A disgusting lack of leadership

Keith has expressed my own views, only so much better than I typically do. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following are the views of a former Republican and now Independent voter. I did not vote for the former president either time and remain puzzled why people would vote for such a well-documented untruthful, egomaniacal bully.

On Friday, I read that Senator Mitch McConnell would support the seditious former president if he were the 2024 presidential nominee. Note, this is after McConnell denounced the former president for his role in the insurrection against a branch of government, which of course, put McConnell and his colleagues in danger. And, unsurprisingly, Mr. McConnell chose not to vote to convict the former president before he admitted said person was guilty.

This is a disgusting lack of leadership in a country that needs this party to help offer some form leadership. But, as of this writing, people who voted as leaders to impeach or convict the seditious former president, have been vilified, censured…

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Lindsey Graham … Ugly Inside and Out

Lindsey-Graham-2-facesOf all the truly odious beings among the republicans in Congress, one stands out as having a stench that reaches across the entire nation.  No, it’s not Mitch McConnell, though he stinks right enough.  Nor Josh Hawley or Kevin McCarthy – amateurs at the stinkin’ game.  The one that has hit my radar screen no less than six times in the past 24 hours is none other than Lindsey Graham.  Yes, ol’ Lindsey who stabbed his ‘best friend’ John McCain in the back in his last months on earth.  Ol’ Lindsey who can’t seem to figure out which side of the fence he prefers to graze on.

These are a few of the blips he caused on my radar …

  • Graham to meet with Trump to talk future of GOP
  • Lindsey Graham: Lara Trump is ‘the future’ of the GOP
  • Lindsey Graham suggests Republicans in the House should impeach Kamala Harris if they win the majority in 2022.
  • Graham: McConnell ‘put a load on Republicans’ back’ with anti-Trump speech

Suddenly, Graham is bigger news than Trump, McConnell, COVID, or Tom Brady!  Let’s take these blips one at a time …


Lindsey Graham says he’ll be meeting with Trump in the coming weeks to discuss party strategy and ask for Trump’s help in ‘taking back the House and the Senate’ in 2022 …

“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united. If we come back in 2022, then, it’s an affirmation of your policies. But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”

If the Republican Party ‘needs’ Donald Trump that badly, then they are already in a bad spot.


And ol’ Lindsey says that Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, is the ‘biggest winner’ of the impeachment trial.  How so?

“The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump. My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs, and I certainly will be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”

Um … first of all, Lara Trump is lacking some key qualifications, first and foremost being a brain.  Second, she doesn’t even live in North Carolina!  She, Eric, and their two offspring live in a mansion in Westchester, New York.  Senator Burr was one of the 7 senators who found the courage to vote to convict Trump, and while the Republican Party may be threatening him at the moment, I believe the people of North Carolina have the good sense to applaud his courage, and to see that Lara Trump is a … well, I shan’t say, but suffice it to say she is among the least qualified people for a senate seat.

From Senator Burr’s perspective, with ‘friends’ like Lindsey Graham, who needs enemies?


And, he’s already talking of impeaching Vice President Kamala Harris, less than a month after she’s taken office, because …

“I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here, and I’m sad for the country.”

The only thing we can figure he’s talking about was a tweet by Harris in June, 5 months before Biden and Harris won the November election, and 7 months before she took office.  The tweet simply asked her followers to help Black Lives Matter protestors by contributing to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a bail fund that assisted jailed protesters during the George Floyd protests.  More likely, the real reason is because she is a woman, and a woman of colour at that, and Lindsey is nothing if not a bigot.

First, Harris did nothing wrong, and second, it was before she was even elected, so … if it’s unconstitutional, as Graham claims, to impeach a president who is no longer in office, surely it’s also unconstitutional to impeach a vice president who wasn’t even elected yet … and who did nothing wrong.  Take a look at what Beau of the Fifth Column has to say about it in this short video …


And finally, Lindsey is put out with his co-conspirator, Mitch McConnell, for his tirade against Trump, even though he hadn’t the courage to vote for a conviction.

“I think Senator McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the backs of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. I would imagine if you’re a Republican running in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Senator McConnell’s speech and asking you about it if you’re a candidate.”

