Open Letter To Republican Members Of Congress

Dear Senator/Representative,

I write today out of extreme frustration as a citizen of the United States, a person who has paid taxes since 1964 when I was but 13 years of age, and an independent voter who has voted since 1972 for both parties at various times.  I believe I have earned the right to speak my piece, and I shall do so now.

Since the U.S. Constitution was adapted in 1787, this nation has abided by certain standards, one of those being a fair and honest election whereby everyone has an equal voice, and once the results are tallied, they are accepted by all.  In the 2016 election, it was later proven that Russia aided and abetted the election campaign of Donald Trump, who actually lost the election by nearly 3 million votes, and yet due to the electoral system, was placed in office on January 20th, 2017.  His opponent, Hillary Clinton, graciously congratulated him on his ‘win’ the day after the election, as did then-President Barack Obama.

Fast forward to November 3rd, 2020, not quite three weeks ago.  The election was held, but results were not immediately available because of the surging pandemic that led many of us to vote by absentee ballot.  Within a couple of days, it became obvious that Joe Biden had won the election, had earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and had scored over 6 million votes more than Donald Trump.  And yet … without one shred of proof or evidence, that result is being hotly contested by Trump and his lawyers.  Not only that, but Trump continually claims, falsely, that he won the election, that there was massive voter fraud, and that “the democrats stole” the election from him.

You know, and I know that not a single shred of evidence exists to support Trump’s claims.  Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, said that the 2020 election was the most secure in the history of the nation.  He was fired for telling the truth and for doing his job.  Still, Donald Trump continues to create chaos by making false claims.

In the past week, four members of Congress have followed their conscience and condemned Trump’s attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the election:  Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Ben Sasse, outgoing Senator Lamar Alexander, and Senator Pat Toomey.  Each of the four have said it is time for Trump to face the fact that he lost and be gracious in conceding the election.  YOU, however, remain silent.  I ask you now … WHY?  You know that Joe Biden won the election honestly and fairly.  You know that Donald Trump is a temperamental, dishonest ‘man’, lacking in integrity, who has done more damage to this country than the last ten presidents combined.  So … why are you silent?  Your silence speaks volumes about your character.

Surely you must realize that Trump is casting doubt, not only on the integrity of the 2020 election, but on our democratic processes as he continues to rant and rave about things that simply do not exist.  You have achieved one of the highest-ranking positions in the nation, so surely you must be an intelligent and well-educated individual, and yet at this moment, it appears that you are without conscience.

I, and my fellow citizens, call on you today … yes, TODAY … to condemn Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions, to demand that he concede the election so that President-elect Biden’s transition team can get to work, planning for a smooth transition and the ongoing safety of the nation.  IF you do not, if you continue to enable Trump and his minions to undermine the democratic processes of this nation without so much as a whimper on your part, then you do not deserve the position you hold.  Know that, if you continue to allow this to go on without adding your voice to those of Senators Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Alexander, then I and others will work tirelessly the next time you are facing a re-election bid, to ensure that the American public knows just how disinterested in the future of this nation and its people you are, and I will work to support your opponent, whoever he or she may be.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – citizen, taxpayer, voter


Note to readers:  I have sent this letter to Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Representative Warren Davidson, and am planning to send it to the local newspaper, as well.  The silence in the GOP on this matter is deafening and we cannot wait forever for these members of Congress to find their consciences.  Feel free to adapt and use the letter if you wish.

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.

Who Is The Republican Party?

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post, but he is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio and MSNBC.  Needless to say, he is well-qualified to opine on the current situation in Washington.  This morning, I found his latest column in my inbox, and I found it well worth reading … and sharing. If we thought that the Republican Party would pull away from Trump as he throws his juvenile tantrum after losing the election, we were wrong … they are sticking to him like glue.  Mr. Dionne reminds us that this is not new behaviour …


Of course Republicans are doing this. It’s who they are.

Opinion by

DionneE.J. Dionne Jr.

Columnist

November 11, 2020 at 4:19 p.m. EST

No. Not this time. Not again.

We knew that President Trump had no respect for democracy or the Constitution. So we’re not surprised that he’s lying, and lying, and lying again to claim he prevailed in the election that President-elect Joe Biden won decisively, fair and square.

