The Sham Trial Begins

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

On The Fence Voters

Reflections from the car

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

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

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

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

View original post 856 more words

Mad As Hell! (Part II)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mad As Hell! (Part I)

Okay, folks, I’ve had enough.  All day, there has been a slow burn building up and it’s just about to ‘splode, so hold on to your hats.

Today will be the first official day of the Impeachment Trial of one Donald F. Trump.  This is a serious affair, for Mr. Trump has abused the power of his office, has utterly failed to uphold the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, has used the office of president for his own personal gain, and in so doing has put the entire nation at risk.  He has already, and will remain throughout history, a dishonoured, impeached president, but now it is up to the U.S. Senate to decide whether the evidence is sufficient to convict him, thereby removing him from office and protecting the nation from further atrocities.

Now, if the Senate carefully reviews the evidence, listens to witness testimony, and then decides to acquit Trump, I will be disappointed, but I will not scream from the rooftops.  But, as of this writing, it appears that there will be no such thing as a fair and honest trial, as impartial judges, and We the People will not be served.  First, as I reported previously, Senator Mitch McConnell said he would conduct the trial according to the wishes of the White House, and Senator Lindsey Graham blatantly said he had no intention of being fair and impartial, but that he had already decided to acquit Trump.

The “White House” sent its first ‘legal brief’1 yesterday, all 171 pages, signed by twelve of the attorneys representing Trump.  171 pages!  Twelve lawyers!  I found it highly interesting to note the name of Jordan Sekulow as one of the signers of the document.  Jordan Sekulow is the son of Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer.  Both Jay and Jordan are talk radio show hosts, as well as lawyers.  The document begins with the Executive Summary that starts …

The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected.

Rigged???  Sounds just like something coming out of Trump’s mouth, doesn’t it?  A dozen lawyers and this is how they start a 171-page legal brief?  But more importantly are those last three words, “must be rejected”.  The document goes on to urge senators to “immediately” acquit the president of the charges that will be formally presented at his trial that starts in earnest this week, even before hearing evidence or testimony!  Trump’s legal team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, wrote that Trump “did absolutely nothing wrong” as it accused the House Democrats who impeached the president of attempting to overturn the results of the 2016 election and “to interfere in the 2020 election.”  SAY WHAT???

“The only threat to the Constitution that House Democrats have brought to light is their own degradation of the impeachment process and trampling of the separation of powers.”

Trampling of the separation of powers.  Now, isn’t that funny, coming from the lawyers representing the ‘man’ who has refused to allow congressional oversight time and time and time again.  This from the ‘man’ who ordered an assassination of a high-ranking foreign general without cause and without bothering to mention it to Congress.  This from a ‘man’ who forbade people both within and outside the administration from answering congressional subpoenas.

I am not a lawyer … I took a few Constitutional Law classes during my post-graduate studies, but I am in no way an expert.  Still, I know bullshit when I hear it, I know that these guys, under other circumstances, in a fair and honest trial, wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting their client off.  But, these are not other circumstances, and this is not at all likely to be either a fair or honest trial.

The seven House members who will be prosecuting this case submitted a 9-page response2 … nine pages to respond to 171 pages.  Tells you that a) most of the 171 pages were just what I said, bullshit, and b) the House members have better things to do with their time.  The response begins …

The American people entrusted President Trump with the extraordinary powers vested in his Office by the Constitution, powers which he swore a sacred Oath to use for the Nation’s benefit. President Trump broke that promise. He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit. In doing so, he jeopardized our national security and our democratic self-governance. He then used his Presidential powers to orchestrate a cover-up unprecedented in the history of our Republic: a complete and relentless blockade of the House’s constitutional power to investigate high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment. That is a chilling assertion.

It is, indeed, a chilling assertion. Any other president in the history of this nation would have been tried, convicted, and escorted out of the White House, probably in handcuffs by now for the many abuses of power Trump has committed, both before his election and since taking office.  Any other president would have been impeached and removed from office after the release of Robert Mueller’s report last year.  But, no other president in the past 233 years, not even Richard M. Nixon, has abused the office of the president in the many ways Trump has.  Since he has gotten by with it thus far, he seems to believe that he is invincible.

