It’s Always About The Size Of His …


Crowds.  It’s always about the size of his crowds.  The “man” goes to El Paso, where a mass shooting has left some 22 people dead and many more injured, as a direct result of his own words.  Protestors abound, for he was not welcome in El Paso after inciting the violence that has left the city in mourning.  And what does he do?  He comes away bragging that the size of his crowd was double the number of the protestors.  How disrespectful, tacky, inconsiderate, and a bunch of other adjectives I could think of.  This, folks, is the person that we have sitting in the Oval Office, the person whose decisions could lead to peace … or war.  The person, in essence, who holds our very lives in his tiny hands.

This was not a day for politics, not a day to fuel the fires of division that are burning out of control in this nation.  It was a day of mourning, of grieving for lost loved ones, and Donald Trump, who should have been the most remorseful, apologetic of all, turned it into another “politics as usual” day in both El Paso and Dayton.

I cannot recall another person holding the office of president who has so degraded and devalued the office.  I cannot remember another who needed his own public relations team, working day and night, to go behind Trump and repair the damage he leaves in his wake.  We have had presidents in my lifetime who I didn’t like very much, but never have I felt such loathing for not only the actions, but the “man” himself.  Donald Trump is devoid of humanity, lacking a conscience, and has no love of this nation nor its people, but only loves himself.

The political posturing surrounding the question of whether to impeach or not to impeach must stop.  We elected Senators and Representatives, we pay their salary, and in return we expect them to act in the best interest of the nation and its people.  Congress has let us down mightily.  Those members of Congress are so afraid of the “man” in the Oval Office that they refuse to act.  They are afraid of his temper tantrums, his ignominious tweets, and most of all, they are afraid that he will speak against them at the next election.  Screw the next election, people!  There are fifteen months left until the election in 2020.  Fifteen months in which this “man” is doing more damage to this nation, to our reputation, our alliances, and our very lives.  GET HIM OUT!

Mitch McConnell and his band of scallywags have obstructed justice for long enough!  They, along with Donald Trump, have the blood of the victims in El Paso on their hands, for they are in the pockets of the NRA and have long refused to pass any meaningful gun regulations.  They are also responsible for the very election rigging that allowed Donald Trump to move into the White House and by refusing to even consider election security measures, they are rigging the 2020 election in Trump’s favour as well.

This nation cannot tolerate another 15 months of Donald Trump’s sheer cruelty and ignorance, let alone another 63 months, in the event of his re-election.  I would call for a mass movement to demand that he step down, but we all know how far that would get.  His ego will not allow him to step down, and frankly, I don’t think it will allow him to even admit defeat if he is voted out next year or reaches the end of his second term in 2024.  He is, as our friend Keith has said, a clear and present danger.  He is a danger to the very foundation of our government, he is a danger to every other nation on this planet, and he is a danger to the planet itself.

It matters not to me how he is removed from the Oval Office, but he must be removed.  He cares not at all for the people of this country.  I call on every member of Congress to support his removal, else frankly, you don’t deserve to be sitting on Capitol Hill, don’t deserve the salary that we are all working hard to give you.  Either get with the program, do your job, uphold the Oath of Office you took, or get the hell out.

Congressional Oath of Office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

Your Tuesday Dose of Snarky Snippets

I wonder if the day will ever come in whatever is left of my lifetime that there won’t be something for me to be snarky or rant about?  I’m thinking not, but I wouldn’t mind … honest I wouldn’t!  But, for today, there is plenty to bring my blood to a boiling point and have me gritting my teeth ‘til they crack.


Creative Obfuscation 101

Some of the republicans have scrambled around and wracked their little brains to come up with some of he most novel excuses for the mass shootings last weekend.  The usual stock ‘reasons’ they offer are mental illness, video games, television, and social media.  But this time, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick came up with a rather unique excuse.  He claims it is because we no longer have mandatory school prayer (I’m still scratching my head over this one).  Perhaps Mr. Patrick has forgotten about the concept of separation of church and state?  Frankly, I find religion to be the cause of much of the violence in the world today, not the antidote.

But, you see, they have to make up excuses, for if they cannot direct the conversation into some other channel, then it is going to the most logical reason for mass shootings … guns.  Or rather, gun laws, of which we have too few.  And they don’t want to talk about gun laws, because … their little buddies over at the NRA who are channeling money into their accounts, will be vewy, vewy angwy.assault-weapons.pngIt rather reminds me of the overweight lady who, rather than blame the fact that she eats too much and exercises too little, blames: hormones, metabolism, marital strife, past pregnancies, and anything else that removes the responsibility from her own self.