What we did not know for certain was whether the Republican Party would once again bow before Trump’s corruption and his indifference to the fate of our republican institutions.

Well, the GOP has turned out to be as despicably ready to validate Trump’s falsehoods and authoritarian behavior as its worst critics feared. With precious few exceptions, Republican leaders are quite happy to be complicit in Trump’s subversion.

Some innocent souls still want to see the GOP as a normal party ready to work with Biden to solve the nation’s problems.

Sorry, but that party disappeared long ago, and we should not, in retrospect, have expected anything else. After all, this is not the first time that Republicans moved immediately to discredit a Democrat who won the presidency. It’s not even the second time. The practice of hamstringing a new Democratic president by suggesting that his victory wasn’t genuine goes all the way back to Bill Clinton.

Recall that in 1992, Clinton won an overwhelming 370-to-168 electoral college majority over then-President George H.W. Bush. Clinton beat Bush in the popular vote by 5.8 million. But the businessman Ross Perot ran a serious campaign as an independent and won 18.9 percent of the popular vote. As a result, Clinton’s share was 43 percent.

That was all the Republicans needed to assert that even though Clinton won, he was actually a loser. Then-Republican Senate leader Bob Dole declared the day after the election that Clinton had no “mandate” because “57 percent of the Americans who voted in the presidential election voted against Bill Clinton.”

Dole added: “I intend to represent that majority on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” Presto: A drubbing becomes a triumph.

To this day, many Republicans believe, because they have said it so often, that Perot was the reason Bush lost. But the data showed conclusively that this was not true.

The Voter Research & Surveys exit poll that year found that 38 percent of Perot voters listed Clinton as their second choice, and 38 percent listed Bush. The rest said they wouldn’t have voted if Perot hadn’t run.

Thus, a reallocation of Perot’s second choices showed that even if Perot hadn’t run, Clinton would have led Bush by roughly the same popular vote margin. And, at most, only Ohio would have flipped to Bush, leaving Clinton with a still-robust 349 electoral vote haul.

But the truth never caught up with reality. Clinton was hobbled right out of the gate.

In 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain by such an overwhelming margin (9.5 million popular votes, 365 to 173 in the electoral college) that even the most creative Republicans couldn’t spin that outcome into a defeat. But along came “birtherism,” the false charge (touted most notably by a guy named Trump) that Obama was ineligible to be president because he had not been born in the United States.

We forget how powerful a hold birtherism had on Republicans and how long it has hung around. The lie was ridiculous, outrageous and racist all at once. Obama kept hoping that the claim’s self-evident absurdity would discredit it. When that didn’t happen, he finally — more than two years after he was inaugurated — released his long-form birth certificate proving he had been born in Hawaii.

Even then, Trump wouldn’t give it up. For example, he tweeted on Aug. 6, 2012: “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that @Barack-Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.”

This is the man Republicans are backing up as he makes equally ludicrous claims about our election. They are doing it to make sure Trump voters in Georgia turn out for two Republican senators in a January runoff election. They are doing it because they fear Trump. But they are also doing it to weaken Biden and make it harder for him to govern.

And notice how Republicans have escalated their level of irresponsibility over the years. They started with a phony election analysis in 1992; by 2008, they were allowing a wild lie to poison the consciousness of their base. Now, they are willing to do something even worse. As Daniel Ziblatt, co-author of “How Democracies Die,” said in an interview, the GOP could “damage the legitimacy not just of Biden but of our democracy as a whole.”

Biden keeps telling us: “We are not enemies. We are Americans.

That’s decent and honorable. But enemies or not, the Republican Party’s leaders are behaving like a nest of vipers. Be wary, Mr. President-elect.

Unhinged!

Remember the 2016 presidential election?  Who could forget, right?  Remember all the hullaballoo about Hillary Clinton’s emails, which as it turned out, was a non-starter, for while she had used poor judgment in using a private server, there was no huge leak of classified information as the Trump campaign had hoped.

Now it is another presidential election year, four years later, and the two candidates are former Vice-President Joe Biden, and once again, Donald Trump.  You may notice that I did not mention Hillary Clinton, for she is not running for president this year.  And yet, according to yesterday’s New York Times

Trump forced the State Department on Friday to commit to releasing at least some of Hillary Clinton’s emails before next month’s election, resurrecting a four-year-old issue in hopes that it would prove as helpful to his political prospects as it was when he defeated her in 2016.

