This Isn’t The First Time …

Opinion writer Charles Blow, writing for the New York Times, gives us some historical precedents to the extremism we are seeing today and it makes for an interesting and thought-provoking read.


Extremism Is on the Rise … Again

By Charles M. Blow

02 November 2022

After all this country has been through — from Donald Trump and his election denial, to the insurrection, to what prosecutors call the “politically motivated” attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband — it still appears poised to elect candidates next Tuesday who deny the results of the 2020 election. There are 291 election deniers on the ballot. And Trump — the greatest threat to democracy — may make a comeback in 2024.

It’s hard to believe even though it’s happening right in front of our eyes.

In a major speech Wednesday night, President Biden described election denial as “the path to chaos in America.” “It’s unprecedented,” he said. “It’s unlawful. And it’s un-American.” But in truth, the extremism, racism and white nationalism are neither un-American nor unfamiliar.

I am personally fascinated by precedents and historical corollaries, the ways that events find a way of repeating themselves, not because of some strange glitch in the cosmos but because human beings are fundamentally the same, unchanged, stuck in rotation of our failings and frailties.

The presidential election of 1912 offers a few lessons for our current political moment.

William Howard Taft had been elected president in 1908, succeeding the gregarious Theodore Roosevelt, the undisputed leader of the progressive movement of the age, who endorsed Taft’s presidential bid. But Taft was no Teddy. Taft was, as University of Notre Dame professor Peri E. Arnold has written, “a warmhearted and kind man who wanted to be loved as a person and to be respected for his judicial temperament.”

I hear echoes there of the differences between Presidents Barack Obama and Biden.

Progressives at first seemed satisfied with Taft’s election, as they expected him to simply carry Roosevelt’s legacy forward. But they soon grew disaffected, as did Roosevelt.

It wasn’t that Taft was ineffective; he just didn’t do all of what those progressives wanted, much like Biden hasn’t checked the box on all progressive priorities. Riding a wave of progressive anger, Roosevelt challenged Taft in 1912, and when Roosevelt didn’t secure the nomination, he ran as a third-party candidate, taking many of the progressives with him.

That split all but guaranteed that their opponent, Woodrow Wilson, would win, becoming the first president from the South since the Civil War.

Wilson had not been a favorite to win the nomination of his own party — he only secured it on the 46th ballot after quite a bit of deal-making. But once he reached the general election, he sailed to victory over the quarreling liberals. He would go on to campaign on an “America First” platform, which for him was primarily about maintaining America’s neutrality in World War I. But as Sarah Churchwell, author of “Behold, America,” told Vox in 2018, it soon became associated not just with isolationism, but also with the Ku Klux Klan, xenophobia and fascism.

In Wilson’s case, extremists took his language and twisted its meaning into something more sinister. When Trump glommed onto that language over a century later, he started with the sinister and tried to pass it off as benign.

Of course, Wilson was no Trump. Trump is one of the worst presidents — if not the worst — that this country has ever had. Wilson at least, as the University of Virginia’s Miller Center points out, supported “limits on corporate campaign contributions, tariff reductions, new and stronger antitrust laws, banking and currency reform, a federal income tax, direct election of senators, a single term presidency.” He was a progressive Southern Democrat. The newly formed N.A.A.C.P. actually endorsed him.

But there are eerie similarities between him and Trump. Wilson was a racist. He brought the segregationist sensibility of the South, where he had grown up and where Jim Crow was ascendant, into the White House. He allowed segregation to flourish in the federal government on his watch.

And while Wilson didn’t support shutting down all immigration, as long as the immigrants were from Europe, he did embrace ardently xenophobic beliefs. In 1912, he released a statement, saying:

“In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration I stand for the national policy of exclusion (or restricted immigration). The whole question is one of assimilation of diverse races. We cannot make a homogeneous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.”

It was Wilson who screened “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House, a film that pushed the “Lost Cause” narrative and fueled the rebirth of the Klan.

