Why the Shutdown is Stuck & What We Can Do

Yesterday, fellow blogger tokyosand published a post that gave the clearest, most concise explanation of how the current government shutdown came to be, and what we need to do about it … how we can use our voices to, hopefully, make a difference. Please take a minute to read this fine post, for it may answer some questions you’ve had, or help clarify what you already know. Thank you tokyosand, for this fine post and for your generous permission to share it with my readers!

Political⚡Charge

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Millions of Americans are already affected by the shutdown. Federal employees aren’t getting a paycheck (right at the end of the holiday season no less.) Others are being told their food stamps aren’t guaranteed if the shutdown continues. There is already real damage happening, and it will only get worse.

How did we get here? Why is it still a problem? Is there anything we can do?

How did we get here? 

At the end of the 115th Congress, we hit a deadline to renew funding for a third of the federal agencies. Ideally, we’d have an annual budget that took care of all of our agencies for one year, but since Congress hasn’t been able to agree on the budget, we’ve been patching together funding for these agencies with something called continuing resolutions.

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Since the President sends his requests for the budget to Congress, having the leaders…

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More Snarky Snippets …

I have an overload of sarcasm built up in me today, so … it must be time for some snarky snippets, don’t you think?  But first, I want to begin with something positive for a change!


Thumbs up to the new Governor of Maine …

Maine has a new Governor, Janet Mills, who replaced the bigoted Paul LePage.  As I wrote a while back, the people of Maine had approved Medicaid expansion by a ballot initiative more than a year ago, but former Governor Paul LePage had blocked it from taking effect.  Janet Mills promised during her campaign that she would ensure the initiative moved forward, and thankfully for the people of Maine, she keeps her promises.Janet Mills.jpgOn Thursday, in her first executive order on her first day in office, Mills ordered Maine to move forward with Medicaid expansion, which is likely to provide health insurance for an additional 70,000 Maine residents.  LePage had been fighting tooth and nail to prevent Medicaid expansion in the state for years, vetoing no less than five different bills.  Then, when the issue was passed as a separate ballot issue in 2017, he blocked it … went directly against the will of the people.  Is it any wonder he lost his bid for re-election?  Ms. Mills has certainly started on the right foot.


In order to protect Trump …

What if you’re a republican who does not support Donald Trump?  Yes, there are actually some of them out there, although we are told only about 20% of republicans do not support him.  Well, if you are hoping for a better option on the republican ticket for 2020, you may just be out of luck, especially if you live in South Carolina.

The Republican Party in South Carolina is giving serious consideration to cancelling the primary in their state in order to “protect Donald Trump from potential challengers”.  Say WHAT???  They can do that?  Yes, they can do that and in fact did do that in 1984 when Reagan was running for re-election and again in 2004 when George W. Bush was running.

Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, had this to say …

“We have complete autonomy and flexibility in either direction.  Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”

My question is … if they are so damn sure that Trump has the support of all republicans, then why is there a need to “protect” him? What are they afraid of?  Other potential candidates who are considering a run on the GOP ticket include former Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Personally, I think any of those three would make a much better president than Trump!


On inventing a crisis …

First, let me say this:  THERE IS NO NATIONAL SECURITY CRISIS!!!

Well, actually there is a national security crisis, and it has a name:  Donald Trump.trump-tweet.pngAnd then he plans to travel to the southern border on Thursday, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  Now why would he feel a need to ‘address the nation’ on live television at this time?  It isn’t as if we don’t have his opinions, his hateful rhetoric, shoved in our faces 24/7 by the media and on Twitter.  But to interrupt prime-time television programming … presidents typically only do that when they have a major announcement, such as when Obama interrupted programming on May 2nd, 2011, to inform the nation that 9/11 master planner Osama bin Laden had been captured and killed.

Given Trump’s recent threats, I can’t help wondering if his ‘announcement’ will be that he is declaring a state of national emergency in order to attempt to circumvent democratic processes to get his wall.  I hope I am wrong, for if he does that, it will throw this nation into chaos and create the biggest constitutional crisis this nation has seen in our lifetime.  In the end, I do not believe that Trump will be successful in this endeavor, for the legality is highly questionable, given that there is no crisis.  Still, Congress and the Courts will be the ones to deal with that, meaning there will be little else accomplished.  The cost will be high and it will further divide an already unstable nation.  Meanwhile, the U.S. government is still in shut down mode, 800,000+ federal employees are going without pay, including many who are critical to the safety of this nation.


