Just A Coupl’a Thoughts …

I’ve said before that these next two years are going to be chaotic and annoying, and already my angst levels are high, though not as high as they were at this point six years ago!  So, I have just a couple of thoughts at the moment to share with you.

The keepers of the purse …

Y’know … the people on the right-hand side of the aisle, also known as Republicans, sure do make a big fuss over saying that Democrats are not fiscally responsible, that they just spend, spend, spend, with no thought to a balanced budget or debt reduction.  Funny though … last year the U.S. deficit (the difference between assets and liabilities) fell … from $2.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion.  Now, as I recall, the Democrats were a majority in both chambers of Congress, and we had a Democratic president as well.  So, it seems to me that the Democrats do just fine with managing finances!  I guess those Republicans just need something to say to make themselves feel superior, eh?  Oh, and in case you’re wondering … the last time the deficit was erased and the budget fully balanced was under another Democrat – President Bill Clinton.

And speaking of those pesky Republicans …

In the days following the January 6th violent insurrection, additional security measures were taken in the Capitol, one of which was to install metal detectors, known as magnetometers.  Threats against members of Congress are at an all-time high, with 9,625 such threats in 2022 alone, so the safety of our lawmakers should be of primary concern.  But once the Republicans won a very slim majority in the House of Representatives, they had the magnetometers removed from outside the House chamber.  Why?  Who knows?  I do seem to recall that pistol-totin’ Lauren Boebert complained about having to pass through the detectors, ‘cause you know she can’t go anywhere without her gun, so maybe she whined long and loud enough.  Or maybe they’re already working with the likes of the Proud Boys to plot the next attempted coup and want to make sure they can get in with their guns.

But in an additional move to risk the safety of the members of the House, they lifted the smoking ban on their side of the Capitol building.  A number of representatives lit up stinky stogies (cigars) just because they could.  An interesting tidbit … former House Speaker John Boehner smoked so many cigarettes that new carpets, a fresh coat of paint and an ozone machine were required when Paul Ryan took over his office.  Guess who paid for all that?  I wonder if some of the non-smokers will file a lawsuit against their colleagues?

And that’s all the serious stuff I have the stomach for this morning, so how ‘bout some ‘toons?

I am not mistaken, I was misquoted (a reprise)

Today, our friend Keith reprised a post from ten years ago that brings to mind the quote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Thank you, Keith, for this walk down memory lane and the reminder that lying politicians is nothing new (although I do think George Santos gets the grand prize for the biggest lies!)


George Santos is not the first politician to be caught in a lie. I wrote the following in 2013, before the age of Trump. You can tell as if it was written later, examples of his untruthfulness would be hard not to include.

On our way to school this morning, my son and daughter were arguing over who said what. My son told his sister that she is acting like a politician and uttered, “I am not mistaken, I was misquoted.” I almost ran off the road it was so funny. It reminds me that you cannot hide from your comments in this day and age. They may be taken out of context, but they have been recorded somewhere, so you cannot disown them.

Last year, Charles Barkley, the former basketball player and current sports analyst, got some flack for what appeared in his book. His classic response was he…

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Above The Law???

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court has one final chance to do the right thing, to stand for truth and justice instead of simply pandering to Donald Trump. On Tuesday, the Court is scheduled to hear one of the most consequential cases ever considered on executive privilege. Trump v Vance concerns a subpoena issued by the Manhattan district attorney to President Trump’s accountants demanding the release of tax returns and other financial documents to a grand jury. What is at stake is no less than the accountability of a president to the rule of law.

Attorney General William Barr has said that Trump, so long as he remains in office, is above the law.  We the People disagree.  This case may be the deciding factor.  That Trump has fought so hard to keep his tax returns a big secret when every other president since 1968 has released multiple years’ tax returns, and even Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, has released 10 years’ worth of returns.  So, what is he hiding?  Some say only the fact that he is far less wealthy than he claims, but I personally think he is hiding something far more important.

