R.I.P. Bipartisanship

I think most people see bipartisanship as the ideal way to get things done in our lawmaking branch of government known as Congress.  We’d all like to think that both Democrats and Republicans are acting in the best interest of the people of this nation and that they are taking their oaths to the Constitution seriously.  After all, we elected them and we pay their salaries, benefits and perks from our hard-earned money!  I, for one, have long felt that moderation and bipartisanship, working across the aisle, meeting halfway in the spirit of compromise was the best way to ensure that we are all served well by our elected officials.  Today, however, I honestly believe that bipartisanship is a mirage, that true cooperation between the two parties is dead, a relic of the past.  Whether or not it will ever be resurrected remains to be seen at some point in the future, but today, there is not a single Republican in either chamber of Congress who even understands the meaning of the word “compromise”.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently published an OpEd that addresses this and his thoughts parallel my own.  Sadly, this is the state of affairs in the United States Congress today.


Stop Hoping the G.O.P. Will Play Ball

June 20, 2021

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

I am truly baffled as to why Democrats continue to search for bipartisan support that has not only been illusory, but nonexistent — with the exception of a predictable few and only on a few issues with them.

Democrats: Republicans don’t want you to win. It’s that simple. They want no successes on your watch, and they certainly don’t want to participate in said victories.

And yet the reports keep pouring in of Democrats bending over backward and gutting their bills in a desperate effort to win Republican support.

It seems to me that this has all been a performance, a going through the motions, a checking of the boxes, so that Democrats could say that they tried, that they extended a hand but were rebuffed. Democrats always seem to want to win the moral advantage, to say that they played the game with honor.

But that is meaningless when Republicans no longer care about that form of morality, when they no longer want to play the game by the established rules at all. Democrats are playing an honor game; Republicans are playing an endgame.

Republicans are in win-at-all-costs mode. They don’t really care how they sound today or will be judged by history. The only thing that matters is winning and retaining power, defending the narrative of America that white people created and protecting the power and wealth they accrued because of it.

As The Washington Post reported Sunday, “the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alongside race, color, religion and national origin,” has stalled because of “sharpening Republican rhetoric, one key Democrat’s insistence on bipartisanship, and the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority rule.”

Last week, Senator Joe Manchin offered some changes and reductions to the voter rights bill called the For the People Act, changes that he could support and that he hoped would win some Republican support. His compromised stance was quickly rebuffed by Republicans. Manchin had also offered alterations to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which seeks to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act.

But, as Talking Points Memo wrote, Manchin’s changes would basically gut the bill. As T.P.M. put it, “One of those proposed changes would decrease the attorney general’s ability to deem a voting practice discriminatory without a judicial finding.”

Politico reported on Friday that the White House will lean more on the bully pulpit as its voting rights bills grind to a halt. This includes engaging the public more, partnering with corporations and leaning on the Justice Department to challenge some state laws.

Politico is also reporting that Democrats are preemptively scaling back gun control legislation — pre-emptively taking the compromise position — to avoid a Republican roadblock that will most likely still remain. According to Politico:

“Democrats are preparing to vote on a scaled-down guns bill — most likely a curtailed plan to boost background checks for firearm buyers. The goal is to unite the party and pick up a limited number of Republican votes, even as their effort appears headed towards the same doomed fate as previous proposals to curb gun violence.”

Rather than continuing to peddle a false optimism that bipartisanship on most major legislation is truly possible with this Republican Party, Democrats need to tell their voters some uncomfortable truths.

First, the obvious: Even though Democrats have control of the House and Senate, not everyone in this caucus is fully committed to a liberal policy agenda. That means that the moderates, like Manchin, are the de facto leaders of the Democratic majority. Nothing passes without their approval.

It is these very same moderates who stand in the way of eliminating the filibuster.

And it is precisely for those reasons that very little is likely to get passed through this Senate that liberals will find satisfying. Democrats must brace for massive disappointment.

Furthermore, we are barreling toward midterm elections in which Republicans are optimistic about winning back the House and possibly the Senate.

