On Complicity …

I receive a weekly newsletter titled “Opinionated” … a weekly summation of opinions by writers both well-known and obscure.  One of the leading contributors to the newsletter is Bill Press, a long-time political commentator and author of several books.  Last week’s column was along the lines of one I’ve been considering for several weeks: the complicity of the republicans in the U.S. Senate in the  atrocities our nation is facing today.  While I might disagree with Mr. Press’ opening sentence, for I no longer see this nation as anywhere near ‘great’, I fully agree with the rest of his commentary …


Fifty-three Republican cowards: Hold them responsible

bill-pressGreat country that we are, there are still shameful moments in our history. Among them: 1857, the Dred Scott case, when the Supreme Court upheld the institution of slavery; 1942, FDR’s Executive Order, which forced the relocation and incarceration of Japanese-Americans; 1950-54, the failure of President Eisenhower and other leading Republicans to repudiate the ugly red-baiting by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. And the list goes on.

As bad as they are, however, we’ve experienced perhaps the most shameful moment of all: February 2020, when 53 cowardly Republican senators refused to hold Donald Trump responsible and toss him out of the White House. In so doing, they not only ignored overwhelming evidence – all of which has subsequently been confirmed – that Trump tried to bribe the president of Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 presidential election and, on multiple occasions, abused the powers of his office to obstruct justice, they also degraded the image of the United States by ratifying Trump’s criminal, ugly, racist, boorish behavior as acceptable conduct for the highest officer of the land.

Fifty-one Republican senators voted not to call any witnesses in the Senate trial. Fifty-two Republicans, all except Mitt Romney, voted to acquit him of abuse of power. Fifty-three, including Romney, voted to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. In the end, all 53 Republican senators put their party above country. And we’ve been paying the price ever since. Just consider the disasters we’ve suffered over the last six months.

For his incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his disastrous and premature attempts to force reopening of the economy, his insensitive response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and his shocking failure to act on reports that Russia was paying bounties to members of the Taliban for killing American soldiers – Yes, blame Donald Trump. But blame especially those 53 Republican senators who voted to keep him in office.

On the coronavirus. After first denying or minimizing the risk and refusing to set an example by wearing a mask, Trump suddenly declared the virus over, stopped talking about it, and urged states to reopen bars and restaurants. The result: more COVID-19 cases in more states than ever before, with 200,000 projected to die of the disease by October 1. Blame Trump, yes. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, when millions of Americans across the country took to the streets to protest repeated examples of systemic racism in police departments, Trump called protesters terrorists, ordered the use of tear gas and armed troops to clear streets around the White House for a photo op, and denounced Black Lives Matter as a “symbol of hate.” Blame Trump, yes. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

And, in the most unbelievable display of lack of presidential leadership, when intelligence agencies warned the White House that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban militants to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, Donald Trump – who’s never discovered anything yet about Vladimir Putin he doesn’t admire – did absolutely nothing. Repeat: Russia reportedly pays members of the Taliban to kill American soldiers and Donald Trump orders no investigation, takes no action, and instead, calls it a “hoax.” Again, blame Trump. But also blame the enablers who kept him in office.

Trump’s response to each of these crises proves that he’s unfit to be president of the United States. But remember: Trump wouldn’t still be there, these disasters might not have happened, or might not have been so severe, America could have been spared – if only those 53 senators had done the right thing.

Unfortunately, we can’t boot all 53 Republican senators out of office at the same time. But 20 Republican senators are up for re-election this year (see cookpolitical.com for full list) and must be held responsible. No matter what other good things they may have done in the Senate, for their vote to acquit Donald Trump, for that one vote alone, every one of them – every one of them – should lose their seat. And no one deserves to lose more than Susan Collins.

“I believe that the president has learned from this case,” she told CBS News in trying to justify her vote. What nonsense. As we’ve seen over the last six months, the only lesson Donald Trump learned from not being convicted in the Senate is that as long as there are cowardly Republican senators like Susan Collins, he can say and do anything with impunity. But, hopefully, not after November 3.