Kellyanne’s husband, and co-founder of The Lincoln Project, George Conway, has written an OpEd for The Washington Post that sums it up quite well …

George Conway: No one in this country is above the law. The Supreme Court is about to teach that lesson.

ConwayBy George T. Conway III 

Contributing columnist

May 8, 2020 at 6:50 p.m. EDT

Twenty-six years ago, I published my first op-ed. Entitled “‘No Man in This Country … Is Above the Law,’” it addressed news reports that President Bill Clinton planned to claim an immunity from having to respond to Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit. “In a case involving his private conduct,” I wrote, “a President should be treated like any private citizen. The rule of law requires no more — and no less.”

The piece led to my ghostwriting briefs for Jones, including a Supreme Court brief two years later. The Supreme Court agreed unanimously that Jones could proceed, and, like the op-ed, quoted from the Founders’ debates about the status of the president: “Far from being above the laws, he is amenable to them in his private character as a citizen, and in his public character by impeachment.” Which meant that while a president could be impeached for official misconduct, he “is otherwise subject to the laws” — and therefore could be sued — “for his purely private acts.”

I couldn’t have imagined then that another president would challenge that proposition. Then again, I couldn’t have imagined President Donald Trump.

But here we are. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear telephonic arguments in three cases addressing whether Trump can keep his tax and financial information from being disclosed, whether from Congress or criminal prosecutors. In Trump v. Vance, which involves a New York state grand jury investigation, Trump’s lawyers argue that, even when it comes to purely private conduct, the presidency insulates him from the legal process.

The case arises from a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, and it seems there’s plenty worth examining: whether, as suggested by extensive reporting in this newspaper and other outlets, Trump’s businesses may have dodged taxes. And whether Trump’s hush-money payments, made through his lawyer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, violated state law. (Cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes arising from those payments, which the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said were made “at the direction of Individual-1” — Trump.)

The state grand jury subpoenaed the Trump Organization and Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, seeking tax returns and financial records. Trump sued to block the subpoena to Mazars — on the ground that he’s president. The lower federal courts rejected his pleas, and now he’s in the Supreme Court. Where he will lose — or should.

To say Trump’s argument is frivolous demeans frivolity. Clinton v. Jones dictates the result: The subpoenaed documents have nothing to do with Trump’s presidential duties — zip. That alone does it.

But Trump’s case is even weaker than Clinton’s. At least Clinton was being sued personally. He ultimately had to give evidence himself, which he did (infamously) at a deposition. But because the suit had nothing to do with presidential duties, the Supreme Court said it could proceed.

Here, Trump hasn’t been charged with or sued for anything. He’s not being required to do anything. The subpoenas have been directed at his company and his accountants. They don’t require his time or attention.

Trump’s position stupefies. In essence: Authorities can’t investigate anything touching his personal affairs — including, ahem, payments to pornographic actresses — because he’s president. Think of the logic: Not only does the president enjoy a personal constitutional immunity — his businesses do, too.

It doesn’t matter that Trump challenges a criminal inquiry, while Jones involved a civil suit. Whether a sitting president can be indicted remains unsettled, but Trump hasn’t been charged. In fact, presidents have given evidence in criminal matters many times — including ones touching them personally. Chief Justice John Marshall ordered President Thomas Jefferson to produce documents in Aaron Burr’s treason case. A unanimous Supreme Court ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, and rejected a claim of presidential privilege — in a case in which Nixon was named an unindicted co-conspirator. Clinton provided grand jury and criminal trial testimony in the Whitewater and Lewinsky investigations — matters in which he was potentially a target.

Trump complains nonetheless that letting 50 states conduct investigations involving presidents would endanger the presidency, as well as federal supremacy. A short answer is one the court gave in Jones, where Clinton raised the specter of countless private plaintiffs bringing meritless suits: Courts can address vexatious litigation case by case, and if that doesn’t suffice, Congress can legislate a fix.

A more fundamental answer, though, may be found in an amicus curiae brief in the Vance case, a brief submitted by the Protect Democracy Project and joined by me and 36 other conservatives: “The Constitution is concerned with the supremacy of federal law, not the supremacy of federal officials.”

