Let There Be Consequences

Y’know … some mornings I wake up and wonder what alternative world I have stumbled into.  Nothing is as it once seemed, norms that I’ve known for some 7 decades have been shattered, replaced by utter stupidity and conspiracy theories, and I am not sure how to cope with this not-so-brave new world.  It’s tempting to simply stay in bed surrounded by books, disconnect from the rest of the world, and never come out of my cocoon.  In the past, I have mocked people for doing just that, but now … I understand.  When it seems we have absolutely zero control over what is happening in the world, when the minority are paving the way to chaos while the majority sit quietly on the sidelines wringing their hands, I wonder just how much longer this nation can survive.

I did manage to find one sign that there is still a bit of sanity left in this country …


Remember in the days and weeks immediately following last year’s election when the former guy refused to acknowledge that he could possibly have lost?  He had countless lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits attempting to get courts to overturn the election results without so much as a single shred of evidence that the results, by which President Biden won by more than 7 million votes, were anything but legitimate.  The court cases dragged on, costing more and more money, each one thrown out for lack of credible evidence.

I wondered at the time why any self-respecting attorney who had worked hard to get to this point in his/her career would associate with the likes of the former guy, a known con artist and liar.  I think the key word there is ‘self-respecting’ … the attorneys who filed these cases were not serious about their career in law, but rather wanted to make a name for themselves, sought to trail in the spotlight that seemed to be constantly on the former guy.  Fame & fortune?

And now, those same attorneys who will never again be trusted by honest people are being sent back to school!  Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker imposed sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven other pro-Trump lawyers in a strongly worded denouncement of what the court called a frivolous election fraud lawsuit, saying they “filed this lawsuit in bad faith and for improper purpose.” That’s an understatement if ever I’ve heard one, but okay.

As part of the sanctions, the attorneys must take legal education classes and also reimburse attorneys’ fees that the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials paid in seeking the sanctions.  I hope the next step is disbarment, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.  This ruling was over one case in Michigan … dozens of frivolous suits were filed late last year … if every single one comes before a conscionable judge and more sanctions are heaped on, then perhaps we can rid the public of yet another clump of human trash.

Torn To Pieces

This country, the United States, is being torn into pieces.  I have never actually despised as many people as I do today, and I know that I am not alone.  We cannot seem to agree on anything, not even the safety of the nation’s children.  We cannot agree on whether or not to be vaccinated against a deadly disease, or whether to wear a mask for protection against that deadly disease.  We cannot agree on whether money should be spent to repair our crumbling physical infrastructure, and we certainly cannot agree that in this, the time of a massive, wide-spread pandemic, people should be helped.

I laugh when I think of the name of this country:  The UNITED States.  There is no unity left today … and why?  Political posturing.  There are two distinct sides with little in the middle and that’s just how the politicians want it.  It’s a power play that is costing us our lives.

One of the most blatant examples of the divisiveness in this nation is the Big Lie being perpetuated by men of greed, power-hungry men who are very well aware that the former guy did NOT win the 2020 election but will cross their fingers behind their back while spending millions of taxpayer dollars to claim that he did win.  Now, if President Biden had won by only a narrow margin, say 250 or even 1,000 votes, then I could see the rationale in challenging the results.  However, he won by more than 7 million votes … ain’t no way in hell that is not a legitimate win, folks!

President Joseph Biden has been in office for seven months now.  For the entirety of those seven months, and the two-and-a-half months before the inauguration, the former guy and his unconscionable minions have been spending time and our money attempting to prove their guy won.  He didn’t, but here’s the point:  We the People pay these representatives to work … to do the work of the people.  Pandering to Donald Trump is NOT the work of the people, it is a waste of time and money … time and money that belong to US.

After the circus in Arizona which, I understand, is still ongoing but not a legitimate audit by any stretch of the imagination, now Wisconsin is spending beaucoup taxpayer dollars to do an audit … 9 months after the election, after nearly 100 lawsuits that proved nothing, and after countless recounts and audits!  Does the state of Wisconsin really have nothing better on which to waste taxpayer dollars??? Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced that the ‘audit’ would cost several hundred thousand dollars … I wonder how the people of Wisconsin feel about their hard-earned money being thrown away in such an irresponsible manner?