Trump hosted a screening of “2,000 Mules” — a fact-checker-debunked documentary that purported to show widespread voter fraud carried out by “mules” who stuffed ballot boxes with harvested ballots during the last presidential election — at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has called the Southern White House. That film has helped boost his followers’ belief in his lie about the 2020 election.

Allow me a quick aside to dissect the dehumanizing language of the “mule.” Mules were synonymous with captivity and servitude, and as such, a comparison between them and the enslaved — and later, oppressed — Black people was routine. In fact, in “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Zora Neale Hurston famously wrote that the Black woman is the mule of the world.

Then came the invention of the “drug mule,” a phrase that first appeared in this newspaper in 1993. Later, the media would often use it to describe Hispanic women.

Now we have ballot mules, an extensive cabal of liberal actors bent on stealing elections.

Once you animalize people, you have, by definition, dehumanized them, and that person is no longer worthy of being treated humanely.

I say all this to demonstrate that we have been here before. We have seen extremism rise before in this country, multiple times, and it often follows a familiar pattern: One party loses steam, focus and cohesion; liberals become exhausted, disillusioned or fractured, allowing racists and nativist conservatives to rise. Those leaders then tap into a darkness in the public, one that periodically goes dormant until it erupts once more.

I fear that too many liberals are once again caught up in the cycle, embracing apathy. My message to all of them going into Election Day: Wake up!

The (Sort Of) Final Word …

Did you watch the televised hearings, probably the last one, on Thursday afternoon?  In case you missed it, you can still see it here.  Dan Rather’s assessment of the proceedings is well stated, so rather than attempt to re-invent the wheel (mine would no doubt turn out square), I turn you over to Dan & Elliot from their newsletter on Thursday evening following the hearings.


Breaking The Republic

January 6 wasn’t an accident

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

“That, my fellow citizens, breaks the republic.” 

This was the chilling conclusion of Liz Cheney today at the January 6 hearings over what would have happened if the guardrails of our democracy, exposed for their frailty in 2020, had buckled to an autocrat determined to hold onto power. And the danger remains. “Without accountability, it all becomes normal, and it will recur,” Cheney warned. 

Cheney’s statement is striking in its simplicity and its power. Her audience is her “fellow citizens,” the ones who will be going to the polls in less than a month to decide who should lead this nation going forward. Her fellow Republicans have cast Cheney as a pariah for having the courage to state the truth: that their leader wanted to destroy America as we know it. 

What the committee presented today shed a spotlight on the authorship of this historic tragedy. It is Trump who is the playwright, conjuring and casting the roles of those who would act out his destructive intentions. It was he who dreamt up and directed a frontal attack on American democracy. But he couldn’t have done it without his willing accomplices. 

Today, we saw footage of members of Congress grappling in real time with a deteriorating situation on January 6 that could have ended with more bloodshed and the decimation of governmental order. We could feel a visceral fear in their actions and words, not only for their own personal safety but for the safety of the nation they had sworn an oath to serve. Those who could have intervened, starting with the president but including his top aides inside the White House, were absent. And that is just as the president wanted it. We heard today evidence that Trump knew he had lost, and he didn’t care what it would take to retain power.

This man who shamelessly pounds his chest with protestations of patriotism, who literally wraps himself in the American flag, who demonizes his political opponents as haters of America is really the one who views our imperfect experiment in self-governance with disgust. Elections. The rule of law. Peaceful transfers of power. The will of the people. These are the pillars of our nation’s foundation. But for Trump, that’s all just for suckers. He had the presidency, and he didn’t plan on relinquishing it, no matter what the voters or the Constitution said. 

January 6 wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a rally that spun out of control. It was a dangerous and violent storm threatening our nation’s core principles and our whole system of representative democracy. Stop and ponder that. Then remember that it should have been no surprise. The committee has made clear that the plan had been on the radar for weeks. There was plenty of evidence in advance that Trump and his cronies were planning to disregard the verdict of the election if it went against him. 