I say dispense with the phony, wish-driven narrative Democrats are selling. Go down screaming and fighting. Much of the Democratic agenda may be stalled, but never stop reminding voters why it is: not because Democrats haven’t compromised enough, but because they could never compromise enough.

The current status quo is an unwinnable negotiation, because it isn’t a negotiation. This is a war. And in it, all is fair. Republicans have embraced a liar and racist in Donald Trump because their voters embraced him. They have excused and multiplied, in fantastical ways, the insurrection at the Capitol. They are rushing to write voter restrictions that also give them more say over how results are verified.

In the face of all this, Democrats need to stop talking about reaching across the aisle, compromise and common ground.

They need to go on the record and speak plainly: The Republican Party has given up on the idea of a true and full democracy. They are attempting to tear it down and erect in its place a system that reduces voter rolls and skews the will of the American people.

For the Republican Party, the success of democracy — that growing numbers of people could participate — is its failure.

Lost Values …

The time has come, say the Republicans in Congress, to put the impeachment behind us and move on.  In one sense, I agree.  It is more relevant to study the positive changes President Biden is making, to look to the future which we can do now that we have a president who is intelligent, who will honour his oath of office, and who genuinely cares about the people of this country.

However, there are a few loose ends that still demand our attention, lest we make the same mistakes in the future that we made in the recent past.  One of those things, perhaps the one that most bothers me, is what the acquittal and related events say about nearly half of this nation, nearly half of Congress – the Republican Party, aka GOP.  The acquittal becomes, at this point, secondary to the fact that the Republican Party and likely the voters on that side of the aisle, are busily censuring the 10 members of the House of Representatives who voted with conscience to impeach, and the 7 senators who voted, again with conscience, to convict.  It speaks volumes about the values, or lack thereof, of the Republican Party as a whole, and what we can expect from them in the future.  The values of the Republican Party … what an oxymoron that is.

Our friend Keith has written a letter to the editor of his local paper expressing his views on the plans of the party to censure those 17 people who had the courage to do the right thing, to uphold their oaths to We the People.  Please take a look at Keith’s letter, and he invites you to adapt and use it if you wish, as I plan to do.

It is my sincere hope that the people in this nation, the voters, will remember that when push came to shove, the majority of the Republicans in Congress shredded their copy of the Constitution and instead pursued a course of action that will have ramifications well into the future.  Future presidents who have an axe to grind will not hesitate to commit heinous abuses of power in their last weeks in office, knowing that the precedent has been set, that they will not be punished for their actions, even if people die as a result.  At some point, will a president more successfully stage a coup such as the one that ultimately failed on January 6th, taking unearned power and turning this nation into an autocracy?  I don’t know, but I suspect at some point it could happen.

At present, I am less concerned about Donald Trump running for office again in 2024 than I am about future attacks occurring around the country by those domestic terrorists, Trump’s ardent, conscienceless followers egged on by Trump and others such as Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, et al.  I suspect that Trump will be dealt with in the coming year or two, but his reckless, ignorant base will remain … a can of worms has been opened that will not simply disappear.  This, then, is what the Republicans in Congress have wrought and if their party goes down the tubes as a result, then good enough.

Meanwhile, we should thank and applaud those 17 Republicans who put the nation ahead of their personal fortunes, who had the courage to tell the truth, that what Donald Trump did was unthinkable, and that he must pay the price for his actions.  These people deserve a medal, not censure!  If the Republican Party has a future, it lies with people like Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Liz Cheney, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, and the others who still remember their oath, who still have a conscience.

We Will NOT Forget!

In case you didn’t notice, there is a trial of some importance taking place this week in Washington, D.C.  Now, I used to watch Perry Mason, and a number of other courtroom dramas, the names of which elude me at the moment, so I have an idea how a trial is supposed to be conducted, how lawyers, defendants, and jurors are supposed to act, but this trial is like nothing I have ever seen before.

First, the defendant is nowhere to be seen.  He decided that it was too cold up north to leave his Florida resort, and besides, he had a golf game scheduled for yesterday.  But what really blows my mind is the jurors!  Have you ever seen a trial where the jurors, rather than being bothered with listening to the evidence being presented by the prosecution, got up and walked around, texted on their phones … about breast milk, for some strange reason?

