the continental U.S. had been hit with two earthquakes of this magnitude in under a week, it would be headline news every day, and the federal government would be sending troops to help residents, keep the streets safe, prevent looting, and assist in cleanup operations.  For Puerto Rico?  The government is doing nothing as far as I can tell.

You may remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, with nearly 3,000 human lives lost as a result of the Category 4 storm.  The island still has not fully recovered and they are still waiting for some $18 billion in federal funding that was designated by Congress after Maria.  The holdup has continued past a congressionally mandated deadline last fall for more than $8 billion of the aid to be officially announced, and on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the Trump administration of acting unlawfully in withholding the money. (Perhaps he is waiting for them to dig up dirt on Joe Biden?)

You may also recall that after Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump briefly visited the island and … threw rolls of paper towels into the crowd of people who had come to hear him speak, hoping for promise of some real help. trump-paper-towels.jpgTrump has repeatedly claimed that he has done more for Puerto Rico than any other U.S. president, but I think if you ask the citizens of Puerto Rico, they’ll tell you that is naught but another of his lies.  In the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake, not a word has been heard from Trump, though he did sign a disaster relief bill authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist.  If it had happened in San Francisco or Miami, he would have at least been tweeting “thoughts and prayers”.  But for Puerto Rico, nothing.

But, the federal government is not the only one who is kicking the Puerto Ricans while they are down!  Given that the aftershocks have not ceased since the initial quake, it is understandable that many residents are trying to leave the island.  Now, on an average day, a ticket from Puerto Rico to Florida would run between $85 – $120.  Today, both United and Delta Airlines are charging between $249 – $349 – a nearly 200% increase!  This, my friends, is how capitalism works. They call it the law of supply and demand, but I call it unconscionable opportunism.  This is taking advantage of people who are desperate.  This makes me sick.

The Florida Attorney General’s office says that airlines prices do not fall under the state’s price gouging statute, and even then, the statute only applies when Florida is under a state of emergency.  The Better Business Bureau said there is no regulation in place for prices of airline tickets during natural disasters.

All in all, Puerto Ricans have gotten a raw deal from the U.S. and the president of the country is too busy assassinating foreign leaders, lying about the reasons for doing so, tweeting criticisms of anybody & everybody, falsely bragging about being the greatest president ever, and ranting about having been impeached, to do his job, to help suffering people.  Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans are without power, many are sleeping outside for fear of the next quake, and most cannot afford to leave and have nowhere else to go.  Once again, I am deeply ashamed of this nation … we have sunk to a new low.

Letter To Senator Re: Impeachment Trial

letterBelow is the letter I have sent to both of the senators for my state.  


Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing today about a matter that is of the utmost importance to the people you were elected to represent, and in fact to the entire nation:  the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

As I’m sure you are aware, Donald Trump has grossly abused his power during his nearly three years in office, has literally trampled the U.S. Constitution – that document you swore to uphold when you were last sworn in on 03 January 2017.  We currently have the single worst president this nation has ever had, and my fear, along with some 60% of the people’s, is that he has already done irreparable damage to the nation.

Last December 18th, Donald Trump was impeached, only the third president in the nation’s history to have been so.  My understanding is that Speaker of the House Pelosi will be sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate next week, and that an impeachment trial will begin sometime thereafter.

Now to the purpose of this letter.  Your colleagues, Mitchell McConnell and Lindsay Graham, have announced that they do not intend to conduct a fair and impartial trial, but rather plan to hastily acquit Trump without reviewing all evidence, and without hearing from any witnesses.  This is plainly against the intent of the Constitution, and is against the Senate rules, as you no doubt realize.

I am writing to ask you to please use your conscience and your integrity to demand your colleagues treat this impeachment with the seriousness that it warrants.  It seems that some members of Congress are intimidated by Trump, or by the 40% of the people in the U.S. who support Trump, but that is politics, not governance.  You were not hired to look after your own political interests, but to govern fairly and honestly, and in the best interest of the country as a whole, not a select few.

Mr. McConnell claims he wishes to simply finalize the trial, acquit Mr. Trump, and “get on with the people’s business”, but … the Senate has not been doing the “people’s business” for a very long time now.  How many bills have been passed by the House of Representatives that the Senate has not even reviewed or considered?  More than 400 at last count.  What about the election security bill that would help prevent the foreign influence that changed the landscape of our 2016 election?  In 2019, the Senate passed, I believe only 70-some bills into law, many of which were non-essential, such as the re-naming of a post office or federal building.  What about the universal background check bill, that is supported by more than 80% of the people in this nation, including gun owners?  Or what about the net neutrality bill that would force internet service providers to provide access to all sites, content and applications at the same speed, under the same conditions without blocking or preferencing any content?

