The Scope Of Impeachment

The big question about Trump’s impeachment is whether the scope should be narrow or broad.  Initially, Nancy Pelosi seemed determined to keep the focus on Trump’s attempts to bribe/blackmail Ukrainian President Zelenskyy for personal gain.  That, in and of itself, is enough for impeachment, but there is so much more … should the House expand the horizon and include Trump’s other violations of his oath of office?  There are mixed feelings about it among the experts and journalists.  Today, I would like to share New York Times columnist David Leonhardt’s view, for it is one with which I largely agree.

The Eight Counts of Impeachment That Trump Deserves

The lessons from Nixon and Clinton.

david-leonhardtBy David Leonhardt

Opinion Columnist

During Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee considered five articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon — and voted down two of them. During the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the House voted on four articles — and rejected two.

That history serves as a reminder that impeachment is not a neat process. It’s a chance for Congress and voters to hear the evidence against a president and decide which rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

My own instincts have leaned toward a targeted, easily understandable case against President Trump, focused on Ukraine. And that may still be the right call. But the House shouldn’t default to it without considering a larger airing of Trump’s crimes against the Constitution. A longer process, with more attention on his misdeeds, seems unlikely to help Trump’s approval rating.

So last week I posed a question to legal experts: If the House were going to forget about political tactics and impeach Trump strictly on the merits, how many articles of impeachment would there be?

I think the answer is eight — eight thematic areas, most of which include more than one violation.

In making the list, I erred on the side of conservatism. I excluded gray areas from the Mueller report, like the Trump campaign’s flirtation with Russian operatives. I also excluded all areas of policy, even the forcible separation of children from their parents, and odious personal behavior, like Trump’s racism, that doesn’t violate the Constitution.

Yet the list is still extensive, which underscores Trump’s thorough unfitness for the presidency. He rejects the basic ideals of American government, and he is damaging the national interest, at home and abroad. Here’s the list:

  1. Obstruction of justice.

Both the Nixon and Clinton articles included the phrase “prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice,” and Trump’s impeachment should start with his pattern of obstructing investigations.

He has admitted that he fired the F.B.I. director to influence the investigation of his own campaign. He has harassed Justice Department officials who are Russia experts, including Andrew McCabe and Bruce Ohr. Trump also directed his White House counsel to lie about their conversations over whether to fire Robert Mueller. Most recently, the White House tried to hide evidence about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, by improperly classifying material about it.

  1. Contempt of Congress.

Another article of impeachment against Nixon said that he had “failed without lawful cause” to cooperate with a congressional investigation. Trump has gone much further than Nixon, outright refusing to participate in the constitutionally prescribed impeachment process. As a result, the country still doesn’t know the full truth of the Ukraine scandal.

  1. Abuse of power.

The House will almost certainly adopt a version of this article, impeaching Trump for turning American foreign policy into a grubby opposition-research division of his campaign.

The most haunting part is that if a courageous whistle-blower hadn’t come forward, Trump most likely would have gotten away with it. He would have pressured the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation of the Bidens, and we in the media would have played along, producing the headlines that Trump wanted to see.

  1. Impairing the administration of justice.

That phrase appears in the second impeachment article against Nixon, which detailed his efforts to use the I.R.S., F.B.I. and others to hound his opponents. It’s a version of abuse of power — but distinct from the previous item because it involves using the direct investigatory powers of the federal government.

Trump has repeatedly called for investigations against his political opponents, both in public and in private with aides. For example, as the Mueller report documented, he pressured Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, to investigate Hillary Clinton: “You’d be a hero,” Trump said. This behavior has violated the constitutional rights of American citizens and undermined the credibility of the judicial system.

  1. Acceptance of emoluments.

The Constitution forbids the president from profiting off the office by accepting “emoluments.” Yet Trump continues to own his hotels, allowing politicians, lobbyists and foreigners to enrich him and curry favor with him by staying there. On Sunday, William Barr, the attorney general, personally paid for a 200-person holiday party at Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington.

The Democratic-controlled House has done an especially poor job of calling attention to this corruption. It hasn’t even conducted good oversight hearings — a failure that, as Bob Bauer, an N.Y.U. law professor and former White House counsel, told me, “is just astonishing.”