WTF???  What in the Sam Hell is wrong with the bit of grey matter that resides in Donald Trump’s head?  HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT IN 2020!  Do I make myself clear?  It isn’t rocket science!  What it is, I strongly suspect, is an attempt to energize his rabid base who, in 2016, took great pleasure in demonizing Hillary Clinton, screeching “Lock her up!” at every rally.

Whatever is or is not in Hillary’s emails is irrelevant at this point, and Trump’s base wouldn’t understand what they were reading if they even bothered to read them.  It’s not about the actual emails, but rather about the perception that Hillary did something wrong.

But it doesn’t even end with that bit of lunacy!  He also attempted to coerce Attorney General William Barr to prosecute his opponent Joe Biden as well as President Barack Obama!  The Times article continues …

He publicly badgered Mr. Barr this week to indict Democrats connected to the original investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign, naming specifically Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama. But Mr. Barr has told Republicans and others that he planned no major moves in his re-examination of the Russia investigation before Election Day.

Yo Republicans!!!  You folks didn’t elect a president in 2016, you elected … and continue to support … a mentally deranged maniac!  Wake up and take your heads out of your arses before you doom us to a fate worse than death!

Beyond his public comments, the president has also conveyed to Mr. Barr, directly and through surrogates, that he wanted “scalps,” according to two government officials familiar with the conversations.

While Mr. Barr defied the president’s desire for pre-election action, Mr. Pompeo bowed to Mr. Trump’s wishes a day after he publicly chastised the secretary of state for not cooperating. Mr. Pompeo told Fox News that he would release at least some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from when she was secretary of state and using a private server.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he fires William Barr over this.  Both the release of Hillary’s emails and the attempt to force an indictment of Biden, Obama and others appear to me designed to draw the public attention away from the pandemic, the thing that has brought him to his knees in more ways than one.  An animal caught in a trap will go so far as to chew off its own foot in order to free himself.  Need I say more?

Yesterday, Jeff and I told you how the United States has lost respect in the eyes of the world.  Is it any wonder, given this latest batch of pure, unadulterated bullshit?  The saddest part is that some 40% of the people in this country are genuinely too uneducated, too self-focused (and I’m being kind here) to understand what they have done:  they have created a monster who has neither intelligence nor a conscience, and who would destroy the world if he thought it would boost him in some way.

Musings From The Rabbit Hole — Trust

One of the things about spending large quantities of time in the ‘rabbit hole’ is that one lies awake at night pondering on such things as trust, respect, responsibility, honesty, humanity and whether there are enough lemons in the fridge to make lemon chicken for supper tomorrow.

Trust.  It’s a funny thing … one may spend a lifetime earning the trust of others, yet it can be shattered in a single moment.  How many people do you trust … I mean, really trust as in you would trust them with your life?  I’m guessing you can count them on one hand … I can, and I would still have a thumb left over.  How many people trust you in that way? trust-1When we speak of trust in the broader sense, of trusting people who hold our well-being in their hands, it’s a bit different than trust on the more personal level.  We should be able to trust these people … our members of Congress, state governors, police officers, and certainly the president and his minions … to at least make the best possible decisions based on the information they have for the good of the whole.  None of us will be pleased with every decision that comes out of any administration.  As much as I admire and respect President Obama, there were times I disagreed with his decisions.  However, I always felt that he was listening to his advisors, was studying every situation and staying well-informed, and that at the end of the day, he made what he thought to be the right decision for the nation as a whole.  I have felt that way about nearly every president this nation has had in my 69 years, both republican and democrat.  Until the current one.

