Saturday’s Snarky Snippets

When I wake on Saturday morning to no less than 12 “breaking news” updates on my phone, you know I’m going to be in snarky-mode.  So, here goes …

Another hat in the ring …

Elizabeth-WarrenElizabeth Warren announced her entry into the 2020 presidential campaign this morning.  While I respect Ms. Warren’s political views, believe she is as well-qualified as any, and while a year ago I would have considered her as my choice, I have to wonder at her decision today.  Given the very public controversy that she stirred over her Native American heritage, or lack thereof, she doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the democratic nomination, much less the presidency.  Frankly, I don’t relish the thought of listening to Trump and his faithful followers shrieking “Pocahontas” for the next 21 months! The more candidates who throw their hats into the ring, the more it dilutes the party unity, and that unity is going to be essential to winning an election next year.  I wish Ms. Warren had put country before ego.


He’s baaaaaaack …

roger-stoneLong time ago, July 2016, to be exact, I awarded Trump’s buddy Roger Stone (and his wife) my coveted Idiot of the Week award, and to this day he is still proving worthy of the title.  Stone, who has undoubtedly committed as many crimes as most any man alive, was arrested on January 25th, and indicted by Robert Mueller’s team on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering, and making false statements.  You might think that would take some of the wind out of his sails, that he might ‘sit down and shut up’, right?  But no, this is Roger Stone who, like his buddy Trump, thinks he can do as he pleases and will never suffer the consequences.

Instead of silence, Stone went on a media blitz in a series of television interviews and Instagram posts, decrying the unfairness of his arrest, etc., etc., etc.  Judge Amy Berman Jackson, along with Robert Mueller, is considering placing a gag order on Stone, stopping him from publicly discussing his case.  In the Judge’s words …

“The upshot of treating the pretrial proceedings in this case like a book tour could be that we end up with a much larger percent of the jury pool that’s been tainted by pretrial publicity than we have now, and that’s what it’s my job to balance here.”

Stone’s attorneys argue against it.  On what grounds, you ask?  Because a) Stone doesn’t even have a Twitter account (he was kicked off Twitter more than a year ago for a series of expletive-laden posts aimed at CNN anchors), and b) Kim Kardashian has more followers than Stone.  Is there logic here?  I’m failing to see it.


More bad news …

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician …

“While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond.”


Will any be left standing?

A week or so ago, I read a column by George Will in The Washington Post that posited the most viable candidate in the large field of democrats seeking to unseat Donald Trump was Amy Klobuchar.

Amy-KlobucharHis points made sense, as Will’s points most always do, and I had added her to my list of potentials.  Then today comes the news that Ms. Klobuchar has a history of mistreating her staff.  It is even said it caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior, though Reid neither confirms nor denies.  Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.  It becomes apparent to me that there will be early and multiple attempts to discredit any and every democrat who plans to run in 2020.  Somebody, republicans and/or Russians, has already begun a concerted campaign to sling as much mud, to dig up as much dirt as possible on every candidate who appears to present a challenge to Trump.  It is gonna be ugly, folks.  I have to wonder if there will be any whose past won’t come back to haunt them over the next 21 months.  Shoot me now.


And on that note, I leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend.Weekend

It Finally Happened. President’s Buddy Roger Stone Has Been Arrested By FBI On 1/25/19

Yet another thread in the tangled web of Trump/Russia connections that served to put an unqualified person in the White House, has been exposed. Roger Stone has … well, just read Gronda’s ‘good news’ post. Trump’s web of lies is unraveling. Thank you, Gronda, for starting the weekend out with some good news!

Gronda Morin

Related image PAUL MANAFORT/ ROGER STONE

On January 25, 2019, I was watching the MSNBC TV show, “Morning Joe,” when it was announced that the FBI under the auspices of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, heading its Trump-Russia Probe, arrested the republican President Donald Trump’s old friend, Roger Stone on the morning of the 25th of January 2019 based on being charged on 7 counts. The charges include one count of obstruction of justice, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

As per NYT:  Read the indictment.

Roger Stone had worked in President Trump’s campaign for a short time in an official capacity until August 2015 but then they parted ways. There are different accounts as to why Roger Stone left the campaign but it is important to note that President Trump, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have had a relationship, going…

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Even Snarkier Than Usual Snippets …

Lies, LIES, and more LIES!!!  Does anybody really believe a word the ‘man’ in the Oval Office utters anymore?  Does anybody still believe this is a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”?  Does anybody blame me for being MAD???  Our friend Gronda told me yesterday that I can never be too snarky for her.  And so, if you thought I was snarky before … welcome to the Filosofa of 2019 … the Uber-Snarkstress!!!