And maybe he is, since he has rid the government of those with morals and integrity, surrounding himself with characters who have little experience to qualify them for their jobs, but are slavishly dedicated and loyal to Donald F. Trump.

One more thing …

In the event that at least four republican senators vote to hear witness testimony, Trump’s lawyers and sycophants in the Senate are preparing a “Plan B” to ensure that John Bolton will not be allowed to testify, or that if he does, his testimony will be kept from the public.  Another abuse of the power of the office, another denigration of the separation of powers.  I hope … I sincerely hope that John Bolton has the cojones to give an interview to the New York Times or another credible media outlet and tells all.

If you have any remaining illusions that this is still, as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, you’d be wrong.  This is a government of, by, and for the wealthiest few people in this nation, including Donald F. Trump.  We the People are NOT being served, but rather are being royally screwed.

White House legal brief

House Prosecutor’s response

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/18

Once again, our friend TokyoSand has found some great political cartoons! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures surely fit that bill. Thank you, TokyoSand, for digging these up!

Political⚡Charge

img_3538 By Christopher Weyant

Maddening. Insightful. So, so very spot on.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

McConnell Readies for the Trial

By Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Lalo Alcaraz

img_3532

By Nick Anderson

Impeachment & the GOP

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

By Ann Telnaes, Washington Post

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Repeat1968

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

And Other News

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Mike Thompson, Detroit Free…

View original post 33 more words

Letter To Senator Re: Impeachment Trial

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


Dear Senator Portman,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter


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

Mid-Week Snarky Snippets

Well, the conflict between Trump and Iran seems to be simmering rather than boiling over, at least for the moment.  Trump claims no lives were lost in last night’s bombings, though I am very skeptical.  You don’t drop 12 ballistic missiles without their being some casualties.  It’s rather a shame when one doesn’t trust a single word the president utters, but he has brought that on himself with his constant lying.  About the only thing you can predict about Trump is that he will lie.  Time will tell.  Iran announced, after attacking two military bases in Iraq last evening, that they are finished … for now … retaliating for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.  Trump insists he will impose even harsher “punishing” sanctions on the country than before.  I read his speech and all I really saw was “blah blah blah” … nothing relevant or likely true.  I have to wonder, though, if he realizes that the sanctions he imposes do not hurt the government but hurt the people, people who are already struggling to survive?  Or if he even cares.  Doubtful.  Well, since that situation appears to be relatively stable for the moment, though it’s not likely to remain so for long, I shall turn my thoughts to other things today.


Mitch’s Dog-and-Pony Show …

Mitch McConnell proves to us once again that the will of the people matters not one bit.  He has decided to move forward with the impeachment trial, despite the fact that Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate.  He really wants to just sweep this bit of dust under the rug and get it over with before we get close to the November election.  He has better things to do, y’know, like campaign for his own re-election, and protect li’l Donnie from the big, bad democrats!

Mitch announced yesterday that he will not commit to calling witnesses or hearing new evidence.  As we heard last week, both Mitch and Lindsey Graham have made it perfectly clear that they have no intention of conducting a real trial, but rather a dog-and-pony show that will result in the predetermined acquittal of Donald Trump.   Mitch says he “has the votes” to move forward … in other words, the republican senators have already decided their vote without seeing the articles of impeachment, without hearing from any witnesses, and without seeing the evidence.  Wow.

If the events of the past week have not convinced the republican senators that this “president” is a clear and present danger to the survival of life on planet earth, then they are as blind, deaf and dumb as I originally thought.  The majority of people in this country do not support Trump, but … we really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, do we?


