Three Republicans Speak Up …

Yesterday, the three republican candidates challenging Donald Trump for the GOP nomination for president in 2020 — Bill Weld, Mark Sanford, and Joe Walsh — jointly penned an editorial that was published in The Washington Post.  I will share that editorial with you momentarily, but first, a few thoughts of my own.

The Republican Party has been making a concerted effort to ensure that Trump stays in office for a second term, whether by hook or by crook.  To this end, states have begun cancelling their republican primaries, for they apparently fear that if there is competition, Trump will not pass muster.  This, folks, is not … I repeat is NOT … how a democracy operates!  If a candidate cannot win on his own merit, then it becomes obvious that he or she is not qualified, is not the choice of the people.  When a state cancels a primary, that state is taking away the voice and choice of the people and can … nay, must … then be considered to be an authoritarian state.  Will we elect a president next year, or will one be shoved down our throats?

That three contenders for the same position have come together in agreement speaks volumes.  They are, in essence, saying that they stand together against the demolition of democratic principles, that they are united in their belief that elections should be fair, honest, and unfettered.  In U.S. politics today, that is almost unheard of, and I think it would behoove everyone in both parties to listen to these men.

The GOP, in throwing all their support to Trump, in ignoring or worse, stifling any and all competition, are shooting themselves in the foot.  They have virtually shot themselves in the foot and lost all credibility.  The party is on a downward spiral because of their support of an ignorant madman, but will republicans allow the central party to drag themselves down too?  It remains to be seen, but so far it seems that the cult-worship for Trump, trumps good sense, trumps democracy, trumps survival of the planet earth.

And now, the editorial by the three republican contenders

We are Trump’s Republican challengers. Canceling GOP primaries is a critical mistake.

republican-contenders

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Joe Wash, Mark Sanford and Bill Weld. (Associated Press photos/AP photos)

By Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld

September 13, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. EDT

(Mark Sanford was governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. Joe Walsh represented Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013. Bill Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. All three are seeking the Republican presidential nomination.)

The three of us are running for the Republican nomination for president in a race that will inevitably highlight differences among us on matters of policy, style and background. But we are brought together not by what divides us but by what unites us: a shared conviction that the United States needs a strong center-right party guided by basic values that are rooted in the best of the American spirit.

A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another.

No surprise, then, that the latest disgrace, courtesy of Team Trump, is an effort to eliminate any threats to the president’s political power in 2020. Republicans have long held primaries and caucuses to bring out the best our party has to offer. Our political system assumes an incumbent president will make his case in front of voters to prove that he or she deserves to be nominated for a second term. But now, the Republican parties of four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — have canceled their nominating contests. By this design, the incumbent will be crowned winner of these states’ primary delegates. There is little confusion about who has been pushing for this outcome.

What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing. Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership. Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying “may the best man win” is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.

Across the aisle, the Democratic primary challengers are still engaged in a heated competition of debates, caucuses and primaries to give their voters in every corner of our country a chance to select the best nominee. Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition? Under this president, the meaning of truth has been challenged as never before. Under this president, the federal deficit has topped the $1 trillion mark. Do we as Republicans accept all this as inevitable? Are we to leave it to the Democrats to make the case for principles and values that, a few years ago, every Republican would have agreed formed the foundations of our party?

It would be a critical mistake to allow the Democratic Party to dominate the national conversation during primary and caucus season. Millions of voters looking for a conservative alternative to the status quo deserve a chance to hear alternate ideas aired on the national stage. Let us argue over the best way to maximize opportunities in our communities for everyday Americans while the Democrats debate the merits of government intervention. Let us spend the next six months attempting to draw new voters to our party instead of demanding fealty to a preordained choice. If we believe our party represents the best hope for the United States’ future, let us take our message to the public and prove we are right.

Trump loyalists in the four states that have canceled their primaries and caucuses claim that President Trump will win by a landslide, and that it is therefore a waste of money to invest in holding primaries or caucuses. But since when do we use poll numbers as our basis for deciding whether to give voters an opportunity to choose their leaders, much less their presidents? Answer: We don’t.

