Still Recovering From The Hugs & Kisses …

Today, I would like to introduce you to two anomalies.  These are people, relatively young people, who serve in the U.S. Congress and are members of the Republican Party.  What, you ask, makes them an anomaly?  Two things:  they are intelligent and most importantly, they have a conscience.  Yes, a conscience … I know it’s hard to believe in this, the 21st century, the age of Republican far-right lunacy and conspiracy theories.  The two people I wish to introduce you to today are Liz Cheney, representative from Wyoming, and Adam Kinzinger, representative from Illinois.  They’ve both been in the news enough that you no doubt know their names.

They are, to the best of my knowledge, the only two congressional republicans who will be serving on the House Select Committee to investigate the events of and leading up to January 6th, the day insurgents attacked Congress and attempted to overthrow our election, our choice, our government.  Cheney and Kinzinger are not serving by appointment via House Minority Leader McCarthy, but they are serving voluntarily, because their conscience demands that they be a part of finding the truth.  Their goal is not, as Jim Jordan’s and Jim Banks’ would have been, to disrupt the proceedings, to whitewash the details, to bury the facts, and to play the “whaddaboutism” game, rather their goal is to find out who was involved in the planning of the attempted coup, who played a role in inciting and encouraging the ignorant masses who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day, and bring those people into the spotlight, bring them to justice.  Their goal is to ensure that such an event can never happen again, that the remnants of a democracy will not be turned to ash and buried.

As expected, GOP leaders, if they can be called such, are attacking Cheney and Kinzinger, accusing them of harboring an anti-Trump agenda and suggesting they’re just doing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bidding. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even debuted a new label on Monday, tagging Kinzinger and Cheney as “Pelosi Republicans.”  I wonder if he thinks this is funny?  If he does, then I am more convinced than ever that he has the mentality of a teenager sniggering behind the girls’ gym locker room.  Meanwhile, a growing number of House Republicans are clamoring for Kinzinger and Cheney to face internal consequences for accepting committee seats from Speaker Pelosi.  I guess in their case, political loyalties outweigh loyalty to country.

STOP!!!  This is not an US vs THEM contest!!!  Or is it?  The Democrats … nay, most of the people in this nation … want to know what happened, how it was that our very core of values, of governance, could come so close to toppling.  WE the PEOPLE want to know who, what, why, when, and HOW.  We want to know who in our government colluded, incited, and plotted against the voice of those of us who voted our conscience.  I think we can probably all guess most of them, but I want to see the irrefutable evidence, then I want the Department of Justice to see that they pay the price for their seditious actions.

On Tuesday, the select committee to investigate January 6th held its first hearings.  I haven’t yet watched the entire testimony of the four police officers who were called on to testify, but I have seen enough to break my heart.  In one clip I watched, Representative Cheney said, “You hear former president Trump say, ‘It was a loving crowd.  There was a lot of love in the crowd.’”  And then she asked Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, “How does that make you feel?”  His response …

“To me, it’s insulting, just demoralizing because of everything that we did to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt. And what he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support or telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense, he begged them to continue fighting. I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day that he claimed.”

Officer Gonell stayed on duty, despite being injured, throughout the night, going home only after the votes were certified, around 4:00 a.m.  Despite pleas by his wife and his doctor, he continued to work for the next fifteen days, until finally his foot became so bad that he couldn’t get a shoe on, and then doctors had to fuse together the broken bones in his foot.  He will also need surgery on his shoulder.  Both of his hands were injured, and he suffered chemical burns on his skin from the spray that was used as a weapon against him.  And yet, he didn’t miss a day’s work.  Why?

“My sense of duty for the country, for the Constitution, at that time was bigger than even my love for my wife and my son.”

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn said one group of rioters, perhaps 20 people, screamed the n-word at him as he was trying to keep them from breaching the House chamber — racial insults he said he had never experienced while in uniform. At the end of that day, he sat down in the Capitol Rotunda and sobbed …

“I became very emotional and began yelling, ’How the (expletive) can something like this happen?’ Is this America? My blood is red. I’m an American citizen. I’m a police officer. I’m a peace officer.

Four officers testified on Tuesday, two Capitol police officers and two officers with the D.C. police force.  One of the D.C. officers was Michael Fanone, who has been vocal about the events of that day … understandably, since he was brutally beaten, thrown down the stairs, tased, and suffered a heart attack, among other injuries.  Officer Fanone was understandably hurt and angry during his testimony and at one point slammed his fist on the table in front of him.…

“What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”

I began this post talking about the courage of Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger.  After Tuesday’s testimony by the four officers, Adam Kinzinger was so overcome that he was near tears when he gave a tribute to the officers’ bravery …

“You guys may like individually feel a little broken. You guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with and, you know, you talk about the impact of that day, but you guys won. You guys held. You know, democracies are not defined by our bad days. We`re defined by how we come back from back from bad days.”

This picture tells you all you need to know about Liz Cheney’s reactions to their testimony.

