Serious-minded people

Truth. One of the first casualties of war in politics. Truth and honesty — major components of integrity. We the People deserve the truth, but since our vote matters to the politicos far more than our lives matter, truth in politics has become a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded. Our friend Keith sums it up well … truth matters.

musingsofanoldfart

Let me start out with the following firm belief of mine. I wish others who think winning at any cost gives politicians a free pass, would heed this belief of mine. I am not in favor of name calling, but I would say if people in or running for office want to be taken seriously, they need to be serious-minded with their comments. Saying obvious untrue things is not a step down that path.Full stop.

I am not naive enough to think politicians will stop lying altogether. To get elected, they will continue to overstate or even invent their role when good things happen and understate or blame the other side when bad things happen. And, if things aren’t too bad, many will even tell you it is bad to drum up fear. If things aren’t good enough, they will search for ways to make them even better sounding.

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Rewriting History

So, considering history … if we determine to no longer teach about slavery, about Jim Crow … what will we replace it with? We cannot simply ignore the fact that Black people existed. Young people aren’t stupid … don’t you think they will ask questions? And what about books and movies like “Gone with the Wind” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”??? Will we destroy all copies of those? What do we replace the now-illegal facts of history with? Our friend Michael Seidel has written an excellent, thought-provoking post … thank you, Michael!!!

Michael Seidel, writer

In the Smithsonian Magazine’s excerpt of Narrative Tension, Inc.. From the forthcoming book Making History: The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past by Richard Cohen to be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed by permission, Richard Cohen writes this:

‘Around the same time, between 1934 and 1936, the Politburo, or policy-making body, of the Russian Communist Party focused on national history textbooks, and Stalin set scholars to writing a new standard history. The state became the nation’s only publisher. Orwell had it right in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Records Department is charged with rewriting the past to fit whomever Oceania is currently fighting. The ruling party of Big Brother “could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”’

He is writing about the old U.S.S.R., the Soviet Union, and how…

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What IS a ‘Divisive Concept’???

Just what constitutes a “divisive concept”?  No, seriously … for some people, pineapple on pizza is a divisive concept, so I think if states are going to ban the teaching of ‘divisive concepts’, there must be some agreement, some definition as to what, exactly, a ‘divisive concept’ is!

Last week the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban the teaching of “divisive concepts” in K-12 history.  Alabama is not the first, nor will it likely be the last state in the Union to pass such an open-ended law, so it’s imperative that we understand exactly what it is they are even talking about.  And further, once ‘divisive concepts’ are defined, that definition needs to be in writing for every single person in the state to understand, lest teachers and even parents go to prison for simply trying to be honest, to ensure children are getting an actual education!  Most teachers at this point are throwing their hands up, not knowing what they are or aren’t allowed to say in the classroom.

According to Law Insider …

Divisive concepts means the concepts that

  • one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
  • the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
  • an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
  • an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
  • members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
  • an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
  • an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  • any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
  • meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.

The term “divisive concepts” also includes any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.

So, look at #2 … it is not to be taught that the U.S. has and has always had a racist, homophobic element?  We cannot teach about the KKK or the murders of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Emmett Till, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many, many others?  We cannot teach that for four centuries, certain white people held the belief that they were somehow superior to Black people?  We cannot teach how people from Europe came to this continent, took advantage of the civilization of Indigenous People who were already here, then drove them off their land and murdered many of them?  We cannot, I suppose, even teach about Hitler’s execution of some six million Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others?  Is Dr. Martin Luther King’s name and his contributions to our society to be kept a secret?

It seems to me that this push to stop the teaching of the past is naught but a ploy to further demean Black people, to erase the past history that helps us understand why BlackLivesMatter is so important, so relevant.  If the next generation grows up not understanding about the KKK and how many Black families were destroyed by them, then how can they understand our outrage when a white cop kills an unarmed Black man?  Are they to be taught that Blacks, whites, and even Indigenous People have all had the same opportunities and been treated equally throughout the history of the United States?  That, my friends, is naught but one damned BIG LIE!  Do people in Texas, Virginia, Alabama and other states really want their children to grow up on a foundation of lies?  Do they want them to repeat the past because they are ignorant of it?  We do have some pretty ugly things in our history but hiding them and pretending they never happened will only lead to more ugly things … things that will result in death and devastation.