But details and evidence uncovered since have been stunning, including documentary footage of longtime Trump loyalist Roger Stone played today. Here is what Stone had to say even before Election Day (excuse the language, please): “I say fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.” Was what we saw on January 6 a Plan B, or really a Plan A?

One of the great attributes of this committee is expert storytelling, laying out, with gripping detail, a narrative — a true story — about the attempted destruction of our democratic order. They have carefully traced the origins of this horror to before the election. They have shown the rising danger and threats of violence. They have identified villainy, led by the president. They have explained with breathtaking intimacy what took place on January 6. And they have made very clear that that day’s actions, while dramatic, were not a denouement. How this story ends is currently unknowable. We will have a better sense after the midterm elections and with the Department of Justice’s decision if, how, and whom to prosecute. 

There is a lot about what we heard today, and in the previous hearings, that is infuriating. It also is hard not to feel a deep sadness about the precariousness of our democracy. But we can find hope in the service of this committee. They are saying to all of us, “This happened. Let us not let it happen again. And let us hold those responsible, accountable.” 

They believe that most Americans cherish our self-governance, our stability, and our rule of law. They believe that if we know the truth, that we will do everything in our power, as a people, as a nation, to protect against its recurrence. 

Does that belief still hold? Or are we now so divided that we can no longer be sure? This is the overriding question as our beloved America evolves in the first quarter of the 21st century.

It Trickles Up … Not Down!

Can She Really Be So Stupid???

Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who replaced bumbling Boris Johnson, has proven in a relatively short time that she is a damned fool.  She is leading the UK down a path to economic disaster and not only that, but she wants all other western nations to follow her down that pathway to nowhere.  In a recent interview, echoing Donald Trump, she said

“We do have to take difficult decisions to get our economy right. We have to look at our tax rates. So corporation tax needs to be competitive with other countries so that we can attract that investment.”

And so, for the sake of Ms. Truss, the good citizens of the United Kingdom, and as a reminder to the people of the United States, I am reprising a portion of my 2017 post here, explaining why and how ‘trickle down’ economics is a myth … a fool’s errand.  I have cut some of the original post out because the post was lengthy (over 1600 words) and a part of it was about Trump at that time (2017) and his proposals, now irrelevant. But somebody please pass this on to Ms. Truss so that perhaps she can gain a smidge of understanding about how the real world works and so that the UK doesn’t have to follow the U.S. down that damned disastrous pathway!


Trickle-down economics is a theory that says benefits for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else. It is a theory that makes sense … on paper.  In reality, it has been tried more than once and proven that it does not work.  Repeat after me:  Trickle-down economics does not work.  It does not trickle down, but rather pools in the bank accounts and investment portfolios of those who already own most of the nation’s wealth.

economy-8The theory is that if the government provides substantial tax cuts, industry de-regulations, and negotiates trade agreements that favour the big businesses of the nation, those big businesses will earn higher profit margins, and will therefore use their additional wealth to build more factories, hire more people, create more jobs, increase workers’ wages and benefits. The workers will have more money to spend, will buy more ‘things’, thereby increasing the profits of the big businesses who will use that additional profit to … well, you get the picture, right?  Sounds about right, don’t you think?  Yes, it sounds good, looks good on paper or white boards in boardrooms and congressional offices around the nation … but it does not work in reality.

economy-3Ronald Reagan tried it in the 1980s, thus leading to some calling it ‘Reaganomics’.  It did not work.  The U.S. economy was in a slump when Reagan took office in 1981, so he did two things:  lowered taxes and increased government spending.  Now, at this juncture I want to take a minute to let you know that I do not intend to provide a lesson in economics.  I am savvy enough, but I am not an economist, and I typically leave these discussions to fellow-blogger Erik Hare over at Barataria.  But Erik sometimes goes into more depth than is needed, as he IS an economist.  Since I am not, I will put what little explanation I deem necessary in layman’s terms.  So, using an over-simplification to explain what happened under Reagan …

Think of it on a personal level.  You decide you want to enjoy life more, so you cut back your hours, thereby reducing the income from your job.  At the same time, since you want to enjoy life more, you spend more money on such things as dining out, travel and household goods & clothing.  For a while, perhaps, life is great, but then … the homeowner’s insurance comes due, there is a huge auto repair, and your daughter starts college.  Uh-oh … it just caught up with you and now you must take out … loans.  Go further into debt.