Where are your values, Mitchie?

We all know that political campaigns can be pretty ugly.  It seems to me that the ugliest ones are by candidates that have the least to offer, so lacking any viable platform on which to run, they go on the offensive and attack their opponents.  Mitch McConnell, aka #MoscowMitch, crossed the line this weekend, though.

On Saturday evening, just hours after a gunman opened fire in a Wal-Mart in El Paso, leaving 22 people dead and 26 injured, there was a campaign event at a place called Fancy Farm.  One of the “attractions” at the event was this …Mitchie-2Notice the “tombstone” in the front on the right … the one that reads “R.I.P. Amy McGrath”.  Amy McGrath is the woman that is running against Mitch next year.  Amy McGrath is also the first female Marine Corps pilot to fly the F/A-18 on a combat mission. McGrath served for 20 years in the Marine Corps during which time she flew 89 combat missions bombing al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Mitchell McConnell, on the other hand, served exactly five weeks in the Army Reserve in 1967.

At any time and under any circumstances, the faux tombstone with his opponent’s name would be highly inappropriate.  But … the timing here could not have been much worse.  We just saw, for the umpteenth time, how a politician’s incitement can lead to deadly violence, and he pulls this crap?  And, not content to leave it alone, his campaign posted the pic on Twitter, alongside one of a smiling Mitchie, and the tweet is still there … has not been removed.  Every comment I read was negative, calling Mitch out for inciting violence, for disrespect, for inappropriateness.  If you ever wondered whether McConnell has a heart or a conscience, this should answer your question.

Ms. McGrath responded the next day …

“Hours after the El Paso shooting, Mitch McConnell proudly tweeted this photo. I find it so troubling that our politics have become so nasty and personal that the Senate Majority Leader thinks it’s appropriate to use imagery of the death of a political opponent (me) as messaging.”


The judge is pondering …

The judge is Judge Reggie Walton, and what he is pondering is … whether the redactions by the Justice Department in Robert Mueller’s final report fall under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and ought to be released to the public.

Two organizations, BuzzFeed and the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), have filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the black bars covering nearly 1,000 items in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page final report.  While no ruling has yet been handed down, at several points during yesterday’s proceedings, Judge Walton seemed increasingly skeptical of the government’s arguments pressing him to leave the redactions untouched.

Now, it is the opinion of this writer that the only valid reason at this point to have all those redactions would be if releasing them would cause a national security issue.  Frankly, I cannot conceive of a single piece of information in Mueller’s report that would create a genuine national security issue.  The long and short of it is that the redacted portions almost certainly prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump and his cronies acted outside the law.  It isn’t a ‘national’ security issue, but rather a ‘Trump’ security issue.

But, before you get excited, let me caution you that if Judge Walton rules for the plaintiffs (BuzzFeed and EPIC), Trump’s lawyers will have an appeal all ready to file, and it will be filed before you can blink your eyes five times.  The next judge may well be more of the opinion that Trump is above the law and that the public has no right to know how many laws he broke on the path to the Oval Office.  Still, there is some hope.


Okay, friends … enough snark for one day, don’t you think?  I leave you with a bit of humour …McConnell.jpg

Foot-Stomping Mad!

I am foot-stomping mad tonight over several things, not the least of which is the horrific shooting that has killed at least 20 people and injured 26 in an El Paso, Texas, Wal-Mart.

There is plenty of blame to go around, and no, I’m not going on a tirade at the moment about gun regulation and the NRA, although it would be easy and valid to do so.  But no, the blood from this shooting is on the hands of every single person in this nation who has cheered and applauded Trump’s anti-immigrant, racist rants.  It is on the hands of every single person who has shouted “build that wall!”  It is on the hands of every single person who believes immigrants do not belong in this nation.  It is on the hands of every single person who believes that white skin is somehow better than brown or black.  It is on the hands of every single person who has turned a blind eye to the maltreatment and abuse of children in detention camps.  And most of all, the blood is on the hands of Donald Trump himself.  It was only a matter of time before some damn fool took a notion to act on Trump’s words … after all, he has all but encouraged violence against immigrants, has painted immigrants as evil people out to murder those good, lily-white people and take their jobs, to boot.

