Still More Snarky Snippets …

In rather a grand funk this evening, I’ve concluded that letting off a bit of snark would be the best way to return to my normally sweet, joyous self.  Yeah, okay, I haven’t been either sweet or joyous in decades, but at least I don’t normally threaten to chop all the fingers off my hand because it made a typo.  When it comes to that point, it’s time to let off some steam.


Twitter allows manic bullies, but not those who would say “bimbo”

Twitter is not, nor should it be, the official venue for presidential communiques.  Given that I was briefly banned from Twitter a couple of months ago for calling one of the Fox News bimbos a ‘bimbo’, it seems a no-brainer that a ‘man’ who tells lies, threatens, bullies, falsely accuses, incites violence, and curses people on Twitter should be permanently banned.  Instead, he is given carte blanche to write as many threatening falsehoods as he can dream up in a day.  A double standard?  Very much so.

twitter-birdTrump’s latest is an unfounded and erroneous campaign against journalist Joe Scarborough.  In 2001, when Scarborough was a Republican U.S. representative from Florida, a female staffer died after she passed out due to an undiagnosed heart condition and hit her head on a desk.  Scarborough was not even in the building at the time, police investigated and there was no sign of any foul play.  However, all of a sudden Trump decides to call on police to open an investigation, accusing Scarborough of murder.  No evidence, no reason, no justification … just Trump attempting to find yet another way to distract the public from his many crimes and from the increasing death toll that is a result of his horrible bungling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter, Facebook and the like were initially intended to be “social media” outlets, places were friends and families could connect, keep up with the latest, send messages and pictures, etc.  Now, all have become political venues where crooked, dirty politicians lie and promote their own agenda.  Twitter finds the appropriately-used word ‘bimbo’ offensive, but allows people to basically call for the lynching of another?  Great job, Mr. Dorsey.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, by the way, has a net worth of some $4.7 billion … I guess pandering to the corrupt pays off, eh?  I think perhaps the time has come for us to hold Twitter accountable … demand they ban Trump, for his words are likely to incite trouble among those of his followers who are not thinkers, but rather … followers.


McSally is … going … going …

I had to laugh when I read that republican advisors are warning that Martha McSally has fallen dangerously behind in the polls to keep her seat in the U.S. Senate – a seat, by the way, that was not earned via election, for she lost the election in her home state of Arizona, but was appointed by the Governor of Arizona to fill the seat left vacant by the late, Honourable Senator John McCain.  McSally has never been able to fill McCain’s shoes, and stands, in my book, zero chance of holding the seat after the November election.

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That mask itself is reason enough to oust her … that would scare even the heartiest among us!

Some of McSally’s views …

  • She wishes to de-fund Planned Parenthood, thereby robbing many in the lower income brackets the right to affordable health care, and she is all for denying contraceptives to those same people in lower income brackets. I guess she thinks more babies starving will make the world a better place?
  • She opposes same-sex marriage.
  • She opposes public education, instead being like Betsy DeVos and supports using public education money to provide vouchers for wealthy parents to send their children to private and religious schools. She is also in favour of cutting Pell Grants, the only way some of us have to get through college (yours truly was only able to earn a B.A. through Pell Grants), and opposes refinancing of student loans.
  • She fully supports the fossil fuel industry and opposes the Clean Power Plan to promote renewable energy sources.
  • She opposes any restrictions on guns.
  • She would repeal ACA and opposes any efforts to ensure health care for all.

There’s more, but this should be enough to prove why McSally has no business sitting in the U.S. Congress, yes?  Frankly, I’m not even sure at this point that she has any business taking up space on the planet.  Eat your hearts out, Republicans … McSally will go down in flames as Mark Kelly, a far more noble example of the human species, takes her seat in the Senate (hopefully after disinfecting it).


Return to the Cold War?

Donald Trump lived through the Cold War, same as I did.  But, apparently he was too busy partying with the likes of Jeffrey Epstein, grabbing women by the … ahem … and learning how to be the biggest arsehole on the planet to pay much attention to such things as nuclear proliferation and the threat of a nuclear war.

Yesterday, Trump announced his plans to renege on yet another international treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies.  This treaty was signed by then-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker under President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and aimed to build trust and reduce the risk of war through unarmed aerial surveillance over territories of all 30+ participants.