Let’s hope he’s right! Lindsey-Graham


Meanwhile, Lindsey is part of a criminal investigation in Georgia based on his November 13th phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Graham asked Raffensperger whether he had the power to toss out all mail ballots in certain counties, much the same as Trump’s later conversation with Raffensperger.

It seems to me that ol’ Lindsey is more concerned with the Republican Party and the 2022 elections than he is with doing the job for which We the People are paying him, don’t you think?  Maybe we ought to stop paying him, or maybe the good people of South Carolina ought to recall him.  If Lindsey is the face or the future of the Republican Party, then they deserve to go down in flames.

Burn It Down

I first came across an opinion piece by one of my favourite columnists, Eugene Robinson, two weeks ago.  At that time, I considered posting it here, but decided against it, thinking it was a bit … much.  Today, however, in light of the destruction that was wrought yesterday by 43 men and women who shredded both their oaths of office and the U.S. Constitution, Robinson’s piece seems apropos of the moment.

This nation’s government can only function as it was intended if we have two distinct and separate political parties, but what we cannot have is one of those parties lacking a conscience, lacking honesty, lacking integrity.  The Republican party now has none of those attributes and can no longer be considered a legitimate party, can no longer be taken seriously by any who care about the fate of this nation and the 330 million people living here.


If the GOP is to rise from the ashes, it has to burn first

Eugene-RobinsonOpinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

Feb. 1, 2021 at 4:26 p.m. EST

Before a sane, responsible political party can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of today’s dangerously unhinged GOP, there must be ashes to rise from. The nation is going to have to destroy the Republican Party to save it.

Parties reform and rebuild themselves after suffering massive, scorched-earth defeats. Since Republicans decided to follow Donald Trump and Fox News into the dystopian hellscape of white supremacy, paranoid conspiracy theory and know-nothing rejection of science, they have lost control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. Yet it has become obvious that those defeats are not nearly enough.

You might think the violent and deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol — an unprecedented attack on our democracy, incited by Trump’s election-fraud Big Lie — would snap the GOP back into reality. Unbelievably, though, you would be wrong. 

If anything, the party is heading deeper into the wilderness. Look at how the two most powerful Republicans left in Washington behaved last week. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) made a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to bend the knee to Trump. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) voted to question whether Trump’s coming impeachment trial is even constitutional. 

What had looked like a flicker of sanity earlier, when McCarthy said Trump, among others, had some “responsibility” for the Capitol riot and McConnell said Trump “provoked” it, was nothing but a mirage. And anyone who expects there to be 17 Republican votes in the Senate to convict Trump, no matter how damning the evidence may be, will almost surely be disappointed. 

No one should have any doubt: The GOP bears no resemblance to the party of Abraham Lincoln. It is now the party of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who believes in the hallucinatory QAnon conspiracy theorywho has suggested that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is a child murderer and who thinks 2018’s California wildfires may have been ignited by a giant space-based laser somehow controlled by Jews. Also, high-speed rail is involved somehow.

Do mainstream Republicans such as McCarthy and McConnell believe such nonsense? No, but down by only 10 votes in the House and with a tied Senate, they do believe they are within striking range of regaining control of both the House and the Senate in next year’s midterm election, and they are choosing power — or its prospect — over principle.

For the sake of their party and the nation, those hopes must be utterly dashed. 

The 2022 midterms have to be more like 2002, during President George W. Bush’s first term, when his party gained seats in both the Senate and the House. That uncommon result was generally attributed to a groundswell of solidarity following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the nation, right now, should be equally traumatized. In January, the United States lost more than 95,000 people to covid-19 — the equivalent of a 9/11’s worth of death every single day. Just weeks ago, we saw the Capitol sacked for the first time since 1814. And a majority of the Republican rank-and-file clings to the lie that the election was somehow stolen from Trump. 

GOP House members who had the integrity to vote for impeachment, such as Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Tom Rice of South Carolina, are under withering attack from their fellow Republicans. The warning to Republican senators is explicit: Vote to convict Trump — and, effectively, purge him from the party — at your own peril. 

The GOP won’t or can’t reform itself. So we must help the party by crushing it.