  1. Corruption of elections.

Very few campaign-finance violations are impeachable. But $280,000 in undisclosed hush-money payments during a campaign’s final weeks isn’t a normal campaign-finance violation. The 2016 election was close enough — decided by fewer than 80,000 votes across three swing states — that the silence those payments bought may well have flipped the outcome.

  1. Abuse of pardons.

The president has wide latitude to issue pardons. But Trump has done something different: He has encouraged people to break the law (or impede investigations) with a promise of future pardons.

And he didn’t do it only during the Russia investigation. He also reportedly told federal officials to ignore the law and seize private land for his border wall, waving away their worries with pardon promises.

  1. Conduct grossly incompatible with the presidency.

This is the broadest item on the list, and I understand if some people are more comfortable with the narrower ones. But the “grossly incompatible” phrase comes from a 1974 House Judiciary Committee report justifying impeachment. It also captures Trump’s subversion of the presidency.

He lies constantly, eroding the credibility of the office. He tries to undermine any independent information that he does not like, which weakens our system of checks and balances. He once went so far as to say that federal law-enforcement agents and prosecutors regularly fabricated evidence — a claim that damages the credibility of every criminal investigation.

You may have forgotten about that particular violation of his oath of office, because Trump commits so many of them. Which is all the more reason to make an effort to hold him accountable.

Today’s Toons To …

I seem to have that mind bounce thing again, and am unable to focus on any one thing for more than 93 seconds, just over a minute-and-a-half, or even finish a thought.  So … what better time for some ‘toons, eh?  Perhaps a chuckle or two will clear out the cobwebs in my head!


Earlier this week, a law scholar mentioned Melania’s son’s name: Barron.  He did not do any harm, did not criticize or say anything about the child.  His statement was simply that Trump can name his son Barron, but he cannot make him a Baron.  In other words, there is no royalty in the U.S., and Trump is not a monarch.  But, Melania took umbrage.Barron


The economy … it’s the only thing, really, that Trump has going for him, and frankly he had little or nothing to do with it, and in fact his widespread tariffs are taking a toll already.  But, the fact that he touts a low unemployment rate … well, there’s another side to it all.economy-1


But of course, the main topic of the day is the impeachment process that is taking place in Congress, and the republicans’ attempt to denigrate the process and turn it into a carnival atmosphere.  Frankly, I’m surprised they don’t have a popcorn vendor outside the door.

toon-1toon-2toon-4toon-5toon-6toon-7toon-8toon-9toon-10toon-11toon-12toon-13toon-14toon-15toon-16toon-17toon-18toon-19


Have a great weekend!  Hopefully my bouncing mind will settle soon!

House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment

Today marks the next stage in the Trump impeachment process. Fellow-blogger Brosephus has some thoughts on the process thus far, the evidence, and the fiasco that is certain to ensue as the republicans continue to attempt to defend the indefensible. He also provides a link to the live coverage and other valuable information. Thank you, Brosephus, for all this valuable information!

The Mind of Brosephus

Today marks the first day of impeachment hearings being held by the House Judiciary Committee.  This committee would be the one responsible for drafting any articles of impeachment that would ultimately be voted on by the entire House of Representatives.  Since impeachment is typically a once in a lifetime event, today’s hearing is basically going to be a history lesson on impeachment.  There will be historians and scholars who will testify about the aspects of impeachment.  It will likely be a drab hearing, but I still expect Republicans to do what they do best, which is try to muddy the waters while defending Trump.

As I did for the Intelligence Committee, I’m providing a live-stream of the hearings for those who can’t access it otherwise.  This is a historical event regardless of where your politics reside.  I agree with Democratic members of Congress that these allegations need to be investigated. …

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Personal Destruction-The Trump Doctrine

Never in my 68 years have I heard a president of this country mock and name-call people in the way that Donald Trump does. His demeanor is that of a 13-year-old spoiled brat, certainly not that of a ‘man’ holding the highest office in a nation of 330 million people. He uses and tramples people, and who knows how many lives he has ruined with his targeted rancor. One of those people is former attorney for the FBI, Lisa Page, who has waited two years to tell her side of the story. Thanks to our friend Jeff for writing a post about Ms. Page and what she has gone through.

On The Fence Voters

Lisa Page has had enough. The former FBI employee, forced to resign due to the current President and his cult’s rampant character assassination, decided to tell her side of the story finally. Once again, another person’s life and career—ruined by Trump and his rabid base of followers. It’s a long list, and they’re adding to it all the time.