As usual, with no evidence whatsoever, Trump claims that his buddy Putin has failed to ‘adhere’ to the treaty, so Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the treaty that has successfully reduced the chances of an accidental nuclear incident for more than 30 years now.  No evidence, no real reason … just that Trump does not like any sort of multinational agreement … he wishes the U.S. to be alone and vulnerable, believing that “only I” can solve all the problems.

I think that once we emerge from this dark period I call the Reign of Trump, perhaps it is time for us to consider making some changes to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, specifying the limits on the authority of the president more clearly.  There is no way that the president should be able to enter into or pull out of international agreements and treaties without the approval of Congress.  It should not be the decision of a single person, just as the hiring and firing of the people who are to oversee the executive branch should not be the decision of the president alone.  I think we have seen in the past three years how the loopholes in the Constitution can lead to an extreme abuse of the powers of the office.


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Some ‘Toons To Make You … Smile? Cry?

Some days are just made for cartoons, y’know?  Actually, I was working on a post that I don’t have completed yet, and there are other things requiring my attention this afternoon, so this seemed a good time to find some good cartoons!


The big news of the day is Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress today.  Since I really don’t have the time nor the patience to sit and watch anything for more than about 5 minutes, I’m not watching it, but am keeping abreast of the important parts through news briefings.  The first thing to note is that he plainly said that he did not exonerate Trump and that he could, in fact, be charged with obstruction of justice once he leaves office.  I was angered, though not surprised, that the Department of Justice sent Mr. Mueller a letter outlining what he can and cannot say.Trump-Mueller-rpt-3Trump-Mueller-rptTom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190723.tif


In other big news this week, the UK now has a new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, which came as no surprise to anyone, but a disappointment to most.  Johnson and Trump are in many ways as two peas in a pod, which bodes ill for both nations.  I think they even buy their hair at the same place!

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Speaking to a group of young conservatives yesterday, Trump made the following statement:

“Then I have an Article 2 [of the Constitution], where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

It was not the first time he has said it, either.  It isn’t true, and it’s high time Congress and the Courts teach him that there are limits to his “executive privilege”.

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And, of course, he has continued to double-down on his racist remarks, tweeting daily as if determined to convince the world that he is the ultimate racist, lacking only a white robe and hood.  Why?  Because his bigoted base loves it, and because it provides a useful distraction from such things as his horrendous treatment of immigrants, the Mueller report, potential impeachment, etc.

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And to wrap up … just for fun …

Melania-with-blob

Age and citizenship is not enough. We need new requirements for president.

Jeff, aka Brookingslib over at On The Fence Voters has read my mind and written the post that I have been thinking about for quite some time now, but never got around to. A lot has changed in 230+ years, and it’s time for a few changes in our Constitution. Take a look at this post, for it is a common-sense, practical solution that would prevent a future recurrence of our current nightmare. Thank you, Jeff, for implied permission to share 😉

On The Fence Voters

Article 2, Section One, The United States Constitution: No person except a natural-born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 

So there you have it. In order to qualify to become the president of the United States of America, this little paragraph of our beloved Constitution spells it out. Is it me or doesn’t it seem a bid odd that the requirements to become the most powerful person in the free world are a bit on the weak side? I mean, I’ve seen job postings for dog-walker that are harder to qualify for.

I have to admit, since the election of Donald…

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Let’s Talk Impeachment …

Impeachment: a word that is on everybody’s minds these days, both Republican and Democrat.

“Whispers about impeachment, the most familiar constitutional procedure for removing a president, began to circulate even before Trump had taken the oath of office. But two months into Trump’s presidency, those whispers – and the search for any other possible emergency exit – have grown into an open conversation …” – The Guardian, 22 March 2017

Dan Rather on the Trump-Russian connections: “We may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged. It has all the necessary ingredients, and that is chilling.”

nixon-resignsOn August 9, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon became the only U.S. president to resign from office, in the wake of the Watergate scandal.  After two years of investigations and scandal, it was time.  Nixon said, “By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”  Nixon was guilty of a number of things, however I thought then, and I still think today, that he made a tough decision, the right decision, in the best interest of the nation.  Okay, granted, he had lost the support he needed in Congress, had lost the confidence of the nation, and would have likely been removed from office within a year, but still, I respect that he had the dignity to resign when he did. Had he not resigned, impeachment would have been the next step … a step that would have been costly and would have further divided the nation.  The House Judiciary Committee had already charged him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” in its bill of impeachment in July. There is no doubt that Nixon would have been impeached, but he might have, like Andrew Johnson before him and William Jefferson Clinton after, remained in office.