Representative Liz Cheney hugs Officer Dunn after his testimony

We must find out who played a role, no matter how small, in the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, and those people must be removed from Congress, indicted, tried, and imprisoned.  Nothing less is acceptable. Sedition is a serious crime and frankly, we aren’t out of the woods yet, for many are calling January 6th simply a trial run.  As for the Republican’s hateful rhetoric … the press needs to stop covering it.  Full stop.  In reporting Kevin McCarthy’s and Louie Gohmert’s and others’ every word, they are fanning the flames.  We don’t need that.  We don’t give a rat’s ass what they have to say … we’re more interested in getting to the truth.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/15

As always, our friend TokyoSand has compiled the best editorial/political cartoons from the past week.  Naturally, a great number focus on the Republicans ousting of Representative Liz Cheney from her leadership role in the GOP, but there were other issues as well, such as the renewed fighting between Israel and Palestine, voter suppression by the Republicans, and more.  Thank you so much, TS, for finding the best of the lot for us!  Here are just a few samples, but be sure to check out the full post!

See All The ‘Toons Here!

Wait And See

An announcement letter in The Washington Post yesterday caught my eye.  The letter was written by a number of Republicans, including former members of Congress, cabinet members, and governors, and promises … I’m not sure if they are promising an entirely new party, or simply a more centrist, sensible arm of the Republican Party.

I am, by nature, a skeptic … question everything.  Trust nobody.  However, I am pleased to see that in the wake of the abhorrent treatment the party has heaped on not only Liz Cheney, but all who had the integrity to stand against the former guy and his Big Lie, I’m pleased to see that at least some notables in the GOP are not simply lying down and waiting for the bulldozer to flatten them.  I am, for now, taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude toward the whole thing, but will have more to say as I see the direction this group takes, see if they put their money where their collective mouths are.  Meanwhile, read the letter and check out their mission statement and outline with 152 notable signatories of what they hope to achieve.


The GOP has lost its way. Fellow Americans, join our new alliance.

Opinion by Charlie Dent, Mary Peters, Denver Riggleman, Michael Steele and Christine Todd Whitman

May 13, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Charlie Dent represented Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2005 to 2018. Mary Peters was secretary of transportation during the George W. Bush administration. Denver Riggleman represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2019 to 2021. Michael Steele is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Christine Todd Whitman was governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

The Republican Party made a grievous error this week in ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from the House leadership for telling the truth about Donald Trump’s “big lie,” which has wreaked havoc in our democratic republic by casting doubt over the 2020 election.

Cheney rightfully struck back against party leaders and warned about the GOP’s dangerous direction. She is not alone.

Alongside dozens of prominent Republicans, ex-Republicans and independents, we are announcing “A Call for American Renewal,” a nationwide rallying cry against extremist elements within the GOP, and highlighting the urgent need for a new, common-sense coalition.

We urge fellow Americans to join us.

Our alliance includes former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, state officials, seasoned political strategists and grass-roots leaders dedicated to offering a hopeful, principles-based vision for the country — and ensuring that our votes have decisive impact in key elections across the United States.

We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who feel politically homeless and mobilize them to help chart a new path forward for our country.

It is time for a rebirth of the American cause, which we will pursue in partnership and loyal competition with others committed to the preservation of our Union.

Tragically, the Republican Party has lost its way, perverted by fear, lies and self-interest. What’s more, GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a continuing and material threat to the nation.

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a wake-up call for many who had remained loyal to the party, even while harboring concerns about its direction.

Many have since left. The GOP has effectively become a privileged third party, ranking behind independents and Democrats in voter registration.

Meanwhile, Republican legislators are trying to impede voting rights across the country as a last-ditch effort to retain power.

We will not wait forever for the GOP to clean up its act. If we cannot save the Republican Party from itself, we will help save America from extremist elements in the Republican Party.

That means hastening the creation of an alternative: a political movement dedicated to our founding principles and divorced from the GOP’s obsessive cult of personality around a deeply flawed (and twice-impeached) man, whose favorability ratings are reportedly tanking in key swing districts around the country.

We will fight for honorable Republicans who stand up for truth and decency, such as Liz CheneyAdam KinzingerLisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, to name a few.

But we will not rely on the old partisan playbook. We intend to work across party lines with other Americans to oppose extremists and defend the republic wherever we can.

Together with our patriotic allies in other parties, our movement will stand against fearmongers, conspiracy theorists and the opportunists who seek unbridled power.

We plan to invest in a deeper bench of effective leaders in cities and states across the country while recruiting a new generation of principled, pragmatic citizens to the cause.

Some no doubt will urge us to join the Democratic Party. We believe that inching toward a single-party system would be dangerous and would fail to represent the diverse viewpoints in our nation.

America cannot have just one party committed to preservation of its democratic institutions. There must be at least two, if not more.

With Cheney’s dismissal from House leadership, the battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and our country — is not over. It is just beginning, which is why we are forming a “resistance of the rational” against the radicals.