This is what happened under Reagan.  He decreased the federal revenue by cutting taxes, increased federal spending in order to stimulate the economy, and for a while there was the illusion that it was working.  People had more money, and spent more, and they were happy.  But … time came to pay the piper and the money wasn’t in the treasury, so our federal debt tripled from $997 billion in 1981 when Reagan took office to $2.85 trillion in 1989 when he left office. Money is a finite resource.  If you rob from Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes, then soon you will need to rob from somebody else to pay Peter back.  And remember that debt is not free.  Take out a loan for that new car, and you will pay approximately 4.5% in interest.  The federal government must also pay interest on its debt.

Then in 2001, George W. Bush tried the theory once again, cutting income taxes in an effort to stimulate the economy.  Which it did … temporarily, until unemployment began to rise.  So in 2003, he further cut taxes on business.  According to the theory, the tax cuts should have helped people in all income levels. In fact, the opposite occurred. Income inequality worsened. Household income rose 6 percent for the bottom fifth. And 80 percent for the top 1 percent who saw their income triple. Instead of trickling down, it appears that prosperity trickled up.

economy-4

Okay, so we see that it does not work, but why?  I could point you to any number of studies with lots of graphs and charts to show inverse correlations, etc., but we would all be bored.  The bottom line, I firmly believe is multi-fold.  First, tax cuts reduce the revenue of the federal government, meaning that, since our government will almost never cut military spending, it will instead cut funding for social welfare programs, meaning the lowest income families will actually have less spending power.  Second, federal debt will have to increase to cover the deficiencies caused by the tax cuts.  And … here is, perhaps, the biggest reason:  GREED.  Big businesses that benefit from tax cuts are typically corporations who owe their very existence to their stockholders.  They will keep those stockholders happy with higher annual dividends before they consider paying their employees higher wages or increasing benefits, let alone hiring additional staff.  Purchasing additional factories?  Perhaps, but that is not likely to increase jobs significantly, especially with today’s rapidly growing technological advances cutting jobs in many fields.


The bottom line is that if you give the wealthy more money, they will NOT share it with ANYBODY … they will hoard it.  We have had a federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 since 2009 … 13 years … while the CPI (Consumer Price Index) has risen during that period by 27%.  Corporate profits have increased dramatically during that same period.  No, my friends, one last time …

TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS IS A MYTH … IT DOES NOT HAPPEN!!!

Wake up, Ms. Truss.

Oh Da Snark … Try Watching Grass Grow!

It seems I keep finding things to snark about.  I have tried to clear my mind of the detritus, tried lying in the yard watching the grass grow to find some peace of mind, but some of the blades of grass began looking like politicians after a while.  I threw myself into housework … for all of ten minutes … and then I was tired, so I went back to reading the news.  So, letting loose the snark here on ye olde blog seems to be the only way to evict it from my head!


Punished for doing the right thing

Okay, my friends … I’m going there again … ‘there’ being the place I try very hard to stay away from:  religion.  Well, not religion per se, but rather certain religious ‘leaders’ who have flown repeatedly onto my radar, almost as if they are begging me to swat them down.  Sigh.  I really don’t like delving into the realm, for I understand that in this area, I am a minority and my views have little or no value to the majority.  However …

Greg Locke, pastor of the Global Vision Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee, is not a nice man.  He has floated across my radar numerous times, but until recently I swished him away, pooh-poohed him as just another foolish evangelical.  Until recently, that is, when he actually had the unmitigated gall to tell his congregation that if they wore a mask, they would be thrown out of church!

“If you start showing up [with] all these masks and all this nonsense, I will ask you to leave. I am not playing these Democrat games up in this church.”

