PLEASE, AG Merrick Garland … Do the Right Thing!

If we fail to hold Donald Trump, John Eastman, and all the members of Congress who played a role in the attempted coup of January 6th, then we are basically telling all future presidents that there will be no punishment for any criminal activities in which they might engage while in office.  Period.  Close your eyes and imagine a future president, say a President Gaetz, forcing himself on White House staff members, making sex with him a requisite of the job.  Imagine a President Cruz taking money under the table from the next Russian president in exchange for refusing to assist the next country Russia attacks.  Imagine President Manchin negotiating with the coal and oil companies to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, or … well, just let your imagination run wild for a few minutes.

Those of you who are parents … you give your kids a time out or some other humanitarian punishment when they knowingly do something wrong, yes?  Why do you do this?  Because you know they must learn that actions have consequences, that if you steal from a schoolmate or punch a younger kid, you will pay the price.  If you lie, you will pay the price.  People like Donald Trump were never disciplined and grew up thinking that they were somehow ‘special’, not accountable for their actions.  When one of these people gets into a public office, they assume that it’s their private play space, that they can do anything they please because they have “the power”, they assume they are untouchable, invincible.  If the courts and the Justice Department of the United States fail to charge or indict and convict Donald Trump and his co-conspirators for not only their role in the January 6th attempted coup, but the entire batch of underhanded attempts to overturn our election by subverting the Justice Department, seeking to corrupt states attorneys general and more, then they are complicit in creating the monster that will be the next person to sit at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

There are no grey areas here, no moral equivalencies, no doubts whatsoever.  Donald Trump and his minions attempted treason.  They failed … this time.  They, or whomever is the next president, will have learned from their mistakes and will not likely fail again.  No, my friends, I am not an alarmist, not being overly dramatic … I am stating facts based on a) common sense, b) logic, and c) what I can see and hear with my own eyes and ears.

I have heard numerous legal experts opine that to charge Trump would be to go down a road fraught with obstacles.  That there is no precedent for actually charging a former president for criminal activity seems to be a big stumbling block – it shouldn’t be, but apparently it is.  Now, these legal experts have far more knowledge than I do about the ins and outs of the law, but I am not completely witless, and I know that he cannot be allowed to get by with his crimes.  I know that NOW is the time we MUST prove to the world that NOBODY in the United States, not even the president, is above the law.  Failure to do so … is simply not an option.

There is also a concern among legal scholars, and likely within the Department of Justice, that in the current polarized political environment, Trump would be seen as the ‘victim of a witch hunt’ or a political voodoo doll.  Some of the legal scholars say he might have a valid defense by claiming that he lacked criminal intent because he truly believed that massive voter fraud had taken place.  Bullshit.  If nothing else, we have learned from various people testifying in the January 6th committee hearings that Trump was told repeatedly by every expert from then-Attorney General William Barr to various states’ Attorneys General that he spoke with, to his own lawyers and even his daughter that he lost.  Period.  He disregarded all but a drunken Rudy Giuliani and a cunning John Eastman not because he believed he won, but because he had a plan to stay in office by hook or by crook.  And if by some remote chance, despite all the evidence, he did still believe he won, then he is seriously deranged and unfit to remain in society, let alone run for any public office.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is in a tough spot, for he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  For the sake of this nation, for the future of our children, the future of the world as we know it, he must do the right thing!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/18

Yet another week and more of the best political ‘toons from our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge.  Time was that these would make me laugh … and I still take my hat off to the great talents of these cartoonists … but today they make me want to cry more than laugh.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work!

Below is a small sample … be sure to head over to TokyoSand’s place to see … the rest of the story!

See all the ‘toons at Political Charge!!!

Human vs Neanderthal

In ordinary times, you would likely never have known the name Adam Kinzinger unless you happen to be from his home state of Illinois.  But, today I think it’s safe to say that at least 85% of the adults in the U.S. know who Adam Kinzinger is.  In case you’re one of the 15% who don’t know, a brief summary …

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican legislator who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.  Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump’s claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Kinzinger was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment, and one of only two Republicans to vote to create a select committee to investigate the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, to which he was subsequently appointed.  Due to the open hostility from members of his party, Mr. Kinzinger announced last October that he will not run for re-election in November.  In 2006, Kinzinger was named the Wisconsin Red Cross “Hero of the Year” for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground and disarming him after the man had cut the throat of a woman on a street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Adam has a wife, Sofia, and one son, Christian.