One man is to blame …

The entire Trump administration is to blame for the ongoing shutdown, for they have enabled Trump and forsaken the nation in so doing.  Donald Trump is responsible for his horrifying behaviour and failure to uphold his duty to the nation.  But that said, there is one man who I hold more accountable than the rest (except Trump himself, that is) and that man is Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell.mcconnell dartboard.jpgMcConnell refused to allow a vote on the spending bill that was passed by the House of Representatives, saying …

“Any viable compromise will need to carry the endorsement of the president before it receives a vote in either House of Congress. Under these conditions … the package presented by the House’s new Democratic leaders yesterday can only be seen as a time-wasting act of political posturing.”

But that may not be true.  There are a number of republican senators who have expressed a willingness to at least consider the bill passed by the House, and it may well be that, if put to a vote, the bill would pass the Senate with a veto-proof majority.  It might not, but we’ll never know if McConnell doesn’t stop pandering to Trump and let the Senate vote on the bloomin’ bill!!!

Apparently, Mitch McConnell has no more conscience than does Donald Trump.  They are both in the process of destroying this nation and killing its people.  Great job, guys!


Th-th-that’s all for now folks!bugs bunny

A Letter To Senators

The following is a letter that I have sent to the two senators from my own state, as well as a number of other republican senators including Mitch McConnell, and every other who will face re-election in 2020*.  In truth, I question whether our letters are ever seen by the intended recipient, but we have to try.  And keep trying.  The stakes are too high to give up.


Dear Senator _________________,

Tonight is a sad night for this nation, for it is crystal clear that we do not have a president, but we have a dictator.  Further, it is equally clear that said dictator is highly irresponsible with the reins of our government, proving time and again that to him the people of this nation are naught but pawns, tools to be used to expand his own power and wealth.

I write to you tonight, not asking, not hoping, but insisting that the Senate, starting with you, step away from Mr. Trump and become the independent law-making body that the Article I of the U.S. Constitution defines.  You often seem to forget that you are not beholden to Mr. Trump in any fashion, but rather are tasked with doing what is in the best interests of this nation and the approximately 328 million people who live here.

Mr. Trump has said that he would be proud to shut down the government, which he did.  Now he says he will keep it shut down for months, or even years, and further that he is considering declaring a national state of emergency where there is none.  More than 800,000 federal workers are going without pay.  Three people have died in accidents in our national parks that might have been avoided if the park rangers had been on duty.  The lines outside social security offices are reminiscent of the lines of concert-goers waiting for tickets.

This is the single most irresponsible act that I can recall by any president in my 67 years on this earth.  Some federal workers stand to lose their homes.  Food stamp offices are essentially closed, with only a skeleton staff.  People are going to die, Senator ______________, and those deaths will be on Trump’s shoulders, certainly, but also on yours as long as you continue to support his ignominious demands that the government stay shut down until he is awarded initial funding for what will in all likelihood turn out to be a $70 billion white elephant.  The wall is not needed, for immigrants are not our major problem.  A president with no conscience is our major problem.  Unregulated guns are our major problem.  And a boot-licking Senate that puts their own well-being ahead of that of the nation are our major problem.

The problem of the government shutdown is easily enough solved if the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate get off their collective asses and determine that they will work for the good of the nation, pass a veto-proof spending bill in conjunction with the House, and open the government.  If you fail in this, I and many others will make a concerted effort to see that you are not re-elected when your current term comes to an end.  Please, for a change, do your job!

Sincerely,

Jill E Dennison, taxpayer and voter


*List of all Republican Senators up for re-election in 2020

  • Dan Sullivan – Alaska
  • Martha McSally – Arizona
  • Tom Cotton – Arkansas
  • Cory Gardner – Colorado
  • David Perdue – Georgia
  • Jim Risch – Idaho
  • Joni Ernst – Iowa
  • Mitch McConnell – Kentucky
  • Bill Cassidy – Louisiana
  • Susan Collins – Maine
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith – Mississippi
  • Steve Daines – Montana
  • Ben Sasse – Nebraska
  • Thom Tillis – North Carolina
  • Jim Inhofe – Oklahoma
  • Lindsey Graham – South Carolina
  • Mike Rounds – South Dakota
  • John Cornyn – Texas
  • Shelley Moore Capito – West Virginia
  • Mike Enzi – Wyoming

Is ‘Rule of Law’ Dead?