I know I have written on this topic before, and please forgive me if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is so damn important and every time I hear of another state embracing stupidity while whitewashing our past, I feel a white-hot rage run through me.  We cannot … CANNOT … afford to simply let this one slip to the back of our minds … we MUST continue to fight for the proper, fact-based teaching of ALL history … not just that which makes white Christian males look like the guys in white hats!    

In the past few months, residents in Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have found KKK fliers in their driveways and yards.  The fliers read, in part …

The lack of White pride is truly a sad and strange thing, because no group has more to be rightfully proud of than the White people of the world. The glories and greatness that the men and women of our race have won over the centuries should serve as a source of eternal pride and inspiration to White people everywhere.

Since the dawn of history, we have been a mighty race of builders, explorers, artists, warriors, inventors, philosophers and cultivators.

We are the race of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Beethoven and Homer. We are the sons and daughters of Leif Ericsson, Columbus, Magellan, and Lindbergh. We are the folk of Alexander, Caesar, Arminius, Roland, Frederick, Napoleon, Washington, Franklin and Lee. We are the heirs of Sophocles; Heraclitus and Plato, of Rembrandt; Rubens and Durer, of Dante; Goethe and Gutenberg; of Vivaldi, Back, Mozart, and Wagner. We are the descendants of Pythagoras, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Nietzsche.

Just to list the great achieves [sic] of our race would require the work of a lifetime.

No one has more to be proud of that [sic] we do!

Ignorance is bliss … for the ignorant.  For the rest of us, it is pure hell.  Teach the children the truth … let them grow up with actual spines and functional brains so that they might make the world a better place, might finally set aside contests of race, gender, religion, skin colour and just become one people trying to do good in the world.

And by the way … personally, I like pineapple on pizza!

In The Name Of Responsible Journalism …

I fully support a free press, but in return I expect the press to report facts.  Label opinions as such, but when I read the news, I expect it to be honest, factual reporting.  The actual press (I do NOT include the likes of Fox and OANN in this) has been letting us down for some time now on a daily basis.  The former guy is front and center nearly every day, when he should have been reduced to irrelevance long ago.  No other former president has occupied as much media space as he, and frankly I find it sickening and disgusting.

The latest is his plan to hold a “news conference” from Mar-a-Lago on January 6th, the one-year anniversary of the violent attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on the date of the certification of the 2020 election results.  In light of his announcement, it becomes painfully obvious that he intends to use his voice, such as it is, to rehash his old and false lie about the election having been ‘rigged’ or ‘stolen’.

“I will be having a news conference on January 6th at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points, and more. Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.” 

According to Forbes, the former guy said the primary goal of his event will be to attack Republicans who haven’t bought into his fraud claims, deriding them as “RINOs”—Republicans in name only.

Now, none of us can stop the former guy from saying what he will, but … we can call on the legitimate press to boycott the speech.  And that is exactly what they should do … no legitimate news source should be anywhere near Mar-a-Lago on January 6th.  Let him speak until he is hoarse, heard only by the likes of Fox ‘News’, OANN, and other radical right-wing outlets.  Let this serve as notice to The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others that they MUST stay away at all costs!  To attend and report on this childish display of lies and tempers would be a gross disservice to their readers and viewers and would cut into their reputations significantly. We the People have absolutely ZERO interest in anything the former guy (what’s his name again … I forget) has to say.  We’ve heard it all before and we know from past experience that it will be a rant filled with a pack of lies.  I do not wish to see his ugly mug nor to hear the filth that spews from his twisted, contorted mouth!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced plans for a solemn commemoration in Washington on January 6th. Pelosi said the events, which will include “a discussion among historians about the narrative of that day; an opportunity for Members (of Congress) to share their experiences and reflections from that day; and a prayerful vigil in the evening” will be live-streamed.  The press would do much better to cover this commemoration than to cover the former guy doing more ranting, cursing, and lying.  No doubt there will be numerous other events to commemorate the day that will be of far more value than the one at Mar-a-Lago.  Let’s all hope that in the name of responsible journalism, the press can turn their focus to those events and boycott the other one.  If they do not, then I will strongly consider cancelling my online subscriptions to those outlets that waste their time and our money on the former guy.

