Ramblings From My Own Bouncing Mind

What follows is just a few of the many things that weigh heavily on my mind these days, that keep me awake at night, and that are robbing us all of peace of mind, of any sense of security in this nation.

Why in hell do we start campaigning for the office of president before the ink is even dry on the last election results?  Huh?  Anybody know an answer to this?  Last Tuesday, in an interview with the traitorous Candace Owens, the former guy, asked about whether he plans to vie again for the Oval Office in 2024, said …

“I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement.”

The implications of that arrogant statement made me want to throw up my supper.  Luckily, I had only eaten about ¼ of a salad, so not much to worry about.

Very happy???  It literally made me want to kill the man.  Note to FBI agents who may be monitoring WordPress blogs … don’t worry, I don’t own a gun and wouldn’t go within 100 miles of that jackass anyway.

There are 1,276 days left until the 2024 election … PLEASE let us live at least ¾ of them in relative peace!!!  Allow us time to rest and recuperate from the turmoil of the past 5 years, to take heart in the fact that we once again, have a government led by a man, a man who cares about people, not only their money!

And then I read that former Vice President Mike Pence touted Trump, saying – “we made America greater than ever before” – in a recent speech.  No, Mikey, you and he damn near destroyed this nation.  You both attempted to turn a nation built on diversity into a homogenous, lily-livered, homophobic country filled with people who carried a torch for hatred of ‘other’ in their shriveled up little hearts.  And how … just HOW can you say that when it was he who incited the riot where people were chanting “Kill Mike Pence” on January 6th, and a gallows had already been erected for just that purpose?  Are you really so blind, so stupid?

In Arizona, a fake audit of the ballots cast in Maricopa Country (you remember Maricopa’s former sheriff, Joe Arpaio) performed by a nudnik cast of characters including one who participated in the January 6th attacks on Congress and the Capitol.  The audit is neither legitimate nor sanctioned by any government agency, and is crazy in that they are using ultra-violet lights to attempt to detect bamboo on the ballots, for they claim that something like 40,000 ballots were shipped here from Asia.  Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs detailed multiple irregularities with the audit in a letter to the person overseeing it for the state’s Senate Republicans, Ken Bennett.  Hobbs warned Bennett that she would be forced to haul him back to court if he didn’t bring the audit into compliance with state law.  And then, the death threats started against Secretary Hobbs and her family.  Said Hobbs …

“Earlier today a man called my office saying I deserve to die and wanting to know ‘what she is wearing so she’ll be easy to get.’ … It was one of at least three such threats today. Then a man who I’ve never seen before chased me and my staffer outside of our office.”

As a result, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has ordered round-the-clock security for Ms. Hobbs.  This is not the first incident of this type related to the controversy surrounding the 2020 election and the Big Lie being perpetuated by the former guy, nor is it likely to be the last.

Capitol Police report that there has been a 107% increase in reported threats against members of Congress compared to last year.  In 2020, the USCP logged about 9,000 cases of threats against lawmakers, while the Secret Service handled another 8,000.  In a press release, Capitol Police said …

“Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase.”

This, my friends, is what happens when people in positions of power such as members of Congress, former presidents, popular media personalities, and religious leaders engage in game-playing, lies, deceit, and do so loudly, attempting to stir emotions, to rouse the masses.  This is what happens when those same people with power blindly follow a madman.  This is what happens when people don’t bother to ask questions, to verify what they may hear from others, or to even take a few minutes to think about whether something makes sense or not.  C’mon folks, surely we are better than all this?


A Woman Of Principles

There aren’t too many congressional Republicans for whom I have even a modicum of respect these days.  Liz Cheney is at the top of the list of those I respect.  I don’t agree with her political positions, and quite often detested her father, but … Ms. Cheney has proven herself to be a woman of conscience, a woman who is not afraid to stand by the courage of her convictions.  She has what so many … almost all … Republicans lack these days:  integrity.

And it is because of her conscience, her integrity, her refusal to support the lies being told by the former guy and his minions, that she is almost certain to lose her leadership position as the third highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Think about that one … because she is honest, she is to be punished by dishonest people like Kevin McCarthy, who knows damn well that the election results were fair and aboveboard, but for his own political purposes has tied himself to the former guy’s train.

Ms. Cheney has written an OpEd for The Washington Post that I think deserves to be widely read.  I don’t agree with everything she says toward the end of her column, but that doesn’t diminish my respect for her for being one of only a handful of people in her party who put country before self.  I expect to have ideological differences with those on the right … I just don’t expect to be lied to, deceived, and threatened as we all have been by today’s Republican Party. This is what sets Liz Cheney apart from the rest of the party … her honesty.