Snowball vs bullet

Remember when you were a kid?  Ever throw a snowball at a person or a car or other object just because it was fun?  You didn’t intend harm, you were just having fun.  A group of kids in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were having fun lobbing snowballs at passing cars last Saturday.  Harmless fun … a snowball thrown at your car isn’t likely going to damage the car or cause an accident.  But …

The driver of a white Toyota took umbrage and fired shots into the group of children, striking two — a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy – and then drove off.  Both children are expected to recover, and police have yet to find the driver of the vehicle and are asking for any information from possible witnesses or nearby home-surveillance cameras.

It’s a sign of the times in this country … people are angry and it doesn’t take much to set them off, which in my book is yet another good reason that we do not need guns in the hands of every Tom, Dick and Harry in this nation!


What will $20 million buy?

Two Super Bowl add slots.  Both Trump and Democratic hopeful Michael Bloomberg have spent $10 million each to buy a 60-second ad during the Super Bowl on February 2nd.  I don’t watch the Super Bowl, but if I did, this news would be enough to cause me to skip it this year.

My first complaint is that Super Bowl ads are usually the ones that sponsors go all out on, like Budweiser’s Clydesdale commercials … the ads are usually more fun than the game itself!  And so now, people have to watch two rich, old men running their mouths and telling who-knows-what lies?  No thanks!

My second, more viable complaint is … how many people could be provided a home, how many children could be fed … how much better use these two privileged men could have put that money to.  It literally sickens me to see so much money literally thrown down the toilet for self-interest.  Yes, yes … I realize this is the way of the world, or at least the political world in the United States.  I do know that every political candidate takes money from both rich and poor, then uses it to get their name and face splattered all over the media so people will remember them on November 3rd.  But, I still think it’s a crappy way to spend money when people are living on the streets, children are going to bed hungry at night, and people are dying because they can’t afford medical treatment.


The earth moved …

Among the news of the Trump-Iran embroglio and the Mitch & Lindsey show, you may have missed the fact that a major earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale hit Puerto Rico yesterday.  The island has been mostly without electricity ever since. earthquakeI had an email this morning from our dear friend Horty, aka Dr. Rex, telling me that she and MJ are safe, though their plans to return back to the states have been delayed.  Apparently, the island has been experiencing tremors constantly since December 28th and the earth still trembles today. earthquake-2According to The Guardian

Many Puerto Ricans woke up on Wednesday to a second day without electricity after the island’s worst earthquake in a century knocked out power, collapsed homes and killed at least one person.

All schools remained closed and public employees except police and health workers stayed at home as engineers checked the safety of buildings after Tuesday’s 6.4-magnitude quake and powerful aftershocks.

Some Puerto Ricans in the hard-hit south of the island moved beds outside on Tuesday night and slept outdoors, fearful their homes would crumble if another earthquake hit after a week of tremors.

Keep safe, dear Horty & MJ!


Well, I have imposed enough of my ill-humour on you for one afternoon, so I shall go take my hostilities out elsewhere … perhaps on the load of towels sitting in the dryer!

It Has Begun …

Just a short while ago, I received ‘breaking news’ on my phone that Iran has launched missile strikes aimed at US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani last week.  Reports vary, but at least 20 U.S. servicemen are left dead.  Their blood, as well as the blood of every man, woman and child, is on the hands of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.  It isn’t their children who will be coming home in body bags, but ours.

Trump was told to pull troops out of Iraq, but he was too stupid and too stubborn to do so.  This, then, is only the beginning.  Where is the ending?  I have no idea, but somebody better get rid of Trump before he gets us all killed.  And to any who still support Trump … stay the hell away from me!

Meanwhile, Back At The Impeachment …

Donald Trump may believe that his warmongering, his assassination of a top Iranian general, his threats to Iran that he will destroy 52 of their cultural icons, and his attempt to start WWIII will cause us to all lose sight of his impeachment and looming trial.  It won’t.  Impeachment news may have taken a backseat in the press, but it definitely is not going away, as Trump had obviously intended.  A few things made their way into the news yesterday regarding impeachment.