‘Democrat games???’  Who’s playing games now, Greg?  What’s next for Mr. Locke?  Will he throw out parishioners who have been vaccinated?  What about those who eat healthy and exercise regularly … are they to be given the boot?  Folks, this is not about whether one chooses to believe in a higher being or not … this is about life and death, about personal choices, about our health.  Mr. Locke has just mandated that his congregation must engage in dangerous, life-threatening behaviour in order to have the dubious ‘privilege’ of hearing him opine on that of which he is proven ignorant.

This isn’t Locke’s first foray into the unconscionable.  Previously he insisted President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected and claimed only “crack-smoking” leftists would think he beat Donald Trump to the White House.  He has falsely accused the State of Tennessee of building ‘quarantine camps’ to house the unvaccinated, and last September he published a book titled, This Means War: We Will Not Surrender Through Silence (Pastor Greg Locke: Spiritual Warfare Series).

What a joke he is … I wonder how many people will die because they listened to him?


And on the subject of masks …

Do you ever look around, read the news, and just wonder if the whole damn world has lost its collective marbles???

On Tuesday night, a meeting of the school board was held in Williamson County, Tennessee, the wealthiest in the state and one of the 20 wealthiest counties in the country.  The purpose of the meeting was to decided whether or not there would be a mask mandate in place when children return to school next week.  Unlike some other states, there is no ban on mask mandates in Tennessee and the decision is left up to each school district.

The meeting was so chaotic that it ended up taking four hours to decide that yes, they would mandate masks for teachers and students at the elementary school level.  Masks will be optional at the junior high and high school levels where most students are over 12 years of age and thus eligible for vaccination.  Angry parents showed up, almost none wearing a mask, and frequently disrupted the meeting, expressing their fury that their child might be ordered to wear a mask.  One person became so violent that he had to be escorted out by county deputies.

But it was what came afterward that makes me think our nation is devolving into something cruel and inhumane.  As the meeting broke up, hundreds of protestors were waiting outside.  The meeting had included health care professionals who attested to the value of wearing a mask during this time when the Delta variant of the coronavirus is running rampant.  Upon leaving the building, the health care professionals were surrounded by protestors chanting and issuing threats such as “We know who you are,” and “We will find you.”

If this is what it means to be an American, then I want no part of it!  These people are loons!  Doctors and nurses, trying to keep the children of these loons safe and alive, are threatened for doing so.  PEOPLE!  WAKE UP!  This is not how rational human beings behave!!!  Or is it?  Are people completely losing the ability to disagree in a civilized manner?


Something to ponder

Our friend Jerry, aka Grumpy1180, left a comment on my post about Andrew Cuomo’s resignation that I found very astute …

I’ve had several epiphanies since leaving the Republican Party. Here’s one of them: When a Republican “leader” gets caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar–or his or her pants down, or choose your cliche–Republican followers turn on the accusers, the law enforcers, the court system, the media, and anyone else who would dare to question the integrity of their hero. They side with the person over the principle. When a Democrat leader gets caught violating a law or an important social norm, Democrat voters say, essentially, “Sorry, _____. I liked you, but principles come first. Time for you to move on and be replaced by someone who understands the importance of upholding crucial, society-sustaining principles.”

Think about that for a minute … he’s right!  Did you hear a single Republican call for Trump’s resignation in light of his many proven sexual harassment accusations, his lies, his corruption?  He even admitted to some of them, yet not a whisper was heard from Republicans in or out of Congress.  When confirmation hearings were being held for Brett Kavanaugh to occupy a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and a highly credible woman accused him of sexual assault, who did Republicans turn on?  The woman, not Kavanaugh.  And more recently … have you heard a single Republican call for Representative Matt Gaetz, who is being investigated on sex trafficking charges, to step down?

Think about it … which party has shown integrity?  Jerry is right … it damn sure ain’t the Republican Party!