A few days ago, Mr. Kinzinger’s wife, Sofia, received this letter …

I found breathing impossible as tears welled in my eyes when I read that … I could feel the evil, the hate emanating from those words.  For the rest of the evening, I felt on the brink of crying, felt that if I let it start, I would never be able to stop.  There are many people — politicians and religious leaders — whom I despise, whose faces I would spit in given half a chance, but never in my wildest thoughts would I even consider threatening violence against them or their families.  This, my friends, is the difference between a human being and a gun-toting neanderthal.

THIS, my friends, is who we are becoming.  The political divisions in this nation are leading to murder, to corruption, to destruction, and to widespread violence that I believe is inevitable in the coming months.  We the People have allowed politicians, have allowed our own greed, have allowed our sense of entitlement to bring us to this place.  We have forgotten our humanity and somewhere along the way have lost our sense of compassion, of empathy, of caring for others.

When we value our guns more than our children, when we pretend to believe the lies our politicians tell us, even though we know better, and when we believe that somehow one person is better than another because of skin colour, religion, gender affiliation, or any other criteria, then we are contributing to the kind of behaviour that cause this maniac to send this letter to Sofia Kinzinger, contributing to the likes of the teen who went into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, aiming to murder Black people just because their skin was darker than his.

I hope law enforcement officials are able to track down the writer of that letter and that they will have the guts to prosecute and imprison him, for he does not deserve the privilege of walking on the same streets as the rest of us.  However, it’s more likely they won’t find him, if they even look, and that eventually he may carry out his threat.  And worse yet, he is only one of many such creatures who believe that violence is the solution to their problems.

This nation is rapidly losing its humanity, is becoming a violent banana republic overrun by people who care only for their own fortunes and to hell with those of us who cross them in caring for the greater good.  This letter-writer has convinced me that, while I know there ARE good people in this country, there is no longer a collective good, no longer a majority of people working toward a greater good.  R.I.P. former United States.

The GOP — It Ain’t What It Used To Be

One of the columnists I most respect is Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post.  I bookmarked his column from Thursday to further peruse and upon doing so, I thought it well worth sharing with you.  We the People can still salvage the democratic foundations from under the ashes of conservative cultism, but … we don’t have many chances left, which is why it is so imperative that we make sure everyone votes this November and in November 2024 … it may be the last best hope for the survival of the United States.


State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, gestures to the crowd during his primary night election party in Chambersburg, Pa., on May 17. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Cult or a conspiracy? The GOP sure isn’t a normal political party.

By Eugene Robinson

May 19, 2022

Is today’s Republican Party primarily a cult of personality or a seditious conspiracy? I can argue either side of that question. But it is clear that the GOP is no longer a political organization or movement in the traditional sense. And if Republican cultists and conspirators win power in November, voters have only ourselves to blame.

It’s not as if we can’t see the dangers that lie ahead. As Bob Dylan once sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

The object of the GOP’s cultish devotion is, of course, former president Donald Trump. I have my doubts whether Trump will actually run for the White House again in 2024 (and risk losing twice, whether he acknowledges either loss publicly), but for now he is the unchallenged egomaniacal leader of the party he seized in 2016.

Tuesday’s primary results in Pennsylvania prove Trump’s primacy. As the party’s nominee for governor, GOP voters chose Trump’s preferred pick, a state senator named Doug Mastriano who trumpets the “big lie” about the 2020 election being stolen; was present at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (though he says he left before the insurrectionary portion of the events); and appeared at an event associated with the hallucinatory QAnon conspiracy theory about the nation somehow being run by a cabal of pedophiles.

His Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, should be able to win that race handily by simply keeping his rhetoric and positions within the bounds of reality as we know it — if, and only if, enough Democrats, independents and still-sane Republicans bother to vote in November.