Revisionist History … Then And Now

There are so many critical issues happening in the country, in the world today, that it should be possible to write two posts a day without ever repeating myself.  But there are a few issues that take precedence over all else:  racism, voting rights, climate change, the corruption of certain legislators, and the assault on the very foundation of our country.  So, please forgive me if I seem to repeat these topics, for they simply cannot be allowed to fade into oblivion as some would like to see happen.

The events of January 6th are being lied about, Republicans are doing everything in their power to make the country forget that but for some very dedicated police officers, we might today be living in an autocratic state, the results of our vote last November having been cast to the wind.  Columnist Dana Milbank has written of the attempts to whitewash the event, comparing this to the Civil War which southerners tried to claim was not about slavery, but about states’ rights, and that the Confederates were the true ‘patriots’, in much the same way that some are calling the terrorists who attacked the Capitol ‘patriots’.  We must never forget what happened on that day, who instigated it, and what the goal of the attack was.  Mr. Milbank explains it far better than I can …


We can’t let the terrorists rewrite the history of Jan. 6

Opinion by

Dana Milbank

Columnist

History, the adage goes, is written by the victors.

Would that it were true.

In the Civil War, the U.S. Army, at a staggering human cost, eventually crushed the traitors who took up arms against their own country. But Lost Cause mythology rewrote the rebellion as a conflict over states’ rights, portrayed Confederates as gallant heroes fighting impossible odds, romanticized plantation life and sanitized slavery. The fictions, taught to generations of southerners, fueled Jim Crow and white supremacy.

In the retelling of Jan. 6, we see an echo of Lost Cause mythology. On that terrible day, terrorists took up arms against the United States, sacking the seat of the U.S. government in a deadly rampage. White supremacists marauded through the Capitol. It was a coup attempt, aimed at overturning the will of the people with brute force, encouraged by a defeated president and his allies. The Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police, badly outnumbered, ultimately prevailed in putting down the insurrection.

But now the losers are trying to rewrite the history of that day. The terrorists were “patriots.” Theirs was a “normal tourist visit.” They weren’t armed. They were “hugging and kissing” the police. A woman, shot as she breached the last barrier keeping elected representatives from the mob, was a martyr shot in cold blood. The Capitol Police were ill-trained. It was Nancy Pelosi’s fault.

The losers, again, are trying to write the history. They must not be allowed to succeed — for if they do, they will certainly try again to attack democracy.

President Biden joined the battle against the revisionists on Thursday as he presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the police who saved democracy on Jan. 6. “We cannot allow history to be rewritten,” he said.

In a speech honoring the heroism of the police, Biden, at one point brushing a tear from his eye, called the attackers what they were. “A mob of extremists and terrorists launched a violent and deadly assault on the People’s House and the sacred ritual to certify a free and fair election,” he said. “It was insurrection … It was unconstitutional. And maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-American.”

To that list of labels, Ty Seidule adds one more: “It was a lynch mob.”

Seidule is qualified to say so. A retired U.S. Army general, he taught history for two decades at West Point. Now at Hamilton College, he’s the author of “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause,” a disembowelment of Lost Cause lies he learned in his own upbringing as a White southerner.

He told me of the disgust he felt when he saw a photo of an insurrectionist in the Capitol on Jan. 6 carrying the Confederate battle flag — “the Flag of Treason,” he calls it — past a portrait of Charles Sumner, the abolitionist senator nearly caned to death by Preston Brooks, a proslavery congressman from South Carolina. Seidule wanted to suit up in his old uniform and fight the Capitol terrorists. “The people who did that need to be in orange jumpsuits and shackles,” he said.