In the past few weeks, as best anyone can tell, the only thing Trump has done is spend his days and nights carrying on with hate speech against people who happen not to be white.  An example … at a campaign rally (if he were actually the president, he wouldn’t have time to do all these campaign rallies, for he’d be busy working) in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this week, he riled the masses as he always does, and when a small group of protestors unfurled a banner that read “IMMIGRANTS BUILT AMERICA”, Trump’s loyal band of assholes snatched the banner and set to beating up the protestors.

The shooter in El Paso traveled some 600 miles, from Dallas to El Paso, a city whose population is 80% Latino.  The shooter, whom I shall not name out of respect for the victims, was Caucasian — white.  He was not Hispanic, nor of Middle Eastern descent … he was a white Texan. He had kept a manifesto that includes remarks attacking immigrants and sympathetic to the man who killed 51 people this year at two mosques in New Zealand.  The document lists “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” as one of several motivations for the attack.  Let me just remind everybody that Texas was founded by  Spanish conquistadors, and belonged to Mexico long before it became part of the U.S.

Meanwhile, #MoscowMitch McConnell and others in Congress expressed the usual “thoughts and prayers”.  Meaningless, useless thoughts and prayers, whereas for years and in some cases decades, they have passed up the opportunity to do something positive about the gun problem in the U.S.  Sorry, folks … keep your damn thoughts and prayers … give us action … address the gun problem.  It is a crisis every bit as much as the “opioid crisis” that everyone is so concerned about.  The gun crisis is more important, in my book, for these twenty who died in El Paso were innocent, some were even children.  They were killed through no fault or action of their own.

I will almost certainly have more to say about the El Paso mass shooting soon, but for today, let us move on to one of the other reasons for my foot-stomping …


On Monday, July 8th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to a tax law that would require the commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to share state income tax returns and reports when certain congressional committees request them.  This was a huge step forward … or could have been … in the investigations into Trump, his finances, his business interests, and potential Russian financial ties.  As Cuomo put it …

“This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”

But, the various committees, including the House Ways and Means committee, that had previously requested Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department, sat around the Capitol, twiddling their thumbs, debating whether to open an impeachment investigation or not, and they did not take advantage of the door that had been opened by Governor Cuomo.  They did not request the tax returns from the State of New York.

Trump and his lawyers, however, feared that someday soon the congressional committees might wake up and remember they owed something to the people who had elected them, remember that they had a constitutional obligation, and so … Trump did what he does best … he filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, July 23rd!  In the suit, he requested that the federal court prevent the House Ways and Means committee from seeking to obtain the New York tax returns, just in case they decided to do so … at some point.

Now for the kicker, the part that has me stomping my feet … last Thursday, federal Judge Carl Nichols granted a temporary order blocking New York state from turning over Trump’s tax returns. His reasoning?  He wished to ensure that, “Mr. Trump cannot suffer any harm”.  Trump can suffer no harm???  What about us???  We are suffering harm every hour of every day that he remains in office, but Judge Nichols wants to protect TRUMP???


I shall stop now, for I must go attend to my poor foot, which has been stomped so much that it has come open and red stuff is coming out of it.  Besides which, there are words about to come out of my fingertips that you’d rather not hear.  But, be advised that I am not done ranting … I’ll return later.

Snarky Snippets … Yes, Again!

It wasn’t my intention to write snarky snippets tonight, but … you know what Robert Burns said in his poem, To a Mouse“the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.  Well, actually he said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”  It’s rather a cute little poem, actually, though sad.

To a Mouse

On Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a pannic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

Thy wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!cartoon-mouse

But, I have managed to digress, haven’t I?  Now where was I?  Oh yes, snarky snippets … the big news of the day, of course, is the Democratic debates, but I shan’t speak of those.  Why?  Because I didn’t watch them, haven’t yet read the transcripts, and from what I hear they were something less than informative.  Later ones will, no doubt, be more relevant, but these … not so much.  Too many candidates who haven’t a snowball’s chance clutters the discussion. But it seems that everything I saw in the news today annoyed me in one way or another.  Take, for example …


A most unqualified nominee …

justin-walker

Justin Walker

Earlier this year, Trump nominated an attorney named Justin Walker to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Western District Court for Kentucky.  However, Walker is highly UN-qualified for the spot.  Turns out he has rarely spent any time in the courtroom, has never served as a sole or even lead lawyer in a federal trial case, apparently has never even taken a deposition from a witness, since he evaded that question more than once during his confirmation hearings.