The lead investigator in the Wisconsin ‘audit’ is Michael Gableman, a hardcore Trumpeter who has spoken at Trump rallies and who attended the pillow dude’s laughable cyber-symposium in which, allegedly, proof of widespread election fraud would be presented. (It, um, wasn’t.)  Now, do you really think Gableman is a ‘neutral’ party who will oversee a fair, honest audit of the election results?  Actually back in November, a full recount of the votes was done and there was no evidence whatsoever of any unusual activity or fraud.  Should that not suffice … people, let’s move on with our lives here!  President Joe Biden won the damned election … put it to bed!

I don’t know what hold the former guy has over the GOP, for he is no longer in power, no longer has power except as they choose to allow him to make their decisions for them. We voted Trump OUT of office because we no longer wanted him controlling our government, making piss poor decisions, and destroying our nation, so why would we want our elected representatives to force his ideas on us?  There’s something here I’m not seeing, frankly.  But this slavish devotion to the former guy is a large part of what is tearing this country apart.

If We the People don’t find some common ground soon and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, I fear for the fate of this Divided States of America.

Now Is The Time … Maybe The Last Chance

There was a time when I would have eschewed the very notion of socialism.  A time I didn’t understand the evil that humans are capable of.  A time I thought that ‘right’ would win out over ‘might’.  Over the years, the decades, the rose-coloured glasses have broken to pieces, and the naiveté eroded from my psyche.  Today, I see the human species clearly as it is, and as such, a true democratic socialist state holds much appeal for me.  Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has, in my view, all the right ideas for what this … or any nation … should be.  Can we get there?  Bernie thinks so.  What follows is the column he wrote for publication in The Guardian on Wednesday … his words make a heck of a lot of sense, at least to me.


The biggest win for the working class in generations is within reach
By Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Now is the time.

At a time when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, when two people now own more wealth than the bottom 40% and when some of the wealthiest people and biggest businesses in the world pay nothing in federal income taxes, the billionaire class and large profitable corporations must finally start paying their fair share of taxes.

Now is the time.

At a time when real wages for workers have not gone up in almost 50 years, when over half our people live paycheck to paycheck, when over 90 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, when working families cannot afford childcare or higher education for their kids, when many Americans no longer believe their government represents their interests, the U.S. Congress must finally have the courage to represent the needs of working families and not just the 1% and their lobbyists.

Now is the time.

At a time of unprecedented heatwaves, drought, flooding, extreme weather disturbances and the acidification of the oceans, now is the time for the US government to make certain that the planet we leave our children and future generations is healthy and habitable. We must stand up to the greed of the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and lead the world in combating climate change.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee I fought hard for a $6 trillion budget which would address these and other long-neglected needs. Not everyone in the Democratic caucus agreed with me and, after a lot of discussion and compromise within the budget committee, an agreement was reached on a smaller number. (Needless to say, no Republicans will support legislation which taxes the rich and protects working families.)

While this budget is less than I had wanted, let us be clear. This proposal, if passed, will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s. It will also put the U.S. in a global leadership position as we combat climate change. Further, and importantly, this legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs as we address the long-neglected needs of working families and the planet.

Why is this proposal so significant?

We will end the days of billionaires not paying a nickel in federal income taxes by making sure the wealthy and large corporations do not use their accountants and lawyers to avoid paying the massive amounts that they owe. This proposal will also raise the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and the corporate tax rate for the most profitable companies in our country. Under this proposal, no family making under $400,000 a year will pay a nickel more in taxes and will, in fact, receive one of the largest tax cuts in American history.

We will aggressively reduce our childhood poverty rate by expanding the child tax credit so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child.

We will address the crisis in childcare by fighting to make sure that no working family pays more than 7% of their income on this basic need. Making childcare more accessible and affordable will also strengthen our economy by allowing millions more Americans (mostly women) to join the workforce.

We will provide universal pre-kindergarten to every three- and four-year-old.