We still hope for a healthy, thriving Republican Party, but we are no longer holding our breath.

Next month, we will convene a nationwide town hall open to all Americans and featuring current and former U.S. leaders who will lay out where we must go from here, how we can ensure a freer America and how all citizens can join the fight.

Extremists may have fired the first shot in this moral struggle for America’s future, but with truth as our lodestar, those laboring to renew America will fire the last.

We Are Not Okay

I guess a lot of us were naïve back in November when we celebrated Joe Biden’s win for the office of President.  I know I definitely was.  Oh sure, I knew we’d have to listen to the former guy pout and whine for a couple of months, but then he’d be gone, I thought, riding that train of irrelevance into obscurity for the rest of his life, and the nation could begin to heal.  And yes, I realized that Republicans weren’t going to just suddenly find their consciences again on January 20th and that everything would be a bed of roses … after all, Mitch McConnell was re-elected along with a fresh batch of nasties.  But still, I thought we were finally back on track to a government for the people, of the people, and by the people.  I was wrong … dead wrong.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman writes about where we stand today, the good that is happening under the Biden administration, but also the dangers that we still face in the months and years ahead, and a prophetic warning, if we don’t get our act together.


Trump’s Big Lie Devoured the G.O.P. and Now Eyes Our Democracy

By Thomas L. Friedman

Opinion Columnist

President Biden’s early success in getting Americans vaccinated, pushing out stimulus checks and generally calming the surface of American life has been a blessing for the country. But it’s also lulled many into thinking that Donald Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen, which propelled the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, would surely fade away and everything would return to normal. It hasn’t.

We are not OK. America’s democracy is still in real danger. In fact, we are closer to a political civil war — more than at any other time in our modern history. Today’s seeming political calm is actually resting on a false bottom that we’re at risk of crashing through at any moment.

Because, instead of Trump’s Big Lie fading away, just the opposite is happening — first slowly and now quickly.

Under Trump’s command and control from Mar-a-Largo, and with the complicity of most of his party’s leaders, that Big Lie — that the greatest election in our history, when more Republicans and Democrats voted than ever before, in the midst of a pandemic, must have been rigged because Trump lost — has metastasized. It’s being embraced by a solid majority of elected Republicans and ordinary party members — local, state and national.

“Denying the legitimacy of our last election is becoming a prerequisite for being elected as a Republican in 2022,” observed Gautam Mukunda, host of Nasdaq’s “World Reimagined” podcast and author of the book “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Mattered.”

“This is creating a filter that over time will block out anyone willing to tell the truth about the election.” It will leave us with “a Republican Party where you cannot rise without declaring that the sun sets in the East, a Republican Party where being willing to help steal an election is literally a job requirement.”

This is not an exaggeration. Here is what Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, told The Hill about the campaign within the party to oust Representative Liz Cheney from her House G.O.P. leadership position, because of her refusal to go along with the Big Lie:

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. … She’s going to stand on principle.”

Think about that for a second. To be a leader in today’s G.O.P. you either have to play dumb or be dumb on the central issue facing our Republic: the integrity of our election. You have to accept everything that Trump has said about the election — without a shred of evidence — and ignore everything his own attorney general, F.B.I. director and election security director said — based on the evidence — that there was no substantive fraud.

What kind of deformed party will such a dynamic produce? A party so willing to be marinated in such a baldfaced lie will lie about anything, including who wins the next election and every one after that.

There is simply nothing more dangerous for a two-party democracy than to have one party declare that no election where it loses is legitimate, and, therefore, if it loses it will just lie about the results and change the rules.

That’s exactly what’s playing out now. And the more one G.O.P. lawmaker after another signs on to Trump’s Big Lie, the more it gives the party license at the state level to promote voter suppression laws that ensure that it cannot lose ever again.

Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and author of the book “How to Read the Constitution — and Why,” writing in The Hill on Monday, noted that “as of late March, state legislators have introduced 361 bills in 47 states this year that contain limitations around voting, a 43 percent increase from just a month earlier.

“The measures include things like enhanced power for poll ‘monitors,’ fewer voting drop-boxes, restrictions on voting by mail, penalties for election officials who fail to purge voters from the rolls, and enhanced power in politicians over election procedures.”

Although G.O.P. supporters of these bills insist that they are about election integrity and security, Wehle added, “the lack of actual evidence of fraud and mismanagement in the American electoral system totally belies those cynical claims.”

This is the equivalent of lighting a fuse to a bomb planted beneath the foundations of our democracy.

Imagine if all or many of these measures are passed — and in 2022 and 2024 Republicans manage to retake the House, Senate and White House with, say, only 42 percent of the popular vote, effectively establishing minority rule. Do you know what will happen? Let me tell you what will happen. Disenfranchised Democratic voters will not sit idly by. They may refuse to pay their taxes. Many will take to the streets. Some might become violent, and our whole political system could become paralyzed and start to unravel.

Yet, this is precisely the path that Trump’s G.O.P. is setting us on.