A Bombshell That Few Noticed

Last week, we found out that the former guy had instructed then-acting-attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.”  I saw this headline in numerous news sites that I visit daily, and like most of the rest of you, I growled a bit, called him a few choice names, then moved on to other stories.  But as Robert Reich points out … that was the wrong move.  This is THE story that is most important in its implications.  I’ll let Mr. Reich explain …


A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all

Robert Reich

A newly released memo shows that Trump told the acting attorney general: ‘Just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen’

We’ve become so inured to Donald Trump’s proto-fascism that we barely blink an eye when we learn that he tried to manipulate the 2020 election. Yet the most recent revelation should frighten every American to their core.

On Friday, the House oversight committee released notes of a 27 December telephone call from Trump to then acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, in which Trump told Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.” The notes were taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, who was also on the call.

The release of these notes has barely made a stir. The weekend news was filled with more immediate things – infrastructure! The Delta strain! Inflation! Wildfires! In light of everything else going on, Trump’s bizarre efforts in the last weeks of his presidency seem wearily irrelevant. Didn’t we already know how desperate he was?

In a word, no. This revelation is hugely important.

Rosen obviously rejected Trump’s request. But what if Rosen had obeyed Trump and said to the American public that the election was corrupt – and then “left the rest” to Trump and the Republican congressmen? What would Trump’s and the Republicans’ next moves have been? And which Republican congressmen were in cahoots with Trump in this attempted coup d’état?

Make no mistake: this was an attempted coup.

Trump knew it. Just weeks earlier, then attorney general William Barr said the justice department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.

And a few days after Trump’s call to Rosen – on 2 January – Trump told Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” votes to change the election outcome. He berated Raffensperger for not doing more to overturn the election.

Emails released last month also show that Trump and his allies in the last weeks of his presidency pressured the justice department to investigate totally unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud – forwarding them conspiracy theories and even a draft legal brief they hoped would be filed with the supreme court.

Some people, especially Republican officeholders, believe we should simply forget these sordid details. We must not.

For the first time in the history of the United States we did not have a peaceful transition of power. For the first time in American history, a president refused – still refuses – to concede, and continues to claim, with no basis in fact, that the election was “stolen” from him. For the first time in history, a president actively plotted a coup.

It would have been bad enough were Trump a mere crackpot acting on his own pathetic stage – a would-be dictator who accidentally became president and then, when he lost re-election, went bonkers – after which he was swept into the dustbin of history.

We might then merely regret this temporary lapse in American presidential history. At best, Trump would be seen as a fool and the whole affair an embarrassment to the country.

But Trump was no accident and he’s not in any dustbin. He has turned one of America’s two major parties into his own cult. He has cast the major political division in the US as a clash between those who believe him about the 2020 election and those who do not. He has emboldened state Republicans to execute the most brazen attack on voting rights since Jim Crow. Most Republican senators and representatives dare not cross him. Some of his followers continue to threaten violence against the government. By all accounts, he is running for president again in 2024.

Donald Trump’s proto-fascism poses the largest internal threat to American democracy since the civil war.

What to do about it? Fight it, and the sooner the better.

This final revelation – Trump’s 27 December call to the acting attorney general in which he pleads “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” – should trigger section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection” against the US. The current attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, should issue an advisory opinion clearly stating this. If Trump wants to take it to the supreme court, fine.

Trump’s Legacy: The Right to be a First Class Jerk

As always, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters is spot on … take a look for yourselves! Thanks, Jeff! As always, you da man!

On The Fence Voters


Boorish, idiotic, and rude behavior didn’t begin with the election of the disgraced former 45th president. In my nearly six decades on this earth, I’ve run across several of these types — present company excluded. However, what we see these days when it comes to a lack of basic decency and etiquette, I will lay a considerable, if not primary, blame at the feet of the failed blogger/president. When historians take a look back at his failed presidency, surely this will stand near the top of his already disastrous legacy.

Ever since the infamous ride down the golden escalator, we’ve been subjected to his insults, lies, and politically incorrect behavior. His command of the daily narrative, usually starting early in the morning before most of us had started sipping our coffee, ruled the media throughout his four years in office. They, and many in public, couldn’t wait to hear what he’d…

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A disgusting lack of leadership

Keith has expressed my own views, only so much better than I typically do. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following are the views of a former Republican and now Independent voter. I did not vote for the former president either time and remain puzzled why people would vote for such a well-documented untruthful, egomaniacal bully.