Likewise, the Constitution is concerned with protecting the presidency, not the person who happens to be the president. That’s because no one in this country is above the law. The Supreme Court is now called upon to teach that lesson once again — even if Trump will likely never learn it.

When this case is decided, we will know two things once and for all:  1) Do we still have an independent, non-partisan Supreme Court that decides cases on merit?  2) Do we have a president, or have William Barr, Mitch McConnell, and now the Supreme Court turned the presidency into an autocracy?  Stay tuned …

♫ Bill Withers — A Tribute ♫

Yesterday was yet another sad day in the music world, with the announcement that soul singer Bill Withers had died at age 81.

Withers’ songs are some of the most beloved in the American songbook. Ain’t No Sunshine is regarded as one of the all-time great breakup tracks, while Lean on Me, an ode to the supportive power of friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Born William Harrison Withers Jr in 1938, he faced a difficult childhood in Slab Fork, West Virginia. A stutter held him back from making friends, and, after his father died when Bill was 13, his grandmother helped to raise him. Withers would write a tribute to her with the song Grandma’s Hands from his 1971 debut album Just As I Am: “Grandma’s hands / Used to issue out a warning / She’d say, ‘Billy don’t you run so fast / Might fall on a piece of glass / Might be snakes there in that grass.’”

Withers spent nine years in the US Navy before pursuing a career in music. After moving to Los Angeles in 1967, he found a job making toilet seats and recorded demos through the night. Possessed of a smooth and soulful baritone, he signed to Sussex Records and enlisted Booker T Jones to produce Just As I Am. That album spawned the hit Ain’t No Sunshine, which won Withers his first Grammy for best R&B song.

The 2009 documentary, Still Bill, explored his reasons for quitting the music industry and painted the picture of a fulfilled musician and human being. Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, film critic Roger Ebert said: “Withers still lives and survives as a happy man. Still Bill is about a man who topped the charts, walked away from it all in 1985 and is pleased that he did.”

I debated about what song to play in honour of Mr. Withers tonight.  I have already played my three favourites, and since I couldn’t decide, I offer all three here, with links to the original posts for trivia and lyrics if you’re interested.


Links to original posts:

Ain’t No Sunshine

Just the Two of Us

Lean On Me

Snarky Finds Humour In Snippets …

So much fodder for the gristmill out there these days that it’s hard to know where to start!  Fortunately, there are some nuggets of humour amidst all the anguish of having so much chaos in our government.  My snarky side loves humour …

Perish the thought!

I had just taken a sip – fortunately only a small sip – of my morning coffee when I read of Devin Nunes’ opening statement in the testimony before the House Intelligence Committee of acting DNI Joseph Maguire, and I literally damn near choked with laughter.  Nunes’ exact words …

“Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people who they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump.”

Say WHAT???  Why on earth would anybody want a nude photo of the ugliest piece of human flesh on the planet???  I still have to chuckle over that one!  It’s bad enough having to see his ugly mug every day, but to have to see the flabmeister in the raw?  Thanks, Devin, but no thanks!  I seriously doubt that anybody is trying to get nude photos of Donald Trump, but thanks for the laugh.


Many former and current members of Trump’s administration have claimed that ‘chaos’ is the defining feature of the White House under Trump.  I think we all assumed as much, but now we have proof.  And, if you ever thought that there was a large degree of incompetence in the administration, we now have proof of that, also.  It wasn’t an earth-shattering thing, but one that makes you roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders, and say wtf???

Amid all the back-and-forth about Trump’s July phone conversation with Ukraine’s President Zelensky, officials in the White House were preparing their rebuttal, their ‘talking points’, as it is called, to counter the charges of corruption.  This is standard practice, rather like preparing notes for a speech or a debate, but what isn’t standard practice is sending your talking points to your opponent!