Hail To The King

Our friend Jeff from On the Fence Voters has echoed my own sentiments, and most likely those of every sensible person in this nation tonight. I would suggest that, rather than watch a lying, cheating criminal stand before the House tonight and tell more lies to the people, you read Jeff’s very heartfelt post. He speaks the truth and with genuine passion. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

So let it be written. So let it be done. Thanks to the Republican Party, our Constitution is now under the control of a king. While his title is still the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump assumed the throne last week, his scepter carried by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham.

The total capitulation, which we knew was in the works based on McConnell’s pledged allegiance to the White House before the impeachment trial began, climaxed when the vote to hear from additional witnesses failed by a mostly partisan 51-49 margin. We could have heard from John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, or others who had first-hand knowledge of the President’s scheme.

Instead, we got words of wisdom from disgraced Baylor University Chancellor Ken Starr. Remember him? He’s the guy who couldn’t wait to impeach President Bill Clinton for lying about a sex act but lectured the…

View original post 1,028 more words

Bastards

Filosofa is growling tonight … Filosofa’s blood pressure is likely through the roof tonight … Filosofa needs to rant tonight.  But first, one kudos …


The courage of her convictions …

Whatever else you may think of Senator (and presidential hopeful) Elizabeth Warren, you’ve gotta love the woman’s courage, her chutzpah, as my grandmother would have said.  Yesterday, while the questioning portion of the impeachment trial was ongoing, and senators/jurors were sending their questions, rather like passing notes in high school, to Chief Justice John Roberts to read, Senator Warren submitted one of her own …

“Does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution?”

elizabeth-warrenThe shock at her audacity was palpable in the chamber.  As Republicans grow increasingly confident that they have the votes to block calling new witnesses and evidence, Democrats have turned to Chief Justice Roberts as a potential savior for their cause: If there is a tie, it could fall to the chief justice to decide whether to break it.  I think Senator Warren’s question was a pointed reminder to Chief Justice Roberts that he is expected to be ‘fair and impartial’.  Let’s hope it works!  Meanwhile, either way, I give Senator Warren high fives and thumbs up for her courage and tenacity.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

It might interest you to know that at least two of Trump’s lawyers, Ken Starr and Robert Ray, have donated mega-bucks to … wait for it … Senate Majority Leader and ignominious tortoise … Mitch McConnell!  So … what a shocker, eh?  In July 2019 alone, Starr gave $2,800 to Moscow Mitch, and in September 2019, Ray gave him $5,600.  Not huge sums, relatively, but enough to ensure he would do all in his power to protect a rogue president?  Maybe.  It was only a month or so after that Mitchie announced he would be in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow has contributed to multiple Republican senators, as have White House counsel Pat Cipollone and deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin.  Hmmmm … are you starting to smell a rat here?

rat


The bastards …

And this just in, as I am writing tonight …

Sen. Lamar Alexander to oppose new witnesses in trial, signaling vote likely to be defeated

lamar-alexanderSon of a bitch!  I hope your dog bites your leg, it gets infected by Tibetan fleas, and you die a slow and painful death, Lamar!  You have single-handedly ensured that we are now officially a nation run by a cruel, maniacal dictator.

What happened to the “5-10” republicans who, upon hearing of Lev Parnas’ statements and John Bolton’s pending book, claimed they had decided we need to hear witness testimony???  Who threatened them and with what?  Did their cojones shrivel up?For those of my readers who are rolling your eyes right about now, thinking, “Filosofa’s done gone and lost her marbles”, let me ask you to ponder something.

The ignoble Alan Dershowitz in his defense of Trump on Wednesday claimed that if a politician, say the president, acts illegally, but because he believes his actions are in the best interest of the nation, then it is okay … he can do that without being called to account.  Once Trump is acquitted, most likely later today, he will gloat … he will be so emboldened that he will push the limits of his power even further than before.