Liz Cheney: The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.

Opinion by Liz Cheney

May 5, 2021 at 5:05 p.m. EDT

In public statements again this week, former president Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen. His message: I am still the rightful president, and President Biden is illegitimate. Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6. And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again. Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” Now, McCarthy has changed his story.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American “miracle.”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear.

First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.

Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate. We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.

Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.

There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s. Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

Facebook’s ban on the Former Guy Must Remain

Tomorrow, Facebook will announce whether the former guy will be allowed back on. If he is, I will be closing my Facebook account on that same day, for it would show me the lack of values, lack of integrity of that outlet. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters weighs in on the topic, and I am 100% in agreement with him. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Here’s hoping the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) does the right thing tomorrow and keeps the indefinite ban on the disgraced former president. American democracy eagerly awaits the decision.

For those of you who might not know it, Facebook created the Board to weigh in on certain moderation decisions made by the company and make sure that those decisions were “made according to its stated values.” Whatever decision they reach tomorrow cannot be overruled – even by Zuckerburg himself.

The Former Guy is seeking reinstatement of his Facebook and Instagram accounts. Currently, his accounts on YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter remain suspended. All social media giants responded when the mob of thugs tried to overthrow our government on January 6. The Former Guy’s reprehensible promulgation of the Big Lie that the election was stolen from him directly resulted in the events of that day.

The media companies did the right thing then…

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What The GOP Looks Like In The 21st Century

Is there a single member of the former guy’s inner circle who isn’t in deep legal doo-doo?  First, there’s Giuliani whose home and office were raided by the FBI last week and who is in more than one pot of boiling water.  Then there’s Jared Kusher whose apartment company has been charged with repeatedly violating state consumer protection laws by collecting debts without required licenses, charging tenants improper fees and misrepresenting the condition of rental units.  Former Attorney General William Barr is being investigated for a possible conflict of interest in the case against heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., and the list goes on.  Hopefully, at the end of the day, charges and indictments come down against the former guy himself, for he is undoubtedly at the helm of most of these issues.  It is my fondest hope to see the former guy in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars for the rest of his life.

And yet, the GOP goes on, producing more, nastier criminal types like Kevin McCarthy, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz and more.  In my mind, I can almost hear Richard Nixon loudly asserting that, “I am not a crook!”  In truth, Nixon was no more a crook than some 90% of today’s GOP … but he paid the price, while today’s lot are applauded.  The difference?  Probably the likes of Fox ‘News’, the New York Post, and other Murdoch-owned outlets that wouldn’t recognize truth if it hit them in the patootie, and the influence of social media.  Compared to Nixon in 1973, today’s liars and crooks have nearly unlimited coverage ‘round the clock … Twitter, Fox, Newsmax, Facebook … they are all complicit in giving voice to the lies, to giving the crooks a megaphone with which to make their meritless case.  To be a star on Twitter or Facebook, you needn’t be honest or intelligent … you only need to have a huge number of followers, which you can get by being off-the-wall outrageous.  Integrity?  Not necessary.  Honesty?  Not a requisite.

You’ll hear, from many on all sides of the fence, that “both sides do it”.  No, my friends.  While the Democrats are not beyond party loyalty, and while no doubt they tell a lie or two here and there, they are in no way the accomplished Pinocchios that today’s GOP is home to.  One single example:  The GOP and its right-wing media arm have put out the completely baseless lie that Joe Biden is “coming to take your beef burger”!  Biden has never, to the best of my knowledge, even mentioned cutting beef consumption, and he’s a smart enough man to know he’d find his head on the chopping block if he did.  Now personally … my family and I eat beef maybe once a month, so I really don’t care if the powers that be stop slaughtering cows, but that’s just me.

But you’ll hear it on Fox, you’ll hear it out of the mouths of the Republican fools … and there is not a single element of basis in fact for that outright lie.  It bears as much merit as if the Democrats put out the lie that Republicans are going to force every person over the age of 18 to own a gun.  But see, we don’t need to make up lies about the Republicans, for they make themselves look bad every day without our help!  They think we sit around trying to find ways to make them look like idiots, but they’ve done that job for us!