Worse yet, can you imagine a murder trial where three of the jurors have a closed-door session with the defense attorneys???  NO, just NO … this is illegal, immoral, unconscionable, and a number of other adjectives I can think of once the steam stops coming out of my ears!

House impeachment managers, the prosecution, were presenting compelling evidence of the attack on Congress and the Capitol and the defendant’s involvement in said attack on Wednesday afternoon, but Ted Cruz and several other Republican senators were apparently bored watching themselves narrowly escape the violence on January 6th and instead sought other distractions, such as shuffling papers, or playing on their cell phones like Teddy was doing.

Under absolutely no circumstances, in a trial, are the lawyers on either side allowed to meet in private with jurors.  That is called tampering with the jury, it is illegal.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Trump’s legal team and the three Republican senators, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee are all in violation of the law for their little tête-à-tête .  They are attempting to turn this trial into a sham, but all they are doing is further destroying their reputations and that of the Republican Party, for they are proving with every passing minute that there is no collective conscience.  The Republican Party has decided that they don’t need to represent the will of the people, but instead will do whatever they damn well please, and force us to continue to pay their salaries.

“We were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts,” said Cruz.  No, jackass … you are not a member of the legal team … you are the jury!  Your job is to listen to both sides and decide which has merit, not collude with one side against the other.  You are the damn jurors in this case!  In a normal trial, the judge would at this point likely declare a mistrial and schedule a new trial, else dismiss the jurors and call for a new selection.  But this is an impeachment trial and apparently the Republicans in Congress are allowed to make and break the rules with impunity. Imagine if the Democrats tried that!

The public has heard the evidence, and while the corruption is so rampant in the Republican Party that the senators will allow a conman, a man guilty of plotting murder free to incite further violence, to kill again, We the People know that he is guilty.  We weren’t playing on our cell phones while the evidence was being presented, and we did not collude with the lawyers for the defense.  We saw the evidence, we know Donald Trump is guilty, and we will never again trust him or those senators who refused to perform their duty, to uphold their oaths.  We Will Not Forget. Ever.

What A President Sounds Like

What follows is an interview with President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United Sates.  Listen to his words, watch him … and then compare him to the clown who is currently, as our friend Jeff says, “batshit crazy”.  Need I say more?

This, my friends, is statesmanship, this is how a president who cares about the people in his country speaks, thinks, and acts.

89 Former Defense Officials Speak

The following is a letter published in The Washington Post yesterday, written and signed by 89 former Defense officials.  The letter speaks for itself …


President Trump continues to use inflammatory language as many Americans protest the unlawful death of George Floyd and the unjust treatment of black Americans by our justice system. As the protests have grown, so has the intensity of the president’s rhetoric. He has gone so far as to make a shocking promise: to send active-duty members of the U.S. military to “dominate” protesters in cities throughout the country — with or without the consent of local mayors or state governors.

On Monday, the president previewed his approach on the streets of Washington. He had 1,600 troops from around the country transported to the D.C. area, and placed them on alert, as an unnamed Pentagon official put it, “to ensure faster employment if necessary.” As part of the show of force that Trump demanded, military helicopters made low-level passes over peaceful protesters — a military tactic sometimes used to disperse enemy combatants — scattering debris and broken glass among the crowd. He also had a force, including members of the National Guard and federal officers, that used flash-bang grenades, pepper spray and, according to eyewitness accounts, rubber bullets to drive lawful protesters, as well as members of the media and clergy, away from the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church. All so he could hold a politically motivated photo op there with members of his team, including, inappropriately, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Looting and violence are unacceptable acts, and perpetrators should be arrested and duly tried under the law. But as Monday’s actions near the White House demonstrated, those committing such acts are largely on the margins of the vast majority of predominantly peaceful protests. While several past presidents have called on our armed services to provide additional aid to law enforcement in times of national crisis — among them Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson — these presidents used the military to protect the rights of Americans, not to violate them.