So many bloomin’ lies … where to start?  Remember this one regarding the ‘need’ for a border wall …

“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me.  And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”

Turned out, just as we could easily have predicted it would, that of the four living former presidents, not a single one ever said that to him, or even discussed it with him.  Just another lie that suited his purpose at the moment.  But his lapdog, Mike Pence, found a rather unique way to justify it.

“I know the president has said that that was his impression from previous presidents, previous administrations. I know I’ve seen clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security.”

Um, no Mikey … seeing a president say something on television does not constitute a direct, private conversation.  And talking about ‘border security’ does not necessarily imply a wall.  Wow, Mikey … how low will you stoop to shore up Trump’s lies?  Does it not leave a horrid taste in your mouth?  🤢


One down, 19 to go!

“I continue to stress that there is no good reason for a shutdown. The reality is thousands of federal employees & contractors have no paycheck in sight, small businesses that rely on them are suffering & there’s no reason they should be held hostage to a political dispute. It’s important that we continue the debate on how we address border security & address the President’s top priorities, but it’s possible to provide for security & to address the humanitarian crisis on our border, while still doing our jobs to keep the government fully functional.” – Lisa Murkowski, Republican Senator from Alaska


True or false?  

Senator Lindsey Graham spoke with Trump’s potential nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, recently.  After the conversation, Graham was asked if he felt Barr could be trusted to protect the Mueller investigation.  His answer?

“They’ve been personal friends for over 20 years. His opinion of Mr. Mueller is very, very high in terms of ethics and character and professionalism.”

He went on to say that Barr’s and Mueller’s wives attend Bible study together and Mueller has attended the weddings of two of Barr’s daughters.

Not exactly a written guarantee, and I’m not sure I trust Lindsey, but still, there’s something a bit comforting in knowing that Barr & Mueller are friends.  Let us hope Barr has a conscience and doesn’t pander to the whims of the madman in the Oval Office.


Ever hear the term ‘separation of church and state’???

The headline reads …

North Dakota lawmakers want to require Bible study in public schools

North Dakota is one of those states that largely seems to go unnoticed, so I have to wonder if this isn’t simply a cry for attention … “Hey … Look at us … We’re going to defy the Constitution … nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah … “

“A group of North Dakota lawmakers — all Republicans — have introduced legislation that would require the state’s public schools to teach a unit on the Bible. The unit could be on the Old Testament, the New Testament, or a mix of the two, and would count toward students’ social studies credit requirements.”

YO — North Dakota ‘lawmakers’ of the republican variety!!!  Listen up … some of us are NOT Christians, do NOT ascribe to the bible, but still, we send our kids to school!!!  Just what are we … those of us who are Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists … chopped liver???  But wait … North Dakota is not alone!  A member of the Florida State Legislature, Kim Daniels, has proposed a bill, HB195, that would require — rather than just permit, as is the case now — high schools to offer an “objective study of religion.”  In 2017, Kentucky passed the “Bible Literacy Bill”, the purpose of which was to “provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”

In normal times, I would look for all these cases to land in front of a judge quite quickly, but … these are not normal times.  However, in the interest of fairness, I think each of these states should also require equal time for the study of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood!!!


The temper tantrum …

Since when is it appropriate to react to a temper tantrum by giving the thrower of the tantrum lots and lots of attention?  Try that with your toddler sometime and watch what happens!  So, on Wednesday, Trump met with Pelosi and Schumer for the 895th time in two weeks, and predictably Trump said, “I want my wall … WAH!  Gimme gimme gimme my wall!”  Equally predictable were Pelosi’s and Schumer’s responses:  “NO!”

So, Trump slams his little tiny fist on the desk and storms out, slamming the door behind him.  And then … the parents of this brat … the media, go into full circus mode and report it multiple times in every single media outlet both here in the U.S. and abroad.  Every. Single. One.  Thanks, guys … thanks a lot for giving the spoiled brat in the Oval Office the attention he was seeking!  Oh, and by the way … Trump brought candy to the meeting … did he really think a pack of Skittles was going to be worth $5.7 billion???

This little temper tantrum should have been ignored, just as we are well-advised to ignore the fits thrown by our two-year-olds.  It should never have even been reported, let alone turned into “the breaking news of the day”.  We already know he is a hot-headed bully … we really didn’t need to be reminded.