But let us talk about substance … if the Republicans don’t like President Biden’s ideas, why don’t they come up with alternate policy proposals, meet at the table, and give a little, take a little, ending with a compromise that benefits the nation?  Why don’t they propose ways to ensure that everyone, regardless of employment, gender, ethnicity, or religion has affordable health care?  Why don’t they give us their ideas for how to repair the damage done to the Earth’s environment by humans?  Why don’t they propose ways to meet the challenges that face us in the 21st century?  Why?  Because they have none, because they are too busy being the party of racism, of negativity, of conspiracy theories, to actually propose meaningful, useful, legislation.  Does anybody doubt that they have spent more time promoting the Big Lie than thinking about how to help the people of this nation?

Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez, when asked about the beating of Representative Liz Cheney by other Republicans because she stood by her beliefs in voting to impeach the former guy, replied …

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”

And that, folks, sums it up in a nutshell … if you have a conscience, if you are honest and a person of integrity, then you are “not the best fit” for today’s Republican Party.  Need I say more?

Father And Son … Corruption x 2

Let’s talk about the Giuliani family for a minute.  There was a time when I had the utmost respect for Rudy Giuliani.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the perfect leader.  He offered heartfelt empathy, he was the voice of reason, he so obviously cared what the country, and more specifically New Yorkers were going through.

Unfortunately, that man disappeared shortly thereafter, never to be heard from again.  He was replaced by a Rudy Giuliani who attached himself like a leech to the most corrupt president this nation has ever had, he lied and cheated on behalf of that ‘man’, and he lost every ounce of respect he had ever earned.

Giuliani helped incite the attacks by domestic terrorists, white supremacists, on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th, but that was only the culmination of all his dirty deeds. The New York State Bar Association is investigating his role and it could ultimately lead to his disbarment.

Giuliani is under investigation with the Department of Justice for his dealings with a shadowy cast of characters in Ukraine, attempting to find and distribute material about the relationship between a scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy company and President Biden’s son, Hunter.  Trump famously told Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in July 2019 to get in touch with Giuliani …

“Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

And then it came out that the former guy had actually threatened to withhold military aid that had already been approved, unless Ukrainian President Zelenskyy promised to publicly announce an investigation of the company in question.  This, of course, led to the former guy’s first impeachment.

I don’t know what will come of the investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his efforts on behalf of the former guy to help incite an insurrection, but time will tell, and personally I won’t shed a tear if Rudy is disbarred and relegated to the annals of history.  But let’s talk about Rudy’s son, Andrew, for a minute.

When Rudy Giuliani took his oath of office to become Mayor of New York City in 1994, it is said that his son Andrew ruined the moment by repeating parts of the oath along with his father. Andrew was exuberant on the podium beside his father, as he blew kisses to the cameras, mimicked every hand gesture of his father, and shouted out: “It should be so and it will be so!”  Of course, since he was only 8 years old at the time, I guess we can overlook that.

Fast forward to 2017 when the former guy gave Andrew a job at the White House … his official title was Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison.  Don’t ask what, exactly, he did, but his starting salary in 2017 was $77,000 and within two years had been increased to $95,000.  Remember, folks, that we paid this salary and as far as I can discern, the only thing he did to earn it was contact sports teams to get them to come to the White House for a photo op with the former guy.

Initially, he was given ‘unescorted access’ to the West Wing, but when John Kelly became Chief of Staff, that was rescinded, then re-instated when Kelly left and was replaced by Mick Mulvaney.  That tells me that his position was largely … nothing more than a favour to his father.  He floated around for his own ego.  Oh … one more thing he did was he golfed with the former guy much of the time!  He was a regular golf partner of Trump, and traveled with him for the sole purpose of playing a round or two of golf with him.  In January 2020, the Irish Times called him “Trump’s most regular playing partner”.  Never forget that We the People paid for this!

Fast forward again to present day when Andrew Giuliani is considering a run for … wait for it … Governor of New York!  He has higher aspirations than his father, and only about one-fourth as much intelligence!  It is reported that he’ll be flying to Mar-a-Lago next week to meet with the former guy to finalize his plans for his campaign.  Says Andrew …

“I will be down there next week for a two to three-day swing where we’ll be meeting with donors, interviewing potential staff and speaking to the former President. From a self-interest standpoint, I want the President to be as involved as he wants to be …”

Oh, my aching head!  He seems to be one of the delusional mass who has forgotten that the former guy is just that … former.  But the good news is that New Yorkers are too smart to be snowed by this young punk-in-a-suit!  At least, I hope they are.  I hope they send Andrew G packing, send him back to the playground, the golf course, or the Ukraine … I really don’t care as long as he never enters the Governor’s mansion!  I strongly suspect he has his eye on the Oval Office somewhere down the road, in which case I would jump off a tall building!