Trust is important in any relationship, parent-child, husband-wife, teacher-student, employer-employee.  It is equally important that the people of any nation be able to trust their chosen leaders to be honest, to tell them the truth as much as possible, and to make decisions that take into account the entire nation, not just a few.  Leaders will make mistakes, for they rarely have perfect information on which to base their decisions.  But, when leaders lie to the people, the bond of trust is broken and is unlikely to ever be restored.  This is what happened with Richard Nixon in 1974.  But even worse than Nixon’s lies are those of Donald Trump, for his entire administration is filled with the most corrupt and dishonest people in the nation.  There can be no trust in a ‘man’ who has been caught in over 20,000 lies in just over three years and has hired people who have been almost equally dishonest.trust-3How do we trust a ‘man’ who told us the coronavirus was just a minor thing, nothing to worry about, really … when a short six months later more than 180,000 of our friends, family and neighbors have died from it?  How can we possibly be expected to trust an administration that has spent money we didn’t have for frivolous things, all the while giving special perks to the very wealthy people who don’t even know we exist?  How do we trust a ‘man’ who cozies up to dictators, who asks foreign nations to help him cheat in an election?  How can we trust an administration that has turned its back on the most important global issues that affect all our lives:  the environment, the pandemic, and systemic racism?

How do we trust a ‘man’ who has spent his entire adult life lying, cheating, discriminating, breaking the law, and stealing?  How do we trust a ‘man’ who claims credit for things he did not do, and refuses to accept responsibility for those he did do?  How do we trust a ‘leader’ who represents less than half the people of the nation and spends his days denigrating the rest?  How do we trust a person who praises racists and bullies good people?

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made myself clear … when we elect a person, whether a member of Congress, president, or city councilman, we expect … we have a clear right to expect … that person to act in our best interests.  We give that person a certain level of trust simply by voting for him or her.  But, when they act in their own best interests, causing us financial ruin, job loss, loss of homes and in some cases loss of our very lives, that trust is gone.  Forever. trust-2Trust.  A small word, but so filled with meaning.  The breaches of our trust since January 20th, 2017 have been so numerous and so deadly that it amazes me to find that some people do, in fact, still trust the current occupant of the White House.  To them, apparently truth, honesty and integrity do not matter.  To me, without them there can be no trust.  Today, I have neither trust nor respect for anyone in the administration whose salaries I help pay.  Damn shame, isn’t it?

A Presidential Tribute To John Lewis

The incumbent in the White House chose not to honour the late John Lewis as he lay in state in the U.S. Capitol, but that incumbent is irrelevant in this case.  More relevant are the words of former President Barack Obama who wrote a beautifully touching tribute to Mr. Lewis, and so I share President Obama’s words with you today …


My Statement on the Passing of Rep. John Lewis

ObamaWRITTEN BY

Barack Obama

Dad, husband, President, citizen.

America is a constant work in progress. What gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further — to speak out for what’s right, to challenge an unjust status quo, and to imagine a better world.

John Lewis — one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years — not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life’s work. He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.

Considering his enormous impact on the history of this country, what always struck those who met John was his gentleness and humility. Born into modest means in the heart of the Jim Crow South, he understood that he was just one of a long line of heroes in the struggle for racial justice. Early on, he embraced the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience as the means to bring about real change in this country, understanding that such tactics had the power not only to change laws, but to change hearts and minds as well.

In so many ways, John’s life was exceptional. But he never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country might do. He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what’s right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it’s because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.

I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders. When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.

It’s fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer’s demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Afterwards, I spoke to him privately, and he could not have been prouder of their efforts — of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office. I told him that all those young people — of every race, from every background and gender and sexual orientation — they were his children. They had learned from his example, even if they didn’t know it. They had understood through him what American citizenship requires, even if they had heard of his courage only through history books.

Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.

On This Day In 2015 …

Today’s post is courtesy of The Obama Foundation’s website


JUSTICE LIKE A THUNDERBOLT

Voice Of Wisdom — Barack Obama

The people living in the United States have no leader, the country is a rudderless ship adrift in a very stormy sea.  But one man stands out, his words are wise and offer real solutions, and today I would like to share with you those words, the words of a true leader, President Barack Obama …


How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change

Barack Obama

Barack-Obama

As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change.

Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times. But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering.

First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States. The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation — something that police in cities like Camden and Flint have commendably understood.

On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause. I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

Second, I’ve heard some suggest that the recurrent problem of racial bias in our criminal justice system proves that only protests and direct action can bring about change, and that voting and participation in electoral politics is a waste of time. I couldn’t disagree more. The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.

Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices. When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it. But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.