And now, I shall stop and breathe for a little while, perhaps even read a book that has nothing to do with politics in hopes of stabilizing both blood pressure and heart rate.  Good Morning, my friends.

Fools Rush In …

“I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

Stepping away for a minute from Trump’s abandonment of our Allies in Syria and Afghanistan, James Mattis’ resignation, Trump’s wall and related government shutdown, let’s take a look at some other things that happened last week.

On Thursday, it was reported that acting attorney General Matthew Whitaker had been told by Justice Department officials that he would not need to recuse himself from oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election — despite having been an outspoken critic of the Mueller and the investigation.  Imagine the surprise of the Department of Justice ethics officials who had, in fact, told Mr. Whitaker that yes, he should definitely recuse himself!

Whitaker

Matthew Whitaker, acting Attorney General

As the story unfolded, it turns out that Whitaker had some of his own personal advisors at the Justice Department say that it wasn’t necessary for him to recuse himself, and at the same time, they falsely claimed that it was unheard of for an Attorney General to recuse himself based on a conflict of interest.

Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, has also been a highly outspoken critic of Robert Mueller and the Russian investigation.  He will likely be questioned during confirmation hearings about his intent toward the investigation and whether he will recuse himself.  It would seem that Trump will pull out all the stops to throw a wrench into the search for truth.  The investigation has already racked up over 100 criminal charges against dozens of people, including guilty pleas from Trump’s former national security adviser, former campaign chair, former attorney, and multiple former advisers since it started in May 2017.  Can anybody honestly believe that Trump, his family, and most of his senior campaign staff were not involved in helping Russia rig the 2016 election?  No.  But Trump is pulling out all the stops to try to halt the investigation before Robert Mueller issues his final report.

Beyond the concern that Trump will direct his Attorney General to terminate the Russian investigation is the concern that Mueller’s report, once issued, will never make it to Congress, let alone to We The People.  By law, the Special Counsel’s report and conclusions must be presented to the Attorney General. But … the Attorney General then decides what portion of the report, if any, will be issued to Congress and ultimately the public.  Would Whitaker or Barr choose to suppress the report?  Hmmm … take a wild guess.  Watergate is beginning to look like a Sunday picnic in the park.


I know better than to judge a book by its cover or a person by their looks, but that said, Steven Mnuchin has always looked a little … seedy, sleazy, not-too-honest … to me.  Turns out he’s just plain not-too-bright, I suspect. MnuchinThroughout the past two years, a number of safety nets have been cut loose and sent to the dumpster, some rolling back the post-financial-crisis regulations that had been put in place to prevent another financial crisis similar to the one in 2007-2008.  As a result, our money, our investments, are a bit less secure now as the potential for a recession grows more likely.

So, Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, is apparently getting a bit nervous now that the regulations have been rolled back.  On Friday, he apparently called six of the largest banks to make sure they had plenty of money!  Yes, you heard me right.  What a way to run a government, eh?  Financial analysts, bankers and economists were all left scratching their heads on this one.

The best guess is that, in light of the stock markets tumbling last week, and then Trump threatening to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Mnuchin was doing damage control, attempting to stroke the ruffled feathers of investors and assure the public that … nothing to see here, folks – business as usual.  Well guess what … it isn’t working, as we can see by the continued slide today.  Analysts said it was almost certain to have the opposite effect and throw up some red flags.marketsTrump blames Powell for the stock market plunge, whereas in reality, it is more attributable to his own erratic moves over the past few weeks, tariffs, and the chaos that reigns in Washington at the moment.  In other words, Trump, who has taken credit for a decent economy that he largely inherited, now also owns the economy that is on the brink of recession.

But back to Mnuchin.  He called the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo to “confirm that they have ample liquidity available”, according to Treasury officials.  He then issued a statement:

“We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy with robust activity from consumers and business. With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS, and other critical functions within the department.”

One financial analyst, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said …

“Panic feeds panic, and this looks like panic in the administration. Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease.”

Folks … let’s call a spade a spade.  This administration has rapidly devolved into complete chaos with a “leader” who is either the biggest fool on earth, else in the throes of severe mental illness.  Between the government shutdown, the threat of pulling our troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, the resignation of General Mattis, the border wall dispute, the issue of our treatment of immigrants, Trump’s horrid choices for Attorney General, his threats and bullying … there is no sanity in our federal government and we are not all fools.  I wouldn’t invest in the market right now under almost any circumstances.  Mnuchin can issue as many statements, tweet as many tweets as he likes, but he is not calming the fears of the public.  The fears are very real and nothing he can say will allay them.  Steve Mnuchin is, perhaps, as much a fool as his boss.