On November 3rd, we are to have an election … an election that we are hoping will replace not only the president, but certain assholes in Congress such as Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson, Lindsey Graham, and most notably Mitchell McConnell.  So … what happens if Trump decides … in all his “great and unmatched wisdom” … to cancel the November 3rd election because he claims to believe it is in the best interest of the nation?

Can’t happen, you say?  Oh ho ho ho ho ho … it couldn’t happen that a presidential candidate could buy an election … until Trump did just that.  It couldn’t happen that a president would defy every law on the books, lock kids in cages, write executive orders to destroy the environment, and assassinate a foreign general … until it did happen.  Between Attorney General Barr saying that Trump is above the law, cannot be charged with a crime as long as his fat ass sits in the Oval Office, and now Alan Dershowitz claiming that Trump can do anything, so long as he claims to believe it is in the “best interest of the country”, a dictator has been created … a monster such as this nation has never seen before.  Thought Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were bad?  Wait for it.impeach-8


And now, I bid you buenas noches … sleep well, if you can, for I doubt I will.

Cartoon of Woman Lying in Bed and Unable to Sleep Because of Insomnia

Disappointment – letter to a GOP Senator

Our friend Keith has written a letter to his senator that is excellent. I plan to adapt his letter to send to my own senator, and thought some of you might be interested as well. Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

Senator Burr, as an independent and former Republican, I have voted for you in the past. I have applauded you when you have gone out of your way to be bipartisan, especially with your and Mark Warner’s handling of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

I did not expect the Senate to remove Donald Trump, even though the testimony I have seen and his actions to block evidence and witnesses indicate someone who is guilty. The why question I want an answer to is why did the White House try to bury the infamous phone call, if it was so perfect? And, frankly, I am troubled that we have a shadow diplomacy going on which keeps our diplomats in the dark. I would say this if the person was Mother Teresa, but Rudy Giuliani is a far cry from her exemplar.

What does trouble me is the insistence that the president…

View original post 217 more words

Another WTF Moment!

A few days ago, my laptop crashed.  I was able to resuscitate it, but the Bluetooth was completely dead, the pinned tabs on my browser were gone, and a few other minor issues.  I’ve been nursing BD (Baby Dell) along for quite a while now, and I’ve known it was inevitable that soon I would need a new one.  So, I bit the bullet and ordered one on Sunday night.  It was delivered today.  Sigh.  I will bond with it eventually, but first off it weighs twice as much as BD, so it has already knocked a cup of coffee and an ashtray to the floor as I tried to pick it up with one hand and couldn’t.  And, of course, I have spent the better part of my day today loading software, connecting to the internet, copying files only to lose them, installing a wireless mouse and disabling the touchpad, and various other things.  Long story short, this is going to be a short post this morning, for I have a myriad of things I must get done before I can go to bed and I’m exhausted.  But, one thing caught my eye today that I simply could not let slide …

In essence, Trump’s team of lawyers argued yesterday in defense of Trump’s phone call on July 25th that sought to trade U.S. aid to the Ukraine for the Ukraine’s public announcement that they were investigating Trump’s nemesis, Joe Biden, in order to help Trump’s bid for re-election.  Their defense?  That anything Trump did to aid in his re-election was in the best interest of the nation and therefore not impeachable.  Mr. Dershowitz’ exact words were …

dershowitz“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And mostly, you’re right. Your election is in the public interest. And if a president does something, which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. . . .

The house managers . . . never allege that it was based on pure financial reasons. It would be a much harder case if a hypothetical president of the United States said to a hypothetical leader of a foreign country, ‘Unless you build a hotel with my name on it and unless you give me a million-dollar kickback, I will withhold the funds.’

That’s an easy case. That’s purely corrupt and in the purely private interest.

But a complex middle case is: ‘I want to be elected. I think I’m a great president. I think I’m the greatest president there ever was. And if I’m not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly.’ That cannot be an impeachable offense.”