It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions. In some places, police review boards with the power to monitor police conduct are elected as well. Unfortunately, voter turnout in these local races is usually pitifully low, especially among young people — which makes no sense given the direct impact these offices have on social justice issues, not to mention the fact that who wins and who loses those seats is often determined by just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, votes.

So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.

Finally, the more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away. The content of that reform agenda will be different for various communities. A big city may need one set of reforms; a rural community may need another. Some agencies will require wholesale rehabilitation; others should make minor improvements. Every law enforcement agency should have clear policies, including an independent body that conducts investigations of alleged misconduct. Tailoring reforms for each community will require local activists and organizations to do their research and educate fellow citizens in their community on what strategies work best.

But as a starting point, here’s a report and toolkit developed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and based on the work of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing that I formed when I was in the White House. And if you’re interested in taking concrete action, we’ve also created a dedicated site at the Obama Foundation to aggregate and direct you to useful resources and organizations who’ve been fighting the good fight at the local and national levels for years.

I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.

Let’s get to work.

The Facts, Folks … Just The Facts

Okay, folks … it’s getting really old, don’t you think?  I’m sick and damn tired of listening to Trump blame every damn person he can find to blame for everything under the sun in order to deflect attention from his own corrupt, heinous behaviour. Never any facts, just speculation, just made up grievances, contrived situations in the tangled mind of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  ENOUGH!!!

There is no bloomin’ Obamagate, folks … it is a fantasy made up in the deranged mind of the Oaf in the Oval Office.  It doesn’t exist.  If you even remotely believe a single word of this made-up tale by Trump, his lawyers and his cronies, please do us all a favour and seek psychiatric counseling immediately!

The Facts:

Fact:  Russia interfered on behalf of Donald Trump in the U.S. 2016 election.  That is not disputable nor disputed and there is sufficient evidence to prove the fact to the blindest partisan.

Fact:  Michael Flynn is guilty of contacts with a Russian official, a series of high-profile leaks, blatant lies to the public and to the FBI, potential blackmail and almost everything in between.

Fact:  The Mueller investigation offered Flynn a plea deal whereby he would only be charged with lying to the FBI and not the rest of his crimes, in exchange for his testimony in the Russian investigation.

Fact:  Flynn was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to run the Defense Intelligence Agency, the top military intelligence service in the country.

Fact:  In 2014, Flynn came under suspicion as having too many close ties with Russians such as GRU chief General Igor Sergun, and a close Russian ‘associate’.  Because of his questionable associations, after two years on the job, Flynn’s contract was not renewed and he left the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired from the military.

Fast forward to 2016 …

Fact:  Flynn launched a consulting firm and reemerged in 2016 as a Trump adviser. He became a prominent campaign surrogate and gave a polarizing speech at the GOP convention calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed. On what grounds is anybody’s guess.

Fact:  During 2016, President Obama planned to impose a series of sanctions against the Russian government for their interference, by then well proven, in the 2016 election.  He planned to oust 35 Russian diplomats from the country in December 2016.

Fact:  Flynn, by this time having been named to be Trump’s national security advisor, was privy to this information and had numerous conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whereby he made certain promises to reverse the sanctions as soon as Trump took office.  Because of Flynn’s past history with Russian agents, the calls were intercepted by US intelligence, the FBI and the Justice Department.

Fact:  President Obama, well aware of the conversations between Kislyak and Flynn, warned Trump that Flynn was a danger to the nation and warned him against making him his national security advisor.

Fact:  Days after Trump took office, the FBI questioned Flynn about the calls, and he told four distinct lies, according to court filings.  The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Sergey Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations about Israel and President Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election.

Fact:  Justice Department officials soon warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s dishonesty, and how Vice President Mike Pence and others had publicly repeated Flynn’s lies, making them vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Flynn was fired in February 2017 after three weeks on the job, and Trump said at the time that Flynn had to go because he had lied to Pence.

Fact:  Michael Flynn and Robert Mueller reached a plea agreement in December 2017. Flynn agreed to help the probe and eventually provided evidence against Trump. Mueller let Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI and agreed not to bring charges on Flynn’s other lies or on the illegal lobbying.