In his book, Seidule writes of the importance of words in defeating the Lost Cause lies. It wasn’t “Union” against “Confederate,” he argues. It was the “U.S. Army fighting … against a rebel force that would not accept the results of a democratic election and chose armed rebellion.” Confederate generals didn’t fight with “honor”; they abrogated “an oath sworn to God to defend the United States” and “killed more U.S. Army soldiers than any other enemy, ever.” It wasn’t “the War Between the States,” as Lost Cause mythology would have it; the Civil War was, properly, “The War of the Rebellion.” They weren’t “plantations” as glorified by Margaret Mitchell, but “enslaved labor farms.” Writes Seidule: “Accurate language can help us destroy the lies of the Lost Cause.”

So, too, can accurate language destroy the lies now being floated to justify Jan. 6.

These were not tourists. These were not patriots. They were terrorists, as D.C. police officer Daniel Hodges, savagely beaten on Jan. 6, labeled them in congressional testimony. They were armed — with rebar, poles, knives, bear spray, tasers and an untold number of firearms — and they were unspeakably violent in their attack on the duly elected government of the United States.

The revisionist history serves a purpose: Sanitizing sedition so the foes of democracy will be able to attack it again, but successfully. This is why those who still revere our democracy must answer the lies with the true stories of Jan. 6 — again and again. “We’re not going to let them win the narrative,” Seidule said. “History is too important.”

Hell No, They Won’t Go …

Last night I read that a number of House Republicans are protesting the mandate that Congressional aides and visitors must wear masks, as per the U.S. Capitol Police.  Of course they are … that is all they do, is object to anything and everything. They are much like the annoying, obnoxious lawyer who jumps up and dramatically yells “Objection, your Honour” every time the prosecution calls a witness or asks a question.  I have referred to the GOP more than once as “The party of ‘No’” and this just proves my point.

The Republican members of Congress, with few exceptions, are parrots, repeating their chants over and over again, never speaking with intellect, never saying anything of substance.  It’s just a continual chant of “Hell no, we won’t go”Hell no, they won’t support the right of We the People, the taxpayers who pay their bloated salaries, to vote.  Hell no, they won’t support taking care of the people of this nation who have suffered financially and otherwise during this ongoing pandemic.  Hell no, they won’t tell their constituents to get the vaccine so that this nation might someday rise above the ashes of COVID.  Hell no, they won’t encourage people to wear a mask in order to protect themselves and others, for they won’t even wear a mask themselves.  Hell no, they won’t vote for an increase in the minimum wage such that every working person is at the very least above the poverty level.  Hell no, they don’t want an investigation into the attempted coup on January 6th because they are ALL complicit to one extent or another.  Hell no, the Republicans DO NOT CARE ONE WHIT for the people of this country.

I am sick and tired of listening to Kevin McCarthy telling lies that he knows are lies, as he tries to worm his way into the heart of only one person … the former guy.  I am fed up to the gills with Jim Jordan and his rolled up blue sleeves and yellow necktie (does the ‘man’ not own any other clothing?) as he continues to push back, without cause, against every single thing that President Biden and his administration are trying to do for We the People!  I literally feel nauseous every time I see the newbies like Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, and Lauren Boebert pretend to be viable members of our legislative body, while at the same time toting guns into the Capitol, supporting conspiracy theories, and killing their own constituents by lying to them.

And what is being done to stop the madness?  Nothing.  Talk, talk, talk, and more talk on Capitol Hill, and nothing changes.  But it isn’t only the politicians … what the hell are We the People doing?  Nothing.  The anti-vaxxers are in the streets screeching about their ‘god-given’ right to refuse the vaccine, to refuse to wear a mask, but where are the protests about our constitutionally mandated voting rights being taken away?  The 2nd Amendment supporters are vocal enough, but where are the rest of us, those of us who believe that our right to safety is more important than their right to their killing machines?  Understand that I include myself in this conversation, for I’m not out protesting loudly, either, but merely sitting in my kitchen office writing a blog, occasionally writing to members of Congress to express my displeasure, and lying awake nights cursing at the ceiling.  We are, it seems, the silent majority.  Meanwhile, the Republicans are being heard loud and clear, killing whatever is left of this nation.  The Founding Fathers would not be proud of what we have become.

A few nights ago a friend left the following comment on one of my posts:

“And so America ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper. A voice from beneath the rubble, ‘I really didn’t mean to kill America. I just wanted to hear myself talk.’”