Personally, I have reservations about where the left of the Democratic Party is pulling Biden on some economic, immigration, foreign policy and education issues. But Biden and his party are putting forth real ideas to try to address the real challenges that an increasingly diverse 21st-century America needs to address to become a more perfect union. The best tool for keeping the Democratic Party close to the center-left on more issues is a healthy Republican Party that hews to the center-right.

We don’t have that. We have, instead, a G.O.P. trying to cling to power by leveraging a Big Lie into voter suppression laws that leverage the party back to power by appealing solely to a largely white 20th-century America. Trump’s G.O.P. is making no effort to offer conservative alternatives to the issues of the day. Its whole focus is on how to win without doing that.

Which is why it is incumbent on every American to support in every way possible the few principled Republican legislators fighting this trend from the inside — like Liz Cheney, Representative Adam Kinzinger and Senator Mitt Romney.

What I learned covering the struggle for the future of the Arab-Muslim world post-9/11 is that the war of ideas inside is everything. Sure, it is important for outsiders to condemn bad behavior, but their voices have limited impact. Real change happens only when the war of ideas is won by insiders, working from the roots upward.

On Monday, CNN quoted Cheney as telling Republican donors and scholars at a retreat for the American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Ga.: “We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. … We can’t whitewash what happened on Jan. 6 or perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on Jan. 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.” A “peaceful transfer of power must be defended.”

She could not be more right. And without a war of ideas inside the party, one that is won by principled Republicans, we run the real risk of a political civil war in America over the next election.

Things are not OK.

Unless more principled Republicans stand up for the truth about our last election, we’re going to see exactly how a democracy dies.

What The GOP Looks Like In The 21st Century

Is there a single member of the former guy’s inner circle who isn’t in deep legal doo-doo?  First, there’s Giuliani whose home and office were raided by the FBI last week and who is in more than one pot of boiling water.  Then there’s Jared Kusher whose apartment company has been charged with repeatedly violating state consumer protection laws by collecting debts without required licenses, charging tenants improper fees and misrepresenting the condition of rental units.  Former Attorney General William Barr is being investigated for a possible conflict of interest in the case against heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., and the list goes on.  Hopefully, at the end of the day, charges and indictments come down against the former guy himself, for he is undoubtedly at the helm of most of these issues.  It is my fondest hope to see the former guy in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars for the rest of his life.

And yet, the GOP goes on, producing more, nastier criminal types like Kevin McCarthy, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz and more.  In my mind, I can almost hear Richard Nixon loudly asserting that, “I am not a crook!”  In truth, Nixon was no more a crook than some 90% of today’s GOP … but he paid the price, while today’s lot are applauded.  The difference?  Probably the likes of Fox ‘News’, the New York Post, and other Murdoch-owned outlets that wouldn’t recognize truth if it hit them in the patootie, and the influence of social media.  Compared to Nixon in 1973, today’s liars and crooks have nearly unlimited coverage ‘round the clock … Twitter, Fox, Newsmax, Facebook … they are all complicit in giving voice to the lies, to giving the crooks a megaphone with which to make their meritless case.  To be a star on Twitter or Facebook, you needn’t be honest or intelligent … you only need to have a huge number of followers, which you can get by being off-the-wall outrageous.  Integrity?  Not necessary.  Honesty?  Not a requisite.

You’ll hear, from many on all sides of the fence, that “both sides do it”.  No, my friends.  While the Democrats are not beyond party loyalty, and while no doubt they tell a lie or two here and there, they are in no way the accomplished Pinocchios that today’s GOP is home to.  One single example:  The GOP and its right-wing media arm have put out the completely baseless lie that Joe Biden is “coming to take your beef burger”!  Biden has never, to the best of my knowledge, even mentioned cutting beef consumption, and he’s a smart enough man to know he’d find his head on the chopping block if he did.  Now personally … my family and I eat beef maybe once a month, so I really don’t care if the powers that be stop slaughtering cows, but that’s just me.

But you’ll hear it on Fox, you’ll hear it out of the mouths of the Republican fools … and there is not a single element of basis in fact for that outright lie.  It bears as much merit as if the Democrats put out the lie that Republicans are going to force every person over the age of 18 to own a gun.  But see, we don’t need to make up lies about the Republicans, for they make themselves look bad every day without our help!  They think we sit around trying to find ways to make them look like idiots, but they’ve done that job for us!

But let us talk about substance … if the Republicans don’t like President Biden’s ideas, why don’t they come up with alternate policy proposals, meet at the table, and give a little, take a little, ending with a compromise that benefits the nation?  Why don’t they propose ways to ensure that everyone, regardless of employment, gender, ethnicity, or religion has affordable health care?  Why don’t they give us their ideas for how to repair the damage done to the Earth’s environment by humans?  Why don’t they propose ways to meet the challenges that face us in the 21st century?  Why?  Because they have none, because they are too busy being the party of racism, of negativity, of conspiracy theories, to actually propose meaningful, useful, legislation.  Does anybody doubt that they have spent more time promoting the Big Lie than thinking about how to help the people of this nation?

Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez, when asked about the beating of Representative Liz Cheney by other Republicans because she stood by her beliefs in voting to impeach the former guy, replied …

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”

And that, folks, sums it up in a nutshell … if you have a conscience, if you are honest and a person of integrity, then you are “not the best fit” for today’s Republican Party.  Need I say more?

A Little Bit Of Snark In Da Snippets

I still haven’t run out of things to be snarky about and it isn’t looking like I will anytime soon!  I am greatly relieved to have a real president, one whose tweets are few and are always positive, never whiny or ranty.  I am happy to wake in the morning knowing that we haven’t likely started a war somewhere.  And I’m pleased with Joe Biden’s performance as president these past 30+ days.  However, the racists still exist and many of the loudest ones languish in Congress, so yes, I still have my snarky cap on!


Oust DeJoy!

louis-dejoyThe United States Postal Service (USPS) is in the news again this week as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is testifying before Congress about the dire failures of the postal service to meet the nation’s needs.  The mail … at least important mail … has been so slow that the Pony Express could have delivered it faster (funny how the junk mail and advertisements always get through, though), but then DeJoy was hired for one reason only:  to slow the mail to a snail’s pace prior to last November’s election in order to interfere with our mail-in ballots arriving in a timely manner.  He succeeded in slowing the mail, but we managed to get our ballots in on time despite his efforts to lose or delay them.

Democrats in Congress have called for his resignation, his ouster, and I fully agree.  He did not come to the job with any relevant experience, and he did not come with the intention of helping us, only of harming us.  But DeJoy says he has a plan that he will unveil soon, to restore the USPS.  Details of his plan thus far are sketchy, but what we do know is that he plans to slow the mail (what, it isn’t already slow enough???), while charging us more (what, $80 to mail a bloomin’ package isn’t already too high???) to mail letters and packages.  This, in and of itself, is unacceptable, but add to it the fact that with higher postal rates, the Consumer Price Index will leap skyward as companies are forced to pay more for the shipping of materials and finished products, and will naturally pass their increased cost on to We the Consumers.

It’s a lose/lose situation for We the People, and the only winner would be Mr. DeJoy himself who would get to keep his job … not that he needs it, with a net worth of $110 million.  Unfortunately, as I have written before, President Biden does not have the ability to directly fire Mr. DeJoy, but he can fill the vacant seats on the Board of Governors that does have the ability to fire DeJoy.  The USPS needs a strong leader who understands the workings of the organization and whose goal would be to restructure it for maximum efficiency while restoring customer service.  DeJoy ain’t that person!


Stephen Miller rears his ugly head … again

I’m told that I shouldn’t consider republicans to be racists, but I go by the old adage if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.  That said, I do know a few republicans who aren’t racist, so I stop short of saying “all”.  I’ve long said that the biggest appeal of the former guy to republicans was the fact that he created in their minds a supreme danger of all immigrants and promised that ‘he alone’ could and would fix the problem.  As a result, thousands of children were taken from their parents, put in cages, denied basic healthcare and hygiene, and often were abused in a variety of ways by those in charge of their welfare.  As a result, those seeking asylum from life-threatening situations were denied entry into the country.  As a result, billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted constructing a few miles of a hideous ‘wall’ at the southern border that would serve no purpose.

President Trump Speaks On Immigration With 'Angel Families'

Stephen Miller

President Biden is attempting to repair the U.S. immigration policy, but the GOP is not onboard with his vision.  Thus, they have hired America’s chief racist, Stephen Miller, along with two other supreme racists, Tom Homan and Mark Morgan, to advise the conservative House members as they organize their opposition to Biden’s planned changes as laid out in his recently unveiled blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Miller, you may remember, was largely the architect for the hateful separation policy that brought so much grief to so many, especially children.

The meeting between Miller, Homan, Morgan, and House Republicans was organized by the 147-member Republican Study Committee, a group of traditionalist conservative lawmakers that also has met recently with other officials from the former administration, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.  WTF does Tucker Carlson have to do with any of this, other than he is a racist to the very core?

The recently unveiled Biden bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and incorporates many provisions supported by Republicans in the past as well as by business groups today.  The chief argument by republicans seems to be that it leaves out funding to complete the ridiculous ‘wall’ at the southern border … a wall which has been proven unworkable and uber-costly by numerous experts.  The U.S. is currently in debt to the tune of some $27.9 trillion, and people around the nation are starving, are in danger of losing their homes, so we damn sure don’t need to spend billions of dollars on a white elephant that benefits nobody!