So, former National Security Advisor John Bolton says he will be willing to testify before the Senate impeachment trial if allowed to do so.  At least 4 republicans and every democrat in the Senate will have to vote in favour of hearing Bolton’s testimony, and I’m not sure there are four republican senators who own a pair, much less remember where they keep them.

However, my question is this … why didn’t Bolton come through and testify during the House impeachment hearings?  His lawyer says he knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with impeachment investigators.  It is also said that he was “deeply troubled” by the campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats.  So, if all of that was true, and if Mr. Bolton has a conscience and wishes to do the right thing, where was that conscience in November and December?

And then, there was Lindsey Graham.  Good ol’ Lindsey who cannot remember from one day to the next who his friends are, and who one day wants to censure Trump, and the next day thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Lindsey Graham who stabbed his “best friend” John McCain in the back.  Now Lindsey has decided it is up to him to decide to change the Senate rules regarding Trump’s trial and (hopefully) conviction.

Nancy Pelosi, as you know, has not yet sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate, pending some indication from the Senate that they are prepared to hold some semblance of a fair and impartial trial.  To date, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have blatantly stated that they had no intention of being fair, that the trial would simply be a formality to be gotten through, with Trump’s acquittal the pre-determined outcome.  This is not acceptable, and Ms. Pelosi is holding back sending the articles, hoping for some reassurance that the Senate will do their proper job.

That is what has Lindsey and a number of other senators up in arms.  Why do they care?  Because, the closer it gets to November 3rd, election day, the less they want the publicity of an ongoing impeachment trial to be fresh on the minds of the voters.  The republican senators want the trial to be speedy and low-key, with few or no witnesses called, and to be over and done as quickly and early as possible.  Not, mind you, because it is in the best interest of We the People, but only because it is in their best interests for re-election.  People have short attention spans, especially in the current climate with war looking more and more likely, and if the trial were held in late January, by November a large percentage of people would have forgotten all about it.

What Lindsey is proposing is a change in the Senate rules …

“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary.

Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution. They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.

If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules, deem them to be delivered to the Senate so we can start the trial, invite the House over to participate if they would like. If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”

Get on with governing the country, Lindsey???  WTF are you talking about, for you and your ignoble buddies there in the Senate have refused to pass legislation sent over by the House of Representatives for over a bloody year now!  You haven’t done a thing but sit on your fat ass and run your ignorant mouth.  Govern the country, my foot!

The way I see it, the impeachment trial has now taken on an even greater importance, for in the last 5 days, Trump has proven that he is, indeed, the madman I’ve been calling him.  This nation absolutely cannot handle another five years of his presidency, and frankly I’m not sure we can survive another year and come out intact.  It is on the Senate to make sure his trial is by the book, that witnesses are called by both parties, that the evidence is seriously considered, and that he is convicted and removed from office.  Anything less than that is unacceptable and will cost lives … many lives.

Two Very Different Men in Congress …

As I reported last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Lindsey Graham and other republicans in the Senate, clearly stated that he has no intention of conducting a fair and impartial impeachment trial, but that he plans to “coordinate with the White House” every step of the way.  Well, that raised my hackles, for it is an intentional dereliction of his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but apparently it didn’t set too well with some others, as well.

First, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, the only republican to have voted “Nay” to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said …

“When I heard that I was disturbed. To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process. For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong, in my view, that’s wrong.”

While I applaud Senator Murkowski’s courage, I wish she had gone a step or two further.  But, another voice of dissention has been heard, this one from an editorial piece in one of Mitch’s home state’s largest newspapers, The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The framers wanted to make sure the Senate would never take such a trial lightly — this oath requirement is over and above the oath each senator has already taken to support the Constitution. The Constitution does not set out the text of the trial oath, but the Senate rules do. Senators will ‘solemnly swear… that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God’ 

 The presidential oath and the senatorial oath to be taken before an impeachment trial are kin. The president must act faithfully and without corruption. In those (presumably) rare situations in which the president has failed to be faithful, the Senate is required to be faithful in its adjudication of the case against him.