The race for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s contested U.S. Senate seat is, as of this writing, a virtual tie between Trump’s choice, television celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, and hedge fund titan David McCormick. Far-right political commentator Kathy Barnette faded to third after Trump declared her too extreme even for his liking.

But look again at that lineup of candidates. None has any of the experience in elective office that used to be expected of a candidate for the Senate. And the campaign consisted mostly of all three professing their undying fealty to Trump and their faith in his infallibility.

The Democratic candidate in that November contest — Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won his primary easily, despite suffering a stroke Friday, and is on the mend — has a good chance of winning, which could increase the Democrats’ tenuous Senate majority if they can hold other seats.

In North Carolina, GOP Rep. Ted Budd, another Trump endorsee, won the primary for that state’s open Senate seat; Budd is another “big lie” espouser who voted against certifying the 2020 electoral vote, even after the Jan. 6 rioters had sacked the Capitol. One Trump-endorsed N.C. Republican, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, did lose his primary. But Cawthorn’s antics and transgressions were such that not even Trump’s lukewarm pitch for “a second chance” for the troubled young politician could save him.

The dominant pattern of the Republican primaries thus far is clear: It is very, very hard to win a statewide nomination without Trump’s support, or at least his amity; and it is impossible to win Trump’s backing if you reject his lie about the supposedly “stolen” election. How is that anything but cultlike?

This is the most dangerous aspect of the GOP’s devolution from party to personality cult: Devotion to Trump requires a willingness to betray democracy. Much of Trump’s attention is focused on states, such as Pennsylvania, where he falsely claims he was victimized by voter fraud. If Mastriano were to win the governor’s race, his handpicked secretary of state could refuse to certify 2024 election results that Trump did not like.

Vote-counting in the Pennsylvania Senate primary is not yet finished, but Trump has already called on Oz — who has a tiny, tentative lead over McCormick — to preemptively “declare victory.”

This is where the question of seditious conspiracy comes in. The Republican Party is shaping itself in Trump’s image, and Trump has shown nothing but contempt for the traditions of fair play and good will that allow our democracy to function. Refusing to accept the will of the voters is authoritarianism. Today’s GOP, increasingly, is just fine with that.

All is not lost, however. Turnout in midterm elections is traditionally much lower than in presidential years. Voters who are appalled at what the GOP has become can send a powerful and definitive message by abandoning their traditional nonchalance and voting in huge numbers. We can reject Trumpism, both for its cultishness and for its proto-fascism. We can take a stand.

It’s up to us what kind of country we want to live in. We had better speak our minds with our votes — while we still can.

Wednesday wanderings in mid-May

As always, our friend Keith puts into words what many of us are thinking and feeling. Please pay special attention to his final paragraph, for these are the questions we need to be asking, and the issues on which we need to hold our elected representatives accountable. As always, thank you Keith!!!

musingsofanoldfart

We should have another warm day here, so walking may make us “glisten,” a word my wife uses for perspiration. So, as we glisten on our walk about, let me share a few of my wandering thoughts.

The votes from yesterday’s mid-term primaries are being tallied, so I will save commentary for another day, with two exceptions. With almost 100% of the votes counted, it looks like Rep. Madison Cawthorn will be unseated in his first election as an incumbent. His failure to: realize on three occasions a driver needs a driver license, understand he cannot carry a weapon onto a plane on two occasions, appreciate claiming your Republican colleagues are having orgies and coke parties is not the way to make friends, and recognize that not doing much of anything other than abet the former president’s Big Lie and insurrection of Congress is not conducive to good governance. It…

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Think Smaller — Protect Your Right To Vote!

We place far more emphasis, spend far more energy & time, on the big elections – president and members of Congress – than we typically do on local and state elections, but I read an OpEd article in the New York Times this morning that made me stop and think … made me realize that perhaps we need to shift our focus, or at least widen it.  Heck, I don’t even know who is on the ballot for Secretary of State in my own state … time to do some research!  Ms. Barbara McQuade, teaches law at the University of Michigan, and oversaw voting rights suits as U.S. attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District, so she knows of what she speaks …


The Most Pivotal Elections in 2022 Are Not the Ones You Think

By Barbara McQuade, May 12, 2022

The fate of our democracy doesn’t hinge on the battle for the House or the fight for control of the Senate, but on state elections for a once sleepy office: secretaries of state.