Besides, the litigation costs these four state parties will likely be forced to take on in defending legal challenges to the cancellations will almost certainly exceed the cost of holding the primaries and caucuses themselves.

In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard.

Republican Party: Rigging is better than conforming

When Trump was electorally elected (never forget that he actually lost the election – lost the vote of the people by nearly 3 million votes), I said it was a pushback against the country having had an African-American President for 8 years. But, given Trump’s bluster, his nastiness, his dishonesty, his schoolyard bullying ways, I thought it would not be long before Republicans began leaving the GOP in droves, thus forcing the party to change its ways, to move back more to the center of political ideology and distance itself from Trump. Shows what I know, eh? That didn’t happen, still hasn’t happened, and the GOP has sacrificed any shred of integrity it may have once had to rig and skew next year’s election. Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written a well-researched piece and included a link to a documentary that is an eye-opener. Thanks, Jeff, for your hard work on this post and permission to share it with my friends & readers.

On The Fence Voters

How Obama’s election prompted a desperate power grab

A few days ago, I happened to watch the new documentary called Rigged – The Voter Suppression Playbook, which you can now catch on Amazon Prime. It deals with how the Republican Party began a systematic voter suppression and gerrymandering extravaganza not long after an incident that occurred in 2008.

Af first I wasn’t sure what event they were talking about. Let’s see, what event transpired in 2008 that would have inspired such actions?

Oh yeah! The black guy won.

Now it makes sense. It must have been as if one of the Tsunami Warning sirens, which are sometimes tested out here in the Pacific Northwest, blasted so loud to every member of the Republican hierarchy, that it became an ‘all hands on deck’ response. Or, maybe it was like the loud signal we sometimes hear on the local newscast when…

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An ostrich pulls his head out of the sand

With all the news this week being about Trump’s horrendous behaviour toward certain members of Congress, and his latest attack on asylum seekers, and Kellyanne skipping out on subpoena, you most likely missed a few tidbits. Our friend Keith has dug up one, which brings a bit of positive news, a hope that perhaps the GOP are not quite as united on denying climate change as we’ve been led to believe. Thank you, Keith, for bringing us this news … these are things we need to know that are being missed by the media during this feeding frenzy.

musingsofanoldfart

This story should not be newsworthy as it is long overdue, but unfortunately it is. A headline from a USA Today last week proclaimed “Trump ally Lindsey Graham says president should ‘admit climate change is real’.” Senator Graham went on to say per the article:

“‘I’m tired of playing defense on the environment,’Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday as he and other GOP lawmakers announced the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, which will ’embrace and promote constructive efforts to resolve conservation and environmental problems.'”

I have written often about addressing climate change. Progress in fighting climate change is happening, but it desperately needs the leverage of the US federal government. Plus, we must alter harmful deregulation to our environment.

Rather than belabor these points, let me say I left the Republican Party about a dozen years ago, in part due to its stance on climate change. My thesis…

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An Open Letter From Adam Schiff

Yesterday, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff of California published an open letter in The Washington Post to his republican colleagues.  I am sharing this letter, for in it Mr. Schiff makes a number of very valid and valuable points that the republicans in Congress need to hear, and not just from Mr. Schiff, but also from We the People.  I have sent a copy of his letter with my own plea to the republicans who represent my state/district and with a rather stern warning that if they fail to step up to the plate, I will do everything in my power to unseat them next year.

Adam Schiff: An open letter to my Republican colleagues

By Adam B. Schiff February 21 at 6:06 PM
Adam B. Schiff, a Democrat, represents California’s 28th Congressional District in the House and is chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

This is a moment of great peril for our democracy. Our country is deeply divided. Our national discourse has become coarse, indeed, poisonous. Disunity and dysfunction have paralyzed Congress.

And while our attention is focused inward, the world spins on, new authoritarian regimes are born, old rivals spread their pernicious ideologies, and the space for freedom-loving peoples begins to contract violently. At last week’s Munich Security Conference, the prevailing sentiment among our closest allies is that the United States can no longer be counted on to champion liberal democracy or defend the world order we built.