A Time For Justice: Bannon Et Al

A presidential pardon does not mean the person being pardoned is innocent.  Quite the contrary, if he/she were innocent, they would have proven so in a court of law.  Only those who either have been found guilty or whose trial is pending but it is expected they will be found guilty, are pardoned by a sitting president.  Think about that one for a minute … the innocent do not need presidential pardons.  Or, as U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who dismissed Michael Flynn’s prosecution after Flynn was pardoned by the former guy said …

“… [the former guy’s] decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one. Because the law recognizes the President’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.  However, the pardon does not, standing alone, render [Flynn] innocent of the alleged violation.”

Steve Bannon is a criminal in many senses of the word, and if he were charged for every time he has broken the law, the indictment would take a full ream of paper.  But the charges for which he was pardoned by the former guy stem from a fundraising scam for the ‘border wall’ on the southern U.S. border.

Bannon and another organizer, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, lied when they claimed they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, called “We Build the Wall.” Bannon received more than $1 million through a nonprofit entity he controlled, sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage while keeping a “substantial portion” for himself.  The We Build the Wall campaign, publicly supported by several of the former guy’s allies, raised more than $25 million through hundreds of thousands of donors.  This is the same border wall, by the way, that the former guy kept telling his supporters Mexico would pay for, even though most of us were well aware that was never even a remote possibility.

Bannon and Kolfage along with two others — Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea — routed payments from the crowdfunding campaign through the nonprofit and another shell company, disguising them with fake invoices to help keep their personal pay secret.  All four of these men were arrested in August of last year, and all except Bannon are awaiting trial, for the other three did not receive presidential pardons.

Bannon’s case, however, does remain pending.  This week, Bannon asked a judge to follow others in New York and elsewhere who outright dismissed cases after the former guy issued pardons, citing the post-pardon dismissals of charges against Michael Flynn and rapper Lil’ Wayne.  Not so fast there, Stevie …

Presidential pardons do not cover charges filed by states, and the New York attorney general’s office has partnered with Manhattan’s district attorney to investigate Bannon’s fundraising scam.  If New York finds evidence enough to file charges, then all bets are off for poor li’l Stevie Bannon.  Meanwhile …

Steve Bannon, along with Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, played an indisputable role in the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  While none of the three actively participated in the events of the 6th, all three operated behind the scenes in an attempt to stage a coup and steal the voices of the voters, overturn the election, and install a dictator in the Oval Office.

Bannon previously served as a prominent sponsor of the group “March for Trump”, co-organizers of the January 6th attacks.  Shortly after Trump lost the 2020 election, Bannon’s “War Room” podcast was banned from Twitter for suggesting Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded …

“I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.”

If I made a statement like that, I would be writing this blog from the inside of a jail cell.  Make no mistake … Steve Bannon is a very nasty man whose crimes are numerous.  He may have been ‘pardoned’ by another nasty ‘man’ for one of those crimes, but the rest will eventually catch up with him.  The same, I hope, will be true for the likes of Michael Flynn, his brother Charles, and Roger Stone the ultimate conspiracy theorist.  The nation … the world … does not need people like this.

When Richard “Tricky Dicky” Nixon left office under a cloud of shame in 1974, he was soon pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.  No doubt an agreement had been worked out beforehand that kept Nixon out of the courts and out of prison until his death twenty years later.  The former guy and his associates such as Bannon et al will get no such reprieve from President Biden.  These men – Bannon, Flynn, Trump, and more – are criminals and must be treated as such, else how can we claim to be a nation that values fairness, equality, a nation of laws, of justice?

A Republican Voice …

I have shared Michael Gerson’s opinions before, for he is one of the few in the Republican Party who isn’t a far-right extremist but rather is both intelligent and honest.  I was impressed by his honest assessment of the Republican Party in his column yesterday and thought it well worth sharing.  While I would disagree with Mr. Gerson on a few things, I respect his opinions for they are not based in hatred and bigotry, but rather genuine conviction.

Michael Gerson is a republican op-ed columnist for The Washington Post who served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006, and was a member of the White House Iraq Group.


Ron Johnson isn’t a Republican outlier

Opinion by 

Michael Gerson

Columnist

March 22, 2021 at 3:46 p.m. EDT

A political movement will either police its extremes or be defined by them.