Tori Q. Symonds, a White House communications staff member, sent an email to people within the administration, explaining how they should respond to the allegations that Trump attempted to blackmail Zelensky for his own personal gain.  Now, I don’t know who all was on the intended list of recipients, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t intended to include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who just two days ago announced that she would open a formal impeachment inquiry.  But, she did receive the email, as did a number of other democrats including Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. from New Jersey, who shared the talking points on Twitter …talking-points-e1569517538204.png

Once she realized her mistake, Ms. Symonds attempted to recall the email, but … oops, too late!  I wonder if Ms. Symonds still has a job?  Yep, folks, seems that chaos, corruption, and incompetence are the three words that best define Trump’s administration!

Good ol’ Lindsey …

Lindsey Graham … the very name makes me want to throw something.  You’ll remember he was once Senator John McCain’s best friend, but then turned on McCain like a rabid dog shortly before McCain’s death.  That, in itself, is enough to make me sick.  But of late, he isn’t quite sure whether to praise and defend Donald Trump, or whether to distance himself from Trump’s idiocy.  Perhaps it depends on the day of the week, the weather, or perhaps he has a spinner by his bedside and decides how he will act each day by spinning the wheel … round and round it goes, where it stops only Lindsey knows!

Anyway, to the point (yes, I have one … be patient), yesterday Lindsey spoke, and while not exactly defending Trump, he said …

“From my point of view to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane. Joe Biden is a very good friend, but we can’t have a country where one side looks at and the other one does not.”

Look out Joe, for we know how Lindsey treats his “very good friends”!  But now think about this one for a minute, folks.

In January 1999, during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for lying to Congress about a consensual sexual liaison, here’s what Lindsey had to say …

“A President doesn’t even have to be convicted of a crime to be impeached. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office. So, the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.”

Restoring ‘honour’ and ‘integrity’ to the office!  Where did those values go over the past 20 years?  Seems to me that Mr. Graham has been too long in Congress and his moral compass has flown the coop.

While I believe that impeachment is the right and proper thing to do, the only way to maintain the principles on which this nation was founded, the unfortunate thing is that it will suck all the air out of the room.  There are many, many important issues that need to be addressed by our federal government and are likely to be pushed aside by lawmakers and the media, as they focus on impeachment and the crimes of Trump.


Ramblings …

I’m just trying to digest some of what is happening today, this week, and thought I’d share my thoughts with you all, see what your own thoughts are.

Yesterday, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died at age 99.  One of the things he will long be remembered for is his stance that a sitting president is not above the law.  In 1997, he wrote the opinion that Bill Clinton must face Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit because a sitting president does not have immunity from all civil lawsuits for actions when he was not in office.

In another case in 2006, Hamdan v Rumsfeld, he wrote: “The Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction.”  And in a recent interview, when asked how he viewed Trump’s abuse of power, Stevens said …

“The president is exercising powers that do not really belong to him. I mean, he has to comply with subpoenas and things like that.”

I may have a tribute to Justice Stevens later, but for now I am wondering … how has this nation changed so much from the days of Justice Stevens’ rulings?  Nixon tried to abuse the power of the office, and he was stopped both by Congress and the Supreme Court.  That was in 1974 … forty-five years ago.  What changed?

Sure, Trump is a bully who rules by instilling fear of his red-faced wrath, but frankly, his power, his authority, derives from We the People.  He has no power without the approval of Congress and the Court, and Congress derives their power from us.  Or at least, so the theory goes.  Which brings me to my next thought.

After the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump remarked that there were “very fine people” on both sides – one of those sides being white supremacists who had committed murder on that day.  Based on those remarks, his net approval rating dropped by 10%.  But this week, after his blatantly racist remarks … and yes, they were racist remarks … about four members of Congress, it turns out that his approval rating among republicans actually went up by 5%!

How can this be?

His approval rating among independents dropped a bit, thus his overall approval rating remains unchanged.  But … think about this.  Some people who did not approve of him a week ago, now like him because he denigrated lawmakers based on their ethnicity and the colour of their skin.  What does this say about us?

One thing it says is that the divisiveness of this nation is a division of values, or morals.  Certainly, that is not the only cause of the deep chasm between right and left, but it is part of it.  Apparently, there is a large contingent for whom money is more important than humanity, profit over people.  But, I wonder … does it also say that the white supremacists, those who believe their Caucasian ancestry makes them somehow ‘better’ than the rest of us, are gaining momentum?  Are their numbers growing, and if so … why?  What has changed?