For the past two years, we have examined Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and its attempts to influence the 2018 midterms. Moscow’s effort to undermine our democracy was spectacularly successful in inflaming racial, ethnic and other divides in our society and turning American against American.

But the attack on our democracy had its limits. Russian President Vladimir Putin could not lead us to distrust our own intelligence agencies or the FBI. He could not cause us to view our own free press as an enemy of the people. He could not undermine the independence of the Justice Department or denigrate judges. Only we could do that to ourselves. Although many forces have contributed to the decline in public confidence in our institutions, one force stands out as an accelerant, like gas on a fire. And try as some of us might to avoid invoking the arsonist’s name, we must say it.

I speak, of course, of our president, Donald Trump.

The president has just declared a national emergency to subvert the will of Congress and appropriate billions of dollars for a border wall that Congress has explicitly refused to fund. Whether you support the border wall or oppose it, you should be deeply troubled by the president’s intent to obtain it through a plainly unconstitutional abuse of power.

To my Republican colleagues: When the president attacked the independence of the Justice Department by intervening in a case in which he is implicated, you did not speak out. When he attacked the press as the enemy of the people, you again were silent. When he targeted the judiciary, labeling judges and decisions he didn’t like as illegitimate, we heard not a word. And now he comes for Congress, the first branch of government, seeking to strip it of its greatest power, that of the purse.

Many of you have acknowledged your deep misgivings about the president in quiet conversations over the past two years. You have bemoaned his lack of decency, character and integrity. You have deplored his fundamental inability to tell the truth. But for reasons that are all too easy to comprehend, you have chosen to keep your misgivings and your rising alarm private.

That must end. The time for silent disagreement is over. You must speak out.

This will require courage. The president is popular among your base, which revels in his vindictive and personal attacks on members of his own party, even giants such as the late senator John McCain. Speaking up risks a primary challenge or accusations of disloyalty. But such acts of independence are the most profound demonstrations of loyalty to country.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III may soon conclude his investigation and report. Depending on what is in that report and what we find in our own investigations, our nation may face an even greater challenge. While I am alarmed at what we have already seen and found of the president’s conduct and that of his campaign, I continue to reserve judgment about what consequences should flow from our eventual findings. I ask you to do the same.

If we cannot rise to the defense of our democracy now, in the face of a plainly unconstitutional aggrandizement of presidential power, what hope can we have that we will do so with the far greater decisions that could be yet to come?

Although these times pose unprecedented challenges, we have been through worse. The divisions during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement were just as grave and far more deadly. The Depression and World War II were far more consequential. And nothing can compare to the searing experience of the Civil War.

If Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, could be hopeful that our bonds of affection would be strained but not broken by a war that pitted brother against brother, surely America can come together once more. But as long as we must endure the present trial, history compels us to speak, and act, our conscience, Republicans and Democrats alike.

Democracy In Action???

Democracy In Action?  No, more like Democracy Inaction.  The GOP, which once stood for Grand Old Party, has decided not to allow any other republican candidate to run against Donald Trump in 2020.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution on Friday that threw their “undivided support” behind Trump, and effectively undercut any other Republicans thinking of running.

The states seem prepared to follow suit.  You may remember a post I wrote a few weeks ago about South Carolina planning to cancel the republican primary in that state?  Since then, Kansas has also indicated it may cancel the 2020 primary, effectively removing any competition for Trump, and it seems likely that other states will follow suit.

Now, there are two ways one can look at this.  One can assume that the Republican Party is so pleased with Trump that they see no reason for him to be challenged by any other republican candidate.  Or … one can assume that the Republican Party realizes what an unpopular candidate Trump is, realizes that if a strong, viable candidate challenged Trump for the party nomination Trump would likely lose, and are trying to protect their assets.  My vote is for the latter, though don’t hold your breath waiting for them to admit it.

For a number of reasons, most prominently the recent government shutdown, Trump’s popularity has taken a hit and in light of Roger Stone’s recent arrest, Michael Cohen’s planned testimony before Congress next month, and the ongoing Mueller investigation, there is real concern in the GOP that Trump could be vulnerable to a serious challenger, such as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, or Ohio’s former Governor John Kasich.