The fact that dozens of major corporations such as Walmart, Google and AT&T have announced they will not give campaign donations to Republicans who voted to decertify the elections results is a start. But we consumers need to demand that corporate America go further by insisting that trade associations follow suit — and that companies at least ask their executives to refrain from giving to GOP Super PACs, the dark-money realm where donations are not statutorily bound by tight limits. 

We saw how Georgia voters recoiled from Trumpism by ousting two Republican senators and electing two Democrats, one Black and one Jewish, in their place — and that was before the Capitol riot. The necessary ruin of the GOP is far from an impossible quest.

It was GOP voters in Georgia who gave us Greene, most accurately identified as (R-QAnon), and she should be made the face of the GOP. The choice is binary and stark: If you don’t believe in Jewish space lasers, you can’t vote for Republicans. And if you loved the old Republican Party, you can’t have it back until you smash today’s GOP to smithereens.

Not Time To Go Home Yet … Or Perhaps It Is

They hoped to vote this afternoon, then wrap it up and go home for the remainder of the weekend, to be with their families, eat nachos, and watch whatever sport is trending at the moment.  Now they are angry, for it appears their job isn’t quite done as the Senate voted 55-45 to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  Even five republicans, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and shockingly, Lindsey Graham voted in favour of calling witnesses.  But the rest are angry, including Ron Johnson who yelled at Mitt Romney in the Senate chambers.

What changed the mind of Lindsey Graham?  Initially, Graham said …

“If you open up that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people preplanned this attack and what happened with the security footprint of the Capitol. You open up Pandora’s box if you call one witness.”

Hmmm … isn’t the whole purpose to get at the truth, to find out what really happened, how, and why?

Apparently one thing that changed Graham’s mind and perhaps others was a statement by Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler regarding a phone call she witnessed between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump during the attack on Congress.  She said McCarthy pleaded with the president, telling him, “You need to get on TV right now, you need to get on Twitter, you need to call these people off.” Trump replied, “Kevin, they’re not my people.”

“Yes, they are. They just came through my windows and my staff is running for cover. Yeah, they’re your people. Call them off.”

At that point, she said Trump told McCarthy, “Well I guess these people are just more angry about the election and upset than you are.”

Ms. Herrera Beutler ended her statement with …

“To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time.”

Perhaps that, if nothing else, stirred Mr. Graham’s conscience just a bit, helped him remember that there was a hangman’s noose waiting for Mike Pence that day, and all Trump cared about was overturning the election.

So, witnesses will be called, perhaps by both sides, though I have no idea where the defense team will find any witnesses whose stories will help their client look less guilty than he currently does.  Apparently one of Trump’s attorneys, Michael van der Veen, is well aware that there aren’t any credible witnesses on his side of this equation, for he claimed that if a single witness is called, it would require over 100 depositions, and would include deposing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his Philadelphia office.  Many in the Senate chambers could be heard laughing at this display of pomp. 

Republican Senator Roger Marshall says the trial should end, that the Senate has other work to attend to, and the country should “move on.”  My response is … did we just ‘move on’ after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy?  Did we just ‘move on’ after the terrorist attacks of 9/11?  No, some things are too important to simply turn a blind eye and ‘move on.’  The attempted overthrow of a fair and honest election by a sitting president, the highest office in the land, is entirely too important to simply ‘move on.’  It is important that the transgressor never be allowed to hold a public office again.  It is important that We the People know the truth about that day, how it was planned, financed, and implemented.  It is important, most of all, that this never be allowed to happen again, that no future president believe he can get away, literally, with murder.

Meanwhile, Moscow Mitch not surprisingly, has decided he will vote to acquit Trump, despite the evidence of Trump’s guilt in inciting and encouraging the deadly attack.  Whatever little shred of conscience he experienced was so small that it blew out of his nose as he snored during the night.

The importance of calling witnesses and hearing their testimony is not that it will sway enough senate republicans to do the right thing, but that it will be presented to the ultimate jurors, We the People.  We will know what actually happened that day, how it came to be, and we will remember those in the United States Senate who lacked the courage to uphold their constitutional oaths, who put their own political futures ahead of our freedom, our lives.