“My role has been at times in the courtroom, but more often than not, exploring the law, writing about the law.”

The American Bar Association has warned the Senate that he is unqualified for the position. What, then, with little or no courtroom experience, possessed Trump to nominate him?  Well, turns out Walker pushed hard for the appointment and subsequent Senate approval of Brett Kavanaugh. The “good ol’ boy reward system” hard at work.

It seems a no-brainer that this nominee, like so many of Trump’s others (well, ALL of them, actually) is a poor choice and should not be confirmed by the Senate.  However, there is one senator, himself from Kentucky, who thinks Justin Walker is wonderful.  Can you guess who?mitch-justin-walker.pngYep, none other than #MoscowMitch himself.  Go figure.


Sigh … just shut up, Senator …

Kevin-Cramer

Senator Kevin Cramer

Unless you are from the state of North Dakota, you’ve probably never heard of Kevin Cramer.  Trust me, you’re not missing anything.  Kevin Cramer is one of two senators from North Dakota and is, apparently, not too bright.  In fact, after doing a bit of research this evening into Mr. Cramer’s not-so-illustrious career in the Senate, I am considering reprising my Idiot of the Week feature!

On Monday, for some reason, he addressed a gaggle of reporters.  When asked about Trump’s recent and ongoing tirade against Representative Elijah Cummings, he responded that Cummings …

“… is not a victim of racism. He’s been given great privilege. The thing that’s offensive more than anything is that … the anti-Trump folks in Congress – use their positions to keep the weird impeachment thing alive. It does get a little bit tiring to have somebody who’s achieved as much as Elijah Cummings somehow calling people racist as though somehow he hasn’t been given a fair shake. My goodness gracious, he’s the chairman of a major committee, he’s elected to Congress.

I’m not really in the position to determine whether an offense has been made or not, but I also know that people in this town that are members of Congress that have achieved high things don’t make very good victims. They’re always liberals that are claiming victimhood, and yet they’re paid the same as us. They have the same power as every other person that’s in Congress, some of them have achieved high accomplishments like Elijah Cummings, who, again, it’s impossible not to respect him.

I could be a victim of racism, but I don’t offend easily, I just don’t offend that easily.”

Say WHAT???

“Well, if somebody said something about being from North Dakota, every now and then I get a snicker about it, somebody will say something about North Dakota in some snide way, I don’t offend because I’m comfortable with where I come from, I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m comfortable with my own accomplishments and the accomplishments of our state.”

Seems to me this man needs to study the definition of the word ‘racism’.  Perhaps he could go on back to … what was the name of that obscure state that hardly anybody lives in again?


Well, folks, as you might guess, I have not yet run out of snark, for I haven’t even touched on Jeffrey Epstein yet, but … it’s late and I seem to have written enough for one night.  I’m sure I’ll be back with more later.  And one last thing.  Next time one of your republican friends (if you have any left) tells you that he has the right to speak his mind, tell him that as soon as he finds it, you’ll be interested to hear it!  Thanks to our friend Roger for that one!laughing-gif

Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part I

Mitch-McConnellAddison Mitchell McConnell is the very definition of corruption.  Last Friday, Dana Milbank wrote an opinion column in The Washington Post titled “Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset”.  The column so incensed McConnell that he went on a 30-minute tirade on the Senate floor yesterday, referring to the column as “modern-day McCarthyism”.  To Mr. McConnell I would say this:  If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

It is a proven fact that the Russians did interfere in our 2016 election and that without their assistance it is unlikely that Trump could have won enough votes to win the electoral college (remember that he lost the actual vote by nearly 3 million)Proven. Fact.  So, why would anybody who is elected to protect and preserve this nation, its Constitution, and its people, refuse to take steps to prevent intrusion by a foreign adversary?  Why???  Think about that one.  Meanwhile, since Mr. Milbank’s column annoyed ol’ Mitch so much, I present it here and will offer my own, as well as others’ views in Part II of this post tomorrow.


Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset

Dana-MilbankBy Dana Milbank, Columnist, July 26

 

Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.

This doesn’t mean he’s a spy, but neither is it a flip accusation. Russia attacked our country in 2016. It is attacking us today. Its attacks will intensify in 2020. Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocks us from defending ourselves.

Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.

Robert Mueller sat before Congress this week warning that the Russia threat “deserves the attention of every American.” He said “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in our election is among the most serious” challenges to American democracy he has ever seen. “They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign,” he warned, adding that “much more needs to be done in order to protect against these intrusions, not just by the Russians but others as well.”