On Friday, I read that Senator Mitch McConnell would support the seditious former president if he were the 2024 presidential nominee. Note, this is after McConnell denounced the former president for his role in the insurrection against a branch of government, which of course, put McConnell and his colleagues in danger. And, unsurprisingly, Mr. McConnell chose not to vote to convict the former president before he admitted said person was guilty.

This is a disgusting lack of leadership in a country that needs this party to help offer some form leadership. But, as of this writing, people who voted as leaders to impeach or convict the seditious former president, have been vilified, censured…

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Keeping Our Eyes Where We Don’t Want Them To Be…

Many of us have opined about the impeachment trial, the likelihood that the senate republicans will fail to do their duty to We the People, and more. But, just when I thought I’d heard it all, I came across Annie’s post last night and … my jaw dropped. Trump apparently believes that he is still president, has set himself up with an office, staff, and claims his office will address “… official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump administration …” All the more reason that he must be convicted, his lies must be paid for, he must be forced into irrelevancy. Thank you, Annie, for this thoughtful post!

annieasksyou...

Image by Alexander Krivitskiy @krivitskiy; found via unsplash.com

I’ve had various gastrointestinal problems over the years: I come from a family of “gut” people, and there’s lots of scientific evidence about our gut-brain connection. But it took me about a week to realize that a lot of my annoying symptoms had dissipated.

I no longer had to make daily shakes with the fattening avocado I dislike to keep my weight stable, and I was eating things I’d abandoned in misery—like hummus. (OK, not thrilling, but when peanut butter on apples is the only lunch that sits right, a little diversity is most welcome.)

When I saw my gastro Monday morning, I told him how much better I was feeling. And the light bulb had gone off. My GI system almost instantaneously expressed its enormous gratitude and relief when Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the Oval Office. “You’re not the…

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Never-ending Snarky Snippets

Remember a day or two after President Biden’s inauguration when I mused that perhaps ‘snarky snippets’ would soon be retired?  Hahahahahahahaha.  What was I thinking?  I must have been drugged or something at the time!  Never fear, folks, I still have plenty to snark about!


Another example of profit over people

The J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue is home to FBI headquarters.  The building, completed in 1975, has become inadequate for the needs of the FBI, and is notable for its crumbling facade, inadequate security, antiquated infrastructure, and inadequate square footage.  Back in 2015, the decision had been made to look for suitable property to house the FBI somewhere in the suburbs, as the CIA has already done, then raze the Hoover Building.  A search was already on for finding the right location, taking bids from contractors, etc., when in 2017 Donald Trump took office and called a halt to the project.  Why?  Because the Hoover Building is across the street from his hotel.

Hoover-bldgTrump feared that if the Hoover Building were torn down, another hotel might be built in that spot, taking business away from his own hotel.  Yes, folks, a government decision for an agency that protects this nation was made based on a personal profit motive by the person sitting in the Oval Office.  What a surprise, eh?  I suspect there’s even more to it, such as out-of-town visitors to the FBI might stay in Trump’s hotel because it’s close and convenient, and who knows what other monies the hotel gets as a result of being across the street from the FBI.

Thousands of bureau employees, for whom there is no space at headquarters, are scattered in office buildings around the D.C. region, at significant cost to taxpayers. The danger to pedestrians posed by falling chunks of concrete is such that netting has been installed on the building’s east facade.  While not the highest priority the Biden administration has to deal with, a new building in a new location is likely to be built sometime in the near future, and frankly I hope somebody does build another hotel there and puts Trump’s gaudy monstrosity out of business.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s Inspector General has launched an inquiry to review the reasons for the plans to relocate were scuttled.