UPDATE:  Just as I was about to hit the ‘Publish’ button to schedule this post, the following ‘breaking news’ crossed my screen:

Lawyers strike deal to prevent witness testimony in trial

Sigh.

The Press Got It WRONG!

I fully support a free press, for without that, this nation cannot survive as a democratic republic.  However, in exchange for our support of the freedom of the press, we have a right to expect accurate and comprehensive reporting.  In this, we have been failed.  Rather than call a spade a ‘bloody shovel’, as my UK friend Mary once told me, they are whitewashing the GOP and pretending that there is still a party that actually cares about this nation and its people.

A daily newsletter I receive, Press Run written by Eric Boehlert, a respected journalist and published author, tells of the media’s latest lie – that the GOP has found their conscience.  It hasn’t.  Apparently, if violence and the threat of their own deaths wasn’t enough, then nothing will be.


Memo to media: the GOP’s Trump “reckoning” is never coming

Chasing unicorns

eric-boehlertEric Boehlert

In a move that should have surprised nobody, yet seemed to catch the D.C. press off guard, the Republican Party rallied to Trump’s defense this week, voting overwhelmingly in favor of shutting down an impeachment trial before it even begins in the U.S. Senate.

Casting aside the fact that he incited a murderous mob that ransacked the U.S. Capitol, 45 Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), voted to give a remorseless Trump a pass. The vote came in the wake of news that, during the final days of his presidency, Trump secretly plotted to fire the U.S. Attorney General in order to force Georgia officials to overturn the state’s election results, which would have ignited the country’s gravest Constitutional crisis in a century.  

Confirmed: There is no looming GOP “reckoning” over Trump, and there will never will be, no matter how many times naïve news outlets suggest otherwise.

For five years, the press has gotten this story wrong. Why? Today’s Republican Party represents an unwieldy challenge for news outlets. It spent the winter wantonly trying to invalidate election results, while simultaneously endangering the masses during a public healthy crisis by deliberately misinforming Americans about the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also taken no disciplinary action against a new Congresswoman who previously supported the killing of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Yet the press remains committed to portraying the GOP as a mainstream, center-right entity. That’s why it keeps botching the “reckoning” story — reporters assume there is a Republican breaking point with Trump and the politics of hate and revenge he represents. But there never is.

The post-insurrection mob headlines in early January were explicit. And they were all wrong: 

“Republicans Splinter Over Whether to Make a Full Break From Trump” (New York Times)

  • “A GOP Reckoning After Turning Blind Eye to Trump” (Associated Press)
  • “Insurrection Marks Moment of Reckoning for Republicans” (US News)
  • “The day Trump broke the GOP” (Politico)
  • ” GOP Faces Trump Reckoning” (NPR)
  • “Southern California Republicans face reckoning after insurrection in D.C.” (Orange County Register)

If one of our two major political parties doesn’t care that Trump incited a mob by attacking free and fair elections for months, if the GOP doesn’t want to address the fact that extreme and violent domestic forces rallied to Trump’s side and set out, in theory, to kill members of Congress, then the press should report the truth and stop pushing this myth about a looming “reckoning.”

Instead, the Beltway press badly misread the insurrection story and assumed so-called responsible members of the GOP would do the right thing. The height of that purposeful naïveté came when nameless McConnell aides started calling reporters two weeks ago and telling them that McConnell maybe/kinda supported impeachment. Convinced that the mythical “reckoning” had arrived, journalists wildly overplayed the story.

“There’s a better than 50-50 chance that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would vote to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial,” Axios excitedly reported. “Rep. Liz Cheney’s support for impeachment could open the floodgates for other Republicans,” insisted CBS’s Norah O’Donnell. The New York Times agreed, claiming Cheney’s move was, “a sign that the dam could be breaking against Mr. Trump in a party that has long been unfailingly loyal to him.” Adding, “Party leaders were racing to distance themselves from a president many of them now regard as a political and constitutional threat.” The newspaper was sure the “deeply divided” GOP was “close to a breaking point,” in the wake of the murderous mob.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

A Fox News headline announced, “McConnell Furious With President, Supports Move to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings.” And from CNN: “Many Republican senators are staying quiet about whether they’ll back conviction — a sign that they, too, could support conviction in an effort to rid Trump from their party.”