As former leaders in the Defense Department — civilian and military, Republican, Democrat and independent — we all took an oath upon assuming office “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” as did the president and all members of the military, a fact that Gen. Milley pointed out in a recent memorandum to members of the armed forces. We are alarmed at how the president is betraying this oath by threatening to order members of the U.S. military to violate the rights of their fellow Americans.

President Trump has given governors a stark choice: either end the protests that continue to demand equal justice under our laws, or expect that he will send active-duty military units into their states. While the Insurrection Act gives the president the legal authority to do so, this authority has been invoked only in the most extreme conditions when state or local authorities were overwhelmed and were unable to safeguard the rule of law. Historically, as Secretary Esper has pointed out, it has rightly been seen as a tool of last resort.

Beyond being unnecessary, using our military to quell protests across the country would also be unwise. This is not the mission our armed forces signed up for: They signed up to fight our nation’s enemies and to secure — not infringe upon — the rights and freedoms of their fellow Americans. In addition, putting our servicemen and women in the middle of politically charged domestic unrest risks undermining the apolitical nature of the military that is so essential to our democracy. It also risks diminishing Americans’ trust in our military — and thus America’s security — for years to come.

As defense leaders who share a deep commitment to the Constitution, to freedom and justice for all Americans, and to the extraordinary men and women who volunteer to serve and protect our nation, we call on the president to immediately end his plans to send active-duty military personnel into cities as agents of law enforcement, or to employ them or any another military or police forces in ways that undermine the constitutional rights of Americans. The members of our military are always ready to serve in our nation’s defense. But they must never be used to violate the rights of those they are sworn to protect.

Leon E. Panetta, former defense secretary

Chuck Hagel, former defense secretary

Ashton B. Carter, former defense secretary

William S. Cohen, former defense secretary

Sasha Baker, former deputy chief of staff to the defense secretary

Donna Barbisch, retired major general in the U.S. Army

Jeremy Bash, chief of staff to the defense secretary

Jeffrey P. Bialos, former deputy under secretary of defense for industrial affairs

Susanna V. Blume, former deputy chief of staff to the deputy defense secretary

Ian Brzezinski, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Europe and NATO

Gabe Camarillo, former assistant secretary of the Air Force

Kurt M. Campbell, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Asia and the Pacific

Michael Carpenter, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Rebecca Bill Chavez, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Western hemisphere affairs

Derek Chollet, former assistant defense secretary for international security affairs

Dan Christman, retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army and former assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

James Clapper, former under secretary of defense for intelligence and director of national intelligence

Eliot A. Cohen, former member of planning staff for the defense department and former member of the Defense Policy Board

Erin Conaton, former under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness

John Conger, former principal deputy under secretary of defense

Peter S. Cooke, retired major general of the U.S. Army Reserve

Richard Danzig, former secretary of the U.S. Navy

Janine Davidson, former under secretary of the U.S. Navy

Robert L. Deitz, former general counsel at the National Security Agency

Abraham M. Denmark, former deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia

Michael B. Donley, former secretary of the U.S. Air Force

John W. Douglass, retired brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy

Raymond F. DuBois, former acting under secretary of the U.S. Army

Eric Edelman, former under secretary of defense for policy

Eric Fanning, former secretary of the U.S. Army

Evelyn N. Farkas, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Michèle A. Flournoy, former under secretary of defense for policy

Nelson M. Ford, former under secretary of the U.S. Army

Alice Friend, former principal director for African affairs in the office of the under defense secretary for policy

John A. Gans Jr., former speechwriter for the defense secretary

Sherri Goodman, former deputy under secretary of defense for environmental security

André Gudger, former deputy assistant defense secretary for manufacturing and industrial base policy

Robert Hale, former under secretary of defense and Defense Department comptroller

Michael V. Hayden, retired general in the U.S. Air Force and former director of the National Security Agency and CIA

Mark Hertling, retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army and former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe

Kathleen H. Hicks, former principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy

Deborah Lee James, former secretary of the U.S. Air Force

John P. Jumper, retired general of the U.S. Air Force and former chief of staff of the Air Force

Colin H. Kahl, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Middle East policy

Mara E. Karlin, former deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy and force development