What Happens If …

There are a number of opinion writers I greatly respect, and Charles M. Blow is in the top ten.  Mr. Blow writes for the New York Times and his work is most always level-headed and thoughtful.  Amid the many calls for impeachment to remove Trump from office, cooler heads must sometimes prevail.  In Blow’s column from December 2nd he explains why removing Trump from office is not a likely scenario, but would be the beginning of a new nightmare.

What Happens If …

The possibilities ahead in the Russia investigation suggest we are not reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather entering one.

Charles BlowBy Charles M. Blow

I no longer think that anyone in America, including Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, can afford to put off the consideration of the central question of this administration: What if Donald Trump or those closest to him were compromised by the Russians or colluded with them?

There have always been those of us on the left who viewed his presidency as compromised, asterisk-worthy if not wholly illegitimate, because of the Russian interference.

A crime had been committed by Russia and Trump cheered the crime and used the loot thereof to advance his candidacy. That is clear.

The Russians made repeated attempts to contact people in Trump’s orbit and in some cases were able to meet with members of the team, as evidenced by the Trump Tower meeting. That is clear.

Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide. That is clear.

And since assuming office, Trump has openly attempted to obstruct justice and damage or impede the investigation into what the Russians did and whether anyone in his orbit was part of the crime. That too is clear.

But for the people who support and defend Trump, this has already been absorbed andabsolved. They may not like it, but they are willing to overlook it. Indeed, they are so attached to Trump that his fortunes and his fate have become synonymous with theirs. There is a spiritual linkage, a baleful bond, between the man and his minions.

But what happens if the evidence that the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, uncovers reveals a direct link between Trump and the Russians? How do Trump’s boosters respond?

Last week, when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline and the extent of Mr. Trump’s involvement in negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow, the political earth shifted.

If Trump was lying to or misleading the American people about his efforts to do business in Russia while running for president and the Russians knew — and presumably had evidence — that he wasn’t being completely honest and forthcoming, then he was compromised.

While it is by no means clear that the Russians ever used any information that they may have had to blackmail or otherwise pressure Trump, Cohen’s plea makes clear that they had the material to do just that.

This brings ever more clarity to Trump’s curious inclination to go soft on Russia condemnation, to take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence agencies, and to drag his feet in acknowledging that Russia attacked our election in 2016 and may continue to do so in the future.

How would Americans who support Trump now respond to evidence that Team Trump put their own personal and financial interests over the national interest? Would they break from their blind support and turn away from him and turn on him? How could they justify wearing the blinders for so long and countenancing so much? What language would they use to correct their complicity?

There is a precedent in the Nixon investigation. When the evidence of wrongdoing was clear and incontrovertible, people began to peel away, tails tucked and full of shame.

But that was a different time, one in which media wasn’t so fractured and partisan, before the advent of social media and our current dissociable mentalities.

Nixon had no propaganda arm. Trump has one. It’s called Fox News. There is little daylight between the network’s programming and the White House’s priorities. If Trump goes down, so too does Fox, in some measure. So the network has a vested interest in defending Trump until the bitter end, and that narrative-crafting could impede an otherwise natural and normal disaffection with Trump.

Furthermore, Trump does not strike me as a man amenable to contrition or one interested in the health and stability of the nation.

I expect Trump to admit nothing, even if faced with proof positive of his own misconduct. There is nothing in the record to convince me otherwise. He will call the truth a lie and vice versa.

I also don’t think that Trump would ever voluntarily leave office as Nixon did, even if he felt impeachment was imminent. I’m not even sure that he would willingly leave if he were impeached and the Senate moved to convict, a scenario that is hard to imagine at this point.

I don’t think any of this gets better, even as the evidence becomes clearer. I don’t believe that Trump’s supporters would reverse course in the same way that Nixon’s did. I don’t believe that the facts Mueller presents will be considered unassailable. I don’t believe Trump will go down without bringing the country down with him.

In short, I don’t believe we are reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather we are entering one. This will not get easier, but harder.

The country is about to enter the crucible. This test of our republic is without a true comparison. And we do not have a clear picture of how the test will resolve. But, I believe damage is certain.

Is ‘Rule of Law’ Dead?

Whether Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions was warranted or ethical is not the question.  Whether Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is constitutional is not the question, nor is the question whether Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. The question tonight is whether this nation has become one where ‘rule of law’ applies only to those without wealth & power?  I would begin by asking just what gives one single man, Mitch McConnell, the power of life and death over the Mueller investigation?