We will end the international disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right.

We will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in America tuition-free.

We will address the disgrace of widespread homelessness in the United States and the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50% of their incomes for housing by an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

We will ensure that people in an aging society can receive the home health care they need and that the workers who provide that care aren’t forced to live on starvation wages.

We will save taxpayers hundreds of billions by having Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and use those savings to cover the dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses that many seniors desperately need.

We will rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater treatment plants, broadband and other aspects of our physical infrastructure.

We will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

This effort will include a nationwide clean energy standard that moves our transportation system, electrical generation, buildings and housing and agriculture sector toward clean energy.

Through a Civilian Climate Corps we will give hundreds of thousands of young people good-paying jobs and educational benefits as they help us combat climate change.

We will fight to bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

In the midst of the many long-ignored crises that this legislation is attempting to address, we will not have one Republican senator voting for it. Tragically, many Republican leaders in Congress and around the country are just too busy continuing to lie about the 2020 presidential election, undermining democracy by suppressing voting rights, denying the reality of climate change and casting doubts about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

That means that the 50 Democrats in the US Senate, plus the vice-president, will have to pass this most consequential piece of legislation alone. And that’s what we will do. The future of working families is at stake. The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake.

Now is the time.

Listen to Bernie, my friends … he has the right ideas to take this nation in a positive direction.

My Worst Nightmare

Many things bother me at the moment:  Those who are actively rejecting the COVID vaccine; the determined obstruction by the Republican Party in Congress; climate change and those who refuse to so much as lift a finger to help reverse decades of man-made damage; wealthy people not paying their fair share in taxes; the ignorance of those who still believe in the former guy’s Big Lie, and the list goes on … and on.  However, the one thing that is keeping me awake nights, is bothering me more than any other single issue in this nation, that has made me contemplate seeking a new country to call home, is the current push for voter suppression and the fact that Congress and the Courts are doing NOTHING to stop states from attempting to move this nation back to the days of Jim Crow.

If you share my concerns, I hope you’ll take a minute to read Charles Blow’s latest column regarding voting rights … or should I say lack thereof …


Welcome to Jim Crow 2.0

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

In the wake of the Civil War, liberals in the North went about establishing Reconstruction, passing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, greatly expanding the rights of Black people in America, and putting severe restrictions on Southern states before they could be readmitted to the Union.

But of course, the Northern liberals soon grew impatient with and tired of dealing with Reconstruction and the racial issues in the South. At the same time, racial terror was regaining strength in the region.

After Reconstruction was allowed to fail, the last remaining federal troops — who had helped protect Black people from the terrorists — were withdrawn from the South. Even though there was a large percentage of Black voters in many of these states — and Black voters were the majority in some — the terrorists were able to significantly reduce that voter participation through intimidation and violence.

In Mississippi, where Black voters were the overwhelming majority, this suppression succeeded well enough that in 1890 the state called a constitutional convention to write white supremacy into the DNA of the state and to restrict the Black vote.

Only one Black delegate was invited to the convention.

When Mississippi established its Jim Crow Constitution, it didn’t submit it to the public for a vote. Instead, it simply declared that “This Constitution, adopted by the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, shall be in force and effect from and after this the first day of November, A.D. 1890.”

If it had gone before the people, Black voters would have surely voted it down.

Because the Constitution was not put before the voters, there was some question about its validity, but that was put to rest in 1892, when, as The New York Times reported, “The Supreme Court today settled the point, which was made in a contested election case, holding that the Constitutional Convention was the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people, and that it was competent for it to put into effect the new Constitution without submission to be voted on.”

Without the courts or Congress stepping in to protect voter rights, Mississippi served as the shining beacon of a way forward, and state after state in the South followed, copying the Mississippi example and calling state constitutional conventions of their own, establishing Jim Crow in the South.

The racist South may have fallen in defeat in the Civil War, but it rose in victory in the ballot war.

Once Jim Crow was established, Washington was in no hurry to dismantle it. Liberals simply worked around it. For decades, they simply accommodated Southern racists so as not to offend them and to retain the possibility of earning their votes.