Among democrats, one prevailing viewpoint is that if Trump is the default candidate running on the republican ticket, it is good for the democrats, for with his dwindling approval ratings, he is likely to lose.  Okay, maybe, but this goes against democratic process, which is designed to give the people a choice.  Trump has royally screwed up a number of times, and if the republicans want a different candidate, they should at least be given a choice.  My own hope is that if the RNC blocks other potential republicans from running against Trump, then enough republicans will change their party affiliation and perhaps just this once vote for a democrat.

franklin-pierce

Franklin Pierce

In case you’re wondering if it has ever happened that a sitting president was not nominated by his party for a second term, yes it has.  Once.  Franklin Pierce, the 14th President, was a democrat, elected in 1852.  His pro-Southern sentiments and his policy of failing to lead on the divisive issue of slavery badly hurt his standing with the voters. Especially damaging was his support for the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which backfired on him as Kansas was overrun by pro-slavery forces, mostly from the slave state of Missouri. The events angered Northerners everywhere and helped lead to the creation of the Republican Party.

When Democratic delegates gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio, for their convention in 1856, it was clear that they had had enough of Pierce. James Buchanan, who had been defeated by Pierce for the nomination four years earlier, won the nomination on the 17th ballot.

My hope is, of course, that Trump is ineligible to run, having already been removed from office, by the time the primaries roll around.  Short of that, however, the process of nominating and electing a president is seriously compromised if the RNC is allowed to rob their constituents of a choice, a voice.

Donald Trump, by the way, was quite ecstatic when informed that he might not even have to work to earn the nomination …trump-tweet-2.pngIf I were a republican, I would be incensed to be robbed of my right to choose.  The RNC is challenging the very process of fair elections … oh, but wait … they’ve been doing that for a long time with such things as gerrymandering, voter identification laws that are biased against minorities and the poor, and other methods that lead to the disenfranchisement of groups that tend to vote largely democratic.  I guess if you can’t win honestly ….

trump-pinocchio

MY 2020 Fantasy Democratic Ticket/ It’s Time GOP Lawmakers Got Together To Fire US President

Gronda has a Christmas wish … and it is one that I share! You can read all about that Christmas wish on her excellent post, and I bet most of you will share the wish also! Thank you, Gronda, for this excellent post and for allowing me to share it. Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays to all my friends and readers!

Gronda Morin

I’ve just prayed for my Christmas gift. I have even previously shared my fantasy 2020 Democratic Party presidential ticket which is General James Mattis at the top based on President Trump’s claim that he’s a Democrat with a VP choice of one of the current party stars like Andrew Gillum, Beto O’Rourke or Stacey Abrams.

On a 12/23/18 tweet, Robert Costa floated the idea of General James Mattis as the VP choice which is perfectly fine with me.

Here’s the Robert Costa tweet:

A prominent Republican strategist confides, uneasily, today to WashPost: “Can you imagine if the Democrats were able to convince Mattis to be their VP nominee in ’20?”

Image result for photos of general mattis/ beto o'rourke

Frankly, I would be thrilled with either option. I’m for a ticket that can appeal to ‘Never Trumpers’ from the left to the right. My primary desire is for the democratic candidates to win…

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Snarkier Than Usual Snippets — Part I

A few stories I read last night truly made my blood boil and make me want to punch somebody.  As I am a kind and generous person who believes in sharing everything with my friends, I am sharing these stories with you so that you, too, can experience the rage that I felt.


A truly WTF moment …

There have been very few times in my life that I have actually wished something bad to happen to somebody, but this is one of those times.  No, it isn’t Trump this time … it is a man named Dave Johnson.  Dave is the Republican Party Chairman for Columbiana County, Ohio.  He owns the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, a regular stop for politicians running for office in Ohio, and served as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Last Sunday, Dave posted the following meme to his Facebook page …Dave Johnson Calif fires meme

“God’s punishment to Liberal California”???  WTF???  