No elected officials will be more pivotal to protecting democracy — or subverting it — than secretaries of state. While their responsibilities vary from state to state, most oversee elections, a role in which they wield a tremendous amount of power. Secretaries of state own the bully pulpit on voting, and they control the machinery of elections.

They also have a platform to spread disinformation, such as false claims that voting by mail is not secure. A Republican secretary of state could reduce the number of ballot boxes or polling places in Democratic areas and limit staffing to create long lines that dissuade potential voters. They can also refuse to certify the results in particular counties or even the entire state. In a close presidential race, if even one secretary of state in a swing state were to put his thumb on the scale, we could see an election that really is stolen.

This has happened before. In 2000, Katherine Harris, Florida’s secretary of state, halted the recount process and certified George W. Bush, for whom she served as a campaign chairwoman, as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. But our current political moment is even more fraught, as Donald Trump casts doubt on the last election, whipping his supporters into frenzy while Republican field generals quietly maneuver conservative hard-liners into positions of power.

Twenty-seven states will choose a secretary of state this fall, and in 17 of those states, at least one of the Republican candidates for the office actively denies that President Biden won the 2020 election. Fourteen candidates have formed the America First S.O.S. Coalition, which aims to “reverse electoral fraud” by eliminating mail-in ballots, requiring single-day voting and committing to “aggressive voter roll cleanup,” measures that could suppress thousands of Democratic votes. If they win office, Republicans will control the voting process in these five crucial swing states where the 2024 election may be decided:

One closely watched race will be in Georgia, where the Republican incumbent, Brad Raffensperger, is fighting for his political life in the May 24 primary after having refused Mr. Trump’s demands to “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in that state. Although Mr. Raffensperger withstood Mr. Trump’s efforts in 2020, he has now joined the crusade warning against the threat of voter fraud, supporting Georgia’s restrictive new voting laws and citing “voter confidence” as the “No. 1 issue” American voters face.

His main primary opponent goes even further. Representative Jody Hice, a former pastor endorsed by Mr. Trump, is an election denier who has said that “I believe with all my heart” that the will of Georgia voters was subverted in 2020. Republicans have held this office since 2006, so most likely, one of these two men will be in control in 2024.

In Michigan, the Democrats are in a stronger position. The Democratic incumbent, Jocelyn Benson, will face Kristina Karamo, a community college instructor endorsed by Mr. Trump, this fall. Ms. Benson, a former election law professor, literally wrote the book on the role secretaries of state play in protecting the democratic process and resolutely withstood challenges to Michigan’s 2020 election.

Her opponent, on the other hand, has made debunked claims that she witnessed election fraud while observing poll workers in Detroit in 2020 and said that the Capitol riot was conducted by “antifa posing as Trump supporters.” Mr. Trump has been stumping for Ms. Karamo for a reason: “This is not just about 2022,” he said at a recent rally. “This is about making sure Michigan is not rigged and stolen again in 2024.” Recent polling shows Ms. Benson with a 14-point lead over Ms. Karamo, but that margin is small considering Ms. Benson’s greater name recognition.

In Pennsylvania, the secretary of state is appointed, so the tossup governor’s race will decide who ends up overseeing elections. While the Democratic contender for governor, Josh Shapiro, the state attorney general, has made voting rights a cornerstone of his campaign, some of the Republican candidates seem determined to undercut them. Recent polling shows State Senator Doug Mastriano, a retired Army colonel with a Ph.D. in history, leading the rest of the Republican candidates.

Mr. Mastriano has embraced Mr. Trump’s claims of a stolen election; according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, he spoke with the president in the days after the election and pushed for a new slate of electors to be sent to Congress. Videos show him and his wife wandering through the barricades after rioters — some of whom he’d paid to send to Washington — breached the Capitol. His election as governor is a strong possibility in a state that tends to seesaw between Democrats and Republicans.