SAY WHAT???

Excuse me, Messrs. Philbin and Dershowitz, but may I offer some clarification that you legal beagles apparently lack?

FIRST … Mr. Trump is the worst president, bar none, this nation has ever had.  He is a danger to our Constitutional foundation, he is a danger to the 1st Amendment right to a free press, to free speech, and to freedom of religion.  He poses a danger to the entire planet with his ignorant stance and policies on climate change, wildlife preservation, lethal chemicals and more.  His re-election is in NO WAY in the best interest of this nation!

SECOND … it is up to We the People to decide who should be our next president.  Election tampering is what put us in this terrible situation in the first place, and now you’re saying that it is perfectly fine for Mr. Trump to do whatever he damn well pleases to give him better odds on November 3rd, and that he cannot be held accountable for election tampering, manipulation, etc.

THIRD … You apparently fail to understand the precedent you set with your inane defense!  It is bad enough that somebody along the way said a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard … or rather, it was until today!  So, from this point forward, whatever a president does to keep his seat in the Oval Office is okay with you jerks?  Well, guess what?  If your supposition is allowed to stand, then you just signed the death warrant for the United States of America, for by 2024, Donald Trump will have declared himself to be the dictator of the nation and you will have handed him the keys to the castle.

Whew … I had to take a short break after that tirade, for I was out of breath from the typing.  Folks, we have heard more ridiculous bullshit in the past six months out of Trump & Co, than I have heard in the entire 68 years before.  We cannot let this creepshow continue … and yet … how do we stop it?  I’m not sure, but I am planning to draft a letter outlining my three points above and send it to each and every republican senator later today.  And then, I think I’ll go out and break the law … since there is no longer any law and justice, why … I can do anything I please, right?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The Sham Trial Begins

I gave you my take on the impeachment trial, the dog-and-pony show yesterday, but I thought it would be interesting to read Jeff’s perspective as well. He and I think a lot alike, and even use some of the same verbiage, but since he is actually listening to the trial (what a way to spend your vacation, eh?) he has a bit better view of the participants. Thanks Jeff … good work!

On The Fence Voters

Reflections from the car

So here we are my friends. Finally, the President of the United States is being held to account. The impeachment trial is in progress and it’s heartening to see the Republican Party stepping up to the plate to make sure he answers for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. My sarcasm vein is ready to burst!

Seriously, though,  I wanted to quickly share some thoughts from yesterday’s sham trial in the United States Senate. And I’m going to do it from a different perspective. Yesterday, my better half and I departed on a vacation to Southern California. The trip is a long one from the Pacific Northwest, and we’re driving.

Instead of watching it on TV, we listened to the proceedings on the radio, in the car for over six hours. To some, that might be considered torture. To me…

View original post 856 more words

History lessons on sham justice

Blogging friend Brosephus doesn’t post daily, and in fact today’s post is his first this year, but when he does post, his words are memorable and wise. In today’s post, he compares what is happening in the impeachment trial to certain events in the 1960s … history does repeat itself. Take a close look at the picture at the top of his post – it captures this moment in our history perfectly. Thank you, Brosephus, for this prophetic post.

The Mind of Brosephus

It’s my first post of 2020, and I have a ton of stuff on my mind. We’re only 23 days into the new year, and I’ve already hit life highs and lows that will be hard, if not impossible, to surpass. This post, however, isn’t about me or my personal life. This post is about what America is about to experience and to question how Americans will respond in return.

As we know, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is underway in the Senate as I type. As some have prognosticators have pronounced, most Americans know “the fix” is in the works to acquit Trump for his crimes. Indeed, there may not be much that we Americans can do to stop the acquittal, but there is a lot we can do as a result.