Whether Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions was warranted or ethical is not the question.  Whether Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is constitutional is not the question, nor is the question whether Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. The question tonight is whether this nation has become one where ‘rule of law’ applies only to those without wealth & power?  I would begin by asking just what gives one single man, Mitch McConnell, the power of life and death over the Mueller investigation?

It’s funny how just the day before, Mitch McConnell wrote that OpEd piece promoting bipartisanship and bemoaning the fact that he didn’t believe democrats would be willing to reach across the aisle … not that Mitchell has ever once reached across that aisle.  But now, there is a bipartisan effort by Republican Senator Jeff Flake and Democratic Senator Chris Coons to pass legislation that would offer protection to the investigation that has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half, but McConnell has blocked that legislation.  Single handedly he stamped it “null and void”without consideration. 

“As you can imagine, I talk to the president fairly often, no indication that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish, and it should be allowed to finish.  We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation, but he’s never said, ‘I want to shut it down.’ … I think it’s in no danger, so I don’t think any legislation is necessary.”

I cry FOUL!  This legislation is very necessary and if Trump can get by with it, he will shut it down in a heartbeat.  Just listen to Trump’s latest rant against Mueller and the investigation …

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to  our Nation and don’t care how many lives the [sic] ruin. These are Angry People,including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years.They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

For the record, Bob Mueller is a registered republican, and a much-decorated former Marine who served in Vietnam and came home with a Purple Heart from being shot in the leg. 

“I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute.”

Trump mixed up his facts a bit … Mueller was Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for twelve years … eight under President George W. Bush, and four under President Barack Obama.

The only … the one and only thing that has kept Trump from taking action sooner was the fact that he cannot fire Mueller directly, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General had recused himself, so he couldn’t fire him, and Rod Rosenstein is a man of integrity and wouldn’t fire him.  But now, with Whitaker in the position of Acting Attorney General, and Whitaker having licked Trump’s boots more than once already, echoing Trump’s rhetoric about the investigation being a ‘witch hunt’, the conclusion is obvious.  The only question is ‘when’?

There is no ‘witch hunt’, else Mueller would not have brought indictments against 32 people and 3 companies thus far, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and ‘fixer’, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. 

Even Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, another who has stayed in Congress far too long and is a Trump sycophant, has said that he would back the bill to safeguard the investigation.  Jeff Flake has, perhaps, used the most important leverage of any in saying that he would refuse to advance any judiciary nominees until or unless the bill is passed. McConnell really wants to get as many of Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed as possible in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, if in fact there is such a thing.

Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate since 1984 … thirty-four years, and at least 22 years longer than he should have been or would have been if limits of two or even three terms had been in place.  Unfortunately, there is no recall provision such that the people of Kentucky could vote to recall McConnell from the Senate.  However,  Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting.  Okay, so we all know that this is about as likely to happen as my cat growing wings, but it should.  If McConnell ever had a conscience or a soul, he has long since sold it downriver and he does no service to the people of his state nor to the people of this nation. 

If the Mueller investigation is halted, or if it is shackled in such a way as to render it pointless, then it will serve as proof that Trump and his minions are all considered to be above the law and have always been, for the crimes being investigated took place before Trump’s election … he was not president at the time he and his campaign staff conspired with the Russians to adversely affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  Trump’s lawyers would argue that you cannot indict a sitting president, so … does that mean that if it were discovered tomorrow that Trump had killed an entire family and buried their bodies somewhere under Mar-a-Lago, Trump could not be charged?

Rule of law is defined as …

“The authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; the principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.”

The principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject …  ALL members.  Is Donald Trump above the law?  If he is, then he is not a member of this society, therefore cannot be a president, and instead is a dictator.  Can’t have it both ways, folks.  I have attempted to contact Mr. McConnell by phone and by email to let him know in no uncertain terms that We The People want this investigation to continue to its logical conclusion, that we want to know the results, and we want every single person who acted against the law to be held accountable by a court of law.  EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

Abandon Ship!

Passengers and crew aboard the Trumptanic are headed for the lifeboats!  About time some of them woke up and noticed that the ship had no captain, only a madman with a demonic expression at the helm.

The latest in the series of evacuations was none other than Paul Ryan, who had the temerity to say …

“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. As a conservative, I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process.”