Other candidates for secretary of state include Mark Finchem in Arizona and Jim Marchant in Nevada. Mr. Finchem, a state representative who attended the Stop the Steal Rally in Washington last year, has introduced a resolution to decertify the results of the 2020 election in three big counties and a bill to empower the Arizona Legislature to reject election results. As of the end of the first quarter, Mr. Finchem led all the other candidates in the race in fund-raising, making him the most likely to win the Republican primary and a strong candidate in the general election.

Mr. Marchant has followed the same campaign playbook in Nevada. A former state legislator, he has not only called it “almost statistically impossible that Joe Biden won” the state, but also said he would not have certified Nevada’s slate of electors had he been secretary of state in 2020; indeed, he pushed for his state to submit an alternative slate. While Nevada has gone to the Democratic candidate in the past four presidential elections, three of its past four secretaries of state have been Republicans, and this race could go either way.

For Democrats to fend off the America First slate, they will need to invest in these races, helping candidates build the name recognition they need to combat the onslaught from the right. That will take time, money and a strategy to raise awareness about the crucial role these offices play in protecting our democracy. A nationwide effort like the “SoS Project,” which was started by a group of Democrats following the 2004 election and folded several years later, could help. Individuals can also help by volunteering for secretary of state candidates and by talking to their neighbors and on social media about the importance of these positions.

Races for other offices may attract bigger names, but elections for secretary of state may bring about the most significant shifts in power in 2022. As Mr. Trump has said, sometimes the “vote counter is more important than the candidate.”

Filosofa Is Ranting … AGAIN!

More and more, this ‘United’ States of America is becoming a nation that I do not recognize, a nation of people who have thrown common decency and humanity out the window.  The latest thing that tore at my heart was a speech given by an Oklahoma Republican who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this year.  The ‘man’s’ name is John Bennett, and he is the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.  His words at a recent campaign ‘event’:

“We’re in a war with bureaucrats who have forced vaccine mandates on us, mask mandates on us, and you know what — they are pushing this wokeness confusion down our throats.  And by the way, we should try Anthony Fauci and put him in front of a firing squad.”

And the worst part, my friends, is that the crowd cheered and clapped.  Now, I know these people do not represent the majority of those in this nation, but the number of fools who have zero respect for … anyone … seems to be on the rise … exponentially.  This disgusts me, it sickens me, it saddens me, and it infuriates me – all at the same time.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Fauci is the nation’s top virologist and has, for more than two years now, attempted to guide this nation through a pandemic of epic proportions, one that has taken more than a million lives in this country alone, and more than six million worldwide.  He had the courage to stand up to the former guy when the former guy was touting dangerous ‘cures’ with no knowledge whatsoever, and making false claims that cost lives — many lives.  Dr. Fauci and his family … HIS FAMILY … have been subjected to death threats by people like those at Mr. Bennett’s rally.

THIS is not what this country … not what ANY country … should be.  Anybody who can applaud or cheer when a politico wanna-be calls for the execution of an innocent person, is not, in my book, a human.  How can this person, who stood in a public venue calling for the execution of another human being, be allowed to run for … and possibly obtain … a seat in the United States Congress?  Is this the kind of person we want to put in charge of our very lives???  Is this the sort of person we want making the laws under which we live or die?  It is against the law in all 50 states to incite violence, and yet isn’t that exactly what Mr. Bennett did?  Why is he even allowed to walk among us, let alone run for one of the highest offices in the land?

A note to Republican voters:  I understand that, as Republicans are actually a minority in this nation, you ave to work harder to keep the playing field level.  But do not sacrifice your values, your humanity, just to put a candidate of your party into office at ANY level.  People like Mr. Bennett, Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Gaetz, Ms. Greene, Ms. Boebert, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Cawthorn, the former guy, and so many more are beneath our dignity.  Surely you can find qualified candidates who still have human compassion, who are not racists and would actually uphold their oath of office?  If you cannot find such people, then the Republican Party is truly on the skids and you should get out now before it destroys your credibility as a human, before it destroys your self worth, before it destroys US ALL.