And where does this lead us? Are those who support Trump, not in spite of but because of his bluster, his arrogance, his racism, willing to hand him the keys to the kingdom, willing to allow him complete power to rule with impunity?  For it seems to me that is the direction this country is headed.  Those of us who are not without conscience are demeaned and mocked, told “if you don’t like it, leave”.  Trump has taken the law into his own hands and dared any to challenge him.

The democrats in Congress are divided, not because any are enamoured of Trump, but simply because this situation is without precedent and they are not sure which way to turn.  It’s understandable, but unfortunate, for we need them to be unified in the fight to keep this nation from becoming an authoritarian regime.  They are the last, best hope to force accountability, but instead they sit on their thumbs because they cannot agree on how best to proceed.

It disturbs me to see what is happening in this country today.  It makes me sad that not only do we have more corruption in the upper echelons of our government than perhaps ever before, but that the people of this nation are willing to turn a blind eye.  I don’t understand it, but it flies in the face of the premises on which the nation was founded.  Where do we go from here?Text dividers

Impeaching Trump: What would the Founders say?

Impeachment, or as Trump calls it, “the I-word”, is on the minds of many of us these days. It is debatable whether impeachment would be successful at this juncture, hence the caution being exercised by Speaker Pelosi. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done his homework and pondered the situation from the perspective of how the framers of the U.S. Constitution might have viewed it, and I think the results of his pondering are worth sharing. Thank you, Jeff, for this thoughtful work and for allowing me to share …

On The Fence Voters

In the course of any given day lately, I find myself grappling with the following question: What would the Founders do about it? Or, even better—what were they thinking and what were their arguments as they went about writing that sacred document we call the United States Constitution?

Actually, it’s a practice I’ve been doing for quite some time. I mean, between gun rights, abortion rights, immigration, and so many other issues, our Constitution is the basis for trying to figure out how to deal with these controversial issues. Often, we try to gauge what the intent of the Founders was. We can read their words in such publications like The Federalist Papers, and other discussions and arguments they were engaged in, that have been documented in letters, debates, and of course, The Constitutional Convention itself.

Currently, though, the impeachment process is front and center. Ever since the Democrats took…

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Let’s Raise the Bar …

I have an idea that I would like to propose: Any candidate running for federal office – either Congress or President/Vice President – should have to take and pass the U.S. Citizenship test.  It should be requisite.  If it were, I can guarantee you that Donald Trump would not be in the Oval Office today, for much of the citizenship test pertains to history and the U.S. Constitution, and Donald Trump is relatively illiterate in both areas.  A few examples of his grasp on historical details:

  • Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president [Macron], so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.
  • “I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”  (Jackson died 16 years before the beginning of the Civil War)
  • “I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”   

And those are but a few examples of Trump’s grasp of history.  Nada.  I knew more by 4th grade than he knows at age 72.  Why?  Did they not teach history in that fancy military school his daddy sent him to?  Or was he simply not smart enough to learn?  Sad.

Back in May 2016, I wrote a piece titled Why Goats Can’t Vote, about the U.S. Citizenship test and how only 62% of U.S.-born citizens can pass the test.  One of the comments on that initial post was from my UK friend Bushka:

“Always been amazed by this phenomenon…Even Presidents are known to lack such simple knowledge…..No Names!!!”

Fitting, don’t you think?  I was thinking about this tonight and I thought it might be interesting to see just how Trump would fare.  Let’s give him a few questions and see how he does, shall we?  The following are actual questions from previous citizenship tests. Trump’s answers are in his favourite colour, red.

What is the supreme law of the land?
the Supreme Court 
the Bill of Rights
the Declaration of Independence
the Constitution

The correct answer is “the Constitution”.

The idea of self-government in in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
We the Government
The President is
We the People
The Founding Fathers

The correct answer is “We the People”.