I chose the cartoon at the top for an explicit reason. There are many of us…

View original post 371 more words

Mad As Hell! (Part II)

Last week I wrote a post titled “Mad as Hell!”, and then after some thought, I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be more to come, so I added “(Part I)” to the title.  Lo and behold, I was right.  I can only wonder how many parts I will end up with.

The word of the day is … well, actually there are several words of the day:  stonewall, injustice, dishonesty, and I could think of more, but why bother?  Yes, I am talking about the Mitch McConnell Dog-and-Pony show happening as we speak in the Capitol building in Washington D.C.  McConnell and his cronies seem to be programmed to say one word only:  NO.  No, you can’t subpoena documents from the White House.  No, you can’t call John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney or Robert Blair or Michael Duffy or virtually any other witness.  No, you cannot subpoena documents from either the Department of Defense or the Office of Management and Budget.  What a SHAM this trial has already, after only one day, turned into.

My question … at least my first one … is this:  If McConnell and the other 52 republican fools in the Senate truly believe that Donald Trump is NOT guilty of any wrongdoing, then why the hell are they so afraid of any witness testimony or document review?  It seems to me that if they believe he is innocent, they would welcome such witnesses and evidence, to show the American public once and for all that Trump did nothing wrong.  So … all this subterfuge, all the games that McConnell is engaging in … they point heavily to the fact that McConnell and the entire rest of the right side of the aisle in the Senate are altogether too well aware that the defendant, Donald Trump, is guilty as charged … and then some.

And if you thought that Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts presiding over the trial would bring even an element of fairness, then think again, for he is proving himself to be naught more than just another of Trump’s hired goons.  History will not be kind to him, nor to any of the actors in this dog-and-pony show, but they don’t seem to think past the nose on their faces.

Granted, we all knew that at the end of the day, Trump will be acquitted because … for some reason that as yet eludes me, they seem scared shitless of Trump and will throw their very careers in the trash to bow to his wishes.  However, one would think they would at least … at the very least … give the appearance of a fair trial.  But nooooooo … they might as well stand up and say, “Trump is guilty as hell and we therefore find him innocent.” 

The thing that disturbs me most about this is not that Trump will remain in office until he is (hopefully, fingers crossed) voted out in November … I already had that one pegged from the first time the word “impeachment” was mentioned.  No, what is most disturbing and should scare the hell out of us all is the precedent this sets.

At just over 8,000 words, the U.S. Constitution does not cover all bases, but merely lays the foundation for a government based on democratic principles.  Specifics are left to two things:  laws and precedent.  Both, once set, are difficult to reverse.  If a fair trial, at least on the surface, is conducted and Trump is yet acquitted, it would be no different than when Bill Clinton was impeached but acquitted at trial.  However, if this trial continues to be a sham, a circus according to the wishes of Mitch McConnell, the precedent it sets is that no president is ever likely to be impeached again.  But … even that is not the worst of it.

The very worst is that in using his office, his power, for personal gain and political purposes, Trump effectively tore down any constraints or barriers to unlimited power.  Checks and balances?  Where???  Congress is tasked with overseeing the executive branch, and yet they have handed him the keys to the kingdom and said, “Do whatever you wish … we won’t stop you.”  The judiciary has largely said the same.  Where, my friends, do you suppose that leaves us … the 330 million people of this nation whose voices have been stifled by the very people we voted into office and whose salaries we pay?

We have laws in this country … laws that are not being enforced today, laws that are being laughed at by the very people we have entrusted to enforce those laws.  Imagine if you vandalized your neighbor’s car and ten people were standing on the street and saw you.  One of them finally calls the police while you continue to use your baseball bat to break every window in the car.  Now imagine that at your trial, not a single one of those ten people are called to testify.  A neighbor’s home security camera caught the whole incident on video, but that is not allowed at your trial, either.  That is exactly what this impeachment trial is.  There is no doubt that what Trump did was wrong, nor is there doubt that he did attempt to use the leverage of assistance to the Ukraine in order to force them to publicly announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  There’s not a shred of reasonable doubt.  But … if no evidence is allowed to be presented, if no witnesses are allowed to tell what they know … where’s the damn justice???