In the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California, the death toll is so far at 80 people and expected to rise.  As of this writing, 699 are still unaccounted for.  The fire has burned some 151,000 acres and destroyed approximately 15,000 homes and businesses.  And that is only one, albeit the worst, of the many, deadly fires that have plagued California this year and last.  And this excuse for a ‘man’ calls it “God’s punishment to Liberal California”?  Hey, GOP … really, is this the best you’ve got to offer???

As you might imagine, the outrage was immediate and ol’ Dave took the post down later the same day, but in an interview, he stands by what he said.

“Look, that’s a meme. And it’s how I feel about liberals, but did I mean that God is going to punish everyone who lives in California? No. It’s a figure of speech, and I probably shouldn’t have done it. But I did, and it doesn’t change how I feel about what’s happened in California.”

Somebody put this man out of our misery!


Unfit to parent …

Meet Emily Scheck …Emily-Scheck.pngEmily is 19 years old, a sophomore and cross-country runner at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.  One day at the beginning of the school year, Emily received a series of angry text messages from her mother … her mother had found pictures of Emily and the woman she is currently dating on a social media site and was horrified.  Emily had not come out to her parents, knowing how they would react, but now the cat was out of the bag.

Emily’s “Christian” parents insisted that she would quit college and they would seek conversion therapy for her, else they would write her out of their lives.  Say what???  How does a parent just … poof … write their own child out of their life???

Emily refused to leave school and made it quite clear that she has no interest in any form of therapy.  Good for her!  The next day, her father traveled the 85 miles to the Canisius campus, unceremoniously dumped all of Emily’s belongings into her car and proceeded to remove the license plate from her vehicle, for he had already removed her from the family’s insurance policy.  He even included her birth certificate.  Her mother’s final text message was …

“Well, I am done with you. As of right now, declare yourself independent. You are on your own. Please don’t contact us or your siblings.  Because you disgust me.”

As it was the beginning of the term, Emily hadn’t yet bought her books, and now she couldn’t afford to, so she was reduced to borrowing friends’ books.  She managed to get two campus jobs and somehow squeeze them in along with her classes and athletic practices.  Before long, one of her friends came up with an idea and started a GoFundMe page, hoping to collect $5,000 to help Emily pay for licensing her car, getting insurance, buying books, and buying food!  Well, long story short, the GoFundMe quickly went to $58,000!!!  Yes, you heard me right!  About a year’s pay for most of us!  But … the NCAA has rules, and one is that its scholarship students cannot get outside contributions.  Emily would have to give the money back to the donors, or risk losing her scholarship.

Eventually, the NCAA relented in light of Emily’s special circumstances, and Emily was able to keep the money, which will help her get through the next three years of school.  Isn’t it a damn shame, though, that two parents can just disown their child for no reason at all other than their religion tells them to hate gay people?  Damn shame.


Jim Acosta is back … BUT …

AcostaYesterday, Jim Acosta had his full White House press credentials returned to him, and as a result, CNN has dropped their lawsuit.  I was a bit surprised, glad for Acosta, but in one sense, leery of CNN having dropped the lawsuit.  It seems to me that until this is stamped “Paid”, the issue is likely to rise again and again.  But then …

Later in the day, the White House released Trump’s new set of ‘rules’ by which the press must play.  They are as follows:

Please be advised of the following rules governing future press conferences:

(1) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;

(2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;

(3) “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner;

(4) Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

My opinion?  This is a blatant attempt to curtail the freedom of the press.  However, given that neither Sanders nor Trump never … NEVER … answer any of the questions that are important, the White House press briefings have become a joke, and his press conferences even more so.  I would love to see the mainstream media boycott the press briefings for about a week, for the really important things will be found out by other means anyway, not from Ms. Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  The press will, as they have been forced to do for nearly two years now, have to rely on those ‘anonymous’ and ‘insider’ sources, for that is the only way that We The People will have any idea what our paid government officials are up to.

I look for Sanders/Trump to seize on any excuse to pull the creds of reporters who don’t “play nice”, those who, like Acosta, ask the tough questions, hold the prez accountable.  When that happens, I hope to see lawsuits by any and all of the media outlets.  SOMEBODY needs to hold Donald Trump’s feet to the fire, and if our free press cannot do it … then who can?  Who will? Think about that one.