It’s funny how just the day before, Mitch McConnell wrote that OpEd piece promoting bipartisanship and bemoaning the fact that he didn’t believe democrats would be willing to reach across the aisle … not that Mitchell has ever once reached across that aisle.  But now, there is a bipartisan effort by Republican Senator Jeff Flake and Democratic Senator Chris Coons to pass legislation that would offer protection to the investigation that has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half, but McConnell has blocked that legislation.  Single handedly he stamped it “null and void”without consideration. 

“As you can imagine, I talk to the president fairly often, no indication that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish, and it should be allowed to finish.  We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation, but he’s never said, ‘I want to shut it down.’ … I think it’s in no danger, so I don’t think any legislation is necessary.”

I cry FOUL!  This legislation is very necessary and if Trump can get by with it, he will shut it down in a heartbeat.  Just listen to Trump’s latest rant against Mueller and the investigation …

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to  our Nation and don’t care how many lives the [sic] ruin. These are Angry People,including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years.They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

For the record, Bob Mueller is a registered republican, and a much-decorated former Marine who served in Vietnam and came home with a Purple Heart from being shot in the leg. 

“I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute.”

Trump mixed up his facts a bit … Mueller was Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for twelve years … eight under President George W. Bush, and four under President Barack Obama.

The only … the one and only thing that has kept Trump from taking action sooner was the fact that he cannot fire Mueller directly, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General had recused himself, so he couldn’t fire him, and Rod Rosenstein is a man of integrity and wouldn’t fire him.  But now, with Whitaker in the position of Acting Attorney General, and Whitaker having licked Trump’s boots more than once already, echoing Trump’s rhetoric about the investigation being a ‘witch hunt’, the conclusion is obvious.  The only question is ‘when’?

There is no ‘witch hunt’, else Mueller would not have brought indictments against 32 people and 3 companies thus far, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and ‘fixer’, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. 

Even Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, another who has stayed in Congress far too long and is a Trump sycophant, has said that he would back the bill to safeguard the investigation.  Jeff Flake has, perhaps, used the most important leverage of any in saying that he would refuse to advance any judiciary nominees until or unless the bill is passed. McConnell really wants to get as many of Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed as possible in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, if in fact there is such a thing.

Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate since 1984 … thirty-four years, and at least 22 years longer than he should have been or would have been if limits of two or even three terms had been in place.  Unfortunately, there is no recall provision such that the people of Kentucky could vote to recall McConnell from the Senate.  However,  Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting.  Okay, so we all know that this is about as likely to happen as my cat growing wings, but it should.  If McConnell ever had a conscience or a soul, he has long since sold it downriver and he does no service to the people of his state nor to the people of this nation. 

If the Mueller investigation is halted, or if it is shackled in such a way as to render it pointless, then it will serve as proof that Trump and his minions are all considered to be above the law and have always been, for the crimes being investigated took place before Trump’s election … he was not president at the time he and his campaign staff conspired with the Russians to adversely affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  Trump’s lawyers would argue that you cannot indict a sitting president, so … does that mean that if it were discovered tomorrow that Trump had killed an entire family and buried their bodies somewhere under Mar-a-Lago, Trump could not be charged?

Rule of law is defined as …

“The authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; the principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.”

The principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject …  ALL members.  Is Donald Trump above the law?  If he is, then he is not a member of this society, therefore cannot be a president, and instead is a dictator.  Can’t have it both ways, folks.  I have attempted to contact Mr. McConnell by phone and by email to let him know in no uncertain terms that We The People want this investigation to continue to its logical conclusion, that we want to know the results, and we want every single person who acted against the law to be held accountable by a court of law.  EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

The Morning After …

Donald Trump claimed that this election, the 2018 mid-term election, was all about him.  He was right, but not, perhaps, in the way he meant it.  The very narrow taking of a majority in the House of Representatives was all about Donald Trump … it was a referendum by democrats … a statement that said, “We have had enough.”

Contrary to what many predicted, it was not a sweep, there was no ‘blue wave’.  And in fact, at several points it looked rather dim, and I had even written a morning post based on the assumption that the GOP maintained their control over the House — it was a glum post and I was happy to send it to the trash about 2:00 a.m.!  There were some mega-disappointments, albeit not unexpected:  Andrew Gillum, Stacy Abrams and Beto O’Rourke.  At this writing, there is still a slight chance for Stacy Abrams, for the margin is narrow enough that a run-off election might be called for … we can hope, although I suspect the odds are slim.celebration.jpgNow, we’ve had a moment of relief … some, no doubt, celebrated with champagne and noisemakers … it’s time to take stock, time to take a sobering look at the reality.  The newly elected 116th Congress will not be seated until January 3rd, 2019 … nearly two full months from now.  Have you considered what might happen during that two-month period?