Black voters in the region, disenfranchised and therefore disempowered, were essentially written out of the political calculus.

It would take more than seven decades before Congress would fully restore voting rights for Black people in the South. So, a 30-year-old Black voter in Mississippi who was disenfranchised in 1890 very likely died never having cast another ballot.

These voter suppression efforts were so effective and so emboldening that they even led to a movement — though unsuccessful — to repeal the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed Black men the right to vote.

In 1903, Representative John S. Williams of Mississippi, a proponent of the repeal, called the 15th Amendment “one of the greatest crimes in political history.”

Fast forward to the present, when Donald Trump is calling his election loss “the greatest fraud in the history of our country from an electoral standpoint,” in part because it was made possible by the votes of Black and brown people.

Most of Trump history was a failure and embarrassment, but one of its great ignoble successes is that it is ushering in Jim Crow 2.0.

Just as in the 1890s, the courts and Congress are not doing much to stop the march of voter suppression. In 1890, Benjamin Harrison, a business-minded liberal who believed in Black people’s right to vote, was in office. He endorsed the federal elections bill that would protect Black people from raging voter suppression in the South.

The bill passed in the House but languished and died in the Senate — even though liberals controlled both chambers — in part because those liberals were more focused on other issues.

Then, as The Washington Post reported, around the time of the Mississippi constitutional convention, “African Americans from 40 counties in Mississippi had protested to President Benjamin Harrison, but he declined to intervene.”

President Biden hasn’t declined to intervene, but he has dragged his feet and not used the full force of the bully pulpit and still hasn’t given a full-throated endorsement of ending the filibuster to protect voting rights.

America is having a déjà vu moment, reliving in real time a horrendous history of more than a century ago, and it is impossible to understand how Democrats in Washington don’t see that.

There is no reason to believe that this round of voter suppression is the end of those efforts, and every reason to dread that any successful implementation of them would serve as an accelerant of further suppressive efforts.

Voter suppression is like an invasive weed. Either snatch it up by the root at the first sign of a sprig or it will spread, unchecked, and consume the whole garden.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a country that robs half of its people of the right to participate in government, the right to make their voices heard.

The Case Of Mr. Hervis Rogers

Texas, like many other states, has been desperately looking for cases of voter fraud in the 2020 election.  Finding none, they seized on a 62-year-old man … a Black man, naturally … to make an example, to plead their case for the latest round of voter suppression laws they are attempting to pass.  Charles M. Blow, writing for the New York Times, sums up the tragic case of Mr. Hervis Rogers … if this story doesn’t make you sick, doesn’t stir your ire, then I don’t know what will.


The Voter Fraud Fraud

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

July 11, 2021

It was March 3, 2020, the day of the Democratic primary in Texas, and Hervis Rogers, a 62-year-old Black man, was intent on making his voice heard at the ballot box. He arrived at the polling place around 7 p.m. and joined the line.

The polling place later closed to new people joining the line, but Rogers remained. Other people trickled away, unable or unwilling to wait, but Rogers remained. He stayed in that line for nearly seven hours until he was finally able to vote at 1:30 a.m.

Rogers also voted in the November 2018 election.

But there was a complication: Rogers was out on parole for a 1995 second-degree felony conviction for burglary. His parole was set to end in a few months, but it hadn’t ended when he voted in the primary.

As The Texan has reported, “According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Rogers’s parole extended to June 13, 2020. In 2016, however, he signed and submitted a voter registration card swearing that he was not finally convicted or on parole at the time.”

This, in Texas, is against the law — and punishable by a severe sentence, at least for those who “knowingly” violate this election law. Rogers claims that he didn’t knowingly do so, but it doesn’t matter: He is a Black man with a criminal history, a perfect boogeyman and scapegoat to help illustrate a virtually nonexistent problem of voter fraud.

On Wednesday, the day before the Texas Legislature was to convene in a special session called by the governor to pass a draconian voter suppression bill that Democrats had blocked in the regular session by walking out, authorities in Texas made a huge splash by arresting Rogers. The New York Times last week interviewed one of Rogers’s lawyers, Tommy Buser-Clancy, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and reported that Rogers “could face upward of 40 years in prison — 20 years for each charge, according to Mr. Buser-Clancy, who added that Mr. Rogers’s past criminal record meant that the sentence could be even higher.”