Page, a lawyer and former special counsel to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe(he’s on the list), worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign, then transitioned into looking into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Eventually, Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director Jim Comey led to an investigation by the DOJ Inspector General’s Office into Page’s so-called ‘political’ text messages. The texts were then maliciously released to the public, even though the DOJ assured Page it wouldn’t happen.

The text messages…

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Impeachment Thoughts

To date, I have not weighed in on the impeachment hearings, except for a brief mention here and there.  That does not mean that I haven’t been paying attention, or that I haven’t got thoughts about it all, but only that I wanted to let things play out for a bit before offering my observations.

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Trump has committed any number of impeachable, even criminal actions, despite the fact that Attorney General William Barr would say that, as president, Trump is above all law.  The United States Constitution says otherwise.  My own opinion was that the impeachment process should have had its formal beginning when Robert Mueller’s final report was issued, for that report contained sufficient evidence that Trump had acted from self-interest in attempting to obstruct justice and invite foreign influence into the U.S. election process.  Nancy Pelosi, however, thought it best to wait, and at this point, I would agree that she was probably right to do so.

Trump’s attempt at extortion, his blatant attempt to coerce the newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce a sham investigation into the man Trump believed would be his main competition in next year’s election, carries more weight than the ‘obstruction of justice’ charges would have.  That said …

I think too much emphasis is being placed on the “quid pro quo” … something for something … than is necessary, and I find it distracting.  Whether one can put one’s finger directly on the ‘quid’ and the ‘quo’ is irrelevant.  For the record, the ‘quid pro quo’ has, in fact, been proven by multiple witnesses, but again, that isn’t the point.  The point is that Trump broke the law.  Trump acted dishonestly and attempted, as he did in 2016, to manipulate an election.  Trump sullied the office he holds, and it will be many years, likely decades, before trust in that office will be restored.

Over the course of the past few weeks, numerous witnesses have provided corroborating evidence that Trump acted improperly and against the Constitution.  It becomes obvious that Trump is guilty and that his cohorts are fully aware of the level of his guilt by the fact that there are so many attempts to misdirect or even halt the impeachment proceedings.  They are tripping over each other trying to provide lame excuses or justifications for what he did, mostly pointing their fingers at “democrats” in general with some unclear intent.  An innocent man, or even one who felt his misdeeds were justifiable, would welcome the opportunity to air the facts, to present his own side of the story, so to speak.

Yesterday, however, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a five-page letter to Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee saying that … well here, read the first two sentences for yourself …

I write in response to your letter of November 26, 2019, to President Trump regarding the purported “impeachment inquiry” currently being conducted by Democrats in the House of Representatives (“House”). As you know, this baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness.

Leave it to a lawyer to take five pages to say what could have been said in a single sentence.  Notice his intentional scorn for the proceedings by placing quotation marks around “impeachment inquiry”.  And his reference to the process as being “baseless and highly partisan”, while there are nearly as many republicans on the committee as there are democrats.  And his claim that it violates historical precedent … well, all he has to do is remember Nixon, remember Clinton, and there is the precedent.

The letter speaks volumes, though not quite the volumes the letter-writer intended.  What this letter says to me is that there is no valid defense on behalf of Trump, and so the strategy of Trump et al is to merely distract from the process by denying the validity of it.  Trump & Co have done everything in their power short of murder to keep key witnesses from honouring the congressional subpoenas and testifying.  The few who have come forth voluntarily and in spite of Trump are to be applauded for their courage.

An honest man would not go to so much trouble, engage in all the drama and theatrics, to attempt to halt a proceeding that is supported by the U.S. Constitution itself, the very document Trump has taken an oath to uphold.  Neither Richard Nixon nor Bill Clinton went to such lengths, and in fact both cooperated with the impeachment process to a greater or lesser degree.

For more than a month, Trump has disparaged the impeachment process claiming he was not given an opportunity to tell his side, to defend himself.  He was given the opportunity to do so, to have his attorneys present if he could not be there himself, and instead he once again deflected.  It is the opinion of this writer that he has no legal leg to stand on, that both he and his team of lawyers know it, and that if for any reason he is not impeached it will be a gross miscarriage of justice and will end any remaining perception of democratic principles.  His lawyers, as well as Attorney General William Barr, claim that he cannot be investigated or charged with a crime while in office.  The Constitution, however, disagrees.