Too many times already in the past three years, Trump has gotten by with abusing the power of his office, with obstruction of justice, with endangering the nation and its people.  If he is not held accountable now, then folks, we have an autocrat, an “Imperial President” who has no bounds, no conscience, and no reason to honour his oath of office.  The republicans in Congress are in the process of creating a monster, one that will destroy this nation.

I have emailed the republican senator for my state, Rob Portman, twice within the past ten days and have not received a single response, which leads me to believe that as a citizen and taxpayer, I have no voice in my government.  And that leaves me mad as hell!

Letter To Senator Re: Impeachment Trial

letterBelow is the letter I have sent to both of the senators for my state.  


Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing today about a matter that is of the utmost importance to the people you were elected to represent, and in fact to the entire nation:  the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

As I’m sure you are aware, Donald Trump has grossly abused his power during his nearly three years in office, has literally trampled the U.S. Constitution – that document you swore to uphold when you were last sworn in on 03 January 2017.  We currently have the single worst president this nation has ever had, and my fear, along with some 60% of the people’s, is that he has already done irreparable damage to the nation.

Last December 18th, Donald Trump was impeached, only the third president in the nation’s history to have been so.  My understanding is that Speaker of the House Pelosi will be sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate next week, and that an impeachment trial will begin sometime thereafter.

Now to the purpose of this letter.  Your colleagues, Mitchell McConnell and Lindsay Graham, have announced that they do not intend to conduct a fair and impartial trial, but rather plan to hastily acquit Trump without reviewing all evidence, and without hearing from any witnesses.  This is plainly against the intent of the Constitution, and is against the Senate rules, as you no doubt realize.

I am writing to ask you to please use your conscience and your integrity to demand your colleagues treat this impeachment with the seriousness that it warrants.  It seems that some members of Congress are intimidated by Trump, or by the 40% of the people in the U.S. who support Trump, but that is politics, not governance.  You were not hired to look after your own political interests, but to govern fairly and honestly, and in the best interest of the country as a whole, not a select few.

Mr. McConnell claims he wishes to simply finalize the trial, acquit Mr. Trump, and “get on with the people’s business”, but … the Senate has not been doing the “people’s business” for a very long time now.  How many bills have been passed by the House of Representatives that the Senate has not even reviewed or considered?  More than 400 at last count.  What about the election security bill that would help prevent the foreign influence that changed the landscape of our 2016 election?  In 2019, the Senate passed, I believe only 70-some bills into law, many of which were non-essential, such as the re-naming of a post office or federal building.  What about the universal background check bill, that is supported by more than 80% of the people in this nation, including gun owners?  Or what about the net neutrality bill that would force internet service providers to provide access to all sites, content and applications at the same speed, under the same conditions without blocking or preferencing any content?

I agree that the Senate needs to conduct the business of the people, but they have been deficient in this for the entirety of 2019, and even before that.  The impeachment trial is the business of the people. We the People see our nation being placed in grave danger by the antics of the madman in the Oval Office.  I could provide you with countless examples, but you already know where you and your colleagues have let us down, you know what you should do.  The question now is … are you man enough, are you human enough, do you have enough integrity to do what you know is right?

We the taxpayers, the voters, the people of this nation, will be watching over the coming weeks, and our pleasure or displeasure will be reflected in our votes.  You have almost three years left in your term, but in many ways, that is a very short time, and if you fail us, if you let us down and swear your oath of fealty to Donald Trump instead of the people of this nation, you will not be returned to the Senate on January of 2023.  Do the right thing, Senator Portman.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter


I would strongly urge everyone to write to your senators, both republican and democrat, and let them know that you expect them to do their job, to do what is in the best interest of the nation and its people, not their own pockets.  Feel free to use any or all of this letter, or to compose your own.  Thank you for making your voice heard!