This entire case is an abomination. Rogers became the straw man for their special session.

But the history of pursuing Black people for voter fraud is long. It is a form of terror as a deterrent. It is a scare tactic aimed at the Black people who intend to vote and for the benefit of the white electorate nervous that their electoral power and supremacy is in retreat. According to their logic, the determinative white vote and white voice is in danger not because of shifts in values and demographics, but because of deceit and chicanery. As such, they must pass laws to crack down and ensure the purity of the vote. They don’t want to bolster the vote, but to bleach it.

This is not the first time that Texas has targeted a Black person for voter fraud.

As The Times reported in April:

On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote after her mother insisted that she make her voice heard in the presidential election. When her name didn’t appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot, not thinking anything of it.

Ms. Mason’s ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot.

The Black vote is targeted for suppression in all sorts of ways: requiring IDs that Black voters are less likely to have, restricting the times and places at which ballots can be cast, purging voter rolls and preventing those convicted of crimes from casting ballots.

As NPR reported Friday, “Those critics also say these laws also disproportionately impact people of color. There were almost 160,000 people in Texas prisons in 2016, according to research from the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform group. More than 490,000 Texans were on probation or parole in 2017, and Black Texans were four times more likely to be incarcerated than white Texans, the group said.”

Each voter suppression tactic may only shave off a few percentage points from the tally, if that, but in close elections small margins matter. Taken together, these tactics can have an even larger effect.

And this prosecution of Black people who vote after convictions is not limited to Texas. Lanisha Bratcher, a Black woman in North Carolina on probation after being convicted of assault, was arrested three years after she voted in the 2016 presidential election, and faced nearly two years in prison for it.

As Christina Rivers, an associate professor of political science at DePaul University, has written, felon disenfranchisement has a long history: “These laws first appeared in the United States in the early 19th century” and “reinforced precepts of Black inferiority and criminality that pervaded the colonial and antebellum eras, and thus have had a particularly pernicious effect on African-American political power.”

Black people are targeted by the criminal justice system and that is used to target them by the electoral system. Either way, if you are Black in America, you are a target.

Give Him The Boot

First, I would like to start by saying I hope all my Florida friends are safe as Hurricane Elsa made landfall in Florida just a few hours ago.  Keep safe and well, my friends.

I took a day-and-a-half off from my blog, from the news, just mostly read and played games with the family, in order to try to clear my head from the past several years when it seems that I have been on a non-stop rant about one thing or another.  I came back to ye olde blog with renewed energy … well, I had it for Jolly Monday on Tuesday, at least.  And then I read of the gun deaths over the holiday weekend and that pretty much shot any degree of tranquility I had managed to achieve.  And then today, I see this tweet from a U.S. Representative from my own state, a Republican and an asshole, Jim Jordan:

“Democrats made the Fourth of July controversial. Republicans just love America.”

Not wishing to be thrown back in Twitter jail just yet, I tempered my response …

“HA HA HA HA HA … You are soooo funny, Mr. Jordan!  No, you don’t love the country, you don’t even give a royal f*ck about the people here.  You just love money, guns, and power.  I hope you are voted OUT!!!!”

A bit of background for some who may not be as familiar with Mr. Jordan …

He has been in the U.S. Congress since 2007, and is a founding member of the unconscionably conservative House Freedom Caucus.  He was a close buddy of the former guy, which should tell you all you need to know, and the former guy awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a private ceremony just days before leaving office in January.  On what grounds, or for what heroic deed the medal was awarded escapes me, for Jordan … is not a good person.  The only reason I can figure is that Jordan was one of eight House lawmakers who were part of Trump’s defense team in his Senate impeachment trial last year.  Perhaps in Trump’s mind, that qualifies Jordan … in my mind, it just makes him an even bigger jerk than he was before.