Not three hours after Mueller finished testifying, Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI any offers of assistance from agents of foreign governments.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was there to represent her leader’s interests. “I object,” she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) attempted to move a bill that would require campaigns to report to the FBI contributions by foreign nationals.

“I object,” said Hyde-Smith.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to force action on bipartisan legislation, written with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), protecting lawmakers from foreign cyberattacks. “The majority leader, our colleague from Kentucky, must stop blocking this common-sense legislation and allow this body to better defend itself against foreign hackers,” he said.

“I object,” repeated Hyde-Smith.

The next day, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader, asked for the Senate to pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, already passed by the House, that would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots.

McConnell himself responded this time, reading from a statement, his chin melting into his chest, his trademark thin smile on his lips. “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia,” he said. “Therefore, I object.” McConnell also objected to another attempt by Blumenthal to pass his bill.

Pleaded Schumer: “I would suggest to my friend the majority leader: If he doesn’t like this bill, let’s put another bill on the floor and debate it.”

But McConnell has blocked all such attempts, including:

A bipartisan bill requiring Facebook, Google and other Internet companies to disclose purchasers of political ads, to identify foreign influence.

A bipartisan bill to ease cooperation between state election officials and federal intelligence agencies.

A bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on any entity that attacks a U.S. election.

A bipartisan bill with severe new sanctions on Russia for its cybercrimes.

McConnell has prevented them all from being considered — over and over again. This is the same McConnell who, in the summer of 2016, when briefed by the CIA along with other congressional leaders on Russia’s electoral attacks, questioned the validity of the intelligence and forced a watering down of a warning letter to state officials about the threat, omitting any mention of Russia.

No amount of alarms sounded by U.S. authorities — even Republicans, even Trump appointees — moves McConnell.

On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray — Trump’s FBI director — told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russians “haven’t been deterred enough” and are “absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections.”

This year, National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats — Trump’s intelligence director — told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “foreign actors will view the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics.”

And on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report finding that “Russian activities demand renewed attention to vulnerabilities in U.S. voting infrastructure.”

The committee concluded that “urgent steps” are needed “to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” (The $380 million offered since 2016 is a pittance compared with the need.) “Despite the expense, cybersecurity needs to become a higher priority for election-related infrastructure,” the report concluded.

But one man blocks it all — while offering no alternative of his own.

Presumably he thinks whatever influence Russia exerts over U.S. elections will benefit him (he’s up for reelection in 2020) and his party.

“Shame on him,” Schumer said on the Senate floor this week.

But McConnell has no shame. He is aiding and abetting Putin’s dismantling of Americans’ self-governance. A leader who won’t protect our country from attack is no patriot.

First thoughts on Mueller’s testimony

Yesterday, at long last, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in a televised session before Congress … for nearly seven hours! I did not watch it, for a) I don’t have 7 hours to spare in any given day, b) I cannot sit and do nothing for more than about 5 minutes, which is why it takes me nearly a week to get through a movie, and c) I knew I could catch the action during and after the fact from a wide variety of sources.

One of those sources is our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and he did not disappoint. His take on it is honest, unbiased, clear, and cuts through all the b.s. to wrap it all up into a neat, easily readable, OpEd. My comment on Jeff’s post will give you my opinion of it all. Thank you, Jeff, for writing this with such clarity and saving me 4-5 hours of work! I owe you one!

On The Fence Voters

The marine who received a purple heart for his exemplary service in Vietnam and spent most of his life working for the American people, spoke today. My question is, did the American people listen?

The vast majority of the people in this country has not read the Mueller Report. Anyone expecting to learn a great deal more about the report from Robert Mueller’s testimony today was going to be sorely disappointed. My expectations were low, to begin with, and after watching the nearly seven-hour spectacle, that opinion has not changed.

Based on his nine-minute press conference a few months ago, which culminated in his resignation from the Special Counsel’s office, it wasn’t hard to figure out that if called to testify, he would do so reluctantly, and would not veer from the report in any substantial way. And that’s precisely how it went today.

It was also easy to predict…

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GOP Supporting ‘Rule of Law’ Have Sponsored Ad To Push US Senate To Secure US Elections

If you think that we are not in the midst of a Constitutional crisis, if you believe that somehow it will all work out fine … you need to read this post by Gronda. We are on a dark path headed to … the destruction of fair elections, the demolition of law and order, and the shredding of the U.S. Constitution. Thank you, Gronda, for your hard work and for so much valuable information.