I have no inside information and speak only as a decades-long observer of the political scene, and a more recent observer of Trump-antics.  As such, it appears to me that the main thing Trump would like to see put to bed before he is actually held to account for his actions in two months, is the Robert Mueller investigation into possible criminal interactions between Trump, his campaign, and Russian manipulators during the 2016 presidential campaign.  I will not be surprised to see some staffing changes at the Department of Justice in the next two months.

Trump, in his usual fashion, started the ‘morning after’ with threats …

“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”

“They can play that game, but we can play better because we have a thing called the United States Senate and a lot of questionable things were done between leaks of classified information and many other elements that should not have taken place.”

Whoa … wait just a minute … you don’t own the Senate, and they don’t even work for you, Donnie boy! Would somebody please inform him that this is not junior high school???

And later, this …

“According to NBC News, Voters Nationwide Disapprove of the so-called Mueller Investigation (46%) more than they Approve (41%). You mean they are finally beginning to understand what a disgusting Witch Hunt, led by 17 Angry Democrats, is all about!”

Funny, isn’t it, that the mainstream media of which NBC News is a part is “the enemy of the people” and “fake news” until they report something that suits his purposes?

Is there no work for Trump to do … has he nothing better to do than play childish games?  Or is he simply petrified of what investigations into his tax returns and his business’ finances since he took office would reveal?

Another sobering thought is that the Senate seats gained by the republicans last night may make a democratic majority in the Senate improbable anytime before 2022 … another four years.  It is true that the majority in the House has given democrats an opportunity to insist on some oversight, will put an end to the free ride he has had thus far and hold him accountable for his actions.  However, the importance of the Senate should not be downplayed.  First, it is the Senate that confirms or denies Trump’s cabinet choices and, even more importantly, Supreme Court nominees.  If the republicans hold the majority in the Senate for another four years, it is almost a certainty that Trump will place three more justices on the Court, making 5 of the 9, Trump picks.  For life.

Second, it is the Senate that must come up with a two-thirds majority in order to convict and remove Trump from office if the House were to vote to impeach.  I keep hearing people say that once there is a democratic majority in the House, Trump will be impeached.  He might be, but he will remain in office just as Bill Clinton did.  The difference is … consider Trump’s temperament … you think he’s abominable now?  Imagine if he were to be impeached, and yet still remain in power.

It is not my intent to spoil the party here, but just to remember that while last night’s win was a positive step, it is not the end of Trump’s reign of idiocy.

He Who Would Be King

It must be galling to Donald Trump that he has to sit tight on the things he has planned.  He is one who filters neither his speech nor his actions.  If he thinks it at any given moment, it free-falls from either his mouth or his thumbs on Twitter.  If he wants to say it, he says it.  If he wants to do it, he does it.  Rarely in his life has he seen any lasting consequences for his speech or actions, so why stop now?  But now he is being strongly cautioned by his top advisors, lawyers, and the GOP that to act now would almost certainly doom the Republican Party on November 6th, and likely bring about the ultimate end of the Reign of Trump.  Democracy hangs in the balance, and if he wishes to defeat it, he must bide his time.

What are those plans he is being forced to sit on?  All the steps that would lead to ending the Mueller investigation, the last remaining impediment to his autocracy.  Plain and simple.  Listen to what he had to say on Fox and Friends this morning when asked if he is planning to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

“I’m not doing anything — I want to get the elections over with, we’ll see what happens. I’m very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt, this ridiculous witch hunt… there’s no collusion. There is no collusion. There’s no collusion. There is collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Russians, but there’s no collusion with the Republicans, and there’s certainly no collusion with Donald Trump. And everyone knows it, and they ought to get it over with and save a lot of money, and a lot of time.”

‘Everyone’ knows it?  Who, exactly, constitutes ‘everyone’?

More of what he’s been saying all along?  Sure, but … remember a couple of weeks ago when he had summoned Rod Rosenstein to the White House, everyone was certain he was about to fire him, then … nothing?  My best guess is that he had every intention of firing him that day, but people with functioning minds strongly warned against it so close to the mid-term elections.  The stakes are high next month for the GOP and they are not about to let Trump blow it if they can help it.