And you know what?  He’s not wrong.

The U.S. Has Lost Its Collective Conscience

Today, I am deeply disappointed in a large portion of this nation.  Oh, there are many reasons, but my current angst is fueled by some responses I have read and heard to the testimony of the four police officers before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection on Tuesday.

First, I would like to ask that you watch this 8-minute interview Don Lemon did with Officer Michael Fanone yesterday.  Lemon plays a clip of a voicemail that Officer Fanone received during the time he was testifying and … it is so vile, so disgusting, so cruel … but I think it’s important to understand how a certain segment of our society thinks.  My apologies, but I cannot embed this video, however here is the link:

Don Lemon interview with Officer Michael Fanone

Tragic and disgusting.  Officer Fanone and every other officer who defended the Capitol and protected our lawmakers on that day are heroes, and yet this is how we treat them???

And then there were a multitude of comments from a variety of sources.  I won’t give the people who uttered these comments the attention they seek by mentioning their names, only their words …

  • Corrections officers around the country get the shit kicked out of them and their faces slashed many times yearly by violent inmates, yet you never see any of them crying like a little bitches at congressional hearings.
  • I am shocked at the cowardice. They should be fired – not fit for duty.
  • Cowards all.
  • Did they not even practice their fake crying before this hearing?
  • Let’s hear the testimonies of the cops from Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Portland and all the other cities who had to deal with BLM/ANTIFA riots last summer.
  • What a pussy. “You guys won, you held.” Um, people weren’t there to do anything, they got bored and left. That’s because it wasn’t an insurrection and more than half the people there walked in open doors with the permission of the police.

Some of the people uttering this filth are our elected officials, others are media ‘personalities’.  But the comment that disturbed me the most, I think, came from one of my own readers, a man I consider a friend, Scott Lawlor …

“this was not an insurrection, it was mostly peaceful people going to make their voices heard on results they didn’t agree with. now, for the record, anyone who broke the law, which was a minority by the way, should absolutely be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

they took their grievances to the seat of power, which is a better thing to do than, oh, I don’t know, burn buildings, attack people and steal, like blm and antifa did last summer causing around 2 billion dollars in property damage. The democrats in this hearing are just a bunch of crybabies, you can tell the emotionalism is all fake and for show. We weren’t an hour away from marshal law, AOC wasn’t fearing for her life since she wasn’t even there, this is just all lies and propaganda by the democrat elites and the media to paint every single republican and conservative as a brainless white supremacist and I am sick and tired of the intollerence from these elitists who believe the narrative and continue to give voice to their obvious disdain for anyone who may thing differently from them.

It’s a free country and just as a progressive can say, write, and think anything they want, I have the freedom to disagree with those thoughts but it seems to me that it’s the democrats who are more intollerant than any conservatives I know.”

He then included a video put out by The Rubin Report titled “Shameful Theatrics” whereby Dave Rubin basically echoes what Scott said, only took far longer to say it.  I must admit that it seems to me people in this country no longer care about truth, about facts, about fairness and I despair for the future of this country.  People hear someone like Tucker Carlson or Dave Rubin giving their own distorted view of the facts, whether about the COVID vaccine or Black Lives Matter or voting rights or the January 6th insurrection (and yes, it WAS an insurrection!) and they become as parrots, chirping that opinion to others, mindless of the facts.

It is a pitiful reflection on a nation when facts are thrown in the trash and sensationalism becomes the norm, when heroes who save lives are denigrated, and when truth is mocked.

The GOP Madness … Doing Us A Favour?

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the Republican House members who had been appointed by Kevin McCarthy to sit on the committee to investigate the January 6th insurrection.  The two were Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Burns of Indiana, and Speaker Pelosi was well within her rights to reject them, for both had refused to certify the election results from the 2020 election, though there was no question whatsoever that President Biden had won by more than 7 million votes. Both attempted to stifle our votes, our voices.