And since I have more, but am already over 1,000 words, I shall quit for now and produce Part II a bit later.  No need to thank me for sharing my angst … ’twas my pleasure!

He Who Would Be King

It must be galling to Donald Trump that he has to sit tight on the things he has planned.  He is one who filters neither his speech nor his actions.  If he thinks it at any given moment, it free-falls from either his mouth or his thumbs on Twitter.  If he wants to say it, he says it.  If he wants to do it, he does it.  Rarely in his life has he seen any lasting consequences for his speech or actions, so why stop now?  But now he is being strongly cautioned by his top advisors, lawyers, and the GOP that to act now would almost certainly doom the Republican Party on November 6th, and likely bring about the ultimate end of the Reign of Trump.  Democracy hangs in the balance, and if he wishes to defeat it, he must bide his time.

What are those plans he is being forced to sit on?  All the steps that would lead to ending the Mueller investigation, the last remaining impediment to his autocracy.  Plain and simple.  Listen to what he had to say on Fox and Friends this morning when asked if he is planning to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

“I’m not doing anything — I want to get the elections over with, we’ll see what happens. I’m very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt, this ridiculous witch hunt… there’s no collusion. There is no collusion. There’s no collusion. There is collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Russians, but there’s no collusion with the Republicans, and there’s certainly no collusion with Donald Trump. And everyone knows it, and they ought to get it over with and save a lot of money, and a lot of time.”

‘Everyone’ knows it?  Who, exactly, constitutes ‘everyone’?

More of what he’s been saying all along?  Sure, but … remember a couple of weeks ago when he had summoned Rod Rosenstein to the White House, everyone was certain he was about to fire him, then … nothing?  My best guess is that he had every intention of firing him that day, but people with functioning minds strongly warned against it so close to the mid-term elections.  The stakes are high next month for the GOP and they are not about to let Trump blow it if they can help it.

We already have enough evidence pointing to the Russians having intervened on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.  Where there is smoke, there’s bound to be a fire.  Robert Mueller’s team is under the gun to make certain they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they report is true, for their report will no doubt be subject to the highest scrutiny, held under the strongest magnifying glass and picked apart many times over.  The ‘I’s must be dotted and the ‘T’s must be crossed.  That takes time.  Trump’s goal is to make certain they don’t have that time.

What happens if Trump has his way, if the mid-term elections result in an ongoing republican majority in both the House and the Senate, if he fires first Sessions, then Rosenstein?  Trump does not have the legal authority to fire Rosenstein directly, although he thumbs his nose at the limits of his legal authority, and in many cases gets by with it.  Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in the line of succession if Rosenstein were gone, and he would then have oversight of the investigation.

Trump could legally pursue a number of options from telling Francisco to stop Mueller from pursuing any avenue of inquiry that involves Trump’s financial records or other sensitive topics, or he could order him to fire Mueller and either allow the investigation to continue with a replacement (or without a special counsel at all) or shut it down entirely.  In the past 21 months, Trump has neatly skirted the law more than once, has taken the stance that he, as president, is above the law, that it simply does not apply to him, and, because of a consenting majority in Congress, has pretty much had a free reign.

The Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt, is not a hoax, and is very much a legitimate investigation that is expected to produce eye-opening results that should lead to some changes in our government.  If it is shut down, or Mueller’s hands tied tightly as the FBI’s were in the sham of a Kavanaugh investigation, then folks … we are in trouble.  Today we still have a voice … we can vote the sycophants who have given Trump free rein out of Congress in less than four weeks. We can work to convince others to vote to remove that boot-licking republican majority from Congress so that Congress can once again become what it was intended:  an oversight on the power of the executive branch.  I predict that if we fail in this mission, we may not have another chance in our lifetimes.  Many will argue that the Constitution will protect our freedoms, but I believe that the strength of the Constitution has already been chipped away and eroded by the current administration and it is only a matter of time before it is burned.