Citizenship Study Questions 1-20
What is an amendment?
a change (to the Constitution)
an addition (to the Constitution)
both a and b
none of the above

The correct answer is “both a and b”.

What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
The Bill of Rights
The Ten Commandments
The Bill of Laws
The Preamble to the Constitution

The correct answer is “The Bill of Rights”.

What is freedom of religion?
Religion has power over the government
You can force anyone to participate in your religion
You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion
Religion should not exist, and all citizen should be free from it

The correct answer is “You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion”.

What is the “rule of law”?
Everyone must follow the law, except the leaders
Everyone must follow the law, except the government
Only Congress is above the law
Everyone must follow the law, leaders and government must obey the law, and no one is above the law.

The correct answer is “Everyone must follow the law, leaders and government must obey the law, and no one is above the law”.

Well, well, well … looks like Bushka was right, eh?  To his credit, Trump got #3 half right, so I can give him a half point, which brings his score up to 8%.  This ‘man’ could not even become a citizen of the nation he is in charge of! I was pleased that I got them all right … I actually took 20 of them and got them right … so even I am more qualified to be president than Donald Trump!  Hmmmm …

Seriously though, folks … I understand why the framers of the Constitution set very few eligibility requirements for president:  one must be 35 years of age, a resident “within the United States” for 14 years, and a “natural born Citizen”.  That was in 1787, and the framers already knew they were writing the rules for George Washington to become the first president. Looking to the future, they set the age requirement in order to ensure a mature man (women weren’t even allowed to vote or own property back then, so they didn’t count) would be elected.  The citizenship requirement was simply to keep Alexander Hamilton, who was born in the West Indies, from becoming president.  Our constitution is an 18th century one developed for a newly independent British colony.  And it worked well for a number of years.  But this is the 21st century and times have changed.  Just as we amended the Constitution to allow women to vote and to abolish slavery, it is time we amend it to set a higher standard for the presidency.

Until the Trump presidency, we didn’t question the eligibility requirements, for we had men who were well qualified, who had studied not only law, but also English grammar and history.  But today that is not the case.  Take a look at a few recent presidents:

  • Bill Clinton had a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University, a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar. In addition, he had experience in government, having served as Governor of Arkansas for 11 years.
  • George W. Bush had a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in history from Yale University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School, and he had served as Governor of Texas from 1995-2000.
  • Barack Obama double-majored in college, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and English Literature from Columbia University, graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, served as an Illinois State Senator from 1997-2004, and as a U.S. Senator from 2005-2008.

Compare to Donald Trump who has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Wharton School of Business, four draft deferments, nearly 6,000 lawsuits, numerous sexual misconduct allegations, and six bankruptcies to add to his résumé.  No relevant education, no relevant experience.  What were people thinking when they voted for him?

There are portions of the U.S. Constitution that need to be updated.  The electoral college is one, and I will cover that in a future post, but the qualifications for the head of the government, the man with the most power, seriously need to be upgraded and brought into the 21st century, preferably before the 2020 election.  At the very least I would expect degrees in political science and/or international relations, and at least four years relevant experience.  This nation cannot afford another Donald Trump, or even another four years of this one.  Let’s raise the bar.

Oooohhhh … Scandals!!!

clintonIn December 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.  The case?  He lied under oath about an affair … a single affair … with then-staffer Monica Lewinsky.

ReaganIn 1987, President Ronald Reagan admitted to selling weapons in exchange for hostages, a scandal that would become known as the Iran-Contra Affair, and for which 14 of Reagan’s cohorts were charged, some serving prison sentences.

NixonIn 1974, President Richard M. Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment for spying and sabotage, and later cover-up during the 1972 presidential campaign.   The scandal would forever be remembered as the Watergate scandal.

In 1922, President Warren Harding’s interior secretary, Albert Fall, was convicted of accepting bribes and loans in exchange for granting oil drilling rights in what would become known as the Teapot Dome scandal.

whiskey ringIn 1875, under President Ulysses S. Grant, it was determined that the IRS and Treasury Department had been “looking the other way” while distillers of whiskey kept tax revenues for their own benefit.  Grant’s aide and personal secretary, Orville Babcock, was also involved, though Grant gained him an acquittal by pleading on his behalf.  This became known as the Whiskey Ring scandal.