Nixon denied any wrongdoing, despite mounting evidence, until the bitter end.  Based on what we have seen thus far, I would expect no less from Trump when the investigations into his ties to the Russian government are eventually laid bare.  I suspect, however, that unlike Nixon, Trump will not have the grace to resign, but rather will force a full impeachment process, further dividing a nation that is already about as far divided as a nation can be without engaging in armed combat.

Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution states, “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The last of these, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors, is subjective and much would depend on how the 115th Congress decided to define it.  The process for impeachment is fairly simple, but by no means speedy:

  • Impeachment proceedings begin in the House of Representatives, once the Justice Department or an independent council investigates charges & presents them to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • The House Judiciary Committee then reviews the evidence, drafts the Articles of Impeachment, and debates the Articles, deciding whether to pass them to the full House.
  • The full House debates the Articles, then votes on whether to impeach. Only a simple majority (51%) is required for impeachment.  If 51% vote to impeach, the president is considered impeached, but is not yet out of office.
  • The Senate holds a trial to decide whether the president should remain in office. The House Judiciary Committee presents the evidence, acting as prosecutor, and the accused will have attorneys present to present his defense. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court acts as Judge and rules on admissibility of evidence, and the full Senate is the jury.
  • The Senate votes, and a two-thirds majority is required to remove the president from office.

Simple, right?  Well … yes … and no.  Think about the current composition of the 115th Congress and what, by their actions, they have indicated thus far.  We have 100 Senators, 52 of whom are Republicans, and 430 Representatives (there are currently 5 vacant seats), 237 of whom are Republicans.  Thus far, all bills have been voted on along almost strict party lines, with the Republicans throwing all their support to Trump.  What this means is that the Justice Department will need to have solid evidence of criminal acts committed by Trump in order to get the House to consider impeachment.  And the Justice Department is currently under the leadership of one Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III, a blatant racist who should never have been even considered, but who was hand-picked by Trump and then confirmed by the Republican-led Senate. See the conundrum?

The evidence is mounting that there will be, after the FBI finishes its investigation, and an independent commission (hopefully) conducts an investigation, incontrovertible grounds for impeachment.  If it turns out, as I believe, that Trump had direct connections to the Russian government and was aware of their efforts to alter the results of the 2016 election, or if certain of Trump’s campaign staff had connections and Trump was aware of those connections, that would be grounds for impeachment on the grounds of treason.  Another, though less likely possibility is that charges may stem from Trump  allegedly violating constitutional bans on receiving certain gifts – a problem rooted in his failure to divest from his real estate, hotel and branding businesses.

I think that whether or not the Department of Justice is willing to bring charges and then whether the House of Representatives and later the Senate are willing to follow through with the impeachment process is a matter of timing.  There are signs that some Republicans in Congress are already tiring of Trump’s shenanigans, such as his baseless claim that Obama had wiretapped his phones during the presidential campaign, his bald-faced lies, his tirades, and the blame game he is so fond of playing.  While there are undoubtedly some who will ride his coattails regardless of his actions, I firmly believe there are men and women of good conscience in the Republican party in Congress, and when push comes to shove, I believe they will opt to do the right thing.  But as of today, they are still supporting Trump, no matter what.  So, maybe in a month, maybe in two months, impeachment charges would move forward, but if they were handed down today, I am skeptical. It is rather a matter of giving him enough rope, enough time to figure out how to tie the knot in the rope, to hang himself.

The other option is that, under the 25th Amendment, Trump could be declared ‘unfit to serve’, but in my opinion, that is even more of a long-shot than impeachment. In order for this option to be enacted, the Vice-President and a majority of the top 15 members of the cabinet must find the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.  Those people all owe their jobs to Trump, and I find it highly unlikely they would go against him, especially if there were a possibility they would lose the battle and then have to live with the consequences.

In the long run, it boils down to We The People.  We must make our voices heard … our Senators and Representatives must be made to hear our voices and realize that we are the ones who have the power to decide whether they return to Congress after the next round of elections in 2018.  We need to remember that they work for us, not the other way around. While having the president impeached and removed from office may be divisive and disruptive, it is rather like having a cancerous growth removed … it is painful, but life-saving.  I believe having Trump removed will be painful for some in the short-term, but life-saving for our democratic principles in the long-term.