An honest man, one with nothing to hide, wouldn’t work so hard at hiding so many things.

A Class Act — Ilhan Omar

It has nothing to do with how much money a person has, nor does it relate to a person’s position in society.  You cannot purchase it … you either have it, or you don’t.  Barack and Michelle Obama both have it in spades.  Donald and Melania Trump do not.  What is it, you ask?  It is a thing called ‘class’.

U.S. House Representative Ilhan Omar has this thing called class. ilhan-omarMs. Omar has been the target of some of the most vicious racist and Islamophobic threats and verbal attacks imaginable.  Why?  Because she is a Muslim, because the ‘man’ who is masquerading as president of this nation has instilled a fear of ‘other’ into some 40% of our population and has, in fact, launched a personal attack against Ms. Ilhan.

And yet through it all, she has retained her grace and dignity.

Back in March, Patrick W. Carlineo Jr. of Addison, New York, called Ms. Ilhan’s D.C. office and spoke to a staff member …

“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull.”

patrick-carlineoOn Monday, November 18th, Mr. Carlineo pleaded guilty to threatening to assault and murder the freshman congresswoman and for being a felon in possession of firearms.  He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Carlineo hates Muslims and even went so far as to tell the FBI when they began their investigation into him, “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head”.

Ms. Ilhan, whose life he threatened, however asks for compassion for the man …

“We must apply a system of compassion to criminal justice. Who are we as a nation if we respond to threats of political retribution with retribution ourselves?”

This, folks, is class.  It is compassion.  It is human decency.

Although she had just turned 19 when, on 11 September 2001, 19 Middle-Eastern terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, some have sought to place the blame, by extension, on her shoulders.  Trump himself re-tweeted an obnoxious tweet several months ago that falsely claimed she was seen partying in the aftermath of 9/11.  And, in the West Virginia State Capitol, a poster was at a table in the Capitol’s rotunda …ilhan-omar-911The poster led to a brawl outside the House of Delegates that eventually spilled into the chamber, where at least one person was injured.  The body’s sergeant at arms submitted a letter of resignation at the end of the day after being accused of a making an anti-Muslim slur during the dispute.

And then in August, Ms. Omar received an anonymous death threat …ilhan-omar-death-threatThis was shortly after Trump said that Ms. Omar and three other Congresswomen of colour should “go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, and then-Senate candidate from Alabama, Roy Moore, echoed Trump, saying “… Trump was right, she should go back to Somalia from whence she came”.  When such ugly talk comes from our politicians, especially the faux president, is it really any wonder she receives death threats?

And that brings us to this week, when her republican challenger in next year’s election, Daniella Stella, got herself and her campaign banned from Twitter for her hateful tweets.  On Tuesday, she posted …

“If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged.”

And she followed up with an image of a stick-figure being hanged.  Her reference to Ms. Omar passing “sensitive info to Iran” stems from a conspiracy theory started by Canadian businessman Alan Bender who has links to the Saudi government, and he implicates everyone from Jared Kushner to Ty Cobb to Ms. Omar.  The story has been proven false, yet apparently Ms. Stella failed to get that memo.

Danielle-StellaThis is not the first time that Daniella Stella has come onto my radar.  Back in July, I wrote a snippet about her having been arrested twice for shoplifting, and once for trying to outrun the police when they stopped her for driving drunk!  She is also a supporter of the conspiracy group QAnon, if that tells you anything.  I don’t think Ilhan Omar needs to worry overly much about keeping her seat next year, if Ms. Stella is the best the Republican Party of Minnesota has to offer!

I began this post talking about class.  What is class, exactly?  It can be a lot of things – being kind and compassionate, being calm in the face of adversity, walking away from a fight.  Class is one of those things that … you know it when you see it.  Class is definitely not defined by racism or any other form of bigotry.  It is not defined by cruelty.  Those who would attack Ms. Ilhan Omar simply because of her ethnicity, her religion, or the fact that she is a woman, are the ones who have no class.  Ms. Ilhan Omar has more of it in her little finger than Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Daniella Stella, and Patrick Carlineo combined.

Note to readers:  Saturday Surprise will return next week … probably.