Disapproval from opponents is easy to dismiss as mere partisanship. It is through self-criticism that a political party defines and patrols the boundaries of its ideological sanity.

This is the reason the case of Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) remains so instructive and disturbing. Johnson is a Republican who prefers his racism raw. He recently described the majority-White crowd protesting on Jan. 6 (some of whom stormed the Capitol and assaulted police officers) as “people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law.” Meanwhile, he would have been “concerned” by an approaching crowd of “tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters.” So: Whites who propagate a destructive lie, attack the democratic process and commit violence are Johnson’s kind of people; African Americans who protest a history of injustice are a scary horde.

There have always been bigots with access to a microphone. But in this case, Johnson did not face the hygienic repudiation of his party. Republican leaders preferred a different strategy: putting their fingers in their ears and humming loudly. Republicans have abolished their ideological police.

The reason is simple. After four years of Donald Trump, Johnson’s sentiments are not out of the Republican mainstream. They are an application of the prevailing Republican ideology — that the “real” America is under assault by the dangerous other: Violent immigrants. Angry Blacks. Antifa terrorists. Suspicious Muslims. And don’t forget “the China virus.”

Trump did not create such views. But he normalized them in an unprecedented fashion. Under Trump’s cover, this has been revealed as the majority position of Republicans, or at least engaged, activist Republicans. A recent New York Times poll found 65 percent of people who identify with the GOP to still be Trump “die-hards,” Trump “boosters” or captive to conspiracy theories. And most of the rest find nothing disqualifying in Trump’s pathologically divisive performance as president.

Our country faces many crises. But our nation’s politics has a single, overriding challenge: One of the United States’ venerable, powerful political parties has been overtaken by people who make resentment against outsiders the central element of their appeal. Inciting fear is not an excess of their zeal; it is the substance of their cause.

This has left some of us politically disoriented. I am pro-life. For me, this has always been the natural application of a humane historical trend: The United States’ gradually expanding circle of legal inclusion and protection. You may disagree with me, but I believe there is a logical moral progression that leads from abolitionism to the civil rights movement to the protection of the disabled and unborn.

Yet it is precisely this progression that’s being denied in today’s GOP. Claiming that discrimination is an illusion, that White people are the true victims, that diversity is a threat and that the American way of life is really identical to the good old days of White dominance — these are not just mistaken policy views, like being wrong on entitlement reform or tax policy. They are the fundamental failure of empathy, the triumph of dangerous historical lies and the violation of the highest objectives of politics: the advance of equal justice and human dignity.

It is one thing to be involved in policing the excesses of an ideological movement. It is another task entirely to persuade the large majority of an ideological movement to adopt the basic rules of morality and humanity. In the first case, the Republican Party is a flawed instrument of good. In the second case, it is a source of dangerous dehumanization that gets a few important things right.

The stakes could hardly be higher. Politics does not directly determine the morality of citizens. But it helps shape the system of social cues and stigmas in which citizens operate. It matters whether leaders delegitimize hatred or fertilize it; if they isolate prejudice or mainstream it. If political figures base their appeal on the cultivation of resentment for some group or groups, they are releasing deadly toxins into our society without any idea who might be harmed or killed. Such elected leaders might not have blood on their hands directly, but they are creating a society with more bloody hands.

I am still finding it difficult to fully embrace the Democratic Party, which denies the American progression toward justice and inclusion in other ways. But I could not advise an idealistic and ambitious young person to join today’s GOP because her ambition would be likely to destroy her idealism. Most Republican leaders can no longer be trusted with the moral education of the young on the central moral challenge of our history. Elected Republicans who are not bigots are generally cowards in the face of bigotry. And that is a shocking, horrible thing.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 2/27

This week the cartoonists certainly had plenty of material to work with, from Ted Cruz’ trip to Cancún, to the bigotry of Marjorie Greene to states’ renewed attempts at voter suppression to CPAC and more.  They didn’t let us down, and as she does every week, our friend TokyoSand managed to find the best of the lot!  Thanks, TS … you’re the best!

toon-3toon-4toon-6toon-7

See All The ‘Toons!

Trump & Teddy Roosevelt-A Phony Populist vs. a Real One

Our friend Jeff from On the Fence Voters has a new venue … he’s a contributing writer for Politically Speaking, a publication at Medium.com. Today, he has written his first piece, and it is both thoughtful and thought-provoking … I hope you’ll take a look and follow him on Medium! Thanks, Jeff, for all your hard work! We’ll speak soon!