The moral of this long-winded story:  VOTE!!!King trump

One Person, No Vote

One Person No VoteA new book was released today.  No, I’m not talking about Bob Woodward’s Fear:  Trump in the White House, although I did start reading that last night … actually this morning around 4:00 a.m.  No, the new book I’m talking about is by Carol Anderson, and the title is One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.

From Amazon …

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, the startling–and timely–history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin.

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

Carol AndersonMs. Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and well-qualified to write on this topic.  One example from her book is astounding, and not in any good way:

Jeff Sessions, for example, when he was Alabama U.S. attorney, referred to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as an “intrusive piece of legislation,” then “rounded up twenty elderly blacks and had Alabama state troopers drive them away from their community into a predominately white area to be fingerprinted, photographed and grilled before a grand jury” to intimidate them out of voting. – From an interview published in Kirkus Reviews

And, as if to prove the point, just yesterday the Editorial Board at The Washington Post published the following:

The GOP finds yet another way to suppress the vote

IT WAS 5 p.m. on a Friday, just as Labor Day weekend was starting, when, without warning, faxes arrived at North Carolina’s state board of elections and 44 county election boards. The faxes contained a demand so outlandish — and so blatantly in violation of state privacy laws — that several officials assumed they were a hoax. A federal subpoena demanded practically every voting document imaginable, going back years. Absentee, provisional and regular ballots. Registration applications. Early-voting applications. Absentee ballot requests. Poll books.

In fact, it was no hoax. The subpoena sought a list of items which, if satisfied, would force state and local officials to produce at least 20 million documents — in less than four weeks. Prosecutors also demanded eight years of records from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, through which voters are allowed to register to vote. No explanation was provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or federal prosecutors, who sought the documents. It is a fishing expedition by the Trump administration to support the president’s repeatedly discredited assertions that voting fraud is widespread, especially by noncitizens casting illegal ballots.

The effect of this expedition, led by Robert J. Higdon Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, is easy to foresee: This is one more in a long line of GOP efforts to suppress the vote. Members of the state board of elections, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, voted unanimously to fight the subpoena, which would overwhelm local boards’ administrative capacity. It also would intimidate voters who, with good reason, would fear their votes and other sensitive information were being handed over to federal officials.

Faced with an outcry from state and local officials, prosecutors dropped their initial, preposterous demand that the records be handed over by Sept. 25, a deadline that would have played havoc with preparations for the fall elections. They also said state officials could redact voters’ choices on some 2.2 million early and absentee ballots — a clerical task that would consume untold hours of work. (More than 3.3 million regular ballots cannot be traced to the voters who cast them.)

The absurdity of the document demand, and the president’s broader assertion that the U.S. voting system is “rigged” and marred by massive fraudulent voting and the participation of illegal immigrants, was underscored by indictments announced last month, also in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The indictments charged 19 foreign nationals — from Japan, Italy, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Haiti, Grenada and several other countries — with voting illegally in the 2016 elections.

Nineteen illegal votes, out of more than 4.5 million ballots cast in North Carolina that year, is minuscule. Far from justifying a demand for millions of documents, it underscores the conclusion by dozens of reputable scholars and other investigators that illegal voting is exceedingly rare. That the administration pursues its crusade to show otherwise is an exercise in unicorn-spotting, but it is also something far more sinister. The real agenda is to discredit American democracy and to scare away Democratic-leaning voters. It represents an abominable misuse of law enforcement powers.

It would seem that the GOP is fairly certain they cannot maintain their majority in Congress in a fair and honest election, so the next best thing is to stifle the voters’ voices.  Trump’s claim of the system being rigged may be prophetic, rather than historical.  The North Carolina subpoena reeks of corruption, but it also appears to signal panic within the GOP.

Anderson’s advice for overcoming the challenges is to “Be engaged. Register and vote. Get the people around you to register and vote. Really engage with the issues. Understand the position of the Secretary of State in your state who sits over election machinery. Donate to the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who are fighting to open up the ballot box, to rid the nation of unequal democracy.”

The election on November 6th is our last best hope to curtail the rampant corruption that defines the Trump administration.  Spread the word …