Quite so, and well done for standing up to the ‘man’, even though ol’ Paul had nothing to lose, since he isn’t running in next week’s mid-terms and therefore will be requiring no further favours from Trump.

But then, speaking to the same issue, none other than George Conway, an attorney and a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, not to mention Kellyanne’s husband, also spoke against Trump in an OpEd for The Washington Post:

“Sometimes the Constitution’s text is plain as day and bars what politicians seek to do. That’s the case with President Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order. Such a move would be unconstitutional and would certainly be challenged. And the challengers would undoubtedly win.

He is threatening, with the stroke of a pen, to declare certain people who are born in the United States ineligible for citizenship — despite the plain words of the 14th Amendment.

The president promised to put justices on the Supreme Court in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, but we have no doubt what Scalia — who preached adherence to the text of the Constitution and the laws of the United States in light of their original meaning — would think about this proposal. To say that he would have declared it dead on arrival would be an understatement.”

Kellyanne, meanwhile, went on Fox News to defend Trump’s claim that with a stroke of a pen he can undo the 14th Amendment.  Can you imagine last night’s dinner table conversation between George and Kellyanne?  Anybody smell a divorce in the making?

And then there were Paul Ryan and even master boot-licker Mitch McConnell, who refused Trump’s offer to accompany him on his misguided visit to Pittsburgh yesterday.  Trump was asked by Mayor Bill Peduto to stay away, saying that it was a time of grieving and the focus should be on the victims, not politics.  Even democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi declined his invitation. But Trump, in his usual manner, did as he wished and went to Pittsburgh where the red carpet was definitely not rolled out, and local officials refused to appear with Trump.  It sent a message, loud and clear.

In the wake of the brutal murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, five republican senators have declared that negotiations between the US and Saudi Arabia for a deal that could allow American companies to build nuclear reactors in the kingdom should be suspended.  The five, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Todd Young of Indiana, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Dean Heller of Nevada, penned a letter to Trump, which reads, in part …

“The ongoing revelations about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as certain Saudi actions related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision-makers in Saudi Arabia.”

It’s only a start, but as Trump blatantly refuses to denounce white supremacy, as he escalates his calls for racism and further divides the nation, and as he continues to support strongarm dictators while disparaging our allies, perhaps those who have blindly supported him are beginning to rub the dust out of their eyes and see that he is bringing this nation down, that he is causing us all to be the laughingstock, the embarrassment and the shame of the world.

The GOP Ain’t Atticus Finch!!!

In the past weeks, and especially the past few days, I have seen some of the most asinine comments come from the mouths of men and women who are supposed to be well-educated, reasonable human beings. Men and women who are paid a sizable chunk of money by us to represent us.  That would be … us … all of us … as in, We The People.  It isn’t bad enough that they are not doing their job, that they are playing games with our lives, gambling away the future of this nation, but on top of that, we have to listen to them spout ugly and stupid rhetoric!

Tonight I focus on one such fool, John Cornyn III, a United States Senator from the State of Texas.  A brief bio …

John_Cornyn_(cropped)Cornyn is a graduate from Trinity University and St. Mary’s University School of Law, receiving his LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Cornyn was a Judge on Texas’ 37th District Court from 1985 to 1991, until he was elected an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court, where he served 1991 to 1997. In 1998, Cornyn was elected Attorney General of Texas, serving one term until winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2002. He was re-elected to a second term in 2008 and to a third term in 2014.

Cornyn was the subject of a number of controversies during his single term as Attorney General of Texas, involving deals with the Koch brothers, injecting religion into schools, and others that I wish I had the time and space to delve into, but for tonight I shall stay the course.  What has set me off now is his inane comment about the republican senators who shoved Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation through, despite at least five valid reasons not to do so.  He had the unmitigated gall to compare these jerks to the fictional character Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.

atticus-finch-qoeAtticus Finch, you may remember, played by Gregory Peck, was a lawyer in a small fictional southern town of Maycomb, Alabama.  Finch was representing a black man, Tom Robinson,  falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.  The character of Atticus Finch represents morality and reason.  He is soft-spoken, believes in fighting for justice and equality, and is a moral hero in every sense of the word.

John Cronyn and his bunch are definitely not Atticus Finch.

“Some commentators have called this our Atticus Finch moment. We all remember that Atticus Finch was a lawyer who did not believe that a mere accusation was synonymous with guilt. He represented an unpopular person who many people presumed was guilty of a heinous crime because of his race and his race alone. We could learn from Atticus Finch now.”