On The Fence Voters

Hello everyone. Recently I became a contributing writer for Politically Speaking, a publication at Medium.com. I wanted to share my first post with you and will do so in the future as well. I apologize in advance for using the former guy’s name-as well as writing anything about him. My pledge is to minimize the crazy man as much as possible. But this post really goes to the overall concept of populism, and how it can be used in a good way-and a despicable and dangerous way as well. Anyway, here is an excerpt. I’d greatly appreciate it if you click the link at the end and finish reading over at Medium. Thank you everybody!

Imagine a scenario where an ex-president broke away from his political party to form a new and exciting one based on reforming democracy as we know it. Things like standing up to corporations, providing health…

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The Former Guy

I took a brief hiatus yesterday … my sanity depended on it.  But today I return … renewed, refreshed, and …. Oh heck, it’s all a lie. Who do I think I’m kidding?  I am neither renewed nor refreshed … I am, rather, exhausted and depressed, but for better or for worse, I am back with my usual … um … bit of ‘tude.


Trump is now “the former guy”

Remember January 20th, 2017 when President Obama left the White House, attended the inauguration of Donald Trump, and then was rarely in the news?  His time in the limelight was over, it was time to pass the baton, and move on with his life.  That is as it should be, folks.  So why the Sam Hell is Donald Trump’s face continually splattered over every media site, and his every word published ad nauseam?

It is time to step away from Donald Trump, my friends.  It is time for the media to focus on today’s reality, not yesterday’s lies.  I call on the press to stop … cease and desist … before they make the same mistake they made in 2016 of giving him so much free airtime that ultimately he was seen as something he wasn’t:  human.  A few days ago, Biden chose not to refer to Trump by name, and called him ‘the former guy’.  I suggest that become his new moniker … it suggests his current irrelevance, and that is what is needed right now if this nation stands a chance of healing.  He has no meaning to us, is naught but a private citizen like you and I.  I hope to be writing about the charges, both federal and state, against him over the coming year, but that’s about all I care about regarding him or his activities or rhetoric.

I and other bloggers have focused on the attacks of January 6th, incited and financed by the former guy, and the related impeachment trial, in hopes he would be held accountable for his actions for once.  The impeachment is over, the Republican Party is forever stained for their refusal to hold him accountable, and no, we won’t forget … ever.  However, it’s time now to realize that the former guy is no longer relevant to our lives, and focus on what is happening in our government, in the world today.  The former guy is history, he is boring for he is a broken record with only 5 phrases on his track.  A recent survey, taken 3 days after the pathetic impeachment vote, claims that 54% of republicans plan to back Trump as a presidential candidate in 2024.  Okay, fine, wonderful, but the election is not for another three-and-a-half years, some 45 months from now. There is work being done by the Biden administration that is far more important than what the former guy does or says.  And frankly, I think the squirrel on my back porch has as much chance of winning in 2024 as Trump.  So, let’s put the ugly man aside, leave him to languish in his fancy digs or rot in prison, and let us focus more on the things that matter in our lives.

Joe Biden brings to our government fresh blood, people who are intelligent, educated, and knowledgeable in their fields, and he brings policies that will make positive contributions to our lives, our health, and our environment.


The Biden cabinet

To date, seven of President Biden’s nominations for cabinet positions have been confirmed, most by a significant majority:

  • Tony Blinken, Secretary of State, was confirmed on January 26th by a vote of 78-22
  • Janet Yellen, Secretary of Treasury, was confirmed on January 25th by a vote of 84-15
  • Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, was confirmed on January 22nd by a vote of 93-2
  • Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, was confirmed on February 2nd by a vote of 86-13
  • Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, was confirmed on January 27th by a vote of 87-7
  • Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, was confirmed on February 2nd by a vote of 56-43
  • Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, was confirmed on January 20th by a vote of 84-10

Next week, confirmation hearings are scheduled for …

  • Merrick Garland, Attorney General, February 22-23
  • Debra Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, February 23
  • Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, February 23

The Biden cabinet is coming together nicely, and I’m pleased that there has been no significant disruption in the process, apart from the time spent in the impeachment trial.  Every one of these people have the background, education and experience to handle the job, unlike their counterparts in the previous administration.  I don’t foresee a problem with the confirmations of Garland, Haaland, or Becerra, though I could always be overlooking something.  After all, it was me who declared 5 years ago that the former guy didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the presidency.  Sigh.  Sooner of later I’ve got to be right … right?