But let’s go back a bit in Mr. Jordan’s history.  From 1987 until 1995, Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach with Ohio State University’s wrestling program.  During that time, Dr. Richard Strauss was the team physician.  Turns out that Dr. Strauss was sexually abusing the boys on the team, and … wait for it … Jim Jordan was well aware of it!

Ohio State opened an independent investigation in 2018 … thirteen years after Dr. Strauss had died by his own hand.  During the course of the investigation, at least eight wrestlers/students came forward and said that they had complained to Jordan, but he did nothing.  One of the students, Dunyasha Yetts, said in testimony …

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him!”

None of the students accused Jordan of committing sexual assault, however four former wrestlers named him as a defendant in a lawsuit against the university.  Jordan refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss. He described his accusers as “pawns in a political plot” and said he did not even hear any locker room talk about Strauss or sexual abuse at OSU. In response to Jordan’s denials, one of the students, Mike DiSabato said, “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Take it all for what it’s worth, but to me … where there is so much smoke, there is a fire, and eight students claiming they told Jordan of the abuse at the hands of the doctor constitutes a great deal of smoke!

And then … he went to Washington.  A step up from being a wrestling coach, being responsible for making the laws that directly affect some 330 million people, and indirectly affect the entire globe.  One of his first moves was to use the Freedom Caucus to shove then-Speaker of the House John Boehner out of his position.  Another was to bring the equally corrupt and ignoble Warren Davidson into the House.  Thus far, in my book, Jordan is batting 0.  He is not “for the people”, he is for lining his own pockets, for increasing his own power, and will support anything that plays into those two goals.

Jordan is also a consummate liar, for in 2018 when asked by Anderson Cooper if he had ever heard the former guy tell a lie, he replied …

“I have not … nothing comes to mind. I don’t know that Trump has ever said something wrong that he needs to apologize for.”

He was one of the 139 representatives who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Congress, and to this day claims that the election was “stolen”.  He is against environmental regulations and against women’s rights.  I could go on and on, but really … need I say more?

Jordan does not represent my district, but I hope the people in his district have the good sense to give him the boot in the mid-term elections next year.  Meanwhile, I will be working tirelessly to try to convince the people of my own district to give Warren Davidson that same boot!  We do not need right-wing radicals who completely disregard the will of the people sitting in Congress taking up space, time, and money!

The Demagogues Are Having a Field Day

Our friend Annie has touched on a number of hot topics today, from General Milley’s response to the little wuss, Matt Gaetz, to the fools over at Fox News, to the Big Lie, to voter suppression efforts by Republicans! Her post is well worth the read, and she ends on a more positive note, telling us about some of the efforts being made to counter the Republican’s efforts to promote ignorance and take this nation back 100 years … or more. Thanks, Annie!

annieasksyou...

American flag image from Renan Kamikoga, found via unsplash.com

Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, drew a lot of flack last year when he accompanied then-President Trump on what was widely condemned as a “photo-op” in which Trump stood in front of a church holding a Bible during Black Lives Matter protests outside the White House.

Milley, a much-decorated general whom Trump had appointed, subsequently apologized for allowing the military to be politicized. Apparently, behind the scenes, he was doing even more.

According to a new book written by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender (Frankly, We Did Win ThisElection), as demonstrations were held in a number of cities, Milley repeatedly stopped Trump from demanding that the largely peaceful demonstrators (more than 93% of the demonstrations were peaceful) be met with violence.

From CNN Politics:

“’That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,’…

View original post 926 more words

The Danger of Collective Amnesia

Nearly five months after the attack on the Capitol on January 6th of this year, Republicans continue to downplay and naysay the attack.  Time seems to have diminished their memories of that fateful day, and they claim it was nothing more than a few ‘tourists’ or ‘patriots’ having a good time.  Never mind that five people were killed and 140 police officers injured, and never mind that if the attempt to overthrow an election had succeeded, we would be living in a very different country today, one ruled by a madman and his cronies.