Fact:  Last June, Flynn fired his lawyers and brought on an aggressive team of right-wing firebrands. Instead of letting the case wrap up as planned and proceed to sentencing, Flynn’s lawyers started accusing the FBI of bias and misconduct, and he later asked to withdraw his guilty plea.

Those are the facts, they are proven, documented, and not disputable.

Listen to lawyer Bradley Moss respond to the question of “Obamagate” on Fox ‘News’ …

Now this month, Trump’s toadie Attorney General William Barr announced that the Justice Department would be dropping the single charge against Mike Flynn, he would be a free man, and both Trump and Pence announced their willingness to have him back on their team.  So … what happened?

My educated guess is that in mid-2019 Trump decided that Flynn, with his pre-established Russian connections, and given that the intelligence community has already verified that Russia is once again playing a role in our election, might be a useful tool, a liaison as it were.  So, Trump advised Flynn to fire his lawyers, withdraw his guilty plea, and he promised him a full pardon.  Then this spring, as Trump saw his polls tanking as a result of his shoddy response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump sought the help of his sycophant sitting at the head of the Justice Department … if one can still refer to it as the ‘Justice’ Department.

So, just where did Trump cook up his “Obamagate” conspiracy???  The first thing to remember is that Trump’s ego was damaged by the fact that he lost the popular vote, in essence lost the election, to Hillary Clinton.  His ego was further damaged by the facts uncovered by Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian interference into our election that did, regardless what anyone says, play a role in helping Trump get elected.  Would he have been elected even without Vladimir Putin’s assistance?  We’ll never know for sure, as there were other misdeeds afoot that also gave Trump an unfair advantage, but it’s a fact that Russia did help him in more ways than one.

Trump cannot, when his ego is prodded or poked, let sleeping dogs lie, cannot be the gentleman and realize that this, too, shall pass.  No, it is his nature to find someone to blame, someone to call names, someone to say “Lock her/him up!”  This time it happens to be President Obama.

When asked by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post just exactly what crime Trump was accusing President Obama of when he decried “Obamagate!”, Trump responded …

“You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

And that is really about all Trump has, folks.  A non-answer for a non-issue.  It was no different than when he called Bob Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” over and over again, ad nauseam.  It’s no different than his constant and annoying habit of referring to all the legitimate media as “fake media”.  It was no different than when he started the “Lock her up!” chant against Hillary Clinton, over and over again, ad nauseam.  It is a rallying cry, a ploy to turn the attention of the public from his own crimes to some imagined crimes by an imagined enemy.  Must be working, for I just spent two hours digging into the facts and writing this post in an effort to enlighten and clarify.

Don’t, however, let it fool you and don’t even dignify the questions and “whaddabout” queries by your republican friends. Smoke and mirrors.  Trump is a snake oil salesman and his act plays well with about 40% of the people in this country.  He deals in grandstanding, smoke & mirrors, and gaslighting.  He is not a politician, he is not a leader of people.  President Obama was a leader of people, a uniter, and a damn fine man … Trump is none of the above and he feels the lack … he retaliates in the only way he knows how … nastiness, name-calling and vicious lies.

I end where I began … there is no crime, no illegal act, by either President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.  There is no Obamagate.  The crimes all lie with none other than Donald Trump, the worst, most corrupt president in the history of this nation.  Please, friends, help us get him out of power before he finalizes the destruction of the United States of America.  I’m begging … please.

The Unthinkable Becomes Reality

What do you think about a president holding the highest office in the land, who purposefully and with malice incites people to violence?  What do you think about the ‘leader’ of a nation of 330 million people, who curses and denigrates more than half of that population?

I have seen twelve presidents (not counting Trump, who I refuse to call a ‘president’) come and go in my lifetime.  Some I’ve liked better than others, some I respected more than others, but not a single one have I literally despised.  I cannot say the same for Donald F. Trump.

President Harry S. Truman had a sign on his desk …Truman-buck-sign

“The buck stops here” … ultimately, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the man at the top.  Too bad we don’t have a ‘man’ at the top today, but rather a self-aggrandizing lout whose motto is …Trump-no-responsibility

A number of quotes are attributed to President John F. Kennedy, one of which is …

kennedy

But Trump claims …

stable-genius

Or another comparison between Kennedy and Trump …kennedy-trump

And Trump’s predecessor, who he seems to have an unrelenting and unreasonable hatred for …obama-quote

Vs Trump …Trump-bigot

And I could cite example after example of how much more intelligent, more compassionate, more humanitarian every one of his predecessors were, but you get the picture, right?  This week, though, came what should be, but likely won’t be, the final straw, the most ignominious thing he has done to date, and believe me, there’s quite a bucketful of them.