Republicans who would consult and listen to Stephen Miller cannot deny their racism, for Miller is the very definition of the term white supremacist.  But, it seems they are determined to attempt to block anything and everything that President Biden tries to do, simply because … because he isn’t a republican.  Not much other reason, when you peel away the layers of excuses.

liz-cheneyInterestingly, Representative Liz Cheney, one of ten republicans in the House who voted to impeach the former guy and who has taken considerable flack from the Republican Party as a result, gave a speech yesterday at the Reagan Institute in Washington, where she said …

“It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy. You certainly saw anti-Semitism, you saw the symbols of Holocaust denial, for example, at the Capitol that day. You saw a Confederate flag being carried through the Rotunda. And I think we as Republicans in particular have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”

I would hope that most people in the Republican Party would listen to Ms. Cheney rather than Mr. Miller and Tucker Carlson, but … sigh … I know the reality is not what I would wish.  The GOP is greatly diminished, and it’s due to the racism and people like the former guy and Stephen Miller, among others.

toon-1

A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

A number of things are flitting across my radar tonight … nothing very major, just little things. Overall, I am enjoying the professionalism that is coming from the Biden administration.  No hateful tweets, no ‘breaking news’ parroting what the prez has said/tweeted/eaten in the past 30 minutes.  We once again have intelligence and compassion in the White House and I am comforted by that.  But, of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t find something about which to snark!

Some Republicans have sense!

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, though I lean strongly toward the ideology of the Democratic Party and if I didn’t prefer my Independent status, I would almost certainly register as a Democrat.  In fact, I’ve strongly considered doing so, but … I really don’t want the bombardment of emails and phone calls that any political party subjects its registrants to.  That said, I have absolutely no use for the ideologies of today’s Republican Party, for they seem to be aligned with conspiracy theories and policies that place profit over people and that are largely bigoted in so many ways.  I do, however, subscribe to one Republican newsletter that I find has merit and has led me to believe that there are still at least a few sane heads in the Republican Party.

The newsletter is published by Sarah Longwell of Republicans for The Rule of Law, and while quite often I only give it a cursory glance, yesterday’s had something that I found very satisfying.

Today, we launched a new $1 million campaign to support the 17 courageous Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach and convict Trump. We are putting TV ads and billboards in their home states and districts, thanking them for doing the right thing.

It’s hard to overstate the risk many of these men and women took when they voted to hold Trump accountable. Most are already facing attacks from Trump and his supporters, and many will have to deal with well-funded primary challengers when they run for reelection.

The only way to protect our democracy is to engage voters directly, and this new campaign does just that.

Now is the time to stick up for all Republicans who did the right thing, whether they’re retiring this year or facing the fight for their political lives in the next. Now is the time to let America know that we refuse to cede the Republican Party to Trump and Trumpism.

Sarah Longwell

Executive Director, Republican Accountability Project

Here are a few of the billboards they have erected around the country …

And one of the 30-second television ads …

If the GOP has a future, and I find that very much in doubt at this stage, its future lies with these men and women who do not put party loyalty above their Oaths of Office, do not pander to the wealthy and criminals in the party at the expense of the people of this nation.  Thumbs up to this group of conscionable and conscientious Republicans!


How the hell did he get here?

cawthorn-2Madison Cawthorn is his name, and he is only 25 years of age … younger than my granddaughter … yet he is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of North Carolina.  Cawthorn is the youngest person to serve in Congress since Jed Johnson, Jr., who served a single term from 1965-1967.  I think that perhaps Mr. Cawthorn won on a sympathy vote – due to an auto accident, he is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair – for he damn sure didn’t win on intellect.

Just a few of Cawthorn’s faux pas …

  • In 2017, Cawthorn posted an Instagram picture of his visit to Adolf Hitler’s vacation residence Eagle’s Nest, which he said had been on his “bucket list for awhile”. In the post, he called Hitler Führer, a German term meaning “leader”. When he came under fire for the post during his 2020 campaign, he deleted it.
  • During his election bid, Cawthorn’s campaign created an attack website which criticized journalist Tom Fiedler, who had produced investigative pieces on Cawthorn and had written favorably about his opponent. The website accused Fiedler of leaving academia “to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.” 🤨
  • Before Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, Cawthorn addressed the crowd and said, “this crowd has some fight.” He voted not to certify the Electoral College results in Congress and called Republicans who voted to certify the results “spineless cowards”.

I’ve known some pretty sharp 25-year-olds in my day, but this kid is not among them.  There have been a number of allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Cawthorn, though none have filed charges so far.

His latest episode of lunacy, though, came today when he saw a tweet saying that the Vatican is requiring all personnel to receive the vaccine or lose their jobs …

cawthorn

So, apparently he isn’t quite clear on what the Vatican is, or thinks that somehow the U.S. has jurisdiction over it.  Not criminal, of course, but foolish and it shows his lack of understanding, lack of education, and lack of being mature enough to hold a seat in Congress, the lawmaking branch of our government.  Frighteningly, he serves on the House Committee on Education and Labour.  We surely do not need him helping to shape our policies on education!