Robert Reich explains the utter importance of investigating the attack and the events that led up to it, the people who may have played a role in instigating it.  If we fail to learn from the past, then we are destined to repeat it.  Listen closely to his words, for he speaks the truth.  We the People pay to sustain a government that operates in our best interest, yet nearly half of those in Congress have completely forgotten their oaths, forgotten their purpose, and their only goal is to cement their own positions of power.

FACTS Matter And Ignorance Is NOT Bliss

Truth is not subjective!  Truth is based on facts.  Period.  Fact:  the sugar bowl on my kitchen counter is in the shape of a strawberry.  That is not disputable by any reasonable mind who has ever seen my sugar bowl … or a strawberry.

Today, however, there are people who will argue any point, even when a thousand facts have been presented by credible, well-respected experts.  Take, for example, climate change.

97% – 98% of all climate scientists worldwide support the consensus on human-caused climate change, and yet there are people who will tell you it’s all a hoax.  A HOAX???  For some, it is a matter only of ignorance, for they do not understand the difference between climate and weather.  For others, it is a matter of Terminal Stupidity for they believe what their favourite politicians tell them despite all the facts to the contrary.  Those favourite politicians take their marching orders from the heads of such companies as Exxon Mobil (oil company) and Murray Energy (coal company) because those are the CEOs that are lining the politicians’ pockets.  As of 2020, 88% of Democrats believe that climate change presents a major threat, while only 31% of Republicans believe it. The facts are there for all to see … melting icecaps, rising sea levels, rising temperatures, prolonged droughts, more severe and frequent tropical storms, and more.  How can anybody deny the science here?

And speaking of science, conspiracy theories and lies abound in Republican circles about the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccine.  Even though it is a fact that more than 600,000 people have died in the U.S. alone and 3.5 million have died worldwide as a result of the coronavirus, there are still those who thumb their nose, refuse to wear a mask, and are refusing the vaccine, saying it infringes on their ‘right’.  And yes, once again, the majority of those are Republicans.  A poll taken last month shows that 45% of Republicans say they will not be vaccinated.  One of the leading Republican conspiracy theories making the rounds is that the coronavirus pandemic is a cover for a plan to implant trackable microchips via the vaccine, and that the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is behind it.  This one ranks right up there with the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton was running a sex trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlour. That one almost got people killed … the vaccine refusal will absolutely get people killed, perhaps innocent (not Republican) people.

And then there is that Big Lie that says the former one-term, twice-impeached guy actually won the election for president in 2020, despite the fact that not one single shred of evidence exists to support that lie.  In fact, every bit of evidence proves that President Biden won the election by more than 7 million votes!  And, if you want to talk about election facts, that former guy was never the legitimate president of the United States, for he LOST the 2016 election by nearly 3 million votes!  But, due to a little thing known as the Electoral College and gerrymandering, that really boils down to racist cheating, he was allowed access to the Oval Office and spent four years there tearing down instead of building up.  A national poll conducted just last week shows that fully 53% of Republicans still believe that the former guy is the “true president” now.  61% of Republicans believe the election was “stolen” from the former guy.  My jaw drops every time I see these figures … how in the Sam Hell can anybody be so bloomin’ stupid???

For more than four years, I have made every effort not to paint Republicans with a broad brush, not to lump them all in together, and not to label them, but I can no longer continue that effort.  Every single thing I am seeing today tells me two things:  Republican politicians are as corrupt as they come, they would rather rob us of our rights than lose their power; and the majority of Republican voters are just plain ignorant, not bothering to dig a bit for a few facts, but instead content to believe everything they hear on Fox ‘News’ and out of the mouths of such blathering idiots as Margie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, and others.  They say that ‘ignorance is bliss’ … and it may well be for the ignorant, but their bliss is quite literally killing the rest of us. Sorry, Republicans, but respect is earned and you have lost my respect by your ignorance, by the danger you are putting us all in with your ignorance.  If you want respect, get up off your arses and educate yourselves, try studying a few facts, and using your brain.  Earn that respect.

Wait And See

An announcement letter in The Washington Post yesterday caught my eye.  The letter was written by a number of Republicans, including former members of Congress, cabinet members, and governors, and promises … I’m not sure if they are promising an entirely new party, or simply a more centrist, sensible arm of the Republican Party.