Wait, what? By saying nothing about impeachment Republicans were signaling they might support impeachment? What a strange tealeaf-reading exercise from journalists who were anxious to create a storyline about a rebellious wing of the Republican Party standing up to Trump. The whole thing was a mirage.

The press has been making this mistake for years, anxiously portraying Republicans as being deeply concerned over Trump’s reckless and dangerous behavior. Last summer, the Times announced GOP members were  “despairing” over Trump. “The result is a quiet but widening breach between Mr. Trump and leading figures in his party,” the newspaper insisted.  The breach though, was only visible to members of the press.

This kind of coverage has been predictably wrong throughout the Trump era because journalists have been projecting a rational thought process onto the Republican Party, and especially after he incited a deadly mob, leading journalists to think, ‘Of course they’ll punish Trump, of course he’ll be forced to pay a price, right?’

Not by this radical GOP. It was never a realistic option. The press needs to cover today’s GOP for what it actually is — fringe and erratic — and not the mainstream version they want it to be.

MISSING: Courage & Conscience

These are the only five out of fifty Republican senators who have at least a smidge of a conscience:

  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Ben Sasse of Nebraska
  • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Five.  Count ‘em … 1-2-3-4-5 … just five out of fifty who believe in democratic principles, believe that people elected to office need to be held accountable for their actions, believe that nobody is above the law.  The other 45 jackasses on the right side of the aisle in the United States Senate deserve to be removed from office as quickly as possible, for they lack both a conscience and courage.  They cower in their tracks if Donald Trump so much as looks in their direction.  And they do not give a royal damn about the people of this nation, the people who elected them and who pay their salaries, pay for their plane trips, meals, hotel rooms, and whatever other perks they may receive.  We pay them, but they don’t do the job for which we pay them, don’t care about us once they win that election.

The five listed above are far outnumbered by the bastards who roam the halls of the Capitol and call themselves ‘senators’, in particular …

  • Kevin McCarthy
  • Josh Hawley
  • Ted Cruz
  • Rand Paul
  • John Cornyn
  • Marco Rubio
  • Thom Tillis
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Joni Ernst
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith
  • Jim Inhofe
  • Ron Johnson
  • Tommy Tuberville

… and many others, though these are the very worst of the lot.  Every single one of these men & women have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, then turned right around and swore an oath of fealty to the most evil, lecherous, maniacal person to ever sit in the Oval Office.  Donald Trump is gone now, but not forgotten by those who apparently hope he will return to the office of president in a short four years, and who haven’t got the courage, the cojones, to do what is the right thing for this nation and its people.  They are more than happy to sign our death warrant, for that is what they are doing.

The other 45 republican senators, led by Mr. Rand Paul, attempted to stop the impeachment trial scheduled to start on February 9th.  Mr. Paul made two main points concerning why he thinks the process is unconstitutional: Trump is no longer president and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts won’t be presiding over the trial.

Citing specific parts of the U.S. Constitution, Paul said: “Therefore I make a point of order that this proceeding, which would try a private citizen and not a president, a vice president or civil officer, violates the Constitution and is not in order.”

He was overridden by the 48 Democratic senators, 2 Independent senators, and the 5 Republican senators who found the courage to do the right thing.  However, it’s almost a certainty that this will be a sham of a trial just as the last one a year ago was, and that as a result, Trump will be acquitted and thus given the opportunity to run for office again in the year 2024.  If he runs, and if he wins, this nation will no longer be able to call itself a democratic republic, for it will have become a mockery of democracy, and we will have the Republican Party and its members in Congress to thank for that.

45 senators have already decided that their own personal fortunes matter more than our lives.  45 senators have already chosen not to honour the oaths they took.  45 senators hold our lives and the future of this nation in their sweaty palms, and sadly, they are cowards who cannot find the courage to act in our best interests.