The Licensing of the Presidency (White House for Sale)

I rarely follow new blogs these days, as I don’t have time to keep up with the ones I already follow, but recently one crossed my path that seemed exceptional, so I followed it. The blog is Enigma in Black, and according to the authors bio it is “one man’s opinion about matters primarily involving politics, education, and race.”
We all know that Trump is profiting from the presidency, that he sees this nation as his own private domain and that his hired thugs are profiting as well. This post, however, shines some new light on it all and is appropriately titled, “The Licensing of the Presidency (White House for Sale)”. Thank you, Enigma, for both this excellent post, and your permission to share.

ENIGMA IN BLACK

It’s how Trump has done business the past couple of decades. After six bankruptcies, Trump did learn a new trick and started selling his name and not trying to run a profitable business. Trump doesn’t really own many of the properties with his name on them. In 2015, his name was on seventeen properties in New York of which he owned only five. At present, the number of buildings in New York with his name has dwindled to eleven, as the six“Trump Place” properties elected to have the Trump name removed. The Trump Organization continues to manage the properties. A typical deal involves Trump licensing his name which once attracted buyers/renters for a fee while also being paid for management duties.

Trump’s new business model allowed him to eliminate risk while raking in a percentage, whether the venture succeeds or fails. When The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower…

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Letter To Republican Senator

I think that if there is a chance that the U.S. Senate will remember their oath of office, will remember that their oath is to the U.S. Constitution, not the president, and that their loyalty damn well better be to We the People, it will only happen if we remind them.  Seems many of them have forgotten where to look for their conscience, their values.  I think the time has come to remind them.

Below is the letter I have sent to the republican senator in my own state.  Feel free to take any of the ideas expressed within if you write to your own senators.

Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing to you today, because as a resident of the State of Ohio, a citizen of the United States, I am very concerned about the actions of the Senate. 

First, I would like to remind you that you took an oath whereby you swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  Your loyalty is to the people of this nation, not the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office today.  We currently have the most corrupt president in the history of this nation, and frankly he has brought our reputation to its knees.  We are no longer regarded as a trusted ally by virtually any nation.  We have let the people of the entire world down with our complete disregard for the environment.  And all this has occurred in the last three years, and all because of the corruption that begins and ends with Donald Trump.

I believe it is a foregone conclusion that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Donald Trump, possibly before the end of this year.  And then, Senator, the ball will be in your court.  The majority of people in this nation support the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Donald Trump.  Nothing less is acceptable, for the fate of not only this nation, but every nation in the world is at stake.  I firmly believe that within the next twelve months, Donald Trump will do everything in his power to ensure that next year’s election will be so dishonest and unfair that it will be a complete sham, a mockery of any democratic principles that remain in our nation.

I ask that you think long and hard about the actions of the Senate, search your own conscience and ask yourself if your loyalty to Donald Trump is of more value than your loyalty to the people who voted you into office.  Is your dedication to Donald Trump truly worth selling out your own values?  Is it worth risking your own career?  Can you look your three children in the eye and tell them how important it is to always ‘do the right thing’?  And perhaps for you the most important question:  Do you wish to be re-elected in 2022?  We the People have long memories, and if you fail us this time, I promise to do everything in my power to see that you never serve a third term in the U.S. Senate.

I think you know the right thing to do.  Please remember your oath of office, remember the people you are paid to serve, and do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, voter/citizen/taxpayer

Snarky Snippets … And A Rant (Or Two)

This post started out being just a collection of Snarky Snippets, but by the third story, it had turned into a full-blown rant.  The issue of guns and the stupidity of people tend to do that to me.  Sigh.


No military experience required for senior position — apply within

Earlier this week, I reported that Trump had issued pardons to two convicted war criminals, along with one who was still awaiting trial.  One of those convicted and pardoned was Edward Gallagher, a former Navy SEAL, who was accused of shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a hunting knife in Iraq, and threatening to kill SEALs who reported him, among other misconduct.  In his July court-martial, he was found not guilty of all charges but one:  posing for photos with the teenage captive’s dead body.

And then, last week, Trump pardoned Gallagher.  The Navy, however, is going forward with its plan to expel Gallagher from the SEALs, given that his crime brought shame upon the entire Navy.  And then, Trump intervened yet again, tweeting …

“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”

Legally, this is a mine field and adds to the chaos that has become the United States government.  The secretary of the Navy and the admiral who leads the SEALs have threatened to resign or be fired if Trump is allowed to have his way in this case.

The Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, said disciplinary plans against Chief Gallagher would proceed because he did not consider Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter to be a formal order. Mr. Spencer added that the president, as commander in chief, had the authority to intervene and that it would stop “the process.”

I am neither a legal scholar nor a military strategist, however from a layman’s point of view, it seems that Trump is way out of bounds on this one.  First, he has zero military experience himself, having dodged the draft through his father paying a doctor to lie about a foot condition (blisters, I believe).  Second, although Trump is, as ‘president’, also Commander in Chief of the armed forces, I don’t think that should give him the power to micromanage the military, as he is attempting to do in the Gallagher case. And third, even though Trump pardoned him, it does not negate the fact, at least in my mind, that Gallagher was proven guilty of such a heinous, disgusting crime.  Frankly, I don’t want him in the military in any capacity.


They’re building their own wall …

There are only two things, as best I can figure, that keep Trump’s base Velcro-ed to him:  the economy remaining relatively strong, and his promise to build his damned wall, come hell or high water and at any cost to the environment.

He hasn’t gotten much of his wall built, and what he has built has already been proven ineffective, as it can easily be sawed through with a simple power saw.  But never fear, Steve Bannon has formed a right-wing group of people who are taking matters into their own hands.  The group call themselves We Build the Wall, and their president is a man named Brian Kolfage.

Kolfage

Kolfage & Bannon

They have been bulldozing the banks of the Rio Grande to erect a privately funded border fence along the water’s edge … even though they have no permits to do so.  Never mind that construction activity along the river banks is tightly regulated under international treaties because structures can exacerbate flood damage and alter the course of the river channel.

The International Boundary and Water Commission, which issues permits to build in the Rio Grande channel, has asked the group to suspend construction, submit a detailed engineering study and withdraw its excavators and other heavy equipment from the river levees.  But Kolfage said his group is barreling forward anyway … one could only hope they would all get washed into the Rio Grande and out to the Gulf of Mexico.we-build-the-wallThe damn fool, Kolfage, tweeted …

“Who else loves the fresh smell of diesel in the morning when we’re building the wall? Does it look like we were told stop? NOPE! Burning & Churning suckers.”

According to its website, the group has collected nearly $25 million in private donations and pledges, with plans to build at least 35 miles of barriers at up to 10 locations along the U.S. southern border in support of Trump’s mission to seal the border off to migrants.

No concern for the environment, no concern for the rule of law … vigilantes, in my book, and I’d like to see the lot of them in prison.


Second Amendment sanctuaries???  WTF???

Earlier this month in the state of Virginia, democrats rode a platform on gun control to historic victories in state elections.  But … the gun nuts in the rural counties aren’t liking it one bit.  They want to declare their counties ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’, meaning that any new gun legislation passed in the state legislature would not be honoured in those ‘sanctuary’ counties.  They say they fear that their ‘way of life’ is being cast aside. toon-guns.jpgTheir way of life???  Excuse me, but … how does gun ownership constitute a way of life?  Let’s get some facts straight here … guns are made for one thing and one thing only:  to kill!  To cause death.  The words ‘life’ and ‘death’ are polar opposites!  They cannot exist together … they are mutually exclusive!  Are these people … ah, never mind … I’m not going for the jugular just yet.

When the General Assembly convenes in January, Governor Ralph Northam has promised to move quickly with Democratic leaders to pass measures such as universal background checks, limits on the types and numbers of firearms that can be purchased and a “red flag” law allowing authorities to seize weapons from someone deemed a threat.  All very sensible, long overdue, and not-yet-enough measures.

Do the people of rural Virginia not care if their children are shot in school?  Do they not care that it is not safe in this country anymore to go out to a restaurant, to even walk down the street?  What the heck has happened to sanity in this nation?

gun owners

They walk among us …

The people behind this movement say any kind of gun restriction feels personal. They’ve heard that some proposals would prevent kids under 18 from owning guns and say people who would ban assault weapons don’t understand what they are.  So … they want kids owning guns???  And what’s with them saying we don’t understand what an assault weapon is?  Oh yeah, folks, we understand full well what it is … a killing machine that can mow down hundreds within a minute or two.  NOBODY outside of the military needs such a weapon.  NOBODY!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Turns out that rural Virginia is not alone, not even the first to follow this path of idiocy.  In New Mexico, 25 of the 33 counties have declared themselves ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’, with some law enforcement officials saying they would go to jail rather than enforce firearm restrictions!  In Illinois, nearly two-thirds of its counties have done the same.