I am, by nature, a skeptic … question everything.  Trust nobody.  However, I am pleased to see that in the wake of the abhorrent treatment the party has heaped on not only Liz Cheney, but all who had the integrity to stand against the former guy and his Big Lie, I’m pleased to see that at least some notables in the GOP are not simply lying down and waiting for the bulldozer to flatten them.  I am, for now, taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude toward the whole thing, but will have more to say as I see the direction this group takes, see if they put their money where their collective mouths are.  Meanwhile, read the letter and check out their mission statement and outline with 152 notable signatories of what they hope to achieve.


The GOP has lost its way. Fellow Americans, join our new alliance.

Opinion by Charlie Dent, Mary Peters, Denver Riggleman, Michael Steele and Christine Todd Whitman

May 13, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Charlie Dent represented Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2005 to 2018. Mary Peters was secretary of transportation during the George W. Bush administration. Denver Riggleman represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2019 to 2021. Michael Steele is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Christine Todd Whitman was governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

The Republican Party made a grievous error this week in ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from the House leadership for telling the truth about Donald Trump’s “big lie,” which has wreaked havoc in our democratic republic by casting doubt over the 2020 election.

Cheney rightfully struck back against party leaders and warned about the GOP’s dangerous direction. She is not alone.

Alongside dozens of prominent Republicans, ex-Republicans and independents, we are announcing “A Call for American Renewal,” a nationwide rallying cry against extremist elements within the GOP, and highlighting the urgent need for a new, common-sense coalition.

We urge fellow Americans to join us.

Our alliance includes former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, state officials, seasoned political strategists and grass-roots leaders dedicated to offering a hopeful, principles-based vision for the country — and ensuring that our votes have decisive impact in key elections across the United States.

We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who feel politically homeless and mobilize them to help chart a new path forward for our country.

It is time for a rebirth of the American cause, which we will pursue in partnership and loyal competition with others committed to the preservation of our Union.

Tragically, the Republican Party has lost its way, perverted by fear, lies and self-interest. What’s more, GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a continuing and material threat to the nation.

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a wake-up call for many who had remained loyal to the party, even while harboring concerns about its direction.

Many have since left. The GOP has effectively become a privileged third party, ranking behind independents and Democrats in voter registration.

Meanwhile, Republican legislators are trying to impede voting rights across the country as a last-ditch effort to retain power.

We will not wait forever for the GOP to clean up its act. If we cannot save the Republican Party from itself, we will help save America from extremist elements in the Republican Party.

That means hastening the creation of an alternative: a political movement dedicated to our founding principles and divorced from the GOP’s obsessive cult of personality around a deeply flawed (and twice-impeached) man, whose favorability ratings are reportedly tanking in key swing districts around the country.

We will fight for honorable Republicans who stand up for truth and decency, such as Liz CheneyAdam KinzingerLisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, to name a few.

But we will not rely on the old partisan playbook. We intend to work across party lines with other Americans to oppose extremists and defend the republic wherever we can.

Together with our patriotic allies in other parties, our movement will stand against fearmongers, conspiracy theorists and the opportunists who seek unbridled power.

We plan to invest in a deeper bench of effective leaders in cities and states across the country while recruiting a new generation of principled, pragmatic citizens to the cause.

Some no doubt will urge us to join the Democratic Party. We believe that inching toward a single-party system would be dangerous and would fail to represent the diverse viewpoints in our nation.

America cannot have just one party committed to preservation of its democratic institutions. There must be at least two, if not more.

With Cheney’s dismissal from House leadership, the battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and our country — is not over. It is just beginning, which is why we are forming a “resistance of the rational” against the radicals.

We still hope for a healthy, thriving Republican Party, but we are no longer holding our breath.

Next month, we will convene a nationwide town hall open to all Americans and featuring current and former U.S. leaders who will lay out where we must go from here, how we can ensure a freer America and how all citizens can join the fight.

Extremists may have fired the first shot in this moral struggle for America’s future, but with truth as our lodestar, those laboring to renew America will fire the last.