Gronda Morin

“This ad from Republicans for the Rule of Law calls on Congress to act, as the president clearly won’t, on the urgent matter of protecting our elections from foreign interference. It will air Monday on cable news networks. If you agree, do forward it to your member of Congress.”

Image result for images of helsinki trump russia summit

It’s a sad state of affairs when the experts who surround the President Donald J. Trump can’t discuss Russia having successfully launched a full throttle cyber and propaganda attack in 2016 on our US elections system, and that Russia plans a repeat performance during the 2020 US elections cycle; and to review plans about what’s being done by the US government regarding this issue, without fear of ‘poking the bear’s’ wrath. With this background, it’s hard to justify the US House’s avoidance of it doing it’s…

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Out of the pool

Once again, our friend Keith has been thinking and come up with some ideas that I think have a great deal of merit. Granted, they will likely never see the light of day, but … I surely wish they would. Heck, I’m all for starting a campaign to elect Keith Wilson as the next president of the United States! All in favour? Thank you, Keith, for some excellent thoughts.

musingsofanoldfart

I think it is time to fire any politician in Washington who is forgetting why they are there. We could start with the White House incumbent and then take out hundreds of members of Congress in both Houses. I understand fully Congress must investigate and provide oversight over the Executive Branch. That is part of their job and the current incumbent has given them cause to dig further.

Yet, I have this simple idea that leaders of both houses sit down with legislative liaisons from the White House and figure out some things they can pass and sign into law. I think a civilian board could list about a dozen major issues to focus on and say work these out. It should not take a civilian board, but these folks are too beholden to funders to come up with a workable list.

A key reason for not listing the problems…

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GASP!!! Have They Found A Conscience?

Are republican senators finally finding their consciences?  More likely they are worried about their own patooties next election, but either way, it is encouraging to see them standing up to Trump for a change. Two stories in this morning’s news give reason to hope that the blinders are coming off, that Senate republicans are beginning to remember that their allegiance is to We the People, not the madman in the Oval Office.


The first issue is the tariffs that Trump has threatened to impose on goods imported from Mexico – another of his bullying tactics to attempt to force another country to bend to his will.  The tariffs would crush Mexico’s economy, as 80% of their exports are to the U.S., and it would hurt the consumers in this nation as well, though Trump either does not understand, or more likely simply does not care.

Yesterday, two “administration officials” attended a lunch with the Senate during which the proposed tariffs were discussed.  A number of republican senators expressed their opposition …

“I think the administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval on another national emergency act, this time trying to implement tariffs. Tariffs are not real popular in the Republican conference.” – Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

“I want you to take back that you didn’t hear a single ‘yes’ in this room.” – Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

“We’re holding a gun to our own heads.” – Senator John Cornyn, Texas

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio questioned the administration’s legal rationale for levying the tariffs, asking the officials to explain how it could use a law that has never been implemented to impose tariffs — the International Emergency Economic Powers Act — to, in fact, impose tariffs.  Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado told the officials that they need to stop with the tariffs.

When asked if he felt that the Senate could come up with a veto-proof majority to block the tariffs, Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said, “I sure do.  There’s just a weariness of tariffs as the only tool in the tool kit that gets used.”  Even Mitch McConnell had to admit …

“There is not much support in my conference for tariffs — that’s for sure.”

Only time will tell if the senators are willing to put their vote where their mouth is and stand up to the bully in the Oval Office.  Trump, on being told that there was little if any support in the Senate for his tariffs took his usual mafia-sounding spiel …

“Oh, I don’t think they will do that. I think if they did it’s foolish.”


Last month, Trump declared an emergency to bypass Congress and expedite billions of dollars in arms sales to various countries — including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the decision, saying …

“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

At the time of the announcement, there was some bi-partisan support in Congress for blocking the sales, but the icing was spread on the cake yesterday when it was discovered that that Trump had allowed U.S. nuclear energy companies to share technology and other information with Saudi Arabia on October 18, 2018 — just 16 days after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul — and again February 18, 2019, less than a week after the House voted to end U.S. backing for the Saudi-led military effort in Yemen’s civil war.  Both the House and the Senate voted for the bill to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen, but Trump vetoed the bill, and neither chamber of Congress was able to come up with a 2/3 majority to override the veto.