On Friday Trump spewed forth a series of tweets in response to the news that groups were forming in some states to protest the shuttering of most businesses in their states, and the guidelines encouraging people to stay home, out of public venues, as much as possible.  They want businesses open and ‘business as usual’ to resume.

trump-tweets

Close your eyes and try to imagine President Kennedy or President Obama calling for a group of people to overthrow the government … the image just doesn’t work, does it?

Trump speaks and his base rally to the cause, never understanding that they are putting lives in jeopardy, that they are issuing a proverbial slap-in-the-face to all the doctors, nurses and other essential workers who are on the frontlines in the battle against this pandemic.  And never, apparently, stopping to think that … whether all businesses open tomorrow or six months from now, it will not be “business as usual”.  Not for a very long time, if ever.

Trump’s call for liberation from current shut-down rules followed protests around the country as protesters — many wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats — congregated in packed groups around state capitols to demand that restrictions be immediately lifted and to demonize both Democratic and Republican governors.

In Michigan, protesters waved banners in support of Trump and protested Governor Gretchen Whitmer by chanting, “Lock her up.” Sound familiar?  In St. Paul, Minnesota, a group calling itself “Liberate Minnesota” rallied against stay-at-home orders in front of the home of Governor Tim Walz, demanding he “end this lockdown!” In Columbus, Ohio, protesters crowded closely together as they pressed up against the doors of the state’s Capitol.  I am told that even in the more progressive state of California, hundreds gathered in Huntington Beach calling the stay-at-home ‘orders’ tyrannical.

I was particularly incandescent when I read that Stephen Moore, a conservative economist and a member the White House council to reopen the country, said of the protestors …

“I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks — they are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties.”

BULLSHIT. 

In Michigan, one of the hardest-hit states with more than 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 2,200 deaths, Michigan Conservative Coalition member Matthew Seely said …

“I feel terrible about the lives lost, but at some point, we have to say ‘Mission accomplished’ and come up with the next phase of this that doesn’t have us continuously locked inside our homes.”

Rather like saying, “Gee, too bad thousands of people have died, but … oh well. 🤷‍♂️

Denny Tubbs, a local leader of Ohio Stands United, a gun rights group, attended a protest rally in the state capital of Columbus against business closures ordered by Mike DeWine, a Republican governor.

“I’m not saying it doesn’t have to be dealt with but shutting down and crushing the economy is not the way to do it. Our civil rights have been stomped on.”

Tubbs is a gunmaker, by the way.

A competent president would be urging calm, but instead Trump is egging the protestors on, urging them to basically overthrow their state governments!  What sort of a leader does this?  What’s next?  Do the protestors come drag people out of their homes and force them to open businesses and congregate?

It is unthinkable to have a president who urges citizens to resort to violence against their own government.  As much as I miss our Saturday outings to dinner and a trip to the bookstore, I am not comfortable with businesses re-opening yet, for most medical experts have cautioned that to re-open too early would almost certainly lead to a second wave of mass fatalities and ultimately yet another shut-down.  And yet, the republicans in this nation are more than willing to risk that … for what?  I’ve said more than once that common sense must prevail, that we cannot cower under our beds in fear.  But, what the protestors, egged on by Trump as well as conservative groups, are urging is dangerous, foolhardy, and selfish, caring more for their own profit than our lives.

In normal times, a crisis such as this pandemic would have pulled people together in this nation.  We’ve seen it before many times.  But these are not normal times, and we have the single most divisive person at the helm of this ship.  It is insane for this person, who is responsible for some 330 million lives, to be inciting what amounts to civil war in this nation.  Thus far, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has been injured in these protests, but it is only a matter of time, especially with gun shops open and gun sales at an all-time high. Will Congress and the Courts stop the madness emanating from the Oval Office?  Doubtful.  Will we stop him in November?  That’s up to us, isn’t it?