I agree that the Senate needs to conduct the business of the people, but they have been deficient in this for the entirety of 2019, and even before that.  The impeachment trial is the business of the people. We the People see our nation being placed in grave danger by the antics of the madman in the Oval Office.  I could provide you with countless examples, but you already know where you and your colleagues have let us down, you know what you should do.  The question now is … are you man enough, are you human enough, do you have enough integrity to do what you know is right?

We the taxpayers, the voters, the people of this nation, will be watching over the coming weeks, and our pleasure or displeasure will be reflected in our votes.  You have almost three years left in your term, but in many ways, that is a very short time, and if you fail us, if you let us down and swear your oath of fealty to Donald Trump instead of the people of this nation, you will not be returned to the Senate on January of 2023.  Do the right thing, Senator Portman.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter


I would strongly urge everyone to write to your senators, both republican and democrat, and let them know that you expect them to do their job, to do what is in the best interest of the nation and its people, not their own pockets.  Feel free to use any or all of this letter, or to compose your own.  Thank you for making your voice heard!

Nightmare

Well, the day has finally come … we will be leaving first thing in the morning to find our new home.  It has been a nearly two-year process, trying to find a nation that would accept refugees from the U.S., so hated in the world is this nation.  Who would have believed a short ten years ago, when Master Trump won the 2016 election, that it would come to this?  Sure, we knew he was inept and inexperienced, but we all thought he wouldn’t last the first four years, let alone stay in office for ten full years!

We applied for asylum first in the UK, for we have many friends there, but after Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to assassinate members of the royal family there, all Americans are persona-non-grata in the United Kingdom.  Next, we tried Australia, but ever since those fateful fires in the early 2020s, their economy has been suffering and they simply cannot afford to take on refugees, for they struggle to feed their own people.  We tried Mexico but were told “¡Vaya con el Diablo!” We petitioned France, but they stopped accepting refugees from the U.S. after Master Trump had the Statue of Liberty re-carved with his image in place of Lady Liberty’s and renamed it after himself.

And just last week, when we had lost hope of being able to flee the terror that is now our waking nightmare, we received a letter from the Canadian government telling us that we would be welcomed in Canada. We will have only 90 days to prove ourselves useful by finding gainful employment, else we will be sent packing. I am not worried, for I think we will be able to find jobs, even if only in some fast food restaurant. The alternative would be unthinkable and would almost certainly lead to our execution, or at least mine.  Now our only concern is getting across the border tomorrow night.

thought-policeMany have criticized my comparisons of the U.S. today to Germany of the 1930s, but in many ways, this is even worse.  Technology and the age of electronic spying have led to a complete loss of privacy.  Remember Orwell’s 1984 when he wrote of the ‘thought police’?  That is exactly what today’s world is, at least here in the U.S.  So far, I have been arrested four times for my writing that was critical of the government.  The last time, what I wrote was in a private email to a friend, and within 30 minutes of sending that letter, the police were pounding on my door.

If only people had listened back in 2016, or even 2020 … if only people had voted the madman out back when we still had a chance.  We no longer have elections, no longer have a voice in government.  We no longer have an independent media … all information, such as it is, is now disbursed by state-run media outlets and carefully censored.

In nearly every city, new prisons are being built to house the political dissidents, those of us who remember what it was like to have freedom of speech and who continue to speak out.  There are near-daily executions … very public executions, intended to serve as a lesson for those of us who still think we are allowed to have a voice.  “Master Trump” as we must call him now, allows for no differing opinions, and all privileges are only for those who wholeheartedly support him.  Our grocery stores are state-run and one must show a valid state ID to even buy food.  Many of us have taken to growing vegetables in our small yards in order to survive, for the amount and quality of food available to those of us who are not wealthy is poor.

Thankfully, I don’t have young children or grandchildren, for the schools are now segregated by level of wealth, with the average person’s children receiving only the barest of education, and by age 16 being expected to enlist in the military.  For a time, I was teaching the neighborhood children in my own home, the lessons of history and government, but once I was discovered, I was no longer allowed to have children in my home.  The history books that are used in the schools are all new … history has been revised by Master Trump – a ‘man’ who has never read a history book in his life.  It is whatever he says it is on any given day.

Well, I must go pack the meager bit that I will be able to carry to cross the border tomorrow night.  We will be driving up to the Canadian border during daylight, find a place to rest for a few hours, then crossing the border on foot with only a backpack each to carry our belongings.  I hope it is a good sign that tomorrow starts a new year – 2027 – and hopefully a new life for me and the girls.  Wish us lu – who is that pounding on the door at this hour of the ni …………………..

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