McCarthy, who qualifies as one of the head clowns in the GOP circus, went ballistic and pulled the other three, the ones Pelosi had agreed to, off of the committee.  Fine by me, for his only goal was to be disruptive and ensure that the committee would be unable to conduct a full investigation as we need them to.  Why?  Why are Republicans so adamant that we not get to the bottom of an attack that threatened the democratic principles founded in the U.S. Constitution?  Because … they know the role that certain Republicans played in inciting and participating in the events of the day.  Some of those people carry the last name “Trump” and that is already a proven fact!  So, let’s cover it up … bury it so that they don’t have to try to justify their actions, justify their attempt to rob We the People of our voice … so that come November 2022, people will have forgotten the coup that almost was, and those who bear some responsibility for the events won’t have to answer awkward questions that might land them on the other side of the iron bars!

That said, Washington Post columnists Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman have collaborated on a piece that I think worthy of being shared.  For what little my opinion may be worth, I am 100% in agreement with these gentlemen …


How Kevin McCarthy is boosting the integrity of the Jan. 6 investigation

Opinion by Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman

21 July 2021; 5:08 p.m. EDT

We should be thankful that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) just pulled Republicans out of any involvement in the select committee to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection. In so doing, he ensured that the committee’s investigation will both have more integrity and be more likely to undertake a valuable accounting.

Which goes to a larger truth about this moment: Efforts at a real examination of arguably the worst outbreak of political violence in modern times — and efforts to protect our democracy more broadly — will not be bipartisan. These things will be done by Democrats alone.

McCarthy’s handling of the Jan. 6 committee illustrates the point. It comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she is nixing two of McCarthy’s picks to serve on it: Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

McCarthy mustered great outrage about this, railing that it was an “abuse of power” that had cost the committee “all legitimacy and credibility.”

In fact, precisely the opposite is true: By pulling out, McCarthy has boosted the committee’s legitimacy and credibility immeasurably. The less involved McCarthy is with this committee, the more likely it will be to undertake a genuine and comprehensive accounting.

McCarthy’s picks were expressly designed to prevent that accounting. This is not speculation or a mere guess at McCarthy’s motives. It is unavoidably clear from the public statements and conduct of Banks and Jordan themselves.

Banks’s first act on getting named by McCarthy was to release a statement declaring that the committee must investigate the “hundreds of violent political riots” in which “many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked.”

That’s an explicit declaration that the insurrection and Donald Trump’s incitement of it should not be the focus of the committee and is a less serious matter than those riots.

Similarly, after Jordan was picked, he immediately declared he wants to serve on the committee because “this is impeachment round three,” unwittingly revealing — or perhaps unabashedly declaring — that he saw his role as solely a means for working to exonerate Trump.

What’s more, Jordan had already played a prominent role in spreading the very lies about the 2020 election that helped inspire the insurrection the committee will be investigating. Given that the committee is charged with probing the causes of the violence — and that those lies are a major cause — any real accounting must also implicate Republicans such as Jordan.

On top of all this, remember that McCarthy could have exercised even more control over the investigation — yet declined. Back in May, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the Homeland Security Committee chair, announced an agreement with the ranking Republican on an evenly divided 10-member bipartisan commission, with both parties having veto power over subpoenas.

Guess who voted against that commission? McCarthy, Banks and Jordan did.

All three also voted to object to President Biden’s electors, a vote that represented the culmination of the lies this committee will investigate as a cause of the violence.

There’s another hidden dynamic here, too: McCarthy and Jordan are very likely witnesses themselves. McCarthy made a frantic appeal to Trump to call off the rioters; he likely has firsthand experience of Trump’s truly sociopathic and insurrectionist intentions that day.

And Jordan was present in a Dec. 21 White House meeting with Trump and others, at which they discussed how to overturn Biden’s electors on the day of what would become the insurrection. What was said at that meeting will be of great interest to the committee.

“Anyone who is a material witness to the key events leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection doesn’t really belong on the committee,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the select committee, told us.

“The investigative inquiry is being shaped right now,” Raskin continued, “but those are likely to be key events in the chronology.”

Here’s the bottom line: By nixing Banks and Jordan, Pelosi actually protected the integrity of the committee’s investigation, from their openly advertised intention to misdirect, disrupt and sabotage it. By appointing publicly committed saboteurs, McCarthy openly advertised the same intention.