Frank Kendall, former under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics

Susan Koch, former deputy assistant defense secretary for threat-reduction policy

Ken Krieg, former under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics

William Leonard, former deputy assistant defense secretary for security and information operations

Steven J. Lepper, retired major general of the U.S. Air Force

George Little, former Pentagon press secretary

William J. Lynn III, former deputy defense secretary

Ray Mabus, former secretary of the U.S. Navy and former governor of Mississippi

Kelly Magsamen, former principal deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs

Carlos E. Martinez, retired brigadier general of the U.S. Air Force Reserve

Michael McCord, former under secretary of defense and Defense Department comptroller

Chris Mellon, former deputy assistant defense secretary for intelligence

James N. Miller, former under secretary of defense for policy

Edward T. Morehouse Jr., former principal deputy assistant defense secretary and former acting assistant defense secretary for operational energy plans and programs

Jamie Morin, former director of cost assessment and program evaluation at the Defense Department and former acting under secretary of the U.S. Air Force

Jennifer M. O’Connor, former general counsel of the Defense Department

Sean O’Keefe, former secretary of the U.S. Navy

Dave Oliver, former principal deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics

Robert B. Pirie, former under secretary of the U.S. Navy

John Plumb, former acting deputy assistant defense secretary for space policy

Eric Rosenbach, former assistant defense secretary for homeland defense and global security

Deborah Rosenblum, former acting deputy assistant defense secretary for counternarcotics

Todd Rosenblum, acting assistant defense secretary for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs

Tommy Ross, former deputy assistant defense secretary for security cooperation

Henry J. Schweiter, former deputy assistant defense secretary

David B. Shear, former assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs

Amy E. Searight, former deputy assistant defense secretary for South and Southeast Asia

Vikram J. Singh, former deputy assistant defense secretary for South and Southeast Asia

Julianne Smith, former deputy national security adviser to the vice president and former principal director for Europe and NATO policy

Paula Thornhill, retired brigadier general of the Air Force and former principal director for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs

Jim Townsend, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Europe and NATO policy

Sandy Vershbow, former assistant defense secretary for international security affairs

Michael Vickers, former under secretary of defense for intelligence

Celeste Wallander, former deputy assistant defense secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Andrew Weber, former assistant defense secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs

William F. Wechsler, former deputy assistant defense secretary for special operations and combating terrorism

Doug Wilson, former assistant defense secretary for public affairs

Anne A. Witkowsky, former deputy assistant defense secretary for stability and humanitarian affairs

Douglas Wise, former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Daniel P. Woodward, retired brigadier general of the U.S. Air Force

Margaret H. Woodward, retired major general of the U.S. Air Force

Carl Woog, former deputy assistant to the defense secretary for communications

Robert O. Work, former deputy defense secretary

Dov S. Zakheim, former under secretary of defense and Defense Department comptroller

He Didn’t Read The Job Description …

Apparently, when Donald Trump decided to run for president of this nation, he did not understand the job, nor did he bother to read the job description.  I would like to correct that oversight at this time.

The United States of America, a misnomer by today’s standards, is comprised of 50 states.  Each of the 50 are part and parcel of the nation, and no one state carries greater weight than another, except by merit of population size as regards number of representatives in the House.  The people who are elected to ‘lead’ this nation are elected and expected to lead all 50 states with equal fervour.

It matters not whether those people are black or white, whether they are Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist, matters not one whit if they are straight or gay, nor whether they are democrat or republican … they ALL have the right to equal representation by the members of Congress and by the president.  EQUAL.  The president does not … I repeat … the president does NOT get to choose certain people to represent while leaving the bulk of the population out in the cold.  This is not how it works.

But this is how Donald Trump believes it works and he has concluded that he only needs to represent the people who agree with him on every issue.  Further, he has decided to represent only people who live in states whose governors agree with him and bow to his wishes.  Hmmmm … sounds more like a king than a president, doesn’t it … an evil king at that.