Revelations Of A SCOTUS Wife

It must be tough to have a wife who is a constant embarrassment – maybe even tough enough to send a man to the hospital.  Most men would not have stayed with such a woman for 35 years, but then … Justice Clarence Thomas is not most men.  He is a Black man sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court … one whose nomination in 1991 by then-President George H.W. Bush was fraught with conflict, in part because of his views on such things as affirmative action and women’s rights, and in part because of statements by lawyer Anita Hill claiming sexual harassment by Thomas.  Despite all this, Thomas was confirmed to the highest court in the nation.

Justice Thomas has often issued opinions I disagree with … he is one of the conservative justices on the Court, so that’s to be expected.  But it is only in the last 14 months that I’ve come to believe that Justice Thomas does not belong on the U.S. Supreme Court and that if he has anything resembling a conscience, he will step down … immediately!  Not necessarily because of any decision he has handed down, but because his wife’s antics have completely cost him his reputation, have made even the most astute legal minds question his integrity.

On Thursday, two well-respected journalists, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, reported on Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, and a set of emails that passed between her and former Chief of Staff under Trump, Mark Meadows between November 2020 and January 2021.  Some of the content of these emails is eye-popping.  The piece by Woodward and Costa is far too lengthy for me to post here, but I urge you to read it when you have a few minutes.

A few excerpts …

  • On Nov. 10, after news organizations had projected Joe Biden the winner based on state vote totals, Thomas wrote to Meadows: “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!…You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

  • In the Nov. 5 message to Meadows, Thomas went on to quote a passage that had circulated on right-wing websites: “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

  • On Nov. 13, she texted Meadows about her outreach to “Jared,” potentially a reference to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser. She wrote, “Just forwarded to yr gmail an email I sent Jared this am. Sidney Powell & improved coordination now will help the cavalry come and Fraud exposed and America saved.”

  • On Nov. 19, which would be a crucial day for Powell as she spoke at a news conference at the Republican National Committee, Thomas continued to bolster Powell’s standing in a text to Meadows. “Mark (don’t want to wake you)… ” Thomas wrote. “Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”

Remember, my friends, that these are the words of the wife of a Supreme Court Justice.  Her words, her texts, were … what?  Treasonous?  Seditious?  Granted, they were not the words of Justice Thomas, nor is there any evidence that Justice Thomas supported her words and actions during that time.  But ask yourself this:  Do you think he was completely in the dark, unaware of the cages his wife was rattling, the shitstorm she was stirring?  Do you imagine they never discussed it, that she never gave him her opinions about which she felt so strongly?

I am highly offended that this woman, along with so many others — lawyers, activists, white supremacists and the like, attempted and nearly succeeded in overturning my vote, and more than 81 million others, in order to install a cruel, evil wanna-be dictator.  Had they succeeded, we might be living in a nation even worse than Russia today.  Thankfully they did not succeed, but no thanks are due to Virginia Thomas!

I think this will be a deep, dark stain on Justice Thomas for whatever time he remains on the bench.  Justices are expected to set aside their own political views and rule in the interest of the country with the Constitution as their guideline.  Justice Thomas has a built-in conflict of interest.  If he has a conscience, he must use it to tender his resignation.  If he does not do so, then we know we have one very corrupted Justice on the Supreme Court.

NO — It Was NOT “Legitimate Discourse”!!!

The Republican Party is claiming that the events of January 6th were merely “legitimate political discourse.”  Naturally, I disagree … strongly disagree.  But it isn’t enough for me to say I disagree … if I have a point, I must prove my point.  First, let us dissect that phrase with a few short definitions …

Legitimate:  accepted by the law as rightful

Political:  relating to the government or the public affairs of a country; relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics

Discourse:  written or spoken communication or debate

The first word alone, ‘legitimate,’ is enough to render this entire phrase as applied to January 6th 2021 wrong.  On that day, in the U.S. Capitol, a violent mob entered the building unlawfully and then proceeded to destroy taxpayer’s property, to steal taxpayer’s property, to threaten a lynching, and to murder police officers who were attempting to restore order.  NONE of that is legal or rightful!!!

I’ll give the Republicans that second word, ‘political.’  The violent insurrection was indeed political for it was an attempt, encouraged and plotted by the former guy and his minions, to overthrow an election and thus to overthrow the government of the United States.  However, if this is what politics has come to, then I say it’s time for the two political parties to be disbanded and rebuilt from the ground up by people of conscience.