And speaking of Trump …

The impeachment trial for Donald Trump is scheduled to start in just over a week, on February 9th.  This past weekend, his legal team walked off the job!  It is reported that he insisted that the lawyers focus on his continuing false claims that he actually won the election and that due to widespread voter fraud it was ‘stolen’ from him.  All of this is a fantasy cooked up in his own mind, and not one iota of evidence has been produced to support his claims.  In fact, we the taxpayers have footed the bill for numerous recounts, for signature verifications and more, but no voter fraud at a level that could have changed the results in even a single state has been found.  Trump lost, but apparently he’ll go to his grave claiming that he won, ‘bigly’.

toon-trump-lawyer I suspect it is to the point that no reputable lawyer wants to be any part of Trump’s legal team for fear it would cast a long shadow on their reputation.  The lawyers had initially planned to center their strategy on the question of whether the proceedings were constitutional and on the definition of incitement, but Trump was having none of that.  Remember, he has always falsely believed that he was far more intelligent than anybody else, so this should come as no surprise.

He has apparently hired two new lawyers, one from Georgia and one from Pennsylvania.  Interestingly, David Schoen, from Atlanta, also served as Roger Stone’s defense attorney in his case of lying and witness tampering in a congressional investigation, so perhaps Trump has found one this time who doesn’t have any values or integrity.

Unfortunately, it likely doesn’t matter who his attorneys are, or even if he has attorneys, for the Senate Republicans appear to have already decided to acquit Trump no matter what.  One has to laugh when hearing the Republican Party referred to as the ‘Law and Order Party’.  Bullshit.


Just say ‘NO’, Joe

Jeff and I were in a Twitter ‘discussion’ with a man who was calling President Biden a ‘liar’ because he hadn’t received his $2,000 stimulus check yet.  We both tried to explain that nothing happens overnight in Washington, and further that Biden had done his part, now it’s up to Congress to pass the bill, but the man would have none of it and was determined to blame Biden.

The Republicans in Congress have come up with their own, greatly reduced, version and a group of ten Republicans, led by Ms. Wishy-Washy Susan Collins, are meeting with President Biden today.  The total amount of the Republican proposal is a mere 31% in total of Biden’s proposal, and the payments to individuals is reduced from $1,400 to $1,000, and also greatly minimizes the number of people who would qualify.  But the thing that concerns me most is that the Republican proposal requires abandoning the minimum wage increase that has been planned – and much-needed – for some time now, and which Biden plans to push Congress to pass.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and in this case, the Republicans in Congress seem determined to ensure that the 99% continue to suffer, while the 1% continue to profit.  I’m sure there must be a few Republicans in Congress who have a conscience, but they are a paltry minority, for the rest are without conscience, without concern for the people of this nation.  I hope that President Biden tells them to put their ‘counter-proposal’ where the sun doesn’t shine.


Not right bright

eric-trumpThe Trump children, like their father, are not known for being the brightest bulbs in the pack, but Eric Trump is apparently lacking even basic brain function.  Eric, in the early hours of November 3rd, before the polls were even open, made a wager … we’re not sure how much … that his father would score 320 electoral votes!

REBIRTH OF A NATION?

Like it or not, the U.S. has a place in the global community, and as such, what happens here affects our friends and neighbours all ’round the globe. Here is an assessment … a spot-on one, as it happens … from our friend David in the UK. Thank you David, for your thoughts on our disastrous day, your hopes for our future, and for caring.

The BUTHIDARS

Yesterday, January 6th 2021 will be a day long remembered in the history books. I saw something I never thought to witness outside of a Banana Republic. A Western Nation go to war with itself. There was armed insurrection in the Capital and the home of Democracy in America , The Capitol Building, was attacked by armed civilians carrying every type of weapon. These people had not gone to demand a more Democratic State, they had gone to destroy Democracy itself.

People were forewarned of such an event and it surprised me that there wasn’t a stronger defence of he building though it seems likely that there may have been some collusion between these insurrectionists and members of the current ruling party. The President who has made an almost single handed assault on Government during the last four years, and who has done little to earn his salary for the…

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