Now, for starters, consider that no matter what state you live in, your state has likely broke the piggy bank since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.  New York has had the most cases of any state in the nation – 288,045 cases, 22,269 deaths as of this writing.  Add to that the more than $3.1 billion they have paid out thus far in unemployment claims, and you can see why the state is asking the federal government for assistance.  Some 8.4 million people live in the State of New York.  And yet, because the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is a democrat, Trump, along with Mitch McConnell has basically given all those 8.4 million people the middle finger.

“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?”

Because, asshole, you swore an oath to protect the people of this country.  The people who live in California, New York, Illinois and every other state are your responsibility.  Oh wait … Trump doesn’t understand that word, ‘responsibility’, for it has more than four letters.  To deem that any state is less worthy than another in these circumstances is unconscionable!  And, for those who are Trump supporters, you may wish to consider that this affects YOU too!

But it gets even worse.  You will remember that Trump doesn’t like immigrants, right?  One of his first acts after taking office was trying to ban Middle Eastern immigrants coming to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim nations. Shortly thereafter he began his horrendous acts of abuse toward Latino immigrants at the southern border taking children from their parents, keeping them in cages, and as we now know, those children were often subjected to terrible conditions, including sexual abuse. immigrant childWell, turns out that Trump hates immigrants so much that he is punishing even citizens of this nation by withholding the stimulus checks of anybody who happens to be married to an immigrant!  A lawsuit has been filed against Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin by a man in Illinois.  Unfortunately, given that Attorney General William Barr has said Trump is above the law, I’m not sure how far the suit will get unless … it is joined by many more in the same situation and made a class action suit.

There are hundreds of examples of Trump’s lack of understanding just what, exactly, is expected of the president, and these are only the two most recent ones to flit across my radar.  There will, no doubt, be at least two more tomorrow.  Oh, one last thing … if you received a stimulus payment, whether by direct deposit or a physical check (unless, of course, you are married to an immigrant), you will be receiving a letter from Donald Trump sometime soon.  He will be telling you how wonderful it was that he signed the bill into law that provided for those monies.  I shan’t tell you what to do with your letter, but I plan to send mine back, with three words written in large letters in red Sharpie:  F*ck You, Bastard!  And the postage cost of $0.45 will be the best half-dollar I’ve ever spent!

I almost forgot … two more things:  First, I have achieved a high honour … I was on Twitter a few nights ago and a friend had commented on a post by Trump’s son, Eric.  I, however, was not able to read Eric’s post, for he has blocked me!  I was so thrilled!  I must have hit a raw nerve somewhere along the line, though I cannot remember a single time I’ve responded to him, or even seen any of his posts.

The second thing is just a bit of humour that was sent to me by both Colette and Roger a few days ago … I think you’ll enjoy it!

Letter To Republican Senator

I think that if there is a chance that the U.S. Senate will remember their oath of office, will remember that their oath is to the U.S. Constitution, not the president, and that their loyalty damn well better be to We the People, it will only happen if we remind them.  Seems many of them have forgotten where to look for their conscience, their values.  I think the time has come to remind them.

Below is the letter I have sent to the republican senator in my own state.  Feel free to take any of the ideas expressed within if you write to your own senators.

Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing to you today, because as a resident of the State of Ohio, a citizen of the United States, I am very concerned about the actions of the Senate. 

First, I would like to remind you that you took an oath whereby you swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  Your loyalty is to the people of this nation, not the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office today.  We currently have the most corrupt president in the history of this nation, and frankly he has brought our reputation to its knees.  We are no longer regarded as a trusted ally by virtually any nation.  We have let the people of the entire world down with our complete disregard for the environment.  And all this has occurred in the last three years, and all because of the corruption that begins and ends with Donald Trump.

I believe it is a foregone conclusion that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Donald Trump, possibly before the end of this year.  And then, Senator, the ball will be in your court.  The majority of people in this nation support the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Donald Trump.  Nothing less is acceptable, for the fate of not only this nation, but every nation in the world is at stake.  I firmly believe that within the next twelve months, Donald Trump will do everything in his power to ensure that next year’s election will be so dishonest and unfair that it will be a complete sham, a mockery of any democratic principles that remain in our nation.