As a result, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham are working together in an effort to block the 22 arms deals that would largely benefit Saudi Arabia, a move that seeks to quash the administration’s attempt to use emergency powers to circumvent congressional objections.  Given that Graham has long been one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders and has defended the indefensible on more than one occasion, this is certainly encouraging news.

There is also bi-partisan support for blocking the arms sales in the House of Representatives where it is said members are also considering re-writing the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 to impose tighter restrictions on the use of the “emergency authority” provision, tightening the loophole Trump used to justify the sale so it could only be used for “true emergencies”.

Again, time will tell whether the republicans in Congress are finally ready to re-assess their blind support of everything Trump demands and represent the people of this nation, or if they will once again fall prey to the bullying of the madman at the helm.

Mitch McConnell: Enemy of the People

Senator Mitch McConnell has gone too far, has far overstepped his bounds.  In fact, it would seem that there are no limits, no boundaries to what McConnell believes is within his rights.

There is hard, irrefutable, fact-based evidence that the Russians interfered in numerous ways with our 2016 election, likely the only reason we have a madman in the Oval Office today.  Set aside for the moment the issue of how involved Donald Trump’s campaign was with the Russian efforts, for while that is important, today I wish to address something else. mcconnell-2Our intelligence agencies have warned that the Russians are already up to their shenanigans in an effort to do a repeat performance in 2020.  Even Trump’s butt-kissing Attorney General Barr has said that conditions still exist that would allow this scenario to repeat in 2020.  FBI Director Christopher Wray and Robert Mueller have warned that if we do nothing, the 2020 election will be compromised.

Last year, a bill with bipartisan support in the Senate, the Secure Elections Act, that would have …

  • Promoted better information sharing about cybersecurity threats
  • Funded improvements to state election systems and processes through federal grants
  • Established a bug bounty program to uncover new vulnerabilities in election systems

Not enough, but a darn good start.  The bill was squelched just 90 minutes before it was set to be heard on August 22nd.  We now know who squelched it … Mitch McConnell.  Today, there are three bills in the Senate that address election security:

  • Protecting the Right to Independent and Democratic Elections (PRIDE) Act
  • Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act
  • Honest Ads Act, which would give online political ads the same disclosure requirements as political ads on television and other media

All three were introduced last year and re-introduced this year after the 115th Congress failed to act.  And, it looks as if the 116th will also fail to act, all because of one man:  Mitch McConnell.mcconnell-1Last week, it came to light from another senator, Roy Blunt of Missouri, that McConnell has made it quite clear that he will not allow the Senate to consider any election security bills.  Process that for a minute.  One man … one single man has the power to ensure that we will have an election, perhaps the most important election in our lifetimes, that completely lacks integrity.

His reason appears to be that any talk of the 2016 Russian interference upsets Donald Trump, and McConnell, among others, lacks the courage, the guts, to stand up to Trump and do the right thing.  How does such a wimp get elected to the Senate to begin with, let alone stay there for thirty-four years?  Mitch is 77 years of age … he’s well past his prime and is another of those old, bigoted white men that we need to purge from Congress!

This is the third time in a week that I have heard of people doing the wrong thing for the sole purpose of protecting Don Trump’s fragile ego.  Wake up, people!  Don Trump is 72 years old, not two.  If he couldn’t take the heat, he should have stayed out of the kitchen!

There is but one republican in all of Congress who I can respect, who has courage, who is not attached by puppet strings to Donald Trump, and that is Justin Amash.  But again, that is a story for another day.

I don’t know about you folks, but I am livid at the thought that an elected official, one who has been taking taxpayer money for 34 years now, would so blatantly act against the best interests of every single person in this nation in order to keep Trump happy, for everyone knows that if you make Trump angry, he will call you names.

Consider for a moment the results of the Russian interference in 2016.  We ended up with the most corrupt president the nation has ever seen.  A madman, a warmonger, a fool who acts first and thinks later, if he thinks at all.  And now, according to McConnell, we may well end up stuck with him for at least another four years, just because Mitch wishes to stay in the good graces of that same fool?  Not only that, but quite possibly the interference will filter down to congressional elections also, and it may be that he who gets the most votes … loses.

We’ve heard a lot about ‘obstruction of justice’ lately … is what McConnell is doing not also obstruction of justice?  He is, after all, keeping Congress from doing their job and denying the people of this nation, the people who pay his salary, the right to a fair and unfettered election.