Like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, I suspect young Cawthorn will be a single-term representative, so perhaps he should be thinking about what he’d like to do with the rest of his life.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

Since Joe Biden’s inauguration, I breathe more easily.  I go to sleep at night (or rather, in the wee hours of the morning) knowing the nation is in good hands, and I wake up in the morning knowing there won’t be any major horror stories about some insidious thing the president has done.  Communication from the president is in the form of regular press briefings, not inane tweets.  However, there are still rage-inducing stories in the news, and most are directly attributable to one group of people:  Republicans!  I don’t like the division between parties, don’t want partisanship to be what defines us, but damn … they are the most arrogant, power-hungry, greedy people in this nation!  ‘We the People’ and the U.S. Constitution are naught but a joke to the Republicans in office today.  Once we’ve paid our taxes, we mean nothing to the bastards.  So what, you ask, has set me off tonight?


GOP has lost it’s collective marbles!

Although the GOP decided not to strip Representative Liz Cheney of her leadership position in the House of Representatives, the Wyoming GOP has deigned it appropriate to censure her and ask for her resignation.  Why?  For doing her job, for following her conscience, for voting to impeach Donald Trump.

Now, let’s think about this one for just a minute.  We have a woman of ill repute, Marjorie Greene, who has endorsed a movement to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has supported QAnon’s dangerous and loopy conspiracy theories, and applauded the terrorist attack on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th, to name a few, and she received no censure, no request for her resignation, no NOTHING!  But Liz Cheney does the right thing for the nation, for We the People, and she is made a pariah!

Listen up, Republicans!  Donald Trump is no longer in office, and when he was, he was the single worst president this nation has ever had.  He is a crook, a criminal, and a ‘man’ without a conscience.  He is responsible for at least some portion of the more than 400,000 deaths in this nation due to his inept bungling of the pandemic.  His impeachment was right and proper and for once, Ms. Cheney did the right thing.  The resolution to censure Cheney and ask for her resignation states that she …

“… violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party.”

Wait just a darned minute here … her duty is to the people of the United States, not to the Republican Party!  Which brings me to my next point …

If we have come to the point where the party line comes before doing the right thing, before the well-being of the people of this nation, then as a nation we are doomed.  Our votes, then, aren’t for the person, but rather for the party and if the person follows the law, acts in the best interest of the people, he or she is going to be punished.  This is not what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution back in 1787!

Now, there are those who will say both parties are the same, but no … if any democrat had voted against impeachment, he or she would NOT have been censured by the Democratic Party.  That isn’t how it works, isn’t how it’s supposed to work.

To the people of Wyoming … you need to oust the current GOP and start over, for they have lost their bloody minds!  They support a shell of a man who encourages violence and even murder for his own profit and to expand his own power.  How is that even related to ‘democratic principles’?


Looks like the minimum wage raise is DOA … for now

President Biden tried to attach a raise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour to the coronavirus relief package, but the Senate late Friday night nixed that idea.  Even Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia refused to support the minimum wage increase, saying he would support “something reasonable”.  Well, let’s see, Mr. Manchin … your net worth is estimated at $7.6 million, so … how about you give that all up and try living on a bloody $7.25 per hour for the next few months?

The federal minimum wage has been stagnant at $7.25 per hour for 12 years now, since 2009, while the cost of living has risen consistently each year.  Approximately 42.4% of workers earn less than $15 per hour and 1.8 million work for wages at or below the federal minimum wage.  But never fear, for the business owners who pay their employees minimum wage are millionaires and billionaires … they, at least, are not struggling or suffering.

The notion of raising the minimum wage to $15 is not dead … it will come up again and soon, but it is highly unlikely that it will be in the final stimulus bill, and that is a damn shame.


No, Trump cannot have classified information!

On Friday, President Biden said that Donald Trump should not continue to receive intelligence briefings due to his erratic behaviour and the risk that he might recklessly reveal sensitive information, as he has done in the past.  Now, first off, I don’t understand why a former president would continue to receive classified intelligence briefings anyway, no matter who he is!  But secondly, I fully concur with Joe Biden on this … Trump is a dangerous loose cannon who cannot be trusted with any classified information!

I did a bit of digging and found that nowhere is it stated that former presidents should be given access to classified intelligence information.  It has historically been done largely as a courtesy, but with Trump, we have entered a new era and it must be decided that he cannot have access to any classified information, for it would put not only this nation, but the entire world at risk.  Donald Trump’s personal debt (over $400 million) and his proclivity to share secrets with foreign adversaries make him a security risk.  As a private citizen, he could never qualify for the security clearance that was conferred upon him as president. He has proven time and time again that he cannot be trusted.  We the People voted him out of office for a reason, and out of office must mean his fingers and ears are out of our government!

Foreign leaders like Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdoğan would happily deal with the devil, parting with a few million dollars in exchange for information about elections, troop movement and more.  NO, just NO!  In an opinion article in The Washington Post in January, Susan Gordon, a career CIA officer and one of the most respected intelligence officers of her generation, wrote that the danger of providing intelligence to a president whose business deals might make him beholden to foreign investors and lenders was just too great.  I agree.