A bit of humour to end this snarky rant …


Okay, my friends, I have now sent myself into a fit of heart-pounding apoplexy and need to calm down, so I’m finished snarking ‘n ranting for tonight.  I think I’ll just turn off the computer and read for a while …

reading

Throw The Bums Out!!!

Politics in the United States, or anywhere for that matter, should not divide the people of the nation.  Politics is not supposed to be a game played by only those who can afford to play.  Politics is not supposed to be about the holder of the highest office in the land seeking to commit crimes under the very noses of those who put him into office.

Politics should not be about Donald Trump saying that yes, he did things that were against the law and will continue to do them, and there is nothing that the people he purports to represent, the people who pay his salary (before you say it, yes, he does receive a salary) can do about it.

Politics should not be about a representative who is involved in a university sex scandal bullying his peers in an attempt to validate the criminal activities of the president.  In the United States, the U.S. Constitution provides for a system of ‘checks and balances’ between the three branches of the federal government.  Instead of following the Constitution, though, those who have taken an oath, who have sworn to uphold that very document, are trampling it every day.  The republicans in Congress are naught but paid lackeys … hired hands who say “Yessir” and “Whatever you say, sir”, and when told to jump, ask “How high, sir?” to Donald Trump.

President Lincoln proclaimed in his Gettysburg Address on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863 …

“… government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Friends, it has either perished or is lying dormant today!  Today’s government is of the Donald, by the Donald, and for the Donald … nobody else matters, not even to about half of our representatives and senators in Congress!  You want to talk about ‘quid pro quo’?  Here’s the real ‘quid pro quo’ … Donald says to your district’s representative, or your state’s senator …

“You gotta support me … you gotta throw up roadblock after roadblock to get this impeachment thing stopped.  You do this, I will come do a rally in your state to support you before the election.  You don’t do it?  I will tell so many filthy lies about you, call you so many ugly names, that you couldn’t get a job collecting trash.”

Our elected officials have forgotten that Donald Trump is NOT their boss!  I am their boss, you are their boss, every one of 330 million+ people in this country are their boss.  Donald Trump is not.  We must remind them, and there are two ways to do that.  First, we must call and write to them and inform them in no uncertain terms that they will rot in hell before we will ever vote for them again.  Second, we must vote them OUT!

My own representative in the House, Warren Davidson, is a grade-A jackass who panders to Donald Trump, bends over as far as he tells him to, licks his boots, and then runs around the state doing Donald’s dirty work.  Devin Nunes of California is a weasel, a little yappy dog who does Donald’s bidding even when it is unethical, immoral, and illegal.  He plainly broke the law when, during the Mueller investigation, he told lie after lie and passed on information to Trump that he had no right to do.  The Federal Election Commission is investigating Nunes for campaign finance violations.  Jim Jordan is a bully who is under investigation by the State of Ohio for his role in the Ohio State University sex scandals when he was the assistant wrestling coach some twenty years ago.  This is the bunch of jerks into whose hands we have entrusted our lives, my friends!

We’ve come a long way from 1787 when a group of men gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to draft a document, a guideline for the newly formed United States of America.  Those men hoped to put forth a set of laws that would serve as a foundation for the government and the people of this nation.  They were deep thinkers, unlike almost any in our government today.  One of their foremost goals was to ensure that we could trust our government, that we would not be forced to tolerate corrupt politicians or unfair laws.  I think that the framers of the U.S. Constitution would be appalled if they could see the mockery that our government is today.

Donald Trump is turning this nation into something it was never intended to be, and our elected representatives in Congress are helping him do it.  Trump has committed impeachable crimes, and the House of Representatives is in the process of impeaching him for those crimes.  However, the republicans in both chambers of Congress are doing everything in their power to turn the impeachment process into a three-ring circus.  Each and every one of the republicans in Congress are guilty of obstructing justice.  Nunes is threatening to open a second investigation and call his own witnesses.  He and others have apparently taken an oath of fealty to Donald Trump and forgotten about the oath of office they took to this nation.  There is one and only one way to rescue what is left of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”

Throw The Bums Out!!!