We already have enough evidence pointing to the Russians having intervened on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.  Where there is smoke, there’s bound to be a fire.  Robert Mueller’s team is under the gun to make certain they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they report is true, for their report will no doubt be subject to the highest scrutiny, held under the strongest magnifying glass and picked apart many times over.  The ‘I’s must be dotted and the ‘T’s must be crossed.  That takes time.  Trump’s goal is to make certain they don’t have that time.

What happens if Trump has his way, if the mid-term elections result in an ongoing republican majority in both the House and the Senate, if he fires first Sessions, then Rosenstein?  Trump does not have the legal authority to fire Rosenstein directly, although he thumbs his nose at the limits of his legal authority, and in many cases gets by with it.  Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in the line of succession if Rosenstein were gone, and he would then have oversight of the investigation.

Trump could legally pursue a number of options from telling Francisco to stop Mueller from pursuing any avenue of inquiry that involves Trump’s financial records or other sensitive topics, or he could order him to fire Mueller and either allow the investigation to continue with a replacement (or without a special counsel at all) or shut it down entirely.  In the past 21 months, Trump has neatly skirted the law more than once, has taken the stance that he, as president, is above the law, that it simply does not apply to him, and, because of a consenting majority in Congress, has pretty much had a free reign.

The Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt, is not a hoax, and is very much a legitimate investigation that is expected to produce eye-opening results that should lead to some changes in our government.  If it is shut down, or Mueller’s hands tied tightly as the FBI’s were in the sham of a Kavanaugh investigation, then folks … we are in trouble.  Today we still have a voice … we can vote the sycophants who have given Trump free rein out of Congress in less than four weeks. We can work to convince others to vote to remove that boot-licking republican majority from Congress so that Congress can once again become what it was intended:  an oversight on the power of the executive branch.  I predict that if we fail in this mission, we may not have another chance in our lifetimes.  Many will argue that the Constitution will protect our freedoms, but I believe that the strength of the Constitution has already been chipped away and eroded by the current administration and it is only a matter of time before it is burned.

The moral of this long-winded story:  VOTE!!!King trump

Open Letter to Members of the U.S. Congress

Dear Members of Congress …

Once again, I am compelled on behalf of the citizens of this nation to ask you to please do the jobs you swore to do when you took that oath of office and swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  I urge you to recall, if you will, that Donald Trump is not your employer … We The People are, in fact, your employers.  As such, we are very concerned when we hear Trump threaten to interfere with the business of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and most importantly, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s influence into our election process in 2016.

Never before in the history of this nation has there been such corruption as we have seen these past 19 months, not even during the Watergate scandal, which pales in comparison to Trumpgate.  If Donald Trump is allowed to continue his worrisome tirades unchecked, there is a very real possibility that we will never know the truth about what happened and who was involved. In that case, elections may well never be fair and honest again in this nation.

There is already more than ample evidence that there was communication and camaraderie between Russian officials and members of the Trump family & campaign, and yet when he calls the investigation a “witch hunt”, you turn a blind eye.  We the People have not only a right, but also a responsibility to find out the truth and act accordingly.  YOU … the members of the legislative branch, the people who are supposed to provide the “checks and balances” on the executive power, certainly have a responsibility to ensure that the facts, the truth, comes out.  Thus far, you have not done the job for which you are being paid!

I, on behalf of every citizen of this nation, call on you today to introduce and pass bi-partisan legislation protecting the integrity of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  For once in your term in office, please do the bidding of the people who voted you into office and whose hard-earned tax dollars are feeding your children.  This is, quite possibly, your last opportunity to do the right thing.

Sincerely,

We The People of the United States of America

Letter from Newtie!

Yesterday afternoon, as I was flipping through my AOL spam folder to make sure nothing had gotten in there that shouldn’t have, I came across an email from, of all people, Newt Gingrich!  For my non-U.S. friends, Newt represented the State of Georgia in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1999, and was Speaker of the House for his last four years in office.  Since Trump took office last year, Newt has hung on his coattails and is yet another of Trump’s bootlickers, although he seems to have no official capacity within the administration.

I was fairly excited to see that he had emailed me, for I was a bit stressed and needed a good laugh, which I was sure anything coming from a republican politician would provide.  Here is the text of the letter …

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Fellow Conservative,

I have alarming news. This year, Senate Democrats have built a substantial fundraising lead over Republicans. Democrats are strategizing ways to use their fundraising advantage to bombard Republican candidates with attack ads on television, radio, and online.

With only 3 days until the August fundraising deadline, we don’t have much time to catch up.