The comparison is 180° off base, for while Atticus Finch was defending a Black man from a white woman who had accused him of a rape he didn’t commit, in the Jim Crow South, the GOP are trying to ensure a privileged white judge gets an even more privileged position on the Supreme Court.

And while Cornyn’s is the most bombastic comment, others in the GOP, now that they have gotten their way and feel they have nothing to lose, have dropped the masks of decency and are showing their true colours.Mitch McConnell said that the allegations made against Kavanaugh were “uncorroborated mud” and that blocking his nomination would be a “fundamentally un-American precedent.”  Never mind, I suppose, that McConnell was the force behind blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland, a highly qualified candidate, under President Obama, for more than a year!

Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, has accused Democrats of spurring an “unethical sham”, and is insisting that democrat Amy Klobuchar apologize for the “smear campaign”.  Such nice language these so-called professional men use, eh?

It’s funny, isn’t it, that the republicans got their way, by hook or by crook … mostly crook, for the FBI investigation was not an investigation, but a farce, and many credible allegations were simply ignored … and yet they still feel a need to push conspiracy theories, lie, and denigrate innocent people.  At first I was confounded by this behaviour, but then I recalled that they are only talking to their own base, the minority, if you will, of the population of this nation.  Remember that, folks, when you are tempted to lose heart, when you feel like the guys in the black hats are winning the game.  They are only winning amongst about one-third of the country, for the rest of us are not buying their snake oil pitch.  The thing we must do is take away their rosy glow next month at the polls.  It’s our last, best hope … our only hope for a semblance of sanity, of decency to return to at least one branch of government.mlk quote

The Conversation …

The following conversation actually took place … at least in my mind, and quite possibly in the Oval Office:

It was Thursday evening, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been summoned, just before 5:00 as they were preparing to go home after a long day of pandering, boot-licking and patootie-kissing, to the White House for an impromptu meeting with Donald Trump.  They were to be there at 6:30, so they called their wives and told them not to hold supper, that they would be late.  They had a brief pow-wow, each trying to see if the other knew the reason for the summons, but they were both in the dark.  Neither of them could find the bloomin’ light switch in the conference room!ryan-mcconnelRyan and McConnell were escorted by the nighttime cleaning lady into the Oval Office, where Trump was just settling in with his nightly McDonald’s order:  3 Big Macs, 3 orders of fries, a jumbo milkshake, and a diet Pepsi.  Mouth full, he motioned the two to a chair, and kept on chewing, as food particles tumbled down his tie. trump-eat-burgerRyan and McConnell each reached for one of the remaining Big Macs, and got their hands smacked for their efforts.

trump-big-mac“MINE!”

“I called you two bozos here because I want to know how the budget bills are coming?”

“We’ve been passing bills, Mr. Trump … I know you’ve seen them,” said Ryan.

“I’ve seen the ridiculous garbage you sent up here, but there’s only one thing I haven’t seen that I need to see … the funding for my damn border wall!”

“Sir, you agreed to postpone the fight over the border wall until after the mid-term elections in November, remember?  We all agreed that a fight over the border wall right now could negatively impact the elections and swing some in favour of the democrats.  The border wall really is only popular among about 20% of the country, and the rest of the country hates it,” argued Mitch in a calm, yet obviously stressed voice.

BAM!!!  💢

Two fists came down hard on the 139-year-old Resolute desk.

“I said, ‘We’ll see’, when you to mentioned a postponement a few weeks ago.  I never agreed to it! I want my wall and I want it now!!!”  He slammed his little pudgie fists on the desk again for emphasis. “How have you managed to keep your job this long, Mitch?  Why do the people of the great state of … where is it you’re from again?  Missouri?”

ryan-mcconnell“Kentucky, sir.”

“Oh … that explains it, then.”

Ryan, sweating around his collar by now, tried again …

“Mr. Trump, the impor…”

“The important thing is MY WALL!  Who do you think pays your salary???  I’ll tell you who pays you and who can fire you tomorrow … maybe even tonight!”

Straightening his shoulders just a bit, thankful that he was leaving at the end of this term, Paul Ryan ventured bravely forth with …

“Actually, sir, the taxpayers pay my salary and no, sir, you cannot fire me.”

baby-trump-temper“SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!  I am the president and I can do whatever I damn well please.  I have built the greatest economy and put the most judges on the bench of any other president in history.  The economy is doing great, just ask anyone!  The people all love me … everybody says so!  And what I want is A WALL!  I promised the people a wall and I’m gonna build them a big beautiful wall!”