During his first three years in office, Mr. Trump did much damage to this nation and to our reputation abroad, but it was in his last year that he dealt the crippling blows.  First, by lying about the coronavirus, its spread and lethality, he cost nearly half a million American lives.  And for the last two months in office, he completely ignored the pandemic, so focused was he on his election loss and trying to find ways to alter the results.  And that — his denial that he lost, and his constant barrage of rhetoric coupled with costly and foolish lawsuits, firing of people who did not support his mirage — is the thing that has done the most damage to this nation. Some believed his claims, either out of ignorance or because it was what they wanted to believe, and Trump’s lies and desire for vengeance culminated in death and destruction on January 6th in the Capitol.

Many have blood on their hands for the attack on Congress, but none more than Donald Trump himself.  To allow this ‘man’ the opportunity to run for office again is simply beyond credulity.  If we allow him to escape accountability for his horrible actions, then we will have set a precedent and opened the door for future presidents to act in similar manners, and sooner or later, probably sooner, we will end up with a dictator who overthrows the principles and foundation of our government.

I call on the United States Senate to put aside your cowardice next month and hold Donald Trump accountable for what he attempted to do.  If you fail to do so … the consequences to this nation will be grave and it will be your fault, and the faults of those people who voted for you.  Our friend Roger sent me this quote this morning that I think is apt …

“You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” – Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament 20th April 1653

The Filibuster, Explained

Many … perhaps most … do not quite understand what is meant by ‘filibuster’. Our friend Jeff’s post will clarify what, exactly, the filibuster is, its origins, and how it has most often been used. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

There’s been much debate in recent years about the efficacy of the filibuster. The Republican Party has used the arcane process to block specific meaningful legislation that would have been beneficial to millions of Americans. To be clear, Democrats have also used the filibuster; blocking judges or presidential appointees, for example.

But it’s time to take a look at what the filibuster is, what are its origins, and what important legislation it has stopped from becoming law. A couple of things stand out. For one, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that mentions anything about the filibuster. It’s simply a Senate rule that’s been in place for nearly 200 years. Secondly, the process was born out of pure unadulterated racism — a mechanism that allowed the despicable practice of slavery to continue being used, mostly by wealthy white land owners in the South.

To take a deeper dive into…

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Some Positive Signs …

Okay, friends … Joe Biden has been in office for less than 48 hours, and already I see positive signs coming from the White House.  Let’s look at a couple …


Once again, science matters

Joe Biden promised to listen to the scientists and the experts, unlike his predecessor, and he is doing just that.  First off, he offered Dr. Anthony Fauci the position of Chief Medical Advisor, which Fauci gladly accepted.  It is encouraging to hear Dr. Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease specialist, say …

“One of the new things in this administration is, if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess.  Just say you don’t know the answer. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know and what the science is … it is something of a liberating feeling.”

Yesterday morning, Dr. Fauci spoke to the executive board of the World Health Organization, and was able to tell them that the United States would not be following through with Mr. Trump’s demand to leave the group in the middle of a pandemic.  I, for one, breathe a sigh of relief for that one.

Isn’t it grand to know that our president doesn’t think he’s such a stable genius that he knows everything about … well, everything?  We can trust that President Biden will listen to the scientists, the experts, on such things as the pandemic and climate change.


And speaking of the pandemic …

President Biden unveiled his national strategy to conquer the pandemic, to save our lives.  If this sort of action had been taken a year ago, hundreds of thousands of lives almost certainly would have been saved.

The orders included new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses, as well as in all federal facilities.  I guess this means you, too, members of Congress!  He also calls for the creation of a national testing board and mandatory quarantines for international travelers arriving in the United States.

But Biden pulled no punches, he was brutally honest (oh isn’t that so refreshing?) when he admitted, “The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated,” and when he said that US deaths from the pandemic will likely reach 500,000 by February.  Honesty.  From the president.  WOW!  Just WOW!


Transparency & truth … FINALLY!

Her name is Jen Psaki, pronounced SOCK-ee, and she is President Biden’s press secretary.  She is more than qualified for the job, having served in a number of communications positions in the Obama administration, including as a spokeswoman at the State Department, where she was comfortable delivering lengthy, policy-heavy briefings in a role often held by career foreign policy officials. And she was popular with Washington reporters.

She has already given her first press briefing, and while I only listened to a brief clip, the first few minutes, one word jumped out:  transparency.