In 1868, President Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. president to be impeached.  His crime?  He went against legislation passed by Congress (the Tenure of Office Act) and attempted to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a Lincoln appointment.  The Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office.

Those are the biggest scandals prior to 2017 involving sitting U.S. presidents.  And then came Trump.  Take another look at the other scandals … they don’t really seem quite so bad now, do they?  So, now that we have a point of comparison, let us take a look at just a few of the scandals of the Trump presidency after a short/long 15 months …

  • Alternative facts – beginning on day one, with the administration’s attempt to portray Trump’s inaugural crowd as some 5 times larger than it actually was, and continuing on a near-daily basis ever since.

  • In February 2018, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, spent $31,561 for dining room furniture for his new offices.

  • In January 2017, Presidential Bimbo Advisor Kellyanne Conway referred to a “Bowling Green Massacre” as a justification for Trump’s travel ban against Muslims.  There was never any such event.

  • On 10 May 2017, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump discussed classified intelligence information.

  • On 09 May 2017, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey after Comey refused to a) pledge an oath of loyalty, and b) agree to drop the investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections.

  • The FBI and other congressional committees have been investigating links between Trump, his family, and members of his campaign staff and the Russian government. There is already strong evidence of ties between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian officials.

  • On August 25, 2017, Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, a known racist who had defied a court order to cease and desist racial profiling.

  • In March 2018, Trump’s Staff Secretary, Rob Porter, was credibly (with evidence) accused by his two former wives of domestic abuse. Porter resigned, but Trump ranted that he should have stayed.

  • In September 2017 it was discovered that Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, had spent more than $1 million of department funds for his own travel on private charter jets and military aircraft.

  • Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least 19 women. He has bragged about following young contestants into the dressing room and groping them during the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contests.  And he is heard on tape claiming that a celebrity like himself “can do anything” to women, including “just start kissing them … I don’t even wait” and “grab ’em by the pussy”.  And Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about having consensual sex with Monica Lewinsky???

  • Lastly, Donald Trump has been credibly accused of having an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels shortly after Melania, his third wife, gave birth to their son. Trump, through his attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about their affair during the 2016 election.

Did the rules change in the twenty years between 1998 and 2018?  Does it, despite #MeToo, no longer matter if men use their power to abuse women?  Does it no longer matter how our elected representatives spend OUR money?  Have integrity, truth and honesty become archaic words that no longer have value in our lives?

Today we have the most corrupt individual in the history of this nation sitting in the Oval Office. Today we have people in towns and cities all across the nation saying that they are “good Christians”, that they hate abortion because it is ‘morally wrong’ … and yet … and yet, they find nothing … NOTHING … wrong with the man pretending to be president groping women, having multiple elicit affairs, lying, cheating and stealing.  Just this week, Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual abuse and faces a possible 30-year prison term, yet Donald Trump, who has done no less than Cosby, is applauded.

Some men in power are running scared right now

I don’t think any of use realized just how widespread the abuse of women by men with power was until the Weinstein affair, and even now, we are likely only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Friend Keith has written a timely post that I urge you to read. We need to ensure that we don’t let the culture of men in power using and abusing women become the norm. Thank you, Keith, for this post and implied permission to share.


If you are a man in power and have used your power to sexually harass or assault a subordinate colleague or third party, my guess is you are running a little scared right now. Sexually assaulted and harassed women (and men) are more empowered to tell stories that have eaten away at them for years.

Ex-judge and Senate candidate Roy Moore keeps asking why are these women coming forward now? Really? First, you apparently assaulted and harassed these women as impressionable teens and used your power as local DA to silence them. Second, you are interviewing to be a Senator of the United States. But, just read the news and you will know why these women are coming forward now.

Yet, if he did join the Senate, he will find some company in the halls of Congress on sexual assaulting and harassing women (and men). At least two have been…

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