“Sir … to be clear, the people thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall because you told them so.”

“SEE!  They love me, they trust me, they believe me!”

“But, Mr. Trump … Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall.  You are spending money you don’t have, and the people will end up paying for it.”

Trump rolled his eyes, crossed his stubby, fat arms across his expansive chest as he is wont to do, and sighed a sigh of exasperation.

“It. Doesn’t. Matter.  Don’t you get it?  Are you seriously that stupid?  It doesn’t matter who pays, as long as I … er, the people … get the wall to keep all the murderers and rapists from coming in from shithole countries!”

Paul Ryan stands.  Removes his tie.  Turns and exits the Oval Office.

Trump, now on his third Big Mac, slurping the last of the milk shake, splutters and spits a bit of milk-laced burger on McConnel’s glasses.  But Mitch doesn’t notice, for all of a sudden it is dark in the Oval Office.  Paul Ryan had turned the lights off on his way out.  Turns out, Kellyanne is the only one who knows the location of the light switch.

To be continued …light history

Sold Downriver

Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Bob Corker, Tim Scott, John Kasich, Newt Gingrich … what do these men have in common?  Two things:  they are all republicans and they have all spoken out against Trump’s behaviour in yesterday’s meeting/summit with Vladimir Putin.  Surprised?  So was I, but it is a testament to just how abominable Trump’s actions/words actually were.  Perhaps more surprising yet is that even his state-news network, Fox News, disagreed with his handling of this meeting:

“There is a growing consensus across the land tonight … that the president threw the United States under the bus.” — Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts.

“No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.” – Abby Huntsman, Fox News Channel host and daughter of Trump’s ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman

Some republicans in and out of Congress who routinely lick his boots were appalled:

“There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia.” – Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan

“One of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” – Senator John McCain

“This is bizarre and flat-out wrong. The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.” – Senator Ben Sasse

“I have said a number of times, I’ll say it again: The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.” – Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell

“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.” – Senator Jeff Flake

“It’s depressing, really unlike anything we’ve seen in my lifetime. A president of the United States saying, ‘You know, I kind of believe a former KGB agent over our intelligence community.’ This is a sad day.” – Ohio Governor, John Kasich

“When he had the opportunity to defend our intelligence agencies who work for him, I was very disappointed and saddened with the equivalency that he gave between them and what Putin was saying. The president’s comments made us look as a nation more like a pushover and I was disappointed in that.” – Senator Bob Corker

“It’s certainly not helpful for the President to express doubt about the conclusions of his own team. He has assembled a first-rate intelligence team handled by Dan Coats and I would hope that he would take their analysis over the predictable denials of President Putin.” – Senator Susan Collins

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s defense of Putin against the intelligence agencies of the U.S. & his suggestion of moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia. Russia poses a grave threat to our national security.” – Representative Liz Cheney

“The President’s summit in Helsinki today should have been an attempt at confronting Russian aggression, hacking, and election interference. Russia is not a friend or ally. As Americans, we stand up for our interests and values abroad; but I fear today was a step backwards.” – Senator Tim Scott

“President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.” – Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich

“I’ve seen the Russian intelligence manipulate many people many people in my career, and I never would have thought the US President would be one of them.” – Representative and former CIA officer, Will Hurd

“The American people deserve the truth, & to disregard the legitimacy of our intelligence officials is a disservice to the men & women who serve this country. It’s time to wake up & face reality. #Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.” – Representative Adam Kinzinger

Needless to say, democrats were outraged, but that was to be expected.  I am only slightly encouraged by the above comments, all by republican sycophants, for the proof will be in the pudding.  Are they disturbed enough to act, or are they only paying lip service to an enraged public?  And speaking of the public, what about Trump’s ignoble followers?  Are they angered at all, or are they still cheering?  Do they even understand the ramifications of his actions, his words?   Do they understand that We the People have been sold downriver?

For All The Wrong Reasons …

There is concern among republicans in the Senate about the candidacy of Roy Moore, the candidate in Alabama who is, amid a maelstrom of controversy, seeking the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.  There is equal concern among COP party leaders.  They should be ‘concerned’, in fact they should be horrified that Alabamans may even consider electing such an abominable ‘man’ for such an important position.  But they are concerned for all the wrong reasons.