As president, Trump selectively revealed highly classified information to attack his adversaries, gain political advantage and impress or intimidate foreign governments, in some cases jeopardizing U.S. intelligence capabilities.  A spokesperson for the Biden administration later said that the final decision had not yet been made and that it would be reviewed by the intelligence community.  However, the President has the final word here, and my sense is that Joe Biden is not going to allow Trump to receive intelligence briefings or any other classified information.

In part, the intelligence briefings are given to former presidents as a courtesy, and in part in case the current president needs or wishes to reach out to a predecessor for advice, but in this case, there is no way in hell that Trump has any advice that President Biden would find to be of value.

The GOP’s Downward Spiral Continues

The United States today is barely recognizable. Anti-mask protests, conspiracy theories that even a 5-year-old child could debunk, and fully one-half of the government putting on a dog and pony show rather than concerning themselves with steering this de-railed train. Take a look at some of the madness in the eyes of our friend Jeff. We are surely the laughingstock of the world, and frankly I wish I could simply sail away to almost anyplace else on earth. Thanks, Jeff … excellent summation of the craziness!

On The Fence Voters

Their dangerous embrace of conspiracy theories, crackpots, and anti-democracy are killing Americans

When you think they can’t get crazier, the radical right Republican Party manages to exceed our lowest of the low expectations. In recent years, especially during the last four of the Trump era, the party drifted further into la-la land; its embrace of Trumpism-laced conspiracy theories leading to the deadly insurrection of January 6, 2021.

In present-day America, we have a two-party system. While many of us would like to see a viable third-party emerge, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. So we’re stuck with what we have. But to have at least a semblance of good governance and sustainable institutions, both of our political parties must be, at the very least, grounded in the belief that government is a worthwhile entity. That it can and will work to make sure it serves all the people…

View original post 1,462 more words

A Few Tidbits …

R.I.P. Tom Moore

Tom-MooreI start today’s post on a sad note.  You’ll remember that I’ve written about Captain Tom Moore, the UK veteran raised tens of millions of pounds for Britain’s health workers by walking 100 laps of his garden last spring.  Sadly, he died this morning after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for the coronavirus last month. 

Mr. Moore’s own words of optimism come back to us at this time …

“We will get through it in the end but it might take time, but at the end of the day we shall all be OK again… the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

Reading of Tom Moore’s death first thing this morning brought a tear to my eye.  He was one of the good people and will be long remembered.  Thank you, Captain Tom Moore, for a lifetime of being a good man … the world needs many more like you.  R.I.P.

tom-moore-graffiti


The price for a conscience …

Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming was one of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Donald Trump late last year, and now she is paying a high price.  The people of her state are turning against her, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be meeting with her this week, possibly planning to strip her of her committee assignments and her position as House Republican Conference Chair, the third highest ranking position in the House Republican leadership.

This is ridiculous!  The woman voted her conscience, saying that Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”   She also called his incitement “the greatest betrayal by a president of the United States of his office.” She was correct on both counts, and yet she is likely to be asked to apologize for both her words and her vote.  Why?  Because the entire Republican Party is populated by cowards who are afraid of the ‘man’ who is no longer in the Oval Office. 

I am not a fan of Liz Cheney, but she followed the dictates of her conscience, something the rest of the slime in the Republican Party cannot do because they traded their consciences for a box of Cracker Jacks long ago.  She does not deserve to be censured or otherwise punished, and the people of Wyoming need to wake up and realize that Trump was the biggest threat this nation was facing until just 13 days ago!


And on the other hand …

On the other hand, there is Marjorie Taylor Greene, the pistol-packing idiot from Georgia who now sits in the House of Representatives.  I’ve written before about Greene, so I don’t need to repeat what I’ve already said, but she, like Ms. Cheney, will be having a one-on-one meeting with Kevin McCarthy sometime this week for her racist comments, for supporting the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, for saying she wished death upon some of her fellow members of Congress, and other behaviours not acceptable for a member of Congress.

She is likely to receive a slap on the wrist for her horrendous words and actions, though she could lose her committee assignments.  While I definitely hope she loses her committee assignments, one of which is the Education & Labour Committee … she belongs nowhere near those who make decisions concerning our children’s education!  She would likely demand that firearms training be included in every school’s curriculum! 

If McCarthy doesn’t strip her of her committee assignments, the Democrats are likely to do so.  She sits on the following committees …

  • Judiciary
  • Education and Labor
  • Energy and Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Foreign Affairs
  • House Administration
  • Oversight and Reform
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Ways and Means

She has no relevant education or experience in any one of these areas, so I’m not sure where the logic in determining her assignments was. 

But what I would really like to see is her expulsion from Congress.  It can and should be done before she causes a disaster, either by shooting someone within the Capitol (she has said she would like to see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a bullet in her head), or by turning the House of Representatives into a three-ring circus. 

The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, Clause 2) provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

It would, however, require 70 Republicans to find a conscience and vote to expel Ms. Greene, and we all know there aren’t 70 republicans with courage & conscience in the entire Congress.  Sigh.