I ask that you think long and hard about the actions of the Senate, search your own conscience and ask yourself if your loyalty to Donald Trump is of more value than your loyalty to the people who voted you into office.  Is your dedication to Donald Trump truly worth selling out your own values?  Is it worth risking your own career?  Can you look your three children in the eye and tell them how important it is to always ‘do the right thing’?  And perhaps for you the most important question:  Do you wish to be re-elected in 2022?  We the People have long memories, and if you fail us this time, I promise to do everything in my power to see that you never serve a third term in the U.S. Senate.

I think you know the right thing to do.  Please remember your oath of office, remember the people you are paid to serve, and do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, voter/citizen/taxpayer

Time For Some ‘Toons!

It’s been another of those weeks that was filled with ‘breaking news’, most of it angst-inducing.  These days, as never before at least in my recollection, has it been so difficult, nearly impossible, to keep up with it all.  To a large extent, perhaps that is the intent of the small mind in the Oval Office.  I have no less than five posts started, but before I can finish one, something else pops up and the result is I cannot focus at all now, so … I decided it’s time for a cartoon break!


Last Monday morning, after a telephone conversation between Trump and Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan, Donald Trump announced that he would be pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, thus leaving our Kurdish allies to fend for themselves.  Since then, hundreds of Kurds have been slaughtered by the Turkish army.  Nothing funny about the situation, but the cartoonists sum it up well …

kurdskurds-2kurds-3kurds-4Thank you Kurdskurds-6kurds-7kurds-8kurds-9


And, of course the other big news concerns Trump’s other phone conversation, this one with President Zelenskyy of the Ukraine, whereby he attempted to bully, blackmail, or bribe Zelenskyy into ‘digging up dirt’ on one of Trump’s potential competitors in next year’s election, Joe Biden.  A whistleblower, concerned about the call and other issues, came forward, and it was this that at long last motivated the House to open a formal impeachment inquiry …

impeach-2impeach-4impeach-5ukrainewhistle-blower


Just under three weeks ’til Hallowe’en, folks.  Those kids who are hoping to score some treats at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might want to re-think that plan …

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c191009.tifimpeach-1-a


We all know of Trump’s ego … it goes beyond ego, really … narcissism, megalomania … I’ve never seen someone who thought himself to be so superior …

trump-egoBruce Plante Cartoon: Trump's new doortrump-ego-3


A last one … this, I believe, sums up the entire past three years …

trump-smoking-gun


Enjoy your weekend!

Extra Edition!

I typically only publish two posts (plus the music post) each day, but today I had to do another short one, for this one made me see red.

Lindsey-Graham-2Lindsey Graham is now asking every republican in the Senate to sign a ‘loyalty oath’ to Donald Trump, stating that they will stand behind the president in the face of the impeachment ‘threat’.  Now, the thing that is most galling about this is the fact that … every single member of Congress has already sworn an oath … to uphold the Constitution.  They have in effect sworn an oath to act in the best interests of We the People.  They do not owe loyalty to the president, but to their constituents.  For them so sign an oath of loyalty to the very person who is trampling the Constitution and who is destroying the nation, taking no interest at all in We the People, would be violating their very oath of office.

This is the text of the Oath of Office taken by every single senator:

“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.”

It should be noted that Article II, section 4 of the United States Constitution reads …

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The Impeachment Clause was included in the Constitution in order to create another check against abuses by government officials and to give Congress the ability to remove from power an unfit officer who might otherwise be doing damage to the public good.

The Founding Fathers did not specify what constitutes “other high crimes and misdemeanors”, for at the time (1787), they had little or no context and felt it better left to future generations to decide.  At any rate, it is in the Constitution, so impeachment of this president, who has arguably done more harm than good in the nearly three years he’s been in office, cannot be called ‘unconstitutional’.

Lindsey Graham is wrong in calling for an “oath of loyalty” to this president or any other.  Members of Congress are intended to provide oversight to the president, not to swear fealty!!!  Lindsey and all his republican buddies would do well to remember by whose good graces they serve, and who can remove them in their next election!  If the senators sign such an oath, it is my opinion that they will be violating their oath of office by failing to uphold the Constitution.