Mitch McConnell, for example, is worried that Moore will drag down Republican candidates in 2018, which is shaping up to be a tough year for the GOP, and will hurt the party’s brand. Another, a strategist associated with Republican Senate leadership said, “Not only does Moore really hurt Republicans in the Senate and Republicans nationally, he also does great damage to the conservative movement. Roy Moore comes along, claiming to be a conservative, and now all conservatives are saddled with a guy who is known for one thing and that’s assaulting kids.”

At least 13 Republicans have called for Moore, to step aside. Two rescinded their endorsements. The Senate’s GOP fundraising arm bailed on him.

The right thing, but not for the right reasons.  There are many reasons Roy Moore should be seen as unfit to even be considered for the position.  First, he has been removed from the federal judicial bench, not once, but twice … both times for failure to uphold the law.  Why did he fail to uphold the law?  In both cases, his religions beliefs were in conflict with the law. Never mind that his religion is not mine, nor is it shared by a large portion of U.S. citizens.

moore-3The other reason he must not take a seat in the United States Senate is, of course, the fact that he is accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls when he was a district attorney in his 30s.  The accusations appear to have merit, have shown consistency, and several of Moore’s former colleagues have stated that it was well-known at the time that Moore liked to ‘hang out’ with teenage girls.  There is enough smoke that there is fire somewhere.

moore-4Yet, rather than being outraged because of Moore’s terrible record in failing to uphold the law, rather than being horrified because Moore is a sexual predator, the GOP, McConnell, and a handful of other Republican senators are disturbed because it could cause a few of the senate seats that will be on the ballot a year from now to be lost to Democrats.  Were it not for that, apparently they would be perfectly willing to welcome Moore into their club.

And then there are those who support him, despite the overwhelming evidence that he is not qualified nor fit for the job.  Among those are Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and some 48% of Alabama voters.  A former judge, who has refused to uphold the very law he was sworn to uphold, putting his personal views ahead of the law of the land.  A former law enforcement officer who is in all likelihood a child abuser and sexual predator.  And he has the support of the people of his state AND the ‘man’ who occupies the White House for the moment. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

Donald Trump’s reason for supporting Moore is as wrong as McConnell’s reason for not supporting him:  “I can tell you one thing for sure, we don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones,”   And his mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway further explained, “we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.”  Ah yes, that tax bill that will increase our debt astronomically and benefit only the wealthy.

moore-3Now, my take as an independent voter who votes her conscience rather than a particular party, and as a woman … let me tell you the right reasons to reject Roy Moore’s bid for Senate.  In the Senate, he would have a vote on every bill that comes before the Senate.  His values are nil, obviously.  His religious views are the criteria upon which he bases his decisions, and thus his votes.  Let us look at a few of his political beliefs:

Roy Moore does not believe in any sort of ‘socialized’ health care, but believes that instead, churches should help poor people with their health care needs. (Good luck with that one)

Roy Moore believes in using the military to keep immigrants out and that Trump’s wall must be built immediately.

Roy Moore believes that LGBT people should not be allowed in the military.

Roy Moore believes that coal mining and oil drilling “should be encouraged”.

Roy Moore believes that the federal government should have no role in education, but that it should be entirely left up to the states to determine educational structures.

Roy Moore is against the United States membership in the United Nations.

Roy Moore is a strong proponent of U.S. increasing its arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Roy Moore opposes a woman’s right of choice, same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, civil unions. (Does the word ‘bigot’ come to mind?)

A quote from Roy Moore sums it up:

“We must remain a moral and virtuous people, “One Nation under God.” I support freedom of worship and the recognition of that God upon Whom we have always relied in peace and war.”

Add to all this his blatant disregard for the law and his disrespect and abuse of women and young girls, and I cannot see how anybody … anybody … with a conscience can vote for or support this so-called ‘man’.

The GOP has lost its way, the people of Alabama seem to have lost those values they claim to be so proud of, and the only thing on the minds of republicans is keeping their majority in Congress, even if it means hiring a pedophile.  Way to go, people … way to go.

Is this, then, what the nation has come to?  That we put partisan politics ahead of all else, that we are willing to overlook heinous crimes just to keep a conservative majority in Congress?  If so, we certainly have sunk to a new low, and we have no right nor reason to be proud of this country.  Think about it.