“If the president were standing here with me today, he would say he works for the American people. I work for him, so I also work for the American people, but his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”

It brings a tear to my eyes to hear the words ‘transparency’ and ‘truth’ spoken by the press secretary, after four years and five … or was it six? … different press secretaries all telling thousands of lies, accusing reporters of bias, or simply not communicating at all.


A short bit of a rant

I hate to sully an otherwise upbeat post with a min-rant, but I simply must vent a bit on this one …

I understand that ol’ Mitch McConnell has ‘suggested’ that the impeachment trial for Donald Trump be pushed back to February in order to give Trump time to prepare his defense.  I have only one question:  why should we be fair to the ‘man’ who put us through hell and caused us grief every single day for four solid years?  There can be no defense for the impeachment charge, the charge of inciting an attempted overthrow of a legitimate, fair, and honest election.

Oh sure, some high-priced lawyers will try to spin it, to put in in such a light that Trump’s words were not incitement.  But we all know better.  We all know that he had been planning that last-ditch attempt to silence the people of this nation and seize power as an authoritarian dictator for some time, and those people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th were his pawns, they were inspired to do his dirty work for him.  No, there can be no defense against what he did, so why wait?  Hold the trial now, convict him, and ensure that he can never again destroy this nation and our lives.

Donald Trump is guilty of treason, for he betrayed a sacred trust, broke his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, and put this nation in grave jeopardy in more ways than one.  The charge of inciting violence is a mild one compared to what he could have legitimately been charged with.  He must be convicted on that charge, and as soon as possible in order for this nation to fully breathe easily again, in order for us to move on and begin to heal.

The Price For Perfidy

Actions have consequences, and there is a price to pay for lying and cheating.  Some members of the Republican Party are learning that lesson the hard way.

According to an article in The Washington Post

The 147 Republican lawmakers who opposed certification of the presidential election this month have lost the support of many of their largest corporate backers — but not all of them.

The Washington Post contacted the 30 companies that gave the most money to election-objecting lawmakers’ campaigns through political action committees. Two-thirds, or 20 of the firms, said they have pledged to suspend some or all payments from their PACs.

Meanwhile, 10 companies said only that they would review their political giving or did not commit to take any action as a result of this month’s events.

chart-1

The split between company responses shows how U.S. executives are still grappling with the recent political bloodshed and its ripple effects across the corporate landscape. The attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 led to calls for companies and wealthy donors to disavow support for lawmakers who continue to propagate dangerous myths about the election and has prompted a broader rethinking of the role of PAC giving among the nation’s top companies.

And remember ol’ Josh Hawley who attempted to overturn the election and even egged on the terrorists who invaded the Capitol with murder on their minds?

hawley

It seems that Hawley had a big fund-raiser planned for the weekend of February 12-15.  The event was to be held at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and was billed as a “fun-filled, family-friendly Orlando weekend event”.  Tickets were being sold for between $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size of the group.

But Loews said that the fund-raiser had been called off after the deadly riot at the Capitol, which many Democrats and Republicans have blamed in part on Mr. Hawley and other members of his party who supported Trump’s efforts to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

“We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions. In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fund-raiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.”

But that wasn’t the only blow Mr. Hawley suffered as a result of his actions.  Apparently he has written a book titled, “The Tyranny of Big Tech” that was scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster in June.  Simon & Schuster have now canceled the publication, saying …

“We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.”

Hawley responded by calling the decision ‘Orwellian’ and threatening a lawsuit.

So yes, consequences do have actions even for people in high-ranking government positions.  I applaud those companies that have the fortitude to do the right thing, to hold these ignoble members of Congress to account for their actions, and I hope more will do the same.  We need to take a closer look at the companies with whom we do business, find out who they give their money to, and boycott those who put profit so far ahead of people that they are endangering the nation.


Just one other thing …

My jaw dropped all the way to the floor this morning when I read something that Senator Mitch McConnell said …

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”

ryan-mcconnellIs this the same Mitch McConnell who has been licking Trump’s boots for the last four years?  The same Mitch McConnell who opposed President Obama at almost every turn, including his Supreme Court nomination?  Okay … where is the real Mitch McConnell???  Think … Invasion of the Body Snatchers … or perhaps he’s had a lobotomy?  Or somebody else lent him their conscience for a brief period?