If ‘discourse’ is written or spoken communication, then I fail to see how the events of January 6th qualifies.  The guttural grunts and screamed threats of the perpetrators can in no way be considered discourse.  90% of the people who stormed the Capitol on that day couldn’t string a coherent sentence together if their lives depended on it.

Ronna McDaniel is the chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), so while I don’t know who drafted the actual document to censure Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, Ms. McDaniel bears responsibility, though there can be no doubt that a majority of the RNC supported the move.  She is the niece of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, although obviously she did not inherit his basic decency.

McDaniel is complicit in the Big Lie, the claim that the election was not fair and honest and that there was so much “voter fraud” that Trump actually would have otherwise won.  C’mon, folks … think on this one for a minute.  In 2016, Trump LOST the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes to Hillary Clinton, but the machinations of the Electoral College allowed him to move into the White House anyway.  Did Ms. Clinton throw a juvenile temper tantrum and claim she had really won, that there was voter fraud involved?  No, she did not.  In fact, she called Mr. Trump to congratulate him in the wee hours that Wednesday morning.  THAT, my friends, is the proper way for a legitimate politician to behave.  And in 2020, Trump lost by nearly 8 million votes.  C’mon, folks, that would have to be one heck of a lot of voter fraud that simply didn’t happen.

To this day, Trump has neither conceded that he lost the 2020 election, nor has he congratulated President Biden.  Instead, he has done everything in his power to denigrate not only the President, but the very presidency itself and to prove to the public that he is not a man in any sense of the word, but a whiny, vicious toddler in an ugly man’s body.

Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger deserve a merit badge for courage, for having the cojones to stand for what is right, to uphold their oaths to the Constitution and to We the People, and for being basically honest people rather than slavishly dribbling over the former guy at every chance.  They know what might have become of this nation had Trump and his minions succeeded in their coup 13 months ago and they want more for this nation, they do not wish to allow one ‘man’ to destroy a nation, to burn the Constitution. And they understand, far better than most Republicans, that brutal murder, destruction of property, and theft do NOT qualify as legitimate discourse in any way, shape, or form.

If we allow the GOP to continue telling this blatant lie about the events of January 6th, if we don’t call them on the carpet for their lies, then we will be complicit in what happens after the 2024 election.  Currently, voters in the state of North Carolina have filed a legal challenge to disqualify Representative Madison Cawthorn from running for a second term based on his role in the attempted coup.  The lawsuit contends that Cawthorn’s comments in the speech shortly preceding the insurrection violate the 14th Amendment, which states in part that no person “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”

If used properly, the 14th Amendment could and should be used to block others such as Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and yes, Donald Trump from ever running for public office again!  These people all played a role in the events of that day and frankly, they have no conscience, no business making decisions that affect our lives!  Let them pump gas or sell sandwiches for a living for they DO NOT belong in our government!!!

Officer Michael Fanone who was brutally beaten on January 6, 2021

I end where I began … there was nothing … not a single thing … that was legitimate about the attempt to take over our government and throw our votes out the window.  Ask Officer Michael Fanone or any one of the officers who valiantly tried to protect the Capitol and Congress that day how ‘legitimate’ it seemed.  It was a violent, bloody coup attempt and no amount of whitewashing can change that fact.  It’s time we hold people accountable instead of pandering to them and re-arranging the dictionary to try to appease them.

Are We All Gullible?

While conspiracy theories have always been around, they have seemingly run rampant of late, the one with the most adherents being the Big Lie that the election was “stolen” from the former guy.  And remember Margie Greene’s belief in the QAnon theory that it was Russian space lasers or some such nonsense that started the 2020 California wildfires?  Now, I and most of the people reading this blog are too intelligent to fall for these off-the-wall conspiracy theories, right?  Let’s find out!  The Washington Post has a short (just 6 multiple choice questions), fun quiz to see just how savvy we are about facts vs conspiracy theories.  I took this quiz … it really is short and only took less than 5 minutes … and I did miss one!  😱

Check it out here and let me know how you did … and see if you can guess which one I missed!