The conventions of political reporting are such that this basic and obvious truth will not be faithfully rendered in press accounts. But it follows from a straightforward interpretation of the statements and conduct of those Republicans themselves.

A Basket Of Deplorables

Remember back in September 2016 when Hillary Clinton, while running for president, was speaking at a fundraiser when she made her world-famous gaffe …

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Not the smartest thing to say when you want these people to vote for you!  She wasn’t at all wrong, but her comment was likely the very thing that may have cost her the electoral college vote.  (Note to readers … she won the election by more than 2.8 million votes, but lost the electoral college vote, primarily due to gerrymandering.)  The reason her comment was a defining moment in her campaign is simple:  many people saw themselves in what she said and believed she was pointing her finger at them, calling them ‘deplorable’.  And, of course, her opponent had a field day with it, never let it out of people’s minds for a single minute, and at the end of the day, it was likely the single most important thing that cost her the presidency.  Twenty seconds, forty-five words, was all it took to doom her candidacy.  Sure, there was Comey’s October surprise, and the fact that Hillary was … GASP … a woman, but I think those could have been overcome had she not uttered those 45 words.

So, you wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Asking yourselves why I’m digging up nearly 5-year-old news.  Well, several things regarding Republicans in the news these past few days have immediately brought the word ‘deplorable’ to mind, and about the third time this happened, the light bulb came on and I remembered what Hillary had said, and I thought, “Y’know, she was spot on in her assessment, not only of Trump supporters, but today’s Republicans as a whole.”  Here are a couple of examples …


The glaring hypocrisy

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is considering a run for … wait for it … president in 2024.  Now, I respected Nikki as governor of South Carolina, but once she threw her lot in with the former guy, I lost any respect I had for her.  In my book, she sold her soul to the highest bidder.

Nikki does, however, have a conscience somewhere under all the rot, for after the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and on Congress, she seemed to push away from the former guy, even outright criticizing him the next day …

“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

She went on to say in an interview a few weeks later that he had “lost any sort of political viability” and that she didn’t think he was “going to be in the picture” any longer, before adding: “He’s fallen so far.”

But, once she figured out that he IS still in the picture as far as the Republican Party and who they support, she changed her tune … not just a little, but by one hell of a lot!  Here’s what she said earlier this week when addressing a crowd at the Iowa Republican Party dinner …

“Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border.”

And that statement is so utterly ridiculous that I cannot even dignify it with a response.  She went on to heap undeserved praise on him, saying that she “saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first” and telling a humorous story about Trump’s decision to label North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” saying it showed how the former president had “a way of getting people.”

Oh yeah, she’s licking some big boots there, and there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to lick the stench off anytime soon, for the former guy rejected her request to visit him at Mar-a-Lago not long ago.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah … oozing from her pores.  Deplorable.


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … what have you done?

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, is another who I used to have tremendous respect for.  In the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks, Rudy held not only New York City, but the rest of the nation together.  But just like Nikki Haley, he sold out, he threw We the People to the lions when he cast his lot in with the former guy.  Rudy became one of many attorneys defending Trump in numerous legal areas, and he followed Trump’s lead … lie, cheat, and steal, do whatever it takes.

All Rudy’s lies finally came home to roost yesterday when a New York court ruled that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while fighting the results of the 2020 election on behalf of Donald J. Trump.  Rudy Giuliani was once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was once known as a law-and-order crusader and whose creative courtroom tactics against mob bosses turned him into a fixture on national television.

The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee after finding he had sought to mislead judges, lawmakers, and the public as he helped shepherd Trump’s legal challenge to the election results.  In part, the 33-page court decision read …

“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated. This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”

How low Rudy Giuliani has sunk.  I don’t expect he’ll ever have his law license re-instated, nor should he, for he is naught but a liar, a boot-licker, and a puppet.  Deplorable.


I could go on, for there are many more, such as Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis … so many deplorables all in one party.  So yes, Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head when she called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ … she paid the ultimate price for her honesty, but at least she was honest, something that is not to be found anywhere within the Republican Party today.

WHY???