I guess that since Trump now has less than 24 hours in office, McConnell isn’t afraid of the repercussions any longer.  Mitch McConnell, even though he will no longer be the Senate Majority Leader, has quite a bit of influence over the other Senate Republicans, so my hope is that his words, his views, will translate into a conviction in the impeachment trial.

And some have asked me, “why bother?” with the impeachment trial, since Trump will be out of office in 21 hours anyway.  Well, the primary reason for the ‘bother’ is that if Trump is convicted on the impeachment charge, he will never again be able to hold public office.  No run for president in 2024.  This is important, for he damn near destroyed this country over the last four years and we cannot have another four years of him … ever!

Snarky Is Baaaaaaack!

My snarky side took a bit of a break after the events in my own life on Monday night, but suddenly it has returned with a vengeance!  No point in holding it back, now is there?


Delusional bimbo

I had to laugh when I read that Kellyanne Conway said …

kellyanne“From the time the electors certified the results to the time the president leaves office should have been spent reviewing and reliving the policy accomplishments of his four years and reminding Americans we are more peaceful or prosperous.”

We are neither more peaceful nor prosperous by any stretch of the imagination than we were before Donald Trump took office.  We are more divided than at any time in at least the last 150 years, as evidenced by the events of last Wednesday and the aftermath.  And prosperous?  All time record high unemployment numbers, people who cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, and between 3,000-4,000 people dying every day of a pandemic that was so poorly handled by the Trump administration that the world looks on in disgust. 

Sorry, Kellyanne, but your ‘hero’ is a big-time loser who has done more damage to this nation and its people than any other president in the history of the United States.  His ‘legacy’, such as it is, will be one of death and destruction.


Republicans and impeachment

I was pleased to see that 10 republican members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of impeachment.  Mind you, it’s too little too late, so I’m not going to propose that perhaps they’ve found a conscience and regret their prior sycophancy to Trump, but for this time anyway, they managed to do the right thing. 

I’m also pleased to read that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has condemned Trump’s actions of last week and said he ‘might’ even consider voting to convict Trump on the impeachment charges once the charges are presented to the Senate and they conduct a trial.  I’m not holding my breath, and again, it’s way too little far too late for him to redeem himself.  Best thing he could do after the impeachment trial would be to resign from the Senate … he’s way past his “best by …” date.  However, McConnell holds a great deal of sway with other republicans in the Senate, and if he votes to convict Trump on the charges, I believe that other republican senators will follow suit, which could result in the necessary 17 republican votes needed to convict Trump, thus ensuring that he can never again hold public office.  Not even as sanitation worker or dogcatcher. 

It’s interesting how some of the republicans are appalled by what Trump did, inciting a terrorist rebellion against the United States from within, but yet refuse to condemn him, saying that impeachment or any form of punishment would only further divide the nation.  WTF???  How can we get any more divided? 


As if

I hear Trump released a video of himself yesterday reading a statement that was obviously not written by him …

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Right, Donnie.  I read that Ivanka, Jared and others begged him to read the statement and record the video telling him that it would boost his image among republicans who were turning against him.  I actually wonder, reading those words, if somebody wasn’t off to the side with a gun pointed at his head, for this is a far cry from his words of a week ago when he said he would never concede and urged his terrorist supporters to ‘go to war’ for him.

If I had to guess, I would guess that through some other venue, perhaps one of his children’s social media accounts, he is talking out of the other side of his mouth, encouraging another terrorist riot similar to last Wednesday’s next week. 


Congratulations, Donnie …

Ol’ Trumpie always declares he is first, best, and any other superlative he can think of, like covfefe.  Well, he’s got his wish … he is the FIRST president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice!  Way to go, Donnie … we knew you could do it! 


Two worthwhile reads …

Two of my blogging buddies, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and Keith at Musings of an Old Fart, published excellent posts last night.  I wanted to re-blog them both, but had already started this post and … well, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to expend, so instead I am including a link to both here and I really hope you will check them out … you won’t be sorry!

If You Still Think The Election Was Rigged  by Keith Wilson

The Big Lie(s)  by Jeff Marzick


Last but not least, Don Lemon hits the nail on the head with this one …