Unless we take immediate action, Republican Senate candidates in battleground states will not have the resources needed to respond to negative and misleading attacks from the left. Donate today and a generous group of donors will quadruple-match your contribution.

Liberal elites are throwing everything they have towards winning races in battleground states. There is a real possibility that Republicans could lose the majority in the Senate and Chuck Schumer could take over as Majority Leader. If this happens, this would be disastrous for President Trump’s agenda. Please contribute now to stand with Senate Republicans as they fight to stop Schumer and the liberal establishment from taking over.

Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and all of their cronies are utilizing every underhanded tactic available to prevent President Trump from accomplishing his plans for Making America Great Again.

It’s crucial that we have the resources to respond to deceptive attacks from the left. Otherwise, Democrats could sway public opinion towards their side, and President Trump’s Majority could be lost.

Defeating Democrats and securing our Republican Majority will require all of us doing our part. Make a Quadruple-Matched Donation today!

Chip in $250 immediately >>>

Chip in $100 immediately >>>

Chip in $50 immediately >>>

Chip in $25 immediately >>>

I hope you will help us fight back against relentless attacks from the left and achieve conservative victories in this year’s midterm elections.

Thank you,

Newt Gingrich

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And I shall now reply to Uncle Newtie …

Dear Newt (I hope you don’t mind that I do away with formalities here),

First of all, I think your information machine needs to go to the shop for repair, or perhaps even be replaced, for whoever told you that I am a “fellow conservative” was dead wrong.  I am, if you insist that I must have a label, a democratic-socialist.  I used to be fairly moderate, but you guys have pushed me far to the left.

I have news for you … Democrats do not need to do a whole lot of work or be particularly devious in order to out-fundraise you republicans.  People are fed up with you guys.  People are willing to give ‘til it hurts to ensure that the sycophants in Congress are sent packing in November.  You guys had a chance to do something good.  You had an opportunity to rise above the trash in the White House and stand for the people you represent.  Instead, every republican in Congress with the occasional exception of the late Senator McCain, sold out our country, failed to stand for doing the right thing, and chose instead to lick the boots of the man whose stench is so bad it crosses oceans.  And that, dear Newt, is why people are donating more to the democrats than the republicans.

Republicans in battleground or any other states don’t need money to win the election so much as they need something that not a one of them has:  integrity.  Sorry, old chap … money cannot buy integrity, it cannot buy respect.  You guys have lost our respect with your constant barrage of lies and your blind support of Donald Trump.

Yes, if democrats win a majority in Congress, we will certainly do everything in our power to put the brakes on Trump’s ignoble agenda.  First on the agenda will be to reinstate environmental regulations, for we rather like having clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and a home that is capable of sustaining life.  Second, we will begin working on serious sensible gun regulations to try to ensure that our children can go to school safely, and be taught by teachers who teach, rather than having to play armed guard.  Other issues on the agenda are: to confirm only people who are qualified for the job for which they are being considered and, in the case of the Supreme Court Justice, are very moderate, non-partisan judges; to protect the investigation by Robert Mueller and his team from the whims of the madman in the Oval Office; to consider a repeal of the tax bill that was passed in December that has cut revenue to a critical point such that our national debt and deficit are inevitably going to spiral out of control soon.  You will notice that I did not mention “impeachment”.  That is not the plan at this time, though I wish it were, but we are smart … smarter by far than you give us credit for, and we realize we could not remove the clown from office just yet.

Trump’s agenda was never going to “make America great again” by any stretch of the imagination.  His agenda was only going to “make the wealthy wealthier” and to hell with all the rest of us.  In order to get and keep the backing of his 40% or so base, he has proven he is willing to give them what they want … a white, Christian, straight society with no room for those of us who are different in any way. Thus far, not a single thing he has done has been to the benefit of the average citizen.  Not. One. Single. Thing.  His agenda needs to be toasted until it is naught but ashes.  He is in the process of selling the soul of this nation for his own enrichment … and yours.

As regards your request for a donation, first of all, you are barking up a dead tree, and secondly, I wouldn’t contribute to the evil that has become the GOP if I did have money to spare, for the reasons noted above.  I’m sure your wealthy donors, as well as your bedfellows in the NRA will be more than happy to continue shelling out money for your agenda, since it benefits them.  It does not benefit me, or frankly anybody I know, and I am appalled on a daily basis by the shenanigans you guys are pulling.  It’s time to stop the madness.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison

P.S.  Your book on Pearl Harbour was very good, as was the one on Gettysburg.  Perhaps you should have stuck with writing historical novels and stayed out of politics?