If you thought I let off all the steam in this morning’s rants, you’d be wrong.  Two things are puzzling me at the moment … puzzling and annoying me … leading me to keep asking over and over — WHY???  The former guy needs to fade into oblivioun … he is, or at least ought to be, irrelevant now, yet he keeps popping back onto the radar.  Somebody please, put him somewhere, like a mental institution or better yet, a prison.


I don’t believe a word of it …

You remember June 1st 2020, right?  That was the day that the former guy, having seen his approval rating drop even lower than usual, decided a photo op was just the thing to boost his ratings.  So, he and his band of merry men (and women) walked from the White House to a church in Lafayette Park so he could hold up a bible and let the press take pictures of him doing so … pictures that would be splashed all over every major news outlet by that evening.  However, his walk was only accomplished after the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement agencies cleared the path of peaceful protestors protesting the brutal police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, a month prior.

The protests were peaceful, no violence until federal law enforcement officers showed up.  According to The Washington Post the following day …

“In a massive show of force, federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and chemical gas at peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday evening … Hundreds of protesters were pushed away from Lafayette Square, where they were protesting the police killing of George Floyd, by the National Guard, U.S. Park Police and Secret Service. The ambush began half an hour before the city’s newly imposed curfew of 7 p.m. went into effect.”

There were photos, videos … it cannot be denied.  And yet, yesterday a report by the Interior Department’s inspector general did just that … denied that law enforcement cleared area for the former guy’s ludicrous walk to church.  According to the report, the area was cleared of protestors in order to allow contractors to safely install some fencing.  BULLSHIT!  I believe that just about as much as I believe elephants can fly!

What I don’t understand is why this particular lie?  What is the purpose, one year later, of telling a lie covering up actions that occurred as a result of egomania by the former guy?  Does the inspector general who issued the report honestly think that We the People are so stupid that we don’t remember the scene from one year ago?  And what’s the point?  The former guy is gone, he surely isn’t still pulling strings in the Department of the Interior, is he?  Police do not use violent means to clear peaceful protestors from an area so that they can build a fence.  Period.  Give us credit for a little bit of intelligence!


Defending the indefensible

This week the Department of Justice led by Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that it would continue defending the former guy in the lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.  A bit of a refresher for those who may not remember this situation …

Ms. Carroll has claimed, and for the record I believe her, that the former guy raped her in the 1990s.  More than a dozen others have made the same claim, most quite credible, and I remind you of that old saying, where there’s so much smoke, there’s a fire somewhere.  When Ms. Carroll made her claim, the former guy rudely denigrated her in public, calling her rude names, saying he had never met her (this despite the fact there are photos of Ms. Carroll and her husband with the former guy at a party) and that he couldn’t have raped her because she isn’t his ‘type’.  Ms. Carroll filed a lawsuit against Trump for defaming her character and calling her a liar among other things.  At that point, then-Attorney General William Barr stepped in and said that the former guy was acting in his official capacity as president when he denied ever knowing Ms. Carroll and made statements assaulting her character, and thus could be defended by government lawyers — in effect underwritten by taxpayer money.

Long story short, he lied and called her names, Bill Barr said he had a right to do that because he was the then-occupant of the Oval Office, and that We the Taxpayers should pay to defend him and prove that in his position at the time, he was above the law.

Today, William Barr has left the Justice Department, replaced by a man for whom I have a great deal of respect, Merrick Garland.  However, I am extremely disappointed in the decision by the DoJ to continue defending the former guy at our expense!  WHY???  Is this a democratic republic as stated in the U.S. Constitution, or is this a banana republic that supports egomaniacal dictators???

In 2020, Barr argued that the former guy was a federal employee whose statements were part of his employment duties and who was thus entitled to protection under the Westfall Act, which grants civil immunity to federal employees for actions that are part of their jobs.  Since when is calling a woman a ‘slut’ part of the president’s job?  So, by this standard, if a sitting president kills one of his staff with a knife or a gun, would that be defensible under the Westfall Act?  Where is the line … and when do We the People finally stand up and say, ENOUGH!

Again, I want to know why the current DoJ is still upholding the former guy’s actions.  I just need an explanation … We the People deserve an explanation.