But we have already seen indications that McConnell has no intention of doing impartial justice. He has said that he does not consider himself an “impartial juror.” He is coordinating strategy with the White House. He has already called the case against the president “thin” and “incoherent.”

Every senator has a constitutional obligation of impartiality. But McConnell’s role as Senate leader makes his obligation even more important and crucial to the constitutional framework. This is not a time for political cynicism or constitutional faithlessness. McConnell’s loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution. If he fails in this, he is not only violating his Article I oath but his Article VI oath.

The GOP line that the whole process is based on hearsay — not even accurate as an evidentiary matter  — could be easily ameliorated by hearing from more people who have direct knowledge of Trump’s mendacity, abuse of power and attempts at cover-ups.

 Short of declaring war, the Senate is about to conduct its gravest and most serious constitutional obligation — to exercise the “sole power to try” impeachments. All senators should take their obligation of faithful impartiality seriously, especially McConnell. History is watching, and it will be a harsh judge.

The editorial was written by Kent Greenfield, a sixth-generation Kentuckian, and professor of law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at Boston College … a man who knows of what he speaks.

I am encouraged that there is some backlash against McConnell’s stance, though it is far too little.  At the very least, the full Senate should be appalled enough by McConnell’s remarks, the violation of his oath, that they would vote unanimously to remove him as Senate Majority Leader … perhaps put Senator Murkowski in that position.  Otherwise, in the opinion of this writer, they will have lost all credibility for they will have failed We the People.


In other news, it was with deep sadness that I read yesterday that Representative John Lewis has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease with a 5-year survival rate of only about 1%.  Mr. Lewis is one of the most respected members of Congress, well-known for his Civil Rights activism back in the days of segregated lunch counters and Freedom Rides.  He was beaten and arrested, but still he fought for the rights of African-Americans.  And he says he will fight this, too …

John-Lewis-Barack-Obama-medal

President Barack Obama awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to John Lewis in 2011

“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.

So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.

Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

If anybody can beat this, my money would be on John Lewis.  I hope … I really hope that his fighting spirit can bring him through this … he is a good man and this nation needs him now as much as at any other time.

Xmas Eve Trumptoons

Being that it’s Christmas Eve, and being that as I write this it is late and I am tired, and being that Donnie Trump makes such a great target for mocking and mirth, I thought we’d have a few Trumptoons!


Where else to begin but with some Christmas-themed ones?  Can you imagine what Trump would ask Santa for?  Or … what Santa would actually bring Trump?

xmas-toon-1

This one is my favourite!

xmas-toon-1axmas-toon-2COLORxmas-toon-4xmas-toon-5


For some strange reason, Trump seems to have taken a disliking to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi …

Trump-Pelosi

I LOVE this one!

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump gets a present


Given that the big news of last week … nearly the only news … was the impeachment of Donald Trump … only the third time in the 232-year history of this nation that a president has been impeached.  The cartoonists went to town with it …

ImpeachedTrump-impeach-2Trump-impeach-3COLORTrump-impeach-5Trump-impeach-2Trump-minionsTrump-impeach-6Trump-impeach-7


The Senate, led by the ignoble Mitch McConnell, is planning to turn the upcoming impeachment trial into a mockery of justice.  Unless 20 republican senators can somehow find their consciences in their sock drawers, or wherever they have stashed them, then it is highly unlikely that the Senate will have enough votes to convict Trump and remove him from office.  

Senate-impeachSenate-impeach-2Senate-impeach-3


Last but not least, is this tribute to Trump’s upside-down view of the world … and himself

Ego.jpg


Alright, friends … time to go finish wrapping those presents 🎁 … oh, and today is National Eggnog Day ☕, so if you want to, you can have a cuppa eggnog (with or without a bit of accouterment 😉) while you wrap!  And just in case I don’t make it back with an afternoon post, I wish you all a very Happy Holiday!  Filosofa will not be posting on Wednesday, for I will be spending the day mostly in the kitchen 👩‍🍳!